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Anthropology 124P -- The Evolution of Human Sexual BehaviorFall 2011Monday & Wednesday 8:00-9:15 a.m. Haines 39Professor Daniel M.T. FesslerOffice:390 Haines HallOffice Hours: Wednesdays 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., or by appointmentEmail:[email protected]; tel. (310) 794-9252The key to understanding human sexuality is to recognizethat it is a problem in evolutionary biology -- Jared DiamondIntroductionSexuality is a ubiquitous theme across time and across cultures.Although there is considerable variationin sexual behavior around the world, such variation is built upon a panhuman sexual nature.Our sexualnature might be said to be one of the most important factors determining our experience of ourselves,and the structures of our societies.Darwinian theory provides a powerful means of understanding theorigins and nature of human sexuality.In this course we will explore some of the many ways in whichevolution has shaped our sexual bodies and our sexual minds.A word of warningThis is a demanding course, intended for dedicated students who want to get the most out of a universityeducation.We will be grappling with complex theory and state-of-the-art research.Much of the readingconsists of journal articles and book chapters written for a professional scientific audience.This is not atitillating, casual survey of sex.If that is what you are looking for, you are strongly advised to drop thecourse.General PrinciplesI encourage questions and comments, and will attempt to make time for them during lecture.However,extensive discussion will often not be possible in lecture due to the size of the class.You are welcometo visit me during office hours if you wish to discuss an issue in greater depth.Please note that many ofthe subjects covered in this course are of a sensitive nature.I make every effort to explore material in amanner that will not give offense, and I expect students to do likewise in their questions and comments.Please note thatdisclosing material of an intimate or personal nature is not appropriate.Feedbackconcerning these and other aspects of the course is always welcome, but is best conveyed outside ofclass.GradingIn the interests of fairness, grades will be assigned on the basis of performance only – neitherimprovement nor effort will be taken into consideration, and no assignments not listed herein will begiven or graded. Evaluation will be based on the following: a midterm exam, worth 35% of your grade;a final exam, worth 55% of your grade; and an unspecified number of pop quizzes, which together will