Review – Y: The Descent of Men

Cover of Y: The Descent of Men by Steve JonesY: The Descent of Men, Steve Jones

This book is another of Steve Jones’ updates/responses to/homages to Charles Darwin’s work. It’s probably remarkably different in many ways, in terms of the content, but it is an interesting read. I do think Jones goes a bit too much into gender essentialism — I played rough with my sister and the local boys, which the female-bodied are allegedly hard-wired not to do — and sometimes his constant reiteration that the Y chromosome is dying out seems a little hysterical, like maybe it might give fuel to the men’s rights people.

And if he could maybe stop talking about promiscuous gay men causing the spread of AIDs in every book, that’d be great. (I don’t care how true it may be, straight people get AIDs too, thank you very much.)

There is interesting stuff here in terms of genetics, foetal development, even the development of the human race as witnessed by the Y chromosome. Honestly, though, I’m not finding Jones’ work that fun to read — it seems to drag on forever — so once I’ve finished the last one I have out of the library, that’ll be it.

Rating: 3/5

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