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More copies of this ISBN

This title in other editions

Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships (P.S.)

by and

Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships (P.S.) Cover

ISBN13: 9780061707810
ISBN10: 0061707813
All Product Details

 

Staff Pick

Sex at Dawn is nonfiction at its best. Writing across a range of disciplines, from anthropology to philosophy, the authors explore and challenge everything we thought we knew about human sexuality in this provocative and profound book.
Recommended by Tessa, Powells.com

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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 Jetha. While debunking almost everything we "know" about sex, they offer a bold alternative explanation in this provocative and brilliant book.

Ryan and Jetha'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 Jetha 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 apologetically upends unwarranted assumptions and unfounded conclusions while offering a revolutionary understanding of why we live and love as we do.

Review:

"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

Review:

"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

Review:

"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

Review:

"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.

Review:

"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

Review:

"Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha have written the essential corrective to the evolutionary psychology literature." Frans de Waal, author of The Age of Empathy

Review:

"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

Review:

"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

Review:

"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

Synopsis:

In this controversial, thought-provoking, and brilliant book, renegade thinkers Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha debunk almost everything we "know" about sex, weaving together convergent, frequently overlooked evidence from anthropology, archaeology, primatology, anatomy, and psychosexuality to show how far from human nature monogamy really is. In Sex at Dawn, 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.

About the Author

Christopher Ryan, PhD, is a research psychologist. He lives in Barcelona, Spain.

Cacilda Jethá, MD, is a practicing psychiatrist. She lives in Barcelona, Spain.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 4 comments:

Lucinda Parton, January 2, 2013 (view all comments by Lucinda Parton)
This is the most ground breaking book on the topic of humman sexuality in the past half century. An absolute must read for any free thinking adult.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Teri Ciacchi, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by Teri Ciacchi)
This book is fabulous! A scientific and sociologically sound look at the mythology of human nature regarding sex. The authors systematically expose the biases of Modernity that have skewed the perceptions of scholars and scientists regarding their ability to look at and be with evidence of non monogamy in human evolution. Fascinating and written with a wry sense of humor,Sex at Dawn also pierces the anthropocentric focus of most theories about the evolution of human civilization, to help us see ourselves as the animals we are.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
eroticawriter, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by eroticawriter)
Fascinating, well-written, well researched disclosure of how culturally tainted world views have influenced anthropology.
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(0 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 4 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780061707810
Subtitle:
How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships (P.S.)
Author:
Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha
Author:
Ryan, Christopher
Author:
Jetha, Cacilda
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Subject:
General Social Science
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series:
P.S.
Publication Date:
20110705
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
eng
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
10 x 10 in 15.44 oz

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Related Subjects

Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships (P.S.) New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$15.99 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780061707810 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

Sex at Dawn is nonfiction at its best. Writing across a range of disciplines, from anthropology to philosophy, the authors explore and challenge everything we thought we knew about human sexuality in this provocative and profound book.

"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha have written the essential corrective to the evolutionary psychology literature."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Review" by , "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."
"Synopsis" by , In this controversial, thought-provoking, and brilliant book, renegade thinkers Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha debunk almost everything we "know" about sex, weaving together convergent, frequently overlooked evidence from anthropology, archaeology, primatology, anatomy, and psychosexuality to show how far from human nature monogamy really is. In Sex at Dawn, 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.
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