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I have not read either but off the top of my head I would say however humans are now, that's how humans were then. It the written records we have going back everything we talk about now was done. "There is nothing new under the sun"
Being human, adapting to jungle, desert, equatorial seashore, and arctic mountain, we can probably expect similar adaptation sexually. We might want to lose stoning for adulterers.
Reading Sex at Dawn should lead you down a path of research rather than be taken as the ultimate authority on the subject. The authors make quite a number of assumptions based on parallel observations but their theories aren't that far fetched. It's been a few years since I read the book but I always intended to go back and research the many many other publications they notated in the book. Sex at Dusk on the other hand seemed to me to be written with the soul purpose of dismissing the ideas raised in Sex at Dawn without nearly as convincing a result. Like the Professor said, it's impossible to know for certain what our cave dwelling ancestors were getting up to on the bear skin blankets but we can make some fairly certain guesses based on what we do know. Without a complete written history we will never know for sure.
Will have to check out Sex at Dusk, now.
It is an interesting book but you really need to also read the parallel response book: Sex at Dusk. The author goes point by point, largely using the same evidence, comes to different conclusions. In both books the authors are quite open that they are not disinterested 3rd parties which actually gives them more credibility. The simple truth is that it is hard enough to get a clear picture of sexuality in almost all societies, even those with written language. To go back to the dawn of civilization, one must fill in with guesswork. So I would recommend both books more highly than either one individually. My conclusion is that for most of the claims in Sex at Dawn the most we can say is it "might" be right. Though the link between private ownership of land and and ownership of women is not unique to Sex at Dawn. That is a mainstream idea and popular in feminists circles.
Thanks. I'm going to read Sex at Dusk. I didn't know about it. I'm trying to make investigating contrary opinions one of my disciplines. The problem sometimes is telling the flat earthers from the honest and intellectually industrious. Well, time is a problem too. Be that as it may, the Dawn argument that stayed with me is that perceived need for sexual prohibitions demonstrates the naturalness of human sexual avidity.
Have read it several times. Yes, based on his research when humans were still hunter-gatherers, communal/poly sexual relationships were the norm and it wasn't until we moved towards an agricultural society that we develop the idea of private ownership of land and conversely private ownership of women due to concerns over bloodlines and inheritance.
If relations between the sexes changed with the advent of agriculture, I wonder if increases in human wealth over the last century or so will change them again. Maybe that's the explanation for the 20th century's list of sexual deviations: nudism, swinging, gay rights, transexuality, polyamory, high-quality sexual entertainment, etc.
@sugarlessroark none of those things you listed are specific to the 20th C. (nor are they deviations) except maybe gay-rights as a political movement. Find some Victorian era porn, reads like Literotica. All the Greek vases that showed sex, esp. gay sex were hidden away. Moche pottery from South America showed everything