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How We Do It: The Evolution and Future of Human Reproduction [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Robert Martin
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9. Mai 2013
Despite the widespread belief that natural is better when it comes to sex, pregnancy, and parenting, most of us have no idea what "natural" really means; the origins of our reproductive lives remain a mystery. Why are a quarter of a billion sperm cells needed to fertilize one egg? Are women really fertile for only a few days each month? How long should babies be breast-fed? In How We Do It, primatologist Robert Martin draws on forty years of research to locate the roots of everything from our sex cells to the way we care for newborns. He examines the procreative history of humans as well as that of our primate kin to reveal what's really natural when it comes to making and raising babies, and distinguish which behaviors we ought to continue--and which we should not. Although it's not realistic to raise our children like our ancestors did, Martin's investigation reveals surprising consequences of--and suggests ways to improve upon--the way we do things now. For instance, he explains why choosing a midwife rather than an obstetrician may have a greater impact than we think on our birthing experience, examines the advantages of breast-feeding for both mothers and babies, and suggests why babies may be ready for toilet training far earlier than is commonly practiced. How We Do It offers much-needed context for our reproductive and child-rearing practices, and shows that once we understand our evolutionary past, we can consider what worked, what didn't, and what it all means for the future of our species.

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  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 304 Seiten
  • Verlag: Basic Books (9. Mai 2013)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0465030157
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465030156
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 23,9 x 15,7 x 3 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.0 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (1 Kundenrezension)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 148.956 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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"This is one of the best books about sex, and having babies, you're likely to read...If you want to know things like why men have nipples or why it takes a quarter of a billion sperm cells to fertilize one human egg, you should take this white-knuckle ride back through evolutionary time, across continents, into science labs and around your most private parts. It will make you laugh. Your jaw will drop. And the sight of the mismatch between the lives we lead and the bodies we live in will start you thinking."--NPR Books "[An] amiable information tour through the evolutionary history of mating, pregnancy, birth, and babies... an intelligent, open-minded guide to the animal processes that somehow seem to make us most fully human."--Boston Globe "Mr. Martin's humble but crucial acknowledgment that biology is unavoidably complicated--that we can't capture millennia of evolution or decades of research in glib sayings about the sexes' planetary origins or in single surveys of psychology undergraduates--is what makes How We Do It so compelling...No Mars and Venus, no extrapolations about why we evolved to love--or hate--strip clubs or whether bottle-feeding dooms a child to a life of puerile amusements and a career at the Kwik-E-Mart. Here instead are the facts of life as you may have never thought about them."--Wall Street Journal "Intriguing ... [filled with] interesting factoids."--Washington Post "Misconceptions, cultural taboos, misguided assumptions about gender, and general prudishness have held back research on sex and its influence on the evolution of our species. Robert Martin's How We Do It provides a refreshing account of what we do know about the subject, how we got to this stage of awareness, and where we go next. Starting with an overview of sperm and eggs and ending with birth control and in vitro fertilization, Martin, who has been researching these subjects for decades as curator of biological anthropology at the Field Museum in Chicago, takes off the blinders. He puts human sex into the broad context of the genetic, morphological, and behavioral variation that exists in the animal kingdom."--American Scientist "Biological anthropologist Robert Martin wields decades of research to get at the evolutionary facts and inform people's reproductive decisions...Fascinating detours abound--such as the successful, and sensitive, toilet training of six-month-old babies by Kenya's Digo people."--Nature "A gold mine of cocktail party trivia... People who are fascinated by humans' past should read this book."--Science News "An accessible and affordable, yet rigorously reviewed, scholarly trade book that comes across as a career achievement. Buy it, read it, carefully consider it, and you will be on your way to becoming a cognoscenti in a diversity of fields related to humans and their evolution and reproductive biology."--Evolutionary Psychology "This fascinating, comprehensive look at human evolution raises important questions about what everything from bottle-fed babies to assisted reproduction means for the future of the species... A must-read for anyone interested in human evolution."--Booklist "A fascinating treatment of a complex subject."--Kirkus Reviews "Martin, an anthropologist and curator at Chicago's Field Museum, covers every aspect of human reproduction--from fertilization to infant care--in this thoughtful, well-written book... His comparative analysis and expertise permits him to draw compelling conclusions...he also raises thought-provoking questions, such as why so many sperm--on the order of 250 billion--are released when only one can inseminate the egg."--Publishers Weekly "Robert Martin is one of our leading researchers on human biology and evolution, having made a career of generating novel and game-changing conclusions about why our bodies and organs look the way they do. In How We Do It, he brings his authoritative voice to a compelling, readable, and enlightening account about human reproduction. Read Robert Martin and you will not look at human bodies the same way again."--Neil Shubin, paleontologist, The University of Chicago, and author of Your Inner Fish "How We Do It is a fascinating account of the natural history of human reproduction. As modern medicine and technology increasingly encroach on conception, childbirth, and infant care, it is eye-opening to learn about how these processes actually evolved in our species. Robert Martin has written the perfect birds-and-bees guide for curious grown-ups."--Lise Eliot, Associate Professor of Neuroscience, Chicago Medical School, Rosalind Franklin University, and author of What's Going On In There?: How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life "I have lectured for years on the topic of this book, and done research on primate reproduction. But even so, I kept coming across information and ideas new to me. The author's knowledge is encyclopedic. From mating, through pregnancy and birth, to baby care, to contraception and its opposite, we get an absorbing account of the evolutionary and functional biology of reproduction. Buy the book! It's a fascinating read, a real romp."--Alexander Harcourt, author of Human Biogeography and coauthor of Gorilla Society "Here at last is a thought-provoking, accurate, and entertaining account of the origins and present status of human reproduction. Robert Martin, a world authority on evolutionary biology, explores how evolution has shaped the patterns of reproductive physiology and the sexual and maternal behavior that characterize modern humans. He accomplishes this task with great clarity and wit."--Alan Dixson, Professor of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, and author of Sexual Selection and the Origins of Human Mating Systems "This fascinating book answers not only important questions, like how we can halve breast cancer rates and lower postpartum depression, but also the ones that will make you the star of any cocktail party: why men have nipples, whether women's brains shrink during pregnancy and nature's reason for masturbation."--Tina Cassidy, author of Birth: The Surprising History of How We Are Born "How We Do It shows not only what we know about the science of sex, but also how we know it. This is a fascinating tour of the latest and best on the birds and the bees."--Richard Wrangham, Ruth B. Moore Professor of Biological Anthropology, Harvard University, and author of Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Robert Martin is the A. Watson Armour III Curator of Biological Anthropology at the Field Museum in Chicago, as well as a member of the Committee on Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago. He was previously on the faculty of University College London, a visiting professor of anthropology at Yale, a visiting professor at the Musee de l'Homme, Paris, and the director of the Anthropological Institute in Zurich.

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen
Von et
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Dieses wissenschaftlich fundierte Darstellung zeigt an eine Fülle von Beispielen und Vergleichen mit anderen Tieren auf, wie sich die menschliche Art der Reproduktion, von Sex, Befruchtung, Embryonalentwicklung zu Geburt und Ernährung des Babys im Laufe der Evolution entwickelt hat.

Robert Martin, ein ausgewiesener Evolutionsbiologe und Anthropologe trägt in diesem Buch die Ergebnisse aus 20 Jahren Forschung zusammen. Mit wissenschaftlicher Direktheit befasst er sich ungehemmt auch mit Tabuzonen (Warum macht die Nutzung von Laptops Männer impotent? Warum ist Verhütung nach der Zeit-Methode unzuverlässig und erhöht das Risiko geschädigter Embryos?) und er erspart dem Leser auch Themen nicht, die man eher unappetitlich finden wird (Wie kommen die notwendigen Bakterien in den ursprünglich sterilen Darm des Babys?).

Das Buch umfasst auch ein Glossar sowie den üblichen wissenschaftlichen Apparat. Es ist trotzdem für das breite Publikum geschrieben und auch leicht lesbar. Das in englischer Sprache verfasst Buch (eine deutsche Übersetzung liegt zur Zeit nicht vor) ist auch für jene Leser gut verständlich, deren Muttersprache nicht englisch ist. Aufgrund der Gründlichkeit der Abhandlungen zu den einzelnen Themen wirken gewisse Kapitel manchmal etwas langfädig und repetitiv. Insgesamt aber ein gutes, empfehlenswertes Werk zu einem an sich immer interessanten Thema.
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 4.8 von 5 Sternen  28 Rezensionen
19 von 19 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Fascinating Read 20. Juni 2013
Von tgmurphy11 - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Verifizierter Kauf
Heard about this book in the Chicago Sun Times and thought it sounded interesting. Not being particularly scientifically literate, I decided it was probably above my pay-grade. I saw the author discussing the book on TV and changed my mind. He had a way of explaining things that made intuitive sense, so I thought I'd give it try.

I'm so very glad that I did, an absolutely fascinating and highly accessible read.

Interesting topics discussed herein: declining sperm counts, benefits of breastfeeding, contraceptives, potty training, etc.

I recommend this book to anyone interested in human biology, human evolution, human reproduction, or interested in science generally. But no need for extensive scientific training, Martin has a way with words that makes complicated topics easy to follow and comprehend. For being as widely accessible as it is, his writing is not overly pedantic or condescending, just very informative and accessible. Those coming to the book with a some prior scientific training will also find plenty to enjoy as he seems to draw on a wide range of scientific research and methods from which to draw his conclusions. Best of all, he adds a bit of humor to boot.
9 von 9 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent read 8. Juli 2013
Von Alu Poo - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
I found "How we do it" a very intriguing book. As a biological anthropologist, I'm familiar with the topic of the evolution of human reproductive biology, but Robert Martin achieves a to present a superbly coherent picture of it. It is not easy to narrate science for a broad audience without being imprecise, but this book is a prime example that it is possible. And, rather than re-telling an old story, Martin presents his own ideas, supported by a variety of neglected studies and recent publications, in a very convincing way. For me, the two crucial points are that, first, male fertility is declining in many populations worldwide, and second, there is no "window" for conception in women. I think it is an important book, as these astonishing facts should be known by every teacher, to be told to every youth with the aim of replacing the common misperceptions that prevail even in well-educated people around the world.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Don't Walk - Run and Buy this Book Now...!!! 3. Juli 2013
Von TVExecProducer - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This book is by far the best accounting of the evolution of human sexuality and human reproduction I have ever read in at least the past 30+ years that I've been a biologist. In addition, this book is written in a language and style that is easily understandable by the general public, not just targeted for other fellow scientists or students in that field of endeavor (as often is the case when professional biologists write books). I became a science and nature TV documentary filmmaker over 25 years ago working for a PBS station here in Los Angeles in order to bring the often times dull and boring topic of science documentaries to the TV screen (as well as receiving my Ph.D. in Biology from Cambridge University in England), and I am constantly inundated by books and programs that presume to be targeted for the general public, but are too often couched in the scientific language and literature of science professionals that is not understandable (or entertaining) to most people. Bob Martin's book breaks new ground in being not only understandable by the general public through his witty and upbeat writing style, but ALSO I found the book to be filled with brand new and pertinent information from the scientific literature (that even I was not at first aware of), and his book is based on the most up-to-date biological research currently available. Therefore, I find that this book represents the perfect conduit from the latest scientific research into the evolution of human reproduction, and brings it down to an engaging and entertaining contribution to anyone's knowledge base, regardless of how much science or evolutionary biology they previously knew. Kudos on a job well done...!!!
5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Fun and informative, clear and concise 10. Juli 2013
Von Greg Borzo - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Told with wit and wisdom, this story of how our reproductive system works and how it came to be is fascinating -- as well as fun to read.

Such a topic could be covered in a dense, heavy and serious way, full of scientific terms and complex theories. Instead, Bob Martin, a world-class scholar, makes the topic approachable, understandable and even irresistible. He writes with a light, brisk touch but with comprehension and authority. A lifetime of learning and sifting when into this short tome, and it shows, as the book serves up the paramount knowledge and studies; ideas and information; anecdotes and answers about human reproduction.

This book is not titillating but it is scintillating. Read it and you will gain a greater understanding of human reproduction, one of the most vital concerns of human life and one that touches upon so many things that matter -- from sex, pregnancy and birth through hormones, health and happiness. Read it and you'll even find out which came first, the chicken or the egg!
4 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A fascinating read 9. Juli 2013
Von Sandy Harcourt - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Buy it! A fascinating read, an easy read, indeed a romp to read.
Nevertheless, it is packed with info., scientifically accurate and up-to-date, critical of various unsubstantiated scientific claims, full of interesting ideas, and packed with a myriad little nuggets of extra information, such as that van Leeuwenhoek, inventor of the microscope, originally thought that sperm were parasites, that the ancient Egyptians advised on how to treat nappy rash, and that Digo mothers of Kenya potty-train their babies in the first few weeks of life.
I have lectured for years on the topic of this book, and done research on primate reproduction. But even so, I kept coming across information and ideas new to me. The author's knowledge is encyclopedic.
Yet the writing is far from the dry prose of an encyclopedia. From mating, through pregnancy and birth, to baby care, to contraception and its opposite, we get an absorbing account of the evolutionary and functional biology of reproduction. Just one example of the fascination of the subject and the book: we all know that breast-feeding is beneficial because breast milk contains antibiotics - and it turns out that in several countries mothers use breast milk to treat their infants' eye infections.
Don't be put off by the main title, 'How We Do It'. This not 'The Joy of Sex'. It is a serious, yet thoroughly entertaining and readable account of, as the subsidiary title has it, 'The evolution and future of human reproduction'.
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