Woowott's Reviews > Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality

Sex at Dawn by Christopher  Ryan
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's review
Nov 14, 2011

it was ok
Read in November, 2011

I'll keep it short. Having grown up in a conservative, religious household, I must enforce open-mindedness deliberately. And I genuinely tried to with this book, especially since Mr Savage mentioned it in a column ages ago, and I rather like him, even if we don't always agree.

So I read it, intending to be open, expecting to like it.

It was...dump.

Granted, I was seldom bored, which is nice; and it had some interesting ideas. But, in the end, it seemed to contradict itself. Men apparently can never change their sexual preference, and they will cheat because they need variety. This is never discussed as a societal issue beyond the authors saying monogamy = monotony. But they spend plenty of time discussing female sexual freedom, and the fact that our closest primate relations have randy females having multiple male partners (at least in part to enable sperm competition). But women never want to cheat, just men. Women don't need variety? Essentially, that's what the last chapter seems to say. And they consider none of these things forced upon humans by society.

I mean, maybe I missed something in there. But that was just one bit of seemingly contradictory information.

AH, and this book was easily as much about the ills of agriculture as it was about human sexuality.

I really did not care for the lighthearted, sometimes snarky tone the writers used either. There are more things to say, but it's 4 AM, this goes back to the library in the morning, and I just can't.

OH OH OH, and they rolled out the "Semen Makes Women Happy" study too.

So are lesbians depressed, then?
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Jonatron Yeah, this was about as convincing as the creationist books I read as a kid. Let's start with the conclusion and then dredge up some evidence we can twist to support it.

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