Very well-written argument for the authors' POV about the evolution of human sexuality. Authors claim we took a left turn with the advent of agriculture. Binobo or chimp--that it the question. It is well-researched and references several of my other favorite researchers, including Steven Pinker. It got a second "listen," and that is unusual for this audiophile.
Very well written and researched, the authors question the accepted notion that monogamy is somehow natural for humans. Applys insigts from anthropology, archeology and biology to make the point that our ancestors were most likely non-monogamous. They go a bit off track when they try to attribute our monogamous culture to the market however. The problem is not the concept of personal property, but trying to apply that concept to relationships.
This book was a really enjoyable delve into human sexuality. I got this book not knowing what to expect and was more that pleasantly surprised. The narrator (Johnson) was very enjoyable to listen to and read it as if the author would, if that makes sense.
The book not only gives the author's theories into why we are who we are but also gives endless scientific research to back their claims.
I gave up after 90 minutes. The authors paint theories with which they disagree in cartoonish strokes and then assert their conclusions without any supporting data or argument. Perhaps it gets better but would anyone with anything to say really spend the first hour and a half wasting the listener's time? And the occasional turn of phrase the authors think is clever is anything but. Just a really, really bad book. Try the Selfish Gene, the Blank Slate, the Red Queen (by Matt Ridley), or anything by E. O. Wilson.
I am surprised by the overly positive reviews for this book. The basic idea presented is interesting alright (but not that new), and it probably rings with the feeling of being trapped in current societies sexual rules and restrictions. But the book is very repetitive and focuses too much on picking a fight with established theories of human sexuality instead of presenting arguments for the "new" theory. I guess this would have been good as a 2 hour lecture, there is not enough substance for a 10 hour book. I stopped half way through, to turn to a better use of my time.
I really enjoyed this book; the authors have a dry and sarcastic wit that I liked, and the information is really well presented. All that being said, I disagree with some of the 'facts', but the book is a great look at a fascinating subject.
The narrators are wonderful, as well. Clear diction without being stuffy; and Allyson Johnson has a knack for delivery of the better lines.
This book raises some great issues against some popular evolutionary psychology theories on sex and sexuality. It brings forth information and arguments against that don't get much exposure. Unfortunately, it is so horribly edited that the arguments are frequently impossible to follow. There is a great deal of marginally relevant information that simply muddies the point. This book probably could have been reduced by half and it would have been a much more influential read.
I was listening to this book at the same time I was listening to Richard Wright's "The Moral Animal". Both are entertaining. Both distort evolutionary theory to make their arguments. And in the end, neither are produce conclusions that are relevant.
I expected some contraversial points to be discussed and authors did that well. I feel like i know myself and people a bit more
sex is important
The examination of female sexuality and the genetic roots of promiscuity. Tracing back to the primates, monogamy isn't necessarily human nature.
Whether you're married or hoping to do so, this books gives much insight into monogamy and its place in our society. If you're in a sexless marriage, it's inspirational in that it doesn't equate love for sex. There are something wonderful quotes at the beginning of each chapter. If you're looking to wed and are discouraged, it gives a realistic account of marriage, not the romanticized ideal fed to us in books and media.
If I was only allowed to read 10 books for the rest of my life, this would be one of them. At some point, scientific observations outweigh cultural bias and the truth comes rushing forward. Authors Ryan and Jetha say what most free-thinking people with some intellect have suspected for years. Our early ancestors were relatives most of us would probably have really enjoyed hanging out with.
We praise the virtues of whole-grain goodness, never suspecting that the agricultural revolution that made grains edible was in reality the poison apple in the (so-called) Garden of Eden. After logically reflecting upon the revelations in this book, it appears to me our early ancestors enjoyed a better quality of life than most of us do today. Agriculture, the very first major technology breakthrough, irreversibly changed the lives of early man... resulting in the chaotic mess we are experiencing today.
We have been pretending, or rather wishing, that we were something other than we are. We have been repressing our natural organic truth in favor of the fantasy of "civilized" beings who are not a part of, but above and "apart-from", the natural order that created us. Split personalities to put it mildly.
I encourage everyone to enjoy this book. The realities of your true nature should be known by you. You will be less hard on yourself and more compassionate to others when you know the truth.
When the Universe began, matter evolved first. There was no life. When life appeared, a new form of evolution began, the development of forms of life made possible by the different forms of matter created in the prior evolution. Now, material and biological evolution are being outpaced by a new type of evolution: psycho-social, cultural evolution. We humans are bioligically evolving too slowly for it to have any kind of importance in our lives. But the structures of our civilization are evolving at a dizzying pace, forcing us to come to terms with who we are, where we come from, and where we need to be heading. It's time to clear away the archaic, temporary ways of thought that we built out of ignorance and immediate necessity. We are arriving at a place where we can reinvent ourselves and return to the "Garden" we left 10,000 years ago. The science offered in this book is one of the fundamental enlightenments we can use to begin the development of this crucial reinvention.