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If we all want love, why is there so much conflict in our most cherished relationships? To answer this question, says noted psychologist David Buss, we must look into our evolutionary past. Based on the most massive study of human mating ever undertaken, encompassing more than 10,000 people of all ages from thirty-seven cultures worldwide, The Evolution of Desire is the fi If we all want love, why is there so much conflict in our most cherished relationships? To answer this question, says noted psychologist David Buss, we must look into our evolutionary past. Based on the most massive study of human mating ever undertaken, encompassing more than 10,000 people of all ages from thirty-seven cultures worldwide, The Evolution of Desire is the first book to present a unified theory of human mating behavior. Now in an updated edition with two new chapters by the author, The Evolution of Desire presents the latest research in the field, including starting new discoveries about the evolutionary advantages of infidelity, orgasm, and physical attractiveness.


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If we all want love, why is there so much conflict in our most cherished relationships? To answer this question, says noted psychologist David Buss, we must look into our evolutionary past. Based on the most massive study of human mating ever undertaken, encompassing more than 10,000 people of all ages from thirty-seven cultures worldwide, The Evolution of Desire is the fi If we all want love, why is there so much conflict in our most cherished relationships? To answer this question, says noted psychologist David Buss, we must look into our evolutionary past. Based on the most massive study of human mating ever undertaken, encompassing more than 10,000 people of all ages from thirty-seven cultures worldwide, The Evolution of Desire is the first book to present a unified theory of human mating behavior. Now in an updated edition with two new chapters by the author, The Evolution of Desire presents the latest research in the field, including starting new discoveries about the evolutionary advantages of infidelity, orgasm, and physical attractiveness.

30 review for The Evolution Of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating

  1. 4 out of 5

    Augusts Bautra

    Feminists hate this book, the politically correct call it chauvinistic - both indicators of a book a thinking person should read. And it is, a must-read by my standards. Buss spells it out for all of us - we are biological sex machines; genes making us have pre-programmed us to prefer certain things in mates no matter people feel about these preferences. I personally felt no vibe of bias in the book, Buss' arguments are straightforward, evolutionarily plausible and applicable to the vast majority Feminists hate this book, the politically correct call it chauvinistic - both indicators of a book a thinking person should read. And it is, a must-read by my standards. Buss spells it out for all of us - we are biological sex machines; genes making us have pre-programmed us to prefer certain things in mates no matter people feel about these preferences. I personally felt no vibe of bias in the book, Buss' arguments are straightforward, evolutionarily plausible and applicable to the vast majority of people in the world. To those arguing that Buss' findings only relate to our evolutionary history, not the present - nonsense. Sexual preference is like the taste of sweetness, no amount of socialization and education will change the fact that men and women world-wide prefer some features over others regardless of how politically-correct they are.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Marianne

    The Evolution of Desire is indeed quite interesting. Data shows that in the sexual selection process, humans choose between temporary (casual) and long-term (co-parenting) and use many strategies to attract and keep a mate. For the most part, men want casual sex with a young, beautiful child- bearing female. Women want an older, dependable man with resources in committed relationships. Feminists hated this book, and I can certainly see why, but I can see how applying this type of science to most The Evolution of Desire is indeed quite interesting. Data shows that in the sexual selection process, humans choose between temporary (casual) and long-term (co-parenting) and use many strategies to attract and keep a mate. For the most part, men want casual sex with a young, beautiful child- bearing female. Women want an older, dependable man with resources in committed relationships. Feminists hated this book, and I can certainly see why, but I can see how applying this type of science to most dating situations might help. Usually humans aren't aware of these processes. The author purports that if knowledge is power, then reading this and applying the concepts to ones' selection process could be seen as a sexual strategy within itself. I have to agree. The data isn't always nice. This isn't a fairy tale. But still... somehow, each and every one of us is an evolutionary success story. Recommend :)

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mehrsa

    Super interesting book. TL/DR: Men love hot women. Women love rich men. Not, but seriously. My favorite part was the end where he talks about how understanding our wiring does not mean that we are slaves to it. He makes a super interesting observation too about the roots of patriarchy. I have been puzzling over this since I read Yuval Harari's Sapiens book where he makes a comment about how it wasn't strength, but cooperation and that stayed with me. Buss would say that Harari had it partly righ Super interesting book. TL/DR: Men love hot women. Women love rich men. Not, but seriously. My favorite part was the end where he talks about how understanding our wiring does not mean that we are slaves to it. He makes a super interesting observation too about the roots of patriarchy. I have been puzzling over this since I read Yuval Harari's Sapiens book where he makes a comment about how it wasn't strength, but cooperation and that stayed with me. Buss would say that Harari had it partly right. Because women preferred with status and female choice was the leading determinant of mating, men were incentivized to join forces both to gain more resources against other tribes of men, but also to steal women and to control or suppress choice. This also led to more male violence because younger men with fewer resources were incentivized to take more risks--i.e. fight battles on the off chance that they could win and get the booty and the ladies. Lots of other interesting tidbits in here too, but on the whole kind of a bit drier than you would expect from a book about sex. I would highly recommend the evolution of beauty as a companion read to this one.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    I thought the conclusions Buss has drawn are presumptuous and a bit unfair against women. For instance, he argues that due to the large history of violence against women, women are born with risk-associative behaviors to repel rape in correlation with their ovulation periods. He also contests several theories regarding the functionality of the female orgasm (A husband selection device?). Although evolution has answered plenty of questions biologically, I find that some of the insights it has giv I thought the conclusions Buss has drawn are presumptuous and a bit unfair against women. For instance, he argues that due to the large history of violence against women, women are born with risk-associative behaviors to repel rape in correlation with their ovulation periods. He also contests several theories regarding the functionality of the female orgasm (A husband selection device?). Although evolution has answered plenty of questions biologically, I find that some of the insights it has given to the realm of psychology have been ultimately vague and elusive. This particular study drew hard conclusions based on surveys from people in the late 80s. I'm basically skeptical of any argument that is reached non-deductively regarding subconscious evolutionary psychological mechanisms without some plausible answer to how cultural environmental factors wouldn't largely skew the results. Especially concerning his projected reasoning for homosexuality, his view of rape as a evolutionary sex strategy by males and his assertion that women are naturally driven to men of high generative status.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Scott Lerch

    Kind of boring. Keeps repeating the same thing over and over a million different ways: men and women use different (and not so surprising) strategies to maximize their own resources (be it sex, social status, wealth, etc.). Sometimes draws too many conclusions from crappy college student surveys. Since I've participated in some of those studies before I know how much college student really care to be accurate... Kind of boring. Keeps repeating the same thing over and over a million different ways: men and women use different (and not so surprising) strategies to maximize their own resources (be it sex, social status, wealth, etc.). Sometimes draws too many conclusions from crappy college student surveys. Since I've participated in some of those studies before I know how much college student really care to be accurate...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I read this book a few years ago and just flipped through it again before lending it to a friend. It's an excellent primer in evolutionary psychology, but be warned--Buss's tone comes across as insanely chauvinistic. The most ignorant people will use a book like this to justify the worst gender stereotypes; more open-minded readers will understand that the studies Buss discusses reveal insights about the environment our evolutionary ancestors adapted to, tens of thousands of years ago, and are N I read this book a few years ago and just flipped through it again before lending it to a friend. It's an excellent primer in evolutionary psychology, but be warned--Buss's tone comes across as insanely chauvinistic. The most ignorant people will use a book like this to justify the worst gender stereotypes; more open-minded readers will understand that the studies Buss discusses reveal insights about the environment our evolutionary ancestors adapted to, tens of thousands of years ago, and are NOT (contrary to the misleading title) a how-to for 21st century dating and relationships.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Jurgen Dhaese

    This is an absolutely groundbreaking and mind-blowing book that will change the way you think about dating, love and sex for good. Backed up by solid scientific research David Buss sheds light on why we act the way we do in love, sex and dating, why that behavior has evolved and what purpose it serves. Going beyond empty platitudes of chaste morality, he gives us the truth: what sexual strategies do we have available to us, why do we use them, and how have they evolved? Plain and simple, to unders This is an absolutely groundbreaking and mind-blowing book that will change the way you think about dating, love and sex for good. Backed up by solid scientific research David Buss sheds light on why we act the way we do in love, sex and dating, why that behavior has evolved and what purpose it serves. Going beyond empty platitudes of chaste morality, he gives us the truth: what sexual strategies do we have available to us, why do we use them, and how have they evolved? Plain and simple, to understand love, dating, sex and desire, we need to look at how our ancestors lived, and why that behavior evolved. All of us have a wide set of sexual strategies available to us that we can activate at any time, depending on our personality, context, and the mating market around us. Some of these are loving and kind. Some of them are harsh, shallow and brutal. Whatever the case - we all have them because they worked successfully for many generations of our ancestors. Becoming aware of all these sexual strategies and preferences is the first step to developing the love life you desire. Although there's much variation between people, much more nuance to it than meets the eye, and there are multiple different strategies available to all of us, on average (for most people in history), it boils down to this: Women look for a man who can (and will) attain and provide resources, and looks likely to provide them for a prolonged period of time exclusively to her as she becomes pregnant and raises children. Bonus points if he's kind, loving, compassionate, intelligent and an all around catch on top of that. Men look for a healthy, fertile woman (which usually means young), that's loyal and faithful to him, so that he's sure his offspring is his and he's not being cuckolded. Great if she's nurturing, loving, intelligent and possesses a whole range of other traits. Those two main desires lie at the core of most human mating. Everything else flows from that. Most men would have as much casual sex as they could get away with to sire more offspring. But women tend to prefer long-term exclusive relationships to make sure her offspring are taken care of. There lies (once again - on average) the fundamental conflict between men and women. Sexuality is complex, and there's much more than meets the eye. But we've all inherited a wide array of different sexual strategies from which we choose, based on our personality, our stage and situation in life, and the competition and mating market around us. A fascinating, well-written book that gives you the overall overview of how human mating really works. The best (and most complete) evolutionary psychology book I've ever read (better than "The Red Queen" and "The Mating Mind"). I wish I read it a decade ago ago, and can highly recommend it to anyone that wants to understand our mysterious game of love better.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    Looking at the author's picture, pretty nice genetic package there. Sure I'd do him, provided he makes six figures and is five+ years older than me. Also, since neither of us would be interested in marriage, I'd require a hefty mistress fee via lots of expensive presents. /sarcasm I'm not sure how much, if anything, I should take away from this book. Certainly interesting reading. The entire book can be summarized: Men and Women make use of sexual strategies and these strategies can be more typic Looking at the author's picture, pretty nice genetic package there. Sure I'd do him, provided he makes six figures and is five+ years older than me. Also, since neither of us would be interested in marriage, I'd require a hefty mistress fee via lots of expensive presents. /sarcasm I'm not sure how much, if anything, I should take away from this book. Certainly interesting reading. The entire book can be summarized: Men and Women make use of sexual strategies and these strategies can be more typical of one or the other gender. This book offers plenty to chew on but feels more like Freud than science.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    This book was amazing. Buss is a great writer, he is very eloquent and yet simple. People with no knowledge of the field could easily read and enjoy this book. He is clearly very passionate about his subject, the book is very indepth. He is aware of the vast implications of his research but remains positive and thoughtful about human behavior and our evoled psychological mechanisms. Knowledge is power, the truths revealed in this book may indeed be disturbing to some, enlightening to others, but This book was amazing. Buss is a great writer, he is very eloquent and yet simple. People with no knowledge of the field could easily read and enjoy this book. He is clearly very passionate about his subject, the book is very indepth. He is aware of the vast implications of his research but remains positive and thoughtful about human behavior and our evoled psychological mechanisms. Knowledge is power, the truths revealed in this book may indeed be disturbing to some, enlightening to others, but I think it's best to arm yourself with knowledge.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Arjun Ravichandran

    Dry and unengaging overview of the basic evolutionary psychology position on sex, love and romance. This is one of the landmark texts that helped to kickstart the current dominance of evopsych in general thinking about humanity. If you're looking for a basic introduction to this kind of thinking, and are also willing to have your perceptions on love challenged and shaken a little bit, then it's an adequate book. But, as with all evolutionary psychology books, one should enter warily and remember Dry and unengaging overview of the basic evolutionary psychology position on sex, love and romance. This is one of the landmark texts that helped to kickstart the current dominance of evopsych in general thinking about humanity. If you're looking for a basic introduction to this kind of thinking, and are also willing to have your perceptions on love challenged and shaken a little bit, then it's an adequate book. But, as with all evolutionary psychology books, one should enter warily and remember that it is just a framework for understanding, which is not all-encompassing or all-explanatory. My own personal opinion is that it is unimaginative, politically reactionary, and ad-hoc misreading of certain criteria of human flourishing ; but that is just me.

  11. 5 out of 5

    William Baresel

    The entire book is premised on the belief that people will be honest with themselves when answering questions about relationships. It is very depressing. Most of the book is persons making excuses for bad relationship choices based on a child's understanding of evolution. The entire book is premised on the belief that people will be honest with themselves when answering questions about relationships. It is very depressing. Most of the book is persons making excuses for bad relationship choices based on a child's understanding of evolution.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Megan Walsh

    This book was awful. I chose to read this to complete a book review for my anthro seminar course for human reproduction. The ideas he presented were so old school, sexist, and idiotic. There was no modern interpretations of human reproduction and no assessment on mating choices/practices that are actually happening in the real world. His data collection method was flawed, the survey itself was biased. To think ANYONE can benefit from rape, or that rape can actually be justified is disgusting. Th This book was awful. I chose to read this to complete a book review for my anthro seminar course for human reproduction. The ideas he presented were so old school, sexist, and idiotic. There was no modern interpretations of human reproduction and no assessment on mating choices/practices that are actually happening in the real world. His data collection method was flawed, the survey itself was biased. To think ANYONE can benefit from rape, or that rape can actually be justified is disgusting. The research was poorly done.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Julia Gorning

    Although I disagree with many of Buss' hypotheses, I still enjoyed this book a great amount and found it insanely fun to discuss with friends and classmates in the Psychology field. Although I disagree with many of Buss' hypotheses, I still enjoyed this book a great amount and found it insanely fun to discuss with friends and classmates in the Psychology field.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I read the first one hundred pages or so and then skimmed the rest. Interesting topic but written in such a dry and boring manner.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Alex Zakharov

    A quick primer on sexual selection, by one the founders of evolutionary psychology. Buss covers evolved sex differences in human mating behavior (mate selection, attraction, retention, replacement, conflict). Within ev psych, and in comparison to say Geoffrey Miller and Bret Weinstein, Buss’s is the orthodox mainstream line. As such there aren’t too many surprises here, unless you surf the world on the oppressor-oppressed axis of intersectionality. Some overarching themes: - What is remarkable is A quick primer on sexual selection, by one the founders of evolutionary psychology. Buss covers evolved sex differences in human mating behavior (mate selection, attraction, retention, replacement, conflict). Within ev psych, and in comparison to say Geoffrey Miller and Bret Weinstein, Buss’s is the orthodox mainstream line. As such there aren’t too many surprises here, unless you surf the world on the oppressor-oppressed axis of intersectionality. Some overarching themes: - What is remarkable is not that many stereotypes reflect reality, but the degree to which these stereotypes are stable across cultures, and often across species (e.g. “Coolidge effect”). Take Jordan Peterson’s “lobster” metaphor and run it across a wide spectrum of behavior. - “Hijacking” of evolved strategies and preferences by modernity is as true for sexual behaviors, as it is for human interaction in general. Plenty of ink is spilled on the latter in the context of social media. - Many traits are adaptive and subconscious. - Evolution drives sexual competition between sexes, and just as important, yet underemphasized, within sexes. - Differences in long vs short term preferences and strategies, signaling, effect of sex ratios run at every level of analysis. - Asymmetries all over the place (e.g. on average, men need to commit to get higher status women, women need to drop commitment to get higher status men) Broad strokes: Men. Very high variance in reproductive success, strong selection for risk taking. Low investment cost. Two strategies (“sow and run” vs commit). Access to women and faithfulness in partner is paramount. Women. Low variance of reproductive success. Very high investment cost. Access to resources, safety and commitment is paramount. Side note: Geoffrey Miller’s hypothesis is selection for intelligence as a proxy for getting everything else (OK, plausible), where art/humor/creativity/morality fall out as costly signals (eh… no). For starters morality is likely adaptive itself, promotion of cooperation. That said, if nothing else, given IQs correlation with health, direct sexual selection for IQ shouldn’t be surprising. Casual sex. Fischer’s “Sexy son” hypothesis (women), “Coolidge effect” (men), hedge for mate switching (both). Female orgasm and sperm retention in extra-marital encounters, testicle size as a function of promiscuity and sperm completion in the species (large in humans compared to gorillas, but small compared to hyper-promiscuous chimps). Irony of “sharing cultures” leading to more casual sex (reduces need for resources in a partner). Cheating: for women - get higher quality genetic material, for male - evolutionary lottery win (reproduction without commitment). Mate stealing. 30% successful allegedly!? No wonder jealousy is highly adaptive. For men biggest trigger is unfaithfulness, for women time spent. Women’s “resource” is not sharable, while men’s resources are – perhaps men’s famous lack of emotional expressivity is in part an adaption to hide shared resources… Conflict. Women as sexual deceivers, men as commitment deceivers. To oversimplify, men attempt to monopolize sexual reproduction access, women attempt to monopolize resources. Co-evolutionary escalation and bi-directional fine-tuning. Beauty Many universal beauty standards for women as signals of fertility and health. E.g. Youth (fertility), face symmetry and skin (reduced chance of mutational load). And yes, while thinness varies among cultures, the waist-hip ratio is a universal signal of healthy fat distribution (as proxy for health), and absence of pregnancy. Conversely, masculine features in men is a universal signal for health. E.g. Jaw lines, V-shaped torsos, deep voice – product of testosterone production in adolescence. Too much testosterone can compromise immune system, so only healthy males can afford to sustain high level of testosterone. Also, high testosterone level links to higher sperm quality surely help. Paternity uncertainty and concealed ovulation are massively influential in shaping both sexes’ behavior. Among mammals human females are unique with concealed ovulation (even to themselves!). Adaptation for male retention plus rape prevention? (Bret Weinstein’s bets mostly on the latter). Long life span after menopause also unique to humans, grandmother hypothesis (also, maaaaybe in orkas and elephants). Assorted tidbits. With age men’s “value” tends to go up (more resources and status compensate for loss of attractiveness and health), but women’s tends to go down (youth, health, fertility). Men pay higher mortality price at every age group, especially in polygamous societies. How monogamy reduces violence has been well studied. 80% percent of 850 surveyed cultures allow for polygamy. In US, recent developments in college education impact women’s mating prospects. Sex-ratio on campus is tilting towards women, and, coupled with women’s preference for educated males, this reduces the pool of desirable men in and after college. Submissiveness in an effort to preserve the relationship is more pronounced in males. Coalition formation more pronounced in males, evolutionary adaptive to fight off other men. Sex differences increase in more gender-equal societies (Stoet and Geary 2018 etc) A cute bit from Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying - erections at hangings are possibly adaptive? Last chance to spread the seed so to speak, just like dandelions. Remarks on culture wars. Finally, the book is for the most part descriptive, not normative. Almost every sentence could have been prefaced with “on average”. As such this represents a baseline of human sexual behavior over most of history, with plenty of variation around it. More recent developments (birth control pill, labor markets, last two decades of genomics and bio engineering, and 21st century hyper-hijacking of our psyche by social media and marketing) are altering this baseline dynamics sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the worse. The evolution of norms and practices of human sexual behavior will undoubtedly continue to change going forward, but knowing what your current baseline is and why gender roles evolved to exist in way that they do should be a precondition for any sensible conversation. Unfortunately, in the culture wars of today, you often hear surprise at lack of symmetry and quick resort to “blank slate” argument of human nature. Meanwhile, asymmetries are omnipresent in evolution, and among all areas of group differences it seems that differences between men and women should be the least controversial. Shockingly they are not. Too bad evolution is such a bitch. Going out on a high note. Men’s sexual tactics and preferences are shaped by female choice and vice-versa. Conflict and asymmetry aside, cooperation between sexes in humans dwarfs all other species. Male investment in offspring also dwarfs all other species (In Chimps, our closest relative, male commits nothing to kin – as species they haven’t solved the paternal uncertainty apparently :)) “Men are one long breeding experiment run by women” – Sarah Hrdy, evolutionary anthropologist.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sam

    The Evolution of Desire was apparently controversial & surprising when first published some 15 years ago. Now it seems pretty obvious. A man can pass his genes to many more children than can a woman; this difference causes certain behaviors to be more reproductively successful for either men or women; these behavioral traits are passed to future generations as instincts.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Benita

    This is an evolutionary psychology take on relationships across many years and geographical context. The life's work of the authors, the read can be dense at times thus reinforcing the academic nature of the research that inspired the book. This is an evolutionary psychology take on relationships across many years and geographical context. The life's work of the authors, the read can be dense at times thus reinforcing the academic nature of the research that inspired the book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Erick

    A very interesting book concerning evolutionary psychology. It explains in many ways why we are the way we are and act the way we do.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nasos Psarrakos

    Excellent book!! Very good coverage of the subject. Loved the final [email protected]!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Joao Fonseca

    Quotes: "In western society, lifelong monogamy is often held up to be the ideal. Anyone who does not conform to this practise is regarded as deviant, immature, sinful, or a failure. Such a judgement may turn out to be the manifestation of the underlying sexual strategies of the person who upholds it. It is often in the best interest of a women, for example, to convince others of the ideal of lifelong love. Promiscuous women can pose a threat to monogamous women, siphoning off the resources, atten Quotes: "In western society, lifelong monogamy is often held up to be the ideal. Anyone who does not conform to this practise is regarded as deviant, immature, sinful, or a failure. Such a judgement may turn out to be the manifestation of the underlying sexual strategies of the person who upholds it. It is often in the best interest of a women, for example, to convince others of the ideal of lifelong love. Promiscuous women can pose a threat to monogamous women, siphoning off the resources, attention, and commitment of their husbands. It is often the best interest of a man to convince others to adopt a monogamous strategy, even if he fails to follow it himself. Promiscuous men usurp single men's mating opportunities and threaten to cuckold married men. The values we espouse about sexuality are often manifestations of our evolved mating strategies." "The combination of strong coalitions among mn and relatively weak coalitions among women, according to Barbara Smuts, may have contributed historically to men's dominance over women. Women's preferences for a seccessfull, ambitious and resourceful mate and men's competitive mating strategies evolved together" "To assume that men and women are psychologically the same, as was generally done in tradicional social science, goes against what is now known about evolved sexual psychology. Given the power of sexual selection, under which each sex competes for access to desirable mates of the other sex, it would be astonishing to find thar mens and women were psychologically identical in aspects of mating about which they have faced different problems of reproduction for millions of years. At this point in history, we can no longer doubt that men and women differ in their preferences for a mate: primarily for youth and physical attractiveness in one case, and for status, maturity, and economic resources in the other." "Children growing up in uncertain and unpredictable environments, in short, learn that they cannot rely on a single mate. They therefore opt for a sexual life that starts early and that inclinesthemto seek immediate resources from multiple, temporary mates. In contrast, children who grow up in stable homes with predictably investing parents opt for a strategy of permanent mating because they expect to attract a stable, high-investing mate. The evidence from children of divirced homes supports this theory.Such children reach puberty earlier, engage in intercourse earlier, and have more numerous sex partners than their peers from intact homes." "..but the anger that women feel when secually coerced and the rage men feel when cuckolded arise from our evolved mating strategies, and not from capitalism, culture or socialization. Evolution operates by the ruthless criterion of reproductive success, no matter how repugnant we may find the strategies produced by that process, and no matter how abhorrent the consequences of those strategies may be." "There is no solidarity among all men or all women that creates a conflict between the sexes. Rather, members of one sex generally favor a common set of strategies which differs from the typical strategies pursued by members of the other sex. It is posible to speak of conflict between the sexes because the ways in which men and women typically conflict result from the strategies they share with their own sex." "Lifelong sexual fidelity promotes harmony between a man and a woman, but it comes at a price for both sexes in relinquished opportunities. Fullfilling each other's evolved desires is the key in harmony between a man and a woman. A woman's happiness increases when the man brings more economic resources tot he union and shows kindness, affection and commitment. A man's happiness increases when the woman is more physically attractive than he is, and when she shows kindness, affection and commitment. Those who fulfill each other's desires have more fulfilling relationships. Our evolved desires, in short, proveide the essential ingredients for solving the mystery of harmony between the sexes." "We are the first species in the known history of three and a half billion years of life on earth with the capacity to control our own destiny. The prospect of designing our destiny remains excellent to the degree that we comprehend our evolutionary past. Only by understanding why these human strategies have evolved can we control where we are going" Women orgasm: "... Mr. Rights hypothesis posts that female orgasms serves as a mate selection device. By choosing a man with whom she is orgasmic, a woman is presumed to be selecting a man who will stick around and invest in her and her children. Perhaps a man's sencitivity to a woman's desires, his ability to read her needs, and effort to ensure her sexual satisfaction auger well for his future as a good husband and a good dad." ; "Paternity confidence hypothesis focuses on the signal value her orgasm provides to the partner. It tells the man that she is sexually satisfied with him, and hence will not be motivated to seek sexual gratification elsewhere (...) it increases the likelihhod that he will remain commited to her and invest in her children." ; " Paternity confusion hypothesis, on the context of langur monkeys and macaques, female orgasm evolved to promote promiscuous mating. By promoting paternal uncertainty, a female could reduce the odds that any male in the group might kill her offsoring " ; "Sperm retention hypothesis, female orgasms functions to draw sperm intocervix and uterine cavity, increasing the odds of conception." ; " % ofwomen believe that sex without orgasm can be truly satisfying for the woman. Interestingly 10% more men than women believe that female orgasm is necessary for the full enjoyment , suggesting that it might be a greater preoccupation of men than women." " In short, Mr. Right hypothesis receives some empirical support, but not in the form originally proposed. "Women are more orgasmic with regular mates who have good genetic quality, as indexed by anatomical measures of symmetry and judgements of physical attractiveness. But if they are having affairs, women preferentially choose affair partners of high genetic quality and then experience more frequent sexual orgasms in the context of their liaisons. For women having affairs, orgasm may facilitate a mating strategy of getting the best of both worlds-investment from one man who provides parenting and resources for the children, and goos genes from another man who provides little investment, but who increases the genetic quality of her children." Affairs: "Psichologists have identified 3 distinct attachment styles. Secure attachment style find it easy to get close to others, trust that others will be there for them and tend to form mature, anxiety-free romantic relationships. Those with and avoidant attachment style are uncorfortable with psychological closeness, find it hard to trust others and avoid being dependant on them. Those with anxious/ambivalent attachment style have deep insecurity about wheter or not others really love them.They want to get close to others and merge with a loved one, but feel that others are reluctant to get truly intimate with them. They feel that their desire for togethrtness can scare someone away (..) Secure attachment is unrelated to affairs probability-secure women are neither more nor less likely to have ana ffair. The other two styles are definetlycorrelated with extra-pair sex. Avoident women are less likely to have affairs. Anxious/ambivalent women are more likely to have affair. It´s as thought the thirst for intimacy combined with a fear of abandonment from a primary mate leads them into the arms of other men. " "We have partial answers to why women have affairs.For women who stay with their primary partners, affairs are likely to serve as "good genes" function: obtaining investment from one man and superior DNA from another. For other women affairs serve as mate switching functions: They give women a boost in self-esteem they need to propel themselves out of one relatioship in their quest for intimacy in another." Menstrual cycle effect: "Women in the least fertile phase of their cycle were most attracted to the face that was slightly feminized. In sharp contrast, women in the most fertile phase of their cycle were drawn to the face that was 30 percent maculinized. The end result is that somewhat masculinized faces signal heritable fitness-a healthy immune system that can be passed down to children. In essence wome's preference for maculinized faces at ovulaion reveals a preference for "good genes" that are sometimes better secured from affair partners than from regular mates. Women may find the "good guy" qualities most attractive in regular mates since they indicate the long-term provisoning."

  21. 5 out of 5

    David Szatkowski

    This is a good book, but dated (original 1993, revised 2004). Also worth noting, the book focuses on evolutionary biology, not social theory or theology. With those things in mind, I would consider this a worthy read. By understanding better our own human evolution, we are better able to chose how we behave. When we understand sexuality in a healthy way, we are better able to live heathy, happy, and holy lives.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sheng Peng

    Mostly assertions about human mating behavior backed up by surveys and experimental data. The percentage sign (%) probably appeared 20,000 times in this book. Despite all this, it's actually readable and not too boring. Mostly assertions about human mating behavior backed up by surveys and experimental data. The percentage sign (%) probably appeared 20,000 times in this book. Despite all this, it's actually readable and not too boring.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Heba

    I enjoyed the many examples from the animal kingdom and how evolutionarily analogous they r to humans behavior. It is not only social experiments, it is also full of biological factoids. Nature is really unfair to females 😆

  24. 5 out of 5

    Helena Zhu

    It is a well researched and comprehensive overview of evolutionary psychology theories, which can be at odds with other social science theories, but nonetheless good to be exposed to and consider.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jawshan Shatil

    Good read! You have to read the book to realize how good this book is.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Mikhail Gavrilec

    The book contains a lot of contradictory information. Facts just don’t go along together. Book has overly bad structure and if I am not interested in subject I wouldn't read it at all. I have doubts about almost every sentence in it. But here is some of my concerns about content: This book talks about resources but doesn’t even contain definition of it. I guess author afraid to say word “money” to have even more doubts and controversials about this book. But I will use word money since everybody kn The book contains a lot of contradictory information. Facts just don’t go along together. Book has overly bad structure and if I am not interested in subject I wouldn't read it at all. I have doubts about almost every sentence in it. But here is some of my concerns about content: This book talks about resources but doesn’t even contain definition of it. I guess author afraid to say word “money” to have even more doubts and controversials about this book. But I will use word money since everybody knows that this is the most valuable and flexible resource(In any case, I don’t think there are women who have sex for salt or piece of meat nowadays) The main point of all this book that money is the main and ONLY thing that women look for in a man: author mentioned something about qualities, but he ends up wiring everything to money and saying that everything else is showing that you have actual money and if you don’t have any money, qualities won't help you anyway. But if woman doesn’t have an option among men with money she can choose a man who may have money in the future. As I see the problem with that, when the man gets actual money he will break with her since he will have access to more quality, younger girls that he didn’t have before(As author said in his book), in that case, there is no reasons for the woman to play this scenario in the first place. What women don't do according examples in this book. All examples author provides in the book say: “Women go with a man who have/offer/gives more.” And along with that author said that according his studies “showing money when meeting a woman doesn't work, because they do not want money in the present, they want it in the future” WTF? How author's brain can combine that together? And after that author said that “Women look for in the long-term and short-term partner the same thing”. What is the point to splitting them in the first place? As I understand to prove author's point and forget about that as it was done with qualities. Women should require to pay them for every sexual interaction, and even before that. And they should feel more sexual arousal the more money you give them along author’s theory. There is no any evolutionary point in that idea otherwise. I don’t know about author experience but it’s not true according my experience. Talking about 30% “golden” ratio for women’s pelvis. There is no such thing like 30% it vary in high amount in Miss Universe winners. There was time in history when women wear corsets and had very thing wast, plus there are some ethnicity differences in pelvis, Women in some countries have very big pelvic bones. Since models can look not very good without clothes sometimes, but they look good dressed up. We also can take into account that posture of models when photos are taken can also affect overall look and feel. And it doesn't look that women’s make up somehow related to look as 16-18 year girls. Often girls look more mature with makeup even if they are young. The overall image of beautiful women is older than 18 years old girl. Also I don’t think that rainbow of cosmetic colors somehow related to women looking young. But author didn’t bother himself to figure out these stuff and take them into account. Author used part of data that he liked and showed it in a way that proves his theory and his own personal view of relationships. There is no any logical way to understand this book, you have to just believe it. And there are a lot more concerns there. I just can’t write a book about what is wrong with this book. What I hate the most in this book is attempt to convince giving up and take everything as it is. You can’t find a partner you like? Just give up and take what is there. Book goes along with mainstream thinking and ignore every illogical thing that it has. Author even used marketing and qualities theories, dating coaches love to use, to explain his point. as I understand to get into trust and talk about his theory. And it looks even more illogical since author changes his point to be acceptable in those communities and get reputation there, what brings even more doubts for people who can just think about it a bit. And how disgusting and sneaky it looks? Author theory do not consistent with evolutionary and developmental neurobiology. The author could be a good religion leader but not a scientist.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Saurabh

    The Evolution of Desire : Strategies of Human Mating by David M. Buss Dr. Buss tries to demystify our mating choices, behaviours and sexual preferences on the basis of the mating strategies that our ancestors might have pursued in the context of the social and environmental conditions in which they survived. The exchanges that individuals make are broken down into currency of sex and resources, both tangible and intangible. Women and men place different values to different outcomes and hence the The Evolution of Desire : Strategies of Human Mating by David M. Buss Dr. Buss tries to demystify our mating choices, behaviours and sexual preferences on the basis of the mating strategies that our ancestors might have pursued in the context of the social and environmental conditions in which they survived. The exchanges that individuals make are broken down into currency of sex and resources, both tangible and intangible. Women and men place different values to different outcomes and hence the price that they are ready to forgo varies. This effectively translates into preferences leading to rather interesting dynamics and outcomes. The author attempts to show how these ancestral strategies might find expression in the present times, what psychological mechanisms we might have developed as a result of negotiations with mating related adaptive problems. The hypotheses are fascinating and conclusions quite insightful. A number of surveys and field observations have been quoted to support his theories. Cultural and social trends have changed tremendously in the recent times but it might be safe to suggest that our instinctual drives haven’t changed much. To be able to digest a few inferences could be challenging. But to dismiss them in entirety, to critique the book by branding it to be too simplistic is being short-sighted, in my opinion. It is important to recognize the word “Evolution” on the cover page. The book is not meant to give an all-encompassing understanding of the present day mating game. It is only a cue. Not an insignificant one though. The book provides an opportunity to understand ourselves and our relationships better from a different perspective. PS: This is the first book that I have read on Evolutionary Psychology. Found it to be exciting hence 5 stars.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Summer

    David M. Buss's Evolution of Desire outlines the results of a study, "the largest ever undertaken on human mating desires." Here is the scope of the study, as the author says it: "Over a period of 5 years, I expanded the study to include fifty collaborators from thirty-seven cultures located on six continents and five islands, from Australia to Zambia. Local residents administered the questionnaire about mating desires in their native language. We sampled large cities, such as Rio de Janeiro and David M. Buss's Evolution of Desire outlines the results of a study, "the largest ever undertaken on human mating desires." Here is the scope of the study, as the author says it: "Over a period of 5 years, I expanded the study to include fifty collaborators from thirty-seven cultures located on six continents and five islands, from Australia to Zambia. Local residents administered the questionnaire about mating desires in their native language. We sampled large cities, such as Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in Brazil, Shanghai in China, Bangalore and Ahmadabad in India, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv in Israel, and Tehran in Iran. We also sampled the rural peoples, including Indians in the state of Gujarat and Zulus in South Africa. We covered the well educated and the poorly educated. We included respondents of every age from fourteen through seventy, as well as places in the entire range of political systems from capitalist to communist and socialist. all major racial groups, religious groups and ethnic groups were represented. In all, we surveyed 10, 047 persons worldwide." Just imagine the results of such a study. What will you learn about humanity? What will you learn about yourself? The author makes it clear that all incomes, religions, education levels.political systems,

  29. 5 out of 5

    Paul Froehlich

    Evolutionary psychology is dismissed by two groups -- evolution deniers and those who insist behavioral differences between the sexes are caused solely by patriarchal cultural conditioning. Readers who don’t fall into those two categories will enjoy this book. David Buss is a founder of the field of evolutionary psychology. He wrote the first textbook on the topic, which is now in its sixth edition. The Evolution of Desire first came out in 1994, and has had enduring influence. In it, Buss expla Evolutionary psychology is dismissed by two groups -- evolution deniers and those who insist behavioral differences between the sexes are caused solely by patriarchal cultural conditioning. Readers who don’t fall into those two categories will enjoy this book. David Buss is a founder of the field of evolutionary psychology. He wrote the first textbook on the topic, which is now in its sixth edition. The Evolution of Desire first came out in 1994, and has had enduring influence. In it, Buss explains how certain preferences and behaviors have been selected because they enhanced the likelihood of reproduction. He then describes what the research shows about how men and women differ and where they are the same when it comes to mating. “All of us descend from a long and unbroken line of ancestors who competed successfully for mates” and who reproduced. “As a result of the powerful survival and reproductive advantages reaped by those who chose a mate wisely, clear desires in a mate evolved. As descendants of those successful maters, we carry those desires with us today. Those in our evolutionary past who failed to mate successfully failed to become our ancestors.” Over thousands of generations, for example, women learned to prefer mates who would commit to them and to sustain a relationship. By contrast, women who mated with unreliable men who would not make long-term commitments were less likely to survive and less likely to have children who survived. Some of his findings of his research about mating strategies are no surprise, such as that men prefer slightly younger women as spouses, while women prefer slightly older men. Or that divorced men who remarry almost invariably marry increasingly younger women. Other findings are less well known. Here are a few of them this reviewer found of interest: • “Divorce occurs in all known human cultures.” Divorced men are more likely to remarry than divorced women, and this disparity increases with age. • When there is a surplus of women, men are reluctant to commit to one woman, preferring casual relationships, which women are more likely to offer in that environment. Hence the hookup culture on college campuses, where women comprise the growing majority of students. When there is a surplus of men, by contract, marriage is stable as men lack alternatives and provide their spouses the long-term commitment they desire. • “Cuckolded men are universal objects of derision.” Cuckoldry is what happens to a man who unwittingly invests substantially in raising another man’s offspring. • Infidelity poses different threats to married men and women. The threat to a man is cuckoldry, while the threat to a woman is the loss of resources for herself and her children. That’s why men are more likely than women to end a marriage following their spouses’ sexual infidelity than emotional infidelity. It is just the opposite for women. • Jealousy was a psychological adaptation to the problem of a partner’s infidelity or defection. “People who failed to prevent a mate’s infidelity had less reproductive success.” • The degree to which a woman reacts negatively to nonviolent sexual advances depends upon the status of the man. • The proportion of men complaining that their wives withhold sex more than triples from the first year of marriage to the fourth year (14 percent vs. 43 percent). The frequency of sexual intercourse and of sexual satisfaction tends to decline over time, unless the man perceives his mate as very attractive, in which case frequency and satisfaction remain high. Male preferences are not surprising. Men rate attractiveness as a higher priority than do women, and see attractiveness as related to youthfulness. Male ancestors who preferred younger women had the opportunity to father more children than did men who preferred women with fewer reproductive years left. Consequently, more of us descended from men with the preference for young women. As men get older, their age preference in women becomes increasingly younger. Men in their fifties, for example, prefer women who are 10-20 years younger. As men’s income goes up, their preferred age in a mate goes down. Men worldwide value chastity in a long-term mate more than women do. In the Western world, men no longer place as a high a premium on virginity as previous generations. But men do prefer mates with little sexual experience, while rejecting promiscuity. Research finds that “the single best predictor of extramarital sex is premarital sexual permissiveness.” The traits men value the most highly are faithfulness and sexual loyalty. The least desirable characteristic is unfaithfulness, which causes men more pain than any other offense a spouse can inflict. Universal preferences “are deeply ingrained psychological adaptations that drive our mating decisions, just as our evolved taste preferences drive our decisions on food consumption.” For short-term mating, men significantly lower their standards compared to their standards for long-term mating. Men prefer promiscuous, sexually experienced women for the former, but not for the latter. I have one minor disagreement with this book. Buss argues that mating strategies aren’t a matter of morality. “From a scientific point of view, there is no moral justification for placing a premium on a single strategy within the collective human repertoire.” I understand that evolution follows no morality other than reproductive success. Understanding why certain behaviors were selected does not impel us, however, to conclude there is nothing wrong with gross deception, with violating vows, with sexual harassment, even with buying girls, since they are just part of the human repertoire of mating strategies. Fraud is wrong. To me it is immoral to, say, break up someone else’s marriage, to spread STDs, to abandon one’s children, or to allow a husband to believe he is the father of a child when another man is the biological father. Readers with an interest in sexual attraction will find this a fascinating book. It is easy to understand because Buss does not focus on minor details or use highly technical jargon. When behavioral differences are universal, found around the world, that suggests culture alone cannot account for them. ###

  30. 4 out of 5

    Santhosh Totiger

    "Humans were not designed by natural selection to coexist in mating bliss", declares Buss based on extensive mating strategy studies in humans done by his and other laboratories. The book is not fairy tale, instead auther tries to convey realistic facets of human sexuality. His point is straightforward - men tend to increase their fitness by trying to mate with as many possible potential mates he can, but at the same time he looks for reliable mate for long term relationship. Coversly, women loo "Humans were not designed by natural selection to coexist in mating bliss", declares Buss based on extensive mating strategy studies in humans done by his and other laboratories. The book is not fairy tale, instead auther tries to convey realistic facets of human sexuality. His point is straightforward - men tend to increase their fitness by trying to mate with as many possible potential mates he can, but at the same time he looks for reliable mate for long term relationship. Coversly, women look for long term romantic relationship and refuse casual intercourse. Buss argues that evolution has played a major role in shaping psychology of mate choice. This book has lot to offer one who seeks information on mating strategies in humans and he also discuss about why sexual conflicts arise in a relationship.

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