Christopher and his work have been featured just about everywhere, including: MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, NPR, The New York Times, The Times of London, Playboy, The Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, The Atlantic, Outside, El Pais, La Vanguardia, Salon, Seed, Big Think, and Andrew Sullivan’s Daily Dish.
A featured speaker from TED in Long Beach, CA to The Festival of Dangerous Ideas at the Sydney Opera House to the Einstein Forum in Pottsdam, Germany, Chris has consulted at various hospitals in Spain, provided expert testimony in a Canadian constitutional hearing, and appeared in well over a dozen documentary films.
Even before co-authoring the New York Times best-seller, Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What it Means for Modern Relationships, with his partner-in-crime (and wife), Cacilda Jethá, MD, Chris was on a wild ride. After receiving a BA in English and American literature in 1984 he spent the next two decades traveling around the world, pausing in unexpected places to work at decidedly odd jobs (e.g., gutting salmon in Alaska, teaching English to prostitutes in Bangkok and self-defense to land-reform activists in Mexico, managing commercial real-estate in New York’s Diamond District, helping Spanish physicians publish their research). In his mid-30s, Chris decided to pursue doctoral studies in Psychology.
Drawing upon his multi-cultural experience, Chris’ research focused on distinguishing the human from the cultural, first by focusing on shamanism and ethnobotony—studying how various societies interact with altered states of consciousness and the sacred plants that provoke them—and later, by looking at similarly diverse cultural perspectives on sexuality. His doctoral dissertation was a multi-disciplinary investigation of prehistoric human sexual behavior, guided by the world-renowned psychologist, Stanley Krippner, at Saybrook Graduate School, in San Francisco, CA. http://chrisryanphd.com/
ABOUT SEX AT DAWN
Why do so many find sexual monogamy so difficult? On an almost daily basis we are inundated with stories about the collapse of the latest celebrity marriage—and infidelity is almost always the cause of the break up. Is it even possible for two people to stay together happily over an extended period of time? Since Darwin’s day, we’ve been told that sexual monogamy comes naturally to our species. But it doesn’t, and it never has.
Mainstream science—as well as religious and cultural institutions—has long maintained that men and women evolved in nuclear families where a man’s possessions and protection were exchanged for a woman’s fertility and fidelity. But this narrative is collapsing. Fewer and fewer couples are getting married and divorce rates keep climbing while adultery and flagging libido drag down even seemingly solid marriages.
In SEX AT DAWN, renegade researchers Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá debunk almost everything we “think we know” about sex.
Ryan and Jethá show how our promiscuous past haunts our current struggles regarding monogamy, sexual orientation, and family dynamics. Some of the themes they explore include:
Ryan and Jethá show that our ancestors lived in egalitarian groups that shared food, child care, and often, sexual partners. Weaving together convergent, often overlooked evidence from anthropology, archeology, primatology, anatomy, and psychosexuality, the authors show how far from human nature sexual monogamy really is. They expose the ancient roots of human sexuality while pointing toward a more optimistic future illuminated by our innate capacities for love, cooperation, and generosity.
In the tradition of the best historical and scientific writing, Sex at Dawn unapologetically upends unwarranted assumptions and unfounded conclusions while offering a revolutionary understanding of why we live and love as we do. A controversial, idea-driven book that challenges everything you know about sex, marriage, family, and society.