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Despite the widespread belief that natural is better when it comes to sex, pregnancy, and parenting, most of us have no idea what "natural" really means; the origins of our reproductive lives remain a mystery. Why are a quarter of a billion sperm cells needed to fertilize one egg? Are women really fertile for only a few days each month? How long should babies be breast-fed?
In How We Do It, primatologist Robert Martin draws on 40 years of research to locate the roots of everything from our sex cells to the way we care for newborns. He examines the procreative history of humans as well as that of our primate kin to reveal what's really natural when it comes to making and raising babies, and distinguish which behaviors we ought to continue - and which we should not. Although it's not realistic to raise our children like our ancestors did, Martin’s investigation reveals surprising consequences of - and suggests ways to improve upon - the way we do things now. For instance, he explains why choosing a midwife rather than an obstetrician may have a greater impact than we think on our birthing experience, examines the advantages of breast-feeding for both mothers and babies, and suggests why babies may be ready for toilet training far earlier than is commonly practiced.
How We Do It offers much-needed context for our reproductive and child-rearing practices, and shows that once we understand our evolutionary past, we can consider what worked, what didn’t, and what it all means for the future of our species.
Robert Martin has written an engaging and interesting of human reproduction that puts today's realities in the context of our evolutionary heritage. Full of great examples. Highly recommended.
I thought this audiobook was very interesting and informative. When I originally purchased it I didn't think I would listen to the entire book, but I did. There were certain parts of the book I found more interesting than others, but all was very educational. The narrator was monotone but he was not hard to listen to. I found his voice complimented the topic of the book.
Would you listen to How We Do It again? Why?
Yes. This book is filled to the brim with information, and information that is backed up by citations in the scientific literature and historical facts.
What did you like best about this story?
The breadth and depth of exploring a complex subject.
Which scene was your favorite?
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Heavens no! There is too much to absorb.
Any additional comments?
The narration is flat and a bit annoying but not inappropriate. It is not too fast and given the speed with which the information comes at one, not fast is appropriate. The author of the book sticks pretty closely to observable, testable biological facts. He does not venture much into the "software" of human sexuality and that is not his purpose. But it does leave one feeling that a big chunk is missing. There are, however, other books that try to fill that gap.