- 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: 4.8 x 0.5 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 6 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,828,256 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Warrior Lovers: Erotic Fiction, Evolution and Female Sexuality
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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.
Top customer reviews
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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.
This small book, ostensibly about a form of erotic romance known as "slash" spends 85 of its 100 pages of content explaining the writer's theories about "female mating strategies" as this field likes to call it, and barely 15 pages talking about its ostensible subject.
After a very cursory and confused description of the earliest forms of slash, which the authors dismiss as identical to standard hetero romance, they offer this insightful notion; "Some women don't want to become mrs. Hero, they want to be a hero too," and then note that "these women were tomboys when they were younger." This does not tell us anything illuminating. I would expect an evolutionary psychologist to be intrigued by this seeming contradiction in strategies. But that's where the book ends just where it should begin.
I will say that Symons is an unusually flexible evolutionary psychologist. He does say that biological heredity is only one of the forces that influence human choices, and, in fact, he speaks scornfully about populist theories such as "selfish genes" that "constantly whisper in the ear" about "maximizing reproduction" and suchlike. This is the reason I give the book any stars at all.
But when the authors begin explaining slash they do so in a voice that many women will recognise, I am sorry to say, that of the dismissive bemused male. I am inclined to write a scenario in my head, about the way this book got written. How much of it is actually Ms Salmon's contribution, I wonder?
And what would she change now? Given that the book is nine years old, and so very much has changed in the genre as more women add their influences and more women become more self-aware as a result of the never-ending conversations within the genre's followers, this book is absolutely, one hundred percent, a waste of time for anyone looking for actual insight into the slash phenomenon.
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.