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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.
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 4 days ago by Douglas J. Wolf
it's in your genes...stop blaming yourself for lusting for your neighbour's wifePublished 7 days ago by sanjeeva Abeysinghe
Interesting point of view in human sexual behavior. Looking at the evidence the book has shown the human sexual behavior is different from 10,000 years ago and the sequelae from... Read morePublished 10 days ago by guybrush115
I found this a great book that is a natural extension of many psych & behavioral studies I've read recently. Read morePublished 12 days ago by David G
This book is an entertaining and provocative look into human sexuality. It should not be considered Scholarly and it is at times hard to take seriously. Read morePublished 12 days ago by W. S. Raschke
This makes more sense than most things I have read about how and why we do the things we do.Published 18 days ago by LeeTrue
A great read for those with questions of where we came from and why people act the way they do. That would include myself as well. Read morePublished 20 days ago by Bill Janssens
Loved it! Definitely a mini history lesson and an amazing eye opener. My husband and I love being "primary pair bomds" we're more in love and more trusting of each other... Read morePublished 22 days ago by Khiirsten Klein