The Myth of Monogamy: Fidelity and Infidelity in Animals and People (Hardcover)

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Description


Monogamy may be the rule, but it's not the practice - not even for animals.

Using the same DNA fingerprinting technology used in the courtroom, biologists have now been able to trace parenthood in animals for the first time with certainty. The results have been astonishing: Even among those species previously thought to be monogamous, cheating on your mate is common--for both sexes.

In The Myth of Monogamy, David Barash and Judith Eve Lipton describe how this new research shows that there is simply no question whether sexual desire for multiple partners is "natural." It is. Similarly, there is no question of monogamy being "natural." It isn’t.

Armed with this evidence, scientists have also been able to explain such important questions as why animals (including humans) cheat; why the myth of monogamy was created in the first place; how men and women were sucked into the monogamy hoax; who stands to gain the most by perpetuating the myth of monogamy; and how big of a role procreation plays in the desire to have several sex partners. Finally, The Myth of Monogamy explores the implications of these dramatic new findings for humans, in terms of relationships, parenting, aggression, and more.

A provocative new study of an emotionally charged issue, The Myth of Monogamy illuminates a part of our natural make-up that is as fascinating as it is frustrating.

About the Author


David P. Barash holds a Ph.D. in zoology and is currently professor of psychology at the University of Washington, Seattle. He has written more than a dozen books, including "Making Sense of Sex" with Judith Lipton, "Ideas of Human Nature," and "The Mammal in the Mirror," as well as popular articles in "Playboy," "Psychology Today," and the "New York Times."

Judith Eve Lipton, M.D. is a psychiatrist who has received many honors, including Fellowship in the American Psychiatric Association. She has practiced psychiatry since 1980, currently specializing in women's issues. Drs. Barash and Lipton have been married since 1977. Together, they have produced two wonderful children, and four books.

Praise For…


"The Myth of Monogamy provides a fascinating tour of human mating strategies, from monogamy to sexual treachery, from exclusivity to polygamy. Barash and Lipton brilliantly locate human mating within the broader spectrum of mating strategies pursued by other species. The book is gripping from start to finish, solid in its science, and literary in its flair. It's one of the best books written about why humans covet, why commandments are broken, and why men and women get into deep conflicts over mating."
-- David M. Buss, Ph.D., author of The Evolution of Desire: Strategies of Human Mating and The Dangerous Passion: Why Jealousy is as Necessary as Love and Sex.

"I read this book cover to cover - like a novel - not wanting to put it down, not wanting to miss even one deliciously naughty insect or bird figuring out how to "have it all." The authors have written a smart, intriguing, witty, nonsexist, provocative yet careful book about the realities of both male and female animal, and perhaps human, "infidelity." I have to say I felt a little proud of that devious lady bird who got her mate to sit on the eggs while she wnet behind his back (just as he had gone behind hers!). Nature's morality is different from our own — and Barash and Lipton are cautious about their extrapolations to humans ... still, it is fascinating to see how reproductive fitness may be the ultimate cause of all those steamy soap operas and country western lyrics."
--Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D., author of Everything You Know About Love and Sex is Wrong

"The revelation that social pair-bonds do not necessarily imply exclusive mating relationships has spurred a revolution in how scientists think about mating systems. This book explores when and why social and sexual monogamy often do not coincide."
--Paul W. Sherman, Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior, Cornell University

Product Details
ISBN: 9780716740049
Publisher: W. H. Freeman
Publication Date: May 1st, 2001
Pages: 240