I didn’t expect this book to particularly profound as most books about modern relationships are generally fluffy and can’t seem to get over the prevalence of texting in younger generation. Imagine my surprise to find a scientifically supported argument offering a different perspective on modern sexuality.
Sex at Dawn offers a very serious critique of what most know as the “evolutionary” take on relationships. Masculine caveman gets big and strong and hunts to provide for a worthy female. Female has to take care of her baby and thus must be choosy about her male provider. Oh yeah and in exchange for his provisions, the female can give the male the gift of sex! On the surface this model explains many common behaviors today such as the ‘picky’ woman, or why aggressive males often ‘get all the girls’.
Our authors use a powerful blend of humor and scientific process to put many of those so called evolutionary theories (including Darwin’s thoughts on the matter) through the paces. This is the first thing I’ve ever read that disproved a lot of Darwin’s thoughts on relationships. Now before you freak out they’re not disproving evolution but simply a lot of the ideas around contemporary sexuality and monogamy that cite evolution as the reason for their prevalence in our mating culture.
They walk the reader through our similarities and differences to our closest evolutionary primate cousins and discusses their mating patterns at length (surprise very VERY few species are monogamous in the wild). These parts can be a little on the slow side since it’s actually difficult to build a scientific case of thought in a blog post sized chapter. If you stick through them then the final conclusions made in the last few chapters will be that much more powerful (and believable) for you.
Their subtitle “How we mate and why we stray” is not just a marketing ploy, but discussed extensively. If you are interested in the science and biology (and you should be!) there’s plenty of it. If you want to skip ahead to the modern application chapters and take their word for the research, there’s plenty of reading to enjoy as well. Overall this is the kind of book I’d love to see more of my friends reading, if nothing else for a simple break from the common narrative of monogamous marriage and aversion to open sexual promiscuity. Read it, then email me what you think!