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The 7 SexesThe 7 Sexes

Biology of Sex Determination

Elof Axel Carlson

Narrated by Adam B. Crafter

Available from Audible

Book published by Indiana University Press

Few of us know much about the biology of sex determination, but what could be more interesting than to discover how we are shaped into males and females? In this book, Elof Carlson tells the incredible story of the difficult quest to understand how the body forms girls and boys. Carlson’s history takes us from antiquity to the present day to detail how each component of human reproduction and sexuality was identified and studied, how this knowledge enlarged our understanding of sex determination, and how it was employed to interpret such little understood aspects of human biology as the origin of intersex births.

Elof Axel Carlson is Distinguished Teaching Professor Emeritus at Stony Brook University. A geneticist and historian of science, he is author of The Gene: A Critical History; Genes, Radiation and Neither Gods Nor Beasts: How Science Is Changing Who We Think We Are.


“Carlson does an excellent job presenting the researchers who, over time, worked out the details of sex determination and differentiation. Highly informative and instructive.”

—Johan Verhulst, MD, Kinsey Institute

“Carlson reveals the various scientific advances, in both methods and understanding, that allowed researchers to identify anatomical structures, gametes, sex hormones, sex chromosomes, and ultimately, a firm comprehension of the genetics of sex.... This scientific story of discovery is quite fascinating.”

—Barbara Baumgartner, Washington University, St. Louis

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University Press Audiobooks
an imprint of Redwood Audiobooks

University Press Audiobooks