Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Strayby Helen Fisher
Why do we fall in love? Romping through evolution, addressing a broad spectrum of species & a huge variety of cultures, Fisher casts her investigative net from the tundras of Siberia to the jungles of Amazonia in her examination of the physical & psychological phenomena of love. Enlightening & entertaining, lucid & learned, Anatomy of Love is a reminder that our Western culture is but the latest fascinating design on an ancient blueprint called the mating game. Fun & delightful to read, offering an abundance of fascinating facts new even to somebody well versed in the minutiae of animal behavior.
In this revised and expanded edition of her 1994 study on the nature of love, lust, and relationships, anthropologist Fisher (Why Him? Why Her?), chief scientific advisor to Match.com, applies a wide-ranging, scientific approach to the subject of love and relationships, addressing it from a variety of angles. Drawing on interviews, scientific surveys, anecdotes, and much more, she undertakes to explain “how we court; who we choose; how we bond; why some are adulterous and some divorce; how the drive to love evolved; why we have teenagers and vast networks of kin to rear our young; why a man can’t be more like a woman and vice versa; how sex and romance drastically altered with the invention of the plow.” The result is a dense read that conveys a wealth of information, both useful and trivial, in the attempt to cover every aspect of a vast and mutable subject. Fisher is consistent, however, in keeping the tone light, regardless of whether she is discussing marriage rituals, polygamy, flirting, or incest taboos. At the heart of it all is “the unquenchable, adaptable, and primordial human drive to love.” People seeking easy answers to relationship issues may feel disappointed or overwhelmed, but there’s no shortage of food for thought. (Feb.)
Anthropologist Fisher (senior research fellow, Kinsey Inst.; chief scientific advisor, Match.com) has revised her classic book on sex and relationships, which was originally published in 1992. The author approaches her subject by referencing crosscultural studies, human physiology, evolutionary biology, psychology, primatology, and statistics, and, with this edition, surveys from online dating services. Topics covered include love and attraction, attachment, monogamy, adultery, divorce, gender differences, sexual politics, and the future of sex. In this newer edition Fisher draws upon the growing body of research on sex and relationships from the neurosciences, the physiology of hormones, paleoanthropology, genetics, sexual orientation studies, and both evolutionary and social psychology. The original portions provide a natural history filled with entertaining and informative anecdotes and narratives that offer context and background. For Fisher, relationships and their cultural accoutrements have come and gone throughout human history, but love remains enduring; it is this sanguineness for love's universality that drives Fisher's understanding of human behavior. VERDICT This work remains a solid introduction to the nature of sex and relationships, albeit cursory in depth of coverage. Highly recommended to readers interested in human sexuality. [See Prepub Alert, 8/24/15.]—Scott Vieira, Rice Univ. Lib., Houston
Meet the Author
Helen Fisher , a biological anthropologist, is the author of five internationally selling books, including Why We Love and Why Him? Why Her? A Senior Research Fellow at the Kinsey Institute, a member of the Center for Human Evolutionary Studies at Rutgers University, and the chief scientific advisor to Match.com, Fisher is a frequent national and international speaker. Her TED talks have been viewed by more than 10 million people; and she lives in New York City.
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