the moral animal by r wright

Men.  You think you know.  And you’re usually right.  Women? You think you know but you have no idea.  Is monogamy natural for men?  What are the biological roots of self-deception?  Why do we make friends and how is trust formed?  Robert Wright’s The Moral Animal – Why We Are The Way We Are, one of New York Times best books of the year in 1994,  evaluates the new science of evolutionary psychology by answering these questions.

I had minored in behavioral anthropology back in college and reading this book was a tiny bit nostalgic.  It may or may not affect what you already know… as an adult we already hold a lot of assumptions and speculations to come to our own general conclusions.  But Wright writes with such fierce intelligence and discusses the most profound issues of human nature.  It’s true, vacations are for relaxing and putting a pause in any serious brain activity.  But The Moral Animal is like going on an adventure to better understand who we are.  Wright heavily draws attention to Darwin’s Origin of Species and integrates a modern day spin of evolutionary perspectives.

Take courtship, for instance.  Why do we date? Wright says that’s pretty simple: the male really wants sex; the female isn’t so sure.  She may want time to (unconsciously) assess the quality of his genes – this is interesting – whether by inspecting him or by letting him battle with other males for her favor.  I must admit, some women take this to another level where they can be labeled as high-maintenance or a pain-in-the-arse or a drama queen.  But as women, we have so many things to consider and worry about.  We are constantly worrying.  So it does make sense that the journey to find our mate takes a lot of time.  It doesn’t just happen overnight.   There are a lot of men who are picky, too.  I think this book, though, made me realize that men being picky doesn’t come as relevant.  Because… picky men lack – as I label it – the confidence that makes them complete.  But that’s another story, for another time…

And please be moral and not violate any copyrights to this entry or the blog.

dee’s recommendation: 4/5