Talk:The Naked Ape

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Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was move per request. It also seems to me that even if we didn't have the natural disambiguation, this very famous book would be the primary topic per a search I just tried.--Fuhghettaboutit (talk) 02:30, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

The Naked Ape (book)The Naked Ape – Unnecessary disambiguation. The base name already redirects here. It seems the article was moved to disambiguate it from Naked Ape (band), but there's no technical conflict in the titles. Powers T 19:20, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

  • Support per nom. Hatnotes can do the job here. Jenks24 (talk) 06:34, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support: per WP:D as it is not necessary to disambig and add hatnote to avoid confusion per Jens24 suggestion--Michaela den (talk) 09:47, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
  • Support per nom. bd2412 T 20:51, 5 June 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Weird, POV-pushing sentence[edit]

This sentence is problematic to me, both logically and from a WP:NPOV perspective:

Morris made a number of claims in the book, including that not only does Homo sapiens have the largest brain of all primates but also the largest penis compared to his whole body, and is therefore "the sexiest primate alive". He further claimed that our fleshy ear-lobes, which are unique to humans, are erogenous zones, the stimulation of which can cause orgasm in both males and females.

  1. The "Morris made a number of claims ..." opening leads us to expect some kind of "... and [public and critical response here]" closure. But there's nothing. No indication whether the claims have been accepted or rejected, by whom.
  2. Without this closure, it isn't just jarring, but appears intended to fallaciously cast a pall of vague, pejorative doubt on his work, purely through insinuation and manipulative use of language. "They're just claims." This sort of use of the word "claim" is specifically discouraged for NPOV reasons at Wikipedia:Manual of Style/Words to watch#Synonyms for said.
  3. This use of "claims" also strongly implies that Morris was the originator of all the ideas outlined there, but this is extremely unlikely, and we certainly have no source for it. (For one thing, virtually everyone over the age of puberty, since the dawn of humanity, has been well aware that the earlobes are an erogenous zone. A more peculiar idea Morris advances is that our lower, external nose flesh is as well, and this may well be an idea he did originate. I'm not aware of any culture in which something like tongue-probing the nose is a common human mating ritual.)
  4. Ultimately, the sentence contruction makes no sense at all, because every non-fiction book ever published "makes claims". Singling Morris out for "making claims" is just weird, suspicious, and confusing to the reader.

 — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  22:53, 26 May 2015 (UTC)


Morris said that Homo sapiens not only have the largest brains of all higher primates, but that sexual selection in human evolution has caused humans to have the highest ratio of penis size to body mass. Morris conjectured that human ear-lobes developed as an additional erogenous zone to facilitate the extended sexuality necessary in the evolution of human monogamous pair bonding

- this should be consistent with WP:SAY and with the language on Earlobe. The conjecture on earlobes is probably wrong (based on consensus today) but the penis size ratio is discussed on Sexual selection in human evolution. @SMcCandlish: -- Callinus (talk) 16:07, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

@Callinus: Good show. What's the earlobe material, out of curiosity? What's the current thinking on that? I'd thought Morris actually claimed it was a development from our frequent face-to-face rather than "doggy-style" typical-primate intercourse position; I don't recall him relating it to pair-bonding, though I haven't read the book in over a decade so I could be misremembering.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  16:34, 12 July 2015 (UTC)
@SMcCandlish: language is from the article Earlobe - pair-bonding and monogamy is argued to be an evolutionary adaptation. The whole thing seems an awful lot like speculation and conjecture, the nerve endings on the fleshy part could be for other things (wind - motion?).-- Callinus (talk) 16:59, 12 July 2015 (UTC)
Ah, OK, I thought maybe you had some fresh research at had I hadn't seen. I agree it's conjectural. It may always be, since we can't travel back in time, then speed it up to watch evolution happen. I think the best we can do at Earlobe (which needs a lot of work) is find more journal sources, and report what the sources are telling us, of course. There's so much to work on and the topic is comparatively obscure, as human anatomy subjects go, so it may take a while for that article to see much improvement. As for this one, I guess I should try to find my copy of this book and re-review it. I seem to be the only one asking questions about what our article is saying about the book and the claims made in it (though thanks again for the copyediting; I thought of approaching it myself, but I must have been sleepy or something, and then forgot to come back to see if there'd been any response).  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  17:19, 12 July 2015 (UTC)

Undue weight?[edit]

I haven't read the book in years, but I'm not sure that the "can cause orgasm in both males and females" claim about what he wrote about the ears is actually correct. Even he did say something about this, it surely would have been observation of a rare reaction. Mainstream psychology is well aware of individuals who can orgasm without genital contact, but it's not common, and Morris would not have been the first to write about it, nor would he dwell on it, so it's probably WP:UNDUE weight to devote coverage here to him perhaps having mentioned it. I'm pretty sure Masters and Johnson wrote about it a decade earlier, and they may not have been the first either, in the West. (Various Eastern mystic disciplines have known about this for centuries.) If it's kept for some reason, it needs to be verified, and it should only be kept if there's a reliably sourceable reason to do so, e.g. due to verifiable controversy arising from his having reported on it.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  22:53, 26 May 2015 (UTC)

Some things to source[edit]

Third-party reviewers should probably be quoted to support the notion that many readers and reviewers focused on the sexual aspects of his book. It's true (especially of his zoological approach to describing what happens on a hot date; I've read a detailed review of this somewhere, ca. 1999, though I don't recall when the review was actually published, but I surely saw it on the Web). It just needs to be sourced.

There can also probably be found sources for the fact (not mentioned in the article) that the book had a marked positive effect on the rise of anthropology as a popular university subject, despite not being a strictly anthropological work, but more sociobiological.  — SMcCandlish ¢ ≽ʌⱷ҅ʌ≼  22:53, 26 May 2015 (UTC)