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Original Research

The biology of human sexuality: evolution, ecology and physiology

PW Bateman, NC Bennett

Verbum et Ecclesia; Vol 27, No 1 (2006), 245-264. doi: 10.4102/ve.v27i1.133

Submitted: 21 September 2006
Published:  17 November 2006


Many evolutionary biologists argue that human sexual behaviour can be studied in exactly the same way as that of other species. Many sociologists argue that social influences effectively obscure, and are more important than, a reductionist biological approach to human sexual behaviour. Here,we authors attempt to provide a broad introduction to human sexual behaviour from a biological standpoint and to indicate where the ambiguous areas are. We outline the evolutionary selective pressures that are likely to have influenced human behaviour and mate choice in the past and in the present; ecological features that influence such things as degree of parental care and polygamy; and the associated physiology of human sexuality. Then they end with a discussion of ‘abnormal’ sexuality.

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Author affiliations

PW Bateman, University of Pretoria, South Africa
NC Bennett, University of Pretoria, South Africa



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ISSN: 1609-9982 (print) | ISSN: 2074-7705 (online)

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