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Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters: From Dating, Shopping, and Praying to Going to War and Becoming a Billionaire---Two Evolutionary Psychologists Explain Why We Do What We Do
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Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters: From Dating, Shopping, and Praying to Going to War and Becoming a Billionaire---Two Evolutionary Psychologists Explain Why We Do What We Do

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  1,296 Ratings  ·  206 Reviews
A lively and provocative look at how evolution shapes our behavior and our lives.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, our brains and bodies are hardwired to carry out an evolutionary mission that determines much of what we do, from life plans to everyday decisions.

With an accessible tone and a healthy disregard for political correctness, this lively and eminently readable bo
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Published November 15th 2007 by Tantor Media (first published June 1st 2006)
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Trevor
Mar 10, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It is with good reason that I ought to agree with the conclusions of this book – I have two daughters and no sons. I have never really thought of myself as beautiful and so it would have been nice to have objective proof of my beauty.

Unfortunately, and despite my unequivocal reward in accepting this hypothesis, I can’t bring myself to accept Evolutionary Psychology and its wonderful claims.

I do tend to believe in serendipity though – and the fact Manny and I were talking about this recently on m
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Kelsey
Mar 10, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is utter dribble. In fact the more I think about it, the more it infuriates me because it disguises Western-centric racism as "science". Granted, I think I've questioned the validity of evolutionary psychology since reading Buss in FP, but this book simply served to confrim all my suspicions. It tackles such burning questions as: Why does everyone like blondes best? (it's because blond hair indicates youth, and men seek youth so that they can be sure of finding the most fertile women t ...more
Jessica
Feb 07, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
You know how when you read a really good nonfiction book, you come away with a sense of exhilaration, a feeling that the world is a little clearer, a little richer than it was before?

Now imagine starting to read a book on evolutionary psychology, getting a bit of that feeling, then reaching the middle of the book and realizing that the authors have been cheating you the entire time.

That's WHY BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE HAVE MORE DAUGHTERS in a nutshell. The authors sound great for a while, but then they'l
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Eric Walkingshaw
Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters is essentially a pop introduction to evolutionary psychology. The first chapter provides an overview of the field. Subsequent chapters tackle various domains of human nature by posing seemingly controversial statements, then supporting them with evolutionary psychology.

This book could have been huge fun--the topic is fascinating and the format works well for what it is--but it ends up failing, in my eyes, for the following reasons:

The writing is simple, b
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Troy Blackford
May 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a great book on evolutionary psychology. Maybe not the greatest book on the topic I've ever read, but there are all too few books on the topic and this one is very welcome. Posed in a 'question and answer' format, you'll get through this one all too quickly as the brisk prose and fascinating subject matter make it seem shorter than it actually is.
Cissa
Apr 30, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a very silly book. Lots of footnotes, but the author (only one of the co-authors actually wrote it) would have done well to study a bit of formal logic to avoid some really basic errors in the cause-and-effect relationship.

For one thing, just because 2 things are statistically related does not imply causality at all, let along a particular one. "A" might cause "B"; "B" might cause "A"; both might be caused by "C", etc. Jumping from relationship to a specific causality was done consisten
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Justine
Nov 22, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nerdy folk like me.
So those who know me know that I like to redux things to mammoth hunting. AKA: boys can't multi-task because in the time of the mammoth all they needed to do was kill the mammoth....
whereas women had to skin the mammoth, turn its meat over the spit, watch the children to make sure they didn't walk into fiery pit over which said mammoth was roasting, and I don't know, erect a tent or something.

Well lo and behold, here's a book that does it with scientific backing. Taking the basic premise of evo
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Leah
Aug 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I literally read this book in a day. It has tons of interesting tid-bits of information.
Mya
Mar 15, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Congratulations, it's been a while since I gave a book only one star. Honestly if I could I would give this book a zero, not only are its contents absurdly bad, but I see all this info spewed to and fro everywhere like it is an ACTUAL FACT and damn, that is harmful.

This book though. This fucking book. I actually fail to believe it was written by tenured professors of well-known universities. Working for the department of Psychology, what's more!
When people say "evolutionary psychology", I usuall
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Justė
Mar 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, non-fiction
Paprastai negrožinės literatūros neskaitau ir juo labiau jos neaprašinėju, bet reikėjo perskaityti kažką iš tų evoliucijos psichologijos knygų, o „Kodėl gražiems gimsta mergaitės“ pasirodė tikrai įdomi, tai kelias mintis brūkštelsiu.

Populiarioji psichologija skamba kažkaip ne kaip, viršelis iš tiesų irgi atrodo labai jau popsinis, jei tikiesi kažko visgi mokslinio. Bet kai psichologija nėra tavo sritis, o apie evoliucijos psichologiją išgirdai tik neseniai arba išvis nežinai, kas tai per daikta
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Nicholas
Jan 03, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Vinit Nayak
Aug 07, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
To understand and accept what the authors are trying to say, you have to be in a vacuum of evolutionary psychology principles and not let any other factors get in your thought process.

A few valid human behaviors around finding mates/striving for reproductive success are explained and then they are used over and over again to extrapolate other unrelated behaviors.
Women look for men who will provide adequate care and invest their time and resources in their children.
Men love sex. Also, men love
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Becca
Oct 16, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating topic, stilted lecture-hall writing. And the big reveal to the big question of the title? Why do we do what we do? Sex. The end. But one word would not a book make, so they authors listed lots of scenarios where they could reiterate the answer. Why the violence in the middle east? Why more women at church? Why so many girls enrolled in travel abroad, so many boys at white-supremacy rallies? All one answer. S-E-...

Another nag: the authors' imagination seemed to fail their research que
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Kevin McAllister
Why do beautiful people have more daughters ? Simply put, evolution helps pass on their genes in the most efficient way possible. According to evolutionary psychologists being attractive is the single most important factor determining a woman's reproductive success. Therefore this is the trait most apt to be passed on to females.
The book poses lots of interesting questions, but the book's flaw is that the answer to all of them boils down to the same thing : Sex.
Take for example this passage

"A
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Eve
Jul 02, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you're simply dipping your toes in evolutionary psychology, Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters is the perfect cursory starter book to stoke your curiosity. To get the most out of this book, however, you have to check notions of political correctness before reading or else most of the theories will make your blood boil.

Evolutionary psychology is "the study of human nature" as it pertains to "evolved psychological adaptations." Basically, how modern humans act and our motivations as a pro
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Asenath
Jun 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I rate this book so highly not because I agree with all the ideas put forth in this book, but for the manner in which it was written. I won't lie--I have a hard time getting through most non-fiction books. I get bored about half way through and abandon them for more fast paced fantasy novels. But this book not only kept my interest, it made me think.

The argument of the book is that humans, like all other lifeforms on Earth, have evolved throughout the ages. We are not "blank slates" but are subj
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Larry
May 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It has been a very long time since I read a book that made me think as much as this one. It is for that reason that I'm giving it 5 stars. I did not agree with much of the book and found it maddening at times to see just how much the authors had to stretch to make this theory (evolutionary psychology) explain certain things. However, the reader simply needs to remember that evolutionary psychology is just that - a theory. The purpose of the theory is to describe, explain, and predict behavior. T ...more
Micah Smurthwaite
Dec 30, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
Evolutionary Psychology is a psuedoscience at best. While the ideas are challenging and interesting, the scholarship is so bogus that it's hard to take seriously. Conjectures without empirical support makes for arguments that are like the ones I have with my boys during halftime of a niners game. E.G. "The male penis has evolved into its current shape in order to shovel out other male sperm and assure the man of his paternity." Thesis by phDs backed by empirical data and isolated variables or co ...more
Andrea Todd
I quickly read this book, as it is designed to be able to skip around. It is a very interesting sociological exploration of a variety of topics and how evolution has created preferences for men and women. Some great snippets to discuss especially around topics like why women desire a gift to cement a relationship. Men and how they make decisions. I would recommend this for someone who is interested in Sociocutural evolution and development.
Chrys
Jan 30, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I checked this out from the library b/c I was intrigued by the title. (Good job naming this book.) It is written by evolutionary psychologists so that gives you an idea of where it's going. It was somewhat thought-provoking and fascinating but also silly. The main idea is that we are driven by impulses in our genetic makeup and that b/c of the "Savanna Principal" we don't know what to do with situations that did not exist in the ancestral environment.
Ally Hunter
Jul 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
this is such a brilliant book! it is very much like 'freakanomics' but with a biological slant. the explanations on human sexuality are absolutely fascinating. some stuff was laugh out loud funny--but maybe that is because i am a biologist. at any rate, i think the ladies will be laughing harder than the fellows who read this book. clearly, we are the better designed sex--and can be so tricky!

Jennifer
Oct 30, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: oo! everyone!
This book is FUN! I like "pop science" books where the PhD authors step away from their university lives to write about their research area for the public, and this is the best example I've seen lately. It made me want to read more evolutionary psychology books. I'm still unsure exactly how that title claim works out, though.
Ian Pollock
A fun, well written book. Better for raising surprising claims than convincing one of them; the titular claim is backed up by a paper written by the author that, upon googling, I found not terribly convincing. Still, a decent introduction to evopsych-style thinking for laypeople.
Annie
Jan 14, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book might be a bunch of hooey, but there are definitely some thought-provoking ideas here. I would not recommedn this book for people who actually believe everything that they read, but if you like to think, and entertain possibilities, you might enjoy this one.
Alan Wang
Dec 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Evolutionary biology is certainly an interesting science and for me it’s interesting because it studies fundamental human nature. Overall I found the findings and hypotheses in this book intriguing even though they may not be highly substantiated from a scientific point of view:

Two Errors to Avoid
Naturalistic fallacy – leap from is to ought , the tendency to believe what is natural is good and what is, ought to be. For example, people are genetically different so they ought to be treated di
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Henrik Haapala
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
• Savanna principle: the human brain has difficulty comprehending and dealing with entities and situations that did not exist in the anscestral environment. Sit coms make us think we see our friends
• Human nature = sum of psychological adaptations
• Sexual jealousy was adaptive in the ancestral environment
• Men and women are different, but why?
• Men like young, blond, big breast, long hair across cultures mainly because fertility and health
• 0,7 waist-hip ratio in women and 0,9 waist-hip
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Alejandro García salas
This book is filled with though provoking but poorly backed science. The author repeatedly exaggerates the validity of the studies he quotes and makes them pass as "facts". Although I am sure the author quotes some perfectly valid studies a lot of these studies have small biased samples (e.g. studies only ran with college students in the U.S.). It's not hard to verify these studies are being overplayed by reading the primary sources directly. If you want to read this book be prepared to encounte ...more
Fidel Magallón
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Amazing book on Evolutionary Psychology that helps us understand the reason behind many of our behaviors as human beings. Very useful if you find that the actions of many people are counteintuitive and this will help you see them with new eyes and especially see yourself different. This way you can work with your nature and not against it.
Roman Stasiv
Nov 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating! Provocative! Scientific! Eye-opening!
Can't stop discussing this book for days now.

Authors' warning has proved totally right for me:
"Reader beware: you may never look at human nature the same way again".
Yun Peng
Some interesting theories but definitely not axioms.
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