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Sexual Strategies: How Females Choose Their Mates

4.1 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0595510399
ISBN-10: 0595510396
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mary Batten is an award-winning science writer for print, film, and television. She has scripted more than 50 television films and was nominated for an Emmy for her work on the Children?s Television Workshop?s series 3-2-1 Contact. Her children?s books include Aliens from Earth and Anthropologist: Scientist of the People. Her magazine credits include Cosmopolitan and Modern Maturity.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (May 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595510396
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595510399
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,939,905 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I was first introduced to Mary Batten's "Sexual Strategies" two years ago by a friend, who accurately predicted that the book would give me a breakthrough in understanding the evolutionary basis for all those human mating behaviors and social mores that cause us all so much happiness and grief. I read the book twice and haven't seen it since, but its impact was so great that I've based my morality since then on its major theses. I'm finally ordering a copy for another friend, who will doubtless order some for others. Batten's cross-species comparisons demonstrate certain universal evolutionary principles underlying and/or undermining modern sexual mores and gender politics. The book's greatest value to me was in identifying certain behaviors as evolutionarily-based, such as a female's preference for a high-status male with a willingness to commit resources. Batten's level-headed scientific analysis neatly debunks the classical chauvinist / modern feminist myth of female moral superiority, and places on a morally equal footing the male biological imperative to mate with multiple females. This gave strength to me as a struggling gender egalitarian in a feminist-dominated law school. "Sexual Strategies" is written, in a manner lost since the sexual revolution, with a refreshing absence of Puritan moral posturing. Behaviors that would cause moral outrage if confessed in polite society, such as a females' deception of a non-genetic "father", are treated with commendable neutrality. The development of hierarchical dominance traits through female sexual choice is laid out so convincingly that the male-bashing anti-testosterone politics of today seem to just evaporate in the sunshine of scientific evidence so thoughtfully analyzed.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I found this book very difficult to put down- I read about a quarter of it before I'd even left the bookstore. It covers a lot of ground in a short time, but lots of intriguing findings.

As one reviewer here has already pointed out, while she entertains various interesting ideas and speculations based on the studies and evidence presented, she unfortunately doesn't ever question the underlying assumption that the female SHOULD have all the power in sexual and reproductive matters. And frankly, the discussion suffers when Batten reveals her feminist agenda and, straying quite a bit a couple times, such as going through some contortions to attempt to dismiss all opposition to abortion (as either attempts to assert control over the female's reproductive power, or as an abstract attempt by males to defend their sperm/progeny).

But in all, quite interesting and thought-and-talk provoking.
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Format: Paperback
In "Sexual Strategies: How Females Choose Their Mates," author Mary Batten provides scientific support - based on studies across many species - that it is the females who choose from among competing males, and not vice versa! As she puts it on p. 22, "From male fireflies flashing their natural bioluminescense to men flashing credit cards, males of most species compete among themselves to advertise their quality as mates." (I also quote this passage in "Unveiling: The Inner Journey.")

Ms. Batten covers a lively and engaging range of topics, from the actual "sexual strategies" of inducing mating behaviors in many species to social and psychological considerations in humans. While readable, and while also containing the author's own point of view, it presents a wide range of material across multiple disciplines. This is an excellent book for someone who is casually interested and wants an overview, and also for someone who is doing significant sociological research and desires a reference to many interesting works.

Alianna J. Maren, Ph.D.
Author (under the nom de plume Alay'nya)
"Unveiling: The Inner Journey"
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Format: Paperback
I found this book fascinating, extremely thought-provoking and wonderfully-written---Ms. Batten's perspective regarding females' rights to control their reproductive mechanisms seems to me to be similar to my own , and not, from my point of view, particularly "feminist". I think this book has great value in that at the very least it inspires thoughtful discussion.
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