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Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes?
Date of Review: 
Publishers Weekly

[starred review] Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes? Bodies, Behavior, and Brains—the Science Behind Sex, Love, and Attraction
Jena Pincott. Delacorte, $20 (384p) ISBN 978-0-385-34215-5

In these playfully written scientific anecdotes, Pincott (Success) argues that desire is strongly rooted in evolutionary biases and consults a variety of studies—some familiar, others cutting-edge—to reveal the extent to which hormones dictate human behavior. Even idle ogling is a serious endeavor: humans constantly rate each other for levels of attractiveness, a signifier of male and female hormones. When women are ovulating, estrogen rebuilds the female face, making lips fuller and skin smoother; Pincott cites studies showing that strippers earned twice as much during the fertile phase of their cycles as when they had their periods, while those taking birth control earned significantly less money throughout. The book also has the scoop about whether penis size matters (it does), how the post-orgasm rush of oxytocin promotes bonding and why women are tempted to cheat during certain times of the month. It ends with a look at the neuroscience of love, which despite all the jostling and jousting of dating and mating, appears to be very much alive when measured by MRI studies of passionate couples. (Oct.)