Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

The Brown Symposium at Southwestern

Suggested Resources

General Interest Books

The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work: A Practical Guide from the Country's Foremost Relationship Expert by John Gottman

Professor Gottman debunks myths about relationships and offers several specific strategies for a making committed relationships work, supported by years of empirical research from his “love lab” at the University of Washington—filled with tools and exercises, it’s a great book for couples to read together.

Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships by David Schnarch

This frank, intelligent book by marital therapist Schnarch explains how long-term relationship dynamics are played out through sexual behavior, and teaches couples to understand how “differentiation” (i.e., of self from partner) is the key to healthy, satisfying, intimate relationships--widely recommended as a “must read” for anyone in a committed relationship.

Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex by Mary Roach

In this celebration of the scientific study of sex, meticulous researcher Mary Roach spares no one (including herself and her husband, who volunteer as participants in an MRI study of sexual behavior) as she explores the fascinating world of sex researchers, their studies, and their findings—irreverent, quirky, and laugh-out-loud funny, Bonk reads more like a beach novel than science writing.

A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the Internet tells us about Sexual Relationships by Ogi Ogas & Sai Gaddam

When two computational neuroscientists set out to study human desire by compiling data from the Internet searches of 55 million people, the result is a clever, engaging book--chock full of interesting findings about what people desire and supported by research in neuroscience and psychology; more of a popular read than a serious scientific book, but compelling nonetheless.

Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships by Christopher Ryan & Cacilda Jetha

Husband and wife team Ryan (a psychologist) and Jetha (a psychiatrist) draw on research from biology, primatology, anthropology, psychology, and other fields to argue that the current “standard model” of sexual behavior (i.e., monogamy, pair-bonding, nuclear family) is a very small part of our evolutionary history, culturally constructed after the rise of agriculture--an interesting, humorous, and provocative read by good storytellers.

America's War on Sex: The Attack on Law, Lust, and Liberty by Marty Klein

Long-time marital and sex therapist Dr. Marty Klein summarizes the battlefield in this country over sex, which pits “erotophiles” (those who tolerate and appreciate sexuality) against “erotophobes” (those who fear and hate sexuality) in several domains, including sex education, reproductive rights, broadcast indecency, pornography, and sexual privacy--a well-researched and impassioned plea for a more sex-positive society.

Unprotected Texts: The Bible's Surprising Contradictions about Sex and Desire by Jennifer Wright Knust

An American Baptist pastor and Boston University biblical scholar, Knust presents a highly readable analysis of scripture focusing on today’s most controversial topics (e.g., homosexuality, infidelity, divorce, cross-dressing, masturbation, premarital sex), arguing that representations of sex in the Bible are more diverse and nuanced than are generally acknowledged and that the Bible should not serve as the ultimate rule book for sexual morality.

Guide to Getting it On by Paul Joannides

Dr. Joannides’ award-winning book is in its 7th edition and has been translated into 12 languages for a reason: it is widely considered to be the most comprehensive, informative, entertaining, and up-to-date guide to all things sexual (90 chapters cover everything one could ever want to know about sex). Used by doctors, college students, and couples around the world, it’s a fascinating read that’s hard to put down.

Naked at Our Age: Talking Out Loud About Senior Sex by Joan Price

Frank, honest, and well researched, Price uses real life stories to supplement her tips, myth-busters, and advice covering the joys and challenges of sex later in life--an important resource for anyone over the age of 50 who values pleasure and sensuality.