Summary of The Evolution of Desire

Strategies of Human Mating

Basic Books,
First Edition: 1994 more...

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The Evolution of Desire book summary
How the evolution of mating affects your dating. Warning: This book may change the way you look at relationships.


9 Overall

8 Applicability

9 Innovation

9 Style


Why do women use makeup? Why do men like to buy big cars? Why do people feel jealous? Evolutionary psychologist David M. Buss digs deep into the ancient past of human relationships to answer such questions, and produces intriguing results, disconcerting insights and valuable explanations. Using observations from the animal world and from many studies conducted in various societies, he provides a theoretical framework based on Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Give Buss credit for elaborately fitting in almost every conceivable puzzle inherent in human mating relationships - even though this, admittedly, at times requires quite a stretch of his evolutionary theory. getAbstract recommends this "drop-dead shocker" (The Washington Post Book World) to anyone who has ever searched for, attracted, kept or separated from a mate - that is, anyone who is strong enough to face the unromantic truth.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What "mating strategies" men and women developed over evolutionary time; and
  • Why their preferences clash.


The Survival Competition
The way humans behave when they mate is fascinating and frustrating, and may now be open to scientific understanding. Evolutionary psychology explains why "conflict in mating is the norm and not the exception" by looking at the psychological adaptations, or "survival...
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About the Author

David M. Buss is a professor of psychology at the University of Texas, Austin, and the author of six books including Personality: Domains of Knowledge about Human Nature and The Dangerous Passion: Why Jealousy Is as Necessary as Love and Sex.

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