Limit search to available items
Book Cover
Author Taylor, Timothy, 1960-

Title The prehistory of sex : four million years of human sexual culture / Timothy Taylor
Published New York : Bantam Books, 1996


Location Call no. Vol. Availability
Description xiv, 353 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Summary Taylor draws on recent archaeological discoveries such as skeletons of Amazon women, golden penis sheaths, the charred remains of aphrodisiac herbs, and a wealth of prehistoric erotic art to trace practices such as contraception, homosexuality, transsexuality, prostitution, sadomasochism, and bestiality back to their ancient origins. He makes the startling claim that although humans have used contraceptives from the very earliest times to separate sex from reproduction, techniques to maximize population growth were developed only when farming began - a revolution involving control of animals' sex lives, widespread oppression of women, and an attitude to nature that continues to have devastating ecological consequences. He draws the radical conclusion that the evolution of our species has been shaped not only by the survival of the fittest but by the very sexual choices our ancestors made
And he links ancient sexuality with our own in a contemporary survey of artificial insemination, surrogate pregnancies, drag queens, brothels, pornography, and the spectre of racial dominance. How has human sexuality changed - and how has it remained the same - over the span of millions of years? How did the ideas of eroticism, ecstasy, immortality, and beauty become linked to sex? Taylor explores these questions and sets out to prove that our sexual behavior is and has always been a matter of choice rather than something genetically determined. He eloquently and accessibly explains how our sexual politics - issues of gender and power, control and exploitation - are not new but are deeply rooted in our prehistory. Surely one of the most illuminating and controversial books on human sexuality ever written, The Prehistory of Sex invites readers to become voyeurs into the bizarre - and so far hidden -prehistoric sexual world
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages [301]-341) and index
Subject Sex customs -- History.
LC no. 96010803
ISBN 055309694X
055337527X paperback