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How Sex Works: Why We Look, Smell, Taste, Feel, and Act the Way We Do
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How Sex Works: Why We Look, Smell, Taste, Feel, and Act the Way We Do

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  721 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews

“Read this book and discover sex again, but from a scientific perspective, and see why it evolved. It’s almost as much fun, and needs less energy.”
— Peter Macinnis, author of 100 Discoveries: The Greatest Breakthroughs in History

"How Sex Works manages to inject science writing with the prurient thrill of a gossip rag."
O magazine

Medical maverick and New York Times best

Kindle Edition, 290 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2009)
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Great book about sex. Moalem brings a nice balance to the discussion. Using a lot of traditional ideas about sex (e.g. sperm is plentiful and eggs are rarer) as well as more updated ideas (e.g. human males' large balls serve as refrigerators for sperm that are ready to compete), Moalem wrote the book about sex I have been searching for.

Usually books about sex involve what Gould calls "just so stories" in which evolutionary psych people go to extraordinary lengths to hold onto outdated ideas tha
How Sex Works takes us on a tour of sex – its biological costs and benefits, its anatomy, why we’re attracted to the people we’re attracted to, homosexuality, and the genetic disorders that result in ambiguously sexed individuals. Reading this was like being allowed to smell your favorite food – there’s just enough to tantalize you, but not enough to satisfy your interest/craving. Dr. Moalem’s narrative is easy to follow and very readable, but he just doesn’t delve into things. A lot of what he ...more
Aug 25, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
This is a well-written, interesting book. If you read science articles frequently, most of what you read is not new. I still ended up learning how female ejaculation is still a mystery to many doctors. Warning: while most of the book is not graphic, a couple passages gave me pause. I learned that while I am not a homophobe, homosexual duck necrophilia really, really grosses me out.
Lola White
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

كتاب يتحدث عن الجنس بطريقة علمية, اختلافات جنسية بين الذكر و الانثى, سبب انجذابنا لاشخاص معينين بفترات معينة, و هناك فصول تشرح عن الامراض الجنسية و طرق الوقاية منها.
اي شخص يقرأ كثيراً من المقالات العلمية سيجد كثيراً من المعلومات المألوفة, الكتاب بشكل عام مفيد و ممتع.
May 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting read. Sex, attraction, monogamy, puberty, etc. are all approached from a purely clinical and research based perspective.
Oct 29, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, science
An author can't go wrong, I'd guess, by including the word "sex" in his or her book's title. It helps if said author's bio mentions appearances on CNN and The Daily Show. It helps if some of the blurbs on the cover are by the authors of books whose own titles include The G Spot and The Technology of Orgasm.

Still and all, by the time you finish How Sex Works: Why We Look, Smell, Taste, Feel, and Act the Way We Do, you may be left wondering: what the heck kind of book did I just read?

Consider the
Nate C.
Aug 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book summarizing our current understanding of sexual behavior, reproductive biology, among other things. Different chapters covered female orgasm (and ejaculation), birth control, and the connection between pheromones and the immune system. Although I'd learned many of these facts in previous classes, the author did a good job of both explaining and summarizing the research in an understandable fashion.
Aug 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Still don't get it.
C.D. Woods
Nov 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Generally Curious, Social Anthropology Enthusiast, Psychology - Chemistry - Biology Enthusiast
In one word: “fascinating”.
First of all, this book is not a text book but it could easily serve as a primer to any undergrad: Introduction to Evolutionary Human Sexuality.
Secondly, Dr Moalem is an accomplished MD, PhD, and award winning Neurogenetiscist who harbors an intense passion for his field of study; and this factor shines brilliantly in this creation.
And lastly, my personal opinion is: the author is truly a master of finding the subject’s marrow; stripping the clinical down to its most
Mar 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay, so I thought: should I post this title or shouldn't I?

I liked this book! I tend to be medically/scientifically-minded in my approach to things, so when I read this title, I knew it would be up my alley. Yes, the first chapter was a drag as he leaned heavily on evolution, but after I put that into context in my mind, I found his medical explanations for things very enlightening. I liked how he was tasteful in his commentary (Moalem has is PhD in something or other to do with the topic...I
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Sharon Moalem MD, PhD, is an award winning neurogeneticist and evolutionary biologist. His work brings evolution, genetics, biology and medicine together to explain how the body works in new and fascinating ways. As a college student he was given as a gift to the King of Thailand to work in an orphanage for HIV positive children. Since then Dr. Moalem went on to cofound a biotech company and devel ...more
More about Sharon Moalem...