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The Caveman Mystique : Pop-Darwinism and the Debates Over Sex, Violence, and Science - Martha McCaughey

The Caveman Mystique

Pop-Darwinism and the Debates Over Sex, Violence, and Science

Paperback Published: 19th October 2007
ISBN: 9780415934756
Number Of Pages: 167

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Has evolution made men promiscuous skirt chasers? Pop-Darwinian claims about men's irrepressible heterosexuality have become increasingly common, and increasingly common excuses for men's sexual aggression. The Caveman Mystique traces such claims about the hairier sex through evolutionary science and popular culture. After outlining the social and historical context of the rise of pop-Darwinism's assertions about male sexuality and their appeal to many men, Martha McCaughey shows how evolutionary discourse can get lived out as the biological truth of male sexuality.

Although evolutionary scientists want to use their theories to solve social problems, evolutionary narratives get invoked by men looking for a Darwinian defense of bad-boy behaviors. McCaughey argues that evolution has nearly replaced religion as a moral guide for understanding who we are and what we must overcome to be good people.

Bringing together insights from the fields of science studies, body studies, feminist theory and queer theory, The Caveman Mystique offers a fresh understanding of science, science popularization, and the impact of science on men's identities making a convincing case for deconstructing, rather than defending, the caveman.

Industry Reviews

"The Caveman Mystique sits at the intersection of feminism, cultural studies, science studies, and sociology of the body. As such, it would be an excellent monograph to assign in a class addressing any of these or their intersections. More generally, HBE logic, whether we want it to or not, infuses all of our classrooms. In this sense, we all have an opportunity to question "the [exclusive] right of scientists to comment on complex cultural practices" (p. 128) and to insist on the importance of feminist sociological contributions. For anyone who desires to do so, this book is an excellent way to catch up on the politics and poetics of this compelling and pervasive mythology." -- Lisa Wade, Gender and Society, April 2008

"...McCaughey seeks to shift our understanding of science from a practice and methodology evaluated by objective standards to a cultural discourse influences by social relations and power." --Feminist Collections, Vol. 29, No. 3-4, Summer-Fall 2008

Acknowledgmentsp. VII
"Welcome Back to the Caveman Times": An Introductionp. 1
Sperm Wars, Sex Wars, and Science Warsp. 21
Downsized Cavemen Going Apeshitp. 21
Moral Disdain for Menp. 25
Sperm Warsp. 27
Sex Warsp. 32
Science Warsp. 34
Homo Resurrectus: The Theory of Evolution as a Moral Answer for Menp. 41
Darwin's Theory and the Crisis in Moralsp. 41
Darwinism as the Second Comingp. 45
Darwin's Soldiers: A Salvation Armyp. 49
The Scientific Truth that Will Set Us Freep. 51
Moral Answers for the Moral Animalp. 54
Science and Certaintyp. 57
The Caveman as Resurrectionp. 60
Homo Habitus: Evolution, Popular Culture, and the Embodied Ethos of Male Sexualityp. 63
The Caveman in Popular Culturep. 63
Caveman Therapyp. 66
Caveman Desiresp. 70
Caveman Edutainmentp. 72
Moral Lessons for Cavemenp. 75
The Caveman as Embodied Ethosp. 80
Homo Sexual: Perverting Evolutionary Stories of Male Sexualityp. 85
How to Pervert Evolutionary Theoryp. 85
Evolution and Evolutionary Theory Are Already Pervertedp. 89
Heterosexual Masculinity as the Origin of the Origins of Heterosexual Masculinityp. 92
Homosexuality as Heterosexuality ... as Homosexualityp. 98
Setting the Evolutionary Record Queerp. 101
Do Gay Brains Make Better Politics?p. 103
Learning to Live with Perversionp. 106
Homo Textual: A Missing Link between Science and Culturep. 111
Popularity and Realityp. 111
Evolutionary Theory and Scientific Certaintyp. 115
Evolutionary Insights for a Changep. 120
Beyond the Grand Narrative of Sciencep. 126
Beyond the Science Warsp. 127
A Great Leap Forwardp. 132
Notesp. 141
Indexp. 159
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780415934756
ISBN-10: 0415934753
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 167
Published: 19th October 2007
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.24  x 0.64
Weight (kg): 0.24
Edition Number: 1