Some Praise for sex at dawn (& a little disdain)
“Sex At Dawn is the single most important book about human sexuality since Alfred Kinsey unleashed Sexual Behavior in the Human Male on the American public in 1948.”
— Dan Savage, author of the internationally syndicated sex-advice column “Savage Love” and The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family
“A healthy relationship with sexuality can be a strong positive influence on overall emotional and physical well-being. But understanding human sexual drives and needs and adapting them to social constraints and moral and religious precepts is tricky. Sex At Dawn challenges conventional wisdom about sex in a big way. By examining the prehistoric origins of human sexual behavior the authors are able to expose the fallacies and weaknesses of standard theories proposed by most experts. This is a provocative, entertaining, and pioneering book. I learned a lot from it and recommend it highly.”
— Andrew Weil, M.D., world famous integrative health expert and author of 8 Weeks to Optimum Health: A Proven Program for Taking Full Advantage of Your Body's Natural Healing Power
“An exciting book . . . Whether people agree with it or not: these are issues that will need debating over and over before we will arrive at a resolution.”
— Frans de Waal, Ph.D., author of The Age of Empathy: Nature's Lessons for a Kinder Society
"Highly recommended for anyone wondering what the fuck is up with their sex life / relationships. Which is pretty much everyone."
— Amanda Palmer (singer, social activist, crazy lady).
"This book takes a swing at pretty much every big idea on human nature: that poverty is an inevitable consequence of life on earth, that mankind is by nature brutish, and, most important, that humans evolved to be monogamous. ... [Sex at Dawn] sets out to destroy almost each and every notion of the discipline, turning the field on its head and taking down a few big names in science in the process. ...Funny, witty, and light ... the book is a scandal in the best sense, one that will have you reading the best parts aloud and reassessing your ideas about humanity's basic urges well after the book is done."
— Kate Dailey, Newsweek
“This book is a complete shock: it is creatively conceived, well-written, fully-documented, entertaining, relevant to both our bedroom behavior and public policy issues—and it’s popular. People are buying it! People are even reading it! These international scholars know their archeology, primatology, anthropology, even their art. If this book weren’t so damn enjoyable, it would be easy to resent its tour de force of world culture.”
—Marty Klein, Sex Educator and author of many books, including Sexual Intelligence.
“Sex at Dawn is a page-turner. It’s like a novel. You can’t put it down, it is so much fun to read. ... It’s a fascinating book. I felt like this book was written for me!”
— Susie Bright, legendary sex-positive feminist and author.
“What makes the book so valuable – beyond its good humor, sharp writing, and its remarkable asides on issues such as ‘female copulatory vocalization’ – is the way it casually and effectively demolishes a Solomon’s Temple worth of conventional wisdom about something we thought we understood pretty well: who we are. It made me wonder how much else of what I think I know is wrong, and it makes me eager to find out.”
— Peter Sagal, host of NPR’s Wait, Wait ... Don’t Tell Me!
“I have not read such delightful, convincing, and readable science writing since the dearly lamented Stephen Jay Gould. This book is funny, absorbing, clear-eyed, and deeply anti-patriarchal in a way that feels incidental to the facts rather than rising from any agenda -- which I find utterly, gleefully vindicating and deeply satisfying. ... It made me laugh out loud every ten pages. Just as importantly, this book made me proud to be human.”
—Haddayr Copley-Woods, Aqueduct Press
“Ideas like [these] might do more to save marriage than anything else in today's social-theory landscape. Seriously.”
—Amy L. Keyishian, AOL Lemondrop
“Sex at Dawn is a thoroughly original discussion of the origins and nature of human sexuality. More important, it makes sense and is supported by wide-ranging interdisciplinary research. Its authors have a gift for making complex material easy for readers to understand. This breakthrough book features humor, passion, and rare insight.”
— Stanley Krippner, Ph.D., co-editor of Varieties of Anomalous Experience: Examining the Scientific Evidence
“Sex at Dawn is the best, most fascinating, most unsettling yet ultimately inspirational book on the evolutionary nature of human sexuality that's out there!”
— Susan Block, Ph.D., sexologist, author, radio and television host.
“Turns everything you thought you knew about sex on its head. A bold and unashamed assessment of the plentiful scientific data that illuminate the true origins and nature of human sexuality. Funny, engaging, and superbly written, this book explores the science behind what many of us suspected all along: human beings are not naturally monogamous.”
— Julie Holland, M.D., author of Weekends at Bellevue
“Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá have written the essential corrective to the evolutionary psychology literature. Sex at Dawn irrefutably shows that the urgent sexuality that is everywhere apparent in human society and which requires layers of religious, social, and psychological suppression was likewise a constant feature on the African savanna. The more dubious its evidentiary basis and lack of connection with current reality, the more ardently the scientific inevitability of monogamy is maintained -- even as it falls away around us. Thus Darwin and science have been corralled into the business of fomenting useless, irrational guilt. Drs. Ryan and Jethá make this all as transparent as glass, and do it with élan.”
— Stanton Peele, Ph.D., J.D., Author of Diseasing of America: How We Allowed Recovery Zealots and the Treatment Industry to Convince Us We Are Out of Control
“One of the most original books I've read in years, Sex at Dawn manages to beboth enormously erudite and wildly entertaining -- even, frequently, hilarious. Ryan and Jethá slip effortlessly across millions of years, from the savanna of prehistoric Africa to the contemporary bedroom, presenting cutting-edge research with clarity and wit. A must-read for anyone interested in where our sexual impulses come from, Sex at Dawn helps explain why modern men and women behave as strangely as we often do.”
— Tony Perrottet, author of The Naked Olympics: The True Story of the Ancient Games
“Sex At Dawn is a provocative and engaging synthesis of the latest research on human sexual evolution that has the added benefit of being a joy to read.”
— Eric Michael Johnson, Seed
But of course, not everyone loves Sex at Dawn...
"Not since the Holy Bible has any book so misunderstood the process that created human beings." – Robert Wright (link)
"A little while ago, I worried that the next time someone asked me about the book, Sex at Dawn, by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá, I might vomit." - David Barash (link)