Good news (at least for me and Scott Barry Kaufman!) – Mating Intelligence Unleashed: The role of the mind in sex, dating, and love has just been released. This book, the product of a great deal of time and energy – along with at least some blood and sweat – started as an idea that Scott and I discussed at a mall in Connecticut in 2005. Long time coming! Along the way we collected a world-class scholar to help with our foreword (with none other than THE Helen Fisher) and a world-class publisher to make the book happen (Oxford University Press). Yeah, we’re happy about this!
Designed to be an accessible follow-up to an edited volume on this topic that I co-edited with Geoffrey Miller (Mating Intelligence: Sex, relationships, and the mind’s reproductive system), we hope that this book sheds important light on issues of human mating. By integrating scholarship on the topic of human mating, evolutionary psychology, and intelligence, this book is designed to provide a fresh take on such issues as:
– what sits at the core of human mating motives
– why men and women are sometimes similar and sometimes different in the world of mating
– why some people seem simply smarter in the world of mating compared with others
– how mating psychology fits in with the broader areas of personality, social, developmental, and cognitive psychology
– how mating and parenting are inextricably linked domains of being human
– how mating psychology interfaces with such important societal issues as health and education
– and more!
The book’s not very expensive – and we hope it strikes a balance between being engaging and accessible on one hand (we have lots of snarky subtitles!) and being useful for serious scholars and students of psychology (we have 35 pages of references to both classic and cutting-edge scientific literature in this field) on the other.
We also have a whole section about the Mating Intelligence Scale that we wrote for a cover story that Psychology Today published on mating intelligence in 2007 (Thanks Kaja Perina!). We’re hoping that readers find it fun, helpful, and interesting.
This all said, I want to briefly comment on the breadth of our conceptualization of the term “mating.” In the field of evolutionary psychology, mating reaches beyond sex. From an evolutionary perspective, mating includes (or relates importantly to) the following aspects of humanity (all of which are addressed in detail in our book):
– acts of human creativity, such as art, humor, and music
– behaviors that permeate one’s social interactions and behaviors in groups
– acts designed to impress (implicitly or explicitly) potential partners
– acts that underlie the nature of love
– important connections with parenting and family
– behaviors that relate to relationships that last across decades
– and lots more
Often, in lay terminology, “mating” is equated with sex. And granted, our book’s subtitle includes the word “sex” – and our book cover (thank you Oxford!) is pretty sexy – but, that said, modern research on mating psychology is really about much more than sex. In important ways, as you’ll see in our book, it’s largely about the experience of being human. We hope you find our work entertaining, insightful, and helpful. And yes, if you bring either of us a copy and a sharpie, we’ll sign it! Happy reading!