- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: Doubleday (19 July 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0857520474
- ISBN-13: 978-0857520470
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.8 x 24 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
909,511 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- #351 in Books > Health, Family & Lifestyle > Psychology & Psychiatry > Schools of Thought > Evolutionary Psychology
- #1223 in Books > Health, Family & Lifestyle > Medical & Healthcare Practitioners > Basic Medical Science > Physiology
- #1440 in Books > Health, Family & Lifestyle > Psychology & Psychiatry > Neuropsychology
Why is the penis shaped like that? Hardcover – 19 Jul 2012
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"His writing is witty, crammed with pop-culture references, and he employs examples and analogies that make his arguments seem like common sense rather than the hard-earned scientific insights they really are."--New Scientist
"Jesse Bering is the Hunter Thompson of science writing, and he is a delight to read - funny, smart, and madly provocative."--Professor Paul Bloom
"If David Sedaris were an experimental psychologist, he'd be writing essays very much like these. Bering's unique blend of scientific knowledge, sense of humor, intellectual courage, and pure literary skill is immediately recognizable; no one writes quite the way Bering does. Read this book. You'll learn, laugh, and then learn some more."--Christopher Ryan
"Uses science to unsettle our most embedded assumptions. It is deeply thought-provoking."--The Sunday Times
"This is the kind of fact that brightens any dinner party, and Bering delivers it with exuberance. His style is heavy on rhetorical flourishes, facetious asides and cheap puns, but it is always worth the ride."--The Telegraph
Everything you ever wanted to know about sex but were afraid to ask. Literally.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
As I understand it, a lot of the book is composed of articles previously printed elsewhere, but it is put together in a very readable way and only in the last couple of chapters did it seem to feel slightly dis-jointed.
Having said that I can't give you any other issues as it is a very readable book written in the authors very clever and off beat style, which sets it apart from other books of this nature. This makes the book very entertaining and great fun to read and I'm left wondering why other authors can't also lighten up a bit and write in a similar vein ! Science can be and is fun !
He approaches human sexuality from an evolutionary perspective and it's one of those books where you find yourself thinking "Oh, I hadn't thought of that" or "Well, I didn't know that" quite a lot.
The author does mention a few times he is gay but don't let that distract you as the subject matter crosses all human genres and perhaps it's his own sexuality that allows him to approach the subject in such a unique and entertaining way.
I'd recommend this to anybody who has a passing interest in their fellow human beings.
Bering tells us that we are not set up altogether for monogamy, but we are certainly set up for attachment and heartbreak, and while most of what we do and what we feel can be shown to arise from evolutionary adaptedness, sometimes things have just gone wrong. Attractions to animals, feet, and asexuality all pose interesting problems for Bering's standpoint - and he enjoys rising to the challenge and finding experimental evidence to bear on the issues from a range of sources.
Bering tells us in the introduction that he is a 'very very very gay man'. And there's quite a lot about this in the book - one chapter tells us never to ask a gay man for directions, for example. Another looks at childhood precursors of adult sexual preference.
Some of this book casts a new light on human behaviour, but sometimes Bering points to a puzzle and admits simply that it hasn't been solved yet. It could perhaps have been shorter, ie just running to those pieces that reach a conclusion...but of course it's always possible to skim-read the less interesting pieces.
The content is not very weighty, but it makes sense.
Briefest possible summary..it's shaped to pump back out whatever the previous guy deposited, which is why we are designed to stop promptly, to avoid doing it to our own. And yes, they experimented to prove it.
Suggests much sperm competition back long ago, hopefully not so relevant now ?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A boring, over-bearing read. Too focused on fact to be entertaining. The writing is patronising in style and makes it difficult to care or concentrate on the text.Published 17 months ago by ReviewMonkey
Intelligent, funny, informed, insightful.. can't wait to read Perv.Published 21 months ago by Merry Jarvis
A good summary of some basic factual information, good for further refernces.Published 24 months ago by Teressa Ellis-Lavallin
Funny, (difficult to read on a public bus) but has made me understand and not judge quite "weird" sexual preferences that we can't really control.Published on 19 July 2014 by Izzy Hobson
This collection of essays on the human condition is fascinating and, with the exception of some topics which are perhaps a little too dry and off-beat, is a true eye-opener. Read morePublished on 18 Jan. 2013 by Marmaduke Gentle
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