We have a stratospheric divorce rate and a surge of single parents. Couples who stay together are often trapped in sexless, passionless unions. An entire industry — from couples therapy to sex supplements — has emerged to help people "rekindle the spark" without straying from the confines of monogamy. In "Sex at Dawn," which uses evidence gathered from human physiology, archaeology, primate biology and anthropological studies of pre-agricultural tribes from around the world, they argue that monogamy and the nuclear family are more recent inventions than most of us would expect — and far less natural than we've come to believe. Advertisement: Before the advent of agriculture, they argue, prehistoric humans lived in a much less sexually possessive culture, without the kind of lifelong coupling that currently exists in most countries. They also point to the bonobos, our closest relatives, who live in egalitarian and peaceful groups and have astronomical rates of sexual interaction, as evidence of our natural inclinations.
Summary[ edit ] The authors argue that human beings evolved in egalitarian hunter-gatherer bands in which sexual interaction was a shared resource, much like food, child care, and group defense. They argue that the public and many researchers are guilty of the " Flintstonization " of hunter-gatherer society, i. Thus the authors believe that there is a false assumption that our species is primarily monogamous and offer evidence to the contrary. The authors argue that mate selection among pre-agricultural humans was not the subject of intragroup competition as sex was neither scarce nor commodified. Rather, sperm competition was a more important paternity factor than sexual selection.