Evolution and Human Sexual Behavior by Peter B. Gray

By Peter B. Gray

Few issues come extra obviously to us than sex—or so it will appear. but to a chimpanzee, the sexual practices and customs we take without any consideration would seem bizarre certainly. she or he may perhaps ask yourself why we hassle with inconveniences like outfits, why we wish to make love on a mattress, and why we fuss so needlessly over privateness. Evolution and Human Sexual Behavior invitations us into the thought-experiment of imagining human intercourse from the vantage element of our primate cousins, with a view to underscore the position of evolution in shaping all that occurs, biologically and behaviorally, whilst romantic passions are aroused.

Peter grey and Justin Garcia supply an interdisciplinary synthesis that pulls at the most modern discoveries in evolutionary conception, genetics, neuroscience, comparative primate learn, and cross-cultural sexuality reviews. they're our courses via an exploration of the styles and adaptations that exist in human sexuality, in chapters overlaying subject matters starting from the evolution of intercourse transformations and reproductive body structure to the origins of sexual play, monogamous unions, and the evidence and fictions surrounding orgasm.

meant for regularly curious readers of all stripes, this up to date, one-volume survey of the evolutionary technology of human sexual habit explains why sexuality has remained a middle fascination of people all through time and throughout cultures.

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Shifts in locomotion likely affected variations in sexual behavior. How, for example, would a pelvis shaped for bipedalism influence the orientation of the vaginal barrel and thus intercourse? The early hominins gave way to australopithecines (Klein 2009; Wood and Lonergan 2008). The so-called gracile forms of Australopithecus evolved by around 4 million years ago, from one of the earlier hominins. Gracile australopithecines lived in both eastern and southern Africa, and they gave rise to so-called robust australopithecines (or what some called Paranthropus), with the “robust” referring to its larger teeth and jaw-muscle attachments, in turn presumably related to derived dietary differences.

Although this may appear to be painful for the male wolf— and may make some men cringe—it ensures that no other males can  E VO L U T I O N A N D H U M A N S E X U A L B E H AV I O R attempt to mate with that female until the stuck male’s sperm has had some time to travel through the female reproductive system. Indeed, all kinds of interesting traits in males would otherwise be puzzling without the evolutionary lens provided by studying the effects of sperm competition. Among the phenotypic highlights of sperm competition are the largest testicles in the world (belonging to a right whale), which weigh nearly as much as a small car (Birkhead 2000), and superlong sperm cells produced by male flies that, when stretched out, are many times longer than the male’s own body (the equivalent of a human sperm stretching the length of a football field).

Now let us look in detail at the evidence and rationales for these kinds of inferences. The comparative primate evidence, and especially the patterns among chimpanzees and bonobos, provides a rationale for the reconstruction of a multi-male, multi-female mating system in early hominin groups. Furthermore, the earliest fossil material that may represent the first hominins is found in East and Central Africa, dates to around 5 to 7 million years ago, and includes creatures similar in body size to today’s chimpanzees.

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