by Brenna Hassett (Author)
Publisher: Bloomsbury Sigma
Publication date: September 27, 2022
Print length: 384 pages
In Growing Up Human, Brenna Hassett explores how our evolutionary history has shaped a phenomenon every reader will have experienced – childhood.
Tracking deep into our evolutionary history, anthropological science has begun to unravel one particular feature that sets us apart from the many, many animals that came before us – our uniquely long childhoods.
Growing Up Human looks at how we have diverged from our ancestral roots to stay ‘forever young’ – or at least what seems like forever – and how the evolution of childhood is a critical part of the human story.
Beginning with a look at the ways animals invest in their offspring, the book moves through the many steps of making a baby, from pair-bonding to hidden ovulation, points where our species has repeatedly stepped off the standard primate path.
From the mystery of monogamy to the minefield of modern parenting advice, biological anthropologist Brenna Hassett reveals how differences between humans and our closest cousins lead to our messy mating systems, dangerous pregnancies, and difficult births, and what these tell us about the kind of babies we are trying to build.
“With characteristic wit, humour and verve, Brenna Hassett delves deep into our evolutionary past and inner nature to explain why humans are ‘the ape who never grew up’.” (Alice Roberts)
“Bursting with fascinating ideas and surprising facts, Growing Up Human pulls off a masterly trick, with such lucid and entertaining writing that even complex scientific ideas slip down a treat.
This is human evolution at its most captivating; clever and charming, just like our amazing babies.” (Rebecca Wragg Sykes, author of Kindred). Amazon.com