Anatomy of Love: The Natural History of Monogamy, Adultery, and Divorce

Anatomy of Love: The Natural History of Monogamy, Adultery, and Divorce

Anatomy of Love: The Natural History of Monogamy, Adultery, and Divorce

Anatomy of Love: The Natural History of Monogamy, Adultery, and Divorce

Synopsis

"Why do we marry? Why are some people adulterous? Why do human beings divorce? What is infatuation? When did human love and sex evolve, and what is the future of the family? In this brilliant book anthropologist Helen Fisher examines the innate aspects of sex and love and marriage, those traits and tendencies that we inherited from our past. She examines flirting behavior and the other courting postures and vocal tones we use naturally to court each other. She explains love-at-first-sight and why we fall in love with one person rather than another. She explores the brain chemistry of attraction and attachment. And she looks at divorce in 62 societies and adultery in 42 cultures to illustrate her new theory, the "four-year itch."" "Fisher traces the evolution of human courtship, marriage, adultery, divorce, re-marriage, and the sexual emotions back to their origins on the grasslands of Africa four million years ago. Women, men, and power, the genesis of teenage, the origin of human conscience, gender differences in the brain, and many other aspects of human sexuality take on new meaning as she follows human kind from caves in Africa through the agricultural revolution and on into contemporary Western social life. In the last chapter, Fisher looks at several modern trends and concludes that many are not new. Instead, these family patterns came across the centuries, up from primitives who wandered out of Africa millennia ago." Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Excerpt

Moved by the force of love, fragments of the world seek out one another so that a world may be.

—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

In an apocryphal story, a colleague once turned to the great British geneticist J. B. S. Haldane, and said, "Tell me, Mr. Haldane, knowing what you do about nature, what can you tell me about God?" Haldane replied, "He has an inordinate fondness for beetles." Indeed, the world contains over 300,000 species of beetles. I would add that "God" loves the human mating game, for no other aspect of our behavior is so complex, so subtle, or so pervasive. And although these sexual strategies differ from one individual to the next, the essential choreography of human courtship, love, and marriage has myriad designs that seem etched into the human psyche, the product of time, selection, and evolution.

They begin the moment men and women get within courting range—with the way we flirt.

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