…and then taught it to men, who then became aware of their own mortality. This, according to Leonard Shlain, a surgeon at UCSF, explains humans’, but particularly male sex drive. In his book, Sex, Time, and Power: How Women’s Sexuality Shaped Human Evolution, Schlain proposes an explanation for the ‘battle of the sexes’.

Humans have an abnormally high rate of childbirth mortality, due to the evolution of our pelvic bone structure necessary for walking upright. As a result women, aware of the link between sex and pregnancy, began to refuse intercourse. Men, on the other hand sought to extend their lineage into the future as a way obtaining immortality and as a result, acquired a sex drive not seen in any other species.

An M.D. as well as a student of evolutionary biology, Schlain refuses to believe that there are traits and behaviors among humans that do not give us an adaptive advantage. He uses this approach to explain the existence of homosexuality. According to his research, 8% of men and 5% of women are gay. Imagine a hunting party of twelve men where only eleven have wives and families to feed. Schlain would have us believe that the twelfth man allows the tribe, band, or group to enjoy a slightly higher standard of living.

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