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Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why Is Sex Fun? - Scott James

Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why Is Sex Fun?

By Scott James

  • Release Date: 2012-04-04
  • Genre: Arts & Entertainment
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Jared Diamonds Why is Sex Fun? is sexual anthropology for the layman. As he says in the quote from his preface above, hes speculating, not lecturing. He does it with wisdom, humor and a lot of insight based on research and a deep appreciation for his subject matter. He tackles topics we normally dont think about, like why only women lactate, or why we have sex when a woman isnt fertile.

He writes through a combination of historical, emotional, and anthropological perspectives. His aim is to enlighten and explain, and he does it by weaving together current scientific understanding and research with his own unique brand of extrapolation. Because of his background as a scientist, he takes the tone of an academic paper, but transcends the dry delivery that dooms most research. He stops short of pop science, a la Freakanomics or Malcolm Gladwell. Hes not just riffing possible theories from the research that others have done. Hes extending the inquiry and looking for answers to broad questions.


Scott James has a degree in English and has worked as a teacher, lecturer and editor for over a decade. He is a published author and poet, and freelances as a self-publishing and marketing consultant for start-ups. He lives in San Francisco with his wife.


In Why is Sex Fun?, Jared Diamond tackles a series of questions about human sexuality that are not easily explained by evolution. In each chapter he presents a question, explains why it is not easily answered (or not as easily answered as some scientists would have us believe), lays out several opposing points of view, and works through his reasoning

As humans, we tend to think that whatever other animals do is strange, but Diamond makes it clear from the beginning that when it comes to sex, we are the strange ones. We pair up for the long-term, share parental care, live close to other couples, have sex in private, hide ovulation, and get menopause. He lays out the argument that natural selection maximizes the transmission of genes, and for humans, doing that has meant developing sexual and reproductive behaviors that diverge dramatically from our closest animal relatives. Diamond seems to suggest that the rest of the animal kingdom looks at us and wonders, why do they do that?!

Diamond moves into even more contentious territory, delving into the Battle of the Sexes. Here he looks at why men and women have evolved to take on different roles in sexual reproduction and resulting child-rearing. Youll find no equal right arguments here; he makes a subtle case for gender roles having at least some basis in evolutionary necessity.


Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun?

+ About the Book

+ About the Author

+ Overall Summary

+ Chapter-by-Chapter Summaries

+ ...and much more

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