Jared Diamond’s “Why is Sex Fun?”

Table of Content

“Why is Sex Fun?” is a book that explores the many factors that played a role in the development of human sexuality. Jared Diamond’s honest sense of humor, sound logic and reliable research keep the reader engaged and entertained throughout the book. He approaches each chapter with a question and then produces several opposing points of view and either resolves the question or shows why it is not so easily resolved. Diamond shows his thought process in order to make the reader feel as if he/she is discovering these answers and drawing conclusions with him. His book is mainly filled with speculations ranging from historical, anthropological, and emotional perspectives. Diamond doesn’t just give you the answers, he discovers them throughout the book and allows the reader to follow along with their discovery. Although we as humans are appalled when our dogs mount each other in the living room or when animals at the zoo have no problem going out at it in plain view of our children, Diamond spends the beginning of his book explaining how we humans are in fact the creatures with the oddest sexual practices.

In comparison to the rest of the animal kingdom that is. These sexual oddities, along with many other aspects of both human and animal behavior, can be explained through the process of natural selection. According to Diamond, evolutionary necessity explains the never ending “battle of the sexes” or as he describes it the battle of who gets stuck with the baby. And who does get stuck with the baby? Pretty much whoever has the most invested or the most to gain. Diamond takes what seems like completely nonfunctioning sexual practices between males and females and explains their possible evolutionary advantage. For instance, a cannibalistic spider who eats her mates immediately after copulation might need the nutrition from his body which gives her future offspring a better chance for survival.

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One of the oddest things about our human sexual practices is the frequency in which we do it. The book is adequately named “why is sex fun” because it is true, humans (generally speaking) enjoy sex and don’t just do it to procreate. The question is: why? Well Diamond’s reasoning is that way back when, women hid their ovulation so men that wouldn’t be able to tell if the child she’s bearing was his. These women used that confusion to keep them men around which was better for the baby. However, since men were unable to tell when a woman was ovulating, they just had to guess and keep trying. Hence the frequent sex. Makes sense, right?

Another big difference between us and the rest of the animal kingdom is that women go through menopause. Although we are not the only animals that go through menopause, most other animal species go through a slow decrease, but never end, of fertility (like human men) or die while they’re still at their fertile peak. This particular adaptation is due to the fact that the human body becomes more fragile as we get older which makes childbirth passed the age of forty dangerous for the mother. Therefore, women who stopped having children after forty were able to keep their children’s children alive, which meant their genes were passed down.

Diamond ends his book with some insight on the human penis and why it is so proportionately large compared to other species. He basically states that cavemen had to impress their women somehow and before there were fancy cars or nice watches and we were all walking around naked, men impressed women with the size of their package in an effort to show that they had the best jeans and could offer the best chance for survival. In the end, after hearing diamonds, many different possible explanations for why humans are so sexually odd, everything makes a lot more sense.

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Jared Diamond’s “Why is Sex Fun?”. (2017, Jan 10). Retrieved from


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