Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jeth

on April 18, 2015, 4:24 am

I found this book pretty frustrating (and not in the way you are imagining).

It seems like there is plenty of evidence that the "standard narrative" (assuming the whole concept is not a straw man as has been argued elsewhere) is incorrect in its view that humans evolved in purely monogamous societies.

It then leaps from that premise to the idea that, in a post agricultural world, humanity should abandon monogamy because it creates a conflict with our evolved selves. This seems absurd to me. The book argues that monogamy is a "Culturally imposed aberration". Even if that is so, it doesn't make it any less necessary in the post agricultural/industrial, highly populous world that we live in. No solution is offered to this dilemma that is, in my experience, not a dilemma at all.

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