Love and Sex: Simple Answers to Complex Questions

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Originally published in Contemporary Psychology: APA Review of Books, 1979, Vol 24(1), 58–59. Reviews the books, Sexual Attraction by Mark Cook and Robert McHenr (1978) and A New Look at Love: A Revealing Report on the Most Elusive of All Emotions by Elaine Walster and G. William Walster (1978). Both of these books emphasize the importance of physical attraction and aspirations for the exceptional. The second book's text is liberally broken up with headings, cartoons, and lively quotes from literary sources and from ordinary people. It simplifies the field quite a bit, more than the former book. It is much more focused on scholarly literature, gives more detail to many of the cited studies, and cites a much wider array of studies. Both books do a bad job of representing the cross-cultural literature, but both represent well the mainstream of experimental social psychological research on attraction. The first book has more of the iffiness and critical overview that enable the reader to get a sense of the high level of doubt for which professionals in the field strive. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved)

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