full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Christopher Ryan: Are we designed to be sexual omnivores?

Unscramble the Blue Letters

Let me start by saying human beings are not descended from apes, despite what you may have heard. We are apes. We are more closely related to the chimp and the bonobo than the African elephant is to the Indian elephant, as jraed dinaomd pointed out in one of his early books. We're more closely related to chpims and bonobos than chimps and bobnoos are related to any other primate — gorillas, orangutans, what have you. So we're extremely closely related to them, and as you'll see in terms of our behavior, we've got some relationship as well. So what I'm asking today, the question I want to eporxle with you today is, what kind of ape are we in temrs of our suxetlaiy? Now, since Darwin's day there's been what Cacilda and I have called the standard niartarve of human sexual evolution, and you're all fmaaiilr with it, even if you haven't read this sutff. The idea is that, as part of human nature, from the beginning of our species' time, men have sort of leased women's reproductive potential by providing them with certain goods and services. Generally we're tlnkiag about meat, shelter, status, pteiocortn, things like that. And in exchange, women have offered fidelity, or at least a promise of fidelity. Now this sets men and wmeon up in an oppositional rhsiontiaelp. The war between the sexes is built right into our DNA, according to this vision. Right? What cicdlaa and I have argued is that no, this enmiococ relationship, this otooiiapnpsl relationship, is actually an artifact of atruulcirge, which only aosre about 10,000 years ago at the earliest. aanliotmclay meodrn human beings have been around for about 200,000 years, so we're talking about five percent, at most, of our time as a modern, distinct species. So before agriculture, before the agricultural reuoovltin, it's important to understand that human beings lived in hunter-gatherer groups that are characterized wherever they're found in the world by what anthropologists called fierce egalitarianism. They not only share things, they demand that things be shared: meat, shelter, protection, all these things that were supposedly being traded to women for their sexual fidelity, it turns out, are shared widely among these societies. Now I'm not saying that our ancestors were noble savages, and I'm not saying modern day hunter-gatherers are noble savages either. What I'm saying is that this is simply the best way to migitate risk in a foraging context. And there's really no amnuregt about this among anthropologists. All Cacilda and I have done is eenxtd this sharing behavior to sexuality. So we've argued that human sexuality has essentially evolved, until agriculture, as a way of establishing and maintaining the complex, flexible social systems, networks, that our ancestors were very good at, and that's why our species has survived so well.

Open Cloze

Let me start by saying human beings are not descended from apes, despite what you may have heard. We are apes. We are more closely related to the chimp and the bonobo than the African elephant is to the Indian elephant, as _____ _______ pointed out in one of his early books. We're more closely related to ______ and bonobos than chimps and _______ are related to any other primate — gorillas, orangutans, what have you. So we're extremely closely related to them, and as you'll see in terms of our behavior, we've got some relationship as well. So what I'm asking today, the question I want to _______ with you today is, what kind of ape are we in _____ of our _________? Now, since Darwin's day there's been what Cacilda and I have called the standard _________ of human sexual evolution, and you're all ________ with it, even if you haven't read this _____. The idea is that, as part of human nature, from the beginning of our species' time, men have sort of leased women's reproductive potential by providing them with certain goods and services. Generally we're _______ about meat, shelter, status, __________, things like that. And in exchange, women have offered fidelity, or at least a promise of fidelity. Now this sets men and _____ up in an oppositional ____________. The war between the sexes is built right into our DNA, according to this vision. Right? What _______ and I have argued is that no, this ________ relationship, this ____________ relationship, is actually an artifact of ___________, which only _____ about 10,000 years ago at the earliest. ____________ ______ human beings have been around for about 200,000 years, so we're talking about five percent, at most, of our time as a modern, distinct species. So before agriculture, before the agricultural __________, it's important to understand that human beings lived in hunter-gatherer groups that are characterized wherever they're found in the world by what anthropologists called fierce egalitarianism. They not only share things, they demand that things be shared: meat, shelter, protection, all these things that were supposedly being traded to women for their sexual fidelity, it turns out, are shared widely among these societies. Now I'm not saying that our ancestors were noble savages, and I'm not saying modern day hunter-gatherers are noble savages either. What I'm saying is that this is simply the best way to ________ risk in a foraging context. And there's really no ________ about this among anthropologists. All Cacilda and I have done is ______ this sharing behavior to sexuality. So we've argued that human sexuality has essentially evolved, until agriculture, as a way of establishing and maintaining the complex, flexible social systems, networks, that our ancestors were very good at, and that's why our species has survived so well.

Solution

  1. cacilda
  2. extend
  3. women
  4. stuff
  5. mitigate
  6. protection
  7. narrative
  8. oppositional
  9. jared
  10. arose
  11. talking
  12. revolution
  13. explore
  14. relationship
  15. modern
  16. anatomically
  17. sexuality
  18. agriculture
  19. diamond
  20. bonobos
  21. familiar
  22. terms
  23. economic
  24. chimps
  25. argument

Original Text

Let me start by saying human beings are not descended from apes, despite what you may have heard. We are apes. We are more closely related to the chimp and the bonobo than the African elephant is to the Indian elephant, as Jared Diamond pointed out in one of his early books. We're more closely related to chimps and bonobos than chimps and bonobos are related to any other primate — gorillas, orangutans, what have you. So we're extremely closely related to them, and as you'll see in terms of our behavior, we've got some relationship as well. So what I'm asking today, the question I want to explore with you today is, what kind of ape are we in terms of our sexuality? Now, since Darwin's day there's been what Cacilda and I have called the standard narrative of human sexual evolution, and you're all familiar with it, even if you haven't read this stuff. The idea is that, as part of human nature, from the beginning of our species' time, men have sort of leased women's reproductive potential by providing them with certain goods and services. Generally we're talking about meat, shelter, status, protection, things like that. And in exchange, women have offered fidelity, or at least a promise of fidelity. Now this sets men and women up in an oppositional relationship. The war between the sexes is built right into our DNA, according to this vision. Right? What Cacilda and I have argued is that no, this economic relationship, this oppositional relationship, is actually an artifact of agriculture, which only arose about 10,000 years ago at the earliest. Anatomically modern human beings have been around for about 200,000 years, so we're talking about five percent, at most, of our time as a modern, distinct species. So before agriculture, before the agricultural revolution, it's important to understand that human beings lived in hunter-gatherer groups that are characterized wherever they're found in the world by what anthropologists called fierce egalitarianism. They not only share things, they demand that things be shared: meat, shelter, protection, all these things that were supposedly being traded to women for their sexual fidelity, it turns out, are shared widely among these societies. Now I'm not saying that our ancestors were noble savages, and I'm not saying modern day hunter-gatherers are noble savages either. What I'm saying is that this is simply the best way to mitigate risk in a foraging context. And there's really no argument about this among anthropologists. All Cacilda and I have done is extend this sharing behavior to sexuality. So we've argued that human sexuality has essentially evolved, until agriculture, as a way of establishing and maintaining the complex, flexible social systems, networks, that our ancestors were very good at, and that's why our species has survived so well.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
human sexuality 6
human beings 4
sexual swellings 4
female copulatory 3
closely related 3
copulatory vocalization 2
human sexual 2
average human 2
sexual behavior 2
modern world 2

ngrams of length 3

collocation frequency
female copulatory vocalization 2

Important Words

  1. african
  2. agricultural
  3. agriculture
  4. anatomically
  5. ancestors
  6. anthropologists
  7. ape
  8. apes
  9. argued
  10. argument
  11. arose
  12. artifact
  13. beginning
  14. behavior
  15. beings
  16. bonobo
  17. bonobos
  18. books
  19. built
  20. cacilda
  21. called
  22. characterized
  23. chimp
  24. chimps
  25. closely
  26. complex
  27. context
  28. day
  29. demand
  30. descended
  31. diamond
  32. distinct
  33. dna
  34. earliest
  35. early
  36. economic
  37. egalitarianism
  38. elephant
  39. essentially
  40. establishing
  41. evolution
  42. evolved
  43. exchange
  44. explore
  45. extend
  46. extremely
  47. familiar
  48. fidelity
  49. fierce
  50. flexible
  51. foraging
  52. generally
  53. good
  54. goods
  55. gorillas
  56. groups
  57. heard
  58. human
  59. idea
  60. important
  61. indian
  62. jared
  63. kind
  64. leased
  65. lived
  66. maintaining
  67. meat
  68. men
  69. mitigate
  70. modern
  71. narrative
  72. nature
  73. networks
  74. noble
  75. offered
  76. oppositional
  77. orangutans
  78. part
  79. percent
  80. pointed
  81. potential
  82. primate
  83. promise
  84. protection
  85. providing
  86. question
  87. read
  88. related
  89. relationship
  90. reproductive
  91. revolution
  92. risk
  93. savages
  94. services
  95. sets
  96. sexes
  97. sexual
  98. sexuality
  99. share
  100. shared
  101. sharing
  102. shelter
  103. simply
  104. social
  105. societies
  106. sort
  107. species
  108. standard
  109. start
  110. status
  111. stuff
  112. supposedly
  113. survived
  114. systems
  115. talking
  116. terms
  117. time
  118. today
  119. traded
  120. turns
  121. understand
  122. vision
  123. war
  124. widely
  125. women
  126. world
  127. years