Sex in the museum

I went to the Seduced: Art and Sex from Antiquity to Now exhibit at the Barbican Art Gallery last weekend. Perhaps it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be, but it still conveyed that fascination with all things sexual that our species maintained throughout the human history. In modern society we often think pornography and sex craze are the products of our time, but this exhibit shows this is not so.

The only mention of science at the exhibit was a dark room showing images collected by Kinsey in the 40s as part of his ground breaking research into the taboo of human sexuality. Kinsey’s research shed light on what society saw as the dark side of human nature.

And yet, this exhibit would leave you thinking there isn’t much more to know about science of sex than you can learn from Kinsey’s explicit images. Recent CUP publication Female Infidelity and Paternal Uncertainty is an excellent example of the kind of research that has been challenging our views of human nature. Similar, freely available, review of the edgy ideas of sperm competition and various other adaptations to intense sexual selection in humans can be found in Review of General Psychology

If you’re interested in sex and society, reading this review may be as, if not more, interesting as going to the ‘Seduced’ exhibit.

Mićo Tatalović

Science journalist at New Scientist
Mićo Tatalović is environment and life science news editor at New Scientist magazine. He is also the chair of the board of the Association of British Science Writers and is actively involved in promoting science journalism in South-East Europe.
He runs the EuroScientist blog Balkan Science Beat.
Mićo Tatalović

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