All of these questions have answers that are based in science, and author Jena Pincott explains the reasons for love and attraction, and to what extent our dating and mating lives are controlled by urges and instincts. Organized into three sections---Behaviors, Bodies, and Brains---Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes? provides useful, funny, and accessible answers to these questions.
©2008 Jena Pincott; (P)2008 Tantor
Gardening Geek/Fishing Freak/CADninja
This book is fun and informative, even though it is clearly geared towards women. I would bump it up a star if it lost some of the women's magazine feel. I also feel that men are unfairly characterized as brutish cavemen with little self control once the hormones kick in around an attractive women. This might be true of young twenty-something “dudes” wearing surfer style choker necklaces, heck it might have even been true of me twenty years ago, but most men quickly out grow this behavior and learn to think with the head on their shoulders. But all in all it was fun and credit worthy.
Not for me. While there were some interesting facts, I didn't learn too much that was new. And while it's nice to hear references for some of the facts, I think many seem somewhat self evident. In terms of evolutionary benefits or biological underpinnings for behaviors and reactions, there were no real "ah-HAs," as much as thinking "well, yeah, that makes sense."
If you think about these kinds of things much, you've probably already thought about most of them, and your thoughts might be validated. Or maybe it will be a real eye-opener for you...?
It wasn't for me.
And I felt that for all the slow, deliberate reading, and exaggerated inflection, the voice seemed to drag on. After a while, I was starting to find the reader to be a bit of a distraction.
I can't put my finger on it, but I had a sense of listening to "girl talk" as the book went on. Like I was eavesdropping on a woman at the next table giving advice to other women on how to land a mate.
There were interesting facts and figures. There was some engaging discussion about biological drive and evolutionary advantage behind human decision making and inter-gender activities. But ultimately, I found it disappointing. Undoubtedly, for someone who has not given these aspects of human biology much thought, this could be a highly informative and thought provoking book.
The book might be interesting and entertaining for you. And it might be just what you're looking for, but it wasn't for me.
I found the inflection pressed too hard. A combination of too careful with a bit of "let me tell you this secret." After a while, that started to wear on me. And I started to feel like I was listening to an advice column for women. And I felt as though the inflection kept the reading at "climax" pitch too often. As if each sentence was the big emphasis, rather than reading at a basic line and reaching a climax thought when one was appropriate.
I don't know exactly what I expected out of this book. I guess I didn't think it would be a guide for women to find mates. While it certainly had a scientific bent - discussing the role of chemistry, through hormones, pheromones, and other chemical influences on human (and animal) behavior - and giving biological and evolutionary rationales for how we behave and choose sex partners and/or mates.
But it kept falling into the realm of an advice column, or as someone else noted, seemed like it could have been written for Cosmopolitan Magazine. While it didn't seem to profess being written for women, there seemed to be a lot of places where it came down to... "Girls, if you're looking for a mate, try this." And it is addressed to women, not an inclusive audience of women and men. The audience is addressed specifically by gender. I felt a little like I was a sneaky interloper in a "how to" book for women.
Some interesting commentary on how women and men differ on the biological and behavior levels. Different signals that might attract, repel, or otherwise communicate between the sexes, and examples of how those compare with similar modes of communication among other members of the animal kingdom.
But after a while, I started to feel like it was dragging on. The references to Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging to see what part of the brain reacted to these images, or those concepts, or this aroma all started to run together. So did the repetitive role of oxytocin (the cuddle hormone) or plasma levels of testosterone and estrogen in so many descriptions of how and why we do what we do when interacting with another person.
Much of the human behavioral pattern description was interesting. I guess for me, it just got bogged down. And then evolved into advice on how to use these biological cues and tricks to choose, attract, and hook a man. And woe to the woman who takes the advice too much to heart, treating prospective mates as biological machines, and trying to manipulate them through their, and her own chemistry.
Though, I must say, I liked how these descriptions sometimes provided possible biological, evolutionary and behavioral rationale behind some very common (conscious and/or unconscious) behaviors at a party or at a bar.
It is an absolutely funny book with great information and insight.
She reminds me of the nurse on talk sex with Sue
This was an interesting listen. I was a little surprised that the author is clearly writing to a female audience, when I thought the topic was of interest to both sexes. The point is small, and barely distracts.
This is an entertaining overview of the basic biological sciences with regard to relationship behavior in men and women. Ms. Pincott does an excellent job of calling out her sources. Unfortunately, her use of statistics to state trends in quite lacking. In very few cases does she refer to specific percentages in the behavior studies she references (I would estimate about 20%.) In the other cases she relies upon the phrases 'significantly greater' and 'significantly less'. As such, while this is a good introduction for the non-scientist, I would not recommend this as any kind of meaningful scientific overview.
One thing which may somewhat disturb male readers is that Ms. Pincott's prose is clearly written intending a female audience. It didn't bother me particularly, but was somewhat disquieting at times.
Ms. Merlington does a clear, well timed reading, with appropriate inflections, and the audio quality is excellent.
While the book itself was kind of cool, it felt more like a Readers Digest summary of some interesting articles on the subject. Each bit of science given a paragraph or two but lacking any real substance.
My title sums it up for me... I don't personally care for the narrator, given the dry material. But, I will be able to finish it - eventually.
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