What Women Want--What Men Want: Why the Sexes Still See Love and Commitment So Differently

Paperback | March 1, 1999

byJohn Marshall Townsend

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Following the work of E. O. Wilson, Desmond Morris, and David Buss, What Women Want--What Men Want offers compelling new evidence about the real reasons behind men's and women's differing sexual psychologies and sheds new light on what men and women look for in a mate, the predicament ofmarriage in the modern world, the relation between sex and emotion, and many other hotly debated questions. Drawing upon 2000 questionnaires and 200 intimate interviews that show how our sexual psychologies affect everyday decisions, John Townsend argues against the prevailing ideologically correct belief that differences in sexual behavior are "culturally constructed." Townsend shows there aredeep-seated desires inherited from our evolutionary past that guide our actions. In a fascinating series of experiments, men and women were asked to indicate preferences for potential mates based on their attractiveness and apparent economic status. Women overwhelmingly preferred expensively dressedmen to more attractive but apparently less successful men, and men were clearly inclined to choose more attractive women regardless of their professional status. Townsend's studies also indicate that men are predisposed to value casual sex, whereas women cannot easily separate sexual relations fromthe need for emotional attachment and economic security. Indeed, wherever men possess sexual alternatives to marriage, and women possess economic alternatives, divorce rates will be high. In the concluding chapter, Townsend draws upon the advice of couples who have maintained their marriages overthe years to suggest ways to survive our evolutionary predicament. Lucidly and accessibly written, What Women Want--What Men Want shows us why we are the way we are and brings new clarity to one of the most intractable debates of our time.

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From Our Editors

Providing extensive research, the author shows differences between men and women are not a result of our culture, but rather of our biology. After conducting 2,000 questionnaires and 200 in-depth interviews, John Townsend explains how our evolutiontionary past guides our behaviour. In the final chapter, readers will learn ways for main...

From the Publisher

Following the work of E. O. Wilson, Desmond Morris, and David Buss, What Women Want--What Men Want offers compelling new evidence about the real reasons behind men's and women's differing sexual psychologies and sheds new light on what men and women look for in a mate, the predicament ofmarriage in the modern world, the relation betwee...

John Townsend is Associate Professor of Anthropology, The Maxwell School, Syracuse University. He is the author of Cultural Conceptions and Mental Illness and lives in Syracuse, New York, with his family.
Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 7.91 × 5.31 × 0.59 inPublished:March 1, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195131037

ISBN - 13:9780195131031

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From Our Editors

Providing extensive research, the author shows differences between men and women are not a result of our culture, but rather of our biology. After conducting 2,000 questionnaires and 200 in-depth interviews, John Townsend explains how our evolutiontionary past guides our behaviour. In the final chapter, readers will learn ways for maintaining committed relationships despite our evolutionary urges.

Editorial Reviews

"John Townsend's interviews constitute a useful addition to the rapidly growing literature on the evolutionary psychology of dating and mating, laying bare just how different the goals of women and men remain."--Marin Daly, Psychology Department, McMasters University, Ontario