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Author of the week: Faye Flam

In her new book, The Score, science writer Faye Flam focuses on the male sex drive.

Science writer Faye Flam has learned to pity the sex lives of men, said Tracy Clark-Flory in Salon.com. Sure, the male of the species suffers none of the pains of childbirth and does less childcare. But women control access to the gene pool, and any creature that would drain a dozen beer bongs to impress a potential mate has too much riding on sex. Men, Flam says, “are more likely to get completely frozen out of reproduction” so they “chase after sex” more fanatically and feel “more evolutionary pressure than women to stand out from the crowd.” That difference, she says, explains why women exhibit a “little more common sense” when it comes to drinking, driving, weapons use, and other high-risk activities.

The Score, Flam’s new book on the male sex drive, stresses that men didn’t have things easier in earlier times. Because prehistoric women really weren’t dependent on men for survival, she says, female pickiness probably has a long history. “The idea that somehow in the old days the men’s hunting was so terribly important is a myth.” Even so, men probably shouldn’t curse their fate. In the animal world, Flam says, species capable of choosing their sex show a preference for the male role, apparently because they want to avoid future parenting responsibilities. “Everybody wants to do less work,” she says. “It’s a universal laziness.”

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