The first half of this book is spent disproving everyone from Jane Goodall to Einstein, in topics that vary wildly from the anticipated subject suggested by the title. The authors make some rather outrageous postulations that they continually promise to back up with data, and although some interesting theories and research results are presented in the book, they fail to live up to initial claims.
The authors aim to prove that humans are, in fact, inclined to promiscuity through genetics and learned behaviors demonstrated throughout history, and that this lies in sharp contrast to society's imposed "norms" such as marriage and monogamy. The aforementioned efforts to disprove multiple existing/ accepted theories on human behavior serves to show that everyone else has been on the wrong track. Much is extrapolated from studies of primates such as chimps and bonobos, although some studies on human subjects are thrown in to substantiate claims. Further evidence is provided by re-examining history through the lens that the authors create.
The performance is filled with flippant, off-putting remarks and attempts at slang that are apparently meant to break the aggressive tone towards existing theories and perhaps strike a humorous tone with readers. This effort fails and serves more to offend in a topic that some might find sensitive to begin with.
In a nutshell, the author's theories about promiscuity of the human race throughout history have some merit...but believing them remains a matter of personal choice.
I love listening to books when cycling, paddleboarding, etc but I press pause when I need to concentrate. Its safer & I don't lose the plot!
No. Life is too short to relisten
A thoroughly convincing argument to explain human sexuality and debunk the 'traditional' narrative
I was always disappointed to click the stop button
Highly recommendable to lovers of popular science
I get a high from learning new things and seeing the world in a different light. Books do that for me and audio books fit my daily routine.
I've already listened to this book twice because I found its thesis so liberating. As a scientist I pursue deeper understanding of nature. When you get it right, everything falls into place and makes sense. I felt that happening as I listened to this book. What we assume about the relationship between men and women was wrong before: 180 degrees wrong! The authors are right about the real nature of our sexuality. Listen to this book and liberate yourself from the failed paradigms foisted on us generation after generation.
The ideas and evidence provided in this book are richly provocative to a menopausal woman (read - low libido) who has bought into the 'standard narrative' of our cultural view of monogamy. Living true to myself, I have ended up in serial monogamy and two marriages struggling to understand my own sexuality, the mismatched instincts I didn't understand then, and only now see so clearly because of this book. Having recently created the love of my life - I am committed to this relationship in an entirely generative way - meaning it is recreated every moment - the flavor of the intimacy, the commitment, the joy, the practicality. The partner I have created is highly sexual - and leans toward polyamory. This book has given me access to even having a conversation around accepting what is not my experience with compassion for what drives and motivates him, and a little PLAY in the mix to make the conversation light - afterall, its only sex - lighten up!! I thank the universe for bringing this book into my life through the course Evolutionize Your Life!! (Connie Barlow and Micheal Dowd). Within the course, discussion of this book is giving me access to a conversation I was locked out of only a month ago! I love the ease of the audio version and the accessibility it provides to rewind and listen again while driving to work or doing the dishes or working out. Fantastic!
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.
I'm always looking for that well written 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.