Y: The Descent of Men

Front Cover
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2003 - Health & Fitness - 252 pages
6 Reviews
Men's beards grow faster when their bearers expect some sex. Fewer sperm cells are made in summer. Circumcised boys are more frightened of injections than boys who have not undergone the operation. And the average length of a man's penis is less than six inches, while that of a blue whale is ten feet.
These are only a few of the remarkable facts that spill out in Y: The Descent of Men. With marvelous literary flair, the acclaimed scientist and author Steve Jones offers a landmark exploration of maleness, based on today's explosion of biological research about what makes a male -- a topic of consuming interest to at least half the population. From what males consider to be the "prince of chromosomes" -- the Y -- to novel insights into men's hormones, hair loss, and the hydraulics of man's most intimate organ, Jones lays out the case for and against masculinity.
But the self-proclaimed "biologist in the bedroom" goes far beyond discussing straight science. He writes, for instance, of a meeting between Napoleon and Czar Alexander in which they discussed baldness cures rather than matters of state. And, as many angry males have found out, to the law fatherhood means more than genes. A father who is not a biological parent but who leaves a family with children still has responsibility for the offspring.
Steve Jones hints at a startling truth: men are the second sex. The Y chromosome is no longer an excuse for excess. Compared with their partners, men are in relative decline, whether in social status or in length of life. Both halves of the population have to learn to cope with the Y chromosome. This book helps show them how.
 

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Y: the descent of men

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In Darwin's Ghost, Jones provided an entertaining and informative update to Darwin's On the Origin of Species. Here he does the same for Darwin's The Descent of Man, with an added emphasis on man ... Read full review

Review: Y Descent of Men: The Descent of Men

User Review  - Genetic Cuckoo - Goodreads

A real page turner of a book. Wonderful and enlightening at the same time. It explored the origins of the Y chromosome and some interesting studies and findings regarding the evolution of sex and sexual reporduction. This is a must read for anyone interested in genetics. Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Natures Sole Mistake
1
The Common Man
21
Seven Ages of Manhood
41
Hydraulics for Boys
62
Man Mutilated
81
BoisRegards Worms
102
Bend Sinister
121
James Jamess Skull
142
Polymorphous Perversity
164
A Martian on Venus
184
The Descent of Men
205
SOURCES INDEX
223
Sources
225
Index
236
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About the author (2003)

Steve Jones is professor of genetics and head of the prestigious Galton Laboratory, University College of London. Jones has previously written three trade books, with two published in the U.S.: DARWIN'S GHOST and THE LANGUAGE OF GENES. A geneticist whose specialty is snails (he did some of the most important early sex-differentiation work by studying their shells), Jones has regularly appeared as one of the top authors on THE TIMES's bestseller lists. His witty and often humorous writing compares with - and in some cases, surpasses - that of Richard Dawkins, Stephen Jay Gould, Edward O. Wilson, Jared Diamond, and Steven Pinker. His books have received outstanding reviews in the United States as well as Britain.

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