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women's studies

Woman: An Intimate Geography

 
 
Author
Natalie Angier.
Publisher Mariner  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 7.95 x 5.25 x 1.25 inches
ISBN 9780544228108
Pages/Publication Date 478/1999
Daedalus Item Code 60790
This item is not available.
Description
(Finalist for the National Book Award) Here Pulitzer Prize–winning science writer Natalie Angier explores that most enigmatic of evolutionary masterpieces, the female body, considering everything from organs to orgasm, including exercise, menopause, and the mysterious properties of breast milk. She challenges Darwinian-based gender stereotypes and shows how cultural biases have influenced research in evolutionary psychology and led to dubious conclusions about "female nature." Yet she also offers optimistic alternatives and transcends feminist polemics with an enlightened subversiveness that makes for a joyful, fresh vision of womanhood.

"Did postmenopausal women invent the human race? Are males more similar to females than females are to males? These are among the many stimulating questions at the core of Angier's provocative 'scientific fantasia of womanhood,' a spirited and thoroughly informed—if admittedly biased—study of how the body is 'a map of meaning and freedom.' Angier presents new theories on the evolution of women's anatomy, physiology and social behaviors. She points out, for example, that the X chromosome has a 'vastly higher gene richness' than the Y, which by contrast is 'a depauperized little stump,' and she champions the argument of anthropologist Kristen Hawkes that the role of postmenopausal grandmothers, who could help younger females nurture their weaned but still dependent offspring, 'invented youth.... And in inventing childhood, they invented the human race. They created Homo imperialis, a species that can go anywhere and exploit everything.' With wit and verve, Angier discusses such topics as ovulation, conception and birth; the social and physiological functions of breasts; orgasm, mate selection and child-rearing behavior; the complex workings of estrogen; hysterectomy; muscle strength; and female aggression and bonding. Her wide-ranging celebration of the female body engages the intellect but, more importantly, also offers a rigorous challenge to male-oriented theories of biology."—Publishers Weekly

 
 
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