Evidence of an emerging nuclear family structure with clearly defined property rights has been
discovered at Neolithic Catal Huyuk in Turkey, the world’s earliest known city. Houses
in this settlement of some 10,000 people were grouped tightly together. Neighbours were
close at hand to be coveted and gossiped about. Sex in such a social place became other
peoples’ business and, accordingly, something for which one had to seek privacy because
who was doing it with whom had community significance. The architecture,
archaeologists have found, reflected the new, settled, semi-public pattern of peoples’ sex
lives; bedrooms with a clear sexual purpose are seen for the first time.
The Way We Were
I want you to THINK about human sexuality.
If we were the earliest humans, what would we want to understand?
How the universe came into being;
The cycles of the seasons;
How human beings came into existence?
(Maybe. Before we knew how pregnancy occurred, perhaps it just seemed natural, no more in
need of explanation than how hair grew.)
From T. Taylor,
The Prehistory of Sex
Humans: about 150,000 years in present form. What traits have been selected, and why?
Successful breeding What’s “attractive”
The shift to walking upright: what appeared, what became hidden and had to be
Impact of ability to use both hands.
Around 1.6 million years ago: language.
clothing: what did it mean?
Gender increased in importance.
Culture and its variations.
About 13,000 years ago: 1
humans arrived in North America.
About 10,000 years ago: 1
About 5,000 years: evidence of “great variation in human sexuality in Eurasia,” inc. bestiality,
same-sex, prostitution, transvestism, transsexuality, hormone treatment, S-M, contraception,
racially “pure” breeding, sex as acrobatic/competitive, sex as