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Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?: And Other Reflections on Being Human | [Jesse Bering]

Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?: And Other Reflections on Being Human

Why do testicles hang the way they do? Is there an adaptive function to the female orgasm? What does it feel like to want to kill yourself? Does “free will” really exist? And why is the penis shaped like that anyway? In Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?, the research psychologist and award-winning columnist Jesse Bering features more than thirty of his most popular essays from Scientific American and Slate, as well as two new pieces, that take readers on a bold and captivating journey through some of the most taboo issues related to evolution and human behavior.
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Publisher's Summary

Why do testicles hang the way they do? Is there an adaptive function to the female orgasm? What does it feel like to want to kill yourself? Does “free will” really exist? And why is the penis shaped like that anyway? In Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?, the research psychologist and award-winning columnist Jesse Bering features more than thirty of his most popular essays from Scientific American and Slate, as well as two new pieces, that take readers on a bold and captivating journey through some of the most taboo issues related to evolution and human behavior. Exploring the history of cannibalism, the neurology of people who are sexually attracted to animals, the evolution of human body fluids, the science of homosexuality, and serious questions about life and death, Bering astutely covers a generous expanse of our kaleidoscope of quirks and origins.

With his characteristic irreverence and trademark cheekiness, Bering leaves no topic unturned or curiosity unexamined, and he does it all with an audaciously original voice. Whether you’re interested in the psychological history behind the many facets of sexual desire or the evolutionary patterns that have dictated our current mystique and phallic physique, Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That? is bound to create lively discussion and debate for years to come.

©2012 Jesse Bering (P)2012 Macmillan Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (158 )
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4.0 (140 )
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4.1 (140 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Prairie Prairie du Sac, WI 08-01-12
    Prairie Prairie du Sac, WI 08-01-12 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Entertaining"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Entertaining, revealing, changing


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That??

    The author's own experiences realizing he was gay at a young age and relating what it was like growing up gay. I love his total openness in relating his own experiences and beliefs. He lays it right out there, like more people should.


    Have you listened to any of Jesse Bering???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed the book. Perhaps not all of his research is scientifically spot on as some reviewers pointed out, but most of it is, plus the story was very entertaining and it left me with some new perspectives. I love books that really make you think and this book accomplishes that!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicholas Kalamunda, Australia 10-15-12
    Nicholas Kalamunda, Australia 10-15-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Brilliant and entertaining."

    This is my first book by Jesse Bering and will not be the last. He writes fairly succinct chapters an a variety or topics, all well researched. I found his narration excellent - for me there is something special added when a passionate author narrates their work. I also loved his sense of humour, although if you are easily offended, listen anyway :)

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katie Mullins Seville, Ohio 08-20-12
    Katie Mullins Seville, Ohio 08-20-12 Member Since 2010

    Bonya

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Humor and science mixed"
    Would you listen to Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That? again? Why?

    Jesse Bering answers all those nagging little question about human gentiles, they reason why they're shaped like that, adding not only humor but his own brand of "punny" humor.


    What did you like best about this story?

    While some of the research and science - not much, just some - wasn't my cup of tea, Jesse Bering did an excellent job of creating an excellent flow from one subject to the next.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Although I can't say I have a favorite chapter, the fact that Jesse Bering read his own book was an extra pleasure. Mr. Bering has a great reading voice; not to fast or too slow.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Many of the authors puns were well placed and created many laugh out loud moments. I probably looked like an idiot to the other drivers, laughing while doing my commute. He's a quick wit and the humor was well placed.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Scotch Plains, NJ, United States 09-18-12
    Michael Scotch Plains, NJ, United States 09-18-12 Member Since 2012

    Tell us about yourself! - i'm Mike

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "Hilarious and informative"

    This book was a lot of fun. It's sort of a "questions you were afraid to ask" kind of book and Jesse does an excellent job narrating it. It's full of cheesy but funny puns and addresses all sorts of issues you've likely never read about but were interested in. Definitely worth a listen!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    sam Anchorage, AK, United States 08-26-12
    sam Anchorage, AK, United States 08-26-12 Member Since 2004

    sjdickey

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "It appears there is a reason for almost everything"

    Jesse Bering lays out years of research in an informative and entertaining fashion that occasionally made me say "eww, who would volunteer to do that?" and often made me laugh. Jesse pun's and humor kept the book moving and I always looked forward to the next installment.

    Not all the topics were comfortable but isnt that really what makes us want more and how we grow?

    I found the insights into how somethings were researched to be very interesting. Insights into the authors awareness of his own sexuality was equally interesting.

    I purchased the book because the title was catchy and I needed to use a credit. I quickly found it was a well spent credit. Once again, the author reading his own work was a total bonus.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James SEATTLE, WA, United States 10-01-13
    James SEATTLE, WA, United States 10-01-13 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Title Caught My Attention, The Content Was Great!"

    Okay, you got me! I have to admit that the title of the book caught my attention, but once I got into it, I realized that this book is chock full of information on the body and body parts that I typically don’t give much thought to. I do now!

    The book goes into good enough detail on how and why humans do what we do, and how we evolved to be that way. I found it to be very informative and it kept my attention throughout.
    Guess what?... I did find out why the penis is shaped that way! And, that alone is worth the price of the book.

    If you want a book that talks about and explains so many of the body functions that usually only bring about a blush to ones face, or have you speaking in code “down there”, “private parts” or “unmentionables”, then this book is for you.

    The author, Jesse Bering, writes about everything under the sun from anal sex, bestiality, foot fetishes, gay/straight stuff, religion, death and dying… and so much more. Plus, you’ll even find out why the penis is shaped that way. (smile!)

    Enjoy the book and get over some “hangups” that you might have about why people are the way that they are, and that when it comes down to it, there’s really nothing wrong with it and it’s nature playing its role the way that nature does.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carole United States 04-30-13
    Carole United States 04-30-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Fun and informative"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    It is rare that a scientific book contains anecdotes from the author, and this one does in Jesse's illuminating perspective. His narration is clever and endearing. Topics are well-researched and conveyed in an interesting manner. The book is smart, thought-provoking and at times, deliriously funny. Cannot wait for his next book.

    If there is ever an opportunity to sit next to Jesse Bering at a dinner party, I'm sure that will be the best seat in the house!


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Covington, Lao People's Democratic Republic 03-11-13
    Elizabeth Covington, Lao People's Democratic Republic 03-11-13 Member Since 2010

    I love books that can make me laugh or make me hungry. I love when books make time stand still. I love books that are a great addition to a roadtrip, a long bath or getting ready in the morning.

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    "Real entertainment for real nerds."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    My boyfriend, a very soon to be doctor, and I listened to this one on a road trip. It's very well-written-- he makes a lot of big words seem somehow accessible and unpretentious-- and unique. I consider myself pretty well-read and there were tons of studies and ideas featured that I have never heard of before. It gives you a whole new perspective on sexual deviants and functions that we take for granted.


    Any additional comments?

    I really can't wait for his next book!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthea Maryland, United States 08-28-12
    Matthea Maryland, United States 08-28-12
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    "mostly about sex -- discussed with puns"
    Any additional comments?

    Since the title mentions "being human," I was expecting a broader focus, but I did appreciate Bering's matter-of-fact manner in writing and speaking. Once I found myself disagreeing with him, but not about his scientific research - just his "suspicions." And he mentions readers' feedback, so I know that if I choose to write to him, he'll actually read it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan NEPTUNE, NJ, United States 01-14-14
    Jonathan NEPTUNE, NJ, United States 01-14-14

    As a Business Consultant, I drive a lot! Listening to audible books on my way to & from work has become my solution to road rage.

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    "One of the most thought provoking books I've read!"
    What made the experience of listening to Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That? the most enjoyable?

    After the first couple chapters I made my husband listen with me in the car, and watching the expression on his face of "WOW, I never thought of that!" was the most enjoyable. (aside from feeling that way myself)


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That??

    While this has nothing to do with the book - I was waiting in the car and listening to the book with the volume a little too loud, and then an elderly woman walked past my open window with a distinctive look on her face...LOL


    Which scene was your favorite?

    The chapter that discussed tribal rituals about ingesting semen as a source of masculinity and vitality.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    "ear muffs!" -Old School Movie


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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