Sperm Is from Men, Eggs Are from Women
September 29, 2006
The Real Reason Men and Women are Different
by by Joe Quirk
Running Press, 2006
Reviewed by David L. Brooks
The parody in the title catches your eye, as does the name of the author. “What? Another book on the differences between men and women?” you think to yourself. But this, dear reader, is not just another book.
Flip it open and contemplate a sample of the chapter titles:
Female Promiscuity Controls the Size of Your Testicles
What Women Want
When Men Are Afraid of Commitment, Women Cautious about Consummation
How Men Get Sex
The Catfight Gene
The Jerk Gene
Why Women Are Coy, Men Clueless
Why We Bitch
Why You Like Speilberg More than T.S. Eliot
Faked Orgasms Fool Men, but Real Orgasms Fool Women
Why Your Clitoris Is Hard to Find
Broad Hips, Big Butts; Broad Shoulders, Big Diction
Why Your Penis Is Easy to Find
Why Males and Females Don’t Actually Exist
Why Men Have Nipples
Idly turn the pages and read random sentences:
“Virtually everything that goes into making a baby is in the egg. The sperm contributes nothing but genetic material. The rest of the sperm is a delivery system, with a few mitochondria carried along as batteries. Picture a submarine crashing into something the size of San Francisco to deliver one pizza. The pizza is all San Francisco needs to build something the size of the Earth. The submarine disintegrates into the fallopian sea.”
“Natural selection gave man a penis and a brain, but only enough blood to run one at a time. Female emotions are structured to exploit this blood-flow problem.”
“Good bodies and good mothers don’t always go together, which is why every man has a playboy and a father in his genes. Good genes and good fathers don’t always come in the same man, which is why every woman has a concubine and a wife in her genes.”
“Our environment built us to run, breath, eat, squat, throw things, dig for tubbers, and find shelter. But men and women bred each other to be smart, creative, witty, loyal, and beautiful. … Next time you decide to sleep with someone, remember the whole species is at stake. If you have sex with a jerk, you’re selecting for jerk genes.”
“Never forget the evolutionary power of female choice to mold sperm-makers. Remember the principle of the peacock’s tail. If females have some power of mate choice, female tastes will emerge in male bodies and behavior in a few generations.”
“Remember that the noble search for problems and solutions is what caused us to always see the negative side of everything. We owe all our good stuff to our inability to appreciate it. For that we should be grateful.”
“When your genes need you to breed, the last thing they want is you thinking clearly.”
The quotes hardly do the book justice. There is a quotable line on nearly every page and I had to severely cut this review because it was in danger of being as long as the book. In fact, I almost quoted the whole book for this review (that’s still “fair use,” isn’t it?) and then realized that, as I would be adding my own comments and observations, the review would be longer than the book (but also better).
Reading this book is not like attending a seminar in evolutionary psychology given by Leda Cosmides, John Tooby, and David Buss. It’s like having them over for dinner, pouring a little too much wine into them, and then getting a real education.
Witty, fun, and wonderfully informative, you’ll finish this book faster than you finished any book on evolutionary psychology you’ve ever started. And if you’ve never picked up a book on evolutionary psychology, this book will mislead you into thinking that the field is hilariously informative.
But do pick up this book. Homo sapiens are a funny species and this is just the funny book you need to understand what makes them tick.
Sperm Are from Men, Eggs Are from Women is available from Amazon.com.
P.S. Hey, Joe! In case you’re reading this: Bembo is cool. Bembo was cut by Francesco Griffo in 1495, for De Aetna, by Cardinal Pietro Bembo. The book was printed Aldus Manutius (the Elder), who also invented italics and was the first to use the semi-colon. So how cool is that? Antique Gothic is one of those 20th century, faux classic faces used by every Tom, Dick, and Carl. Doogie did you right and you got the classier font by far.