The Score: How the Quest for Sex Has Shaped the Modern Man

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A smart, witty, and fresh look at the male side of the male-female relationship from a science writer and sex columnist at The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Beginning with a “boot camp” for wannabe pickup artists—where men pay thousands of dollars for three days of classroom seminars on how to get women into bed—Faye Flam's quest for a deeper understanding of men takes her back through the evolutionary history of the human male.

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The Score: The Science of the Male Sex Drive

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Overview

A smart, witty, and fresh look at the male side of the male-female relationship from a science writer and sex columnist at The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Beginning with a “boot camp” for wannabe pickup artists—where men pay thousands of dollars for three days of classroom seminars on how to get women into bed—Faye Flam's quest for a deeper understanding of men takes her back through the evolutionary history of the human male.

Sweeping from the birth of the first male and female organisms to the sexual foibles of twenty-first-century humans, Flam shows how a small difference in the size of the first sperm and eggs set off a war between the sexes that we're still fighting today. Since this primordial split, a consistent pattern of behavior has emerged: males use a stunning variety of strategies to make themselves attractive to females, and females put them through the wringer.

By placing the human male in the context of the natural world, Flam highlights some intriguing resemblances among males of all species, but also the unique challenges that men face when courting women—whether for a lifelong partnership or a one-night stand. Flam ultimately reveals that millions of years of evolution have left the love lives of humans suspended somewhere between monogamy and promiscuity, and that it is this eons-old tension between males and females that has created the modern man.

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Editorial Reviews

Matt Ridley
Faye Flam knows exactly how to make sex scientific and how to make science sexy. She penetrates the mysteries of human and animal passion with great style. (Matt Ridley, author of Genome and The Red Queen)
Mark Bowden
Faye Flam is a very clever writer, smart and witty. She wears her scholarship lightly, stylishly, and with a wink. Men picking up this book hoping for tips on bedding women might at first be disappointed, but if they stick around they might learn the most important pick-up skill of all: To listen. After all, chances are she's smarter than you, and more entertaining. There's no better proof of that than this book. (Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down)
David M. Buss
Faye Flam provides a fascinating tour of how the quest for sex has shaped the evolution of human and nature in all of its staggeringly delightful forms. Written with a deft touch and humorous hand, The Score is anchored in solid science of sexuality. It takes readers on a journey of insights that ranges from the tactics of pick-up artists to some surprising benefits of testosterone. Faye Flam has a genius for spanning different scientific disciplines, and bringing out the hidden gems contained in each. I couldn't put the book down. (David M. Buss, author of The Evolution of Desire)
John Allen Paulos
Offering a fascinating look at everything from transsexual snakes and the long corkscrew penises of ducks to club pickup techniques and the connection between male scum and scum that is male, Faye Flam ranges broadly over many disciplines to show how sexual strivings and strategies have shaped not only us, but virtually the whole animal kingdom. Whether you're interested in cads or cod, The Score will provide you with scores of compelling, often counterintuitive insights. (John Allen Paulos, professor of mathematics at Temple University, and author of Innumeracy and Irreligion )
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781583333129
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/12/2008
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.26 (w) x 9.24 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Faye Flamhas been covering science for The Philadelphia Inquirer since 1995. In June 2005, she started writing “Carnal Knowledge,” a weekly column about the science of sex. She has also written for New Scientist, Science, and The Economist, and her search for a good science story has taken her everywhere from the South Pole to Greenland to NASA's zero-g plane.

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Table of Contents


Preface     ix
The Mystery: What Pickup Artists Reveal About the Natural World     1
Let There Be Sexes: Why the Origin of the Sexes Changed Everything     7
Competing for Females: How the Quest for Sex Made Men Different from Women     19
Sex Drive: Why Some Males Will Risk Life and Limb for Sex     27
The Genetics of Men: How the Y Chromosome Came About and What it Tells us About the Future of Men     43
Private Parts: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Phallology     61
Testosterone: How to Make a Man, and Some Things That Can go Awry in the Process     77
The Secret Lives of Sperm: What Sperm Want and How They Can Manipulate Both Men and Women     93
Are Men Scum?: Pornography and Casual Sex in Perspective     101
Beauty and Beasts: How the Quest for Sex Gave Rise to Beauty     117
Alpha and Beta: Sex, Power, and the Decline of the Alpha Male     131
Who's Your Daddy?: Fatherly Males and the Sex Appeal of MR. MOM     143
Sexual Outlaws: Homosexuals, Bisexuals, Transsexuals, and the Power of Diversity in the Game of Life     155
Why Males are Necessary: Not for Survival, But for Reproduction     175
Conclusion: Who We Are     183
Sources and References     187
Index     207
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