Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We Believe About Women, Lust, and Infidelity Is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free” as Want to Read:
Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We Believe About Women, Lust, and Infidelity Is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We Believe About Women, Lust, and Infidelity Is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free

by
3.88  ·  Rating details ·  843 ratings  ·  121 reviews
Wednesday Martin explores what people have been getting wrong about unfaithful women and the evolutionary impulses behind their desires. Blending personal stories from Martin's own history with accessible social science, cultural theory, and interviews with sex researchers, psychologists, primatologists, anthropologists, and real women from all walks of life, she reveals s ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 17th 2019 by Little, Brown Spark (first published September 18th 2018)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Untrue, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Untrue

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  843 ratings  ·  121 reviews


More filters
 | 
Sort order
Start your review of Untrue: Why Nearly Everything We Believe About Women, Lust, and Infidelity Is Wrong and How the New Science Can Set Us Free
Susanne  Strong
3 Stars.

Wednesday Martin is a woman with very staunch ideas on women’s identities, adultery and sex. The idea of being “Untrue” v. True. How women and men are perceived differently if they are untrue, if they enjoy being sexual. Men are patted on the back and respected, while women are looked down upon and thought of as slutty.

Ms. Martin provided anecdotes about herself and her own life, her relationships and her need for more. She conducted research, reviewed studies, interviewed women and men
...more
Simone Collins
Nov 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a thoroughly enjoyable read! As having basically zero sex drive myself (let's be honest with ourselves: humans are repulsive), I blithely accepted the conventional wisdom that women had lower sex drives, cheated less, and were tempted to cheat less.

Few things are more refreshing than books that help to change one's paradigm. Untrue was definitely one of these books for me. I thoroughly enjoyed Wednesday's multifaceted exploration of female infidelity, explored through different social scien
...more
Wendy
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating. Infuriating. I learned a lot that I should have learned in my many courses on the topic of human mate selection and sociobiology in college, and didn’t. I bought all the tropes Martin exposes here, and I’m pissed about it. Down with the patriarchy!
Maureen Weiner
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, journalism
Women, if you have ever wondered, "What's wrong with me?" then read this book.

Men, if you have ever wondered, "Why does my woman do these things to me?" then STOP! She's not doing them to YOU . She's doing them because she WANTS to do them, because doing them is part of who she is as a woman, as a human being. Read this book and you might get some insight.
...more
Jocelyn Rivard
Oct 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book won't be for everybody. And I'll admit that my attention wandered a bit in chapters dealing with research into primates, etc. But the anecdotal sections and the historic detail of how monogamy became a thing were truly fascinating. ...more
Michelle Nogales
I’ll state right at the outset that this book is not for everyone. If you’re not interested in frank, open, sex-positive discussions of female sexuality—or if you’re so triggered by the thought of women who cheat on their partners that reading an account of them that doesn’t condemn them will make you fly into a rage—or if you aren’t interested in the distinction between consensual and non-consensual nonmonogamy, you probably shouldn’t read this book.

Or maybe you should.

Wednesday Martin is stand
...more
Rachel
I had mixed feelings about this. I was excited about the concept, because I feel like female sexuality (let's face it, female psychology in general, to the extent you can separate "female psychology" from "human psychology", which is a huge can of worms) is pretty unexplored/unquestioned territory despite our cultural obsession with sex. She turned me off a bit in the beginning with what struck me as defensive praise for women who "step out", as she likes to put it. Elsewhere she seemed to be at ...more
Donald Powell
Dec 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: anthropology
This book is a masterful review of a topic the author admits could be several volumes. It is a general introduction of the topics discussed with research to support and anecdotal stories to bring it to life. Ms. Martin's inquiring and intelligent writing was a breath of fresh air. This book is a call: "The Emperor wears no clothes!" We should all be grateful for those intellectuals who gather data, look objectively and try to bring us forward. Our culture is the root of so much misery and basic ...more
Finja
Dec 30, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sexuality
Read quiet a few books on sexuality this year so much of this bookd content was already known. However, if you are a woman & new to this topic, I suggest reading this book before ‚Sex at Dawn‘.
Galen Johnson
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Excellent re-examination of stereotypes about women's sexuality, from evolutionary ecology to personal exposition. As a biologist, I found the biologically-based discussions sound and fair. The polyamory section seemed a bit naive, from a Pacific Northwest gal who sees these things all the time, but still sensitive and insightful. As a white lady, I can hardly comment on the completeness of the intersectional view of race and sexuality/infidelity, but I definitely saw a diversity of references r ...more
felix
Jan 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: feminism, non-fiction
Such an interesting book. This didn't make an easy read per se, due to the choppy writing, poor structure and lack of conciseness, but all was forgiven due to the fascinating and enlightening subject matter. ...more
Lara
Dec 11, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: consent, non-fiction
This book is about women having affairs.

I have strong feelings about this matter and want to give a thorough review of this book. To that end, I will review the book as a break down of several aspects.

The good. I want to recognize that this book is written quite well. The style is easy enough to read, the wording is superb. The author clearly has an excellent style. There is one section towards the middle that feels as though it has been lifted from a college essay. Many others have commented
...more
Cait
Oct 02, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in2018
So. I'm really into the use of ethnography and participant-observation as a way to examine mainstream, western culture. That being said, I needed this to either be less anthropological or more. It might be the penalty of knowing too much, but I had a lot of questions about the ethics here & the tone at times was not great ...more
Morgan Destera
I can't say I am a fan of her writing style. It seems many of her sentences run on and get somewhat confusin - One thing I am not pleased with is the author's tendency to describe the people she is interviewing. Tall, blonde, willowy, beautiful, young, what color lipstick, etc. Everyone seems to fit into the mold of the “perfect woman”. Where are the short, heavier ladies? Where are the non-binary (noted but never described)? - She cites a lot of other peoples' reseach but seems to only conduct ...more
Mark
Oct 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eve Dangerfield
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such an important, well researched and insightful book. I hope Wednesday Martin never stops writing on this incredibly significant and misunderstood subject. I also hope the rise in books like Sex at Dawn, What do Women Want? by Daniel Bergner, State of Affairs by Esther Perel and Untrue symbolises a shift into how we as a society perceive female sexuality and the agrarian and patriarchal forces that dictated the format for modern relationships.
Anna Louise
This book has good data and great insights, but it was not written well. I found the middle part to drag on and hard to push through to get to the end. Given a better writing structure, this book would have received a much better rating. It certainly made me question myself and my attitudes towards monogamy, once I pushed through the slow writing style
Scribe Publications
Scientifically literate and sexually cliterate … an exuberant unfettering of female sexuality that challenges us to ‘think outside her box.’ Viva la Vulva!
Ian Kerner, Sex Therapist and Author of She Comes First

If you have ever felt different, other, or just weird when it comes to love, sex, or intimacy, read Untrue. Wednesday Martin bulldozes the sexual stereotypes that have silenced women for eons. By bringing the voices of women who love in a range of ways to the surface, she shows us all that
...more
Scribe Publications
Scientifically literate and sexually cliterate … an exuberant unfettering of female sexuality that challenges us to ‘think outside her box.’ Viva la Vulva!
Ian Kerner, Sex Therapist and Author of She Comes First

If you have ever felt different, other, or just weird when it comes to love, sex, or intimacy, read Untrue. Wednesday Martin bulldozes the sexual stereotypes that have silenced women for eons. By bringing the voices of women who love in a range of ways to the surface, she shows us all that
...more
Eleanore
May 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Once again, this didn't take me so long to read because it's a difficult or bad read; I'm just in a weird sort of reading rhythm slump this year I haven't been able to shake yet. It's starting to get quite frustrating. But I digress!

This was fascinating, particularly as it pertains to how things you'd probably never expect to inform cultural and societal assumptions about women and their sexuality -- plough agriculture! -- having such an immense and lasting impact on us. It also was very illumin
...more
Katy
Jan 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
An extremely validating read about an issue that in time will hopefully change the accepted expectations of marriage and long term partnerships. This paired with Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality, helps with understanding what it means to be human without judgement. ...more
Andrea
Dec 07, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
2.5 for me. This book wasn't exactly what I expected. I agree that female desire feels taboo to talk about.

I did learn about some stuff people are into that I didn't know people are into (throuples? Hot wifing?). I'm not entirely sure that some of this that looks like female sexual freedom isn't just another way to attend to men's desires, a different objectification, but to each their own.
...more
Tawni Winns
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book pretty much blasted through those old tired stereotypes that ALL women are creatures that long for monogamy. This book dismantles societal ideas (created by men) with scientific facts and studies of other cultures. I learned so much about the world and my own biology reading this book and recommend it for single and married women.
GIRL POWER!!
Rachelle
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was such a great read and I could not put it down. Wednesday Martin covered the topic of female infidelity in depth and her research was simply fascinating. I learned so much and this book kept my attention from beginning to end, it challenged a lot of the assumptions about women and what motivates them to cheat. Trust me on this, just read it!
Verne
Aug 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book
Lauren
Dec 24, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As a historian, I wanted to love this book- however, it reeks of white feminism. Very #GirlBoss and reminiscent of those who support Kamala without considering her economic policy.

One of the main issues I have with this book is the attempted rationalization of women cheating. Martin frames women's affairs within the modern restrictive nature of monogamy and the rationalization of extra martial affairs of some culture. However, Martin ignores her own premise, that those societies don't function t
...more
Cristine Mermaid
Oct 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sociology
Enlightening book about the myths surrounding women's sexuality. It contains heaps of research breaking myths such as "women are biologically wired for monogamy", "women need to be 'in love' to enjoy sex and can't have sex without falling in love", "women have low sex drives", "straight women can't be attracted to other women" etc etc.

The research and science behind the studies along with their conclusions is downright fascinating although it did go a bit too long about primate sexual behavior
...more
Patrick
Apr 04, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Some women like to have sex. Some women like to have sex more than their spouses. Some women like to have sex with partners other than their spouses.

That's the sum takeaway from this book, which, if you've been alive for more than 20 minutes and have known some women, is not exactly a shocker. The author summarizes the work of and interviews people who have researched or written about female sexuality, whether in terms of psychology, sociology, anthropology, or primatology (why one primate speci
...more
AM AM
Jan 03, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I understand why some people would feel drawn to this book, but while it promises some breakthrough in feminism based on suppressed science and liberating anthropology, it simply fails to do that through any means other than misleading the reader.
This book is so decisively founded on errors and flat out debunked statements on science, misleading anthropology, cherry picked and misleading history, and a complete manipulation of the feminist tradition that beyond some incredibly basic points it ca
...more
Art Sturtevant
Jun 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Okay, hear comes some hyperbole: I think everyone who is a woman, is in a relationship with a woman, or seeks to be in a relationship with one, should read this book.

If I had a time machine, I’d put this book in the dumbass hands of 20-year-old me without doubt or hesitation.

Please read Wednesday Martin’s riveting, logical, complex, yet plainly-stated work on the relationship between patriarchy and misunderstandings about the nature of women’s sexuality.
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality
  • The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity
  • Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life
  • What Love Is: And What It Could Be
  • Lust in Translation: The Rules of Infidelity from Tokyo to Tennessee
  • Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic
  • The Pleasure Gap: American Women and the Unfinished Sexual Revolution
  • Passionate Marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships
  • Dead Blondes and Bad Mothers: Monstrosity, Patriarchy, and the Fear of Female Power
  • Ripartire dal desiderio
  • Women's Infidelity: Living In Limbo: What Women Really Mean When They Say "I'm Not Happy"
  • Living and Loving after Betrayal: How to Heal from Emotional Abuse, Deceit, Infidelity, and Chronic Resentment
  • Boys & Sex: Young Men on Hookups, Love, Porn, Consent, and Navigating the New Masculinity
  • Il piacere digitale
  • Una gioventù sessualmente liberata (o quasi)
  • Uomini duri. Il lato oscuro della mascolinità
  • Senza tabù: il mio corpo (come funziona), il piacere (come si fa)
  • Sex, Drugs & Magick
See similar books…
243 followers
Wednesday Martin, Ph.D., is a social researcher and the author of Stepmonster: a New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel, and Act the Way We Do (2009). She is a regular contributor to Psychology Today (www.psychologytoday.com/blog/stepmonster) and blogs for the Huffington Post and on her own web site (www.wednesdaymartin.com). She has appeared as a stepparenting expert on NPR, the BBC Newshou ...more

News & Interviews

  Mateo Askaripour is a Brooklyn-based writer whose bestselling debut novel, Black Buck, was published in January. It's been a Read with Jenna...
105 likes · 14 comments
“But her email signature includes a quote from the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, one she lives: “My goal is to contribute to preventing people from being able to utter all kinds of nonsense about the social world.” 0 likes
More quotes…