October 9, 2013 · 6:00 PM
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Dr. Robert Martin will provide a fascinating discussion this month based on his recent book, How We Do It: the Evolution and Future of Human Reproduction.
Despite our seemingly endless fascination with sex and parenting, the origins of our reproductive lives remain a mystery. Why are a quarter of a billion sperm cells needed to fertilize one egg? Are women really fertile for only a few days each month? How long should women breast-feed? Dr. Martin draws on forty years of research to locate the origins of everything from sex cells to baby care, and to reveal what's really natural when it comes to making and raising babies. He acknowledges that although it's not realistic to reproduce like our ancestors did, there are surprising consequences to behavior we take for granted, such as bottle feeding, cesarean sections, and in vitro fertilization.
As an evolutionary biologist, Martin sheds much-needed light on life's most intimate mysteries. He traces our reproductive lifeline back to its earliest roots, revealing the hard science-and the primate origins-behind sex cells, mating behavior, gestation, and the way we care for our young. Having this evolutionary context allows us to make informed decisions regarding present-day practices in birth control, pregnancy, childbirth, and child rearing, without having to worry if we are simply following unfounded trends or old wives' tales. While we can't-and shouldn't-raise kids like our ancestors did, Martin helps clarify the difference between the things that matter and those that don't when it comes to giving birth to and caring for our children.
Cost: FREE! Seating is limited and available first come, first served. Books will be available for purchase and the author will autograph books immediately following the program.
Dr. Robert Martin is the A. Watson Armour III Curator of Biological Anthropology at the Field Museum in Chicago as well as a member of the Committee on Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago. Dr. Martin is also the author of the blog titled How We Do It in Psychology Today online, where the latest post is on why human males lost the penis bone. [please avoid using your inner 12-year-old boy humor.]