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Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Monogamy, Adultery & Divorce
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Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Monogamy, Adultery & Divorce

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  881 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
Why do we marry? Why are some people adulterous? Why do human beings divorce? What is infatuation? When did human love and sex evolve, and what is the future of the family? In this brilliant book anthropologist Helen Fisher examines the innate aspects of sex and love and marriage, those traits and tendencies that we inherited from our past. She examines flirting behavior a ...more
Paperback, 431 pages
Published November 1st 1998 by Diane Books Publishing Company (first published 1992)
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May 30, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: evolution
I am not sure where to start. This book was one colossal dichotomy. If Fisher had presented her evidence in a responsible manner, this would have been a 5 star book all the way. So many things to love! But, even though it had some of the most exciting neuroscience research on love that I have read about to date, the overreaching conclusions at which Helen Fisher arrives has rendered it a pseudoscientific book. What a shame. There was so much here to work with.

Reading this book is a lot like rea
Jun 01, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sex, unfinished
Helen Fisher sounded so interesting years ago on a NPR interview, I made a note to read this book. Took me 10 or 15 years to get to it. Maybe that was the problem, although I think not. Her technique is to discuss mating practices across myriad species, and meld that with statistics on human behavior. OK, fair enough, although there is vast room for selection bias. But after doing all that, she offers her theory with nothing more than: "Perhaps humans have the same impulse as the tse-tse fly in ...more
Apr 08, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science
I enjoyed this book, and it definitely gave me a lot to think about in terms of the biological/sociological urge to pair up and produce offspring.

The main problem in this book for me was that the writer tried too hard to convince me of her point of view. The book was written in defence of a particular theory, not as an exploration of a range of ideas.

I have no objection to the writing holding a particular viewpoint, I just prefer to find my own.
Dov Zeller
Whelp, this "non fiction" book essentializes gender and sex in ways I would consider highly fictional. Also, I thought it was pretty poorly written and fyi didn't make it to the half way mark. An interesting topic with some intriguing research and poor analysis. Apparently she has a 2006 ted talk out that's not bad. Not sure I will bother watching it.
Patti's Book Nook
I picked this up on the recommendation of Rebecca Schinsky from Book Riot. As a psychology major, she always seeks out smart nonfiction titles. Fisher originally published this in 1992, and while I had wanted to read that edition for some time, the online dating and texting environment of modern times has made many parts obsolete. In the prologue, Fisher admits that most of this book is new.

Quick note: Don't let the length of this text put you off. It's technically only 320 pages, with the las
Nov 28, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would have given this one 4 stars except that the book was written in 1994 so I had this constant nagging that some of the info may have changed in the intervening years. She mostly looks back to our evolutionary past to make sense of monogamy, adultery, and divorce so I don't know how much that info has changed. She also looks at present traditional societies to look for clues.

The basic idea I took away from this book is that serial monogamy with plenty of adultery thrown in seems to be our h
Feb 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Me he reido muchísimo leyendo este libro. Cuenta desde un punto de vista científico, los vericuetos del amor romántico, y se pregunta si los animales se enamoran como nosotros los humanos, o si los humanos nos inventamos todo ese cuento del enamoramiento y en realidad solo seguimos instintos como los animales.
Lo que más recuerdo es la descripción de los comportamientos de infidelidad entre los primates, que han sido bien documentados: dos de esos monos que están ""emparejados"" en uniones establ
Jun 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an interesting, if somewhat unsettling, read. In all honesty, I would recommend Dr. Fisher's 2006 TED talk--which was very compelling and succinct--over her book. She's able to elaborate more on the technical details of her work in "Anatomy of Love," and while she never loses focus on her thesis that humans have and always will fall in love, stray, and fall in love again, the poignancy of the whole process is somehow mitigated. I felt a little hollow after finishing the final chapter, a ...more
Donald Powell
Mar 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anthropology
Packed with fascinating information and analysis. The writing is clear, organized and consistent. She uses great quotes and analogies. She shows incredible insight! There are huge subjects and competing powers at play in this study and discussion. The anthropology is given a great weight and she has obviously studied, thought and compared to draw her conclusions. The book is certainly "food for thought" and will rattle in my brain for a long time. The battle of moving humanity toward less selfis ...more
William Irvine
Caveat: Have just read the 1992 edition and learned (after the event) Helen Fisher has updated this extensively in light of new evidence

As a school sixth-former I was lucky enough to attend a series of extra-curricular classes on comparative religion and alternative approaches to ethics. Whilst I was enthralled to learn for the fist time the tenets of the world’s major religions - plus what the Stoics, Epicureans and Hedonists had to say; there was a problem. The classes were taught by a dye-in-
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  • Sexy Origins and Intimate Things: The Rites and Rituals of Straights, Gays, Bis, Drags, Trans, Virgins, and Others
  • Mothers and Others: The Evolutionary Origins of Mutual Understanding
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Helen E. Fisher is an anthropology professor and human behavior researcher at the Rutgers University and is one of the major researchers in the field of romantic interpersonal attraction.Prior to becoming a research professor at Rutgers University, she was a research associate at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City.

By many accounts, Fisher is considered the world’s leading expe
More about Helen Fisher...