Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality by Christopher Ryan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I tried very hard to finish this book, but I’m going to say that 70% completion is good enough, especially when page 246 summarizes everything in one sentence that is far more pithy than the rest of the book:
With any other question we have about the origins of human behavior, we look to chimps and bonobos for important clues: language, tool use, political alliances, war, reconciliation, altruism...but when it comes to sex, we prudishly turn away from these models to the distantly related, anti-social, low-I.Q. but monogamous gibbon?There is a lot of good information here, for which I will allow it three stars, but the snarky, tangential delivery made for a frustrating read. The chapters followed a standard pattern meandering away from their subject heading, suddenly remembered what they were supposed to be talking about and tossing in a Darwin quote and/or reference before coming to a hasty conclusion.
On the plus side, I am now wondering what all those Planet of the Apes movies would be like if they’d been modeled on bonobo society instead of chimp culture.
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