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Why Is Sex Fun? The Evolution of Human Sexuality (Science Masters)

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  2,838 ratings  ·  184 reviews
Why are humans one of the few species to have sex in private? Why are human females the only mammals to go through menopause? Why is the human penis so unnecessarily large? There is no more knowledgeable authority than the award-winning author of The Third Chimpanzee to answer these intriguing questions. Here is a delightfully entertaining and enlightening look at the uniq ...more
Paperback, 176 pages
Published September 25th 1998 by Basic Books (first published 1997)
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A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill BrysonA Brief History of Time by Stephen HawkingCosmos by Carl SaganThe Selfish Gene by Richard DawkinsGuns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond
Best Science Books - Non-Fiction Only
139th out of 858 books — 1,962 voters
A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill BrysonA Brief History of Time by Stephen HawkingCosmos by Carl SaganGuns, Germs, and Steel by Jared DiamondThe Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
Best General Science Books
40th out of 244 books — 228 voters

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I had forgotten just how good this book actually is. I’ve read most of the popular stuff Diamond has written and enjoyed all of them. My favourite is Guns, Germs and Steel, but this one is also very good.

Although this one has a particularly fine title I have to say that it does make me want to ask another equally important question – why are there so few really good television documentaries that come out of the USA. I mean, there was Cosmos, which was mind-blowing, but there have been few that r
Jen Estrella

While sort of dating somebody that was very, very ill suited for much that I was absolutely certain that we had no future, he would never be introduced to my family, et cetera et cetera, I really started being interested in the subject of sex. Attraction. The difference between women and men's approaches to it, the difference between pure physical attraction and what people call "chemistry." Pure, simple sexual attraction and then the kind of attraction that develops. While ultimately I
Mar 28, 2010 indri rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: weni, dharwiyanti, ibutio
Recommended to indri by: GRI
Shelves: feature

baca itu seru!
baca ini saru!

Begitu mungkin yang ada di pikiran orang-orang ketika membaca buku ini, dilihat dari judulnya ‘Mengapa Seks itu Asyik’. Sesudah membaca buku ini, aku merasa buku ini bisa dihadiahkan pada anakku ketika nanti dia menginjak masa remaja, dan organ reproduksinya tumbuh sempurna. Namanya juga punya anak perempuan, jadi harus dijaga baik-baik.

Seperti dijelaskan di pengantarnya, buku ini tidak akan mengajari anda posisi-posisi baru dalam menikmati hubungan seks, nam
Why is sex fun? Who the eff cares??? It just IS...if you're doing it right, that is. Ha!

I thought the book had a lot of promise, but it failed to deliver on many, many levels. Diamond's lack of footnotes really irked me and I was left questioning a lot of his research. I mean sure, learning about the number of hermaphroditic fashion models really boosted my self-esteem, but hello? Source please! I don't have time to go digging around through his entire bibliography looking for relevance. Ultimat
খুব বোকার মত প্রশ্ন হয়ে গেল,না?

আপনি হয়তো ভাবছেন,আরে ব্যাটা মদন,সেক্স করা কঠিন পরিশ্রমের কাজ। সেক্স যদি আনন্দহীন নীরস কোন ব্যাপার হত,মানুষ সেক্স করার চেয়ে দশতলার উপর এক ড্রাম পানি তোলার কাজকেই বেশি প্রেফার করত।তাহলে কি আর আজকের পৃথিবীতে আর ৭০০ কোটি মানুষ আর এই মানবসভ্যতা থাকতো? ইভোলিউশনারি স্ট্রাটেজি হিসেবেই তাই সেক্স পরিণত হয়েছে এক চরম আনন্দময় কাজে।
বুঝলাম। কিন্তু চারপাশে একটু তাকিয়ে দেখুন,আশেপাশের সবার চেয়ে তো বটেই,বিবর্তনীয় পারিবারিক সম্পর্কে আমাদের কাছাকাছি আত্মীয়দের চেয়েও আমাদে
It seems that Jared Diamond got better and better with every book he wrote. With practice he got exceptionally good at making comparisons between species, cultures, etc. He also developed a better focus on the subject with every book.

However this book was written before any of that. While it is easy to read, it contains little info and has strange examples. It also alludes too often to the author's sex life in a "Look at me I'm a successfully married man with a sex life...horay!" way. Diamond tr
Emily C.
This book was fascinating and so engaging and easy to read for a book based in biology. In it, Jared Diamond brings up numerous facts about human sexuality that we all take for granted. Humans have sex for fun whether or not they are fertile, at any time of the month or year. Human females experience a distinct decline and then abrupt stop in fertility around middle age. Women usually have little idea of when they might be ovulating (unless they are using some form of modern technology to tell t ...more
Shame on Mr. Diamond for luring me in with this clever title. What this book really is is a scholarly tome for the serious anthropology student. It is interesting that, when it comes to sex, humans do a lot of things very differently than even our closest animal cousins. The book looks at why men have nipples, why humans continue to have sex even during pregnancy when there's no chance of additional procreation, and how various species evolved with obvious or hidden signs of ovulation (complete ...more
অনার্য সঙ্গীত
চমৎকার বই। সহজ এবং সাধারণ। বিবর্তনের প্রাথমিক ধারণা থাকলে বইটা পড়তে বেশি স্বচ্ছন্দ্য হওয়া যায় বলে মনে হলো। বিবর্তনের মূল ধারনাটা না থাকলে বইটা পড়তে অবাক লাগবে হয়তো।
সবার পড়া উচিত।
I was enjoying it up until he started discussing human lactation which immediately revealed that he knows just about nothing about the subject. "Human lactation is energetically very expensive," and nursing mothers eat like men?

This is hardly the same as eating like an active man: "Studies have shown that most healthy breastfeeding women maintain an abundant milk supply while taking in 1800-2200 (or more) calories per day." "Breastfeeding your baby, on average, burns 200-500 calories per day" -
Kevin Cecil
Jared Diamond does not posses Carl Sagan's gift of enriching all he writes with a grand sense of poetic wonder; he also lacks the verve and wit of a science writer like Phil Plait. Diamond's books, however, are absolutely essential for those seeking to understand our universe and ourselves because he invariably chooses such fascinating topics. From the development of civilizations in his masterpiece GUNS, GERMS, AND STEEL, to their potential decline in COLLAPSE, Diamond leaves one with a deeper ...more
You get the feeling reading this that the author has a fair amount of potential. He promises a lot, and sort of delivers. The most interesting bit for me was about why there might be selection pressure for menopause. (This may be disturbing for some to read.) Basically, for most of recent evolutionary history, as a woman gets older, childbirth is more likely to kill her. Because human children are helpless for so long, this will likely kill some of her children too, if she's given birth at all r ...more
Alison Buck
Thought-provoking across the board and convincing in some places, Diamond makes a evolutionary biology argument that posits part of human distinctiveness arises from our unusual reproductive characteristics: concealed ovulation, recreational sex, and female menopause. Diamond's meditations on how menopause may have been selected for and why men don't breastfeed their children were compelling and carefully argued. When he ventured into the territory of human social arrangements; however, Diamond ...more
Alan Bevan
I always enjoy Jared Diamond's books and this was no exception. It can't be compared to Guns and Germs and Steel because it lacks the depth and breathtaking perspective of that book. Nevertheless, it is an intriguing exploration of the evolution of human sexuality and makes a strong case that we are the animal with the weirdest sex life.

Diamond explores questions I had never previously considered, such as why men don't lactate. That question is of itself interesting but I also found myself refle
Dec 04, 2010 Andi rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Andi by: Roos
Shelves: science, idn
Isi tidak semenarik judulnya. Seks[ualitas] 'manusia' diperbandingkan dengan 'kerabat-kerabat'nya di dunia hewan. Terlalu banyak fakta yang [terus, terus... dan terus] diulang. Sayangnya, homoseksualitas, masturbasi dan juga 'jumping gender' [sebagai bagian dari evolusi seksual] pada beberapa hewan yang disebutkan dalam buku ini tidak ikut terbahas.

Typo dan terjemahan yang kaku membuat buku ini [agak] membosankan untuk dibaca.
This is the first evolutionary biology book I have ever read and I am mostly new to the subject, so I don't have much to say whether it lacks scientific rigor or not, but it definitely caught my eye and lured me to read more about the subject( neglecting the evident reason that I am a male undergrad!).

His arguments sounds convincing to me as long as they matched my intuitions but I actually never looked for detailed scientific references of his claims.The writing is attractive enough for a read
Jennifer Lavoie
If you're looking to read this book thinking it's going to give you tips or something, put the book down now. Wait, don't. Keep reading anyway because you will learn something about the evolution of human biology and how and why we evolved sexually to what we are today.

The book presents a fascinating look to a human's biology, and though I was skeptical at first - especially since this is required reading for a literature course - I was soon completely engrossed in the information presented.

Spoiler: This book is not explicitly about the act of human copulation, which was actually a big relief for me (cuz you know, ewwww). I felt the topics the book did cover were far more interesting, such as why do female humans mask ovulation? Why would curtailing female reproductive capacity via menopause be an evolutionary successful strategy? Just what are men good for? I liked how Diamond presented each evolutionary question with at least two competing hypotheses and the supports and pitfalls ...more
Daniel Hammer
Jared Diamond is a favorite target of criticism from anthropologists. This is not because Diamond is an ornithologist who has chosen instead to write almost entirely about human behavior, which he does not himself research. Instead, it is mostly because Diamond loves to oversimplify complicated ideas and make grand statements on the world. The grand statement of this book is that we can learn a lot about human sex from observing how sex operates in the animal world. Compared to his overreaching ...more
A nice little book with nice speculation. Certainly meant to be for a popular reader but won't satisfy the more scholarly or experienced evolution readers, even for popular content. First, the title is a marketing ploy. Sexual pleasure doesn't figure into the discussion, though the sub-title is an accurate reflection of the content. The focus seems to be on women, which is nice if you are a woman and used to being ignored or grouped into male discussions without a thought. From menopause to lact ...more
Kylie Gatse
The book I read was Why Is Sex Fun? The Evolution of Human Sexuality. I first chose this book because of its title. It seemed like a fun, and interesting topic for a college student to read. But as I started reading the book I realized it was nothing like what I had expected to read. Although many may also think this is going to be fun learning about sex this book goes beyond humans just having sex for pleasure and compares our sex lives and patterns to other animals and species.
The book starts
Jared Diamond logically argues and reasonably concludes that the evolution of humans has had direct implications for the development of our current culture, in terms of sex practices and sexuality. He demonstrates the interconnectedness these things with the physical traits and characteristics determined by genes, which have evolved over time. His comparisons to other species are enlightening, and his refutations of the most valid objections to his theories are logical, even though sometimes the ...more
Kathleen Brugger
I have read a number of Jared Diamond’s books and am a great fan. After reading this book I felt like the title was chosen by someone in his publisher’s marketing department. Mr. Diamond was probably chagrined by it. He’s a scientist, and he spends a lot of time discussing animal behavior and speculating about how the distinctive features of human sexuality evolved. There’s not much talk about why it’s so fun.

The basic points he discusses are: 1. Males and females have different investments in
The title is definitely a misnomer. Somebody in the publishing office clearly came up with this to try to sell books. It really should be called "The Evolution of Human Sexuality" because that's what it's about.

Nevertheless, Diamond is so good. Along with Gladwell, he's definitely my favorite author. I love his style. As he's constructing an argument, he frequently uses technical language or refers to some scientific principle that is unknown to a layperson like myself, but immediately follows
Leia Spencer
A short read and very interesting. This was my first Jared Diamond book. I enjoyed the facts and theories of why humans have sex beyond procreation. I think human behaviour is interesting and this subject is more social than personal! Ensuring the father knows he is the father of your child is just as important today as it was in hunter/gather times. Not much has changed! A very good study if you are also interested in human families and what keeps us together as a unit.
The book has nothing to do with positions or skills.
The author delves into human sexuality by comparing it with apes to birds.
Why do we have more sex than it is necessary, and bother even after reproductive age?
Why there is menopause?
Why we are simultaneously faithful and infidel to each other?

Jared Diamond will surely intrigue, fascinate and enlighten you before you turn the last page.
Lucas Wiman
This was pretty interesting. However, I found a number of his explanations of the evolution of human behavior very unconvincing, since he seemed to play hard and loose with consistency. In some chapters early hominids were very monogamous, so promiscuity could have no effect on the evolution of anything. In others, he cites evidence that humans were not very monogamous and uses that to explain the evolution of various things. (Eg when asked about who the biological father of their children could ...more
Worth reading, though many of his conclusions seem loose, unscientific and almost common-sense in retrospect. I kept finding myself thinking, "Well sure, that's an interesting and even believable theory, but where's the proof?" But I guess that's the dilemma of trying to write a science-y book for entertainment audiences; you don't want to get too deep into the research and bore everyone. Interesting ideas in any case, and I'm assuming an important alternative perspective to the "Men are from Ve ...more
Esmeralda Rupp-Spangle
I REALLY wanted to give this book 4 stars, but I couldn't quite do it. It comes so close, but there are enough problems with it that I can only give it three. Mainly- it's too vague, and short! What is there is all good- but it's conclusions are muddled. The title of this book- Why Is Sex fun? Is barely addressed- I almost felt like it was missing chapters, or sections or something. It was really good- just... incomplete? I love Jared Diamond, and I hate not being able to like this book more- bu ...more
Short and sweet. A simple overview of the evolutionary history of sexual reproduction and some peculiarities about Homo sapiens.

Diamond is a good writer and provides a comprehensive overview of the comparative anatomy and evolutionary psychology (if a little dated) of sexual reproduction across several species, with the ultimate aim to tie it back to mankind and what makes us stand out.

Some of the speculation in the final chapter (regarding male attraction to the female form and the size of male
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Jared Diamond is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Guns, Germs, and Steel. He is Professor of Geography at UCLA and has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. He has dedicated this book to his sons and future generations.
More about Jared Diamond...
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution & Future of the Human Animal The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? Natural Experiments of History

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“Perhaps our greatest distinction as a species is our capacity, unique among animals, to make counter-evolutionary choices.” 96 likes
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