With two new chapters by the author.If we all want love, why is there so much conflict in our most cherished relationships? To answer this question, says noted psychologist David Buss, we must look into our evolutionary past. Based on the most massive study of human mating ever undertaken, encompassing more than ten thousand people of all ages from thirty-seven cultures worldwide, The Evolution of Desire is the first book to present a unified theory of human mating behavior. Now in a revised and updated edition, Buss's classic presents the latest research in the field, including startling new discoveries about the evolutionary advantages of infidelity, orgasm, and physical attractiveness.… (more)
Chapter 1 -- Origins of Mating Behavior -- Human mating behavior delights and amuses us and galvanizes our gossip, but it is also deeply disturbing. Few domains of human activity generate as much discussion, as many laws, or such elaborate rituals in all cultures. Yet the elements of human mating seem to defy understanding. Women and men sometimes find themselves choosing mates who abuse them psychologically and physically. Efforts to attract mates often backfire. Conflicts erupt between couples, producing downward spirals of blame and despair. Despite their best intentions and vows of lifelong love, half of all married couples end up divorcing.
We are the first species in the known history of three and a half billion years of life on earth with the capacity to control our own destiny. The prospect of designing our destiny remains excellent to the degree we understand our evolutionary past. Only by examining the complex repertoire of human sexual strategies can we know where we came from. Only by understanding why these human strategies have evolved can we control where we are going.