THEY LOVE AND KILL: Sex, Sympathy and Aggression in Courtship and Mating by Vitus B. DrÖscher

THEY LOVE AND KILL: Sex, Sympathy and Aggression in Courtship and Mating

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Read this book for its lore, not its law. Read it if you have a blotting paper mind that absorbs minutiae like the fact that Amazon mollies produce only female offspring, female phalaropes are superaggressive, gnus are beastly to each other, male fireflies signal females by species-specific patterns of light. The point of all these fiendishly detailed observations of birds, bees und so welter, is that we humans must have a lot in common with those others. What? For starters, DrÖscher says, ""An instinctual law decrees that opposites attract."" ""A human being is born with a strong or weak will."" ""Identical behavior implies the operation of identical laws."" ""Charm evolved out of aggressive, threatening behavior."" ""The psychology of hatred is the same among animals and human beings."" ""Human women are more aggressive than female sea lions."" Then there's a lot of dogma about instinct, emotions, reflexes, intellect, and more observations about courtship, mating behavior, territoriality, aggression. This builds to a climax that sexuality isn't what keeps people together, but the Social Bonding Instinct is, and let's not confuse the two! But by this time, having suffered rape among frogs, harems among turkeys, and divorce among kittiwakes, you may feel you want to retreat, like St. Simeon Stylites, alone, at the top of a 60-foot pole, away from the traffic of mankind in general and animal behaviorists in particular.

Pub Date: Oct. 28th, 1976
Publisher: Dutton