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Part of the marketing machine?
on 23 May 2011
I was given this book recently as a gift. I read the original 'Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus' years ago and thought it was an interesting way of describing relationships. I admit that I have not read this book cover to cover, but a couple of things are already bothering me:
1. Where are the references? Claims are made and some of the observations seem instinctively to ring true, but given that this book is claiming to be backed up by/based on 'ground-breaking' scientific research, it is strange that there are no actual citations of e.g. clinical studies. This is even more frustrating towards the end of the book, when we are given (non-biased?) 'advice' on nutritional supplements, but not told the basis on which these claims are made. Coincidentally, the recommended supplements can all be purchased on the author's website. Can you imagine the outcry if one of the big pharmaceutical companies tried this type of promotion - citing no actual evidence?
2. At the end there is an appendix to tell women which activities will increase production of oxytocine (to lower stress levels). Suggestions include 'flower arranging', making an 'artistic arrangement of fruit in the kitchen' and 'tidying up after a party with girlfriends' (sorry the actual words in the book may be different, I was reading a Dutch translation). Have we gone back to 1952??? I'm not convinced that these activities would decrease my stress levels! Also - where is the equivalent appendix for male readers? If this book is mainly targeted at women, the male author's advice comes across as rather patronising. Although he claims otherwise, he seems to be advocating a return to the past rather than suggesting new ways to balance male and female behaviour and increase mutual support.
All in all, this book comes across as a very thinly-disguised marketing exercise, to promote sales of nutritional supplements on the author's website.