Podcast: How male sex drive evolved

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For decades, scientists suggested that fatherhood fulfilled a primarily evolutionary function: protecting and providing for offspring in return for sex. Meanwhile, sex, with as many partners as possible, helped dads’ genes carry on.

But after millions of years, changing sexual norms, dating apps, and entertainment going increasingly digital, that relationship with sex evolved.

Somewhere along the line, men transitioned from archaic cads, to doting dads, to taking “Netflix and chill” literally.

As scientists scratch their heads about why some men are having less sex than ever, new data offers surprising insight.

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In this episode of The Abstract, we discuss the strange evolution of the American male sex drive.

Related article:  Have any of Earth's creatures stopped evolving?

Our first story is about sex in America (and how 1 in 3 young men aren’t have it). Scientists caught a glimpse of Americans’ sex lives and discovered a steady sexual decline of the young American male — regardless of sexual orientation. The decades-long data hints why sex is losing its appeal in modern life.

Our second story digs further back into history with a look at how ancient men evolved from carnal carousers to family providers. As scientists get a better idea of the conditions that honed human fatherhood, a closer look at evolution helps explain how the “dads” ultimately beat out the “cads.”

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