By Megan Harlan
Updated May 28, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT

The claim that ”biology is destiny” has too often placed women on the lackluster end of simplistic gender dichotomies (if men love sex, then the ladies must prefer cuddling!). But in this intellectually sparkling and frolicsome tome, New York Times science writer Natalie Angier makes a strong case for ”liberation biology.” In Woman: an Intimate Geography Angier showcases the science that celebrates female physiology, including the XX’s unbeatable chromosomal complexity; the unique hormonal stew responsible for female aggression; and the clitoris’ 8,000 nerve fibers (to the penis’ 4,000). Angier also explains why stereotypes of hardwired female monogamy and male polygamy should be put to bed, so to speak. Her scientific spring cleaning reveals a frankly exhilarating feminine landscape. A