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Why Sex Matters: A Darwinian Look at Human Behavior
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Why Sex Matters: A Darwinian Look at Human Behavior

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  113 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Why are men, like other primate males, usually the aggressors and risk takers? Why do women typically have fewer sexual partners? Why is killing infants routine in some cultures, but forbidden in others? Why is incest everywhere taboo? Bobbi Low ranges from ancient Rome to modern America, from the Amazon to the Arctic, and from single-celled organisms to international poli ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published October 21st 2001 by Princeton University Press (first published November 1st 1999)
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Peter D. McLoughlin
Apr 20, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Evolutionary psychology in a nutshell. Very enlightening.
Allan Aksiim
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psych
Popscience it is not, quite academic. I am still in the process of gathering my thoughts on the topic but generally I am quite impressed by massive amount of the references and linking of evolutionary theory, anthropology and history (in the case of Sweden and Germany in the 19th century).
I was a little bit disappointed by this book. Her explanations were chosen for the convenience in advancing her argument. It’s also a little bit boring, I was skipping throughout a lot of it. I wanted to understand the evolutionary history of sex differences, but I think Joan Roughgarden has a better argument that clearly outlines the fact that there is a whole lot that we don’t know about the diversity of sexes and the ways in which species express their gender. Roughgarden also has great criti ...more
Dec 18, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people interested in people, gender, human nature, etc.
Shelves: non-fiction
Bobbi Low gives some interesting information about gender and human behavior from an evolutionary point of view. The book explains so many things that we just know about humans, such as: why rich men get pretty women, why males are more aggressive than females, etc. Low incorporates a lot of evidence from the animal kingdom and from studies of human societies. Very interesting. If I ever have kids, I'll explain to them about male/female relationships using info from this book (when they're old e ...more
R Arnaud
Jan 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
The book is nicely summarized by a sentence in chapter 9: "We started with very simple and general hypotheses about how resources affect reproductive success, and why men and women typically have quite different ressource strategies. But complexity has crept in."
Oct 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This book isn't written by someone who read a few books and then decided to publish her own work on the subject - the book has 56 pages of references.

It's a very solid piece of work with a lot of interesting stuff. A lot of work went into writing this book, and you can tell. Recommended.
Satyabrata Mishra
Aug 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This was a long book but was certainly worth the read. Sociologist Bobbi S. Low explores various aspect of the difference in behavior between the sexes all over the world and compiles the reason behind different taboos pertaining to different parts of the world
Nov 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Too many parentheses.
Dec 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
One of my Anthropology books. Insightful.
Man, this book has some heft to it. Like, a pound and a half worth, at least.
I'm required to read this for my Animal Behavior class, but I don't mind. Seems like an interesting read.
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Bobbi S. Low is Professor of Resource Ecology in the School of Natural Resources and the Environment (SNRE), and Faculty Associate in Population Studies, the Institute for Social Research, at the University of Michigan. Her research centers on behavioral ecology and life history theory: how these were shaped by evolution, and how they in turn constrain optimal management. She links data collection ...more
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“In their “deep” objectives — in what they evolved to do — humans are not qualitatively different from other living organisms. Like other living things, they evolved to get and use resources to survive and enhance the spread of their genes.” 1 likes
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