Cover: The Case of the Female Orgasm: Bias in the Science of Evolution, from Harvard University PressCover: The Case of the Female Orgasm in PAPERBACK

The Case of the Female Orgasm

Bias in the Science of Evolution

Product Details

PAPERBACK

Print on Demand

$31.00 • £26.95 • €28.95

ISBN 9780674022461

Publication Date: 10/31/2006

Academic Trade

320 pages

5-1/8 x 7-15/16 inches

2 tables

World

Add to Cart

Media Requests:

Related Subjects

Why women evolved to have orgasms—when most of their primate relatives don’t—is a persistent mystery among evolutionary biologists. In pursuing this mystery, Elisabeth Lloyd arrives at another: How could anything as inadequate as the evolutionary explanations of the female orgasm have passed muster as science? A judicious and revealing look at all twenty evolutionary accounts of the trait of human female orgasm, Lloyd’s book is at the same time a case study of how certain biases steer science astray.

Over the past fifteen years, the effect of sexist or male-centered approaches to science has been hotly debated. Drawing especially on data from nonhuman primates and human sexology over eighty years, Lloyd shows what damage such bias does in the study of female orgasm. She also exposes a second pernicious form of bias that permeates the literature on female orgasms: a bias toward adaptationism. Here Lloyd’s critique comes alive, demonstrating how most of the evolutionary accounts either are in conflict with, or lack, certain types of evidence necessary to make their cases—how they simply assume that female orgasm must exist because it helped females in the past reproduce. As she weighs the evidence, Lloyd takes on nearly everyone who has written on the subject: evolutionists, animal behaviorists, and feminists alike. Her clearly and cogently written book is at once a convincing case study of bias in science and a sweeping summary and analysis of what is known about the evolution of the intriguing trait of female orgasm.

Awards & Accolades

  • 2006 Bonnie and Vern L. Bullough Book Award, Foundation for the Scientific Study of Sexuality

Share This

Philosophy as Dialogue, by Hilary Putnam, edited by Mario De Caro and David Macarthur, from Harvard University Press

Recent News

Black lives matter. Black voices matter. A statement from HUP »

From Our Blog

A stack of five bestselling titles from Harvard University Press against a hot pink textured background

Ringing in the New Year with HUP’s 2022 Bestsellers

There is no better way for readers to usher in the new year than by looking back to the books that defined the last. For Harvard University Press, our 2022 bestsellers make up a diverse list of books across time and discipline.