- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Fontana Press (June 15, 1989)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0006373976
- ISBN-13: 978-0006373971
- Package Dimensions: 6.8 x 4.4 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,618,391 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Jennifer Fever Paperback – June 15, 1989
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From Publishers Weekly
Author of I'm Dancing as Fast as I Can and Defects of the Heart, Gordon presents a third potential bestseller, on the menace of pretty young women. Grouped here under the name "Jennifer," they are the ones for whom older men leave their wives, the "Janets." The author quotes people interviewed both here and abroad: the Jennifers (Gordon notes that she was one herself); males who catch Jennifer fever; and Janets, the forsaken wives, who are left to care for children rejected by their fathers and who, often with little money, represent the tragic figures in the triangles. Benjamin Spock's former wife Jane talks with anguish of the famed pediatrician's defection, as does Dory Previn, deserted by composer Andre. The reader is hard put, on the other hand, to sympathize with the aging Lotharios, disillusioned when the company of their young sweeties turns sour. As for the Jennifers, all agree that they are drawn to older men in established positions. Gays also lose lovers to younger partners, but lesbians, at least those surveyed here, remain committed to each other, usually for life. 100,000 first printing; $100,000 ad/promo; first serial to Good Housekeeping; Literary Guild alternate; author tour.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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In this she takes up the theme pioneered by Susan Sontag in her essay "The Double Standard of Aging" which appeared originally in the Saturday Review in 1972 and has been anthologized in collections such as "The Other Within Us" (edited by Marilyn Pearsall).
It is an excellent book, with courageous use of autobiography and many interviews with older men, the partners they had dumped and of their new younger mates. She appears to come to the rather pessimistic conclusion that: "The strongest males get the best females. It's always been that way, it is that way, and it will always be that way" and agrees that "a man who leaves his wife for a youth injection is a schmuck."
Some of the biological issues are hinted at but now need updating. Gordon briefly noted the connection between declining male potency and the search for new partners and the uniquely human tendency to use visual stimuli in making choices of mate. More experimental work has been done on the connection between extreme youth, sexual attractiveness and pedophilia. "Lookism" and anti-fat bias are now being queried more.
She was rather uncritical about the views of evolutionary psychologists. Male fertility and sperm health peaks at eighteen. If an Amazon-dominated ( the ancient female warriors not the booksellers) society wanted to breed a race of "herrenvolk" they should castrate all their males at the age of twenty. Amazonian evo-psychs would justify the practice.
I would have liked to see some discussion about how damaging this is to society. For example, not only do many older women wind up alone, but many young men are now unable to marry because the competition for younger women is so intense. The ratio of men competing for young women is roughly 6 to 1!
Now we see ever vicious sexual competition, and women have so many men competing for them that they often feel threatened, as there are now many more stalkers and rapists than there were before. When men are unable to marry, they are for more likely to be a danger to society. Most of the worst crimes (shooting sprees, etc.) are committed by single men. The only clear winners in this are rich and powerful men. They can now have as many women as they desire. Everyone else ultimately loses, though.
This is all the result of the weakening of the marriage laws. The only solution I see is to once again make divorce difficult (but not impossible). This would enable many more men to get married and thus increase the chance that they will make positive contributions to society. There is a great book on this called Men and Marriage. I recommend it much more than Jennifer Fever.
The Author expressed her various samples of cases to reveal outcome of affectionate of young Jennifer by older men while Jannet being left alone for less of her life with unexpected miserable outcome.