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Sex at Dawn by Ch.Ryan and Casilda Jetha - Book Report/Review Example

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Sex at Dawn is a courageous book on Human sexual behaviors and relations authored by Christopher Ryan and Casilda Jetha. The book covers the one topic that has largely been ignored in the academic world: that of monogamy vi-a-vis promiscuity. …
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Sex at Dawn by Ch.Ryan and Casilda Jetha
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"Sex at Dawn by Ch.Ryan and Casilda Jetha"

Thesis ment/ Defense (Sex at Dawn) Sex at Dawn is a courageous book on Human sexual behaviors and relations ed by Christopher Ryan and Casilda Jetha. The book covers the one topic that has largely been ignored in the academic world: that of monogamy vi-a-vis promiscuity. Ryan and Jetha’s exceptional work has been regarded by many as being controversial for its raw presentation of human sexuality and marriage, in a way that no one else has ever done before. The book suggests that monogamy is not and has never been part of human nature, but sexual promiscuity is. The authors categorically state that “monogamy is not found in any social, group-living primate” (p. 64). Thesis: Monogamy is not part of human nature, but sexual promiscuity is. Ryan and Jetha compare human sexual behavior to that of chimpanzees and bonobos, which are human’s closest primates. The two non-human primates are considered to be sexually promiscuous, a fact that is scientifically proven. The authors state that ovulating females among chimpanzees normally mate six to eight times in a single day and they are usually “eager to respond to the mating invitations of any and all males in the group (p. 70). Therefore, if human beings were to be compared to their closest primate cousins, then it would be expected that they would have similar sexual behavior. This means that humans, just like bonobos and chimps, are naturally promiscuous. According to Ryan and Jetha, data shows that human beings spend more time mating than any other species known to man. Human sexual behavior also features striking similarities with bonobos who are considered promiscuous by nature. The bonobo, like humans, do not disclose their fertile days and they also have sex throughout the month. They normally mate in many styles very similar to those used by humans and they also kiss. They have been known to use sex, including homosexuality as a social bonding activity. Human females never disclose their fertile days like other mammals do. They can have sex any day, even throughout the month, even when they are not fertile. Kissing and sexual style experimentation is nothing new to human beings, who also practice homosexuality. Ryan and Jetha point out that although human promiscuity is not so obvious, there are many human sexual adaptations that show how humans are essentially non-monogamous. The authors suggest that the design of human sexual organs is such that it reflects forceful sperm competition. They state that “competing sperm from other men seems to be anticipated in the chemistry of men’s semen” (p. 237). This could be a sign of the multiple matings that pre-agriculture man had over short periods of time. The authors also say that the design of the human female cervix is evident of the promiscuous nature of human beings (p. 265). When women reach sexual climax, they are likely to announce their louder than men (p. 256). This behavior in many primates has been observed to attract other males in the group. The authors ask this pertinent question that has been regarded with controversy every time it is asked: “if men and women evolved together in sexually monogamous couples for millions of years, how did we end up being so incompatible?” (p. 256). According to the author’s pre-agricultural, and to a larger extent, pre-historic human ancestors, also known as foragers, organized themselves around sexual cooperation principles. Monogamy was never a way of life, and both men and women had sexual relations to men other than those they knew or lived with. Ryan’s and Jetha’s arguments are very sensible, especially when viewed from the point of how monogamy was ever supposed to benefit humanity. It was just a means by which human beings settled down after they adopted agriculture, which demanded a more settled lifestyle. Conclusion The conventional wisdom pertaining to human sexual behavior is that when human beings mature, they normally go through a period of sexual options before settling down with one person from whom they cannot separate until death. These are mores that came about in with agriculture, but they are not ingrained in the human genetic makeup. Human behavior has proved that people are not naturally monogamous. In the book, Sex at Dawn, the concept of human monogamous ideal versus the not so idealized promiscuity has been delved into with painstaking detail. The authors use different examples of human sexual behavior to show how promiscuity is a normal human behavior and monogamy is not. The arguments presented by the authors are factual and indeed convincing. It is therefore my forgone conclusion that based on observable and verifiable human sexual behavior, monogamy is not part of human nature, but sexual promiscuity is. Reference Ryan, C. and Jetha, C. (2011). Sex at Dawn: The prehistoric origins of modern sexuality. Brunswick VIC: Scribe Publications. Read More
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