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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.
This book is very well written and with humor.
Hmmmm... But perhaps the most damning evidence against the authors' thesis is that the book's presented evidence does NOT actually support the thesis!
The authors look at human sexuality from an athropological. biological and evolutionary psychological research.
Sex at Dawn describes and investigates humal sexual practices, habits and sexual culture since the dawn of man. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Marelise Venter
This book is impeccable. It goes through all related research - primatology, anthropology, history, statistics, etc- to make the very factually based case that humans are simply... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Cherry Bomb
When my book club chose this book a lot of people were very excited and some that had read it before praised it. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Kathleen M. Dunn
Yes. Yes. Yes. This was a wonderfully constructed book, full of knowledge and discussion about such a socially controversial subject, sprinkled with just the right touch of humor... Read morePublished 4 days ago by C. Holmes
This is one of the most interesting and helpful books I've read on human sexuality. As a psychologist (and also just as a human being), I've long been dissatisfied with the... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Erica
In my opinion this is thought provoking, I enjoyed the work. Honesty to who we are as a people/species.Published 4 days ago by T.Y.
Evolution of human sexuality is a difficult subject to handle - behaviour leaves little direct fossil records and to the extent it is a phenotype-effect, it is even more tricky to... Read morePublished 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
Love this book so much I bought it twice. A very comfortable read and makes great counterpoints to the standard narrative. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Amazon Customer