It'll be after dusk, but researcher Christopher Ryan will nonetheless discuss his book, "Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality," at 7 p.m. Thursday in a free event at the University of Chicago. Ryan's book, a bestseller praised highly by syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage, explains, among other things, why sexual monogamy runs counter to human nature, what happens to sexual passion in long-term relationships and why homosexuality endures, seemingly against evolutionary logic.
"What I hope to get across," Ryan said via e-mail, "is the fact that the evidence for human beings having evolved in omnigamous societies (multi-male/multi-female mating system) is overwhelming—as overwhelming as the evidence that we evolved as omnivores. This doesn't mean that monogamy (or vegetarianism) is misguided or hopeless, but it does suggest it won't come easily. Just because you've decided to be a vegetarian doesn't mean bacon will suddenly stop smelling good, if you know what I mean.
"So the message for young people is to be as honest as possible in assessing their own sexual nature before entering into long-term commitments they can't get out of later without causing disruption and trauma to themselves and others. The only things we advocate are honesty, communication, and self-knowledge."
For more of Ryan's thoughts, see his Psychology Today blog. The Thursday event, with sponsors including the school's Office of LGBTQ Student Life, will be in Room 107, the Community Lounge, at 5710 S. Woodlawn Ave. For more information, call 773-834-1005.
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