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?
Research psychologist and award-winning columnist Jesse Bering takes readers on a bold and captivating journey through some of the most taboo issues related to evolution and human behaviour. 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 boldly goes where no science writer has gone before.
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 phallic physique, Why Is The Penis Shaped Like That? is bound to create lively discussion and debate for years to come.
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His writing is witty, crammed with pop-culture references, and he employs examples and analogies that make his arguments seem like common sense rather than the hard-earned scientific insights they really are. - New Scientist
Uses science to unsettle our most embedded assumptions. It is deeply thought-provoking. - Sunday Times
This is the kind of fact that brightens any dinner party, and Bering delivers it with exuberance. His style is heavy on rhetorical flourishes, facetious asides and cheap puns, but it is always worth the ride. - Telegraph
Jesse Bering is the Hunter Thompson of science writing, and he is a delight to read - funny, smart, and madly provocative. -
If David Sedaris were an experimental psychologist, he'd be writing essays very much like these. Bering's unique blend of scientific knowledge, sense of humor, intellectual courage, and pure literary skill is immediately recognizable; no one writes quite the way Bering does. Read this book. You'll learn, laugh, and then learn some more. -
Bering has an uncanny way with words, an incisive capacity for logical thinking, and a stunning talent for breathing new life and enthusiasm into science. -
Jesse Bering is the intellectual spawn of Helen Fisher and Oliver Sacks, and Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That? is brainy, informative, compassionate - and hilariously naughty. -
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About the Author
Jesse Bering, PhD, is a frequent contributor to Scientific American and Slate. His writing has also appeared in New York magazine, The Guardian, and The New Republic, among other publications, and has been featured by NPR, Playboy Radio, the BBC, and more. The author of The God Instinct, Bering is the former director of the Institute of Cognition and Culture at Queen’s University, Belfast, and began his career as a professor at the University of Arkansas. He lives in Ithaca, New York.