Sex in the Brain

How Seizures, Strokes, Dementia, Tumors, and Trauma Can Change Your Sex Life

Amee Baird

Columbia University Press

Sex in the Brain

Pub Date: February 2020

ISBN: 9780231195904

224 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $28.00£22.00

Pub Date: February 2020

ISBN: 9780231551557

224 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $27.99£22.00

Sex in the Brain

How Seizures, Strokes, Dementia, Tumors, and Trauma Can Change Your Sex Life

Amee Baird

Columbia University Press

What controls our sex lives? Our brains. Yet there is surprisingly little research into how our brains influence one of the most fundamental of all human behaviors. And there is even less understanding of what can happen to the sexuality of a person who suffers a brain injury or illness such as a stroke, Parkinson’s disease, or dementia.

In Sex in the Brain, clinical neuropsychologist Amee Baird explores fascinating case studies of dramatic changes in sexual behavior and explains what these exceptional stories have to say about human sexuality. She illuminates the extraordinary insights into how the brain works that injury or disease can divulge. Each chapter includes striking personal accounts, many from individuals Baird has met in her clinical practice, of unexpected shifts in sexuality. Until now these fascinating, frightening, and funny stories have been hidden in medical journals or untold outside of the clinical setting. This revealing and sometimes heartbreaking book unfolds a better understanding of the links between brain function and our sexual selves.
Sex in the Brain is an intoxicating read about our most important sex organ: the brain. Baird’s book explores neuroscience in a way that is both accessible and engaging, and readers will be fascinated by the untold stories of how brain injury, illness, and disease impact our sex lives. They will walk away with a greater appreciation for the incredible diversity that exists in human sexual behavior and the way it is intricately controlled by the brain. Justin Lehmiller, research fellow at the Kinsey Institute and author of Tell Me What You Want
Amee Baird has delivered an entertaining and informative tour of the sexiest bits of the human brain, with real case studies from her research and clinical practice. In the style of the guru of popular neurology, Oliver Sacks, Baird captures the humanity of her patients. This book is at its best when it lets us into the lives of the patients and uses their cases to unfold a better understanding of the brain and what it means to be human. The sexual content is handled with great balance, neither prudish and euphemistic nor crude and voyeuristic. That isn’t easy to achieve, but achieve it Baird has. Rob Brooks, director of the Evolution and Ecology Research Centre, UNSW Sydney, and author of Sex, Genes, and Rock ‘n’ Roll: How Evolution Has Shaped the Modern World
The taboo on talking about changes in sex drive and sexual behaviors following brain damage is over! Neuropsychologist Amee Baird’s engaging case studies exploring this topic will move as well as educate the general reader and inspire professionals to incorporate this central human need into their patient assessments and treatments. Jenni Ogden, author of Fractured Minds and Trouble in Mind
A compelling overview of our current understanding of the brain mechanisms of sex, written in the tradition of Oliver Sacks. Mark Solms, director of neuropsychology, University of Cape Town
Introduction
1. Your Sexiest Brain Bits
2. ‘Give It to Me Baby’ or ‘Not Tonight, Darling’
3. Sexual Side Effects of Seizure Surgery
4. Stimulation, Shunts and Psychosurgery
5. Can Sex Change Your Brain?
6. What’s Love Got to Do with It?
7. From Safety Pins to Sleeping Beauties
8. Sex on the Spectrum
9. Porn on the Train (and on the Brain)
10. Blame It on My Brain
Afterword
Further Reading
Acknowledgments
Index

About the Author

Amee Baird is a clinical neuropsychologist with a PhD from the University of Melbourne. Involved in research and private practice, she has published widely in academic journals and in The Conversation and is a regular media commentator.