Sex at Dawn
by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá
genre: non-fiction, sexuality, evolutionary theory
A controversial book with lots of great points. Find out why I gave it 4 out of 5 stars!
(Taken from Goodreads)
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 Jethá. While debunking almost everything we “know” about sex, they offer a bold alternative explanation in this provocative and brilliant book.
Ryan and Jethá’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.
Yep! We’re talking about SEX! So look away if you don’t like it.
As soon as I saw this book online, I knew that I had to read it. One of my personal interests is human sexuality, so much so that I am genuinely considering doing a masters in Sexology (or Human Sexuality) at one point in my life. I find it fascinating, and I find it even more fascinating that no one seems to talk about it openly.
Along with my personal interest in this field, I have a lot of strong personal beliefs about sexuality. This book supported a lot of these open, non-judgmental perspectives that I hold while also challenging me in a number of different ways. While I feel like there are definite holes in some of their arguments, this book is great food for thought and I’d encourage everyone to read it.