Includes bibliographical references (pages 363-408) and index.
To the Reader: A "Way of Seeing " -- 1. Courting: Games People Play -- 2. Infatuation: Why Him? Why Her? -- 3. Of Human Bonding: Is Monogamy Natural? -- 4. Why Adultery?: The Nature of Philandering -- 5. Blueprint for Divorce: The Four-Year Itch -- 6. "When Wild in Woods the Noble Savage Ran": Life among Our Ancestors in the Trees -- 7. Out of Eden: A Theory on the Origin of Monogamy and Desertion -- 8. Eros: Emergence of the Sexual Emotions -- 9. The Siren's Web: Evolution of Human Sexual Anatomy -- 10. Why Can't a Man Be More Like a Woman?: Development of the Human Sexual Brain -- 11. Women, Men, and Power: The Nature of Sexual Politics -- 12. Almost Human: Genesis of Kinship and the Teenager -- 13. The First Affluent Society: A Flowering of Conscience -- 14. Fickle Passion: Romance in Yesteryears -- 15. "Till Death Us Do Part": Birth of Western Double Standards -- 16. Future Sex: Forward to the Past.
Why do we marry? Why are some people adulterous? Why do human beings divorce? What is infatuation? When did human love and sex evolve, and what is the future of the family? In this brilliant book anthropologist Helen Fisher examines the innate aspects of sex and love and marriage, those traits and tendencies that we inherited from our past. She examines flirting behavior and the other courting postures and vocal tones we use naturally to court each other. She explains love-at-first-sight and why we fall in love with one person rather than another. She explores the brain chemistry of attraction and attachment. And she looks at divorce in 62 societies and adultery in 42 cultures to illustrate her new theory, the "four-year itch."
Fisher traces the evolution of human courtship, marriage, adultery, divorce, re-marriage, and the sexual emotions back to their origins on the grasslands of Africa four million years ago. Women, men, and power, the genesis of teenage, the origin of human conscience, gender differences in the brain, and many other aspects of human sexuality take on new meaning as she follows human kind from caves in Africa through the agricultural revolution and on into contemporary Western social life. In the last chapter, Fisher looks at several modern trends and concludes that many are not new. Instead, these family patterns came across the centuries, up from primitives who wandered out of Africa millennia ago.