Sex, Time and Power by Leonard Shlain
How Women's Sexuality Shaped Human Evolution

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 3 Critic Reviews



As in the bestselling The Alphabet Versus the Goddess, Leonard Shlain’s provocative new book promises to change the way readers view themselves and where they came from.

Sex, Time, and Power offers a tantalizing answer to an age-old question: Why did big-brained Homo sapiens suddenly emerge some 150,000 years ago? The key, according to Shlain, is female sexuality. Drawing on an awesome breadth of research, he shows how, long ago, the narrowness of the newly bipedal human female’s pelvis and the increasing size of infants’ heads precipitated a crisis for the species. Natural selection allowed for the adaptation of the human female to this environmental stress by reconfiguring her hormonal cycles, entraining them with the periodicity of the moon. The results, however, did much more than ensure our existence; they imbued women with the concept of time, and gave them control over sex—a power that males sought to reclaim. And the possibility of achieving immortality through heirs drove men to construct patriarchal cultures that went on to dominate so much of human history.

From the nature of courtship to the evolution of language, Shlain’s brilliant and wide-ranging exploration stimulates new thinking about very old matters.


About Leonard Shlain

See more books from this Author
Leonard Shlain is the author of Art & Physics: Parallel Visions in Space, Time & Light, and The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image. He is the chief of laparoscopic surgery at California Medical Center in San Francisco.
Published August 3, 2004 by Penguin Books. 460 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, Parenting & Relationships, Science & Math, Professional & Technical, Self Help. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Sex, Time and Power

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Changes in female sexuality were the impetus for the rapid development of Homo sapiens as a species unlike any other, argues the author of The Alphabet Versus the Goddess (1998).

| Read Full Review of Sex, Time and Power: How Wome...

The New York Times

See more reviews from this publication

The female lust for meat, Dr. Shlain suggests, is responsible for the evolution of much of human behavior, including intimate relations between men and women, foresight and puzzle solving, complex social interactions, different psychological moods between men and women, and any number of human tr...

Aug 28 2003 | Read Full Review of Sex, Time and Power: How Wome...

In Sex, Time and Power, he weaves a grand theory about how humans became the only species to develop a deep sense of time.

Sep 24 2003 | Read Full Review of Sex, Time and Power: How Wome...

Reader Rating for Sex, Time and Power

An aggregated and normalized score based on 76 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review