Women After All: Sex, Evolution, and the End of Male Supremacy

Melvin Konner. Norton, $26.95 (400p) ISBN 978-0-393-23996-6
Professor of anthropology Konner’s bold and new book (following The Evolution of Childhood: Relationships, Emotion, Mind) claims that “gender identity is at its core something biological,” and that there are psychological and behavioral differences between men and women that aren’t culturally constructed. Moreover, Konner writes that the world will be a better place when women are finally leading it. Specifically, women exhibit superiority in terms of efficiency, cooperation, reliability, and lower levels of violence. Konner begins by examining the varieties of gender in animal species, including black widow spiders, elephant seals, and baboons. Compiling findings from numerous studies, he uncovers fascinating patterns in the genders. He reviews human history from its beginnings and focuses on two traits associated with men—violence and sexuality—drawing out the interplay between biology and socialization. This leads to a disturbing section on slave labor and sexual violence against women, abruptly followed by a discussion of the role of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) fields. Konner’s treatise is carefully referenced and clearly written throughout, but it’s the intricately constructed argument that gender identities are rooted in biology that treads new ground. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 11/24/2014
Release date: 03/01/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 400 pages - 978-0-393-24654-4
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-0-393-35231-3
MP3 CD - 978-1-5226-9135-8
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