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Sex, the old-fashioned way

Why are men and women so different? Lewis Wolpert doesn’t have the answers

By Joanna Bourke   May 2013

Why Can’t a Woman be More Like a Man? The Evolution of Sex and Gender

by Lewis Wolpert (Faber, £14.99)

“Why can’t a woman be more like a man?”, whined Professor Higgins in the musical My Fair Lady. Perhaps he was asking the wrong question, Lewis Wolpert wittily proclaims in his new book. Shouldn’t it be, “Why can’t a man be more like a woman?” After all, men are “essentially biologically modified women”: we all start our embryonic lives as female, the default sex.

There are few subjects more likely to generate passion at dinner parties, debating societies and academic…

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