There is a conspiracy theory at the heart of this book. Even to the most casual observer of human history, it isn't news that women's sexuality has been feared, suppressed and lied about. But "What Do Women Want?: Adventures in the Science of Female Desire" by journalist Daniel Bergner uses groundbreaking sex research to show the ways in which our supposedly enlightened society still has female sexuality backward -- completely, utterly, profoundly.
In accessible and entertaining prose, "What Do Women Want?" details everything from individual women's fantasies to the search for a "female Viagra." More important, though, it represents a complete paradigm shift. The book, which grew from a much-discussed New York Times Magazine cover story in 2009, reveals how gender stereotypes have shaped scientific research and blinded researchers to evidence of female lust and sexual initiation throughout the animal kingdom, including among humans. It reveals how society's repression of female sexuality has reshaped women's desires and sex lives.