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Publisher's Summary

Why are women biologically driven to find Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome? Can more sex help ensure a safe pregnancy? What effect does pornography have on a man's fertility? In this compelling follow-up to the New York Times best seller Survival of the Sickest, Dr. Sharon Moalem takes us on a trip from prehistory to the forefront of cutting-edge medical research, and through a bedroom or two, to tell the story of how human sexuality has developed over time.

How Sex Works challenges common perceptions about our bodies and provides astonishing discoveries from the frontiers of science as it traces the transformation of sex across species and through time to its current role in human societies.

Find out the answers to such provocative questions as:

  • Can the birth control pill influence the type of men women are attracted to?
  • What do men and honeybees have in common when it comes to sex?
  • Why do hourglass-shaped women tend to be especially fertile?
  • When are women most likely to cheat?
  • Can twins have different fathers?

From the composition and function of human sex organs to the fascinating biochemistry behind sexual attraction, How Sex Works presents captivating new ideas and surprising answers to questions about contraception, fertility, circumcision, menopause, STDs, homosexuality, orgasms, and more. This is an entertaining, comprehensive exploration of culture, biology, and history that takes us far beyond our common understanding of sex.

©2009 Sharon Moalem (P)2009 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • colleen
  • ANCHORAGE, AK, United States
  • 06-15-12

An interesting and easy listen

I like this the way this book was delivered. Seriously interesting subjects from the XY female, accessory nipples and nasal erections. Yep, erections in the nose, and more info about birth control than you ever wanted to know. Easy to follow for anyone. If you're interested in human biology you'll like this one.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Cliff B
  • Bedford, NH, United States
  • 05-14-12

Much Better Than Expected

I was interested in learning more about the physiology, but found the information on current sociological research to be thought provoking. This is worth reading, even if you think you know everything there is to know about how sex works.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • SIMARA
  • Bayamon, Puerto Rico
  • 01-17-12

A good Health Class refresher course...

This is a very good book with lots of study results and very complete. It pretty much gives you a refresher course of all Health and Planned Parenthood classes you have ever taken. I do recommend it for young adults and everyone who wants to learn about human sexuality from a biology/health professional point of view.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Excellent summary for senior students

Any additional comments?

This book takes sex as a mechanism of evolution for its scope, and doesn't stray much beyond this. It covers all aspects of sexual reproduction, mainly from the perspectives of anatomy and physiology. It also covers some aspects of behaviour that arise directly out of physiology, but doesn't go into any depth about sexual behaviour beyond what directly relates to evolutionary theory.

For example, the book's discussion on homosexuality considers how this appears to be a counter-evolutionary trait. It then analyses homosexuality from the perspective of how it may contribute to evolutionary success, or how it may arise as a byproduct of other genetic traits that bring evolutionary success. This is certainly a refreshing view, but probably controversial to some.

Though the book does limit itself to only published academic research (almost), it presents many ideas that arises from only limited research, and thus must be considered as tentative knowledge. To be fair, Sharon Moalem does frequently make this clear throughout the book, along with her repeated statements that we are rational creatures not completely enthralled to our genetic urges.

Overall, I recommend this book to senior secondary school and university students looking to round out their knowledge of sex.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent & very informative

I recommend this book to whoever wishes to brush up or polish their knowledge of human sexuality. I enjoyed, learned and clarified my knowledge of sex. I will have my kids read it when they start college.

5 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Hope
  • Salt Lake City, Utah
  • 01-06-18

enjoyable, informative, educational

I really enjoyed this presentation, and some of the genetic information to explain different sexual behaviors. thorough and easy to understand.

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Another Great Book from Dr. Moalem

It's doesn't require any previous scientific knowledge as they guide you through the terms before entering the harder stuff. It's great for both the curious and scientifically inclined. I found it to be fun and overall engaging.

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Good book, but could have had a bit more meat.

The book had a lot of great a-ha moments. There were some portions of the book which rummaged on medical theory or terminology but overall a great read with good insights.

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Imagine reading a biology text book

The book is pretty dry. There are some interesting factoids but most of the content is boring. There doesn't seem to be a reason why this information is important. It's just facts and studies one after another.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • P
  • 01-23-12

interesting

It was factual, interesting and didn't seem to have an axe to grind. The reader was capable if a bit dry. Not up to the bar set by Sex at Dawn, but a worthwhile listen none the less.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-04-17

it was a great book

I would recommend this book to everyone, I really enjoy learning about sex and everything that surrounds it if you're like me you should definitely check this out

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • blacktormaline
  • 05-30-18

Great fun!

I loved it and as a writer found it incredibly informative. Would listen to this again.