Saturday, December 12, 2009

Poor Tiger Woods, a victim of human biology

Given the media attention that Tiger Woods is receiving after cheating on his wife, it seems an opportune time to mention the book I just finished listening to. It's called Strange Bedfellows: The Surprising Connection Between Sex, Evolution and Monogamy, written by David P. Barash and Judith Eve Lipton. Here is my review of the book.

This delightful and to-the-point book goes over the necessary material to understand the battle between monogamy and polygamy. It explains how each of the two strategies are evolutionarily advantageous, but also goes over their down-sides. Lots of examples are taken from zoology (gorillas, bonobo monkeys, prairie voles, etc.). Putting humans under the same zoological microscope, a myriad of evidence suggests that we fit the class of "mostly monogamous".

The end of the book is a little patronizing, as if trying to soften the news for those who have trouble accepting our biological reality.

All-in-all, a great little book. Well worth a read (or listen).


1 comment:

  1. This is intriguing, Jeff. I wrote on someone else's blog about the fact that I didn't even know what was going on with Tiger due to the fact that I haven't had a television going on 3 years now. Though I do regularly get my news from the CBC radio, I just hadn't tuned in that day. It's the same reaction I had to Clinton, though. This is no one's business but his own and his wife's. I've always believed that the reason human species seem to have trouble with monogamy is that it does not seem an innate or inherent trait within us. There are species that seem to be able to pull it off - I think some swans, wolves apparently (but maybe not all wolves? I don't know). There are certain animal species for whom it is innate. I think the beautiful thing about humans is that we do try and aspire to monogamy. It seems a difficult thing, but something worth attempting and knowing if we can swing it. My parents have been married over 50 years. Met when they were 16 and married soon after that so they've actually been together over 60 years. There were times I thought they both might have been better going their separate ways, but they stuck together and survived the difficult years and I'm thrilled they have each other now in their late 70s, when it seems a lot of their friends are dying, younger than they are and such. Anyhow, I don't know exactly what I'm saying with this post, but it seems an interesting book. Nice to meet you and thanks for checking out my blog and commenting on it. Yes, I've met Tricia and she is lovely! Lauchy/Lochie is a great name for a kid. You have three beauties I see on Tricia's blog. The hollyday season must be a ton of fun at your house! Have a good one!