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Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?: And…
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Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?: And Other Reflections on Being Human (edición 2012)

por Jesse Bering (Autor)

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1577137,245 (3.58)3
"Titillating and provocative essays from one of the freshest voices in science today -- 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 are 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"--"In WHY IS THE PENIS SHAPED LIKE THAT?, research psychologist Jesse Bering presents more than thirty of his essays from SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN and SLATE, as well as three new pieces, that take readers on a journey through some of the most taboo issues related to evolution and human behavior"--… (más)
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Título:Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?: And Other Reflections on Being Human
Autores:Jesse Bering (Autor)
Info:Scientific American / Farrar, Straus and Giroux (2012), Edition: First Trade Edition, 320 pages
Colecciones:Tu biblioteca
Valoración:***
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Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?: And Other Reflections on Being Human por Jesse Bering

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You don't hear enough about this. I once nearly broke my penis. I was happily banging away doggy style and slipped out on one thrust, causing me to clobber my cock into her right bumcheek on the next. I collapsed in a fucking heap in agony and panic. All she did was collapse in hysterics, she thought it was hilarious. Glad there are starting to be articles addressing this risk.

We're so cosseted and prudish these days that nudity has been consigned to naturist camps and on line pornography, where it is tarnished by association. We should still be able to celebrate the human body in all its wonder without sniggering like school boys.

I was brought up by my mum to respect women and feel sad that I can't go naked (on the beach or in my garden, for instance - I've no desire to be starkers everywhere) in the nice weather without immediately being branded as a pervert. I signed up to be a nudist this past summer. The first few days were the hardest.

This book is important and one must be careful when having an erection. For example, a few years ago my female neighbour tripped over my penis when she approached my lawn chair. I have learned from this painful experience to never recline sideways, always on my back with a warning flag attached so low flying aircraft will avoid it. My old schoolmaster used to frequently rail at these sorts of things and coined a rather remarkable term for it: "Toilet Literature". He couldn’t be more wrong. This is not just a cock and balls story!

NB: Perhaps we could be further enlightened by someone who has experience of slipping out and clobbering his cock on a left bumcheek. Just saying. ( )
  antao | Aug 11, 2020 |
Bering, Jesse (2012). Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?: And Other Reflections on Being Human. New York: Scientific American/Farrar, Straus and Giroux. 2012. ISBN 9781429955102. Pagine 319. 8,78 €

Due critiche principali a questo libro:

Si tratta sostanzialmente di una raccolta di articoli già apparsi sulla rubrica che Jesse Bering (sì, afferma di essere un discendente del noto esploratore artico Vitus Jonassen Bering). Niente di male, naturalmente (anche se confesso di non amare questo tipo di raccolte: ma è una questione di gusto personale), a patto che tu abbia un buon editor. Questo prezioso aiuto a Bering è mancato, sicché il connettivo tra i capitoli è pressoché inesistente e alcuni sono decisamente meno riusciti di altri. In più, ho avuto la spiacevole impressione che la casa editrice avesse imposto una traguardo minimo in termini di numero di pagine e che questo abbia indotto a Bering a inserire capitoli che hanno ben poco a che fare con la tematica principale del libro (un’esplorazione della sessualità umana da una prospettiva di psicologia evoluzionistica). Per esempio, non ho proprio capito che c’azzecchi (per parafrasare Tonino Di Pietro) il capitolo Planting Roots with my Dead Mother, che – senza alcuna analisi scientifica – propone un nuovo tipo di cimitero alberato (proposta peraltro non particolarmente originale, come testimonia L’albero ed io, vecchia canzone di Francesco Guccini).

Quando il mio ultimo giorno verrà dopo il mio ultimo sguardo sul mondo,
non voglio pietra su questo mio corpo, perché pesante mi sembrerà. Cercate un albero giovane e forte, quello sarà il posto mio;
voglio tornare anche dopo la morte sotto quel cielo che chiaman di Dio.Ed in inverno nel lungo riposo, ancora vivo, alla pianta vicino,
come dormendo, starò fiducioso nel mio risveglio in un qualche mattino.
E a primavera, fra mille richiami, ancora vivi saremo di nuovo
e innalzerò le mie dita di rami verso quel cielo così misterioso.

Ed in estate, se il vento raccoglie l’invito fatto da ogni gemma fiorita,
sventoleremo bandiere di foglie e canteremo canzoni di vita.
E così, assieme, vivremo in eterno qua sulla terra, l’albero e io
sempre svettanti, in estate e in inverno contro quel cielo che dicon di Dio.
Il tono di Bering, che vuole essere scherzoso, a volte è un po’ irritante. Per sua sfortuna, proprio in questi giorni è dilagata (insomma, sto esagerando…) una polemica su Science writing: lite and wrong sul blog di Jerry Coyne e, qualche giorno prima con Jonah Lehrer, Malcolm Gladwell and our thirst for non-threatening answers sul blog di Eric Garland. Coyne distingue, in bella sostanza, opere come The Better Angels of Our Nature, effettivi contribuiti alla comprensione pubblica della scienza, dai libri di “science-lite” che offrono analisi e soluzioni superficiali a problemi sociali o resoconti approssimativi di ricerche scientifiche. Forse Bering non è del tutto light, ma fatevi un’idea da soli:

Se volete leggere altre recensioni ho preparato una pagina su Storify.

* * *

Come al solito, le mie annotazioni, che non siete obbligati a leggere. Riferimenti numerici all’edizione Kindle.

According to a 2009 report in Medical Hypotheses by the anatomist Stany Lobo and his colleagues, each testicle continuously migrates in its own orbit as a way of maximizing the available scrotal surface area that is subjected to heat dissipation and cooling. Like ambient heat generated by individual solar panels, when it comes to spermatic temperatures, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. With a keen enough eye, presumably one could master the art of “reading” testicle alignment, using the scrotum as a makeshift room thermometer. But that’s just me speculating. [163]

Evolution does not occur by design. The best way to think about most adaptations is in terms of cost/benefit ratios. I suspect that the foreskin provided protection of the glans and what you see is the result of a statistical compromise of sorts. [445]

[…] 76 percent of a sample of 235 female undergraduates from Australia reported having removed their pubic hair at some point in their lives. Sixty-one percent currently did so, and half of this sample said that they routinely removed all traces of their pubic hair. The current trend for men appears to be no different. [746]

Gerard David, a prolific religious iconographer based in Bruges, Belgium, was merely painting a scene of starvation cannibalism. [765]
Gerard David

oceansbridge.com

Better this evolutionary account than pimples by intelligent design, in any event. What a heartless God indeed that would wind up the clock so that our sebaceous glands might overindulge in sebum production precisely at the time in human development when we’d become most acutely aware of our appearance. [874]

[…] hindsight is twenty-twenty […] [2695]

In many courtrooms across the Western world, for instance, defendants and witnesses must place their hand on the Bible and volunteer to respond to the religious oath “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you God?” And in the ancient Hebrew world, there was the similar “oath by the thigh”—where “thigh” was the polite term for one’s dangling bits—since touching the sex organs before giving testimony was said to invoke one’s family spirits (who had a vested interest in the seeds sprung from these particular loins) and ensured that the witness wouldn’t perjure himself. [2779]

“I love Humanity; but I hate people.” [2792: è una citazione di Edna St. Vincent Millay]

[…] there’s no such thing as a failed experiment—only data. [3290]

Vohs and Schooler write: “If exposure to deterministic messages increases the likelihood of unethical actions, then identifying approaches for insulating the public against this danger becomes imperative.”
Perhaps you missed it on your first reading too, but the authors are making an extraordinary suggestion. They seem to be claiming that the public “can’t handle the truth” and that we should somehow be protecting them (lying to them?) about the true causes of human social behaviors. [3355]

The self is only a deluded creature that thinks it is participating in a moral game when in fact it is just an emotionally invested audience member. [3372] ( )
  Boris.Limpopo | Apr 29, 2019 |
A collection of Jesse Bering's essays, mostly about our sexual bits both physical and mental though there's additional ones on cannibalism, religiosity, and suicide. It's both entertaining and informative, with personal and historical anecdotes sprinkled throughout the science. ( )
  Daumari | Dec 30, 2017 |
And other reflections on being human
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
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. ( )
  MarkBeronte | Jan 7, 2014 |
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"Titillating and provocative essays from one of the freshest voices in science today -- 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 are 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"--"In WHY IS THE PENIS SHAPED LIKE THAT?, research psychologist Jesse Bering presents more than thirty of his essays from SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN and SLATE, as well as three new pieces, that take readers on a journey through some of the most taboo issues related to evolution and human behavior"--

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