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am 29. Oktober 2013
This was a lucky find. I really just wanted to see what Amazon would spit out if I searched "Sex". After I'd read the accessible part of the introduction online I immediately bought the E-Book and went to it.

Topic: The topic is everyone's favourite topic: Sex. Sex and what could be considered "natural" sexual behaviour. The authors set out (and succeed gloriously in my eyes) to replace the standard picture of human sexual behaviour. Usually the story runs like this. Man impresses woman by beating all competitors in some way (or just rapes her). Man impregnates woman, guards her (or rather his offspring) fiercely, while trying to get as many lucky shots on the side (male adultery). Woman prostitutes herself for social security to one boring but rich guy, then tries to get knocked up by the "bikers in the bar down the road" (female adultery). This is called mixed-mating strategy and stems from our will to proliferate our genes. Monogamy is still also somehow supposedly part of all this. Sounds horrible and weird? Luckily Ryan and Jetha present a heap of very different arguments why this is not "natural" human behaviour, insofar as we didn't act like this for a very long time of our history. All the misery began only 10 000 years ago when we settled down and began to acquire and defend our property...

In fact, the idea of a brutal, poor (etc.) "state of nature" is so comprehensively destroyed that I recommended "Sex at Dawn" for this reason alone to my philosophy undergrads.

This is a (more or less) scientific book, not a guidebook, which is just as well. The fact that we were more like happy, stressfree bonobos just 10 000 years back doesn't erase our upbringing or our culturally imparted values. Just because I now believe that our ancestors didn't know jealousy the way we do, doesn't mean I stopped being jealous. But it can start you thinking about the (pitiful?) state of your emotional surroundings and the ways in which we frame them. So while this is not a philosophy book, it definetly is a philosophical book in the best possible sense.

Style: The authors write a fluid, light style which makes the book an enjoyable read indeed. They can turn a phrase without ever being flippant for the sake of it. Even if you aren't a psychiatrist (Jetha) or a psychologist (Ryan) or anyone working in the fields of evolutionary biology/psychology/anthropology you'll still be able follow every turn and each of the many well presented arguments.

Verdict: Brillantly written, brillantly argued, and in regard to the obvious importance of the topic to our life and happiness, this book is a must-read. It will change your view of human nature, even if some of the details might turn out to inaccurate. If you read one book this year, let it be this one.
0Kommentar| 8 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 4. Februar 2015
either you will love or hate this book. assuming you are truly interested in WHY "classic nuclear families" (i.e. one woman, one man, kid(s)) fail at an agonizingly astonishing rate of 40-50% - then you MUST read this.

in summary: the authors try to emulate aliens and pretend they are observing human sexual and social behavior the first time. or like the first primatologists, who began studying primate's sexual behavior in the wild. (and primates we are!)
then, they try to either eliminate or reverse any subjectivity (which they call "flintstonization"), which could cause observations to be warped or biased so that they better fit western/christian/modern culture and values.

reading this book was a little like: "if you want to see the flowers' true colors, you need to take off your sunglasses".

the key messages have been discussed at length by others here, so I don't need to. but let me warn (or intrigue) you: many of the findings are... controversial, startling, funny, absurd and eye opening to say the least!

my main lesson learned: sex is simultaneously totally over- and underrated.
underrated: sex is (should be!) as important as the air we breathe, the sun we share and the water we drink. it is totally essential to our well-being and all around us and inside us, all the time. men and women alike. as such, we should we enjoying it whenever we can, indeed whenever we want to. women and men.
overrated: just as the air we breathe, sex must not be limited or traded. it is literally "priceless". sex ought to have NO VALUE - which would make it an essential and ubiquitous commodity - just like air. all this fuss about how important sex is and how womens' value is measured based on their promiscuity is just ridiculous. as if someone breathing more air or drinking more water were less valuable than another who doesn't.
If we finally acknowledged that sex is as important as air and should as readly available to anyone who wants/needs it (as air), many relationship, moral and social problems would just evaporate. in to thin air. :-D

after reading this, men will hopefully never use the term "cheap whore" ever again, and women will finally understand that sex is absolutely nothing to be ashamed of, nor something to dole out like a reward or rare and valuable tradable commodity.

even if you are an ultra-conservative, religious and strictly monogamous person, you MUST read this book. if only to start up great discussions and arguments at parties. :-)

EDIT: if English is not (one of) your primary language(s), you may find this hard to read. the language is very colloquial and reads more like a conversation, less like an essay. while that makes it highly entertaining and accessible for English speakers, it reduces readability for others. (tried this book on two Germans, both had to give up because it was too hard to understand.)
11 Kommentar| 7 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 17. April 2011
I rarely read a book that has so little taboos without being dirty. Thie book covers all aspects of the male and female seuxality and considers them in the length of our evolution. It's not friendly with current social stereotypes, but shows that some aspects of our sexuality have been repressed or falsely interpreted. Also it cleans up with the current values and beliefs of male and female sexuality. It's an eye-opener and and very thourogly researched book and I can only recommend to read it. I devoured it and I think it's fantastic!
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TOP 1000 REZENSENTam 30. Juni 2015
Das Buch ist höchst interessant. Es räumt auf mit der alten Evolutionstheorie Darwins, also der Art der Selektion, die nach den heutigen wissenschaftlichen Erkenntnissen gar nicht durch Kämpfe der Männer ausgetragen worden sind, sondern im Inneren des weiblichen Körpers. Die Männer waren also weitaus friedlicher und untereinander kooperativer. Erst durch den Ackerbau und das Anhäufen von Land und Gütern hat sich der Mensch negativ verändert. Schaut man in die Geschichte, so wurde die Monogamie erfunden, um den weiblichen Körper zu kontrollieren, was man leider noch in einigen Kulturen, u.a. mit weiblicher Beschneidung sieht. Die meiste Zeit hat sie auch genau diesem Zweck gedient.
Erst in jüngerer Zeit kamen die Liebesheiraten auf, oft unter Einfluss der Pille, die meiner Erfahrung nach nicht nur die Partnerwahl, sondern sogar die Persönlichkeit der Frau verändert! Ich verlor mein Selbstbewusstsein und wurde devot und unterwürfig, bevor ich schließlich schwere Depressionen davon bekam.

Dass es mal anders war und anders geht und vor allem, dass dies die wahre Natur des Menschen ist, wird mit diesem Buch anhand zahlreicher Studien bewiesen. Die Beweiskette ist eindeutig und durchgehend. Man kann dem nicht widersprechen. Die Scheidungsraten, zerstörten Familien und vielen Alleinerziehenden mit steigender Tendenz sprechen zudem eine Sprache für sich. Allein diese Statistiken belegen schon, dass der Mensch vielleicht willentlich, aber ganz gewiss nicht von Natur aus monogam ist.
Es ist Zeit, dass man gesellschaftliche und moralische Anpassungen vornimmt, die erstens die Kinder unterstützt (mehr Zusammenhalt wie bei den Hunter-Gatherern) und zweitens der wahren Natur des Menschen entspricht, ohne dass man Familien auseinander reißt.

Das Buch sollte meiner Ansicht nach jeder gelesen haben - mit wünschenswerterweise offenem Geist. Hoffentlich gibt es bald eine deutsche Übersetzung.
11 Kommentar| 4 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 13. Juli 2015
this book pulls together and reinterprets much of what one has read or heard before about 'human nature' and the evolution of our 'instincts.' It is a fascinating, inspiring and liberating read. I wish I had read it many years ago as it would have certainly had an effect on my decisions around marriage and relationships, in particular with regard to (not) judging my own actions and feelings based mainly on traditional (christian) morality alone, instead of on more scientific, i.e. anthropological, biological, historical etc evidence. We are social creatures in so many more ways that generally acknowledged. There is a great need to look interpret and research these findings further.
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am 8. August 2013
"Sex at Dawn" war für mich ein absoluter "eye-opener" bzgl. vieler Aspekte von Beziehungen, die mir vorher einfach unnatürlich und seltsam vorgekommen sind. Früher dachte ich, das läge an mir und ich selbst wäre einfach "anders" und seltsam. Dank "Sex at Dawn" sind diese Selbstzweifel Schnee von gestern!

Egal ob man das Gefühl hat, dass eine monogame Beziehung nicht alles im Leben sein kann, oder aber ob man unbedingt genau eine solche Beziehung führen will und sich darüber ärgert, wieso das vielen anderen so schwer fällt - Dieses Buch sollte eigentlich jeder Mensch gelesen haben! (Hoffentlich wird es auch Bald ins Deutsche übersetzt)
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am 30. Dezember 2016
The authors excel in reasoning their thesis, why both female and male humans are promiscuous. However, although they mention regularly their antithesis, that the vast majority of humans have been living in monogamic marriages since the invention of farming, they hardly spend a word on why we do this. Only once they have explored our fears of starving and being exploited which we try to overcome by fidelity, the authors will have prepared the grounds for the synthesis, how we can enjoy both honoring our promiscous nature while feeling secure in our modern world. I look forward to it.
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am 27. März 2014
An illuminating and progressive text, convincingly argued with a touch of humour too. I could read this book anywhere it was so lucidly written. In fact, I could hardly put it down (dawn :-)). The authors have a great talent for turning a taboo topic into something everyone can talk about, and have fun doing so.
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am 8. Juni 2015
This book is FILLED with excellence
With critical analysis of the way the dominant social narratives infuse even science - even when people TRY to account for it
It is well, often humorously written and often much more scientifically exact than a lot of people seem to be able to handle
hence - of course - it doesn't get nearly as much "publicity" as you'd hope
because nobody DARE challenge the ideas that keep love, affection and physical release a scarce resource, the threat of not finding "the one" is after all fueling a rather LARGE aspect of our economies

TIP: If you already are against all forms of genital mutilation and have a modicum of empathy, do yourselves a favor and don't read 287, If you still think circumcision is NOTHING, please do read 286 AND 287 for good measure
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am 14. Februar 2016
fascinating information that makes life much easier and relaxed. There are several interviews the author has given, i recommend watching the ones on TYT (youtube). They're each about 30 minutes and outline the basic ideas elaborated on in the book
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