Skip to main content

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

Melvin Konner makes the case for female dominance.
  • Author:
  • Updated:

Women After All: Sex, Evolution, and the End of Male Supremacy
Melvin Konner
W.W. Norton & Co.

Scientists now know again what our ancestors took for granted: that men and women think and act differently. Konner, a biological anthropologist, surveys non-human animals, from bonobos to whiptail lizards, and enumerates staggering varieties of sexual difference, as well as exotically shaped genitalia and sexual behaviors strange enough to shock Dr. Ruth. Moving to humans, Konner marshals evidence that women are “superior” to men—more logical, cautious, sociable, and peaceful. He predicts that as warfare, the biological domain of men, subsides in importance, women will claim more power, to the benefit of all. Through biotech, they may actually be able to miniaturize men until they are harmless “diminutive parasites,” or get rid of men altogether, or (he muses approvingly) keep them “in small numbers for sexual services.” Konner’s engagingly odd book is a case for female dominance, and for not letting biological anthropologists run anything larger than a faculty meeting.

For more from Pacific Standard on the science of society, and to support our work, sign up for our email newsletter and subscribe to our bimonthly magazine, where this piece originally appeared. Digital editions are available in the App Store (iPad) and on Zinio (Android, iPad, PC/MAC, iPhone, and Win8), Amazon, and Google Play (Android).