Thursday, 1 December 2016

Sex at Dawn

by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá

I found it ridiculous that quite a number of academics took an issue with Sex at Dawn’s methodology and conclusions as if it were a standard peer-reviewed scientific publication. (In retrospect, it might be a good thing that the book was rejected by Oxford University Press. Their books are expensive for no good reason but the name.) Likewise, some readers felt offended by the authors being biased as if there is any unbiased popular science literature. If the authors’ (not so thinly) veiled political agenda is “make love, not war” and sex-positive feminism, I’m happy that so many people actually bought and read this book. Now, that we’ve got a pussy-grabbing bigot as the soon-to-be Leader of the Free World, this book is probably more important than six years ago.

Also, it’s a jolly good read.

Theorists supporting genital echo theory have noted that swellings like those of chimpanzees and bonobos would interfere with locomotion in a bipedal primate, so when our distant ancestors began walking upright, they reason that some of the female’s fertility signaling moved from the rear office, as it were, to the front showroom. In a bit of historical ping-pong, the dictates of fashion have moved the swelling back and forth over the centuries with high heels, Victorian bustles, and other derrière enhancements.
Though Darwin proved to be a very loving husband and father, these pros and cons of marriage suggest he very seriously considered opting for the companionship of a dog instead.
Maybe matriarchal societies are so difficult for Western male anthropologists to recognize because they expect a culture where men are suffering under the high heels of women — a reverse reflection of the long-standing male oppression of women in Western cultures. Instead, observing a society where most of the men are lounging about relaxed and happy, they conclude they’ve found yet another patriarchy, thereby missing the point entirely.

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