Publication of this book, in 2009, was timed to coincide with the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin, and the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species. Darwin's work changed the entire course of modern biology, and his Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex (1871) was also, in its way, a pioneering work on sexology and evolution. Thus, Darwin attempted to apply his insights concerning evolution by sexual selection in animals to problems of human origins, sex differences in morphology, and behaviour.

The current volume addresses many of the issues first raised by Darwin (as well as some new ones) and examines them in the light of modern ideas concerning human sexuality, reproduction, and evolutionary biology. The approach taken is a comparative one, incorporating information from many fields of biology, in order to produce a credible picture of the origins of human mating systems, patterns of mate choice, and copulatory behaviour.

Many people have helped me, either directly or indirectly during the three years I spent working on this book. My wife Amanda helped with the manuscript, and in particular with typing and checking the bibliography. Our son Barnaby drew many of the graphs and histograms for me using a computer (as I still draw everything by hand and am technologically challenged). We also conducted collaborative, cross-cultural research together on various aspects of human morphology and mate choice. Senior colleagues at the Victoria University of Wellington, and especially Professor

Charles Daugherty, Professor David Bibby, and Professor Paul Teesdale-Spittle, have provided every encouragement and a positive intellectual environment in which to work. At Oxford University Press, Ian Sherman and Helen Eaton advised and encouraged me during all stages of the publication process. Professor R. D. Martin (Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago) very kindly read and criticized Chapter 1, which deals with the fossil evidence of hominid evolution. As this is not my research field, I am most grateful for his input. Any errors which remain are, I hasten to add, my responsibility.

I should also like to thank the organizations and individuals listed below for permission to reproduce figures and tables, either in their original form or as redrawn and modified versions. American Society for Reproductive Medicine: Table 3.3; Blackwell Publishing: Figures 3.4B, 3.13, 3.23, 4.6, and Table 3.1; Cambridge University Press: Figures 2.1, 2.4, 3.2, 4.5, and 8.1; Elsevier Inc.: Figures 3.1, 3.11, 3.14, 7.9, 8.2, and Table 2.5; Professor F. Grine and the South African Journal of Science: Figure 1.5; Johns Hopkins University Press: Figure 3.6; Karger AG Ltd.: Figures 3.3, 6.3, and 8.3; Nature Publishing Group: Figures 1.14, 3.4A, and 3.18; New York Academy of Sciences: Table 5.3; Norton and Co.: Figure 1.13; Orion Books: Figure 8.5; Oxford University Press: Figures 1.3, 1.12, 3.16, 3.20, 3.21, 4.2, 5.3, 5.4, 5.8, 5.9, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9, 6.10, 7.1, 7.8, 7.18, 8.4, 8.7, 8.8, and Tables 1.1, 1.2, 4.1, 4.2, 5.1, 5.2, 5.4, and 8.1; Plenum Press: Figure 5.2; Random House Inc., and Alfred A. Knopf: Figure 7.13; Raven

Press: Figure 3.9; The Royal Society: Figures 7.14, 7.16, and 7.17; Sinauer: Figure 5.1; Professor Devendra Singh: Figure 7.8; Society for the Scientific Study of Sex: Figure 7.19; Society for Reproduction and Fertility: Figures 5.6, 6.1, and 6.2; Society for the Study of Reproduction: Figure 3.10; University Science Books: Figure 3.15; Professor Frans de Waal: Figure 5.5; University of Chicago Press: Table 7.3; Wiley: Figures 1.10, 3.5, 6.4, and 7.4.

Professor Alan Dixson School of Biological Sciences Victoria University of Wellington New Zealand [email protected]

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