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On the Female of the Species

In-Person and Online Program

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Thursday, June 16, 2022 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET
Code: 1J0190
Select Your Tickets
$20 - In Person - Member
$20 - Online - Member
$25 - In Person - Nonmember
$25 - Online - Nonmember
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Materials for this program

  1. In-Person Program Procedures
  2. Online Program Procedures

Lucy Cooke (Photo: David Dunkerley)

Registration Advisory: This program has multiple ticket options depending on your choice to attend in person at the National Zoo Visitor's Center Auditorium or as an online program using Zoom. Before you register, please refer to our in-person vs. online program procedural documentation to learn about our current terms and conditions.

Since Darwin, generations of scientists have marginalized and misunderstood the females of the species, perpetuating the stereotypes of female passivity and submissiveness and male dominance and vigor. Join zoologist and author Lucy Cooke as she introduces the remarkable animals that are revolutionizing our understanding of what it means to be female and challenging longstanding ideas about evolutionary biology.

For every coy, maternal, and submissive female in the animal kingdom, Cooke reveals that there’s another that’s competitive, promiscuous, or aggressive. The loveable meerkat, whose matriarchs are officially the most murderous mammal on the planet; the majority of female songbirds that are promiscuous despite being held up as standards of monogamy; or the two-thirds of fish species in which moms do little more than donate eggs before disappearing forever, are just a few examples.

Cooke offers a new evolutionary biology, one in which sexual selection is viewed from the perspective of mothers, sisters, and daughters, and that better reflects the fluidity of sex and sexual expression in the animal world.

Cooke’s new book, Bitch: On the Female of the Species (Basic Books) is available for purchase.

Book Sale Information

  • Purchase your copy of Bitch: On the Female of the Species by Lucy Cooke here.
  • SPECIAL NOTE: Politics and Prose is offering a 10% discount to Smithsonian Associates ticket-holders. To claim your discount, enter the code SPECIAL10 (no space between letters and numbers) in the “Coupon discount” section on Politics and Prose's check-out page.
  • For In-Person Program Patrons: The featured book will be available to purchase at the program.

Inside Science

In-person Ticket Holders: National Zoo
Visitor's Center Auditorium
3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC
Online Ticket Holders: Zoom