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

Sex at Dawn by Christopher  Ryan
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Jul 09, 2012

really liked it

A work postulating our ancestral societies were closer to bonobo rather than the widely accepted chimpanzee. With even a basic knowledge of the difference between bonobo and chimpanzee societies, I knew things would quickly become interesting.

Dan Savage interviewed the author on his Savage Lovecast and knew I had to read this book. I was surprised to realize the impact of agriculture and how greatly Victorian sensibilities continue to shape my own notion of what is inappropriate behavior. It's always refreshing to see or hear someone acknowledging promiscuity cannot really be considered deviant behavior when it's actually the norm.

I was particularly interested in the chapter dealing with matriarchal societies. What a funny concept: male anthropologists have a hard time recognizing matriarchal societies because they expect to find a civilization where men live under the heel of female overlords. How utterly telling when nothing could be further from the truth.
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