web site hit counter The Myth of Monogamy: Fidelity and Infidelity in Animals and People - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

The Myth of Monogamy: Fidelity and Infidelity in Animals and People

Availability: Ready to download

Applying new research to sex in the animal world, esteemed scientists David P. Barash and Judith Eve Lipton dispel the notion that monogamy comes naturally. In fact, as The Myth of Monogamy reveals, biologists have discovered that for nearly every species, cheating is the rule -- for both sexes. Reviewing findings from the same DNA fingerprinting science employed in the cou Applying new research to sex in the animal world, esteemed scientists David P. Barash and Judith Eve Lipton dispel the notion that monogamy comes naturally. In fact, as The Myth of Monogamy reveals, biologists have discovered that for nearly every species, cheating is the rule -- for both sexes. Reviewing findings from the same DNA fingerprinting science employed in the courtroom, Barash and Lipton take readers from chickadee nests to chimpanzee packs to explain why animals cheat. (Some prostitute themselves for food or protection, while others strive to couple with genetically superior or multiple mates.) The Myth of Monogamy then illuminates the implications of these dramatic new findings for humans, in our relationships, as parents, and more. The Myth of Monogamy at last brings scientific insight into this emotionally charged aspect of the ultimate dating and marriage quandary.


Compare

Applying new research to sex in the animal world, esteemed scientists David P. Barash and Judith Eve Lipton dispel the notion that monogamy comes naturally. In fact, as The Myth of Monogamy reveals, biologists have discovered that for nearly every species, cheating is the rule -- for both sexes. Reviewing findings from the same DNA fingerprinting science employed in the cou Applying new research to sex in the animal world, esteemed scientists David P. Barash and Judith Eve Lipton dispel the notion that monogamy comes naturally. In fact, as The Myth of Monogamy reveals, biologists have discovered that for nearly every species, cheating is the rule -- for both sexes. Reviewing findings from the same DNA fingerprinting science employed in the courtroom, Barash and Lipton take readers from chickadee nests to chimpanzee packs to explain why animals cheat. (Some prostitute themselves for food or protection, while others strive to couple with genetically superior or multiple mates.) The Myth of Monogamy then illuminates the implications of these dramatic new findings for humans, in our relationships, as parents, and more. The Myth of Monogamy at last brings scientific insight into this emotionally charged aspect of the ultimate dating and marriage quandary.

30 review for The Myth of Monogamy: Fidelity and Infidelity in Animals and People

  1. 5 out of 5

    Big H

    If you cut this book directly in half, you would have two separate books. The first would be called "Why and How Ducks Gang Rape One Another." The second would be called "Are Humans Meant to be Monogamous? F*ck If We Know, But This Is What Other People Say." I also wondered while reading if the authors (not just Dave, but also his wife Judith Eve Lipton) supported monogamy or extramarital affairs... If you cut this book directly in half, you would have two separate books. The first would be called "Why and How Ducks Gang Rape One Another." The second would be called "Are Humans Meant to be Monogamous? F*ck If We Know, But This Is What Other People Say." I also wondered while reading if the authors (not just Dave, but also his wife Judith Eve Lipton) supported monogamy or extramarital affairs...

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jennie

    Fascinating and surprisingly humorous given the potential for this book to be agonizingly didactic. I thought the authors provided a balanced analytical assessment of their findings however, I wish they had addressed modern couples who engage in ECPs (extra pair couplings)in the form of open relationships or swinging. I thought this was a disappointing oversight for an otherwise in depth study.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jenna

    I took a human sexuality course to fulfill my sciences requirements freshman year of college, along with about 500 other dazed freshman (it was an 8 AM class), and retained about 2% of the course content, I'm embarrassed to say. This book is written by professors from my alma mater -- as it turns out, the UW is a hotbed of sexual behavior research. I was just fascinated by this book, Professors Lipton and Barash (married, by the way) are great story tellers. I have to warn the females out there: I took a human sexuality course to fulfill my sciences requirements freshman year of college, along with about 500 other dazed freshman (it was an 8 AM class), and retained about 2% of the course content, I'm embarrassed to say. This book is written by professors from my alma mater -- as it turns out, the UW is a hotbed of sexual behavior research. I was just fascinated by this book, Professors Lipton and Barash (married, by the way) are great story tellers. I have to warn the females out there: You will get bummed out by this book. It turns out Mother Nature isn't really on our side. Those precious eggs of ours make us hot commodities, and very vulnerable.

  4. 5 out of 5

    M. Sarki

    https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/170643... Not exactly the book I was looking for, but then again, I am never sure what that is until I find it. Rare is the manuscript that satisfies my curiosity. And though an important study needed to get to the root of our human predicament, this is a book mostly for the birds among us. And as certainly noted, science is interesting and beneficial to our understanding of how things actually work. But basically, as in all relationships, monogamy comes down to mak https://msarki.tumblr.com/post/170643... Not exactly the book I was looking for, but then again, I am never sure what that is until I find it. Rare is the manuscript that satisfies my curiosity. And though an important study needed to get to the root of our human predicament, this is a book mostly for the birds among us. And as certainly noted, science is interesting and beneficial to our understanding of how things actually work. But basically, as in all relationships, monogamy comes down to making a deal. Even in light of it being unnatural, monogamy can be achieved if the agreeable parties work hard at maintaining their contract. Social pressure, commandments, morals, parenting needs, financial dependance, and state laws all contribute to couples practicing monogamy. But denying one’s feelings and natural tendencies is surely unproductive in achieving a satisfactory arrangement. More important would be learning ways in which to live happily together in this natural world. Having a partner who agrees with you is paramount to garnering success. Human beings have been gifted over the rest of creation with brains that develop reasoning skills and fantasies. Doubtful any birds watch porn, read erotic literature, or role play with their sexual partners. Exploring sexuality together with a willing partner not only instructs but also achieves levels of satisfaction that have no ceiling. Partners imagining countless scenarios in which one or both might achieve their sexual needs keeps both partners honest and relieved. That does not mean to go through with them. However, the levels of jeopardy one or both might enjoy furthers the excitement to often fitful degrees and blows the top off any suppressed desire itching for expression. Taking a sexual fantasy as far as comfortably possible not only serves as self-discovery but also entertains each other for minutes and days previously unimaginable. Whether one or both commits to conducting the illicit behavior is another affair. But nowhere does it state that consummation is necessary in achieving the result sought out by dealing honestly with one’s natural desires. All of us know the process is fun when looking for what we might want, but it does not mean we need it. But take the freedom of shopping away and the natural tendency becomes a need to break out and escape the prison that has been created. Better to take a peek now and then at what you might want and what might be out there. And then decide together what to do about it. Makes for a rather happy and satisfied relationship while practicing the varied and unnatural status of monogamy.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ashlee

    I want to get the positive things out of the way first: I found it really interesting, blah blah blah. They generalized animal behavior related to nonmonogamy (infidelity only, for the most part) and showed how humans exhibit those traits. I was rather gleeful, to be honest. That said, I took issue with a few things. 1. The speciesism of their language. Humans are animals; the word "animals" does not actually exclude human beings. Thinking of ourselves as different (and better) than other animals I want to get the positive things out of the way first: I found it really interesting, blah blah blah. They generalized animal behavior related to nonmonogamy (infidelity only, for the most part) and showed how humans exhibit those traits. I was rather gleeful, to be honest. That said, I took issue with a few things. 1. The speciesism of their language. Humans are animals; the word "animals" does not actually exclude human beings. Thinking of ourselves as different (and better) than other animals is a lot of why we have the rampant abuse of nonhuman beings. 2. Their language is also monogamist. One gets the idea from their language that they believe monogamy to be the only correct or worthwhile way for humans to relationship. We get enough social enforcement of monogamy from everyone else, I don't want it from my book about nonmonogamy. (And they even pointed that people have the ability to love multiple people at once and sometimes choose to relationship with multiple people and they still were really biased!) 3. Most of the book is based on factual evidence. They cite studies showing everything, for all the behaviors. Everything is all nice and proven/suggested by science and then they conclude something to the effect of, "monogamy is obviously the best way to relationship, that's been proven beyond doubt, even though it's unnatural for us and difficult, but isn't it so nice? Growing old with you best friend?" a) That isn't how most marriages end. b) You don't need a monogamous marriage to spend your elder years with your best friend. c) Why would you spend two-hundred pages disproving everything that people believe only to agree with them at the end?

  6. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    This book will make absolutely enthralling reading...in another ten years. I feel like we're riding a whole wave of new research in sexuality, history and psychology; and this book was just written 10 years too early. There's tonnes of information, but it can be read in so many different ways and interpreted in so many different ways that it's extremely difficult to draw conclusions. And which, for the most part, title nonwithstanding, the authors don't do. They offer suggestions, make connectio This book will make absolutely enthralling reading...in another ten years. I feel like we're riding a whole wave of new research in sexuality, history and psychology; and this book was just written 10 years too early. There's tonnes of information, but it can be read in so many different ways and interpreted in so many different ways that it's extremely difficult to draw conclusions. And which, for the most part, title nonwithstanding, the authors don't do. They offer suggestions, make connections, point out flaws and issues, but there's nothing solid anywhere. And if solid is what you're looking for, you're about 10 years too early.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kristina Moses

    To be fair to my review, I only read to page 40 when I decided I was too bored with reading it and gave up. It was very detailed into the biology of many different species, and very early on made the point that monogamy is generally not a natural thing. However there were two points that I felt were lacking: with all the biological reasons for EPC (extra pair coupling) there was no mention (at least that I had seen yet) as to why monogamy isn't natural for lgbt couples, also, there was a consist To be fair to my review, I only read to page 40 when I decided I was too bored with reading it and gave up. It was very detailed into the biology of many different species, and very early on made the point that monogamy is generally not a natural thing. However there were two points that I felt were lacking: with all the biological reasons for EPC (extra pair coupling) there was no mention (at least that I had seen yet) as to why monogamy isn't natural for lgbt couples, also, there was a consistent focus on the way humans have EPCs being cheating on your spouse rather than consensual open relationships.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    the subject matter was interesting, but the writing was cringe-worthy. there was a distinct 'tee-hee!' feeling about the descriptions of female animals who copulated outside their social coupling, and an equally repellent disapproval toward males who did the same thing. if the goal is to describe how monogamy is unnatural, then why the snickering? the subject matter was interesting, but the writing was cringe-worthy. there was a distinct 'tee-hee!' feeling about the descriptions of female animals who copulated outside their social coupling, and an equally repellent disapproval toward males who did the same thing. if the goal is to describe how monogamy is unnatural, then why the snickering?

  9. 4 out of 5

    Libertine

    This book shows how people are not naturally monogamous, but I think it cops out by stopping short of recommending that people explore nontraditional relationship options. Still very useful, however.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Gabriele

    The book could have been a bit shorter without loosing the power of the arguments authors made. Other than that, it's an interesting read. The book could have been a bit shorter without loosing the power of the arguments authors made. Other than that, it's an interesting read.

  11. 4 out of 5

    H.K. Johnson

    I would've liked a bit more cross cultural analysis and a bit less reference to birds/animals/bugs, but overall the book does a pretty good job of providing info to support its claim (that monogamy is as unnatural for us as it is for many of our winged or 4 to 8 legged friends in the wild. Or, at least that there should be room for diversity in human preference. Of course we do have a level of intellect not afforded to animals, but the books does a good job of explaining our biological inclinati I would've liked a bit more cross cultural analysis and a bit less reference to birds/animals/bugs, but overall the book does a pretty good job of providing info to support its claim (that monogamy is as unnatural for us as it is for many of our winged or 4 to 8 legged friends in the wild. Or, at least that there should be room for diversity in human preference. Of course we do have a level of intellect not afforded to animals, but the books does a good job of explaining our biological inclinations, as well as additional reasons why more inclusive relationship types have been implemented.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Delia

    "For human beings, sex has three great functions: procreational, rela­tional, and recreational. The first is obvious. The second speaks to the deep bonding and connectedness that often develop between lovers. The third aspect of sex, recreational, is doubtless the most controversial. But the fact remains that sex is, or can be, great fun and a powerful recreational urge in its own right." "For human beings, sex has three great functions: procreational, rela­tional, and recreational. The first is obvious. The second speaks to the deep bonding and connectedness that often develop between lovers. The third aspect of sex, recreational, is doubtless the most controversial. But the fact remains that sex is, or can be, great fun and a powerful recreational urge in its own right."

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jaclyn

    I found this book to be a fascinating study on why humans do and do not remain monogamous. This book explores all the various findings to support both why it goes against our evolutionary nature to remain monogamous, as well as why it remains a societally favored way of life. I happened upon this book entirely by coincidence, picked it up to flick through it and see what it was about, and found I couldn't put it down. It did take me a little while to get through in it's entirety, but it was an i I found this book to be a fascinating study on why humans do and do not remain monogamous. This book explores all the various findings to support both why it goes against our evolutionary nature to remain monogamous, as well as why it remains a societally favored way of life. I happened upon this book entirely by coincidence, picked it up to flick through it and see what it was about, and found I couldn't put it down. It did take me a little while to get through in it's entirety, but it was an interesting enough topic that it was well worth sticking through to the end. I learned quite a few things I never knew before about human sexuality.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Miles

    Really excellent read. Far more even-handed and scientifically responsible than Sex at Dawn. This book sticks to the facts and doesn't come off as value-driven. It makes a very strong case for monogamy being "unnatural" in a strictly biological sense while still making a big effort to look at the positive side of monogamy and take into account the things about humans that separate us from animals (notably our ability to make promises and reflect on our actions). Wouldn't have given it five stars Really excellent read. Far more even-handed and scientifically responsible than Sex at Dawn. This book sticks to the facts and doesn't come off as value-driven. It makes a very strong case for monogamy being "unnatural" in a strictly biological sense while still making a big effort to look at the positive side of monogamy and take into account the things about humans that separate us from animals (notably our ability to make promises and reflect on our actions). Wouldn't have given it five stars except that the last couple chapters were really wonderful, focusing more on people and less on animal sexuality.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    This book was recommended on the Savage Love podcast, and it was at the library, so I gave it a try. Frankly, it was boring. It was like a dry journal article in a wildlife biology publication, but spread out for hundreds of pages. They made all their points in the first chapter, and really only the last chapter was interesting. Here's the point they made a million times: monogamy is not a biologically natural state, so don't be shocked that it's so difficult to maintain among humans. This book was recommended on the Savage Love podcast, and it was at the library, so I gave it a try. Frankly, it was boring. It was like a dry journal article in a wildlife biology publication, but spread out for hundreds of pages. They made all their points in the first chapter, and really only the last chapter was interesting. Here's the point they made a million times: monogamy is not a biologically natural state, so don't be shocked that it's so difficult to maintain among humans.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    I found this book very interesting and very readable - the writers are funny and personable. It was fun to read something different - animal biology and it gave me a lot of things to think about.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tom Menner

    The title was intriguing, but while I don't disagree with some of the arguments it is just a very dry read. The title was intriguing, but while I don't disagree with some of the arguments it is just a very dry read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Chris Merola

    Fascinating info marred by some chunky sentences and limited scope. The authors explore and define the concept of monogamy in the animal world, then work their way towards what this means for human beings. The two keep things light and charming, though their sentence structure is exhausting at points. I enjoyed the even-handed analysis on display; a lot of evidence is presented, a lot of counter arguments are considered, and the authors aren't afraid to make claims at the end of it all. Monogamy Fascinating info marred by some chunky sentences and limited scope. The authors explore and define the concept of monogamy in the animal world, then work their way towards what this means for human beings. The two keep things light and charming, though their sentence structure is exhausting at points. I enjoyed the even-handed analysis on display; a lot of evidence is presented, a lot of counter arguments are considered, and the authors aren't afraid to make claims at the end of it all. Monogamy as a concept is so interesting to me, and it's analyzed incredibly well here from a biological standpoint. On the psychological/sociological front, we are rarely treated to more than a few quotes from prominent figures to sum up the canon of Western thought. I wish we could have seen more data on monogamy in practice, including open relationships, gay monogamy, and so on. Perhaps the world just didn't have the data at the time this was written. Either way, the prime biological info makes this a great read on monogamy, though it isn't THE read because of the aforementioned issues.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Sydney Wilson

    So let’s take some interesting biological and anthropological studies, and construct a really poor argument of nonmonogamy using every cliche of behavior we can. It’s pedantic. It’s frustratingly thoughtful sometimes, and at others it’s frustratingly poorly written. I’m all for questioning ideas of monogamy, but this isn’t the way to do it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Steven

    Why does it seem like David Barash is up to something? I've seen a number of genuinely bizarre things from him, and they all seem to be pointing in a certain direction. Why does it seem like David Barash is up to something? I've seen a number of genuinely bizarre things from him, and they all seem to be pointing in a certain direction.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Greg Robinson

    fascinating discussion of an overlooked topic; many examples provide compelling evidence; puts the human condition in a new light; strongly recommend

  22. 5 out of 5

    FARSHAD

    Awesome book about one of our most cherished social ideals: monogamy. It is not that stable, mind you though. It fractures upon careful analysis and that is what Brash does terrifically

  23. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Cass

    Excellent book with a very concise argument against assuming that monogamy is somehow inherent or natural to any species of critter, including people. Based primarily in the avian kingdom but also looks at many other animals, whatever it takes to prove the point that "Nature" doesn't actually fit current perceptions. It's a good start to thinking more holistically about relationships and picking apart why they are what they are. But it doesn't necessarily offer interpretation or extrapolation to Excellent book with a very concise argument against assuming that monogamy is somehow inherent or natural to any species of critter, including people. Based primarily in the avian kingdom but also looks at many other animals, whatever it takes to prove the point that "Nature" doesn't actually fit current perceptions. It's a good start to thinking more holistically about relationships and picking apart why they are what they are. But it doesn't necessarily offer interpretation or extrapolation to the human condition, so I would absolutely continue on with further reading. ;) (Just now finished watching an interview of Helen Fisher who has a lot to say on the subject as well as a TED talk and a few books, so... have at it!)

  24. 4 out of 5

    Alleydancer07

    Well-written, thoroughly researched and not nearly as dry as one might expect from such a biologically-steeped book. The countless studies cited of sexual behaviour in so many different species illustrate the point - over and over - that the concepts of fidelity, monogamy and the benefits and pitfalls of infidelity are complex. Most interesting is the way that one can see the parallels between human sexual behaviour and animal sexual behaviour, and brings us uncomfortably close to the real drivi Well-written, thoroughly researched and not nearly as dry as one might expect from such a biologically-steeped book. The countless studies cited of sexual behaviour in so many different species illustrate the point - over and over - that the concepts of fidelity, monogamy and the benefits and pitfalls of infidelity are complex. Most interesting is the way that one can see the parallels between human sexual behaviour and animal sexual behaviour, and brings us uncomfortably close to the real driving forces behind our interactions with potential mates. Certainly informative and worth reading if you enjoy having typical social norms challenged.

  25. 5 out of 5

    A.

    this book goes around of (not only) human extra-marital sexual relationships from perspective of biology and games theory. authors dare to ignore completely social prescriptions of modern modelled-after-religion society (like monogamy as the natural character of human being) and help you to see it from the angle of science not blinded by morality & church. this book _will_ put you in questioning moral basics of your own, and unless you are sanctimonious churchgoer and/or hypocrite, your point of this book goes around of (not only) human extra-marital sexual relationships from perspective of biology and games theory. authors dare to ignore completely social prescriptions of modern modelled-after-religion society (like monogamy as the natural character of human being) and help you to see it from the angle of science not blinded by morality & church. this book _will_ put you in questioning moral basics of your own, and unless you are sanctimonious churchgoer and/or hypocrite, your point of view will change significantly.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jenni

    A wonderful read, with a surprising ending. Just when you think all hope was lost, the author summarizes his book with reasons why it is not and (despite chapters of research as to why and how monogamy is unnatural to much of the animal world, which includes human beings), he reminds us that as human beings we are the one animal capable of MAKING THE CONSCIOUS DECISION to override our natural tendencies in consideration of our fellow human beings (and romantic partners). His conclusion leaves th A wonderful read, with a surprising ending. Just when you think all hope was lost, the author summarizes his book with reasons why it is not and (despite chapters of research as to why and how monogamy is unnatural to much of the animal world, which includes human beings), he reminds us that as human beings we are the one animal capable of MAKING THE CONSCIOUS DECISION to override our natural tendencies in consideration of our fellow human beings (and romantic partners). His conclusion leaves the reader with maybe just a little desire to give monogamy a chance.

  27. 4 out of 5

    DDog

    This book was fairly interesting as long as I kept reading it steadily. At some point I wasn't reading it at all and it took me months to just finish it already. It's not bad, although the chatty pop culture references grated after awhile. I learned some stuff, which now I mostly don't remember. If you want a well-researched book about animal mating habits and what they may or may not suggest about human patterns, this is it. This book was fairly interesting as long as I kept reading it steadily. At some point I wasn't reading it at all and it took me months to just finish it already. It's not bad, although the chatty pop culture references grated after awhile. I learned some stuff, which now I mostly don't remember. If you want a well-researched book about animal mating habits and what they may or may not suggest about human patterns, this is it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    I thought this book was good. I did like it, but it took me a while to finish it. I heard about this book from a few different sex educators, and it seemed like a book that I should read. I'm glad I did, but I can sum it up pretty easily: Chapters 1-5: Birds aren't monogamous. Neither are insects, or most mammals, especially primates. Chapters 6-7: Neither are humans. I was hoping for something more like Sex At Dawn by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethra. I thought this book was good. I did like it, but it took me a while to finish it. I heard about this book from a few different sex educators, and it seemed like a book that I should read. I'm glad I did, but I can sum it up pretty easily: Chapters 1-5: Birds aren't monogamous. Neither are insects, or most mammals, especially primates. Chapters 6-7: Neither are humans. I was hoping for something more like Sex At Dawn by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethra.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    Well, I basically stopped reading this book halfway through. I just got bored. I was wondering, where's the juicy stuff?? I guess maybe if I kept reading I might find more info that pertains to humans and not just birds but... eh, I had other good stuff to read. now it's time to return it to the library and I don't have much motivation to finish it first. oh well... Well, I basically stopped reading this book halfway through. I just got bored. I was wondering, where's the juicy stuff?? I guess maybe if I kept reading I might find more info that pertains to humans and not just birds but... eh, I had other good stuff to read. now it's time to return it to the library and I don't have much motivation to finish it first. oh well...

  30. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    Excellent book. If you like genetics, evolution, or the study of the natural world, you will like this book. Note: the last chapter makes a surprisingly strong argument for monogamy amongst humans, although only the reader who has read the entire book will appreciate them

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.