Helen Fisher, PhD

THE SEX CONTRACT: The Evolution of Human Behavior

(William Morrow, 1982)

Why can a woman have sex all month long, while other mammals, like dogs and cats, have a period of “heat?” Why do the vast majority of men and women fall in love and form a partnership to rear their young, while monogamy (or pair-bonding) is common in only 3% of other mammalian species? In this book, Fisher discusses the evolution of human female sexuality and the origin of the nuclear family—a hallmark of humankind.

Fisher also traces the evolution of human language, tool use, religiosity and more–back to their inception millions of years ago.  And she enlivens her anthropological data with vivid accounts of our forebear’s daily lives as they hunted and gathered across the grasslands of ancient Africa in our primordial past.

“A delightfully readable and illuminating account of the origins and evolution of human behavior.”
— Ashley Montagu

“The book has many virtues…quite enthralling…a very interesting and in some ways deeply daunting anthropological survey.”
— The Times of London

Selection of the Book of the Month Club. Six foreign language editions.

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