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Primate Sexuality: Comparative Studies of the Prosimians, Monkeys, Apes, and Human Beings


By: Alan F Dixson(Author)

793 pages, 8 plates with colour & b/w photos; 400+ b/w illustrations, 73 tables

Oxford University Press

Paperback | Mar 2013 | Edition: 2 | #202391 | ISBN-13: 9780199676613
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £71.99 $94/€82 approx
Hardback | Jan 2012 | Edition: 2 | #156437 | ISBN-13: 9780199544646
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £120.00 $157/€136 approx

About this book

Primate Sexuality provides an authoritative and comprehensive synthesis of current research on the evolution and physiological control of sexual behaviour in the primates – prosimians, monkeys, apes, and human beings. This new edition has been fully updated and greatly expanded throughout to incorporate a decade of new research findings. It maintains the depth and scientific rigour of the first edition, and includes a new chapter on human sexuality, written from a comparative perspective. It contains 2,600 references, almost 400 figures and photographs, and 73 tables.

New to this edition:
- Updated throughout – approximately 20% of the text is new and includes many new illustrations. There are 600 new references
- A new chapter discusses human sexuality in a comparative context
- Includes a new 8-page colour plate section

"In 15 richly illustrated chapters Alan Dixson lays out the fundamentals of primate and human sexuality. The only book that has been anywhere near as complete and interesting as Primate Sexuality was his previous edition of this book, and in this new edition Dixson has surpassed himself. Primatologists and evolutionary biologists are in the authors debt for an invaluable labour of love."
– Professor Richard Wrangham, Harvard University, USA

"Alan Dixson's impeccable scholarship and analysis provides a balanced discussion of the controversies, and the limitations of current knowledge. A superb, authoritative, brilliant, and engaging reference."
– Professor Elisabeth Lloyd, Indiana University, USA

"A solid demonstration of first class scholarship that weaves together evolutionary biology, reproductive physiology, and developmental neurobiology. It is a must-read."
– Professor Fred Bercovitch, Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University, Japan


1: Darwin and friends
2: Primate classification and evolution
3: Mating systems
4: Mating tactics and reproductive success
5: Sexual behaviour and sexual response
6: Socio-sexual, bisexual, and homosexual behaviour
7: Sexual selection and sexually dimorphic traits
8: Sperm competition
9: Sexual selection and genitalic evolution
10: The development of sexually dimorphic behaviour
11: The ovarian cycle and sexual behaviour
12: The neuroendocrine regulation of sexual behaviour in the adult female
13: Hormones and sexual behaviour in the adult male
14: Socioendocrinology and sexual behaviour
15: Human sexuality in primatological perspective


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Alan Dixson was educated in England at the University of Nottingham, where he obtained a BSc in Zoology (1970) and at the University of Birmingham Medical School, where he was awarded a PhD (1973) and a DSc in Biological Sciences (1993). His research has involved comparative studies of reproductive biology and the evolution of sexuality in primates and in other mammals. He has held posts at the Zoological Society of London (1976-1983), Medical Research Council UK (1983-1999), International Medical Research Centre in Gabon (1989-1992), Sub-Department of Animal Behaviour, University of Cambridge (1993-1998) and was Director of Conservation and Science at the Zoological Society of San Diego in the USA (1999- 2005). He is currently a professor in the School of Biological Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington, in New Zealand. Alan Dixson has authored, or co-authored, more than 140 papers and books.

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