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Why Is Sex Fun?: The Evolution of Human Sexuality (Science Masters) Paperback – September 25, 1998
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
More About the Author
Additional information about Dr. Diamond may be found at his personal website, www.jareddiamond.org.
Top Customer Reviews
Why is Sex Fun? reads like a lecture series rather than a book. Apparently intended to provide the reader with an overview of the latest thinking on the evolutionary aspects of the subject, this short work includes sections on different sexual (and mate) selection strategies employed by males and females (presumably based on unequal "investments" in the methods of getting one's genes into the next generation); lactation (why milk is produced by females, but not, as a rule, males); how and why humans, almost uniquely, came to engage in engage in recreational sex; the unequal domestic roles played by males and females, particularly in child rearing; female menopause (which is, again, nearly unique to humans); and sexual signaling (Diamond considers penis length in human males to be a prime example, but not necessarily a signal directed at females).
As fascinating as these subjects are, there is much more that is left out. Any full discussion of human sexuality, especially with the high-order concept of "fun" in its presumed abstract, needs to deal with that odd species' whole gamut of non-procreational expression: homosexuality, old-age love, and sex-as-power, for non-inclusive example. But Why is Sex Fun? treats the very large subject of recreational sex only from the "selfish gene" point of view.Read more ›
So, if you want to see the spicy sections only, this is your book, but if you buy "The Third Chimpanzee" you get a fuller picture and all the hot topics as well.
Philipp Schaumann Singapore
`Why Sex Is Fun' is really just an anthropological muse, Diamond giving you the feeling that you are sitting in a café with him, kicking back, drinking some wine, and mulling over an interesting subject with well schooled friend.
He thoroughly examines the separation of man from ape in our breeding signals and patterns, but leaves out significant sociological factors that held the hand of the human boxes as we evolved up and away from lower-brained species, leaving behind many instinctual behaviors in favor of the intellectual.
However, from a strictly anthropological view, this book is interesting, well written, well formatted, and a welcome addition to Diamond's previous `Guns, Germs, and Steel' and `The Third Chimpanzee'.
You will find yourself pondering questions such as, Why do human females hide ovulation? Why do human females shut down fertility (menopause)? What is the benefit of the human female being receptive to $ex even when she is not ovulating? What makes human males `stick around' rather than spread their genes as far and wide as possible? Why don't men lactate? (*shudder*) And the favorite chapter for the ladies, What are men good for? Which studies the evolutionary role of the human male.
`Why Is Sex Fun?' is an informative read with a dash of fun, challenging enough for anthropology students and yet written for laymen to enjoy also. Have fun!
Diamond's theme is that human sexuality is not just different from that of the other animals, but almost drastically so. Reproductive strategies range from 'r' [sow 'em and forget 'em] through 'K' [no sacrifice is too great] with humans almost the ultimate K practitioners. Evolutionary pressures on a creature that wasn't a good predator but fine prey led us down a path resulting in a massive investment in raising offspring.
What are the implications of our version of sexual techniques? Human beings have evolved in a way that natural sexual signals have been buried out of sight. It's called concealed ovulation and methods of pinpointing when a woman was likely to conceive weren't developed until this century. Fish, birds, and other mammals [particularly baboons] exhibit colours, engage in ceremonial displays or have other visible indications that the time is right! But humans keep it a big secret. Is there a valid reason?
And when a sexual coupling has generated a foetus, we put more time, energy and resources to its birthing and upbringing than nearly any other animal.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Lets talk about sex baby, lets talk about evolution. Lets talk about hidden ovulation and menopause. Jared Diamond Tackles sex in a way only he can. Read morePublished 2 months ago by J. Warren Benton
Had hilarious side text from previous owner! Great shipping time!Published 4 months ago by Darian McLean
Great book! Really short, pretty basic but very interesting.Published 7 months ago by Alberto Luceño
It's a good book, but I expected there to be more talk about oxytocin and the biochemical processes of arousal and love.Published 8 months ago by Latasha Crowder
Some interesting and innovative views. In his usual style Jared Diamond probes well below the surface to deeper causes and meanings. A good read.Published 8 months ago by David Leviston
I'm a big fan of Jared Diamond's work and I have not been disappointed by his book.
It is clear, precise, and astonishing (can you believe that mens could produce milk?). Read more
The academically self-indulgent rhetoric contained in these 100 plus pages represents three hours of my scientifically and socially inquisitive life which I can never regain. Read morePublished 13 months ago by jason