Ruined by Reading

The Invisible Sex

Posted in Book Reviews, History, Science by M on March 28, 2009

Title: The Invisible Sex
Authors: J.M. Adovasio, Olga Soffer, and Jake Page
Pages: 320
Genre: Non-Fiction, Anthropology
Rating: 5/5

The Invisible Sex retells human history with a focus on women since the role of women has long been forgotten and ignored. Scientists, historians, and archaeologists have instead preferred to focus on the image of men going out for the hunt while women stay home, pregnant and stupid. The Invisible Sex corrects this. It starts with the earlier homo species’, and goes through human migration and evolution while discussing major developments along the way.

The authors do write based on the assumption that evolution is correct, which is something I also believe. But it isn’t necessary to believe in evolution to learn from this book. It touches base on things like language skills, becoming bipedal, and even the evolution of the birth canal. The authors are great at putting everything into terms that any lay person can understand.

One big thing I found surprising was that women collected most of the food. Most people think that in pre-history, men went out and did the hunting and brought back food to feed everyone. While this is partially true – men did hunt – if the people relied on just hunting for their food, they would have starved and died out long ago. The authors also cite a paper that theorizes that it is possible women also participated in the hunt since some modern primate females provide a significant portion of the kills for the group. But 75% or more of the diet came from food that women collected.

What I liked most about The Invisible Sex is that while it focusses on women, it doesn’t put down men or their role in the process of “becoming human”. They are not ignored and pushed to the side. Their roles, contributions and skills are acknowledged as well.

I’m not normally a science person, and it normally takes me a long time to get through a non-fiction book, but The Invisible Sex is easy to understand and hard to put down. I learned a lot by reading this and would recommend it to anyone interested in any of the topics covered in this book.


One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. The Sunday Salon: Book Addiction « said, on March 29, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    […] The Invisible Sex by J.M. Adovasio, Olga Soffer, and Jake Page […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: