Bad Men


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About the Author

David M. Buss is professor of psychology at the University of Texas at Austin and a past president of the Human Behavior and Evolution Society. He is the author of several books including THE EVOLUTION OF DESIRE, THE DANGEROUS PASSION, THE MURDERER NEXT DOOR, and WHY WOMEN HAVE SEX (co-authored with Dr. Cindy Meston). He has written for publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Psychology Today, and he has made more than thirty television appearances on shows including CBS This Morning, ABC's 20/20, and NBC's Dateline and Today, among others. Buss has received numerous awards, which include the Distinguished Scientific Award for Early Career Contribution to Psychology by the American Psychological Association (APA), a Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford, and the G. Stanley Hall Award from the APA. Most recently, he received the Association for Psychological Science (APS) Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement (2017) and has been cited as one of the 50 most influential psychologists in the world.


'Few topics interest us more than the nature of relationships between the sexes, and David Buss has long been a leader in turning that interest into rigorous science based on empirical findings and anchored in evolutionary thinking. Bad Men is a major contribution to the field' - Robert Sapolsky, author of Behave

'The public concern with sexual aggression is a great moral advance, but our intellectual culture has floundered in trying to understand it because it clings to myths and dogmas that defy science, common sense, and lived experience. David Buss, one of the world's experts in sexual conflict in human mating, brings these back together in a fascinating and timely book which helps us to understand these evils and better equip us to minimise them' - Steven Pinker, author of Enlightenment Now

'Bad Men is a fascinating book that comprehensively examines the roots of sexual conflict between women and men' The Times

'It seems that, every week, we hear a new report of atrocious male behaviour ... Buss's book is not only explanatorily powerful and pragmatically useful, but unfortunately very necessary. The book synthesises over 30 years of research showing how evolutionary psychology can illuminate the origins of the sexual conflict that blights many women's lives, and the mechanisms through which it operates. It explores why many men seem unable to grasp the vulnerability that many women feel. It also provides a roadmap for mitigating what Buss calls "the biggest human rights issue in the world": sexual violence against women' - Areo

'An unflinching look at sexual conflict and what we can do about it. This accessible book explains why conflict between men and women is inevitable, but sexual coercion and violence are not. Eliminating violence against women is Buss's goal, and this book considers paths toward achieving it' - Leda Cosmides, codirector of the Center for Evolutionary
Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara

'Brilliantly shines a scientific light on our most intimate, and often uncomfortable, entanglements. I highly recommend it' - Dr. Wendy Walsh, 'America's Relationship Expert', host of the podcast Mating Matters and the Dr. Wendy Walsh Show on iHeart Radio, author of The Boyfriend Test, The Girlfriend Test and the 30-Day Love Detox

'If you want to understand our minds, you must understand the evolutionary past which forged them. And if you want to understand our sexuality, all the more so. There is no better guide for this than Professor David Buss, one of the country's leading evolutionary psychologists. This theoretically grounded book has countless vivid examples and offers a wide-ranging account of the origins of human sexual behaviour and its modern manifestations, helping to make sense of so many troubling behaviours. Insightful and provocative' - Nicholas Christakis, author of Blueprint: The Evolutionary Origins of a Good Society

'Buss has untangled the primordial (and eternal) human mating dance with deft, clarity, precision and charm. Want to know your "Mate Value?" And why he did something violent to his beloved, perhaps you? Buss gives us the underlying causes of the battle between the sexes - and how to overcome sexual conflict. It's steeped in science - and an exceptional book' - Helen Fisher, author of Anatomy of Love

'Bad Men applies the hard lens of science to the most contentious and painful issues of our time - stalking, malicious seduction, sexual harassment and sexual assault. The result is an eye-opening perspective on the deep history of men harming women. David Buss explains which types of men are most likely to be perpetrators, and why women can be so devastated by the results. He never explains away this behaviour, but instead explains it with the hope that a deeper understanding can help solve these problems and free future generations of women from the ever-present fear that we've been forced to accept as part of life' - Faye Flam, author of The Score: How the Quest for Sex Has Shaped the Modern Man

'Buss tackles numerous difficult, sensitive, and controversial topics in this book, but throughout he uses a balanced, evidence-driven approach. He relies on clear arguments that build a solid impression of how the sexes have evolved distinct strategies, and how those strategies typically lead to misunderstanding and conflict. The evidence he provides is convincing, and he draws on a commendable range of studies for support. Given the breadth of topics and how they come together repeatedly to highlight patterns of sex-specific behavior, this book will serve as an important springboard for understanding more completely men's (and women's) behavior for years to come. In my opinion, it will be of interest to a diverse readership-everyone from a person who wonders why men and women behave so differently in online dating, all the way to academics who want to learn the nuances of sexual conflict theory. Definitely a provocative and interesting read!' - Dr. Maryanne Fisher, editor of The Oxford Handbook of Women and Competition

'In Bad Men, once again David Buss delivers with his ability to take the most complicated and disturbing of topics and make sense of it. In characteristic fashion, he supports his analyses on the mysteries of sexual conflict with solid research yet presents it in an intriguing and entertaining fashion. While demonstrating that bad sexual behaviours have evolved as part of our fundamental psychology of sex differences, Buss underscores such behaviours are not inevitable. Understanding these behaviours and why they evolved is a necessary and critical step in preventing their perpetuation. This bold and honest look at sexual conflict lays the foundation for better behaviour. A must read' - Cindy M. Meston, professor of clinical psychology, University of Texas at Austin and co-author of Why Women Have Sex

'Highly informative and engaging, David's Buss' Bad Men is an insightful, sensitive and honest examination of the sources of sexual conflict and ways we might be able to reduce its harms. He does this by elucidating the sex differences in our evolved sexual strategies, the result of sex differences in optimal mating strategies. He delves into the dark side of male mating behaviour but also offers approaches that call attention to the "sex gap" and how a better understanding of it can help craft policies to reduce or prevent harms that women disproportionally bear. An essential read' - Catherine Salmon, author of Warrior Lovers: Erotic Fiction, Evolution, and Female Sexuality

'This fascinating book is like the long lost operating manual for men's and women's minds, written tens of thousands of years ago and only just now reconstructed. Buss explains so many of the games people play as they strive to attract, keep, and manipulate mates. Trying to understand and reduce sexual harassment, sexual violence, and ordinary marital misery without Buss's evolutionary lens would be like trying to understand and fight epidemics without germ theory' - Jonathan Haidt, author of The Righteous Mind and coauthor of The Coddling of the American Mind

'In this powerful, provocative, and thought-provoking book, David Buss takes us through the fundamental reasons for conflicts between men and women. Drawing from the roots of evolutionary biology and psychology, he sets out in scholarly detail the potential for sexual conflicts within and outside relationships. He also shows how, while evolved differences between men and women can be recognized, they should not be equated with inevitability of action or behavior. The book provides an important and in many places deeply troubling journey into ourselves' - Tracey Chapman, Professor of Evolutionary Genetics, University of East Anglia

'Bad Men brilliantly analyses what has been called the most widespread human rights problem in the world. Authoritative, insightful, and sympathetic, Buss's book is a perfect resource for the #MeToo generation' - Richard Wrangham, author of The Goodness Paradox

'Continues to follow the successful formula found in David Buss' earlier books ... the focus on bad male behaviour and what we can do about it certainly makes this book worth reading' - Psychology Today

'In a new, ripped-from-the-headlines book ... juxtaposing more than three decades of laboratory research with case studies from the animal kingdom, hunter-gatherer societies, and the Wild West of internet dating, [Buss] lays out a theory of sexual conflict between men and women involving a co-evolutionary arms race' - California magazine

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