Is There Anything Good About Men? How Cultures Flourish by Exploiting Men

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-08-12
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Women may be more lovable than men, but male traits have been vital for creating the progress that brought humankind from the Stone Age to the miracles of modern culture. This provocative book builds on two key differences between men and women in order to understand gender politics and manhood today. First, as shown in recent DNA evidence, today's human population is descended from twice as many women as men -- so men faced much longer odds in the age-old competition to reproduce, leading them to take more risks and strive for greatness more than women, whose evolutionary strategies required a different set of behaviors. Second, whereas women favor and excel at one-to-one intimate relationships, men build larger organizations, groups, and other social networks than women do, and culture grows from these networks. Men know they must earn respect by their works, and the need to prove one's manhood has been a tremendous force in history and culture. The male role calls for men to achieve and produce, to provide for others, and if necessary to sacrifice themselves for women and children. This book challenges the widely accepted view that gender politics began with men exploiting and oppressing women. Instead, Baumeister says, men and women have mostly been partners, and gender inequalities arose because wealth, knowledge, and power were created by men in the often rough and brutal competition that was the engine of progress and civliization. This thoughtful and engaging book offers a new vision of maleness that does not tell men that they should try to be more like women.

Author Biography

Roy F. Baumeister is the Eppes Eminent Professor of Psychology and head of the social psychology graduate program at Florida State University. The Institute for Scientific Information lists him among the handful of most cited (most influential) psychologists in the world. He is the co-editor, with John Baer and James Kaufman, of Are We Free? Psychology and Free Will and The Cultural Animal: Human Nature, Meaning, and Social Life.

Table of Contents

An Odd, Unseasonal Questionp. 3
Are Women Better than Men, or Vice Versa?p. 23
Can't or Won't? Where the Real Differences Are Foundp. 43
The Most Underappreciated Fact About Menp. 61
Are Women More Social?p. 81
How Culture Worksp. 109
Women, Men, and Culture: The Roots of Inequalityp. 133
Expendable Beings, Disposable Livesp. 159
Earning Manhood, and the Male Egop. 187
Exploiting Men Through Marriage and Sexp. 221
What Else, What Next?p. 249
Sources and Referencesp. 181
Indexp. 299
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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