The Redundant Male

Or would they? Cherfas and Gribbin explore the possibility of doing without the human male by examining the benefits of sexual reproduction. They discuss the biological implications of the chromosome mixture that results from the joining of sperm and egg and emphasize the possibilities of genetic change and adaptation through this method of reproduction. Male-female reproduction allows mutation to occur much more rapidly than female-only reproduction, and the mutations have a much greater chance of surviving several generations until their usefulness, if any, to the species becomes apparent.

THE REDUNDANT MALE is an educational book, without the dreariness that adjective often implies. Its friendly exploration of the “why” of reproduction is more concerned with why sexual reproduction is biologically important, or unimportant, to life on this planet, than with human social or sexual interaction. Despite its title, it is not flippant; it is a serious look at an important and misunderstood subject.