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Why Women Have Sex: Understanding Sexual Motivations--From Adventure to Revenge (and Everything in Between)

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Do women have sex simply to reproduce or display their affection? When Cindy M. Meston, a clinical psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin, and evolutionary psychologist David M. Buss joined forces to investigate the underlying sexual motivations of women, what they found astonished them.Through the voices of real women, Meston and Buss reveal the motivations tha Do women have sex simply to reproduce or display their affection? When Cindy M. Meston, a clinical psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin, and evolutionary psychologist David M. Buss joined forces to investigate the underlying sexual motivations of women, what they found astonished them.Through the voices of real women, Meston and Buss reveal the motivations that guide women's sexual decisions and explain the deep-seated psychology and biology that often unwittingly drive women's desires-sometimes in pursuit of health or pleasure, or sometimes for darker, disturbing reasons that a woman may not fully recognize. Drawing on more than a thousand intensive interviews conducted solely for the book, as well as their pioneering research on physiological response and evolutionary emotions, Why Women Have Sex uncovers an amazingly complex and nuanced portrait of female sexuality. The authors delve into the use of sex as a defensive tactic against a mate's infidelity (protection), as a ploy to boost self-confidence (status), as a barter for gifts or household chores (resource acquisition), or as a cure for a migraine headache (medication).Why Women Have Sex stands as the richest and deepest psychological understanding of female sexuality yet achieved and promises to inform every woman's (and her partner's) awareness of her relationship to sex and her sexuality.


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Do women have sex simply to reproduce or display their affection? When Cindy M. Meston, a clinical psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin, and evolutionary psychologist David M. Buss joined forces to investigate the underlying sexual motivations of women, what they found astonished them.Through the voices of real women, Meston and Buss reveal the motivations tha Do women have sex simply to reproduce or display their affection? When Cindy M. Meston, a clinical psychologist at the University of Texas at Austin, and evolutionary psychologist David M. Buss joined forces to investigate the underlying sexual motivations of women, what they found astonished them.Through the voices of real women, Meston and Buss reveal the motivations that guide women's sexual decisions and explain the deep-seated psychology and biology that often unwittingly drive women's desires-sometimes in pursuit of health or pleasure, or sometimes for darker, disturbing reasons that a woman may not fully recognize. Drawing on more than a thousand intensive interviews conducted solely for the book, as well as their pioneering research on physiological response and evolutionary emotions, Why Women Have Sex uncovers an amazingly complex and nuanced portrait of female sexuality. The authors delve into the use of sex as a defensive tactic against a mate's infidelity (protection), as a ploy to boost self-confidence (status), as a barter for gifts or household chores (resource acquisition), or as a cure for a migraine headache (medication).Why Women Have Sex stands as the richest and deepest psychological understanding of female sexuality yet achieved and promises to inform every woman's (and her partner's) awareness of her relationship to sex and her sexuality.

30 review for Why Women Have Sex: Understanding Sexual Motivations--From Adventure to Revenge (and Everything in Between)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jacob

    Apparently two of my coworkers were wondering why I was reading this book. Why would you wonder that? Human sexuality is a fascinating subject, touching on biology, psychology, sociology, anthropology, culture, history, religion, ethics, and several other disciplines that I am no doubt forgetting. So, of course I'd read this book. First off, the title is apt. The core of the book is a survey of 1,006 women who shared their own sexual experiences. Quotes from these responses, giving the ages and o Apparently two of my coworkers were wondering why I was reading this book. Why would you wonder that? Human sexuality is a fascinating subject, touching on biology, psychology, sociology, anthropology, culture, history, religion, ethics, and several other disciplines that I am no doubt forgetting. So, of course I'd read this book. First off, the title is apt. The core of the book is a survey of 1,006 women who shared their own sexual experiences. Quotes from these responses, giving the ages and orientations of the women, are helpfully interspersed throughout the well-organized book. For example--picking almost at random, from the chapter "A Sense of Adventure": I met someone while in college and heard [good things] about his sexual behavior. I began to date him, mainly because of what I had heard from a friend. We had sex one time in the first week we were dating. I was disappointed, but glad that I had found out for myself. I ended the "relationship" after that. --heterosexual woman, age 26Some of the reasons strike one as better than others. One feels for the women using it to satisfy feelings of loneliness or worthlessness (it usually didn't work). And the book does seem to cover the full gamut of reasons, from being attracted to the other person, wanting to initiate a relationship, wanting to keep or deepen a relationship, the pure pleasure of it, wanting new experiences, feeling a sense of duty, wanting to develop one's skills, et cetera, et cetera. The authors, both PhD researchers in the field, give useful analysis throughout, explaining why women are, in general, more attracted to men who are taller, wealthier, and more dominant; the role of "make-up sex"; and why women would incite jealously in their partners. Their conclusions are always based on the research and always stays close to the findings. For instance, Women report evoking jealously in partners more than men do--31 percent versus 17 percent, according to one study. ... when the man is the more committed partner, only 26 percent of women report intentionally evoking jealousy. In sharp contrast, when the woman is more committed to the relationship, 50 percent of the women resort to jealousy evocation. ... [Men] are much more likely to commit to a woman whom they perceive to be highly desired by other men. A jealous man becomes more smitten, comes to believe that he is lucky to be with his partner, and so doubles his dedication. (p. 106-107)Elsewhere discussing the biological side of sex: Researchers have shown that if you block an animal's natural release of oxytocin by giving the animal certain drugs, mothers stop engaging in normal maternal caretaking behaviors and completely reject their own offspring. The opposite can happen as well. If you inject oxytocin into young rats that have never given birth or even copulated, they begin to nuzzle and protect other females' rate pups just as if the pups were their own. (p. 70)The book discusses social aspects of sex and sexuality as well, including comments on the role that the media play in shaping women's expectations (they have harsh words for Barbie). Their discussion of fantasies was interesting--perhaps counter intuitively, women who enjoy submission fantasies "in fact were more dominant, more independent, and higher in self-esteem than other women." (p. 207) Somewhat surprisingly, "not only has the double standard not been eradicated, it appears to be enforced more strongly by women than by men." (p. 86-87; there are actually cogent reasons why this happens) This is a fascinating book that I recommend for readers of both genders regardless of experience level. It's nice knowing not just the sorts of things that happen in physical relationships, but why they happen (for instance, ever wonder why men are more prone to fall in love at first sight than are women? See pp. 59-60). Highly recommended. 5/5 If this book interests you, also see A Billion Wicked Thoughts by Ogi Ogas & Sai Gaddam. It focuses exclusively on sexual desire--why people are attracted to the various people and traits that they are--with about equal emphasis on men and women.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    I wanted to like this book more. It's a good book. I'm just a little disappointed that I didn't learn anything new. So....... I guess I already knew why women have sex? haha. I wanted to like this book more. It's a good book. I'm just a little disappointed that I didn't learn anything new. So....... I guess I already knew why women have sex? haha.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Chris Webber

    Having just read Bonk, it was hard not to compare the two books. Why Women Have Sex is loaded with some very interesting statistics and I appreciated getting something less anecdote and trivia, although the informational data appeared to be less focused or within a general thesis. A lot of the book drives back to the core evolutionary advantages for a woman to have sex and it was interesting to see the bottom line exposed in such a way. The writers had an effective way of dressing down the sex e Having just read Bonk, it was hard not to compare the two books. Why Women Have Sex is loaded with some very interesting statistics and I appreciated getting something less anecdote and trivia, although the informational data appeared to be less focused or within a general thesis. A lot of the book drives back to the core evolutionary advantages for a woman to have sex and it was interesting to see the bottom line exposed in such a way. The writers had an effective way of dressing down the sex emperor. Some interesting information in this book: 1 - The vast majority of people have experienced at least one vivid homicidal fantasy in their lives - in a study of 5,000 participants 91% of men and 84% of women stated they had at least one. Sexual competition in its many forms was the man reason both sexes fantasized about murder. 2 - While sexual desire naturally diminishes during the pregnancy/childbirth/breastfeeding times for a woman (for many obvious reasons), many researchers believe that pregnancy itself can sometimes permanently impair the production of testosterone, the hormone primarily responsible for sex drive. 3 - There are 237 reasons why women have sex, and most of these do not have to do with pleasure or even romance. Some of those reasons: bartering, power, revenge, duty...lots of duty. And did I mention duty? 4- Mismatched sex drives are at the root of a lot of marital/relationship discord. 5 - Does size matter? 45 out of 50 women say that penis width matters more importantly than length. 6 - There are two personality traits linked to sexual variety seeking in women: extraversion and impulsiveness. A study revealed a clear link between impulsivity and infidelity in women. An even greater predictor was narcissism - a personality cluster defined by the attribites of being self-centered, grandiose, exhibitionist, feeling a strong sense of entitlement, arrogance and being interpersonally exploitive. Women with perfectionist tendencies also tend to engage in sex with more partners, simply because they are have high expectations, are frequently disappointed because of those high expectations so are on the hunt to find the more perfect partner. 7 -The physical effects of sex can get rid of migraines, aches and pains. Releases of endorphins are quick and effective. Researchers discovered that stimulation of the G-spot raised pain threshholds by 40%. And during orgasm itself, women were able to tolerate an amazing 75% more of pain. Sex also eases the pains of menstrual cramps. 8 - Many women feel that there is a spiritual component to sex and it is a way of getting closer to God. .

  4. 5 out of 5

    Shalini

    I have read many bad books about sex and manage to say something good about them, but not this one. This book found its way into my book shelf after I heard it mentioned in several professional lectures. It interprets the views of women in an online survey using evolutional psychology. The views are from a single point of time in the lives of these women, many of whom are barely in their teens, without contextual information. The interpretation is not evidence based and comparisons are loosely m I have read many bad books about sex and manage to say something good about them, but not this one. This book found its way into my book shelf after I heard it mentioned in several professional lectures. It interprets the views of women in an online survey using evolutional psychology. The views are from a single point of time in the lives of these women, many of whom are barely in their teens, without contextual information. The interpretation is not evidence based and comparisons are loosely made with the only evolutionary perspective being that women's sexuality evolved solely for reproduction. It is reductive, simplistic and offers no alternative critical perspective. The tone is laden with a heterosexual western moral value such comparing monogamous type men to polygamous types (have men evolved into one of these mutually exclusive types), explaining other cultural practices to financial need alone, derogatory terms such as 'mate poaching', and so on. Many of the reasons given can be an explanation for human behaviour and is neither specific to women or sex. Fifty shades probably offers a more interesting and insightful account. I agree with Robshaw's review that the banality of insights is matched by that of the prose. http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-ent...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Read it for a sex therapy group. A member of Meston's research team came and talked to us... Why Women Have Sex a big research paper on a huge survey. Like most sex research, they utilized a sample of convience--young 18-22 year old white girls. This book does not give an adequate view of women's need/desires. It felt like reading an undergraduate psychology primer. Not very insightful. The authors would say that it was written to help people make better mating choices, but this book fails to de Read it for a sex therapy group. A member of Meston's research team came and talked to us... Why Women Have Sex a big research paper on a huge survey. Like most sex research, they utilized a sample of convience--young 18-22 year old white girls. This book does not give an adequate view of women's need/desires. It felt like reading an undergraduate psychology primer. Not very insightful. The authors would say that it was written to help people make better mating choices, but this book fails to deliver. If you are looking for a psychobiosexual research-based approach to relationships try Stan Tatkin.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    This book is a pretty half-assed attempt at pigeonholing women's sexuality. I expected more critical analysis from the authors—one clinical psychologist and one evolutionary psychologist—on the social conditioning that drives sexual behaviour. No such luck. It's full of un-analyzed stats, context-less anecdotes, and an extra helping of heteronormativity. Hard pass. PS. 3000 college women in their late teens/early twenties does not make for a reflective or inclusive sample group. This book is a pretty half-assed attempt at pigeonholing women's sexuality. I expected more critical analysis from the authors—one clinical psychologist and one evolutionary psychologist—on the social conditioning that drives sexual behaviour. No such luck. It's full of un-analyzed stats, context-less anecdotes, and an extra helping of heteronormativity. Hard pass. PS. 3000 college women in their late teens/early twenties does not make for a reflective or inclusive sample group.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Todd

    Turns out, there are 237 reasons to read this book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alexandru

    I thought I would find new ideas, but I was wrong. In fact, the first half of the book is more of a collection of anecdotal evidence and anonymous fantasies that cannot serve as an empiric base. The second part of the book is better, thus instead of two stars, I upgraded my review to three. The book seems to me a kind of click-bate or a kind of Women are from Venus and men from Mars bullshit. The conclusions made in the book are often laughable - for example, 45 women out of 50 asked consider the I thought I would find new ideas, but I was wrong. In fact, the first half of the book is more of a collection of anecdotal evidence and anonymous fantasies that cannot serve as an empiric base. The second part of the book is better, thus instead of two stars, I upgraded my review to three. The book seems to me a kind of click-bate or a kind of Women are from Venus and men from Mars bullshit. The conclusions made in the book are often laughable - for example, 45 women out of 50 asked consider the thickness of the penis very important... 50 women out of 3,5 billion - truly reliable science. The most annoying part is the deep insights of 18 - 22 years old very experienced young women - it is hard to know where is the dream and where is the reality. The testimonials, in general, cannot serve as a foundation for the heavy conclusions drawn. It is called induction in logic and not quite reliable. The part including numbers is better, but unfortunately, the book is full of "according to a study" which is hard to find or studies from the same Lab - a bit biased. The more experienced women's testimonials sound more realistic and thus more interesting. There are a lot of generalisations without any evidence, like for example women sense of smell is better than men (maybe but where is the proof), men are suffering more after breakups (again - says who) and so on. Or one of the "best" myths endorsed by the book - humans have 5 senses, as well as I know - there are at least 10. Pages 169 and 170 would be interesting for the metro movement activists. Quite often the book's conclusions are absent - in one paragraph the author says that a certain action causes a specific event and in the next one the author says the effect is entirely opposite. And the entire book is like that - causation is often mixed with correlation. So, in the end, the only real conclusion is that women have sex because IT DEPENDS on thousands of factors. Well, guess what - this is not quite helpful. A good analogy: The book basically tries to tell us what is happiness by asking different people about it and the answers are various - for someone is hedonistic, for someone else happiness is the unhappiness of his or her neighbour or enemy, for someone it is an achievement and at the end of the day we find out nothing new. This is the result of anonymous testimonials analysis. I will give this book to my wife - maybe she will convince me I am totally wrong about this book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Margaret

    I got bored in places, partly because the people interviewed and investigated seemed for the most part to be young to middle-aged, white, educated, affluent, American--and how can we draw conclusions from such a limited group?

  10. 4 out of 5

    michiri

    Even I'm a female myself, I usually doubt my knowledge about women (I'm not heterosexual.) Therefore, this book is quite an eye-opener. I regret I didn't read this book 4 years ago (it would have saved me from doing silly things that are against nature of girls/women.) Now I don't need to feel jealous at why girls/women likes handsome/muscular boys/men anymore. I'm also tolerant of men's desires towards women. In general, because almost our daily choices are being made under our consciousness. It Even I'm a female myself, I usually doubt my knowledge about women (I'm not heterosexual.) Therefore, this book is quite an eye-opener. I regret I didn't read this book 4 years ago (it would have saved me from doing silly things that are against nature of girls/women.) Now I don't need to feel jealous at why girls/women likes handsome/muscular boys/men anymore. I'm also tolerant of men's desires towards women. In general, because almost our daily choices are being made under our consciousness. It's quite easy to this (not very much technical words - for non-native speaker like me.) I bumped into this book by an introduction from a blog. I had no intention to read it at first. There are so many things in this book scare me. I only read the chapters which interests or may benefit me the most then I don't know if it count that I have read this book. During reading it, a few question appeared in my mind, "If women subconsciously mainly behaved this way according to evolutionary biology, how would homosexuality fit into that puzzle?" "Can a woman act upon her will, apart from her chemistry?" "Is this wrong to fight again my biology?" After doing some quick search for the first question, I had no luck at all, there aren't enough scientific research on the role of homosexuality in human evolution. I just can't get the thought, "Women, also, is a bag of chemistry. That is so superficial. And so is love." But, again, human is different from animals, right?

  11. 4 out of 5

    Dragonfly

    I think both men and women should read this book ! It would help them to understand relationship basics ! I learned so many things from this book! And surprisingly understand some strange behavior of the people i dated before ,seeing clearly my own behavior and understanding them!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    Might have been a good read but not a good reader on the audio version.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Joshua

    It seems like a very simple question, and probably obvious to some people, but questions like that in my experience tend to go unanswered because nobody wants to be the first to offer an explanation and thus become subject to scrutiny or mediocrity. That's a fancy way of saying, nobody wants to be laughed at when they ask why do women have sex. Having grown up in a very religious territory, but also having been raised by parents who taught me to be curious and to always feel free to ask questions It seems like a very simple question, and probably obvious to some people, but questions like that in my experience tend to go unanswered because nobody wants to be the first to offer an explanation and thus become subject to scrutiny or mediocrity. That's a fancy way of saying, nobody wants to be laughed at when they ask why do women have sex. Having grown up in a very religious territory, but also having been raised by parents who taught me to be curious and to always feel free to ask questions about sex, this book seemed like a wonderful opportunity to deepen my knowledge of human sexuality. Female sexuality is a realm of study I haven't explored much in my personal and academic reading and so this book was a delight as I observed Meston and Buss go chapter by chapter examining the motivations of women and allowing their interviews and data to speak for the experiences of women. This book is not just a cold academic study, it's written so that anyone could read it and any reader will come away with a fresh perspective as to why women have sex. Whether it's for pleasure, religious experience, jealousy, coercion, or the thrill of the adventurous this book demonstrates that a woman's sexuality contains multitudes and is highly personal. Books like this contribute to a larger narrative of human sexuality. It gives women space to find themselves and who they are as sexual beings. While I would have loved more perspectives of lesbian, queer, and questioning women, and I would have also liked more perspectives of elderly women as well, this book was informative as it was enjoyable and I would recommend it to anyone.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Art

    This book makes two important contributions. First, is the title. Dr Meston does not confuse love and sex, although emotional reasons (love and commitment) ranked high in the original study. Second, a man can identify with many of the same reasons! With the evolutionary psychology input, the book stays within the procreation/pleasure paradigm, yet includes reasons like, "wanting to get close to God": a small percentage.The Sacred Female Had this book been written by Dr. Buss alone, I would have This book makes two important contributions. First, is the title. Dr Meston does not confuse love and sex, although emotional reasons (love and commitment) ranked high in the original study. Second, a man can identify with many of the same reasons! With the evolutionary psychology input, the book stays within the procreation/pleasure paradigm, yet includes reasons like, "wanting to get close to God": a small percentage.The Sacred Female Had this book been written by Dr. Buss alone, I would have given it the same credence I gave Gray's "Men are from Mars": zero. Dr. Meston, perhaps subconsciously, brings a feminine balance and authority beyond the numbers. It is important to note two things while reading: 1. The original study was conducted using college age students as a base line and 2. The study was expanded to the general public with small response, yet expanding the age range. The book is only as definitive as the population studied and there are many cultural variations in reasoning. I would strongly recommend this book for women who ask, "Am I the only one who feels this way?" And for men who ask, "What the hell is going on with her?" Whatever your motivation for purchasing this title, you will find the book smooth to read and fascinating!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    My wife checked this out from the library. I started reading it and found it interesting enough to complete. Much of the more interesting claims seemed a little flimsy on the evidence. In addition, biases in all the social sciences are difficult to overcome, and the section on ethnic differences made me cringe because of its political correctness. They conveniently avoided controversy by not stating what everyone with even a modicum of understanding about the subject already knows based on a boa My wife checked this out from the library. I started reading it and found it interesting enough to complete. Much of the more interesting claims seemed a little flimsy on the evidence. In addition, biases in all the social sciences are difficult to overcome, and the section on ethnic differences made me cringe because of its political correctness. They conveniently avoided controversy by not stating what everyone with even a modicum of understanding about the subject already knows based on a boatload of evidence. Because it was co-authored by David Buss, an evolutionary psychologist, much of the typical political correctness you would expect to find on a book about women and sex was toned down. I suspect many feminists have major problems with a lot of the conclusions in this book. I found the Barter and Trade chapter interesting. I agree with the comment attributed to George Stigler that the only social science possibly worthy of the name is economics; so when there’s a chapter on the economics of sex, I pay particular attention to the research.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Masih

    Not a book that you can afford to ignore by my opinion. It is different from many books sharing the subject in having a scientific (evolutionary and physiology) methodology by a well know author citing his lab's many experiments in the book. Using personal anecdotes and quotes by many women about the subject made it more alive to me. I finished the book in just two days and I love to read the book (listen to audiobook) again. The only downside to the book is too much confidence in association Not a book that you can afford to ignore by my opinion. It is different from many books sharing the subject in having a scientific (evolutionary and physiology) methodology by a well know author citing his lab's many experiments in the book. Using personal anecdotes and quotes by many women about the subject made it more alive to me. I finished the book in just two days and I love to read the book (listen to audiobook) again. The only downside to the book is too much confidence in association studies. In one case association between the rate of having sex and the level of immunity is mentioned and the author concluded that higher sex leads to higher immunity. I just cannot agree so simply with this assertion just providing association studies. Maybe those having higher status take care of their health much better and that leads to better immunity rather than having more sex. Other than making some matter super simple, it is an indispensable, well written read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Joe Robles

    Good book with some great insights into women's sexual motivations. I'm not a fan of the style of study they did for this book, which is to use self-reports and interviews. I think people have a tendency to rationalize actions they take when they don't fully understand them. But I will say that Meston and Buss do a fairly good job of pairing the interviews they conducted with women to studies that show a similar result, which gives statistical credence to the self-report. I'll be honest, I'm jus Good book with some great insights into women's sexual motivations. I'm not a fan of the style of study they did for this book, which is to use self-reports and interviews. I think people have a tendency to rationalize actions they take when they don't fully understand them. But I will say that Meston and Buss do a fairly good job of pairing the interviews they conducted with women to studies that show a similar result, which gives statistical credence to the self-report. I'll be honest, I'm just a numbers guy and when you show me studies that have a good statistical significance, I believe it more. But that's just me. Overall a good book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    While this book gave a lot of insight into the scientific side of motivations for sex, I think the authors overestimate the role of biology and picking mates for evolutionary advantage. One part I especially liked, though, was the huge amount of unedited anecdotes from real women. Interesting book, not really my jam.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Gloria

    I was quite young when this study came out...but like most pre-pubescent girls I was on my way to figuring out everything about my body, for all the answers I wouldn't get or couldn't get from my old fashioned Italian Mother, I would read instead in my usual no non-scene know how. I was quite young when this study came out...but like most pre-pubescent girls I was on my way to figuring out everything about my body, for all the answers I wouldn't get or couldn't get from my old fashioned Italian Mother, I would read instead in my usual no non-scene know how.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Alan Hat

    I'm currently only 10% through, but it has annoyed me by confusing the G-spot with the urethral sponge - an apparently well researched book by sex researchers (one of whom is female) that can't find the G-spot! I'm currently only 10% through, but it has annoyed me by confusing the G-spot with the urethral sponge - an apparently well researched book by sex researchers (one of whom is female) that can't find the G-spot!

  21. 5 out of 5

    William S

    shud of bin subtytled "in the hoap that maybe won day, they will be lukky enuff to hav a rawmp in the sheets with parsell" shud of bin subtytled "in the hoap that maybe won day, they will be lukky enuff to hav a rawmp in the sheets with parsell"

  22. 5 out of 5

    Molly Octopus

    Not that I should have expected much from this title, but the whole thing was recycled pop evolutionary psychology at best.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Coleman

    There is lots to be learned from this book regarding human behaviour in general and even that of yourself.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ghofran Almosoy

    ample and interesting

  25. 4 out of 5

    Javier Romero

    Reading this book was like putting on lab goggles and witnessing firsthand the revelations of each sexual experiment alongside the scientists who executed them. Cindy Meston is both a brilliant researcher and clearly dedicated to formalizing the intracacies of sexual psychology.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jetlir

    Awesome Book with great insights, objectively taken from actual studies! Give it a Read!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Reda Shokr

    This book is quite an eye-opener. It is an odd mix of the fascinating & revealing and the mind-fumblingly obvious. Evolutionary psychology is a plain mirror of man inner truth: man and women. A joke holds that women need a reason to have sex, whereas men just need a place. Is it true?! Why Women Have Sex offers a popularized review of the existing evolutionary and developmental literature regarding female sexual motivation and strategies, but it does so by weaving together personal, first-person This book is quite an eye-opener. It is an odd mix of the fascinating & revealing and the mind-fumblingly obvious. Evolutionary psychology is a plain mirror of man inner truth: man and women. A joke holds that women need a reason to have sex, whereas men just need a place. Is it true?! Why Women Have Sex offers a popularized review of the existing evolutionary and developmental literature regarding female sexual motivation and strategies, but it does so by weaving together personal, first-person accounts of women’s sexual motivations and experiences. As the authors explain in the introduction, the book is based on a previous study they conducted called “Why Humans Have Sex” that elicited both sexes’ personal accounts of sexual motivations. This book makes two important contributions. First, is the title; the two writers do not confuse love and sex, although emotional reasons (love and commitment) ranked high in the original study. Second, a man can identify with many of the same reasons!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Arash Narchi

    Great overview of the many variables the lead women to engage in sex. From a biological, psychological and modern cultural lens. My only feedback is I wish they had better data that represented cultures outside the western world. Some of the results may have varied due to religious and social norms and it would have been interesting to see.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mia Milne

    Overall, I was not super impressed with this book. Most of the reasons why women have sex are pretty obvious (pleasure, intimacy, to please a partner, coercion, etc.), and the first couple chapters on pleasure and love are boring because of how obvious they are. The later chapters in the book are much more interesting because they deal with the less common reasons such as revenge, prostitution, or as a conquest. Throughout all of these chapters are tidbits on why these reasons could have evolved Overall, I was not super impressed with this book. Most of the reasons why women have sex are pretty obvious (pleasure, intimacy, to please a partner, coercion, etc.), and the first couple chapters on pleasure and love are boring because of how obvious they are. The later chapters in the book are much more interesting because they deal with the less common reasons such as revenge, prostitution, or as a conquest. Throughout all of these chapters are tidbits on why these reasons could have evolved or why they exist in modern times. Many were interesting but again some were obvious such as the fact that heterosexual women usually like masculine men. My major issue with the book was the lack of critical engagement with evolutionary psychology theories. When convenient, an evolutionary reason was given as to why women had certain preferences. When a reason didn't entirely fit with current evo-psych theories then no discussion on why this could be was given. For example, there is a whole chapter on sexual bartering and this is connected to research that women have evolved to trade sex in exchange for food, protection, or status. This is treated as an inherent trait of women rather than an aspect of societal conditions. Counter-evidence to this being an inherent trait is the rise of cougars or high-status women who seek out younger, physically-attractive men. I have a hard time believing that none of the women in their large study were motivated in this way. This debate in the literature should have been mentioned at the very least. I suggest reading this book if you have not read anything else on the science of sexuality or if you are someone who truly has no idea why women have sex. Otherwise, I suggest reading Bonk, Come as You Are, or one of Buss's articles on evolutionary psychology.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Zbyszek Sokolowski

    "Why women have sex" is a pretty interesting book which describes different aspects of women sexual life and motivation. The description takes a few approaches to explain behaviors. Interesting sentence from book that we are product of countless generation of women and their choices. Woman chooses man with several indicators, like gene compatibility which they can asses with smell. Then different men qualities, like height, voice tone, more or less masculine body build. The more guy looks like a "Why women have sex" is a pretty interesting book which describes different aspects of women sexual life and motivation. The description takes a few approaches to explain behaviors. Interesting sentence from book that we are product of countless generation of women and their choices. Woman chooses man with several indicators, like gene compatibility which they can asses with smell. Then different men qualities, like height, voice tone, more or less masculine body build. The more guy looks like a man the better is perceived as healthy. There is also quite interesting difference to men for women man who is surrounded by bevy of women is attractive and more attractive if adoring him other women are attractive. There is another similar case when one man is very somehow attractive like popular singer or athlete and women want to have a baby with him to increase chance that their offspring will have similar assets. Another interesting fact is that women treats a rape almost as severe as murder. It appeared that raped woman are harder to went through successful psychotherapy than women who encountered severe accidents or disasters. Another fact that generally sex is beneficial for women from physiological point of view. Hormones with are injected to organism while orgasm are anesthetics and could stop headache almost immediately. Substances which contained in sperm have natural antidepressants and other hormones which makes women more healthy. In the end estrogens level which increases during sex, protects women from heart diseases and causes to look even more beautiful, estrogens improves skin and hair condition.

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