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

By John Marshall Townsend | Go to book overview
Save to active project

Introduction
Attractiveness, Sexuality, and Choosing Mates

I am convinced that men and women are intrinsically so different that nothing we do will obliterate or even reduce the differences. I do not think men have to worry that women will become unsexed or women, that men will. In fact, the freer we become in allowing both sexes to be themselves, the more fundamental and ineradicable differences will show up.

-- Jessie Bernard, The Future of Marriage


Why Write a Book Like This?

WHEN I BEGAN the research for this book, I had studied mental disorders for fifteen years. The major mental disorders do appear cross-culturally, which suggests that they have some biological basis. Social factors, however, like income and family support, are often more important determinants of what happens to mental patients than their symptoms. So, although there is an underlying biological basis for mental disorders, to some extent they are also socially constructed roles. I assumed I would explain changes in sexuality, dating, and marriage in similar terms, and I initially assumed that cultural influences and socialization were by far the most important determinants of how we behave sexually. Certainly, the way we were raised and the environment we live in strongly influences how we act--in bed and out. But the more people I interviewed, and the more I read, convinced me that sexuality and choosing mates were of a different order than other social behavior. Sexual behavior and mate selection are at the root of how we as a species came into being and how we will continue to evolve. Any explanation of these phenomena that ignores biology and evolution is bound to be inadequate.

As a young man I experienced the consciousness of the 1960s and '70s. I truly believed then that the sexes were going to become more alike as we sloughed off our confining, outmoded sex roles and became freer, more self- actualized human beings. Masters' and Johnson's The Human Sexual Response showed that women were capable of having multiple orgasms, whereas men were not, and with the proper stimulation women could reach

-1-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

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

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 294

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?