“Discovering Human Sexuality” by Simon Levay, Janice Baldwin and John Baldwin— An Introduction to the Study of Sexuality

Levay, Simon, Janice Baldwin and John Baldwin. “Discovering Human Sexuality”, Fourth Edition 4th Edition, Sinauer Associates, 2018.

An Introduction to the Study of Sexuality

Amos Lassen

“Discovering Human Sexuality” is an evidence-based, accessible introduction to the study of sexuality and the many different ways in which it brings joys and challenges to our lives. Now in its fourth edition, the book has established itself as a popular and widely read text that respects diversity both in the sexual world and among the students who read it. The backgrounds of the three authors (biology, sociology, teaching, and writing) make this an multidisciplinary, authoritative, sex-positive an easy and pleasurable read.

The authors cover the scope of human sexuality from homosexuality in ancient Greece to the recent Harvey Weinstein sexual harassment scandal as well as a diverse array of topics. We look at questions such as: How does the menstrual cycle work? What’s “splitting the bamboo”? Can premature ejaculation be treated? If a man has undetectable levels of HIV, can he have sex without condoms? Which sex offenders will repeat their crimes? Is there a gay gene? What’s wrong with polygamy? Is emergency contraception abortion? Which bathrooms should trans women use? This book gives us factual answers to important questions and provides material for informed debate for issues that have no single or easy solution.

I would not usually say that this kind of book is enjoyable reading but in this case it actually is. I always enjoy when Simon LeVay has something to say and I must say the same about the Baldwins.

The emphasis here is on biology and the idea that each new volume is up to date, we get the best information and in a timely manner. Changes in legal issues related to sexuality are always included and the visuals as well as the out-takes/side boxes give points of view or case studies within them.

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