This book goes into depth on just how far Big-Religion has gone to de-nature one of our most basic forms of human expression. I've been arguing this case for a long time, and this is the first study to come along that expresses all of my thoughts on the subject, and many, many more. When you're ready to put down your bible, and read a non-fiction book...this is the one. :)
This is nothing more than a rehash of Hobbes blank slate. This is social science pretending to be biology. The authors are clearly supporting the Tabula Rasa paradigm of human nature, and it's ideological extension; feminism. Already in the introduction they boldy - and incorrectly, as Steve Pinker has proven - state, that the reason men and women behave differently is because men own more than women. I.E Patriarchy.
Steven Pinker har made a career of disproving this model. Anyone who want's to get a good understanding of the subject should buy his books instead.
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
The subtitle was irresistible: "How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships". The subtitle is still irresistible. I would still love to read that book. Sex at Dawn, however, is not that book. Christopher Ryan spends a huge amount of time ripping apart other people's research and taking pot shots at his vast assemblage of straw men. He loves to accuse real researchers of confirmation bias and cherry picking. He seems oblivious to the fact that he is himself a master of confirmation bias and cherry picking, as he proves over and over in chapter after chapter. I make the comment "real researcher" because Ryan's only research apparently consists of reading the research of other people. He cavalierly chooses to ignore the conclusions of the actual researchers in favor of his own self-serving conclusions. In his defense, I suspect he is not always wrong, but it becomes an issue of where does one draw the line.
Ryan is obsessed with debunking what he calls "the standard narrative of human sexuality". The problem is that there is no standard narrative to debunk. The honest truth about human nature is well known to every adult on the planet. What would be interesting is the latest insights from evolutionary science and psychology. But what we get here is a mish-mash of old news. Ryan is evidently one of those people who believe that every society on Earth is natural except our own. He goes to great lengths to document obscure fringe societies as examples of how we would behave if we were only "natural". He has no interest in exploring how our own society evolved (naturally or otherwise). In fact, he has nothing good to say about our own society at all. I kept thinking his view might be different if he had any understanding of economics. And then, to my surprise and dismay, he brought up economics. His ignorance on that subject was staggering. Rather than view it as an empirical discipline to explain human behavior, he honestly believes it is a collection of arbitrary rules invented by economists to control the rest of us!
After regaling us with his tawdry excuse for scholarship through the bulk of the book, he feels he has earned the right to give us advice! The very brief conclusion of the book is his "advice" that we would be better off adopting a looser attitude toward sexual fidelity. That fell far short of the promise of the subtitle. I really don't care about his advice. I'm really more interested in tracing the prognosis for the conflict between human nature and social mores. Ryan seems absolutely oblivious to the interactions between the sublimation of human nature and the accomplishment of social goals. That would truly be an interesting book. I guess I will have to wait for someone besides Ryan to get around to it.
A well written book is a gem.
I expected more than a rehash of the old misguided assumptions about sex. What little was new, insightful or relevant was buried under tedious retellings of the common misunderstandings on the subject. It ends up being a long walk for slight meal.
Just a goodolelady,reading and listening to books now as reading is getting harder.
the reader was very good with intonations. Made listening to the the book enjoyable.
Well, I was interested in it because I wanted to see what they had to say about early man and their group dynamics, regarding day to day life and human bonds.
A bit of enthusiasm i would not have had.
Laughs. Not sure I could film it. Monkey's and humans in time past.
No, I am not very eloquent with words. It was a worthwhile listen though.
The reviewer who said it was good but not great got it right. I would like to add to that review. I was looking to get a history of sex and how it was treated through the history of man. The book does a decent job in the beginning of detailing how sexual relations would have played out. However in the second half it goes off the topic of sex and on to a romantic view of the noble savage. There has been much written dispelling the noble savage. This deviation from sex in human society to talk of the noble savage is a detraction for me. I am two thirds of the way through so it may get back on track but for the last two hours it's been a noble savage story.
This evolutionary theory explain lots of issues related to modern day sexuality.
narrator's performance is outstanding.
definitely yes, but practically you can't do it one go as the book is very comprehensive and runs for several hours.
This is a well researched book, that while focuses on sexual human behavior, touches many other human traits during evolution, such as war and agression, cooperation and the overal impact that our culture might have in the research of our own selves. For an example I liked, they discuss how the victorian values and traditions biased the way Darwin reported his findings, and how his writings were censored to remove ideas offending the common beliefs of that time. The authors clearly name many controversial themes that are deeply ingrained in our cultural behavior and challenge their pertinence to what being human really means.
The book was so well received that Sex at Dusk was written. I followed all their arguments. However, I'm not certain I am ready to divorce sex and love. Yes, it's been done, but my own experience is quite painful when that happens. Would like to know more about the cultures which practice much freer forms of sexuality. I was engrossed in this book and couldn't wait to get back to it. Definitely worth a listen.
I truly loved listening to this book. It was witty, insightful, and just a fun listen. I was afraid this was going to be sort of dry and boring (think Anthropology 101) but it wasn't...I was very pleasantly surprised!
There's a part in the book where the authors discuss the topic of this book with another anthropologist and the guy says "what are you going to do close your eyes and imagine". I thought that was great. They took a very realistic approach to the subject by saying, "hey we don't have all the answers..but here's what we got". Combined with the research and the tongue-in-cheeck humor. It made for a very likable and compelling read!