It's A Jungle Out There, Jane: Understanding The Male Animal

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Overview

September 1999

The good news is that men are not from Mars and women are not from Venus, but the rest of the story is that we all -- men and women -- are animals with an instinctive, primal center that influences how we feel, act, and react. And that means the first step to understanding why guys act, think, talk, love, stay, stray, tune out, and turn on is to explore the ...
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Overview

September 1999

The good news is that men are not from Mars and women are not from Venus, but the rest of the story is that we all -- men and women -- are animals with an instinctive, primal center that influences how we feel, act, and react. And that means the first step to understanding why guys act, think, talk, love, stay, stray, tune out, and turn on is to explore the male from the biological, sociological, and anthropological point of view.

Sound overwhelming? It's not.

Dr. Joy Browne takes us into the office, the home, the bar, and the bedroom to show us men at work, at play, and at leisure, and she teaches about:

  • The Lion: Why do men have to be kings and why is that mane so important to them?
  • The Gorilla: Why do men freeze when women say, "We need to talk"?
  • The Bear: Why can't men pick up after themselves around the house?
  • The Pack: What do men do when they get together with their friends?

Smart, funny, and nonjudgmental, It's a Jungle Out There, Jane offers both men and women the help they need to get along with all the people in their lives, whether they're friends, lovers, mates, or offspring. And, best of all, since this is from Dr. Joy Browne, America's favorite radio psychologist, it's self-help that can really help.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Aiming squarely at the John Gray market, radio psychologist Browne (Nine Fantasies That Will Ruin Your Life) counters the Mars/Venus theory with an evolutionary interpretation of male behavior most likely to be appreciated by Janes (and Tarzans) with a sense of humor. Based on the premise that "we're all animals," the book addresses both sexes with the intent of improving their understanding of each other and their relationships. However, its biggest market will be among women who respond to Browne's direct, flippant tone, those who appreciate such advice as as "be careful what you ask for in the truth department" and that the words men fear most are "we need to talk." Direct and unpretentious, Browne views men's behavior--not only in love but at work, at home and as friends--in a biological and anthropological light, though in decidedly nonscientific terms. While her approach is not especially original, Browne works hard at making the material entertaining; however, this often diminishes or obscures its self-help potential and underlying common sense. She goes for the laughs, disguising useful tidbits as one-liners: "Blaming yourself for your spouse's indiscretions is like apologizing when your husband burps." Browne's new television show, also scheduled for September, will raise her national recognition and may prove a better forum for the clever notions that stretch thin on the page. Nine-city author tour; national radio satellite tour. (Sept.) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
In chapters like "The Pride," "Locking Horns," and "Roaring," high-flying radio/TV psychologist Browne unveils the wild beast inside every guy. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780609603574
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/7/1999
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 248
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Joy Browne has been an archaeologist, a med school student, and an engineer in the space program and has had her own private psychology practice. A licensed clinical psychologist, she received the 1998 American Psychological Association's President's Award for contributions to the field. Voted Best Female Talk Show Host for the last two years by the National Association of Talk Show Hosts, Dr. Joy's radio program is heard on more than 300 stations in the United States and Canada and her television show can be seen throughout the country. She is the author of six books, including The Nine Fantasies That Will Ruin Your Life and the best-selling Dating for Dummies.
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Read an Excerpt

The Jungle
A day in the life of a male baboon is one long struggle for status. Only dominant males breed. They get the girl, eat the best food, enjoy gazing out over the savannah while other baboons groom their coats. It's a good life . . . if you're troop leader. For all the rest of the males, it's a life of envy and plots to overthrow the number one guy. A young male baboon continuously attempts to gain status by approaching dominant males and flashing his deadly canine teeth. If an elder flinches and retreats, the studly young baboon moves up in the world. If the dominant male displays bigger fangs and greater fierceness, the Alpha wanna-be turns on his heels and bares his backside in defeat.

A day in the life of a human male is one long struggle for status. The most successful guy gets the cover girl, the expense account, the corner office. He has minions to cut his hair, tailor his Armani suits, shine his Bruno Magli shoes. It's a good life . . . if you're CEO. Less powerful males feel that life is about getting ahead, beating the competition, making the sale, garnering a promotion, scoring a bonus, or just keeping younger, hungrier predators off their derrieres.

In this country, when a man is between the ages of twenty-five and fifty-five, his identity is primarily defined by what he does to earn a living. Ask a man to describe himself and he'll tell you what he does. Ask a woman and she'll tell you her marital status. It's not that one is bad and the other is good, it's just that they are quite different. Not only does a guy live through his work, his work is who he is. To a man, the world of work is a jungle--a teeming, exhilarating, dangerous,frightening, proving ground. The law is survival of the fittest. The rat race is unrelenting, and whether you're dealing with government regulations, a cranky boss, a stubborn customer, or a competitor, it's a dog-eat-dog world. For a man, what he does is who he is.

The male animal's--any male animal's--drive to dominate is a powerful primal urge. Nowhere is this more evident than in the human jungle of the workplace, where guys are constantly looking for ways to brandish their fangs, gain status, cover their butts, become top dog. The beginning of understanding men is understanding how men act at work. When it comes to the adult male of the human species, the way to gather the most relevant data in the shortest time is to study him on the job, whether that's at an office, a construction site, a sales territory, a train engine, or a tractor.

Yeah, women also hack their way through the nine-to-five jungle, work the room, the land, the firm, but there's a major difference: Men define themselves through their work. A man without a job is a bum; a woman without a job is a wife or a daughter with some guy supporting her. While men may also be dads, husbands, lovers, beer buddies, racquetball players, or amateur auto mechanics, the idea of being out of work feels like dying. Everything stops--the familiar world disappears. He disappears as his reason for being seems to vanish. (Even from a genetic standpoint, if you can't stick around to protect and provide for your offspring, what's the point in bringing them forth?)
Understanding men at work means understanding dominance, aggression, and status. For most men, working is not just about making a living, it's about gaining and maintaining status. Interestingly, the word status comes from the same Latin root as "statura," meaning "upright position or body height." The original definition of status is "the way one stands." A guy feels his status is quite literally the true measure of himself as a man. His stature. His state of being.

Men have been taught that aggressive behavior will elevate their status at work. Aggression has a long history of being a prerequisite for successful men. Shareholders want a killer, not a CEO who's "understanding."

One of the Fortune 500's giants, Maurice "Hank" Greenberg of AIG Insurance, was dubbed A.I.G. for Aggressive Inscrutable Greenberg by his friends. Think what his competition called him! Another giant on the list, Jack Levy, managing director of Merrill Lynch's Mergers and Acquisitions, says his secret to success is "Never let the other guys breathe." Look at recent best-sellers on the business bookshelf: Trouncing the Dow, Eat the Rich, Winning Every Day, Unleashing the Killer App. What's this mean? Guys feel they need to "go for the throat" to succeed at work and achieve the status that goes with being the head honcho. Men are threatened by younger, more successful men, since these are the young lions who can smell weakness and obliterate an aging animal's manhood in one masterful swipe. The most dominant male wins . . . and winning is everything.

Winning can be fun or confusing or even important for women, but winning is crucial for men. Women rarely invest
as much self-worth in the outcome. Losing doesn't feel life-threatening to a woman, just disappointing. When a man loses,
he feels beaten, whipped, emasculated, humiliated--destined to spend his life grooming the winners, eating leftovers, and never, ever getting the girl.

Guys assert their dominance at work all the time, often without even realizing it. They stand instead of sit, they "bark" orders to coworkers, they "forget" to do something their boss asks them to do, they undercut another's achievements.
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2000

    Am I Tarzan

    I picked up my sister's copy and I'm not so sure what Dr. Browne is trying to get across. I'm nothing like the men she describes. I do know some who fit the bill perfectly, but let's not paint everyone with the same brush.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2000

    Joy Browne missed it

    As a 52 year man, all I want is a couple beers and a playoff game. I'm not looking to gain status at work. I work hard and earn my pay. Browne forgets that there are a lot of us out there who don't fit into neat little categories. Love, respect, and tolerance are needed most. I don't see too many men buying it and recommending it to their pals.

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