booksreddit.com:Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality

Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality

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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. Ho…

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Why do humans not have a “season” for mating, while the majority of animals do?(r/askscience)

Advance warning: I’m only an anthropology undergrad. I am very near to graduating, though, and looking into advanced degrees and a research career in gender and sexuality. This is my passion.

Looking at the promiscuous (according to Westerners) sexual behavior of egalitarian foragers (which humans were for the majority of our existence), and looking at the behavior of the Bonobo, our nearest living relative, and finally looking at the way that both of us use oxytocin to ease social bonding…

It seems pretty obvious. So that we can have sex whenever we want. It’s a good strategy. Sex is an enjoyable act that nearly all humans love. It’s relaxing, it’s great for forming emotional bonds (note: not necessarily romantic bonds, as most today would know them), and it produces children. It keeps things running smoothly, which is important in an egalitarian society.

Infanticide was pretty common in prehistory. The sheer number of infant remains seriously skews life expectancy data, actually, leading to the myth that prehistoric people didn’t live past 30. It’s not that these people were horrible, just that they couldn’t feed every child they brought into the world. Foraging keeps a pretty hard limit on population growth. They didn’t have the means to safely conduct abortions, and many, if not most people didn’t grasp the connection between sex and pregnancy. This is understandable for people who are having a lot of sex with multiple people in their <120-ish person band; pregnancy would seem like something that just starts happening once a woman reaches a certain age.

But despite all the infanticide—or perhaps because of it—a child which is chosen to be kept has a very good chance for survival. With no parternity certainty, promiscuous foragers tend to care for all of the band’s children; not just their own. They grow up with a great deal of social support. In a group dynamic like this, promiscuity is an advantageous behavior.

There’s a great book on human sexuality that I would recommend reading. Not buying, unless you really dig it (I did). Just check it out at the library or flip through it over coffee at Barnes and Noble or something. Or, hell, pirate an ebook if you can find one. It’s called Sex At Dawn, and I found it to be a pretty solid interdisciplinary analysis of the research thus far. It’s written to the layman—in that it avoids jargon and keeps a playful tone—but it’s quite informative, particularly if you follow along with the end notes. They go into much greater detail there. Also of value are the references. I’ve only just begun going through those.

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Subreddits

askscience, OneY, sex, TrueReddit

Number Of Links

5

Sum Of Upvotes

220

Amazon Price

$13.84

NSFW Product

SFW

Book Binding

Hardcover

Type Code

ABIS_BOOK

Book Author

Christopher Ryan

Book Edition

1

Book Publisher

Harper

Book On Amazon

Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality

Post Title

Why do humans not have a “season” for mating, while the majority of animals do?

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