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Dangerous Passion Paperback – 5 Nov 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press (5 Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451673132
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451673135
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 668,358 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

As anyone who has ever watched their drunken partner dance the lambada with 15 strangers well knows, the insidious and sinister flipside to the raptures of sexual love is jealousy. So overpowering is "the green-eyed goddess" it can lead to divorce, battery, even murder.

So what is the scientific reason for this debilitating emotion? American sociobiologist David Buss has undertaken a Darwinian study. He concludes that the motive force for male jealousy is summed up in the pithy African phrase: "Mama's baby, Papa's maybe". Men are susceptible to jealousy because they can never be entirely sure of the paternity of their offspring.

But what about women? They are just as prey to the "dangerous passion"--only in different ways, and for different reasons. Buss analyses these gender differences, and finds that two-thirds of women are more provoked by "emotional infidelity" than physical unfaithfulness. In contrast men are more likely to agonise about their cheating partners doing exotic sex acts. Homosexual men seem to be less jealous than straights.

Buss provides plenty of case studies. One man was driven to jealous fury when his partner bought a new overcoat. Another sought a divorce when his wife started reading a "new star sign". A third reckoned his wife was doing it with the neighbour when the flicker of the Christmas tree lights started synchronising with the flicker of the neighbour's Xmas tree. In each of these cases the husband's suspicions, however bonkers, turned out to be well founded. Evolution seems to have provided us with acute intuitive faculties that enable us to sense infidelity from the tiniest signal.

This arresting and very accessible book concludes that all is not lost. "Emotional wisdom" is Buss's term for the way we might turn jealousy to our advantage, use it as fuel for our sex lives, employ its power to strengthen marriage. He may be right, he may be wrong, but after reading this book you may well want to check out that Christmas tree. --Sean Thomas --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'David Buss applies his usual combination of insight, hunour, and indefatigable experimentation.' -- Steven Pinker, Professor of Psychology, MIT

'If you are thinking of having an affair, then this book is for you.' -- Financial Times

If you are thinking of having an affair, then this book is for you' -- Financial Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sabiha Sussex on 23 April 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I do not consider David M Buss to be the expert he is made out to be, but this book is interesting and informative. It's about sexual jealousy, and he mentions cases when one partner is jealous and suspicious, and then it turns out their instincts were right. But David Buss doesn't go into any detail about these specific cases, and I felt the book would've been far more interesting if he did. Still, I enjoyed reading it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very interesting/intrigueing book to read. It's pretty formal but not so academic as to make it laborious to read. It's easy reading. In fact, if you have any interest in understanding or wishing to change or deal with either your own or your partners emotions in a relationship/future relationships, then buy it.
In some ways, it is almost a self help guide
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Format: Paperback
An interesting take on the strategies of human mating - almost like it's common sense but I hadn't really thought about it before! The theories are based on an evolutionary perspective. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it surprisingly easy to read.
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By joanne o'hara on 13 Jan. 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Recommended by university for a social psychology module, but very easy to read and understand.And its facinating!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 11 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Provocative.... and very engaging 2 May 2006
By Patrick D. Goonan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
David Buss is an excellent author and scholar in the area of evolutionary biology. This book takes a lot of work he has already done and presents it in a way that explains jealousy that is plausible in terms of evolutionary logic.

The heart of this author's theory is a model of human sexuality where each sex pursues both a long term and short term mating strategy. In general, males are looking to maximize mating opportunities because they don't have much risk if they participate in short term mating. This behavior increases their chances of passing their genes on.

According to Buss, women also pursue a short term strategy, but this involves coupling with higher status males more selectively. This is because a possible pregnancy represents more risk to a primitive woman. Her long term strategy involves an ongoing relationship with a male who will provide steady resources, but may not have genes that are top notch.

In short, women can maximize their chances of passing on their genes, procuring the best genes and surviving by having a steady partner and cheating with a higher status male. This male would be available to provide resources in the event her lover got killed on a hunt or possibly during times of famine.

Because a woman always knows that a baby is her own, she is more concerned with emotional infidelity because it represents a risk that she might be abandoned or resources might be diverted to another woman. In the case of a man, he can not be sure he is the father, so he is more concerned with sexual fidelity. This dynamic sets up a scenario where jealousy plays a complex role at increasing attraction, longing, etc.

A lot of the material in this book is the same as in the "Evolution of Desire." That is partly why I rated this book a four. I also think it isn't as well thought out or presented as the "Evolution of Desire."

I would definitely buy this book again, but I don't think it takes the full complexity of the phenomenon of jealousy into account. For this, I would complement this book with "Your Erotic Mind" by Jack Morin. From there, I would see where you wanted to branch out to get a more integral view.

I don't think Evolutionary Biology fully explains the phenomenon of jealousy, but it certainly sheds light on some important human tendencies. "Your Erotic Mind" starts where this book leaves off and gives a more well-rounded view.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I Love Everything Buss Writes 4 Mar. 2009
By Bernard Chapin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For my money, Dr. David Buss is one of the most important psychologists in the world. The Evolution of Desire is quoted constantly by authorities of all different stripes in regards to human sexuality. I first read it in 1999 but did not get around to opening The Dangerous Passion until last month. It was written with laymen in mind and explains numerous politically incorrect facts about jealousy (although, aren't most facts politically incorrect?). Indeed, he even has a subchapter entitled "Is Domestic Violence Adaptive" which is not a question you'll ever hear the mainstream media pose. Some tenets of evolutionary psych are presented here such as "Mommy's baby, daddy's maybe," and the Concorde Fallacy. As expected, Buss's narration is a strength as he's a clever writer. Also, excelsior is the research. He examines trends in places as diverse as America, Korea, the Netherlands, and Jamaica. The Dangerous Passion was dangerous to put down. I highly recommend it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Science for the masses 2 Sept. 2013
By BisonOak - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I stumbled across this book in the library. I liked it so much I ordered a copy to keep. I didn't have an intense interest in jealousy per se but the author does a great job of presenting its prevalence and importance. I work in mental health/criminal justice and am always surprised at how many domestic violence cases appear on the arrest docket each day. This book does a lot to explain that although it isn't a book about domestic violence. Overall, the author succeeds in presenting good science on an important topic in a very engaging way. I'm tempted to read his other book "Evolutionary Psychology."
Red Pill-MGTOW- Rugged Individualists 28 May 2015
By xtime Past - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
Red Pill-MGTOW- Rugged Individualists
Redpill 10
Reread: 1 of 1x

Containing stories of jealousy, hidden desires, violent acts, derogation of competitors revisited(sabotage), testing bonds, a male romance version, cuckoldry, short term strategy
Not for children - graphic actions taken in routes of jealousy
Ignore the Monica Lewinsky reference!
Awesome narcissist behavioral descriptions

Research:

lovebug
William Shakespeare’s Othello
Egg getters, kamikaze
Sunk cost fallacy = Concorde fallacy
Symmetry, mate insurance
Beatles wimpy music- “all you need is love”

Monkey Branch:

Herman Hesse
Vladimir Nabokov’s novel Laughter in the Dark.
Pamela des Barres book
Oscar Wilde asserted: “Curious thing, plain women are always jealousof their husbands, beautiful women never are!”

Quotes:

A woman’s sexual infidelity jeopardizes a man’s confidence that he isthe genetic father of her children - Page 16

“Mama’s baby, papa’s maybe.” Biology has granted women Page 17

jealousy is an immature emotion, a sign of insecurity, neurosis, or flawed character. Page 17

than that. Men’s jealousy puts women at risk of being killed. Page 20 - learn game

The German writer Herman Hesse summed it up best: Life is “thestruggle for position and the search for love.” Page 24

the “father’s” philandering. Cuckolds are universal objects of laughter and derision, and Page 3

Greek work zelos, which meant fervor, warmth, ardor, or intense desire. Page 49- game

of our ancestors. Fears are like physical pain Page 62 - cold approach

The female of the species is more deadly than the male. Page 77

Obviously, women don’t consciously think that sperm are cheap and eggs are expensive. Page 201 – RP truth

capitalize on their sexuality by using multiple partners to gain status,material goods, and access to a wider pool of potential mates. Page 249- hypergamy
An Evolutionary-Psychology Look at Jealousy: David Buss delivers again 6 Jan. 2014
By Reviewer_in_DC - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Few authors are as good at explaining scientific material in a clear, interesting way as evolutionary scholar and writer David Buss. His writing is lucid and captivating as he shines the light of evolutionary psychology (EP) on a subject frequently ignored in science and the media: jealousy.

Jealousy (romantic and sexual) turns out to be a true evolutionary adaptation with a very legitimate basis. For that matter, all human emotions -- of which jealousy is an example -- are very legitimate and largely accurate, despite being downplayed or criticized in society, according to Buss. Emotions are "evolutionary whisperings" that have a long history, and humans would do well to heed their emotions, rather than dismiss them as irrelevant or silly.

Studies have shown that people experiencing jealousy are astonishingly correct in all their suspicions. They've correctly identified either a past episode of infidelity, or an impending one looming on the horizon, based on certain subconscious cues. There are a number of confirmed risk factors that can lead to infidelity: gaps in desirability (e.g. when 7's are paired with 5's), health issues in either partner, and changes in either partner's worth (relating to status, resources, or age). In therapy, couples are often advised to use "reason" or "logic" to stop the jealous partner's obsessive-compulsive episodes (sometimes even called "delusional" by therapists), yet there is nothing delusional about those fears, as it turns out. In private with the therapist, the spouse of the jealous partner almost always confirms that he or she either fantasizes about, or has indeed already acted on, the *exact* actions that the jealous patient was nervous about!! Time and again, jealous emotions turn out to be correct.

Perhaps the biggest take-away lesson from this book is that all human emotions are extremely important and should always be scrutinized and listened to. Emotions such as jealousy and fear are a form "ancient wisdom" which evolved over the millenia to protect us. Reason, logic, or other contemporary values, in contrast, are often false and counterproductive, contrary to what our society teaches us.
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