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Comment: Cancelled library softcover, shows minimal reader, cover and page edge wear, all the usual library marks, tape and stamps/stickers. Pages intact with no ink markings or highlighting.
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The Evolution Of Desire - Revised Edition 4 Paperback – July 1, 2003


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Basic Books; Fourth Edition, Fourth Edition edition (July 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 046500802X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0465008025
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"An ambitious addition to the ever-growing shelves of books on sex wars.... Buss is refreshingly evenhanded." -- Elle

"Clear, coherent, and convincing...." -- Philadelphia Inquirer

About the Author

David M. Buss is Professor of Psychology at the University of Texas, Austin, and the author of six books, including Personality: Domains of Knowledge about Human Nature and The Dangerous Passion: Why Jealousy is as Necessary as Love and Sex. He lives in Austin, Texas.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

313 of 354 people found the following review helpful By Bob Fancher on October 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
I teach evolutionary psychology in college, organizing my classes around the "logic of inquiry." I use this book to illustrate cross-cultural investigation, including the pragmatic difficulties of getting good data from massive studies. For that purpose, the book has its uses.
However, unless you are a critical, already-knowledgeable reader, this book may not be a good choice. The book exemplifies neither the state of the art nor a model of how to think soundly about the questions.
Buss's hypotheses tend to be very vague. Indeed, he often says things like, "Evolutionary psychology explains this constellation of traits," as if there were some one hypothesis held by all evolutionary psychologists. He rarely, if ever, presents alternative hypotheses from within evolutionary studies.
He presents little, if any, contradictory or complicating data, never shows what would be involved in falsifying his hypotheses, and never shows why his theory is better supported than others' views of evolution. You get no sense from this book of the vigorous, usually exciting debates on mating *within* evolutionary circles.
You get litle or no sense from this book that problems of sexual adaptivity do not occur alone. You would never know that for humans, copulation has less to do with reproduction than in nearly any other species-and that this complicates immensely understanding our evolved mating habits.
You would never know that across the animal kingdom problems of mate selection depend heavily on what we eat and how we attain it. You would never know that across the animal kingdom mating habits depend on social structure.
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92 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Thomas D. Kehoe on September 3, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've read almost all the evolutionary psychology books, and the best (by far) is "Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind," by David M. Buss. It's a college textbook but not dry or boring. The writing is clear and easy to understand. Every topic in the field is covered, including men's and women's mating strategies, parenting and kinship, cooperation, conflict, etc.
"The Evolution of Desire" is not as good. It seems out of date, as if the original edition 1994 edition were just updated here and there to produce new 2003 edition. A political agenda or bias is seen "between the lines," that isn't in "Evolutionary Psychology." And the writing is confused and haphazard.
In "The Evolution of Desire," Buss presumes that men and women are fundamentally different. This view was popular in early 1990s as "backlash" against 1970s feminists saying that men and women are the same. However, current thinking (e.g., "Sex, Time, and Power," by Leonard Shlain) takes the transpersonal view that each of us has a masculine and a feminine side, and a mature, balanced individual can use one or the other situations change.
Buss believes that men want to have sex with many women, and that women want men to give them economic resources. Buss uses the inaccurate Kinsey research on sexual behavior instead of the accurate University of Chicago research. The latter found that the vast majority of Americans are in monogamous, committed relationships, and that these individuals are happier than individuals with more than one sexual partner.
Buss's bias is apparant in the section that attempts -- and fails -- to explain why women engage in casual sex. Buss ignores the research identifying the reason women become promiscuous: stress. E.g.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Don on May 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
I used this book and Buss' Evolutionary Psychology text book a few years back for a term paper in college. At the time I was in a troubled relationship and it opened me up in understanding people's behavior. It clued me in on how the mind works and why men and women seek certain partners. It's not personal, but about survival. Whether this book is scientific factual or proven is no concern to me. Every choice can be traced to our survival instinct. I've recommended this to friends and colleagues over the years to help them understand people and in that sense I recommend it.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Patrick D. Goonan on April 9, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I gave this book a 5 rating because it is provocative and challenges a lot of society's assumptions about sexual behavior. While I realize the book has some shortcomings, it does shed a lot of light on human mating strategy.

I thought the author's notion of long term and short term mating strategies in both sexes was fascinating. It makes logical sense and it seemed to make sense with my experience of people in American culture. I also found the examples and references he used to back up his arguments interesting.

While this isn't a perfect book from a research perspective, it is excellent for what it is... a trade paperback written for a general audience. I recommend it to anyone who wants a deeper understanding of human sexual behavior.

Also... a lot of the information in this book is redundant with the content in the same author's book on jealousy. You may want to get one or the other first and get the other one later depending upon how big a fan you are of his approach to these topics.
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