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Promiscuity: An Evolutionary History of Sperm Competition
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Promiscuity: An Evolutionary History of Sperm Competition

4.18  ·  Rating details ·  95 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Males are promiscuous and ferociously competitive. Females--both human and of other species--are naturally monogamous. That at least is what the study of sexual behavior after Darwin assumed, perhaps because it was written by men. Only in recent years has this version of events been challenged. Females, it has become clear, are remarkably promiscuous and have evolved an as ...more
Paperback, 292 pages
Published February 15th 2002 by Harvard University Press (first published May 2nd 2000)
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Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: animal-behavior
For people who enjoyed the BBC's Planet Earth and other animal-focused documentaries, this book is for you. I learned surprising and fascinating pieces of information about animals and their mating patterns – including sperm competition.

I did, however, take issues with a few concepts and passages in the book. The author, Tim Birkhead, seemed to dislike feminist based on his word choice when mentioning them in Promiscuity.

The first time in which he mentions feminists is in chapter 1.

Female ac
Jun 24, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Biologists/Zoologist/the like
A friend gave me this book as a joke when I graduated from WSU with my bachelor's in zoology. It actually turned out to be a good book. The author certainly makes potentially dry material interesting and often very funny. This book reviews the history of sexual selection and the understandings of fertilization and sperm competition in a way that actually keeps a person interested. If you are planning on reading this book, the only warning I have is that it is a bit deep in some areas, so it take ...more
Noelle Al-musaifry
Jun 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
This book is hilarious and informative. The pictures are fascinating and disgusting. If you care about evolution, population biology, or sex-linked traits, you should read this book.
Aug 03, 2007 rated it liked it
I read this in college and it was a bit too in depth at times and I felt like I was studying for a genetics test or something. It was interesting, though.
Samy Rose
Oct 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It really is a science book. Heavy duty reading. Fascinating but if I leave it for very long, I forget the stuff and start over. I may never finish it. But it's great. Heavy, though.
Apr 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful account of never ending sexual tales of various animals.. I understand now that it's ok for female animals to copulate with several males as it, in most cases, enhances their reproductive strategy or offsprings.
"Ancora da studente, a Bristol, Parker era stato incoraggiato a studiare il comportamento del tafano giallo dall’importante entomologo Howard Hinton. Com’era fatto comune per gli studenti migliori di quei tempi cosi’ eccitanti, Parker venne convinto a proseguire il proprio lavoro per la laurea, sempre sotto la supervisione di Hinton. Una volta trascorso un anno di studio ateleologico, Parker si rese conto che se avesse voluto ottenere un qualsiasi risultato significativo avrebbe dovuto porre del ...more
Bastian Greshake Tzovaras
May 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
As far as I can tell that's a pretty good summary on sperm competition, even if it's over 10 years old and thus lacks the findings done since then (e.g. polyandry in humans is more frequent than stated in the book). But if you want a general introduction that isn't exactly the usual textbook format you'll have fun with it.

I really enjoyed Birkhead's puns and how he played with language to create an interesting reading. He also gives tons of references to primary research literature, so if you w
Val Cuellar
Apr 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excelente libro para interesados en la biología, genética y epigenética de diferentes especies de animales, el lenguaje llega a ser un poco tedioso pero la mayoría está escrito como un libro de divulgación.
Jan 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting if this is what you're into. Animals, not humans though.
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