Why Is Sex Fun?: The Evolution of Human Sexuality

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Overview


To us humans the sex lives of many animals seem weird. In fact, by comparison with all the other animals, we are the ones with the weird sex lives. How did that come to be?Just count our bizarre ways. We are the only social species to insist on carrying out sex privately. Stranger yet, we have sex at any time, even when the female can’t be fertilized (for example, because she is already pregnant, post-menopausal, or between fertile cycles). A human female doesn’t know her precise time of fertility and certainly ...
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Why Is Sex Fun?: The Evolution Of Human Sexuality

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Overview


To us humans the sex lives of many animals seem weird. In fact, by comparison with all the other animals, we are the ones with the weird sex lives. How did that come to be?Just count our bizarre ways. We are the only social species to insist on carrying out sex privately. Stranger yet, we have sex at any time, even when the female can’t be fertilized (for example, because she is already pregnant, post-menopausal, or between fertile cycles). A human female doesn’t know her precise time of fertility and certainly doesn’t advertise it to human males by the striking color changes, smells, and sounds used by other female mammals.Why do we differ so radically in these and other important aspects of our sexuality from our closest ancestor, the apes? Why does the human female, virtually alone among mammals go through menopause? Why does the human male stand out as one of the few mammals to stay (often or usually) with the female he impregnates, to help raise the children that he sired? Why is the human penis so unnecessarily large?There is no one better qualified than Jared Diamond—renowned expert in the fields of physiology and evolutionary biology and award-winning author—to explain the evolutionary forces that operated on our ancestors to make us sexually different. With wit and a wealth of fascinating examples, he explains how our sexuality has been as crucial as our large brains and upright posture in our rise to human status.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This book speculates on the evolutionary forces that shaped the unique aspects of human sexuality: female menopause, males' role in society, having sex in private, andmost unusual of allhaving sex for fun instead of for procreation. Through comparative evolution, biologist and science author Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies, LJ 2/15/97), poses credible and thought-provoking yet entertaining factors: the lengthy period of dependency of human infants, sex for pleasure as the tie that helps bind a mother and a father together, and menopause as an evolutionary advantage that, by ending the childbearing years, allows females to pass wisdom and knowledge on to society and succeeding generations. Recommended for most libraries.Gloria Maxwell, Kansas City P.L., Kan.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465031269
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 9/28/1998
  • Series: Science Masters Series
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 165
  • Sales rank: 297,601
  • Lexile: 1390L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.36 (w) x 7.96 (h) x 0.49 (d)

Meet the Author


Jared Diamond is professor of physiology at UCLA Medical School and the author of The Third Chimpanzee.
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Table of Contents

Preface
1 The Animal with the Weirdest Sex Life 1
2 The Battle of the Sexes 15
3 Why Don't Men Breast-feed Their Babies? The Non-Evolution of Male Lactation 41
4 Wrong Time for Love: The Evolution of Recreational Sex 63
5 What Are Men Good For? The Evolution of Men's Roles 89
6 Making More by Making Less: The Evolution of Female Menopause 103
7 Truth in Advertising: The Evolution of Body Signals 127
Further Reading 147
Index 151
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 4, 2003

    The best on sex there is ...

    Jared Diamond's 'Why is sex fun' is one of the most enlightening and delightful scientific assay I have read on human sexuality. I strongly recommand this book to anyone interested in understanding human sexual behavior from an evolution perspective.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2010

    A interesting subject tackled in an interesting way.

    Jared Diamond has quickly become one of my favorite non-fiction writers. His books, Collapse and Guns, Germs, and Steel, captivated my attention. If you have read those then you will enjoy Why is Sex Fun. Diamond explains the evolution of human sexuality in the same authoritative and entertaining style that is the hallmark of his previous works.

    The book tackles myths and mysteries, like why do men have nipples and why do women go through menopause, in an informative and thought provoking way. Diamond's attention to detail in research shines through in this book as in so many of his other offerings.

    I would recommend this book for readers who are curious about their world, why we are here, and how we got to be the way we are. Sometimes he raises more questions than he answers but he does give readers an opportunity for expanded research.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2005

    Jared Diamond is the smartest person in the world

    This is an excellent book that answers many imporant questions such as: Why are vast majority of single parent households headed by women? It uses biology and anatomy to explain the behavior of humans and many other species. Small book but with a lot of good information.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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