The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature

The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature

Paperback

By (author) Matt Ridley

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  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 416 pages
  • Dimensions: 114mm x 196mm x 24mm | 281g
  • Publication date: 6 October 1994
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0140167722
  • ISBN 13: 9780140167726
  • Illustrations note: illustrations, notes, bibliography, index
  • Sales rank: 63,113

Product description

Sex is as fascinating to scientists as it is to the rest of us. A vast pool of knowledge, therefore, has been gleaned from research into the nature of sex, from the contentious problem of why the wasteful reproductive process exists at all, to how individuals choose their mates and what traits they find attractive. This fascinating book explores those findings, and their implications for the sexual behavior of our own species. It uses the Red Queen from 'Alice in Wonderland' - who has to run at full speed to stay where she is - as a metaphor for a whole range of sexual behaviors. The book was shortlisted for the 1994 Rhone-Poulenc Prize for Science Books. 'Animals and plants evolved sex to fend off parasitic infection. Now look where it has got us. Men want BMWs, power and money in order to pair-bond with women who are blonde, youthful and narrow-waisted...a brilliant examination of the scientific debates on the hows and whys of sex and evolution' - "Independent".

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Author information

MATT RIDLEY is a research fellow of the Institute of Economic Affairs and a Trustee of the International Centre for Life, living in Northumberland. His last book, The Red Queen, was short-listed for the Rhone-Poulenc Prize for science books and the Writers' Guild Award for non-fiction.

Editorial reviews

Lewis Carroll's Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland, furiously running on the spot just to stay where she is, serves as the perfect metaphor for the evolutionary excess of human sexual intercourse. Ridley unravels the hidden motives behind who and how we desire. (Kirkus UK)

Table of contents

Human nature; the enigma; the power of parasites; genetic mutiny and gender; the peacock's tale; polygamy and the nature of men; monogamy and the nature of women; sexing the mind; the uses of beauty; the intellectual chess game; the self-domesticated ape.