The Mating Game: In Search of the Meaning of Sex

Overview

Are men redundant parasites? Do women waste half of their reproductive capacity giving birth to sons? Would a woman who could reproduce asexually and bear only female offspring eventually become the mother of a new and dominant species? If these questions are not provocative enough for you, don't worry; you'll find plenty more in The Mating Game.

In this challenging exploration of sexuality as a tool and engine of evolution, acclaimed science ...
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2003 Hardcover New in New jacket BRAND NEW 2003 Barnes & Noble Book PERFECT boards FLAWLESS dust jacket GIFT QUALITY John Gribbin & Jeremy Cherfas [authors] 1.2+*Usually same ... or next day service with possible use of recycled materials by a reliable seller~GUARANTEED~FIVE STAR SELLER~ Read more Show Less

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More About This Book

Overview

Are men redundant parasites? Do women waste half of their reproductive capacity giving birth to sons? Would a woman who could reproduce asexually and bear only female offspring eventually become the mother of a new and dominant species? If these questions are not provocative enough for you, don't worry; you'll find plenty more in The Mating Game.

In this challenging exploration of sexuality as a tool and engine of evolution, acclaimed science writers John Gribbin and Jeremy Cherfas pose thorny and contentious questions in their quest to discover and explain why we reproduce the way we do. Looking at everything from single-cell organisms to computer dating services, they reveal how human sexual behavior—including our attitudes toward incest, promiscuity, and homosexuality—is deeply rooted in our evolutionary past. They also explain, in clear, easy-to-follow language, the complex relationships between sexuality and natural selection, sexual dimorphism, gender roles, and many other evolution-related topics.

If you're still wondering whether men are redundant, or if modern technology will soon make them so, it looks like the answer is yes—except for one tiny, but very surprising snag. Read The Mating Game and find out why men still matter, at least for the foreseeable future.

About the Author

John Gribbin trained as an astrophysicist at the University of Cambridge and is currently Visiting Fellow in Astronomy at the University of Sussex. His many books include In Search of Schrödinger's Cat, The Birth of Time, Ice Age (with Mary Gribbin), and The Mating Game (with Jeremy Cherfas).

Jeremy Cherfas is a biologist with a Ph.D. in animal behavior. He was biology editor of New Scientist magazine and is the author of The Hunting of the Whale and The Mating Game (with John Gribbin).
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780760745434
  • Publisher: Barnes & Noble
  • Publication date: 7/31/2003
  • Pages: 236

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2004

    Mystery of sex revealed

    In The Mating Game, John Gribbins and Jeremy Cherfas take us on an expedition to find the meaning of sex. To shed light on the dark roads of this voyage, they pose thought-provoking questions such as: What is sex? Why do humans reproduce sexually? How does society influence sexual behaviors? How does sex differ between humans and other organisms? By answering these questions, they reveal the intricate relationship between sexuality and natural selection. At the final destination, they pose the ultimate question: Why is sex so prevalent? In their words, sex persists because ¿a species that reproduces sexually exists longer and so is more likely to give rise to a new species than is an asexual cloning species¿ (213). Simply put sexual reproduction offers an advantage, which allows humans to live longer by making them moving targets for pathogenic parasites. This book is written with clarity. Its title is eye-catching, provocative, and scientifically accurate. It is filled with numerous examples that elucidate the age-old question of sex. The use of the Red Queen hypothesis (56) concisely explains the evolutionary significance of sexual reproduction. Additionally, many real-life applications are presented in a clear, easy-to-follow language that virtually anyone with a little background in science could understand and appreciate. For instance the peacock¿s tail (85) is used as and example of why sexual selection was not only relevant, but also straight-forward. Although simple to read, this book is written for a scientifically literate audience. It is strongly grounded in genetics and molecular biology. So without a background in evolution and genetics, one may find the book difficult. However, an undergraduate student conducting research on sexual reproduction or an evolutionary psychologist may find this book indispensable, for it provides a comprehensive review of the evolutionary nature of sex, the role of sex in society, and the theories of human attraction. The authors¿ ultimate claim, that human behavior is deeply rooted in our evolutionary past, appears accurate based on the scientific evidence presented. However, this claim is compromised because all pieces to the evolutionary puzzle are not complete. For instance, making a conclusion about human sexuality based on the mating behavior of chimpanzees may be misleading because of the genetic differences that exist between these two primates (192). Overall, I found this book to be informative and enlightening. While reading this book, I was constantly thinking and applying its concepts to my life experiences. As a woman I have always wondered why men were more promiscuous than women and this book has definitely broadened my understanding of these behavioral differences. Additionally, I have always been curious about societal attitudes towards incest, marriage, and homosexuality. This book clarified my understanding of these issues and provided a biological perspective on many cultural taboos.

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