Consanguineous Minds

A blog of endless curiosity

Sex Anthropology and Humour!

When I picked up a copy of ‘Sex At Dawn’ I was expecting it to be verbose – God knows why, most non-fiction is pretty light on these days, sometimes too light! This is the perfect balance of well-written, curiosity satisfying, just scientific enough to convince you that if you’ve read it you’re automatically smarter, and not so scientific as to scare you away. In short, it’s the perfect book of the sociology, history, and physiology of sex and sexuality!

This is a captivating examination of the ‘standard paradigm’ of man and woman together in monogomous harmony forever – where did this standard come from? Why does it still stand when biology speaks so much to polyandry and polygamy? It asks all these questions -and covers so much: the Bonobos vs Chimp behaviour debate, feminism, altruistic behaviour, the myth of homo

economicus, penis length & ball size comparatively between apes, jealousy, Freud. You know, basically everything!

There are some very quote out loudable quotes from literature and science, such as:
Gentry had to be pitied. They had so few advantages in respect of love. They could say they longed for a kiss from a bouncy wife in a vicarage garden. They couldn’t say she roared under me and clutched my back and I shot my specimen to blazes.” – Roger McDonald, Mr. Darwin’s Shooter (Ryan & Jetha pp27).

And then there are wonderfully well turned out sentances like this: “Suddenly, women lived in a world where they had to barter their reproductive capacity for access to the resources and protection they needed to survive.” (Ryan & Jetha pp 8). It’s a gloriously naked romp through every aspect of human life to do with sex – and the way the authors see it, that includes an awful lot of aspects. Read it, it’ll make you cleverer and you’ll be able to voice terribly shocking opinions at garden parties and so forth!

Sex at Dawn is by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha, published by Scribe, 2010.


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