In modern society, humans tend to uphold and promote monogamous relationships. From an evolutionary perspective, we may be inclined towards an egalitarian sexuality that embraces a sharing mentality, a bonding effect if you will. Christopher Ryan, a PhD of psychology and co-author of the book Sex at Dawn, spoke at the TED2013 conference about sex, apes, and humans. He states, “Human beings are not descended from apes, we are apes.” This concept is still difficult for many people to grasp. According to Ryan, we are very similar to chimps and bonobos in our sexual nature, with bonobos 'being famous for their sexual promiscuity and even homosexuality' as Ken Fisher states in his article in Ars Technica. How does this construct our perception of human sexuality in relation to egalitarianism? If all humans are sexual beings with close relations to chimps and bonobos, why does a distinct sexual divide continue to prevail in modern society?
Ken Fisher reveals that “the average human has sex about 1,000 times per birth.” Fisher further quotes Ryan, “we share that number of sexual encounters with chimps and bonobos, but other primates are vastly different. Gorillas and all other primates typically have sex only 12 times per birth.” Promiscuity is often viewed as something that should be avoided, especially amongst women. “Ryan argues that human sexuality evolved to function first and foremost as a bonding function, with reproduction being secondary.” Based on current gender constructs, female promiscuity is viewed negatively unless it’s associated with male desire and fantasy. Ryan argues that,”Sexual exclusivity came later, after the advent of agriculture and more complex notions of property and exclusivity arose. But this development doesn’t change our nature.”
The foundational premise of sexuality is a behavioral, psychological, physiological, and spiritual phenomenon that connects humanity. Everything else is merely a socialized construct which should be analyzed and assessed. As Ryan at TED2013 states, ‘The truth is that men are from Africa and women are from Africa’ as stated in Ken Fisher’s article. Perhaps that is a perception we should all consider as we embrace the natural, authenticity of egalitarian sexuality.