Changing Our Narratives
Since Darwin's day, people have told us that sexual monogamy comes naturally to our species. Mainstream science, as well as well as religious and cultural institutions, support this idea. These institutions maintain that men and women evolved in families, where a man's protection was exchanged for a woman's fertility. 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. Enter Sex at Dawn.
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, childcare, 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.
Let's Have Sex at Dawn
With smarts, humor, and wonder, Sex at Dawn shows how our past haunts our struggles over monogamy, sexual orientation, and family dynamics. They explore why long-term fidelity can be so difficult for so many. The book looks at why sexual passion tends to fade even as love deepens. The authors also talk about why many middle-aged men risk everything for transient affairs with younger women. Or why homosexuality persists in the face of standard evolutionary logic. And finally, 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 upends some broken assumptions. Plus, the authors offer a revolutionary understanding of why we live and love as we do. If you've read this one already, check out the other great reads we'd always recommend.