The Evolution Of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating

The Evolution Of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating

Language: English

Pages: 368

ISBN: 046500802X

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


With two new chapters by the author.If we all want love, why is there so much conflict in our most cherished relationships? To answer this question, says noted psychologist David Buss, we must look into our evolutionary past. Based on the most massive study of human mating ever undertaken, encompassing more than ten thousand people of all ages from thirty-seven cultures worldwide, The Evolution of Desire is the first book to present a unified theory of human mating behavior. Now in a revised and updated edition, Buss's classic presents the latest research in the field, including startling new discoveries about the evolutionary advantages of infidelity, orgasm, and physical attractiveness.

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decades men have rated it as desirable but not crucial. Among the eighteen characteristics rated, chastity declined from the tenth most valued in 1939 to the seventeenth most valued in the late 1980s. Furthermore, not all American men value chastity equally. Regions differ. College students in Texas, for example, desire a chaste mate more than college students in California, rating it a 1.13 as opposed to 0.73 on a 3.00 scale. Despite the decline in the value of chastity in the twentieth century

their standards for a wide variety of other characteristics as well. Out of the sixty-seven characteristics nominated as potentially desirable in a casual mate, men in the study express significantly lower standards than the women do on forty-one of the characteristics. For brief encounters, men require a lower level of such assets as charm, athleticism, education, generosity, honesty, independence, kindness, intellectuality, loyalty, sense of humor, sociability, wealth, responsibility,

leads to actions designed to reduce or eliminate that threat. 9 These can range from vigilance, which functions to monitor the mate for signs of extra-pair involvement, to violence, which inflicts a heavy cost on the mate or rival for signs of defection or poaching. Sexual jealousy is activated when one is confronted either with signs that someone else has an interest in one's mate or with signs of defection by one's mate, such as flirting with someone else. The rage, sadness, and humiliation

almost 15 percent had been involved in sexual intercourse against their will. 35 Given the tremendous social stigma attached to rape victims, these figures may underestimate the actual numbers of women who have been raped. The issue of rape has a bearing on human mating strategies, in part because many rapes occur within the context of mating relationships. Dating is a common context for rape. One study found that almost 15 percent of college women had experienced unwanted sexual intercourse in

the savanna, in protected caves, or around primitive campfires. Whereas modern conditions of mating differ from ancestral conditions, the same sexual strategies operate with unbridled force. Our evolved psychology of mating remains. It is the only mating psychology we have; it just gets played out in a modern environment. To illustrate, look at the foods consumed in massive quantities at fast food chains. We have not evolved any genes for McDonald's, but the foods we eat there reveal the

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