Mating Intelligence Unleashed: The Role of the Mind in Sex, Dating, and Love

Glenn Geher and Scott Barry Kaufman. Oxford Univ., $27.95 (336p) ISBN 978-0-195-39685-0
A cross between self-help manual and scientific study, this discourse on the factors that influence decision making in mate selection—both long- and short-term—disappoints on both fronts. Geher and Kaufman, both psychologists, coined the term "mating intelligence" and published a supplemental self-assessment in Psychology Today intended to measure readers' ability to accurately assess their "mating success," read cues delivered by the opposite sex, and more. Building off this quick test, the authors explore numerous aspects of dating and mating, including adaptive biases, whether nice guys really finish last (they argue that "a prestigious man, not a dominant man, is a woman's dream" and that "assholes may finish first, but prestigious men stay there"), "the relevance of IQ," as well as tenets of evolutionary psychology. Most compellingly (and pragmatically), the duo contend that sex education programs might be greatly enhanced and rendered more efficacious by shifting the focus to "mating education" and including psychological as well as physiological and anatomical material. Unfortunately, the bulk of the advice they offer is too simplistic to be convincing, and their scientific forays offer little that hasn't been done better elsewhere. Exclamation point-riddled prose doesn't help the authors, who come across as eager but inept. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 11/05/2012
Release date: 01/01/2013
Genre: Nonfiction
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