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Why Men Won't Ask for Directions: The Seductions of Sociobiology

Out of Print

By: Richard C Francis

325 pages, Illus & tabs

Princeton University Press

Hardback | Dec 2004 | #142044 | ISBN: 0691057575
Out of Print Details

About this book

Francis seeks to broaden our conception of what constitutes an evolutionary explanation, by giving more weight to developmental processes as well as evolutionary history.
'A synthesis of the latest advances in the behaviour, physiology, and ecology of sociosexual behaviour, Francis's book focuses primarily on animals, but also develops and critiques the history and present state of how this material has been applied (and misapplied) to the human condition. There are no books quite like this, and the reader will be enlightened and enlivened.' David P Crews, Princeton University.

In Why Men Won't Ask for Directions, Richard C. Francis suggests that physiological explanations of behavior--about how brains work--are often more informative than accounts of why the behavior evolved... Francis is at his best when explaining physiological processes: his explanations are clear, straightforward, and step by step... The descriptions Francis offers of animals and their behavior are vivid. -- Deborah M. Gordon Natural History An incisive and witty critique of the methodologies of sociobiology and its most current manifestation, evolutionary psychology... Francis supports his engaging and well-reasoned arguments with examples from research... [He] does not deny that adaptation can be a very powerful explanatory concept, as long as it is not used dogmatically. Instead, he offers increased options for a better understanding of behavior through considering organisms in their social, evolutionary, and neurobiological contexts. Library Journal


List of Illustrations ix Acknowledgments xi Chapter 1 Darwinian Paranoia 1 Chapter 2 An Orgasm of One's Own 10 Chapter 3 Sex without SEX 19 Chapter 4 Transgendered 36 Chapter 5 Alternative Lifestyles 51 Chapter 6 Social Inhibitions 75 Chapter 7 Why Does the Mockingbird Mock? 102 Chapter 8 Brain Ecology 124 Chapter 9 Why Men Won't Ask for Directions 150 Chapter 10 A Textbook Case of Penis Envy? 175 Chapter 11 Darwin's Temptress 192 Notes 201 Bibliography 257 Index 311

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Richard C. Francis received his Ph.D. in neurobiology and behavior from Stony Brook University and the National Research Science Award from the National Institute of Mental Health. Before becoming a freelance writer he conducted widely published postdoctoral research in evolutionary neurobiology and sexual development at the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford University.

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