Friday, May 30, 2008

The Prehistory of Sex (Book #52)

The Prehistory of Sex (Timothy Taylor, 1997) examines such evidence as we have for human sexuality from actual prehistory through the early stages of recorded history. Taylor debunks, or at least shows how scanty the evidence is, for a lot of popular myths--e.g. the idea that hunter-gatherers and early farmers lived in peaceful, egalitarian societies that worshiped a Great Mother Goddess. However, he too speculates detailed scenarios based on a skimpy handful of artifacts, so the main thing I got from the book is how impossible it is to ever really know how our remote ancestors managed gender roles, what they thought of homosexuality, etc.

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