- Publisher: Harper Perennial; Reprint edition (2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780061707810
- ISBN-13: 978-0061707810
- ASIN: 0061707813
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
- Shipping Weight: 358 g
- Average Customer Review: 41 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #18,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships Paperback – 2011
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“Sex At Dawn is the single most important book about human sexuality since Alfred Kinsey unleashed Sexual Behavior in the Human Male on the American public in 1948.” (Dan Savage)
“Funny, witty, and light ... Sex at Dawn is a scandal in the best sense, one that will have you reading the best parts aloud and reassessing your ideas about humanity’s basic urges well after the book is done.” (Newsweek)
“Sex At Dawn challenges conventional wisdom about sex in a big way... This is a provocative, entertaining, and pioneering book. I learned a lot from it and recommend it highly.” (Andrew Weil, M.D., author of Healthy Aging)
“Sex At Dawn is a provocative and engaging synthesis... that has the added benefit of being a joy to read.... A book sure to generate discussion, and one likely to produce more than a few difficult conversations with family marriage counselors.” (Eric Michael Johnson, Seed Magazine)
“You clearly have an exciting book on your hands, whether people agree with it or not: these are issues that will need debating over and over before we will arrive at a resolution.” (Frans de Waal, author of The Age of Empathy)
“A wonderfully provocative and well-written book which completely re-evaluates human sexual behaviour and gets to the root of many of our social and psychological ills.” (Steve Taylor, author of The Fall and Waking From Sleep)
“One of the most original books I’ve read in years, Sex at Dawn manages to be both enormously erudite and wildly entertaining—even, frequently, hilarious. . . . A must-read for anyone interested in where our sexual impulses come from.” (Tony Perrottet, author of Napoleon's Privates)
“This paradigm-shifting book is a thoroughly original discussion of the origins and nature of human sexuality... These authors have a gift for making complex material reader-friendly, filling each chapter with humor and passion as well as dozens of revolutionary insights.” (Stanley Krippner, Ph.D.)
“Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha have written the essential corrective to the evolutionary psychology literature...” (Stanton Peele, Ph.D.) --This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.
From the Back Cover
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 text refers to the MP3 CD edition. See all Product description
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When I read this book, I saw myself in the ancestral man painted here. It is a joy to see my own experiences confirmed and the science of other books echoed here. Not only in terms of sex, but egalitarian tendencies as well.
I not only highly recommend this book, it should be required reading for all.
Firstly, it's fluff. No original research, no true dissemination of the existing research they discuss. There are lots of quotes, but nothing that couldn't be found else where. If you're looking for an in depth examination of prehistoric sexuality this is not the book for you. If you're looking for a lame attempt at humor, knock yourself out.
Secondly, throughout the entire book they address different cultures around the world in which women are just as non monogamous as men, and declare that this is normal, healthy, and in line with the sexual practices of prehistoric women. They continuously talk about "multimale/multifemale" sex and how prehistoric human societies practiced this rather than monogamy or polygamy. YET, the end conclusion is that ONLY men require or would benefit from sexual variety. Huh?! There are no conclusions made about how female sexuality today is affected by or determined by our evolutionary past. It's as though whomever wrote the last section of the book didn't bother to read the first sections!
Thirdly, the authors conclude that in order for monogamy to work, men must be allowed to have extramarital sex. They go on and on about he negative health effects of forcing men to be monogamous, and about how destructive divorce is to family and society. Couples are advised to have serious discussions about this, presumably so that wives can be convinced to look the other way when their husbands follow their natural urges and seek out extramarital sex. Ladies, in order to protect your husbands from heart disease, depression, and premature death from a host of various diseases, you'd better accept that sex outside of your marriage is a MUST for your hubby. The negative health effects to women emotionally blackmailed into these arrangements aren't discussed.
If the book had concluded that the "standard narrative" of human sexuality was wrong in regards to both males and females, I would have been able to accept that conclusion. When the authors bombard you with evidence that women are programmed by evolution to have multiple partners and then does a complete 180 in their conclusions, asserting that only MEN are programmed for sexual variety, they lose all credibility.
If you're looking for a solid, thorough read, try Sex in History instead.
Sex in History
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