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The Caveman Mystique: Pop-Darwinism and the…

The Caveman Mystique: Pop-Darwinism and the Debates Over Sex, Violence,…

by Martha McCaughey

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I read this book for a paper I have to write in my Gender, Violence, & Poverty class. While discussing an interesting topic, I found the book a little tedious (which is surprising considering it's only 140 pages!) But to me, the book seemed to reiterate the same points over and over. Ultimately though, I think people should read the book in order to think about how evolutionary theory can be used in the same way as religious fundamentalism has been used in order to prop up the power of white men while pushing down the already downtrodden. I really wish that McCaughey would have spent much more time discussing her point in her final paragraph where she pushes for the rejection of caveman masculinity and the adoption of a new manhood called "Homo textual." It sounded like a fascinating possibility and I would have loved to have seen what more she could have done with it (its implementation, etc) than the one paragraph she wrote. ( )
1 vote melancholycat | Apr 11, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0415934753, Paperback)

Has evolution made men promiscuous skirt chasers?  Pop-Darwinian claims about men's irrepressible heterosexuality have become increasingly common, and increasingly common excuses for men's sexual aggression. The Caveman Mystique traces such claims about the hairier sex through evolutionary science and popular culture. After outlining the social and historical context of the rise of pop-Darwinism's assertions about male sexuality and their appeal to many men, Martha McCaughey shows how evolutionary discourse can get lived out as the biological truth of male sexuality.

Although evolutionary scientists want to use their theories to solve social problems, evolutionary narratives get invoked by men looking for a Darwinian defense of bad-boy behaviors. McCaughey argues that evolution has nearly replaced religion as a moral guide for understanding who we are and what we must overcome to be good people.

Bringing together insights from the fields of science studies, body studies, feminist theory and queer theory, The Caveman Mystique offers a fresh understanding of science, science popularization, and the impact of science on men's identities making a convincing case for deconstructing, rather than defending, the caveman. 

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:44 -0400)

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