Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Table of Contents
Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? Table of Contents
By Scott James

Table of Contents

I. Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why
is Sex Fun?
About the Book

About the Author

Overall Summary

Chapter-by-Chapter Summaries

Character List or List of Important People

Key Terms & Definitions

Interesting Facts

Sources

Additional Reading

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Hyperink Quicklets

Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex
Fun? By Scott James Fun?
Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex
Fun? By Scott James Fun?

I.

Quicklet on Jared
Diamond's Why is Sex
Fun?

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Hyperink Quicklets

” Jared Diamond’s Why is Sex Fun? is sexual anthropology for the layman. Hyperink Quicklets 3 Hyperink Quicklets . then turns it back into a bigger question. and anthropological perspectives. His aim is to enlighten and explain. In the end. like why only women lactate. He writes through a combination of historical. As he says in the quote from his preface above. His own curiosity oozes out of the pages of the book. a la Freakanomics or Malcolm Gladwell. he is smart. or why we have sex when a woman isn’t fertile. He tackles topics we normally don’t think about. His enviable ability to turn scientific terms into interesting dinner conversation will do just that: get you thinking and talking about things that have never crossed your mind. and you feel lucky to be going on this kind of a journey of discovery and wonder with him. It’s like sitting down and having a conversation with your really smart uncle about the evolution of human sexuality. And all that science gobbledygook your high school science teacher was talking about that you forgot about? He makes sense of it. Most of us don’t realize how unusual human sexual practices are. He stops short of pop science. he’s not giving you the answers―he’s trying to figure them out. not lecturing. funny and engaging all at once. and he does it by weaving together current scientific understanding and research with his own unique brand of extrapolation.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? About the Book “The subject of sex preoccupies us… This book is a speculative account of how human sexuality came to be the way it now is. At every turn. He’s extending the inquiry and looking for answers to broad questions. emotional. compared to those of all other living animals. Because of his background as a scientist. He’s not just riffing possible theories from the research that others have done. but transcends the dry delivery that dooms most research. he’s speculating. and he lets you in on his thought process. humor and a lot of insight based on research and a deep appreciation for his subject matter. He does it with wisdom. he takes the tone of an academic paper.

both basic and baffling: sex.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? In a sense. Hyperink Quicklets 4 Hyperink Quicklets . this book is an evolution of our collective thinking about evolution of the one thing that will always be both unavoidable and taboo.

he is still sharp as a tack and writing sweeping. His earlier books focused on science. cultural and sociological topics. The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? About the Author “I’ll discuss the function of men’s penises and the reasons women but not men nurse their babies. a Ph. He writes from a multidisciplinary perspective on all of his topics. insightful and accessible writing on the human condition. and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies and Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed) look at the history and evolution of human society and culture. though. At seventy- four. Germs.D from Cambridge. while his recent work looks at larger historical. His other notable works include his first book. and is currently a professor in the department of Geology at UCLA. The answers to these two questions seem utterly obvious. Within even these questions. His more recent and popular books (Guns. lurk baffling unsolved problems.” Jared Diamond is a Pulitzer Prize winning author born in 1937 in Pennsylvania. He received his bachelor of arts from Harvard. Hyperink Quicklets 5 Hyperink Quicklets .

explains why it is not easily answered (or not as easily answered as some scientists would have us believe). You’ll find no equal right arguments here. have sex in private. share parental care. and get menopause. He lays out the argument that “natural selection maximizes the transmission of genes. lays out several opposing points of view. We pair up for the long-term. Why do men stray? To try and impregnate more women. doing that has meant developing sexual and reproductive behaviors that diverge dramatically from our closest animal relatives. And his conclusion is that the humans who have survived the best are the ones whose genes support the transmission of genetics.” Here he looks at why men and women have evolved to take on different roles in sexual reproduction and resulting child-rearing.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Overall Summary “Understanding how our sexuality evolved is fascinating not only in its own right but also in order to understand our other distinctively human features. In each chapter he presents a question. hide ovulation.” In Why is Sex Fun?. Diamond seems to suggest that the rest of the animal kingdom looks at us and wonders. live close to other couples. “why do they do that?!” Chapter 2 Diamond moves into even more contentious territory. It turns out it’s all about how we as individuals have the best chance of passing on our own genes. he makes a subtle case for gender roles having at least some basis in evolutionary necessity. but Diamond makes it clear from the beginning that when it comes to sex. Hyperink Quicklets 6 Hyperink Quicklets . we tend to think that whatever other animals do is strange. delving into the “Battle of the Sexes.” and for humans. not so much self-survival. thus passing on more genes. and works through his reasoning: Chapter 1 As humans. Jared Diamond tackles a series of questions about human sexuality that are not easily explained by evolution. we are the strange ones.

Why is Sex Fun?. females way back when who concealed their ovulation times confused the males about whether any given baby was theirs.it’s not that men can’t. Diamond surveys examples of spontaneous and coerced male lactation throughout the animal kingdom. Hyperink Quicklets 7 Hyperink Quicklets . and points to cases where human males also lactate. It turns out that there are dramatic differences in the value of providing paternal care for men and women. Chapter 4 Humans have sex all the time. So. in terms of conserving time and energy to procreate. females started using that to keep one male around. why do we do it? He concludes that it’s a result of a two stage evolution. and then to protect the baby. humans are creating babies in new ways. it’s that men don’t. But… why? In The Wrong Time for Love. and if we do. which turned out to be good for the survival of the baby. we can make it happen. And there’s no hormone to trigger it because of caretaker choices and roles that have evolved to favor men who don’t breast-feed babies. and keep them guessing about the right time to have sex. sex is fun. Then. and this has a very real influence on how we as humans act when we are parents. His final answer? Human males don’t lactate because there’s no hormone to trigger it. having sex anytime it’s not ideal to make a baby is a waste of time. well. once males had a hard time knowing which was which. He closes by noting that humans are starting to take “counter-evolutionary” choices. He points out that. Chapter 5 This leads to the next chapter’s question: “What are men good for?” The answers turn out to be pretty well aligned with many of the gender stereotypes we try so hard to question in the twenty-first century. and humans don’t just do it to procreate. or. thus passing on more genes. First. So. his best guess is that females hide ovulation to be confusing. we may soon find it advantageous for men to lactate. is a nod to the fact that. Most people would disagree. Chapter 3 Why don’t men breastfeed their babies? And that is the question. So.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Why do men stray? To try and impregnate more women. Why do women hide their ovulation? To keep men guessing about who is the daddy. The title of the book. Diamond examines why humans have sex at times that are not ideal for making a baby.

So. In a striking parallel to why rock stars. Why? For two reasons: so grandmothers can help raise grandchildren and so that tribes can have someone old around to remember rare things. So. and definitely the group where it is most common. it wears out as we get older. which broadcasts to women as having good genes. The other answer? Successful big game hunters get the girls. as the calorie count they bring in is often lower than what women produce gathering nuts and berries.000 years ago we were all pretty much naked. Diamond looks at the human penis. On a larger level. meaning their genes got passed on. on average. Those hunters get more chances to spread their genes. Diamond finds that being a good big game hunter brings status. Hyperink Quicklets 8 Hyperink Quicklets . It’s protection. women who stopped having babies were able to help keep their childrens’ children alive. it’s to show off. He points out that human men do the same thing with hair color. Tribes that had someone old around to tell them how to survive could make it through that time. have a 5 inch erect penis? Well. it’s not functional. like peacocks. why do men. and a million other things—all in effort to show off that we have the best genes and can offer the best chance of survival. Chapter 7 In the final chapter. The benefit of men hunting isn’t so much the game they bring back. buying expensive cars. respected “elders” in a tribal society were the only ones who could remember the last hurricane or other natural disaster that wiped out the food supply decades earlier. Really.that turns out to be a bonus. rather. The real benefit is in monitoring the territory for invaders and keeping their warrior skills honed to fight off any attackers. have an average penis length of less than 1 ½ inches.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? He looks first at why men hunt big game. both much larger in size than humans. Just because of how the human body is. Chapter 6 Why do human women go through menopause? Diamond already showed that humans are one of the few animals where this happens. He looks at other animals. 10. That means women who could get pregnant past age 40 or so are putting themselves in real danger of dying in childbirth. those who didn’t would die in large numbers. he looks at the question of “why is it so big?” He points out that orangutans and gorillas. and one of the best ways to show off was to have the largest penis. who use their non-functional and elaborate tail feathers to show off. athletes and rich guys attract women.

every other animal would look at us like we are crazy. What I find interesting is that in developed countries like the USA. Are single-parenting and choosing not to have children both part of a larger evolutionary plan to pass on certain genes? “We do not live as a solitary couple in our own territory” This almost feels like the most difficult one to think of any other way. Male wild animals try to spread their seed far and wide. It does bring up the larger question of why some people make the decision to not have children. sexuality completes the trinity of the decisive respects in which the ancestors of humans and great apes diverged. we automatically think of it as strange. But we are how we are for the same reason every other animal is the way it is: we all want to transmit our genes to the next generation. divorce and adultery. we do this because it’s the best chance of passing on our genes. hypothesizing about. that’s the best way to carry on your genes. Regardless of what we find. We just evolved to do it differently.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Chapter-by-Chapter Summaries The Animal with the Weirdest Sex Life “Along with posture and brain size. and drawing conclusions from scientific exploration of the world around us. This anthropocentric point of view shows glaringly through in terms of sex.” Diamond lays out the six major sexual differences between us and almost every other animal on the planet. While many animals Hyperink Quicklets 9 Hyperink Quicklets . and we see the social results in rising rates of staying single. “Long-term relationships” Humans are one of the few species that do it. We humans spend a lot of time examining. But it is still more standard to pair up and raise a family because in our world. Humans do this sometimes. if it’s different than how humans do it. there is a growing number of people choosing to be single parents. It turns out. and to top it off we base a lot of our moral code on it. “Share child-rearing responsibilities” Again.

most men want to delay having a baby until they can provide those things. and it is valuable to have old people around for care-taking and memory. The territorial pissings of animals rarely extend to spatial areas in the human world. of course. 60? “Sexual Cannibalism” Because the goal of any individual in a species. We do it all the time. But don’t touch her. money and a man who will stick around. Then the males all fight over who gets to sleep with her. going back to ancient texts. We have sex in private because. If we increasingly devalue older people (which is all of us. “Human females hide rather than advertise ovulation” Most female animals make a really big deal of when it is prime time to have a baby. Why? Nutrients.as in. I don’t mind if you eat your dinner at the same table where my wife and I are eating. is that now we have books and the Internet to do our collective remembering for us. hardly any live near each other when they are mating. “Most couples have sex in private” Animals don’t have privacy. someday) and at the same time fight to stay alive longer. most people do not want to get pregnant until many other criteria are fulfilled. In the Bible the first thing Adam and Eve noticed after eating the fruit was that they were naked.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? This almost feels like the most difficult one to think of any other way. what meaning will our collective culture be giving to life after. For insects like mantises. The difference there. birth and take care of a baby. Sounds a little like a bar in college. biologically speaking. say. Male and female humans want sex. the best Hyperink Quicklets 10 Hyperink Quicklets .the territorial part is about our bodies. we’ll share food and enjoy it. is to transmit its genes and make babies. being that the way human society has evolved. “Human women eventually go through menopause” Animal women don’t. In fact. Are we ashamed? Do we just not know how to deal with it? Do we just not want to share? Maybe a little of all of the above. and to know that the baby will be taken care of. I think. It takes a lot of energy to make. Sometimes we share houses. The most interesting thing here. some male insects willingly allow themselves to be eaten by their mates immediately after and sometimes during copulation. And on the male side. meaning shelter. but not the kids. Human women tend to want more stability. It’s an almost purely human concept. That’s the part we’ve kept. It gets more dangerous for humans to have babies as we age. While many animals travel in herds or packs. and we have day-care and babysitters to do the extra child-care.

they would declare our child support laws absurd. we’re aberrations in the animal world.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? chance the male has of his genes living on is to let the female eat him and get strong. and especially among mammals. The way he tells it. which is all about the female being dangerous to the male. This video from Animal Planet shows mantis sex and the eating. and most other mammal species could express their opinion. or are we moving further and further from the natural instincts that have gotten us this far? “Choices” Most scientists talk about the choices that animals make. when in fact most of these are not “choices. The Battle of the Sexes “Alas for sexual equality. when the reality is he is a completely willing participant and not trying to get away. At points in this chapter I had to sit back and think hard about the modern perspective I like to think I have about gender politics. it seems that what is inside of me has been nurtured over millions of generations. including humans. so that they could have more chances to reproduce with other mates. “Behavior Genes” The genes that determine our behavior. I’ve always been more of a nurture than a nature guy in that debate. The reason we all tend to behave a certain way is because we are all products of the genes for behavior that have won the natural selection battle.” Animals. are genetically inclined in strong ways to act certain ways. It’s interesting to listen to the narration. If orangutans. both parents would love to abandon their children sooner.” In this chapter. But it turns out that men leaving and women having a soft spot for children are products of the same selfish desire: we all want our genes to live on when we die. I believe in gender equality. But the nurturing is not just of me by my parents and my environment. they are too busy seeking other females to inseminate. but does nature? Is the current belief system of humans the next stage in social evolution. Most male mammals have no involvement with either their offspring or their offspring’s mother after inseminating her. giraffes. just like those that transmit disease. “Genetic Transmission” Hyperink Quicklets 11 Hyperink Quicklets . and I think I still am. have to deal with natural selection. Diamond explains the ancient game of chicken that all parents play to determine who is going to take care of the children.

feeding and mating. The bird who is more concerned with keeping itself alive will have starving chicks. Once they get one female pregnant. Diamond points out that in well under a year. She has more of a reason to stick with it. Diamond uses the example of Pied Flycatchers. mommy or daddy. For example. The female has put time. Even for the “other woman” it’s a good deal: she has a mate who is strong enough to bring home the bacon. making for better chances to pass on their genes. it’s time to start feeding the first baby. they leave her to keep the eggs warm and head off to find another female. The males help rear babies in this species. energy and a lot of risk into carrying and birthing the baby. Then he goes back and forth. a man can produce 40 million or more sperm in each ejaculation. mom and dad both want to go and make another one. Essentially. birds with a stronger instinct to bring food to their chicks will give those chicks a better chance of surviving. So when men say they want freedom. it’s better than having a mate all to herself who can’t provide. Diamond points out that many men make the same argument to their mistresses… “How Many Kids Can One Man Have?” Numerically speaking. or a woman says she’s doing it for her kids. Why do men end up winning most of the time? Because they’ve invested significantly less resources in creating the baby. but they are also serial philanderers. “Co-Parenting” Yes. are both just smoke-screening for their desire to pass on their genes? “Playing Chicken” Diamond describes the decision about who will take care of the kids. By the time he gets her pregnant. This is why people say (and mean) that they will do anything for their kids.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Every animal is driven to transmit its genes to the next generation more than for self- preservation. as soon as the baby is born. The chances are better for a female if she takes excellent care of the baby she has. and thus carrying on the gene to bring food to chicks. That’s why we all want to mate. any man could produce enough sperm to Hyperink Quicklets 12 Hyperink Quicklets . “Natural Selection” It’s good for both males and females to have multiple offspring. there are some other animals where both mother and father raise the babies together. But the chances are better for a male if he mates with as many females as he can. as a bluffing game. Even if she has to share him.

and risky venture. so there was no need for that gene to get passed on.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? impregnate every woman in the world. Cases of spontaneous lactation have long been known in male domestic goats. Unless there was one ruler of the world and he went crazy with artificial insemination stuff. you can. you just don’t. that’s mathematically possible.” I can hear all the men out there screaming “We can’t!” Well. If not. And if we add hormones to the mix. Did you know that there have been repeated cases of “beautiful women fashion models not realizing that they are actually men with a single mutant gene until genetically tested as adults” ? I didn’t either. we have a female.” “Hermaphrodites” There are plenty of cases where chromosomes aren’t XX or XY. All embryos start out with “bipotential” gonad that can become either testes or ovaries. the person is most like a female. With all of the other medical advances that help us live longer. This shows the determining factor of the Y. He fathered 700 sons. If there is a Y chromosome present. a considerable fraction of men experience breast development and milk production even without having been treated hormonally. As endocrinologist Alfred Jost says: “Becoming a male is a prolonged. An X and a Y create a male. happier lives. healthier. it is a kind of struggle against inherent trends towards femaleness. Enzyme abnormalities can also mean that gonads or reproductive organs don’t develop fully. lactation lies within the physiological potential of men. Hyperink Quicklets 13 Hyperink Quicklets . The conclusion is that it takes the special act of a Y chromosome to change the natural course of the gonad if there is no Y present. we have a male. but not practical. Thus. When it’s one X only or XXX. will male lactation be added to the changing list of what it means to be a man in the twenty-first century? “X and Y Chromosomes” Two X chromosomes create a female. There is plenty more to learn about variation in chromosomes if you are interested. The record for most lifetime offspring goes to Emperor Ismail the Bloddthirsty of Morocco. But men are capable. the person is most like a male. And that’s not counting the daughters. Men have a habit of not sticking around to rear the children. and Diamond lists instances of spontaneous lactation in males both human and in other species. and the first case of male lactation in a wild mammal species has been reported recently. When it is XXY. uneasy. Sure. Why Don’t Men Breast Feed Their Babies? “Under certain conditions. it isn’t that hard to get human males producing milk.

cooking food and cleaning. In case a dumb male still misses the Hyperink Quicklets 14 Hyperink Quicklets . the tinkering with the chemical makeup of our collective bodies. There are examples in the Bible that Diamond cites. There are stories about females nursing a friend or family member’s baby when they could not. The bottom line is. Men can also do it with hormones. There are even stories about it happening in POW’s who have long-term starvation. The answer as to whether we need it to happen has long been no. females can do it when they need to. but. “Specialization” The overall message? Human gender roles have evolved with specialized purposes. “Female Lactation without childbirth?” This also happens. women are more prone to lactate. She also gives off a distinctive smell. perhaps. but also of breast feeding.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? “Testosterone” Like any hormone. As Diamond says. the skin around her vagina swells and turns a bright red color visible at a distance. Will we still get there? Or will we just end up keeping ourselves how we are when we are younger? “Male Lactation” It happens. we have come to think of it as a strange occurrence. Men naturally start to have declining testosterone levels after 30. but messing with some longer-term evolution we were on the way to. It is common for a woman who adopts a baby to begin lactating within weeks. they made some evolutionary sense. So the answer as to whether it can happen is yes. Wrong Time for Love “Neither a male nor female baboon needs a hormonal test kit to detect the female’s ovulation… Instead. In the same way that women have ovaries and men have testes. All of this makes me think about the gender roles of the 1950’s. both now and throughout history. and men less so. I wonder sometimes whether the hormone treatments that we are getting better at. but because it is not often necessary. it is not an infrequent thing when teenage boys self- stimulate their nipples. It will be interesting to see if our changing concept of gender roles in modern society shift to such a point that men are expected to share the duties not only of washing dishes. Maybe it wasn’t fair in our modern sense of the concept. is doing a lot of short-term good for us as individuals. The question now is much more whether we want it to happen or not. the effects are different on each person.

Imagine a world where women walked around wearing special clothes when they were fertile. “Why Do Animals Broadcast It?” Specifically because it takes a lot of energy and time. In Diamond’s assessment. Even though this makes us a bit strange. Humans don’t have those problems. We’ve got plenty of energy because we have a high level of control over our food supply. “Sex to Promote Family Values Theory” One theory is that women offer sex all the time in order to keep a man around. there is very little risk to our lives. from sexually transmitted infections that would attack us from the inside rather than some kind of attacker preying upon us during the sex act. In terms of evolutionary benefit. which are protected. “Humans are Strange” The result? Humans have evolved to have sex at any time of the month—we don’t pay attention to the ovulation cycles. there are no definitive signs. paradoxically. we would probably view that as a type of scarlet letter. The risks now with sex are.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? point. and because it’s risky. Women further conceal ovulation and menstruation in modern society. It’s a huge waste of effort in the eternal quest to pass on our genes.” “How Do We Know it’s Time?” Human females don’t know with 100% certainty when the time is right for them to be fertile. Beyond some general feelings and sensations. We have test kits to measure temperatures to give us an accurate idea. This is the classic theory that Hyperink Quicklets 15 Hyperink Quicklets . Women are open to and ask for sex even when they aren’t fertile. and men ask for it and do it even when their partners are not fertile. And because we do it mostly in our homes. I can’t imagine many humans wanting to shift to a society where we only have sex a few times a month around a certain day. It does take time. this means that he will be there to protect her and the child rather than be out looking for other partners. but humans have a lot of free time. this makes us strange for three reasons: We have sex continuously. she crouches in front of him and presents her hindquarters.

That means that men don’t know the best time to get their partners pregnant.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? anthropologists have used to explain the human condition. and when we are older that something does. At present. “A Woman with Multiple Partners vs. or. the way we diverged has a lot to do with how our sexuality has evolved. In some ways. Of course. The result is that we have sex all the time. And just as our industrial inventions have separated us further than ever from the way we lived for thousands of years. They may have neighbors. In order to keep other aggressive males from killing her children. Like. hoping when we are younger that nothing happens. essentially fooling them all into thinking it might be theirs. I want to say that if this is true it’s clever. Diamond theorizes that men have accepted these ground rules to such a degree that they stay at home long enough to establish nuclear families. chimps are promiscuous. It’s interesting. there are holes in this. This keeps them all from killing the baby. “The Missing Link” Scientist theorize that about 9 million years ago there was a “missing link” species that came between primitive primates and three closely related mammals: chimps. typically live exclusively in their own territory. on the other hand. “Concealed Ovulation” Human females conceal ovulation. The simple answer is separate territory. but they don’t socialize. humans are monogamous. In both cases. gorillas and humans. ensuring that the woman’s baby carries on her genes. given men’s tendency to sleep around. Infanticide” Infanticide is common in the animal kingdom. So. why stick around when she’s pregnant then? “Separate Territory” One question is why human females offer sex all the time when most other animals do not. that this is not how our society evolved. and now we live largely in cities. and gorillas live in harems. one theory is that a female will copulate with many males and conceal ovulation in order to confuse them. and it has a long history in the evolution of humans. there are plenty of women around for any man to have sex with. is up for debate. human women offer sex all the time to keep a man at home because there are lots of other women around. When it became morally “wrong” to not do this. our modern conveniences may also Hyperink Quicklets 16 Hyperink Quicklets . not all men stay. Humans used to live in tribes. Animals with long-term partners. though.

It’s a question we all hear at some point or other. Women produce 10. However.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? be moving us away from the usefulness of many of the sexual habits that define us as human. she finally gave up and hired a housekeeper. The women stay at home. Modern human city- Hyperink Quicklets 17 Hyperink Quicklets . First. and men find themselves without what was largely their traditional role. But still. Averaged out over a year. The answer? His job is to protect her. and we witness the disconnect on a daily basis. In our modern society. What Are Men Good For? “Just like men!” She explained that her own husband was much better than most men. Once this was the norm. Most Americans would be outraged and wonder why he wouldn’t help her. has not caught up.356. and avoided helping with the household and with their two children. thus keeping him at home. females continued to conceal but started offering consistent sex to one male. In a post-feminist world. Both men and women have played a variety of roles throughout the history of human evolution. His job is to watch out and be ready to defend her and his family against anything that comes out of the forest. because he encouraged her career aspirations. in short. who still live in their traditional way. “Protection” Diamond tells a poignant story about watching a New Guinea tribesman saunter along a path in the forest while his wife bent over carrying logs and food. pound starch from palm trees. “Conclusion” Diamond concludes that humans are the way we are because of a two-part evolution. watched television while at home on the weekend. sometimes those questions are louder and more pointed. the men hunt. proceeding the idea of women as property and marriage as a way to ensure peace or property. and gather fruit and insect larvae. men bring back 9. this isn’t much of a concern. Evolution. The men go and hunt big game. She had repeatedly asked him to help. “Big Game Hunting for Calories?” Diamond looks at a study of the Aché tribe in Paraguay. This could certainly be it’s own chapter in the history of marriage.634 calories per day. developed world. but never has the role of men changed so drastically so quickly as it is in the modern. females started concealing ovulation in order to fool men and keep them from killing the children. he spent most evenings with other men from his office.

In every other species. So. they try to impress girls by doing crazy and often stupid things. It turns out. it is normal for a human female to lose the ability to bear children. From the perspective of evolution. A man maximizes his chances by having as many partners as possible. And that’s what it’s all about. “Big Game Hunting for Protection?” It turns out that the benefit of men going hunting is not the calories. protected children. albeit often a painful one anticipated with foreboding. More girls means more kids. which means more genes passed on. The paradox is that a woman is better off married to a provider. human female menopause is an aberration in the animal world and an intellectual paradox. men who are the best big game hunters got more girls in traditional society as well. menopause is an inevitable fact of life. though. Making More By Making Less “To laypeople. When men get older. females can and do reproduce until they die. With the medical advances allowing us to live longer and do many things until we are older. But to evolutionary biologists.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? living isn’t that different at the core. We are so used to this that we do not question it. they pretty much do the same thing. does that make us less natural? “Big Game Hunting for Girls?” When men are young. when men throw away hundreds of dollars on bottle service at a club. but humans are the only species on earth where this is common. but a man is better off not being a provider. Men who are used to hunting are in shape and ready to defend their territory against invading tribes or dangerous animals. The real benefit to the women and children is that they are constantly on alert. will modern medicine successfully take on and “defeat” the aberration of human female menopause? Hyperink Quicklets 18 Hyperink Quicklets .” After age 50 or so. this is not the best choice for men. respect and celebrate a man who sticks around to provide for his wife and children. it is evolution at work. And it begs the question: if we are more civilized. “The Paradox” In modern society. if not more civilized. This makes a culture like Sparta sound more natural. which is more of a bonus. we value. A woman maximizes her chances of passing on her genes by having healthy.

but in traditional societies. or naturally select women who create eggs continuously for their entire lives if this were the case? “Body Upkeep” There are two ways to maintain the body. they have often accumulated several children and have put Hyperink Quicklets 19 Hyperink Quicklets . Automatic maintenance as a human is built in and lasts around seventy years in modern healthy humans.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? “It Makes Us Special” Diamond makes a personal comment at the beginning of this chapter. The retort. Most animals have eyes and a mouth. so it does. the risk of injury was much higher. It makes us human. But only we have menopause. is then why do they have only that many eggs? Wouldn’t nature provide young female humans with enough eggs for their entire lives. Which makes me wonder: what if women did continue having babies into their seventies? How different would our society be? And with the growing popularity of artificial insemination and test tube babies. will we develop methods to freeze eggs and allow women to have babies when they retire? “Menopause Needs no Explanation” Another theory that Diamond discredits is the idea that we don’t need to account for menopause. and qualitatively different from. the ape. “Menopause as Artifact?” One theory is that menopause is leftover from when humans had shorter life-spans.” I love this sentiment. We’ve gotten much better at repairing things these days. and it makes me think. so those don’t make us special. Diamond alludes to Henry Ford’s belief that the best built car is the one where everything wears out at the same time. and the ability to repair was much lower. Diamond shoots this down by pointing out that every other biological function works much longer. He writes: “I believe that female menopause was among the biological traits essential for making us distinctively human– a creature more than. of course.by regular or automatic maintenance or by repairing something that is broken. “Why Women Have Menopause” By the time women are forty. It’s a rare personal comment rather than a conclusion. It is just what happens when women run out of the number of eggs they naturally have when they develop.

they could remember what other. Hyperink Quicklets 20 Hyperink Quicklets . Older people in a tribe were especially important when something rare happened or something disastrous. “How Do Females Pick Their Mate?” In short. to pick up women.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? a lot of time. often employing multiple signals that make it extremely obvious that it’s time to mate. relationship skills. Losing the ability to create children is not advantageous to men passing on genes at any point in life. “The Value of Memory” Before writing existed. Truth in Advertising “In selecting our mates and sex partners. We humans have dozens of ways that mean try. How men show that off differs greatly by species. Animals take a much more direct route. When a hurricane wiped out the typical food supply. If a rare animal appeared. a mother is at risk during childbirth. Animals tend to stick to one method per species. successfully or not. he can do that just as well at age seventy as at age seventeen. Why? Because they had the best chance of remembering the last time it happened. less desirable foods would still suffice and not be poisonous. There’s plenty of literature trying to explain it. The validity of this kind of oral history is surprisingly accurate. and it boils down to who puts on the best show. “Why Men Don’t Have Menopause” Simply put. If a man is going to donate sperm and then leave anyway. energy and risk into raising them. or entice them into marriage. creating children is not dangerous or time-intensive for men. Once she has children. the only way to pass on information was through storytelling. Each birth is dangerous. there are years of strange and awkward moments that are meant to impress each other. and genes? The answer is simple: nonsense!” When teenagers start to realize that they like each other. they remembered a story from childhood to pass on. don’t we go through a dating phase that is in effect a long series of tests by which we accurately assess a prospective partner’s parenting skills. often done by elders of a group. and every birthing session puts her current children at risk of her dying. which attests to just how much it is on our collective minds. they try to pick the guy with the best genes. it becomes a better idea for a woman to stop and just take care of the ones she has. but men and women often remain a mystery to each other forever. Most people get the hang of it after a while.

in fact. But Diamond thinks the penis is. At that point they stopped changing as a species and simply favored the males who could survive with the largest physical trait. the best because he is surviving with it. it’s largely having body fat in the right places in the right proportions: the breasts and the butt. this would be the equivalent of men spending all the money they had on women. but never borrowing to spend more. The message at that point is that he has such great genes that he can get by just fine even with the handicap. In humans. “Who’s Got the Biggest Penis?” It sounds like a game junior high boys give each other a hard time about. in effect. but an honest and true representation of better genes. In humans. “Overdoing It” Another theory says that males will overgrow a certain physical trait to the extent that it is actually a burden. He points out that orangutans and gorillas are both much bigger than us. or giving someone a head start when challenging them to a race. muscles. a perfect example of humans having an oversized physical trait. For women. “Wow. with the intent of impressing the girls watching. I see this as the rapper who wears a lot of bling because. but both Hyperink Quicklets 21 Hyperink Quicklets . of course. In this theory. or any show of financial well-being (say. the animal with the biggest physical trait is.” Humans do too. “Truth in Advertising” A third theory is that the overgrown physical trait is no show. like a peacock tail feather. animals do some crazy things. I imagine this being the equivalent to a boy challenging another boy to a fight with one arm tied behind his back.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? “Runaway Theory” One theory is that males grow out a particular physical trait. he’s got a lot of extra money to throw around. but we are just so used to the signals that we don’t think of them as signals. paying the check on a date?) are messages that say that man is successful and has good genes. Donald Trump comes to mind as a good example of this playing out in the business community. “Humans Do it Too” Most people would shake their heads and say. And there is plenty of evidence that that is just not the case. Things on men like hair or hair color. until it becomes a hindrance to survival. well.

These days we keep it hidden. nudity was far more common.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? have penises that are less than 2 inches when erect. Hyperink Quicklets 22 Hyperink Quicklets . The average human penis is about 5 inches erect. and having a large penis was a great way to show off good genes. but in traditional societies.

Jost was a French researcher who discovered and proved that a fetus only becomes male when certain hormones act on it. Brigitta Sillén-Tullberg and Anders Møller: Swedish biologists who did a study on the looked at humans. This theory says that animals as a species change over time because certain traits enable them to thrive. Darwin’s research led to the theory of natural selection. which states that men don’t kill their own children. Alfred Jost: Diamond quotes him as saying that “Becoming a male is a prolonged. this kind of differentiation can lead to an entirely new species being created. Sir Ronald Fisher: Geneticist from Great Britain. Diamond looks at her “Many-fathers” theory. Sarah Hrdy: Anthropologist at UC Davis. and risky venture. Richard Alexander and Katharine Noonan: Biologists at the University of Michigan. Diamond examines their “Daddy-at-home” theory of why women hide ovulation. Hyperink Quicklets 23 Hyperink Quicklets . Over longer periods. it is a kind of struggle against inherent trends towards femaleness. Diamond refers to his research and theories repeatedly. chimps and gorillas around similarities and differences in hiding ovulation. Kristen Hawkes and team: Anthropologist at the University of Utah. uneasy. Diamond examines his sex-signal “runaway selection model” that theorizes that males developed exaggerated size of a particular physical trait to impress females to the point of where it got in the way of surviving. so it’s better to keep certainty about fatherhood a secret to protect the baby from many potential fathers. and stopped there. Diamond sites a series of studies she did about hunting and gathering in traditional tribal societies.” This is in reference to how X and Y chromosomes produce male and female humans.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Character List or List of Important People Charles Darwin: Father of evolutionary biology and author of Origin of the Species.

showing both that the male has the ability and resources to grow it. which claims that an exaggerated physical trait is attractive because it is honest. thus showing that they have great genes. Hyperink Quicklets 24 Hyperink Quicklets . Astrid Kodric-Brown and James Brown: Zoologists from the USA. and that they can survive just fine with it. Diamond examines their sex-signal “truth in advertising” theory. Diamond looks at Zahavi’s sex-signal theory that males develop an exaggerated physical trait specifically to show that they can survive even with that purported hindrance.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Amotz Zahavi: Zoologist from Israel. Don’t get me started on a sex-signal theory from a guy named James Brown.

which theorizes that animals are the way they are now because of a natural process of genetic mutations and changes that made some versions better able to survive in the wild. Sexual Signals: What an animal does to show that it is interested in mating. Enzyme: one molecular ingredient. Hunter-gatherers: Tribes of people who primarily got their food from males hunting big game and females gathering plants. sounds. Infanticide: The act of killing an infant. the enzymes he talks about are those that produce typical gender traits. Evolution: the theory that a species experiences genetic changes over many generations based on adapting to its environment Fertilization: when the sperm from a male enters the egg from a female. and what happens when the genes that tell them what to do mutate. Genes: bundles of chromosomes that carry instructions for the human body to grow and self-generate. odors.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Key Terms & Definitions Chromosomes: microscopic packages of twenty-three pairs of genes bundled in each body cell. specified by one gene. Estrogen: a normal hormone released in females to produce breast growth and milk production. or any other action. Natural Selection: A famous part of Darwin’s Origin of the Species of Man. typically a female. These can visual. Lactation: The process of a creating and secreting milk through the breast. Typically done by a male invading a new territory and taking on new female mates. Hyperink Quicklets 25 Hyperink Quicklets . Here.

Hyperink Quicklets 26 Hyperink Quicklets . 138. the Kansas Board of Education voted to outlaw the teaching of evolution in public schools.” The Internet porn industry generates at least $12 billion in revenue annually (from 2006 study). and was first used to denote sexual intercourse in the early twentieth century. as of 2000 CE.534 billion men vs. 7 out of 10 teens have had sex by the time they turn 19. Jared Diamond wrote a paper arguing that adopting farming could have been the worst mistake in human history.5 inches.” which would connect it to secare "to divide or cut. The longest documented human penis is 13. There are more men women in the world.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Interesting Facts Charles Darwin was one of the first to use actual photographs to illustrate a scientific text in 1872.1 million men.488 billion women. They reversed this ban in 2001." It originally meant something along the lines of half the race/people. There are more women than men in the USA. 143. 3. The word “sex” is "commonly taken with seco as division or 'half' of the race.4 million women vs. In 1999. “Men who had five or more ejaculations weekly while in their 20s reduced their risk of getting prostate cancer later by a third. 3.

Semen Analysis Magnus Hirshfeld Archive. A History of Ancient Greece Genetic. Mantis Sex Clip Center For Strategic and International Studies. Humans Still Follow Old Mating Rituals Darwin Online. Gender Equality: Leave it to Evolution Mayo Clinic. History of Marriage History World. What are X & Y chromosome variations? New York Times. Testosterone Therapy WebMD.org.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Sources Animal Planet. The Complete Works of Charles Darwin Hyperink Quicklets 27 Hyperink Quicklets . DNA Backs a Tribe’s Tradition of Early Descent from the Jews ABC News.

Let’s Talk About Sex. Articles about gender roles UC-Berkeley.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James Fun? Additional Reading American Scientist. 11 Facts about Sex Education in the USA YouTube. by Salt -n.Pepa Hyperink Quicklets 28 Hyperink Quicklets . Evolution 101 DoSomething. An Interview with Jared Diamond New York Times.org.

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He lives in San Francisco with his wife.com Get in touch: Hyperink Quicklets 30 Hyperink Quicklets . @scottandjames http://scottandrewjames.Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? By Scott James About The Author Quicklet on Jared Diamond's Why is Sex Fun? About The Author By Scott James About The Author Scott James 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.

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