The Evolutionary Biology of Human Female Sexuality

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Overview

Research conducted in the last fifteen years has placed in question many of the traditional conclusions scholars have formed about human female sexuality. Though conventional wisdom asserts that women's estrus has been evolutionarily lost, Randy Thornhill and Steven W. Gangestad assert that it is present, though concealed. Women, they propose, therefore exhibit two sexualities each ovulatory cycle-estrus and sexuality outside of the estrous phase, extended sexuality-that possess distinct functions. Synthesizing research in behavioral evolution and comparative biology, the authors provide a new theoretical framework for understanding the evolution of human female sexuality, one that is rooted in female sexuality and phylogeny across all vertebrate animals.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195340983
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/25/2008
  • Pages: 424
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Randy Thornhill is Distinguished Professor of Biology at the University of New Mexico.
Steven W. Gangestad is Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the University of New Mexico.

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Table of Contents

1 Background and Overview of the Book 1

2 Methodology 16

3 Extended Female Sexuality 37

4 The Evolution of Human Mating Systems and Parental Care 56

5 Female Ornaments and Signaling 78

6 The Evolution of Women's Permanent Ornaments 110

7 Good Genes and Mate Choice 144

8 Estrus 184

9 Women's Estrus 207

10 Women's Estrus, Pair Bonding, and Extra-Pair Sex 234

11 Concealed Fertility 266

12 Coevolutionary Processes: Men's Counterstrategies and Women's Responses to Them 290

13 Reflections 321

References 331

Index 393

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