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Bad Men: The Hidden Roots of Sexual Deception, Harassment and Assault

David Buss

6 Reviews

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Leading evolutionary psychologist David M. Buss provides a unified new theory of sexual conflict and shows how its battles play out in the barroom, the bedroom and the boardroom.

Sexual conflict permeates ancient religions, from injunctions about thy neighbor's wife to the sexual obligations of marriage. It is etched in written laws that dictate who can and cannot have sex with whom. Its manifestations shape our sexual morality, evoking approving accolades or contemptuous condemnation. It produces sexual double standards that flourish even in the most sexually egalitarian cultures on earth. And although every person alive struggles with sexual conflict, most of us see only the tip of the iceberg: dating deception, a politician's unsavory grab, the slow crumbling of a once-happy marriage, a romantic breakup that turns nasty.

Bad Men shows that this "battle of the sexes" is deeper and far more pervasive than anyone has recognized, revealing the hidden roots of sexual conflict -- roots that originated over deep evolutionary time -- which characterise our sexual psychology. Providing novel insights into our minds and behaviours, Bad Men presents a unifying new theory of sexual conflict and offers practical advice for men and women seeking to avoid it.

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Praise for Bad Men: The Hidden Roots of Sexual Deception, Harassment and Assault

  • 'Few topics interest us more than the nature of relationships between the sexes, and David Buss has long been a leader in turning that interest into rigorous science based on empirical findings and anchored in evolutionary thinking. Bad Men is a major contribution to the field' - Robert Sapolsky, author of Behave

  • 'The public concern with sexual aggression is a great moral advance, but our intellectual culture has floundered in trying to understand it because it clings to myths and dogmas that defy science, common sense, and lived experience. David Buss, one of the world's experts in sexual conflict in human mating, brings these back together in a fascinating and timely book which helps us to understand these evils and better equip us to minimise them' - Steven Pinker, author of Enlightenment Now

  • 'It seems that, every week, we hear a new report of atrocious male behaviour ... Buss's book is not only explanatorily powerful and pragmatically useful, but unfortunately very necessary. The book synthesises over 30 years of research showing how evolutionary psychology can illuminate the origins of the sexual conflict that blights many women's lives, and the mechanisms through which it operates. It explores why many men seem unable to grasp the vulnerability that many women feel. It also provides a roadmap for mitigating what Buss calls "the biggest human rights issue in the world": sexual violence against women' - Areo

  • 'An unflinching look at sexual conflict and what we can do about it. This accessible book explains why conflict between men and women is inevitable, but sexual coercion and violence are not. Eliminating violence against women is Buss's goal, and this book considers paths toward achieving it' - Leda Cosmides, codirector of the Center for Evolutionary

  • Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara

  • 'Brilliantly shines a scientific light on our most intimate, and often uncomfortable, entanglements. I highly recommend it' - Dr. Wendy Walsh, 'America's Relationship Expert', host of the podcast Mating Matters and the Dr. Wendy Walsh Show on iHeart Radio, author of The Boyfriend Test, The Girlfriend Test and the 30-Day Love Detox

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David Buss

David M. Buss is professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and a past president of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society. He is the author of several books including THE EVOLUTION OF DESIRE, THE DANGEROUS PASSION, THE MURDERER NEXT DOOR, and WHY WOMEN HAVE SEX (co-authored with Dr. Cindy Meston). He has written for publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Psychology Today, and he has made more than thirty television appearances on shows including CBS This Morning, ABC's 20/20, and NBC's Dateline and Today, among others. Buss has received numerous awards, which include the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology by the American Psychological Association (APA), a Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, and the G. Stanley Hall Award from the APA. Most recently, he received the Association for Psychological Science (APS) Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement (2017) and has been cited as one of the 50 most influential psychologists in the world.

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