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Sexual Strategies: How Females Choose Their Mates [Paperback]

by Mary Batten
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 15, 2008 0595510396 978-0595510399
Sexual Strategies is a gem: a beautifully researched and concise introduction to animal mating systems and the clearest available account on the biology of female choice.-Sarah Blaffer Hrdy, PhDEmeritus Professor of Anthropology, University of California, Davisand author of Mother Nature: A History of Mothers, Infants, and Natural SelectionSexual Strategies explores the complexities of the mating game from fruit flies to humans and explains why females are in charge. By determining which males mate and father offspring, females play a directive role in evolution. Fascinating examples reveal the biology underlying courtship, deception, love, and sexual conflict.

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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.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 280 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse (May 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0595510396
  • ISBN-13: 978-0595510399
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,997,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mary Batten is an award-winning writer for television, film and publishing. Her many writing projects have taken her into tropical rainforests, astronomical observatories, scientific laboratories and medical research centers. She is the author of many nature/science books for adults and children, dozens of magazine articles and some 50 television scripts for Time-Life Films, National Geographic, Walt Disney Educational Media and others. She was nominated for an Emmy for her work on the Children's Television Workshop's 3-2-1 CONTACT series. Her newest book, HOW TO HAVE SEX IF YOU'RE NOT HUMAN: Intimate Journeys in Natural History, can be found on Kindle Books. Her other books include SEXUAL STRATEGIES: HOW FEMALES CHOOSE THEIR MATES, which The New York Times called "Fun and delightful to read, offering an abundance of fascinating facts." This book led to an appearance on OPRAH. Her children's book, ALIENS FROM EARTH: When Animals and Plants Invade Other Ecosystems, won the 2006 Izaak Walton League of America Conservation Book of the Year Award and was adopted by New York City Public Schools in support of the 4th grade science requirement for study of ecosystems. Her children's book, BABY WOLF, was selected by both Scholastic and Troll Book clubs. PLEASE DON'T WAKE THE ANIMALS describes animal sleep habits. HEY DADDY! is about animal fathers and their babies. ANTHROPOLOGIST: SCIENTIST OF THE PEOPLE is about anthropologist Magdalena Hurtado who studies hunter-gatherers in South America. PLEASE DON'T WAKE THE ANIMALS describes how a variety of animals, from bats to whales, sleep. WHO HAS A BELLY BUTTON answers the child's question, "Why do I have a belly button?" Her magazine articles have appeared in Cosmopolitan, Ladies' Home Journal, Modern Maturity, ASK, MUSE, Calypso Log and others. Her magazine article for Science Digest, "Sexual Choice: The Female's Newly Discovered Role," won The Newswomen's Club of New York's Front Page Award for best feature story.

She was the host of a podcast, EXPLORING NATURE WITH MARY BATTEN, on BlogTalkRadio. Shows are archived.

She is married to composer Ed Bland. They have two children: dancer/choreographer Stefanie Batten Bland and writer Robert Bland.


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating stuff July 13, 2007
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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Andrei-Bob says check it out. January 31, 1997
By A Customer
This is a quite fascinating book which attempts to upturn the classic presumption that the male always initiates coupling experiences -- human or other animal. In addition to its intellectual value, the book contains material which an intelligent male could use to become smarter than the average bear. Read it, or you're one dead dinosaur
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Important book for understanding human nature January 7, 2001
By A Customer
What a breath of fresh air this book is. We live in a society that worships the concepts of love and marriage. It is so enlightening to learn about the natural aspects of animal and human nature without all the distortions of religious and social dogma. I think that a student of evolutionary sexology can probably learn a lot from this book. The average joe will probably be amazed with revelations he gains.
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