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Sex At Dawn: a boon to the open relationships crowd

From the Sex At Dawn website
From the Sex At Dawn website
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  • Christopher Ryan 5 years ago

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments. Looking forward to the interview.

  • Alan PolyintheMedia 5 years ago

    Hi Kamela, and thanx for the link.

    I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop -- for someone to come out with a serious rebuttal to the book, as opposed to half-baked rants. The book zings and disses so many big names in the anthro world, and has turned Ryan into such a pop phenom, that I'm sure knives must be sharpening right now. Should be interesting (stocks up on popcorn).

    Alan M.

  • Alan PolyintheMedia 5 years ago

    Okay, a question for your interview:

    "Megan McArdle, the business and economics editor for The Atlantic, accuses you of 'cherry-picking' data to make your case. How do you respond?"

    Alan M.

  • Nick S 5 years ago

    Alan, personally, I'd respond "that's what Megan McArdle says every time she disagrees with anyone on anything".

    Kamela, much as I certainly welcome the findings here, I think it's overly tempting to use the idea that something is a state of nature as an argument for it. The fact that our ancestors did something is no more an argument for the things that we agree with (communal marriage, not bombing people) than the ones we disagree with (chattel slavery, wiping out whole species because it's easier than hunting them individually).

  • Anonymous 5 years ago

    I'd say the same about Megan McArdle; the less added to her addled commentary, the better.

    I hear you about being suspicious of calling something "natural" just because it agrees with our desired outcome; I'm wary of it as well. If you read the book, you'll see that Ryan and Jetha aren't arguing for polyamory as a new social structure; they are merely pointing out some of the possible, very compelling reasons why monogamy and its strictures seem to be so difficult for most human beings to manage well. What I like about this is not the easy out of saying, "Hey, our ancestors did it; that means it must be right." In fact, they consistently strive to point out that they are not trying to paint our ancestors as more "noble" than us; just using different survival strategies. What the book does do is give us some perspective on a huge cultural crutch that we have been told time and time again is the natural state for our species: monogamous pair-bonding. Having some solid evidence that the vast majority of us who cannot and do not mate monogamously for life aren't broken, wrong, or insane is, well, nice.

    Also, just for the sake of accuracy: I'm fairly sure that the nomadic, non-agricultural, hunter-gatherer tribes that they focus on weren't ever slave-holders; they'd have no reason to be. And there's some recent evidence that humans did not hunt mammoths to extinction.

  • Kamela 5 years ago

    That "anonymous" commenter was me (Kamela), by the way.

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