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Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes?: Bodies, Behavior, and Brains--The Science Behind Sex, Love, & Attraction Paperback – September 29, 2009

24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In these playfully written scientific anecdotes, Pincott (Success) argues that desire is strongly rooted in evolutionary biases and consults a variety of studies—some familiar, others cutting-edge—to reveal the extent to which hormones dictate human behavior. Even idle ogling is a serious endeavor: humans constantly rate each other for levels of attractiveness, a signifier of male and female hormones. When women are ovulating, estrogen rebuilds the female face, making lips fuller and skin smoother; Pincott cites studies showing that strippers earned twice as much during the fertile phase of their cycles as when they had their periods, while those taking birth control earned significantly less money throughout. The book also has the scoop about whether penis size matters (it does), how the post-orgasm rush of oxytocin promotes bonding and why women are tempted to cheat during certain times of the month. It ends with a look at the neuroscience of love, which despite all the jostling and jousting of dating and mating, appears to be very much alive when measured by MRI studies of passionate couples. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"Witty, captivating, scientifically sound and great fun. Every curious man and woman will love this book."—Louann Brizendine, M.D., New York Times bestselling author of The Female Brain

“Answers around 100 questions we’ve all wondered about or asked…. A tremendous amount of potentially useful information in a well-written, entertaining, and easy-to-understand format.”—Library Journal

“Playfully written scientific anecdotes.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Delta (September 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385342160
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385342162
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #619,781 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jena Pincott writes about the quirky, hidden side of science -- the shocking, subconscious, under-the-radar stuff. She is the author of Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? Exploring the Surprising Science of Pregnancy, which received starred reviews from Kirkus and Library Journal for blending "science with wit,personal anecdote, and playful humor." Her previous book, Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes?, on the science of love and attraction, is translated in 17 languages.

Jena has a background in biology. Formerly a senior editor at Random House, she blogs at Psychology Today and Huffington Post. She also writes science fiction.

Jena lives in New York City with her husband, Peter, and two young daughters.

Read her blog at

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Zenaide Andrade on November 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I think this book is terrific ! The questions answers in the book
make great fodder for provocative conversations with friends and
boyfriends. Some of the ones I loved: are "Is a meat-heavy diet a turn-
pff? Why do roller coaster rides and other thrills make people
lustful? What smells have been found to turn people on? How do the
seasons affect your love life?" It's funny, charming, and well--
written. What I like about it is that it's not heavy and dull like
most science books, but there are sources if you want to go back to
the research behind the author's findings. I'd call it a cross
between a science book and the best of Cosmo. Highly recommended for
women who are looking for a new view on love and dating.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Mark LaFlaur on December 5, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Must-reading for men even though it's mainly addressed to women--and should make a good gift any time of year. Guys, find out how much they really know about us--more than we know ourselves! Smart, witty, thoughtful accounts of why we're attracted (or not) to how would-be mates smell, on the sexiness of humor and how love changes your brain, why curves are sexy, and much more. Question-and-answer format makes for easy episodic reading: Pick it up and start anywhere, read a few pages, then come back later for more surprises. Light, breezy writing that is also satisfying to readers interested in science and psychology. This would make a good gift to or from either sex--for someone whose smell turns you on, or whose eye color you find alluring and you want to know why . . . Now, back to The Racy Parts . . .
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Non Blonde on November 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I absolutely LOVED this book. I found myself compulsively quoting parts of the book in subsequent conversations and referencing study after study giving friends relationship advice. It's packed with numerous anecdotes, factoids and reveals so much about human sexual behavior and what biological imperatives drive our preferences in dating. The book is so insightful and interesting I bought copies for all of my girlfriends...definitely a great conversation starter! Its packaged really well to appeal to a wide readership - a breezy read that's well-written, substantive and refreshingly fast-paced. If you have any interest in evolutionary biology, you may already be familiar with some of the studies referenced (like how your partner smells is important, and if monogamy is natural) and then there are some really fascinating lesser known studies on how the length of your index finger is an indicator of your testosterone levels...and on and on....The book is really packed with so much stuff that I am reading it again for a refresher! HIGHLY recommended.

The writer also has a very good blog, for those of you who are interested in the topic of evolutionary biology, that she updates quite frequently. It's featured on Amazon's site, but you can view it off her website directly - as there are new studies coming out almost daily: [...]
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14 of 19 people found the following review helpful By college professor on July 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book initially because I wanted to know the answer to the question in the book's title: Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes? (because I do!). The book explained several questions that I had been curious about. Since I am a face man, I was curious to know why certain faces are so irresistible to me. The answer was surprising and yet completely understandable in evolutionary biological terms. An attractive face is a symmetrical face, indicating genetic and developmental health of the individual and therefore his or her attractiveness as a mate. Why is long hair sexy? It's not obvious, but again it's explained by evolution and biology. Can semen in your body from your partner make you happy? Why do men have more casual sex than women? You can say the answer is that they are dogs, but that's not the evolutionary reason. And for you singles: you should know that intercourse with a partner is more satisfying than masturbation. Love makes you blind. It turns out it's not just a saying. What body language do men or women use to let you know that they are interested? This too has to do with the evolution of human behavior.

I learned a surprising amount of evolutionary biology and psychology from this book!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By R. Klein on July 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
I don't know exactly what I expected out of this book. I guess I didn't think it would be a guide for women to find mates. While it certainly had a scientific bent - discussing the role of chemistry, through hormones, pheromones, and other chemical influences on human (and animal) behavior - and giving biological and evolutionary rationales for how we behave and choose sex partners and/or mates.

But it kept falling into the realm of an advice column, or as someone else noted, seemed like it could have been written for Cosmopolitan Magazine. While it didn't seem to profess being written for women, there seemed to be a lot of places where it came down to... "Girls, if you're looking for a mate, try this." And it is addressed to women, not an inclusive audience of women and men. The audience is addressed specifically by gender. I felt a little like I was a sneaky interloper in a "how to" book for women.

Some interesting commentary on how women and men differ on the biological and behavior levels. Different signals that might attract, repel, or otherwise communicate between the sexes, and examples of how those compare with similar modes of communication among other members of the animal kingdom.

But after a while, I started to feel like it was dragging on. The references to Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging to see what part of the brain reacted to these images, or those concepts, or this aroma all started to run together. So did the repetitive role of oxytocin (the cuddle hormone) or plasma levels of testosterone and estrogen in so many descriptions of how and why we do what we do when interacting with another person.

Much of the human behavioral pattern description was interesting. I guess for me, it just got bogged down.
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