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The 10th-anniversary edition of the book that radically re-evaluated the origins and nature of human sexuality.
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.
In this groundbreaking book, however, Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá argue that human beings evolved in egalitarian groups that shared food, child care, and, often, sexual partners. Weaving together evidence from anthropology, archaeology, primatology, anatomy, and psychosexuality, the authors show how far from human nature monogamy really is.
With intelligence and humour, Ryan and Jethá explain how our promiscuous past haunts our contemporary struggles. They explore why many people find long-term fidelity so difficult; why sexual passion tends to fade even as love deepens; why homosexuality persists in the face of standard evolutionary logic; and what the human body reveals about the prehistoric origins of modern sexuality.
Shocking, enlightening, and ultimately inspiring, Sex at Dawn offers a revolutionary understanding of why we live and love as we do.
Author: Christopher Ryan & Cacilda Jetha
Paperback Published 5 January 2021 416 pages
‘The essential corrective to the evolutionary psychology literature, Sex at Dawn irrefutably shows that the urgent sexuality apparent everywhere in human society and that requires layers of religious, social, and psychological suppression was a constant feature on the African savanna. The more dubious its evidentiary basis and connection with current reality, the more ardently the scientific inevitability of monogamy is maintained — even as it collapses around us. Darwin and science have been corralled into fomenting useless, irrational guilt. Drs Ryan and Jethá make all this as transparent as glass, and do it with style.’ - STANTON PEELE, PHD, AUTHOR OF LOVE AND ADDICTION
‘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