Quick Read: “Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?” by Jesse Bering

Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That?…and Other Reflections on Being Human

By Jesse Bering

FARRAR, STRAUS AND GIROUX

I don’t buy the notion that couples have especially vigorous sex following a woman’s infidelity so that the guy’s penis can scoop out his reproductive rival’s sperm. Then again, author-psychologist Jesse Bering predicted I wouldn’t. But even skeptics of evolutionary psychology will find much to appreciate in this collection of Bering’s Scientific American and Slate essays on human behavior. With a frank, funny, and open-minded approach, he asks burning questions: Why do we grow pubic hair? Can a person have a genuine sexual preference for animals? If nothing else, they make great cocktail-party icebreakers: “So, did you know semen might have antidepressant qualities?”

This review originally appeared in our July/August issue of Mother Jones. 

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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