The Human Animal - The Biology of Love

The 19th century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was one of the first thinkers to take seriously the idea of instinctual drives working below the level of conscious awareness, deriving from this subtle insight a vast wealth of philosophical positions on metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, psychology and many others. As it turns out, and when combined with evolutionary theory, this general idea of subconscious drives has proven to be extremely successful, opening up major realms of research into the workings of the human mind.

In his study of humans, the most fascinating and strange animals on the planet, zoologist Desmond Morris sets out to understand one of the most important topics for this strange species: the relationship between love and sex (another topic about which Nietzsche had quite a lot to say).

Starting with the anatomical evolution of distinguishing physical characteristics, and contextualizing cultural variations in traditional and modern societies in the light of a biological conceptual framework, Morris paints a touching and disturbing picture of the evolution of human intimacy, from the early stages of infancy to the consummation of adult love and procreation. Despite the existence of deep cultural variation between different societies, the understanding of human beings as biological organisms reveals the universality of our evolutionary roots. Though some of the interpretations have changed since the original filming, there are lots of food for thought and self-reflection here.

If that's not enough to get your attention, there are also lots of nakedness in the video. Boobies galore! :)

Hungry for more sex? Check out more about the sexual lives of bonobo chimps, or about philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer's thoughts on love, or about penises, or more episodes about the human animal, or maybe an entire documentary series dedicated to the study of human sexuality.
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