Christopher Ryan

Psychologist
The co-author of "Sex at Dawn," Christopher Ryan explores the prehistoric roots of human sexuality.

Why you should listen

In the fascinating book Sex at Dawn, Christopher Ryan and co-author Cacilda Jethá, MD, explore how humans' prehistoric promiscuity (perhaps similar to the bonobos') may have influenced our current attitudes toward pair-bonding, monogamy and long-lasting passion. Their thesis draws on evidence from anthropology, archeology, primatology, anatomy and psychosexuality.

As a psychologist, Ryan’s research focuses on trying to distinguish the human from the cultural. His book, he hopes, is "pointing toward a more optimistic future illuminated by our innate capacities for love, cooperation and generosity."

What others say

"[Sex at Dawn] helps put the ‘human’ back in ‘human sexuality.’" — AASECT (American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists)

Christopher Ryan’s TED talks

Christopher Ryan on the TED Blog

Culture

6 studies that offer fascinating conclusions about human sexuality

February 20, 2014

In today’s talk, Christopher Ryan, the co-author of Sex at Dawn with Cacilda Jethá, takes a deeper look at the standard narrative of human sexual evolution we’ve long upheld: men provide women with goods and services in exchange for women’s sexual fidelity. According to this model, Ryan points out, the war between the sexes is […]

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News

Indelicate Conversation: Speakers in Session 9 at TED2013

February 28, 2013

This session, delicately titled “Indelicate conversation,” took a look at some topics not meant for the dinner table with talks by speakers not afraid to ask: What’s really on your mind? The speakers who appeared in this session. Click on their name to read a recap of their talk: Rose George “talks shit” to raise awareness […]

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