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What's Love Got to Do with It?: The Evolution of Human Mating

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Romantic love very often has little to do with our sexual drives. Current research indicates that more powerful and urgent is the biological imperative of passing on genes, and the adaptive behaviors that have evolved over time. What is particularly surprising are the new alternative interpretations of traditional science that imply an increased role on the part of human females in initiating sex, biologically encouraging or discouraging pregnancy, and more. Because so much of human sexuality until recently was ...
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Overview

Romantic love very often has little to do with our sexual drives. Current research indicates that more powerful and urgent is the biological imperative of passing on genes, and the adaptive behaviors that have evolved over time. What is particularly surprising are the new alternative interpretations of traditional science that imply an increased role on the part of human females in initiating sex, biologically encouraging or discouraging pregnancy, and more. Because so much of human sexuality until recently was studied and interpreted by men, the possibility of alternative interpretations of human sexual behavior is creating front-page news. Some scientists now see menstruation not as a "curse," but as a protection against bacteria that can ride in on the backs of sperm, and additional new evidence shows that sperm can be manipulated by the female as well as the male in a silent war over who conceives with whom. These are just some of the new hypotheses explored in What's Love Got to Do with It? that are forcing scientists to rethink the human sexual arena.

Acclaimed anthropologist Meredith Small, in a refreshingly down-to-earth narrative, explores the why and how of human mating--and the role our revolutionary history plays in determining our sexual behavior. Photos.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Anthropologist Small's feminist take on human sexuality examines the intersections of love and biology. (July)
Library Journal
Small (anthropology, Cornell) has been studying and writing about sexual behavior for over a decade (Female Choices: Sexual Behavior of Female Primates, LJ 5/15/93). By analyzing how monkeys and baboons mate, she has begun to untangle the mysteries and mythology of human sexuality. For example, Small has found biological evidence to explain why many humans have difficulty with monogamy. She also draws interesting conclusions about love, lust, marriage, childbearing, menstruation, homosexuality, and what men and women actually desire in a mate. Though extensively documented and indexed, Small's text is still highly readable for general audiences. Recommended for both public and academic libraries.-A. Arro Smith, San Marcos P.L., Tex.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385473170
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/1/1995
  • Edition description: 1st Anchor books ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 6.59 (w) x 9.55 (h) x 1.01 (d)

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