I recently posted a review of Aarathi  Prasad’s book, “Like a virgin.” Here are the first two paragraphs. I hope you’ll choose to take the time to read the rest of what I said about it.

“For everyone who believes that “one man, one woman” is a simple statement, I wish there were a requirement to read the first sections of this book. For everyone who thinks that pregnancy is nothing but a woman carrying a fetus around in her abdomen for nine months, I wish there were a requirement to read this book.

I confess I would not pass a test on its contents. Maybe the very fact that it is laden with complicated, detailed, though fascinating information has something to do with the fact that I am the first to write a review. Nonetheless, I think reading, or at least scanning, it would profit anyone who has an opinion about sex, whether it applies to choices on the abortion issue or attitudes about homosexuality, or even just why we do it. If nothing else, it would force one to be aware of the complexities of fetal development, pregnancy, childbirth, and gender determination. Knowledge has taken us way beyond dichotomous thinking.”



Posted October 25, 2012 by Mona Gustafson Affinito in Uncategorized


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  1. how much of it did you read? could u relate to what was being told? just curious before i consider going to purchase it

    • Hi Terry. I read it all — or should I say scanned. Remember, I’m one of these weirdos who spent much of my career as a college professor. We just aren’t normal. I taught the psychology of women where we had a whole segment on fetal development which I thought was fascinating, starting with the chromosomes that happen to connect, through all the stages where the basically similar embryonic structure can be modified by a number of factors which can change or be changed in different ways into a primarily male or a primarily female individual. And then there’s the way the fetus interacts with the mother’s body. In this book I learned the father’s influence on the placenta which is important in preventing the mother’s immune system from rejecting what is really a kind of invader. So, yes, I did read it all, but I confess I skimmed in some places.

      So, would I recommend that you buy it? Not really, unless you are as crazy as I am. But if you could get it out of the library and take what you want from it, I think with your nursing background you might really enjoy it, at least parts of it.

      Thanks for responding, and asking.

      Oh, and then there’s the last part. Be prepared to be shaken up.

      • I knew that with your background you would give me a good view of the book, which is what I received, thank-you. I was not going to buy the book after reading your comment, but now I think I will run to the library and read the ending, shaken up, makes me curious! Thanks Mona!!!!

  2. Let me know how it goes, Terry. It’s probably a good idea at least to scan the material leading up to the goal at the end.

  3. Mona, It sounds interesting and your review and comments help us o recognize what seems to be a kind of randomness in gender determination. Sexuality is so complicated and, as the Kinsey Report showed, the range of “normal” is huge. For this and other good reasons, we should vote no on the proposed MN amendment on marriage that ignores science and reality. Thanks for the post.

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