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Publisher's Summary

To us humans, the sex lives of many animals seem weird. In fact, by comparison with all the other animals, we are the ones with the weird sex lives. How did that come to be?Just count our bizarre ways. We are the only social species to insist on carrying out sex privately. Stranger yet, we have sex at any time, even when the female can't be fertilized (for example, because she is already pregnant, post-menopausal, or between fertile cycles). A human female doesn't know her precise time of fertility and certainly doesn't advertise it to human males by the striking color changes, smells, and sounds used by other female mammals. 

Why do we differ so radically in these and other important aspects of our sexuality from our closest ancestor, the apes? Why does the human female, virtually alone among mammals go through menopause? Why does the human male stand out as one of the few mammals to stay (often or usually) with the female he impregnates, to help raise the children that he sired? Why is the human penis so unnecessarily large? 

There is no one better qualified than Jared Diamond - renowned expert in the fields of physiology and evolutionary biology and award-winning author - to explain the evolutionary forces that operated on our ancestors to make us sexually different. With wit and a wealth of fascinating examples, he explains how our sexuality has been as crucial as our large brains and upright posture in our rise to human status.

©1997 Jared Diamond (P)2018 Recorded Books

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  • Riley
  • 10-02-2019

Birds!

I understand how similar the sexual habits of certain birds are to those of humans. However, I often had the impression that the title should have been “Why js Sex Fun for Birds?” I think Diamond was trying to show that there’s precedent for certain patterns or characteristics. That’s definitely relevant. But sometimes it was just too parenthetical, especially if you’re already familiar with some (human) evolutionary psychology. I got the feeling that he was tip-toeing around the conclusions one has to draw after reading the literature on human sexuality. I don’t blame him, but often I just wanted him to get to the point and talk about humans. You can learn a lot if this is your first book on the subject of the evolution of human sexuality, but not more than the odd tidbit if you’re more familiar with it.

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  • joe sample
  • 06-10-2020

Very good...but needs an update

I really enjoy all of Diamond's works. As is true with Why Is Sex Fun?, Diamond's work can be thick with scientific detail (which I like) making a lay reader gloss over. This book provides an in depth review of sexuality from a human evolutionary perspective. I appreciated the reviews of theories to understand human sexual reproduction, but we never really got to understand the "fun" part. There's a growing amount of research on just this aspect of human sexuality that, in my opinion, lends more credence to the many partner theory of human sexual behavior. There are biological, psychological, and cultural aspects with the "fun" of human sexual behavior that I don't feel we really got to understand in this book. I say an update is in order. I would love to see Diamond refresh this book.

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  • Robert Lovelace
  • 23-05-2020

Less Interesting than Other Diamond Books

Compared to other Jared Diamond books, "Why is sex fun" was less captivating and a bit dry. Although still seemingly well-researched it doesn't seem to be diamonds Forte as other anthropological topics of his. The book lacks some of the usual humor and interesting antidotes that are in his other reads. The book gives one some interesting things to consider, at the end however I was left with just kind of a ho-hum reaction.

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  • Rurik McKaiser
  • 26-04-2019

Definately a good read

What a refreshing book. Packed with wonderful science and awesome explanations. Diamond is just such an amazing Reseacher.

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  • Samuel Aldrich
  • 03-12-2018

Great book, but a bit short for the subject

Like the book but I find it a bit short for the subject and it didn’t touch on some points of other books discussing the same subjects.

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  • MattLeese87
  • 21-01-2019

Insightful book but the title question is only partially answered

I found this book to be interesting and insightful, though its title is deceiving. Jared Diamond does a great job walking through the evolution of sex in animals and humans and the behaviors and biology associated with it, but he does little to clearly answer the question, “Why is sex fun?” The book wraps up without a proper conclusion that encompasses everything from the previous chapters. Still, it is possible to read the hints along the course of the book that may contribute to why humans seem to have sex all the time without the intent of having children as a result. I think this book has some valuable insight and would be helpful information to include in a sex education course.

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  • Mr Ben Bland
  • 04-07-2018

Good but short

Thorough, well argued and entertaining, as with everything else I've read by Jared Diamond. But it's a short book with a relatively narrow theme and not much of a clear, singular idea, compared with the likes of 'Guns, Germs and Steel'.

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