THE ANATOMY OF SEX AND POWER: An Investigation of Mind-Body Politics by Michael Hutchison

THE ANATOMY OF SEX AND POWER: An Investigation of Mind-Body Politics

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A freewheeling interpretation of recent findings on the social, genetic, and biochemical interrelations between sex and the desire for power, and their relevence to the current Zeitgeist in the US. When Hutchison (Megabrain, 1986; The Book of Floating, 1984) returned to the US in the mid-80's from an extended stay in Central America, he was dismayed to find that his casual criticisms of the recent banning of Playboy from convenience stores, of the burning of pornographic bookstores around the country, and of academics' sometimes virulent reactions to scientific reports on innate sex differences were in turn often criticized by members of his peer group of feminists, writers, and academics--some of whom argued passionately in support of burning out pornographyvending ""terrorists,"" banning sex magazines, and suppressing certain scientific research. Initially shocked at the extent to which support for the First Amendment seemed to have evaporated, Hutchison gradually sensed that beneath the outrage over sexual issues there lurked a struggle for power between the sexes, resulting, he conjectured, from the social upheavals caused by feminism and the sexual revolution. Somewhat new on the scene, Hutchison can be forgiven for considering his view an original one. In any case, despite frequent overgeneralization and a lack of in-depth analysis, his wide-ranging survey of current theories on physiological male-female differences, ""hard-wired"" (genetic) attitudes toward sex, the increasing power of cultural evolution, and the intriguing interplay between the free expression of sexual energy and the pursuit of power or control offers a useful view into some of the dynamics at work in contemporary American society--as well as some plausible explanations for political and religious passions that are, to many, a mystery. Irreverent, challenging, and, for the most part, convincing.

Pub Date: May 22nd, 1990
Publisher: Morrow