Posts Tagged: book excerpts
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Save the Males!: The "Degenerating" Y Chromosome

Human genomes are 99.9 percent identical—with one prominent exception. Instead of a matching pair of X chromosomes, men carry a single X, coupled with a tiny chromosome called the Y. Tracking the emergence of a new and distinctive way of thinking about sex represented by the unalterable, simple, and visually compelling binary of the X and Y chromosomes, my book, Sex Itself: The Search for Male and Female in the Human Genome, examines the interaction between cultural gender norms and genetic theories of sex from the beginning of the 20th century to the present, postgenomic age. Here, we've excerpted from the chapter "Save the Males!"

The prospect that [...]

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The Best Time I Accidentally Attended a Teenage Orgy

I was a pretty late bloomer when it came to boys. Most girls in my hometown started holding hands in third or fourth grade, kissing in fifth or sixth, dry humping—as teens are wont to do—by eighth. But, because it was a small town, most of the kids with whom you attended kindergarten ended up right alongside you as you graduated, and if you’d forged an elementary school reputation as chubby and unlikeable, it was pretty hard to shake.

I ended up getting my first kiss at 15, when I went to visit a friend in rural Maine and got to be the exciting new girl for [...]

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Mapping Manhattan: How 10 Women See the City

In 2009, when I was still an undergraduate student at Harvard College, I began a project called Map Your Memories: I walked the length of Broadway, handing out blank letterpress-printed maps for tourists and locals alike to fill out. I would eventually distribute 3,000 total maps and receive 300 completed maps back. I published 75 of the submissions in Mapping Manhattan: A Love (and Sometimes Hate) Story in Maps by 75 New Yorkers, which came out this past April. 

Click on the maps to enlarge.

YOKO ONO I made a list of mapmakers and she was on my list, but I wasn’t really sure if I was [...]