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Publisher's Summary

Few of us know much about the biology of sex determination, but what could be more interesting than to discover how we are shaped into males and females? In this book, Elof Carlson tells the incredible story of the difficult quest to understand how the body forms girls and boys. Carlson's history takes us from antiquity to the present day to detail how each component of human reproduction and sexuality was identified and studied, how this knowledge enlarged our understanding of sex determination, and how it was employed to interpret such little understood aspects of human biology as the origin of intersex births.

The book is published by Indiana University Press.

©2013 Elof Axel Carlson (P)2015 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Carlson reveals the various scientific advances, in both methods and understanding, that allowed researchers to identify anatomical structures, gametes, sex hormones, sex chromosomes, and ultimately, a firm comprehension of the genetics of sex. This scientific story of discovery is quite fascinating." (Barbara Baumgartner, Washington University)

What listeners say about The 7 Sexes

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A Science Marvel

What made the experience of listening to The 7 Sexes the most enjoyable?

This book answered questions I never knew to ask. It offered powerful and concise delivery of a complex topic. The narration was flawless and I will keep this on my reference bookshelf forever.

2 people found this helpful

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Funny History and Real Science

What about Adam B. Crafter’s performance did you like?

He has a professorial voice that suits the topic.

Any additional comments?

I found the combination of history and science to be most interesting. The book isn't intended to be funny, but the oh-so-ridiculous theories and beliefs that apparently-smart people came up with about sexes, before science, was laughable. These weren't just possibilities that Aristotle (yes, that Aristotle) and others hypothesized about while hanging out drinking wine on the isles of Greece, but actual beliefs (presumed to be absolutely true) of how the body, sex, and life worked.I got some good chuckles from hearing about the "wise" and their absurd conclusions. Makes you wonder what we today are being so "wise" about in our day, but is absolutely absurd.

1 person found this helpful

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Came for the reader, stayed for the story.

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Absolutely. It's an interesting subject, well performed.

Which character – as performed by Adam B. Crafter – was your favorite?

Mr. Crafter obviously knows his stuff.. his pleasant voice and calm cadence makes even the more obscure facts understandable - I found myself pausing the book several times to think about what he had just read. That doesn't happen often!
I will certainly continue following his readings.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Stuff you didn't know you wanted to know.

Any additional comments?

I have to admit that I bought this book because I enjoyed Adam Crafters reading of William Banting's Letter on Corpulence, and wanted to see what else he had put out, but after the first chapter, I got totally involved in the story of how we are made. It isn't something I thought would interest me, but now I am looking for more information on this fascinating subject.

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Wildly out of date

This book is really well read, and passably well written if it were released in the 90s, but it really is out of date on lots of issues. This could be because the author was very old and not involved in sociology when it was written. It neglects to mention many issues (non-binary identities, even in other cultures), and is outright incorrect on others (the existence of asexuality has been known since Kinsey, but is not mentioned).
In short, I’ll read it again, but it should be a starting point, not an endpoint.