The Naked Ape Author:Desmond Morris Desmond Morris wrote "The Naked Ape" in the late 1960's, and it is a classic which established the field of evolutionary anthropology. His ideas were revolutionary at the time, and he clearly says so. If there is a fault in the book, it is that he covers too much ground too quickly. I think his purpose at the time, however, was simply to conditi... more »on the reader to thinking of people as an animal that has been subject to the forces of biological evolution on the Savannah for 98 percent of our evolution. Our species only formed farming communities 10,000 years ago.
Much of Morris's conjecture has been turned into solid research in more recent years. For example, studies have found that males are sexually attracted to females having a waist/hips ratio of 0.7. This is universal among contemporary societies including primitive societies. When shown diagrams of women having different waist/hips ratios, male members of the primitive societies chose the 0.7 ratio and specifically indicated child bearing ability being linked to it. Females universally are attracted to males having a waist/hip ratio of 0.85.
The argument between nurturing versus evolution is likely to continue. This book started the argument. It is certainly a serious argument. Some readers may prefer not to think as humans as being animals. Some readers, particulary those interested in newer cultural trends such as feminism, may find certain of Morris's arguments objectionable. The material is oriented towards understanding how biological evolution of Homo Sapiens has affected their social behavior. It is not directly related to how to get along with your lover or spouse. However, the book was as thought provoking today as when it was written. It is an excellent introduction to the field of evolutionary anthropology.« less