Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships

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“Sex at Dawn challenges conventional wisdom about sex in a big way. By examining the prehistoric origins of human sexual behavior the authors are able to expose the fallacies and weaknesses of standard theories proposed by most experts. This is a provocative, entertaining, and pioneering book. I learned a lot from it and recommend it highly.” — Andrew Weil, M.D.

 “Sex at Dawn irrefutably shows that what is obvious—that human beings, both male and female, are lustful—is true, and has always been so…. The more dubious its evidentiary basis and lack of connection with current reality, the more ardently the scientific inevitability of monogamy is maintained—even as it falls away around us.” — Stanton Peele, Ph.D.

A controversial, idea-driven book that challenges everything you (think you) know about sex, monogamy, marriage, and family. In the words of Steve Taylor (The Fall, Waking From Sleep), Sex at Dawn is “a wonderfully provocative and well-written book which completely re-evaluates human sexual behavior and gets to the root of many of our social and psychological ills.”

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About the author

Christopher Ryan, PhD, is a research psychologist. He lives in Barcelona, Spain.

Cacilda Jethá, MD, is a practicing psychiatrist. She lives in Barcelona, Spain.

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3.6
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Additional Information

Publisher
Harper Collins
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Published on
Mar 27, 2012
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Pages
432
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ISBN
9780062207944
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Family & Relationships / Marriage & Long-Term Relationships
Psychology / Human Sexuality
Psychology / Social Psychology
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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The New York Times bestselling coauthor of Sex at Dawn explores the ways in which “progress” has perverted the way we live: how we eat, learn, feel, mate, parent, communicate, work, and die.

Most of us have instinctive evidence the world is ending—balmy December days, face-to-face conversation replaced with heads-to-screens zomboidism, a world at constant war, a political system in disarray. We hear some myths and lies so frequently that they feel like truths: Civilization is humankind’s greatest accomplishment. Progress is undeniable. Count your blessings. You’re lucky to be alive here and now. Well, maybe we are and maybe we aren’t. Civilized to Death counters the idea that progress is inherently good, arguing that the “progress” defining our age is analogous to an advancing disease.

Prehistoric life, of course, was not without serious dangers and disadvantages. Many babies died in infancy. A broken bone, infected wound, snakebite, or difficult pregnancy could be life-threatening. But ultimately, Ryan argues, were these pre-civilized dangers more murderous than modern scourges, such as car accidents, cancers, cardiovascular disease, and a technologically prolonged dying process? At a time when our ecology, our society, and our own sense of selves feels increasingly imperiled, an accurate understanding of our species’ long prelude to civilization is vital to a clear sense of the ultimate value of civilization—and its costs. In Civilized to Death, Ryan makes the claim that we should start looking backwards to find our way into a better future.
Desde los tiempos de Darwin, nos han contando que nuestra especie tiende naturalmente a la monogamia sexual. Tanto la ortodoxia científica como las instituciones religiosas y culturales mantienen que hombres y mujeres hemos evolucionado en familias en las que los unos intercambiaban sus posesiones y su protección por la fertilidad y fidelidad de las otras. Pero este discurso se desmorona. Cada día se casan menos parejas, y los índices de divorcio aumentan sin cesar, mientras el adulterio y la disminución del deseo hacen naufragar incluso matrimonios en apariencia sólidos.

¿Cómo conciliar la realidad con el discurso imperante? Según los pensadores Christopher Ryan y Cacilda Jethá, es imposible. Y, en este libro provocativo y brillante, a la vez querebaten casi todo lo que «sabemos» del sexo, ofrecen una atrevida explicación alternativa.

La tesis central de Ryan y Jethá es que los seres humanos evolucionamos en su día en grupos igualitaristas que compartían la comida, el cuidado de los niños y, a menudo, las parejas sexuales. Entretejiendo indicios convergentes —obviados habitualmente— que nos ofrecen la antropología, la arqueología, la primatología, la anatomía y la psicología sexual, los autores ponen de manifiesto lo lejos que está la monogamia de formar parte de la naturaleza humana.

En el principio era el sexo, siguiendo la tradición de la mejor literatura histórica y científica, da la vuelta con insolencia a postulados injustificados y a conclusiones sin fundamento, ofreciendo a cambio una forma revolucionaria de entender por qué vivimos y amamos como lo hacemos.
The New York Times bestselling coauthor of Sex at Dawn explores the ways in which “progress” has perverted the way we live: how we eat, learn, feel, mate, parent, communicate, work, and die.

Most of us have instinctive evidence the world is ending—balmy December days, face-to-face conversation replaced with heads-to-screens zomboidism, a world at constant war, a political system in disarray. We hear some myths and lies so frequently that they feel like truths: Civilization is humankind’s greatest accomplishment. Progress is undeniable. Count your blessings. You’re lucky to be alive here and now. Well, maybe we are and maybe we aren’t. Civilized to Death counters the idea that progress is inherently good, arguing that the “progress” defining our age is analogous to an advancing disease.

Prehistoric life, of course, was not without serious dangers and disadvantages. Many babies died in infancy. A broken bone, infected wound, snakebite, or difficult pregnancy could be life-threatening. But ultimately, Ryan argues, were these pre-civilized dangers more murderous than modern scourges, such as car accidents, cancers, cardiovascular disease, and a technologically prolonged dying process? At a time when our ecology, our society, and our own sense of selves feels increasingly imperiled, an accurate understanding of our species’ long prelude to civilization is vital to a clear sense of the ultimate value of civilization—and its costs. In Civilized to Death, Ryan makes the claim that we should start looking backwards to find our way into a better future.
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