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Warrior Lovers: Erotic Fiction, Evolution and Female Sexuality Hardcover – September 1, 2003

ISBN-13: 978-0300093544 ISBN-10: 0300093543

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Product Details

  • Series: Darwinism Today series
  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (September 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300093543
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300093544
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 4 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,392,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Darwinism Today Series

About the Author

Catherine Salmon is assistant professor of psychology, Department of Psychology, University of Redlands. Donald Symons is Emeritus Professor of Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Customer Reviews

3.1 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By BrainScope on October 5, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had low expectations for this slender book, expecting it to be perhaps a doctoral dissertation spun out into a monograph. Instead, Warrior Lovers is an extraordinarily lucid argument in favor of applying evolutionary theory to the study of human behavior, making its case with persuasive economy.

If you're familiar with the works of Steven Pinker, David Buss, or Margo Wilson and Martin Daly, then much of the content of WL will be familiar, but I suspect you will never have read the arguments rendered with such cohesion and clarity. This is the work of a man (Donald Symons) who has spent the previous four decades of his life contemplating human mating behavior, teaching and writing about it, and brings it all together in this tightly-written summary.

The book also addresses the phenomenon of "slash fiction," a subgenre of fan fiction, both heavily dominated by women, in the same way that graphic pornography is heavily dominated by men. Symons and Catherine Salmon (now a professor of psychology at the University of Redlands) place slash fiction within the realm of human cognition shaped by evolution, showing that it is congruent with other forms of sexual behavior explored in Symons' classic The Evolution of Human Sexuality and in much of evolutionarily-framed cognitive research since then.

If you're interested in reading a thoughtful discussion of the nature and origins of cognitive differences between men and women, this concise book should prove illuminating. It's an easy read, and a good one.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mary Leinart on December 6, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I came away from this wondering if the authors had taken the time to actually talk to any writers or fans of slash fiction at all. Because it really doesn't sound much like they did. I've been ten years in the Harry Potter fandom, seven of them as a writer and reader of primarily slash fiction, but also occasional het and femslash, and in my experience, most of what Salmon and Symond claim to be almost universally true of the genre reeks of the worst kind of BS.

One partner in most slash pairings is not habitually feminised, slash fiction does not always take place between two males who are close friends in the canon source material, such stories need not be set within the context of a loving, monogamous relationship, and lesbians do not just read and write femslash -- plenty of them enjoy male/male pairings! Those are just a few examples of completely wrong-headed generalisations made by the authors.

This book simply reeks of misogyny and gender essentialism. If you're already a slash fan, you'll be able to see it, but if you're not, please do not use this as a guide to the psychology behind slash fiction.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Julian Gardiner on March 24, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This book offers a remarkably convincing explanation of why some women should want to read and write male/male erotic romances. The book starts with a forceful and provocative statement of the fundamental importance of our evolutionary history to human psychology. The authors then argue how this explains some fairly basic differences in what men and women find erotic, drawing on some interesting comparisons between the behaviour of heterosexuals, gay men, and lesbians. They finally address the question of "slash" fiction and argue that, contrary to what one might think, the appeal of this material is actually rather similar to that of the heterosexual romance novels which are read by many women. I found this book well argued, thought provoking, and enjoyable throughout.
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17 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Sara J. Reyna-byler on May 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I found this book, as the title would suggest, infuriating and insulting. I have been a fan of slash for many years, to the point that I am writing my Masters thesis on the subject. This book completely dismisses the fact that desire can be culturally inscribed. There is more to sexual psychology than just evolution. A case is made for what is essentially the nuclear family in ancient times. It is a logical argument, but there is absolutely no proof. Slash cannot simply be dismissed as the result of female sexual psychology, or a male/male romance novel. It is infinitely more complex, as anyone who has been part of a slash community would know. Check out NASA/Trek by Constance Penley instead.
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