[UPDATE: I would like to note that I wrote this post last night, long before one of the authors actually commented on my first, highly critical post.]
The romantic euphemism points out, fairly, that I shouldn’t *just* write about what aggravates me about Sex at Dawn, I should at least MENTION things that are good about it. So here:
1. If we imagine that they’re not claiming that their “standard narrative” is what “science” says and instead is what “culture” says, then they’re clearly right, and the popularity of the book attests to the resonance of that narrative and the relief people feel in learning that there is science to the contrary. And there totally is science to the contrary. (Which is how we know it’s not the scientific standard narrative.)
2. I agree that the cultural shaming around sexuality and the monoculture of monogamy has hurt people. And I agree that “Science” (if there is such a monolithic entity) doesn’t support the idea that “humans are built for monogamy.” Humans are built for adaptability to whatever environment they find themselves in, and that translates sometimes into monogamy, often polygyny, sometimes polyandry, and sometimes (in environments of extraordinary resource abundance) polyamory.
3. They do explicitly address the naturalistic fallacy and state that they aren’t claiming one (non-monogamy) is better than the other (monogamy). They do say that. And the book has spurred me to think closely about the naturalistic fallacy and the compelling nature of “Natural.”
In future posts, I’ll be sure to include both.