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Sex at Dawn : How we mate, why we stray, and what it means for modern sexuality - Christopher Ryan

Sex at Dawn

How we mate, why we stray, and what it means for modern sexuality

By: Christopher Ryan, Cacilda Jetha

Paperback | 5 January 2021

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The 10th-anniversary edition of the book that radical re-evaluated the origins and nature of human sexuality.

Since Darwin's day, we've been told that sexual monogamy comes naturally to our species. Mainstream science - as well as religious and cultural institutions - has maintained that men and women evolved in families in which a man's possessions and protection were exchanged for a woman's fertility and fidelity.

In this groundbreaking book, however, Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha argue that human beings evolved in egalitarian groups that shared food, child care, and, often, sexual partners. Weaving together evidence from anthropology, archaeology, primatology, anatomy, and psychosexuality, the authors show how far from human nature monogamy really is. With intelligence and humour, Ryan and Jetha explain how our promiscuous past haunts our contemporary struggles.

They explore why many people find long-term fidelity so difficult; why sexual passion tends to fade even as love deepens; why homosexuality persists in the face of standard evolutionary logic; and what the human body reveals about the prehistoric origins of modern sexuality. Shocking, enlightening, and ultimately inspiring, Sex at Dawn offers a revolutionary understanding of why we live and love as we do.

About the Authors

Christopher Ryan, PhD, and his work have been featured just about everywhere, including: MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, NPR, The New York Times, The Times of London, Playboy, The Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, The Atlantic, Outside, El Pais, La Vanguardia, Salon, Seed, and Big Think.

A featured speaker from TED to The Festival of Dangerous Ideas at the Sydney Opera House to the Einstein Forum in Pottsdam, Germany, Ryan has consulted at various hospitals in Spain, provided expert testimony in a Canadian constitutional hearing, and appeared in well over a dozen documentary films.

The author of Civilized to Death and the coauthor of the New York Times bestseller Sex at Dawn, Ryan puts out a weekly podcast, called Tangentially Speaking, featuring conversations with interesting people, ranging from famous comics to bank robbers to drug smugglers to porn stars to authors to plasma physicists.

Dr Cacilda Jetha is a practising psychiatrist, specialising in psycho-sexual disorders and couples therapy. She has done field research on sexuality for the World Health Organisation.

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