Jesse Bering is an award-winning science writer specialising in evolutionary psychology and human behaviour. His “Bering in Mind” column at Scientific American was a 2010 Webby Award Honouree for the Blog-Cultural category by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences. Bering’s first book, The Belief Instinct (2011), was included on the American Library Association’s Top 25 Books of the Year. This was followed by a collection of his previously published essays, Why Is the Penis Shaped Like That? (2012), and Perv (2013), a taboo-breaking work that received widespread critical acclaim and was named as a New York Times Editor’s Choice.
All three books have been translated into many different languages. He has written for Slate, The Guardian, The New York Times, Discover, The Chicago Tribune, The New Republic, Vice and many others. Several of his science-writing projects have sold for option rights to major television and film producers in the United States. An experimental psychologist by training, Bering’s early research was in the cognitive science of religion, and he has published extensively in that field. Presently, he is an Associate Professor at the Centre for Science Communication at the University of Otago, New Zealand.
KINKS AND FETISHES
Why are some people kinky? Where do kinks come from? At last count, there were more than 500 certifiable paraphilias (forms of sexual deviance) in the clinical literature, from erotic attraction to honeybees (“melissaphilia”) to obtaining gratification by falling down stairs (“climacophilia”) to arousal from amputees (“acrotomophilia”). Associate Professor Jesse Bering examines the evidence for and against the theory of ‘sexual imprinting’ – the idea that fetishes and kinks have their origins in early childhood experiences.