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.
List of Tables; List of Figures; Preface 1. Introduction; 2. Wild Guesses in an Era of Scientific Ignorance; 3. The Ancient World; 4. Monotheistic Religious Interpretations; 5. The Descriptive Embryology of Male and Female Development; 6. The Discovery of the Egg in Higher Eukaryotes; 7. The Discovery of the Sperm in Higher Eukaryotes; 8. The Discovery of Sex Hormones; 9. Ploidy Levels and Sex Determination; 10. The Discovery of Sex Chromosomes; 11. The Balance Theory of Sex Determination; 12. The Discovery of Sex in Microorganisms; 13. The History and Interpretations of Hermaphrodites and Intersexes; 14. Dosage Compensation and the Sex Chromosomes; 15. The Discovery of Human Sex Chromosome Conditions; 16. The Role of Sex Determining Genes; 17. The Seven Sexes of Humans; 18. The History of Homosexuality; 19. The History of Behavioral Gender Assignment; 20. The Evolution of Sex Determination; 21. What Does It Mean to Have an Assigned Sex?; 22. The Quest for a Unified Theory of Sex, Gender, and Sexuality Appendix: Secondary Literature and the Relation of Biology to Sex and Gender; Glossary; Index