Ann Herring


The following selection of papers arose out of a half-year seminar course, The Anthropology of Sex, held at McMaster University in the winter of 1990. The course was originally conceived as a vehicle for scrutinizing the physical anthropological significance of current understandings of human sexuality and reproduction. As such, I imagined we would discuss human sexuality from the point of view of human and non-human primate biology, diversity, and evolution. I dutifully sketched out a fairly predictable range of topics, which included the origins and evolution of sexual reproduction, sex and sexuality in human evolution, factors affecting human fertility, the uniqueness (or not) of human sexual response and eroticism, variation in human sexual anatomy and physiology, sexual selection theory, sex differences between human and non-human primates, biological constructs of 'male' and 'female', sociobiological views of sex, the origins and evolution of sexually-transmitted diseases, and so on.