Are women superior to men? A panel discussion on evolution and sex differences Aug. 26

Are women superior to men? A panel discussion on evolution and sex differences Aug. 26



Author Mel Konner will speak about his thought-provoking book “Women After All: Sex, Evolution, and the End of Male Supremacy” Wednesday, Aug. 26, at 5 p.m. in the Marston Theater in ISTB-4, 781 E. Terrace Road, on the Arizona State University Tempe campus. The lecture and panel are hosted by the Biodesign Institute’s Center for Evolution and Medicine.

Konner will discuss how in the biological battle of the sexes, women and men fundamentally differ and why he believes women come out on top. He will explore the links between evolution and neurobiology, anthropology, psychology, embryology, history, economics and politics. His recent book has received wide acclaim and expected criticism. As Konner explains in the introduction, “This book will have something to offend almost anyone.”

Konner has authored 11 books, including the best-seller “The Tangled Wing: Biological Constraints on the Human Spirit;” “Becoming a Doctor; Why the Reckless Survive, and Other Secrets of Human Nature;” “The Jewish Body;” and “The Evolution of Childhood: Relationships, Emotion, Mind.” He is co-author of “The Paleolithic Prescription,” the first book about the so-called Paleo diet.

Konner holds a medical and doctoral degree from Harvard University and is a professor of anthropology at Emory University. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has written for “Nature,” “Science,” “The New England Journal of Medicine,” “Child Development,” “The New York Review of Books,” “The New York Times,” “The Wall Street Journal,” “Newsweekand many other publications both scientific and general. He has testified twice at U.S. Senate hearings related to health care.

The presentation will kick off an evening of discussion among experts in the fields of primatology, evolutionary biology, anthropology and gender studies. Panelists include:

  • Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, a prominent anthropologist, known for her books “Mother Nature,” “Mothers and Others” and “The Woman That Never Evolved.” She notes that Konner’s book “ … is the best available examination of how and why men and women differ and how 21st century humans can use this knowledge to forge a better world.”
  • Sally Kitch, a Regents’ professor and the director of the Institute for Humanities Research at ASU. Kitch’s research areas include the intellectual history of gender and race, feminist theory and epistemology.
  • Kim Hill, a professor and anthropologist in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at ASU, whose work focuses on human evolutionary ecology and the formation of the unique characteristics of the human species.
  • Melissa Wilson Sayres, assistant professor in the School of Life Sciences at ASU. Her research interests include the evolution of sex chromosomes in mammals and her recent article examines the dramatic decline in genetic diversity among males 4 to 8 thousand years ago, likely related to the accumulation of material wealth when humans became sedentary farmers in different areas of the world.

Following the panel, Konner will be available to sign copies of his books “Women After All: Sex, Evolution, and the End of Male Supremacy” and “The Tangled Wing.” Both will be on sale in the lobby.

This event is free and open to the public. The closest parking is located in the Rural Road Parking Structure at Rural Road between Terrace Road and Lemon Street. Visit for more information and to RSVP.


About the center

Biodesign’s Center for Evolution and Medicine’s mission is to establish evolutionary biology as a basic science for medicine, worldwide. The center’s seminar series brings the best minds in the field of evolutionary medicine to ASU. For more information on upcoming events visit

Lenora Ott,


Center for Evolution and Medicine