- Paperback: 272 pages
- Publisher: TarcherPerigee; Reprint edition (September 2, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0399534539
- ISBN-13: 978-0399534539
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 116 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #109,211 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters: From Dating, Shopping, and Praying to Going to War and Becoming a Billionaire Paperback – September 2, 2008
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That mouthful of a title says it all. According to Kanazawa, a media-savvy researcher whose studies of "beautiful people" have been covered by the BBC and the New York Times, and the late Miller, a professor of social psychology, evolutionary psychology explains almost everything about human behavior. Proponents of what they call "the Standard Social Science Model" believe that the human mind is exempt from biological pressures, while evolutionary psychologists hold that people are an animal species driven by animal needs. The authors suggest that human evolution stopped when agriculture began changing the world much faster than the world could change us, and now 10,000-year-old impulses to find the right mate and produce healthy offspring control nearly every aspect of our existence, from choosing jobs to religious belief. This accessible book opens the youthful field of evolutionary psychology wide for examination, with results often as disturbing as they are fascinating. ("Publishers Weekly")
aA powerful jump-starter for conversations about the nature of being human.a
aA rollicking bit of pop science.a
a"Los Angeles Times"
aAn exuberant, accessible, exhilarating, intellectually aerobic workout.a
aDavid P. Barash, author of "Madame Bovaryas Ovaries"
A powerful jump-starter for conversations about the nature of being human.
A rollicking bit of pop science.
"Los Angeles Times"
An exuberant, accessible, exhilarating, intellectually aerobic workout.
David P. Barash, author of "Madame Bovary s Ovaries"
?A powerful jump-starter for conversations about the nature of being human.?
?A rollicking bit of pop science.?
?"Los Angeles Times"
?An exuberant, accessible, exhilarating, intellectually aerobic workout.?
?David P. Barash, author of "Madame Bovary's Ovaries"
About the Author
Alan S. Miller was a professor of behavioral science at Hokkaido University and an affiliate associate professor of sociology at the University of Washington. He was the coauthor, with Satoshi Kanazawa, of Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters: From Dating, Shopping, and Praying to Going to War and Becoming a Billionaire—Two Evolutionary Psychologists Explain Why We Do What We Do, Why Men Gamble and Women Buy Shoes: How Evolution Shaped the Way We Behave and Order by Accident: The Origins and Consequences of Conformity in Contemporary Japan.
Satoshi Kanazawa is a British-American evolutionary psychologist who is currently a reader in management at the London School of Economics. He is the coauthor, with Alan Miller, of Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters: From Dating, Shopping, and Praying to Going to War and Becoming a Billionaire—Two Evolutionary Psychologists Explain Why We Do What We Do; Why Men Gamble and Women Buy Shoes: How Evolution Shaped the Way We Behave; and Order by Accident: The Origins and Consequences of Conformity in Contemporary Japan.
Top customer reviews
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Where to start?
#1. The authors are stuck in the same quagmire that has entangled many of our best anthropological thinkers.
To wit -- they subscribe to the Myth-of-Monogamy foolishness that seems to have started with Desmond Morris & The Naked Ape back in 1967.
To wit -- that monogamy is innate with humankind.
Actually, most people -- men & women -- want to have many sexual partners.
This was true of our ancestral clans on the Pleistocene African savanna.
And it is true today -- but our cultures militate against free love.
#2. The authors ignore the scholarship amassed regarding the Bonobo, aka the "pygmy chimp."
There is no reference to this enlightening creature -- Pan paniscus -- in their entire book.
The promiscuous sexual model of the Bonobo is powerfully suggestive regarding human amatory nature.
It seems obvious that the social organization of the Bonobo compared to that of the Common Chimp should cause at least some of our more thoughtful thinkers to reflect on the possibility that our original social life was one of promiscuous frolicking!
#3. It's as simple as this -- as evolving proto-humans, we had 2 paths to choose between --
a] the promiscuous make-love-not-war choice of the Bonobo, or ...
b] the coercive bully-boy tactics of the Common Chimp, wherein a few males do most of the breeding.
#4. But to get there, one has to admit the possibility that -- in our Pleistocene savanna clans -- that Group Selection played a crucial role.
#5. On p. 20 they make reference to our savanna genesis, saying that we "... lived in small bands of 150 or so related individuals as hunter-gatherers ...." This idea of 150 people constituting a natural group has come down to us as "Dunbar's Number" -- see the excellent treatment on Wikipedia -- but they ignore his authorship.
#6. The authors failed the famous "Marshmallow Test" in that they made up their minds way too soon.
I mean -- they took the easy way out of accepting the Myth-of-Monogamy.
#7. All of our anthropological thinkers -- & our philosophers too -- they need to try to answer this conundrum.
To wit --
Where did we get our infinitely fine-tuned appreciation of beauty?
And our infinite capacity for empathy?
And our innate sense of fairness?
And our nearly universal need to contribute to our community?
There seem to me to be 3 possible answers --
#1] god gave them to us ... or --
#2] we got them in our 3-million-year sojourn on the African Pleistocene savanna ... or --
#3] we got them from our cultures after we left the savanna for civilization 60,000 years ago.
I think we got them in #2].
A lot can happen in 3 million years!
For those who want some probably true hypothesis concerning evolutionary psychology that cannot be found elsewhere, read the book!
It is simple, but as a person who read lot of evolutionary psychology books I must say that the author knows his field.