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 is probably one of the best books I've ever read in regards to human behavior and sexuality. The authors do a very good job of keeping the topic interesting (how could this not be an interesting topic?) and the flow of the book moving right along.
In the book, they answer the age-old questions about "Is Monogamy a Myth?" Why we have the thoughts we have and why we become excited and stimulated by certain characteristics in other people. The role that social conditioning has in either restricting us, or allowing us freedoms and liberties in how we feel about sex.
Some of the highlights of the book point out that up until about 10 or 20,000 years ago, humans were grouped together in nomadic tribes and all of the social interactions they shared (hunting and gathering, eating and sleeping, and yes, group sex) were all part of the social bonding that was necessary in particular for survival. With the advent of agriculture and property ownership (that included women and children) the social concept of monogamy came into play. Question remains, are humans naturally monogamous?
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld says that "men and women are like firemen and fire. Men are like firemen and can be ready for sex in two minutes. Women are like fire, whereas the conditions have to be just right for it to occur. (Smile)
This is an excellent book that I would highly recommend to everyone! Now I understand better... "Why men are the way we are and why women are the why they are." (Smile)
Books, Books, Books!
Since hearing it, I have recommended this book to several women. Enlightening, even though I don't agree with everything, I loved the way the authors tied things together.
This book gives a good look at the history sex (i.e.: sex practices among early humans and non-westernized peoples) and made a good argument against the conventional biological/evolutionary explanations of mate selection. Treatment of the implications of this on modern sexuality seemed an after thought.
Everyone should read this, at least to consider it's presentation, hypothosis and, well - sort of conclusion... you do the math. a book one can consider as what should be required reading - perhaps in college at least.
Purchased this book as a $4.95 deal. It's a genre I wouldn't have normally read, but as a new Audible customer, I have enjoyed exploring something new. The narrators are a man and woman, which makes the story telling more interesting, and even humorous. I've been nicely surprised with this book!
This explains alot!
They were very critical of other's citings and inferences of research, but at the very end fell into the same trap of citing shabby research and /or drawing poor conclusions.
Likes audio books
I just learned that the selection of zero stars is not permitted on Audible.com. I wonder why.
For page after page the authors gripe about people, human behaviors, and other authors. But they never lay out any credible thesis nor provide actual evidence to support it. They do inform us that we should EAT MORE BUGS. Seriously. I'm not making this up. Many many remarkable books are available on audible.com, so don't waste your time and money on this one.
One good thing about the book: it has SEX in the title. Woo Hoo! Don't fall for it.
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.
There was a lot good, and a lot not so good, about this book. To summarize my main complaint with it, it's written like a bunch of college lectures from a semester or two that were thrown together. Each chapter is individually viable, but there's little that holds everything together, other than very loosely, and no really good or insightful conclusions or conjectures put forth from the other material in here.
That being said, some of the material, background research, and case studies are very good. It looks at the less-well-known side of various concepts (mainly the standard narrative of male/female monogamous relationships) and less often cited studies. So if you're looking for different perspectives on relationship and marriage and monogamy, there's a lot of good background material here.
So it has interesting material; it just doesn't hold well together as a cohesive writing. If you accept that going in, it's certainly not a bad read, and will make you think.