Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray

Overview

With fresh research backing her original findings, Helen Fisher brings this landmark work to a new audience.
Love at first sight . . . hooking up . . . jealousy . . . adultery. . . . Helen Fisher explains it all in this thought-provoking anthropological view of human sexual and romantic behavior. Examining marriage and divorce in fifty-eight societies, infidelity in forty-two cultures, and new national studies of singles in America, she argues that we are returning to patterns ...

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Paperback (Completely Revised and Updated with a New Introduction)
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Overview

With fresh research backing her original findings, Helen Fisher brings this landmark work to a new audience.
Love at first sight . . . hooking up . . . jealousy . . . adultery. . . . Helen Fisher explains it all in this thought-provoking anthropological view of human sexual and romantic behavior. Examining marriage and divorce in fifty-eight societies, infidelity in forty-two cultures, and new national studies of singles in America, she argues that we are returning to patterns of sex, romance, love, and attachment that echo our ancient past. This classic book has been updated throughout to include her revolutionary work on the brain in love, love addictions, and why we are biologically drawn to specific partners, and includes a new chapter on future sex.

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Editorial Reviews

Deborah Tannen
“Will give everyone who reads it a lot to talk about.”
New York Times Book Review
“Delightful to read . . . fascinating.”
Edward O. Wilson
“Fisher weaves a persuasive and consistently surprising new explanation of the roots of human marriage, sex, and love.”
Philadelphia Inquirer
“Answers all those puzzling questions that caused your mother (or priest or guidance counselor or gym teacher) to blame God and/or hormones.”
San Francisco Chronicle
“Enlightening and controversial.”
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this engrossing, entertaining book, Fisher, a research associate at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, draws on anthropology and biology to answer eternal questions about love and sex, men and women. Breezy but serious, she cites everything from chimpanzee polities to the !Kung people of the Kalahari Desert to provide details on courting styles, multiple orgasms and homosexuality. Fisher (The Sex Contract) allows that she's not politically correct, and some may be troubled by her assertions that adultery occurs in nearly every culture and that male attraction to beauty and female attraction to money are probably innate. She offers her own theory on challenges to marriage in traditional societies: the proverbial seven-year itch may be better seen as a four-year cycle allowing relationships to endure at least long enough to raise a child through infancy. Surveying reasons (such as the introduction of the plow) for the growth of the sexual double standard in Western society, Esher concludes that increased equality between men and women will restore older traditions of love and marriage. BOMC and QPB alternates; author tour. (Nov.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393349740
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 2/2/2015
  • Edition description: Completely Revised and Updated with a New Introduction
  • Pages: 400

Meet the Author

Helen Fisher 's books include Why We Love and Why Him?
Why Her? A member of the Center for Human Evolutionary
Studies at Rutgers University and chief scientific adviser for
Match.com, she lives in New York.

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Table of Contents

To the Reader: A "Way of Seeing " 11
Acknowledgments 15
1 Courting: Games People Play 19
2 Infatuation: Why Him? Why Her? 37
3 Of Human Bonding: Is Monogamy Natural? 59
4 Why Adultery?: The Nature of Philandering 75
5 Blueprint for Divorce: The Four-Year Itch 98
6 "When Wild in Woods the Noble Savage Ran": Life among Our Ancestors in the Trees 118
7 Out of Eden: A Theory on the Origin of Monogamy and Desertion 139
8 Eros: Emergence of the Sexual Emotions 162
9 The Siren's Web: Evolution of Human Sexual Anatomy 175
10 Why Can't a Man Be More Like a Woman?: Development of the Human Sexual Brain 189
11 Women, Men, and Power: The Nature of Sexual Politics 209
12 Almost Human: Genesis of Kinship and the Teenager 227
13 The First Affluent Society: A Flowering of Conscience 239
14 Fickle Passion: Romance in Yesteryears 259
15 "Till Death Us Do Part": Birth of Western Double Standards 275
16 Future Sex: Forward to the Past 292
Notes 313
Appendix 357
Bibliography 363
Index 409
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