- MP3 CD
- Publisher: Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (April 8, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1491512407
- ISBN-13: 978-1491512401
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 5.5 x 0.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 885 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,686 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $3.99 shipping
+ Free Shipping
+ Free Shipping
Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What it Means for Modern Relationships MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
About the Author
Christopher Ryan, PhD, is a research psychologist. He lives in Barcelona, Spain.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
It's not hard to understand why "Sex at Dawn" has been embraced by sexologists while primatologists and anthropologists have been noticeably cooler in their reception.The book is like a bomb thrown not only against the very notion of monogamy but also against the standard narrative in anthropology that pair-bonding is universal in human societies because women trade sexual access for food and protection. The authors make little effort to conceal their impatience and irritation with this 'standard narrative' and, indeed, much of "Sex at Dawn" reads as though it were written by an exasperated zealot (or over-ambitious grad student) who can't fathom why everyone else remains so in the dark. At the very least, it's not boring.
But the book should probably be taken with more than a few grains of salt. First of all, "Sex at Dawn" rehashes an already well-worn Enlightenment-era belief in the uninhibited 'noble savage,' uncorrupted by the restraints of civilization. Rousseau was, of course, a proponent of this and Diderot's "Supplement to the Voyages of Bougainville" pretty much encapsulates Ryan and Jetha, albeit with more wit. As others have pointed out, there are instances of monogamous indigenous peoples too that the authors don't really consider. Also, they don't really respond to one of their central theses: if the adoption of agriculture was such a disaster (sexually and in terms of quality of life) for human beings, why did they persist with it? If agricultural village settlements forced human beings into a monogamous corset, why then did they persist with it for 6,000 years before the advent of the first civilizations?
Finally, Ryan and Jetha stake much of their argument on asserting that 99% of human being's DNA overlap with that of bonobos, the most sexually promiscuous primates. Yet, we share the same percentage (99%) with chimps who are more territorial, aggressive, and somewhat less promiscuous than bonobos. Essentially, by privileging bonobos Ryan and Jetha over-correct previous writers's (like Jared Diamond) tendency to focus on our chimp heritage: we really need a book that tries to relate both our chimp and bonobo genetic backgrounds together.
Still, for a book so steeped in academic research, it's a blast to read, except when the authors start to consider the implications of their own argument. Having spent 300 pages explaining how monogamy is so unnatural and sexual exclusivity is probably the main cause of marital failure (in their view), they then shy away from any prescriptive advice. They don't quite want to push marriage over a cliff and advocate polyamory (for males, anyway; they're even more reticent interestingly enough on the implications of their argument for female behavior) but the logic of the book tends in that direction. But, as Freud argued, we are stuck with civilization and its neuroses whether we like them or not. Thus, they can't quite advocate free love (not as long as we have private property, anyway) but they insist that marriage is a botch too. For all its strident confidence in our biologically-driven amorality, "Sex at Dawn" ends by waffling all over the place.
I did love reading it, however, even when I recognized that the authors were pushing their case too far. At the very least, it gets you thinking about why so many marriages and pairings fail, why cheating is so rampant, and whether there is indeed an evolutionary legacy that is inimical to our social arrangements (rather than just instances of individual moral failure).
Okay, point taken. So, what's the right way?
I like the philosophy but dont like people claiming science and spouting opinion.