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Since Darwin's day, we've been told that sexual monogamy comes naturally to our species. Mainstream science—as well as religious and cultural institutions—has maintained that men and women evolved in families in which a man's possessions and protection were exchanged for a woman's fertility and fidelity. But this narrative is collapsing. Fewer and fewer couples are getting married, and divorce rates keep climbing as adultery and flagging libido drag down even seemingly solid marriages.
How can reality be reconciled with the accepted narrative? It can't be, according to renegade thinkers Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethå. While debunking almost everything we "know" about sex, they offer a bold alternative explanation in this provocative and brilliant book.
Ryan and Jethå's central contention is that human beings evolved in egalitarian groups that shared food, child care, and, often, sexual partners. Weaving together convergent, frequently overlooked evidence from anthropology, archaeology, primatology, anatomy, and psychosexuality, the authors show how far from human nature monogamy really is. Human beings everywhere and in every era have confronted the same familiar, intimate situations in surprisingly different ways. The authors expose the ancient roots of human sexuality while pointing toward a more optimistic future illuminated by our innate capacities for love, cooperation, and generosity.
With intelligence, humor, and wonder, Ryan and Jethå show how our promiscuous past haunts our struggles over monogamy, sexual orientation, and family dynamics. They explore why long-term fidelity can be so difficult for so many; why sexual passion tends to fade even as love deepens; why many middle-aged men risk everything for transient affairs with younger women; why homosexuality persists in the face of standard evolutionary logic; and what the human body reveals about the prehistoric origins of modern sexuality.
In the tradition of the best historical and scientific writing, Sex at Dawn unapologetically upends unwarranted assumptions and unfounded conclusions while offering a revolutionary understanding of why we live and love as we do.
Sex at Dawn is excellent book, well written and researched.
Look, before you do anything, y'know, drastic, you just need to read this book....) Humans are really good at figuring things out.
The authors look at human sexuality from an athropological. biological and evolutionary psychological research.
This book was recommended by a friend as the "academic support" for something I have always pondered. Read morePublished 5 days ago by Peng Jin
Wow! You can learn a lot about yourself in a book.....Published 6 days ago by George H. Cox, CRNA, DNP, MHS
Using a super-abundance of scientific evidence from the wide-ranging fields of anthropology, archaeology, anatomy, physiology, primatology, history and literature, authors Ryan and... Read morePublished 9 days ago by Austin Scott Collins
Glad I read it but I don't buy his logic for his argument that we aren't monogamous. Just don't think you can base current day humans with our long distant ancestor the bonobo... Read morePublished 9 days ago by saand
I lack the time to give this book the review it deserves.There are readers of this book and Sex at Dusk who go on at great lengths quoting sentences and citing references to... Read morePublished 11 days ago by Lupus
This is a good read from cover to cover with interesting tidbits about our ancient history and sex, with very courageous conclusions.Published 12 days ago by Mark