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Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes?: Bodies, Behavior, and Brains--The Science Behind Sex, Love, & Attraction Paperback – September 29, 2009

4.5 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. In these playfully written scientific anecdotes, Pincott (Success) argues that desire is strongly rooted in evolutionary biases and consults a variety of studies—some familiar, others cutting-edge—to reveal the extent to which hormones dictate human behavior. Even idle ogling is a serious endeavor: humans constantly rate each other for levels of attractiveness, a signifier of male and female hormones. When women are ovulating, estrogen rebuilds the female face, making lips fuller and skin smoother; Pincott cites studies showing that strippers earned twice as much during the fertile phase of their cycles as when they had their periods, while those taking birth control earned significantly less money throughout. The book also has the scoop about whether penis size matters (it does), how the post-orgasm rush of oxytocin promotes bonding and why women are tempted to cheat during certain times of the month. It ends with a look at the neuroscience of love, which despite all the jostling and jousting of dating and mating, appears to be very much alive when measured by MRI studies of passionate couples. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"Witty, captivating, scientifically sound and great fun. Every curious man and woman will love this book."—Louann Brizendine, M.D., New York Times bestselling author of The Female Brain

“Answers around 100 questions we’ve all wondered about or asked…. A tremendous amount of potentially useful information in a well-written, entertaining, and easy-to-understand format.”—Library Journal

“Playfully written scientific anecdotes.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review


From the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Delta (September 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385342160
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385342162
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.8 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,024,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I think this book is terrific ! The questions answers in the book
make great fodder for provocative conversations with friends and
boyfriends. Some of the ones I loved: are "Is a meat-heavy diet a turn-
pff? Why do roller coaster rides and other thrills make people
lustful? What smells have been found to turn people on? How do the
seasons affect your love life?" It's funny, charming, and well--
written. What I like about it is that it's not heavy and dull like
most science books, but there are sources if you want to go back to
the research behind the author's findings. I'd call it a cross
between a science book and the best of Cosmo. Highly recommended for
women who are looking for a new view on love and dating.
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Format: Paperback
I don't know exactly what I expected out of this book. I guess I didn't think it would be a guide for women to find mates. While it certainly had a scientific bent - discussing the role of chemistry, through hormones, pheromones, and other chemical influences on human (and animal) behavior - and giving biological and evolutionary rationales for how we behave and choose sex partners and/or mates.

But it kept falling into the realm of an advice column, or as someone else noted, seemed like it could have been written for Cosmopolitan Magazine. While it didn't seem to profess being written for women, there seemed to be a lot of places where it came down to... "Girls, if you're looking for a mate, try this." And it is addressed to women, not an inclusive audience of women and men. The audience is addressed specifically by gender. I felt a little like I was a sneaky interloper in a "how to" book for women.

Some interesting commentary on how women and men differ on the biological and behavior levels. Different signals that might attract, repel, or otherwise communicate between the sexes, and examples of how those compare with similar modes of communication among other members of the animal kingdom.

But after a while, I started to feel like it was dragging on. The references to Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging to see what part of the brain reacted to these images, or those concepts, or this aroma all started to run together. So did the repetitive role of oxytocin (the cuddle hormone) or plasma levels of testosterone and estrogen in so many descriptions of how and why we do what we do when interacting with another person.

Much of the human behavioral pattern description was interesting. I guess for me, it just got bogged down.
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Format: Hardcover
Must-reading for men even though it's mainly addressed to women--and should make a good gift any time of year. Guys, find out how much they really know about us--more than we know ourselves! Smart, witty, thoughtful accounts of why we're attracted (or not) to how would-be mates smell, on the sexiness of humor and how love changes your brain, why curves are sexy, and much more. Question-and-answer format makes for easy episodic reading: Pick it up and start anywhere, read a few pages, then come back later for more surprises. Light, breezy writing that is also satisfying to readers interested in science and psychology. This would make a good gift to or from either sex--for someone whose smell turns you on, or whose eye color you find alluring and you want to know why . . . Now, back to The Racy Parts . . .
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Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book initially because I wanted to know the answer to the question in the book's title: Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes? (because I do!). The book explained several questions that I had been curious about. Since I am a face man, I was curious to know why certain faces are so irresistible to me. The answer was surprising and yet completely understandable in evolutionary biological terms. An attractive face is a symmetrical face, indicating genetic and developmental health of the individual and therefore his or her attractiveness as a mate. Why is long hair sexy? It's not obvious, but again it's explained by evolution and biology. Can semen in your body from your partner make you happy? Why do men have more casual sex than women? You can say the answer is that they are dogs, but that's not the evolutionary reason. And for you singles: you should know that intercourse with a partner is more satisfying than masturbation. Love makes you blind. It turns out it's not just a saying. What body language do men or women use to let you know that they are interested? This too has to do with the evolution of human behavior.

I learned a surprising amount of evolutionary biology and psychology from this book!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Let me just start off this review by saying that I'm in a junior in high school and I'm a guy. Overall, this book was pretty solid - a lot of questions about what makes people attractive, people in relationships, etc., were answered in a very succinct and well-thought out manner. I've taken AP biology, and a lot of the terms in the book were things I had learned about during the year (A LOT of hormones (oxytocin, progesterone, luteinizing hormone, estrogen and testosterone, to name a few) major histocompatibility complex, hypothalamus etc.,)), which made the book much easier to understand. Also, there are a few basic Freud concepts mentioned in the book (id and libido, Oedipus and Electra complexes), so if you've taken like, Psych 101 you should be good. However - this is probably a plus for most of you - but this book is highly geared towards a female audience. All of the examples are from a woman's point of view ("so the next time you see him...", "notice how guys always..."), and all the text is in a flowery lilac purple.
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