Sex at Dawn

date of publication:  2010-06-29
original title:  Sex at Dawn
language:  English

Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality is a 2010 book about the evolution of human mating systems by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá. In opposition to what the authors see as the "standard narrative" of human sexual evolution, they contend that having multiple sexual partners was common and accepted in the environment of evolutionary adaptedness. The authors contend that mobile, self-contained groups of hunter-gatherers were the norm for humans before agriculture led to high population density. Before agriculture, according to the authors, sex was relatively promiscuous and paternity was not a concern. This dynamic is similar to the mating system of bonobos. According to the book, sexual interactions strengthened the bond of trust in the groups. Far from causing jealousy, social equilibrium and reciprocal obligation were strengthened by playful sexual interactions. The book generated a great deal of publicity in the popular press where it was met with generally positive reviews. Several scholars from related academic disciplines (such as anthropology, evolutionary psychology, primatology, biology, and sexology) have commented on the book. Most have been critical of the book's methodology and conclusions, although some have praised the book. Source: Wikipedia (en)

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