Chapter 5 chronicles our male-driven mad dash from the agricultural epochs that succeeded the hunter-gatherer eons to the present day. Men and women have had to adjust to the promise and peril of modern civilization in the blink of an evolutionary eye. Though we may be removed from the timeless natural settings familiar to countless generations of our ancestors, ancient instincts and proclivities remain within us. Mindful of evolution, we focus on how changing conditions impacted men and women and the pair bond they forged on the savanna. We learn how barter, trade and the hard work of building empires set men out into the world while most women remained busy at the hearth, planting the seeds of community and tending to the next generation.

During this ascent through recorded history, the intimate bargain was rocked by newly-emerging political, economic and cultural forces, increasing urbanization and changing forms of labor. And although the circumstances of men and women were increasingly governed by their social status, women were hemmed in at almost every level. Yet the pair bond proved to be an amazingly resilient compact. The chapter provides a background to our contemporary predicament, placing today's male-female tensions and social anxieties in the context of our recent past, setting the stage for an examination of the sexual bargain in the book's next section.