Sperm wars: the science of sex

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BasicBooks, Sep 13, 1996 - Medical - 319 pages
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In a book as revolutionary as the original Kinsey Report or the work of Masters and Johnson, Robin Baker, an evolutionary biologist, demonstrates that our sexual behavior - in all its love-enhancing, relationship-destroying, exquisitely pleasurable, risky, and exotic and erotic forms - is driven neither by our psyches nor our conscious minds, but by biological imperatives evolution programmed into us millions of years ago. These imperatives create a competition the author calls sperm warfare. For more than a decade, Baker did groundbreaking research, observing human sperm and female cervical mucus in every possible type of sexual encounter - from routine sex to masturbation to group sex - in search of answers to questions such as: Why do we crave sex so regularly, when most of the time we are not interested in procreating? Why is the female orgasm so unpredictable, and what is its role in conception? Why do we get such strong urges to masturbate, and why do we yield to these urges only in secrecy? Why, in the midst of perfectly happy and satisfying relationships, do we find ourselves drawn to outside sexual encounters, often with partners we would never consider as mates? Baker found that sperm warfare answered all these questions, by showing that the male's sexual behavior is predicated on the expectation that during sex - or soon afterward - his sperm will find itself in competition with other men's sperm to fertilize the descending egg. Even more surprising, Baker found that women are hardwired to promote this competition. For the male, a victory in any one battle of this war means that his genes will survive him. For the female, sperm warfare assures that any sperm that fertilizesher egg will have earned its right to do so, giving her offspring a better chance at survival. And so, no matter our sex, no matter our morals, we are all biologically driven by this old programming to engage in sexual behavior that is often in conflict with the rational plans we make for our love relationships.

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Sperm wars: the science of sex

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Baker is a biologist who studies human behavior, in this case sex, in intimate detail. The questions that interest him--"Why do men inseminate enough sperm at each intercourse to fertilize the entire ... Read full review

Contents

The Generation Game
1
Sperm Wars
31
Counting the Cost
49
Copyright

7 other sections not shown

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About the author (1996)

Baker taught zoology in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Manchester for 22 years.

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