A Brief History of the Female Body: An Evolutionary Look at How and Why the Female Form Came to Be

From breasts and orgasms to periods, pregnancies, and menopause—A Brief History of the Female Body is a fascinating science book explaining the mysteries of the female body through an evolutionary lens.

Let's face it: The female body is an enigma. For teenagers first experiencing their periods, the monthly arrival of mood swings and cramps can be agonizing and inconvenient. With pregnancy—perhaps the most miraculous of bodily events—comes countless potential complications, including high blood pressure, diabetes, premature birth, and postpartum depression. And menopause is equally mystifying. Why do females lose their fertility over time and experience the notorious side effects—like hot flashes, weight gain, and hair loss—while males maintain their fertility forever?

Evolutionary geneticist and educator Dr. Deena Emera has spent much of her career studying the evolution of female reproduction. A Brief History of the Female Body draws on her vast expertise as a biologist, her experience as a mother of four children, and her love of teaching to look far into our evolutionary past, illuminating how and, more importantly, why the female form has transformed over millions of years and its effects on women's health.