Sex at Dawn

The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality

Christopher Ryan

Book Synopsis

"Sex at Dawn" by Christopher Ryan challenges the traditional understanding of human sexuality and monogamy. Drawing on anthropology, evolutionary psychology, and scientific research, the book argues that humans are not naturally monogamous, and that our ideas about sex and relationships are shaped by culture rather than biology.

The book explores the sexual practices of our primate ancestors and prehistoric human societies to show that humans have a strong propensity for non-monogamous behaviors. Ryan and his co-author Cacilda Jethá discuss the mating habits of bonobos, our closest relatives, who engage in frequent sexual activities with multiple partners as a means to strengthen social bonds.

Furthermore, the authors contend that sexual jealousy and possessiveness are culturally conditioned responses rather than innate emotions. They argue that our sexual nature is more in line with what they call "serial monogamy," where individuals form long-term pair bonds but occasionally engage in casual sexual encounters.

Throughout the book, Ryan and Jethá challenge societal norms around fidelity, infidelity, and the inherent nature of monogamy. They argue that the prevalence of extramarital affairs and divorce rates are indications of the misalignment between our sexual desires and societal expectations.

"Sex at Dawn" urges readers to reevaluate their assumptions about human sexuality and relationships, encouraging a more open and honest discussion about our sexual needs and desires. By examining our evolutionary past and looking critically at our current societal norms, the book aims to offer a fresh perspective on human sexuality and challenge the prevailing narrative surrounding monogamy.

Explore More Books

See All
Brave Enough
Against The Gods
Dear Founder
The Wages of Guilt
The Rosie Effect
The Graveyard Book
The Internet of Money Volume 2
Bet The Farm
Sun Rises in the Evening
The Last Days of Night
The Diversity Bonus
Start-up Nation
The Half-Life of Facts
The Vital Question
Brave New World
In Patagonia
Billy Martin
Energy And Civilization
Gay Like Me
No Bullshit Guide to Math and Physics
Extreme Ownership
Super Mind
Race and Culture
The Double Helix
The Capitalist Manifesto
Discovering Your Personality Type
The World Without Us
The New Economics
I Seem To Be A Verb
Hyperbole and a Half
Knowledge and The Wealth of Nations
Wealth of Wisdom
The Watchman's Rattle
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
Where Do School Funds Go?
Whole Earth Discipline
Why Globalization Works
Anthropic Bias
Andrew Carnegie
Inside The House of Money
The Friction Project
Negotiating The Impossible
Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention
The War of Art
A Pattern Language
Intellectual Life in the Middle Ages
A Second Chance
The Courage To Be Disliked
The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire
The Great Convergence
Kill It With Fire
Swarm Troopers
Putin's Kleptocracy
Francis Crick
The Oz Principle
The Hustler
The Humane Economy
My Family and Other Animals
Defending Beef
A Great Leap Forward?
Revolution from Within
Talent Is Overrated
The Third Chimpanzee
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Rage Becomes Her
From Galileo to Newton
The Essays of Schopenhauer
An Apology for the Builder
Other People's Money
V for Vendetta
The E-Myth Revisited
The God Proof
The Price of Peace
Parents Who Lead
Life Is What You Make It
The Pleasure of Finding Things Out
The Four Agreements
How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information
Kindly Inquisitors
Seeing Like a State
The Power To Compete
Stuff Matters
A History of the English-Speaking Peoples
Rock On