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Strange Bedfellows: The Surprising Connection Between Sex, Evolution and Monogamy Hardcover – October 1, 2009


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Strange Bedfellows: The Surprising Connection Between Sex, Evolution and Monogamy + The Myth of Monogamy: Fidelity and Infidelity in Animals and People + Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Bellevue Literary Press (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934137200
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934137208
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 6.2 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,025,607 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A decade after they published The Myth of Monogamy: Fidelity and Infidelity in Animals and People, husband-and-wife evolutionary scientists Barash and Lipton make a strong case for the benefits and joys of monogamy even for people, like themselves, "who take biology seriously." Until quite recently, they report, "three-quarters of all human societies were polygamous," and the advent of DNA testing shows that birds have a similarly wandering eye: "sometimes 30 or 40 percent of nestlings ... are not genetically related." While promiscuity seems built into our genes, there is a longer legacy of serial monogamy ("the likelihood... is that only a few well-positioned males succeeded in polygamy") and genetic payoff for two-parent households (feeding, warming, and protecting the young) than numbers might suggest. Humans especially benefit from reciprocity and "monogamy is the ultimate friendship," with the biggest payoff, not just in reproduction but "physically, intellectually, emotionally economically, socially ... in a word, biologically." Everything from infant-mother attachment to neuroplasticity to "mirror neurons" to hormones form the biological framework for adult love. With wit and intelligence, Barash and Lipton provide a rational, scientific look at the seemingly irrational business of falling and staying in love.
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About the Author

David Barash, professor of psychology at the University of Washington, is the author of over 20 books (among them Natural Selections, The Myth of Monogamy and Madame Bovary's Ovaries) and over 200 articles. One of the earliest proponents of "sociobiology" in the 1970s, now know as "evolutionary psychology" or "evolutionary biology," he remains among its most articulate popularizers. Judith E Lipton earned her MD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She met David Barash in 1975, in Seattle, Washington, and they were married in 1977. Her collaboration with Dr. Barash led to a shift in focus, to evolutionary psychiatry. Together they have published 6 books including "The Myth of Monogamy" and "Gender Gap."

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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael T. Collins on June 29, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Barasha and Lipton have created a book as insightful as it is enjoyable to read. Their presentation of human sexual behavior in the context of evolutionary biology is both fascinating and fun. I particularly enjoyed the sprinkling of dry humor throughout the book. They provide a realistic appraisal of our basic nature as animals and hope for relationships when we are most human.
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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. Antuna on December 26, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was very informative and easy to read (for those who are not anthropology majors). I greatly enjoyed it!
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