[Marxism] Sex at Dawn Review?

johnedmundson at paradise.net.nz johnedmundson at paradise.net.nz
Wed Aug 25 20:57:06 MDT 2010


Adam Richmond wrote:

> Has anyone read Sex at Dawn or know of a decent review of this book?

> Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality
> Christopher Ryan, Ph.D. & Cacilda Jethá, M.D.

Not a review, but an article I read on the book. It'll be available online from
the 28th August.

http://www.listener.co.nz/issue/3665/features/15907/sex_at_dawn.html;jsessionid=FAF7EEF722DB2424414D11F3D0A91D0C

I found the article interesting and there was a follow up article challenging it
in the following issue. But neither struck me as particularly convincing. The
article suggested that the book simply offers an alternative take on
evolutionary psychology, "we actually evolved to be largely polygamous" rather
than the standard "men evolved to be polygamous and women evolved to keep her
man around".

It cites a couple of obscure communities (the Chinese one people probably know
about and a fascinating Amazonian case) to suggest that monogamy is not our
"natural" state.

The response, from a renowned primate scientist, said "dump the bonobo
analogies", women having higher body fat ratios than men is sufficient evidence
of sexual dimorphism to prove we're more like gorillas, hence semi-monogomous
(dominant male, multiple largely faithful (through lack of opportunity perhaps?)
female partners).

The word pseudoscience kept coming to mind . . .

Anyway, hopefully you might find the article interesting.
Cheers,
John




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