From chapter 9 of my second Paul volume:
However, I also believe that the popular interpretation of this verse is also slightly mistaken. Its most popular use is to argue against women in ministry—at least women ministering to adult men or taking senior leadership in a church. But the words for “woman” (gynē) and “man” (anēr) here can also mean “wife” and “husband.” In fact, they usually do have this meaning when the two words are used in close proximity. Given the general assumption of 1 Timothy that women need to be married (because a single woman is prone to be a gossip and a busybody—5:13), this verse surely assumes that the woman in question is married. Also, the Adam/Eve relationship and the significance of childbearing are an intrinsic part of the argument that follows (2:13-15). So a much more accurate translation would be, “A wife should learn quietly with complete submission. I don’t allow a wife to teach or to control her husband. Instead, she should be a quiet listener” (CEB).
What we have in these verses is thus not an argument against women in ministry, but a reiteration of the need for the woman to submit to the authority of her husband, as in the household codes of Ephesians 5:22 and Colossians 3:18. Since in 1 Corinthians 11 Paul sees no contradiction whatsoever between husband headship and women participating fully in the prophetic life of the church, 1 Timothy 2:12 does not address the issue of women in ministry at all. It addresses the apparent need for social order within the early church in relation to husbands and wives, particularly in the worship setting. We can imagine that house churches created interesting social conflicts in the relationships between women and men, since women normally directed the private activities of the home.  But Christian worship made the private domain of the home a public domain of worship, and we can perceive Paul’s writings wrestling with the kinds of tensions this situation created.
 It is not exactly accurate to say that men were the head of the home in the ancient world. They were generally the head of the household, but in general, women directed the activities of the private home and men conducted public activities outside the home. Cf. the picture of the virtuous wife in Proverbs 31.