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Sperm Wars: Infidelity, Sexual Conflict, and Other Bedroom Battles Paperback – Deluxe Edition, January 3, 2006


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Sperm Wars: Infidelity, Sexual Conflict, and Other Bedroom Battles + The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature + The Selfish Gene: 30th Anniversary Edition--with a new Introduction by the Author
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Tenth Anniversary Edition edition (January 3, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560258489
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560258483
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #229,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Robin Baker is a bestselling author in the field of sexual biology whose books include SPERM WARS (Basic, 1996), BABY WARS (Ecco, 1999), and SEX IN THE FUTURE (Arcade, 2000). From 1980-96 he was Reader in Zoology in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Manchester, and he has over a hundred scientific papers and magazine articles to his name. His work and ideas on the evolution of human behavior have been featured in many television and radio programs around the world.

More About the Author

For video interviews and a wider-ranging biography, to read both praise for and criticism of his books, and to see the controversies they have triggered, visit www.robin-baker.com.

Dr Robin Baker was born in Wiltshire, England in 1944, and grew up in the small village of Manningford Bruce in the Vale of Pewsey. The tiny 2-room school he attended had fewer than 30 pupils, with all the under 7s taught in one room and all the 7-11 year olds in the other. Between the ages of 11 and 18 he attended the nearby Marlborough Grammar School where coincidentally, 30 years earlier, the author William Golding had also been educated; all later pupils were expected to be very familiar with Golding's classic book LORD OF THE FLIES.

After obtaining a First Class Honours degree in Zoology, then a PhD, at the University of Bristol, Robin Baker lectured in Zoology at the Universities of first Newcastle-upon-Tyne and then Manchester where, in 1981, he became Reader in Zoology in the School of Biological Sciences. In 1996 he left academic life to concentrate on his career in writing and broadcasting.

He has published over one hundred scientific papers and many books. These include the international bestseller SPERM WARS which was based on his own lab's original research on human sexuality and which has so far been translated into 23 languages. His work and ideas on the evolution of human behaviour have been featured in many television programmes around the world.

His first novel PRIMAL - described by many as an adult LORD OF THE FLIES - was published in the UK and USA in 2009. In 2010-11 it will also be published in translation in Holland, Israel, France, Brazil and the Czech Republic.

Since 2002 he has lived in the foothills of the Spanish Sierras with his partner, the writer Elizabeth Oram, and their family. He has six children.

Customer Reviews

This is a very interesting read.
gonetropical
A very readable book based on the scientific theories of evolutionary biology that explains a whole variety of human behaviour.
Maeve
This book cites no sources, too much fluff, and seems like just hypothesis.
olz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 83 people found the following review helpful By booklover on September 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
Just a warning to readers of this book. The favorable ratings and reviews fooled me into thinking this was established science and well respected in academia. It is not. While the hypotheses and stories are intriguing and entertaining, the science behind it has not held up in the past decade. People have not been able to replicate many of Robin Baker's findings, and the whole notion of "sperm wars" in humans seems to be false. For instance, under the microscope, the "kamikaze" sperm and "egg-getters" don't seem to exist. Combining two men's sperm doesn't increase mortality of the sperm either, dispelling the notion of "killer" sperm that don't attempt to find the egg. The fact that Robin Baker has left academia and now labels himself an "author" not a biologist should be telling. More recent work has provided a far more nuanced and less hyped version of sperm competition.
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77 of 105 people found the following review helpful By AronH on February 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
May 4, 2012: I am re-posting this review after logging in and finding that my review of "Sperm Wars" had been deleted by the author (ROBIN BAKER). I guess he didn't like the fact that my negative review had been rated as helpful by 8/10 of the readers. YES, according to Amazon.com customer service, AUTHORS CAN DELETE REVIEWS OF THEIR BOOK!

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Original Title: Why do women cheat? If you want to know, read my review--not Robin Baker's book!
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"It is not surprising then that, so far, many of Baker's and Bellis' results have failed to stand up to scrutiny...The view of human sperm competition they have perpetuated is little more than sexual fantasy--phallus in wonderland--and I have exorcized it here in order to leave the way clear for a more veracious but no less astonishing account."
(Birkhead, Tim. "Promiscuity: An Evolutionary History of Sperm Competition." Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2000, pp. 29)

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Oh my...where to start? This book was a very disturbing read, but my innate curiosity and interest in seeking the truth in all things compelled me to read the book with the understanding that sometimes reality isn't as we might have preferred it to have been.

The book is divided into a total of eleven (11) chapters, further subdivided into a total of 37 scenes, in which Baker begins by describing a speculated scene usually involving a woman's conscious or subconscious motives and behavior which might cause her to cheat on her long-term partner. Baker then analyzes the scene using his hypotheses and assertions alleging that females are built to have sex with multiple males and encourage "sperm wars" in order to get the "best" genes for their offspring.
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31 of 44 people found the following review helpful By S. Russell on June 26, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Among animals, humans seem unusually obsessed with sex and thus a bit separated from the rest of the animal biology, which seems to feature a preponderance of 10-second sex acts. Robin Baker uses a lifetime of university study to try to explain human behavior objectively through case studies and discussions at at rate of one per chapter. It is a mixture of illumination, rationalization and sadly some repetition as the explanations seem to cycle through in the ~33 chapters. Most of the time, he hits his points, but sometimes he seems to miss obvious ones; for instance in the "rough sex" chapter, the woman's reproductive advantage in marrying a mate is discussed but the male perspective in such mate exploration is not. Mate selection by physical endowment is essentially entirely neglected, yet in human societies it is the norm that most people have multiple partners over a lifetime. In fact, in this book sperm wars really alludes to instances in which multiple matings occur in a short enough time span that sperm of different mates are selected in the woman's reproductive tract--a topic of a number of chapters. Practically every sexual combination is presented and explained, even when it is a bit stretched, as for instance the explanation as to why homo- or bisexuality, lesbian or gay behavior may contribute to reproductive success. In his role, the author is largely amoral--an observing biologist trying to explain a role for behavior in reproductive success rather than judging its societal context--though sometimes outcome of the occasional case study seem to bear moral shadings. For those who want to learn about the biology underlying human sexual behavior, this book has some interesting ideas.Read more ›
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24 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 1, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I like to pride myself of having a good understanding of male-female sexual behavior and of sexual biology, but this book blew my mind! I had no idea sperm behaved in this way and the degree to which our urges are control by our biology. I usually find science-based books detailing studies and statistics to be a big bore. But the combination of fictional dramatization of scenes of people in specific sexual situations followed by the real-world scientific explanations behind such behaviors, made the book irresistable. I couldn't put it down!!
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14 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Ryan Randolph on October 15, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sperm wars dives into many fascinating aspects of our sexuality and how these inherent drives have evolved over time and still control us to a much greater extent than most of us believe.

The book describes concepts using realistic situations and stories, making the book educational as well as exciting to read.

He reveals:
-Why a woman often feels a strong drive for finding the best genes as well as the best provider, and how she will optimize her sexual strategy if she cannot find a man that satisfies both.
-Why gays and bisexuals are actually the result of specific evolutionary survival strategies.
-How rape plays out in humans and other species.
-How most of a man's sperm is actually created to battle other sperm.
-10% of children are have different fathers than they believe.
-A women is far more likely to conceive through an affair rather than with her boyfriend or husband.
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