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Title: Review of 'The Science of Romance: Secrets of the Sexual Brain'. By Nigel Barber. Prometheus Books, Amherst, New York, 2002, 293 pp., $26.00.
Contributor(s): Lykins, Amy  (author)orcid ; Meana, Marta (author)
Publication Date: 2004
DOI: 10.1023/B:ASEB.0000037580.95286.d5
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Abstract: Evolutionary psychology tells a good story. And it tells a particularly good story about love and sex. This makes it the perfect focus of a book hoping to squeeze into the constricted space wherein popular and scholarly interest about a scientific topic overlap. Barber's volume pretty much pulls it off, although not without some compromises. Interestingly, the greatest one of these could potentially alienate both audiences for very different reasons. The occasionally "just so" nature of the stories may be a touch simplistic for scientists. This very simplicity may, on the other hand, be too shocking to lay readers. They may need a little more priming before rejecting their long-held world view that they are more than instruments of natural selection in affairs of the heart. Nonetheless, it is a very entertaining and worthwhile read for both parties. In his introduction, Barber communicates his confidence in evolutionary explanations of behavior with an infectious sense of excitement about the potential of natural selection to explain not just our more obvious species-inherent qualities but also our very ability to respond to change as individuals and as societies. From teen motherhood, to changes in women's fashion trends, to the tormented love lives of Marilyn Monroe and Billie Holiday, Barber promises to tie it all back to Darwinist principles. It is hard not to be skeptical but it is also hard not to be hooked! You just have to read on to see how all of this is going to play itself out.
Publication Type: Review
Source of Publication: Archives of Sexual Behavior, 33(5), p. 515-516
Publisher: Springer New York LLC
Place of Publication: United States of America
ISSN: 0004-0002
Field of Research (FOR): 170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
170105 Gender Psychology
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 920209 Mental Health Services
HERDC Category Description: D3 Review of Single Work
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Appears in Collections:Review
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