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

Front Cover
Oxford University Press, 1998 - Psychology - 287 pages
1 Review
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 of marriage 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 are deep-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 dressed men 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 from the 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 over the 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.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

What women want--what men want: why the sexes still see love and commitment so differently

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In this book, Townsend makes years of scholarly research accessible to the general public. The research, including 2000 questionnaires, 200 interviews, and an extensive bibliography, indicates that ... Read full review

Contents

II
1
III
11
IV
37
V
61
VI
83
VII
103
VIII
121
IX
145
X
165
XI
187
XII
209
XIII
233
XIV
251
XV
271
XVI
283
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

References to this book

All Book Search results »

About the author (1998)


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.

Bibliographic information