Out of Eden: The Surprising Consequences of Polygamy

Hardcover | February 4, 2016

byDavid P. Barash

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In this changing world of what is deemed socially and politically "correct," polygamy is perhaps the last great taboo. Over the course of the last thousand years, monogamy - at least in name - has been the default setting for coupledom and procreation. And yet, throughout history, there havebeen inklings that "one-man, one-woman" may not be the most natural state-of-being for humans. The recent Ashley Madison "cheaters website" hacking, coupled with the high divorce rate of the last half-century, provide more than enough evidence to convince even a hopeless romantic that monogamy, andthe institution of marriage which props it up, is doomed to be a bygone remnant of a more socially conservative past.Esteemed writer and evolutionary biologist David P. Barash tackles this uncomfortable finding: that humans are actually biologically and anthropologically more inclined toward polygamy. With years of research in the field to back up this argument, Barash presents hundreds of anecdotes from bothevolutionary biology and human history that guide the reader through the societal impacts of monogamy and polygamy - some expected (sexual behavior) and others unexpected (the most successful models of parenting). Despite this natural inclination of humanity, Barash is reassuring throughout thisfascinating read in his resolution that "biology is not destiny."

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From the Publisher

In this changing world of what is deemed socially and politically "correct," polygamy is perhaps the last great taboo. Over the course of the last thousand years, monogamy - at least in name - has been the default setting for coupledom and procreation. And yet, throughout history, there havebeen inklings that "one-man, one-woman" may n...

David P. Barash is an evolutionary biologist and professor of psychology at the University of Washington. He has specialized in the ecology and evolution of animal and human social behavior, has written more than 250 peer-reviewed articles and 38 books, plus numerous op-eds in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, as well as regul...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:216 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:February 4, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190275502

ISBN - 13:9780190275501

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Table of Contents

1. Polygamy 1012. Violence3. Sex4. Why Monogamy?5. Infidelity6. On the Origin of Homosexuality: a hypothesis7. Parenting8. Genius9. Ethics and Morality10. Our Bodies, Our Brains, Our Selves11. The Hare and the Tortoise revisited12. Individuality and Freedom13. Losing Illusions