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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.
This book pretty much confirmed everything I always suspected about human beings. I was in the process of writing my own book about how certain things people take for granted as... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Merovie
I've recommended this to all of my friends. Everyone I know who has read it has found it really valuable and insightful. Read morePublished 11 days ago by J. Dailey
I liked the book and the author. I have nothing against Christopher Ryan, I believe that his book presents a lot of interesting ideas and they are just that, ideas. Read morePublished 18 days ago by Justin Tapiru
Excellent book that offers an alternative series of theories about human behavior all connected to the idea that our culture has influenced about views about sex. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Denise the booklover
Very disappointing book. The authors compare the behaviour of primitive societies with modern life. Apples and pineapples is what you get with the not surprising conclusion that... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Douglas J. Wolf
it's in your genes...stop blaming yourself for lusting for your neighbour's wifePublished 1 month ago by sanjeeva Abeysinghe