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Sex at Dawn

Christopher Ryan, Cacilda Jethá

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

Sex at Dawn challenges our conventional views on sex by diving into theories about the sexual history of our ancestors, examining our understanding of what sex and relationships should really look like.

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Sex at Dawn

Sex at Dawn

by Christopher Ryan

Overview

We've come a long way in the past 100 years when it comes to relationships. Some of the traditional views on sex and marriage have been successfully altered, allowing for new variations on love and what's considered 'normal'. But there's still one thing that's widely considered essential to any healthy relationship: monogamy. But certain scientists and psychologists are starting to wonder whether monogamy is in fact a rule that humans should be living by quite so rigidly.

Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá co-wrote Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality in 2010. Ryan then hosted a TED Talk called 'Are we designed to be sexual omnivores?' Although the ideas that they discuss may seem controversial to some, Sex at Dawn poses some important questions: Are we designed by science to mate for life, or is this an unachievable goal forced upon us by society?

Favorite quote

The bigger the society is, the less functional shame becomes.

- Christopher Ryan, Cacilda Jethá

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