‘Bitch’ by Lucy Cooke

Josie Glausiusz at The Guardian:

Offering a wealth of examples ranging from cannibal spiders to sex-switching reef fish, Cooke dismantles a mass of misconceptions about binary sex roles, many of which can be traced back to that beloved bearded icon, Charles Darwin. According to Darwinian dogma, male animals fight one another for possession of females, “perform strange tactics” and mate promiscuously, propelled by a biological imperative to spread their abundant seed. Females are monogamous and passive; they wait patiently for their large, energy-rich eggs to be fertilised by cheap and tiny sperm, then selflessly give their all to their offspring.

Cooke gleefully rebuts many of these assumptions about male dominance and female docility. Only 7% of animal species are sexually monogamous, meaning that throngs of female animals, from Barbary macaques to blue tits, seek sex with numerous partners. (A female lion, for example, can copulate with multiple males up to 100 times a day during oestrus.)

more here.