Why are humans one of the few species to have sex in private? Why do humans have sex any day of the month or yearincluding when the female is pregnant, beyond her reproductive years, or between her fertile cycles? Why are human females the only mammals to go through menopause? Why is the human penis so unnecessarily large? Why do we differ so radically in these and other important aspects of our sexuality from our closest animal relatives and ancestors?With wit and fascinating scientific expertise, the author of The Third Chimpanzee explores the mystifying evolutionary forces that gave shape to our sexual distinctions and shows how they contributed to what it means to be uniquely human.
This book speculates on the evolutionary forces that shaped the unique aspects of human sexuality: female menopause, males' role in society, having sex in private, andmost unusual of allhaving sex for fun instead of for procreation. Through comparative evolution, biologist and science author Diamond (Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fate of Human Societies, LJ 2/15/97), poses credible and thought-provoking yet entertaining factors: the lengthy period of dependency of human infants, sex for pleasure as the tie that helps bind a mother and a father together, and menopause as an evolutionary advantage that, by ending the childbearing years, allows females to pass wisdom and knowledge on to society and succeeding generations. Recommended for most libraries.Gloria Maxwell, Kansas City P.L., Kan.