The Trouble with Nature: Sex in Science and Popular Culture


"A brilliant, wide-ranging, masterful critique of the cultural impact of sociobiology and evolutionary psychology on popular as well as scholarly understandings of gender, sexuality and political economy. There are no cheap, trendy shots at science here, nor grandstand gestures to the prejudices of cultural relativists. Lancaster displays the skills of a science journalist while producing a major cultural studies opus."--Judith Stacey, author of "In the Name of the Family: Rethinking Family Values in the Postmodern Age

"For several years now, the unsupported, illogical, and often wacky claims of evolutionary psychology and other offspring of sociobiology have creepingly--and creepily--achieved the status of legitimate science in this culture. Finally, in "The Trouble with Nature, we have a book that brilliantly exposes the speciousness of recent--and widely accepted--arguments that gender differences, parental roles, beauty ideals, male violence, and homosexuality are genetically 'hard wired.' But Lancaster's book is not just a refutation of this 'genomania.' It's also a cultural exploration of its emergence and appeal at a time when sexuality, gender, and the family, far from exhibiting some invariant, stable form, are actually in radical flux. And it's also a wonderful read, which draws on popular culture, anthropology, philosophy, history, and scientific studies with equal ease and authority to demonstrate, not that biology plays little or no role in human life, but that cultural plasticity--not uniformity--is the real law of our evolution."--Susan Bordo, author of "Unbearable Weight and "The Male Body

"'What is a woman, man, homosexual or heterosexual?'--asks Roger Lancaster inthis lively, engaging new book. And well may he ask as, once again, academic pop stars hawk their biodetermined creations. Eschewing simplistic caricatures, he offers vivid examples of the ambiguities, contradictions, and co

Additional information

Includes content by:
  • Harvie Ferguson
Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Berkeley, CA
Publication year:
  • 2003


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