Evolution’s Rainbow: Diversity, Gender, and Sexuality in Nature and People

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University of California Press, May 17, 2004 - Science - 474 pages
7 Reviews
"Evolution's Rainbow is an expansively creative challenge to the modern orthodoxies of sexual selection. Roughgarden's intellectual generosity may jump-start the careers of a new generation of diversity-affirming Darwinian scientists."—Patricia Adair Gowaty, author of Feminism and Evolutionary Biology

"An entrancing tale of sexual ambiguity in animals and people, but also that rarest of literary beasts—a science book written from the heart."—Steve Jones, author of Darwin's Ghost

"A thoughtful and scholarly, yet deeply personal, perspective from a brilliant theoretical biologist. This articulate and provocative disquisition is must reading for anyone fascinated by one of the most important contemporary social challenges."—Simon Levin, author of Fragile Dominion

"This book challenges not only the assumptions about male-female differences in behavior and homosexual-heterosexual differences, but also the very meanings of ‘maleness’ and ‘femaleness’ in physical and biological terms. Roughgarden builds a strong case for biological diversity related to what humans call sex, gender, and sexuality."—Bonnie Spanier, author of Im/partial Science: Gender Ideology in Molecular Biology

"Joan Roughgarden asks, and indeed tries to answer, all the big questions about sexual diversity among humans and animals. She takes her readers on a wonderful journey through ecology and evolution and is a brilliant and talented narrator. Evolution's Rainbow will fundamentally change many ongoing conversations on sexuality and science."—Judith Halberstam, author of Female Masculinity

"Every now and then science focuses on a subject that matters. Gender and gender differences matter to us social primates. And we will judge, condemn, restrict or incarcerate people based on our notions of biologically normal variability in gender and sexuality. Thus, it is immensely important when a book comes along, written clearly and authoritatively by an eminent scientist, that demonstrates how wrong most people’s ideas are about this subject. This is such a book."—Robert Sapolsky, author of A Primate’s Memoir

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User Review  - setnahkt - LibraryThing

Very mixed feelings about this one. Biologist Joan Roughgarden (who used to be Jonathan Roughgarden and who therefore has some personal insight into the situation), probably annoyed at being preached ... Read full review

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User Review  - MarthaJeanne - LibraryThing

As a transgendered woman, the author has a different take on the issues of gender and sexuality from most biology professors. Very interesting. I'm not sure I agree with all of her conclusions, but much of the time she makes a lot of sense. Read full review

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About the author (2004)

Joan Roughgarden is Professor of Biological Sciences at Stanford University. She is the author of Primer of Ecological Theory (1998), Anolis Lizards of the Caribbean: Ecology, Evolution, and Plate Tectonics (1995), and Theory of Population Genetics and Evolutionary Ecology: An Introduction (1979).

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