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Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?

And Other Reflections on Being Human

This book is available for download with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device, and with iTunes on your computer. Books can be read with iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


Why do testicles hang the way they do? Is there an adaptive function to the female orgasm? What does it feel like to want to kill yourself? Does "free will" really exist? And why is the penis shaped like that anyway?

In Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?, the research psychologist and award-winning columnist Jesse Bering features more than thirty of his most popular essays from Scientific American and Slate, as well as two new pieces, that take readers on a bold and captivating journey through some of the most taboo issues related to evolution and human behavior. Exploring the history of cannibalism, the neurology of people who are sexually attracted to animals, the evolution of human body fluids, the science of homosexuality, and serious questions about life and death, Bering astutely covers a generous expanse of our kaleidoscope of quirks and origins.

With his characteristic irreverence and trademark cheekiness, Bering leaves no topic unturned or curiosity unexamined, and he does it all with an audaciously original voice. Whether you're interested in the psychological history behind the many facets of sexual desire or the evolutionary patterns that have dictated our current mystique and phallic physique, Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That? is bound to create lively discussion and debate for years to come.

From Publishers Weekly

Apr 02, 2012 – Bering, a research psychologist, columnist for, and contributor to Slate and NPR, gathers 30 eclectic essays from Scientific American and Slate that address numerous human activities, such as human sexuality, with an evolutionary spin. He explains, among others, why men masturbate (to expel older sperm that might have less power to impregnate than newer sperm); the prevalence of sexual fantasies ( everyone tends to imagine someone or something else when they are having sex with their partner ); the evolutionary advantages of premature ejaculation; and the relationship between a woman s orgasms and her partner s status and looks. Bering is often personal, and always takes a wry approach to his topics, but despite the inherent prurient interest that invariably attaches to human sexuality, he is a rationalist and his insights and opinions are always supported by science. And he isn t all about sex: his essays tackle the adaptive aspect of suicide, the penchant for believing Christians to contribute more to charity on Sundays than on other days, and even free will. These entertaining essays offer a cornucopia of ideas that will reward readers with hours of conversational gambits.

Customer Reviews

Im reading the sample but...

This book is terrific! Im going to buy it. Most nonfiction books bore me but this book truly answers some interesting and thought-provoking questions. It uses some technical terms while still being fairly light and the voice is terrific! Definitely worth at least the sample.

Hilarious and informative...

Read this on my last vacation and enjoyed it a lot. It has a lot more substance than the title would imply. Can highly recommend it.

Terrible book, dont bother!

Terrible book, I can get more information/knowledge from my next door gay neighbor than this book.

Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Life Sciences
  • Published: Jul 03, 2012
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Seller: Macmillan / Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
  • Print Length: 320 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings