Any book that claims rigor but approvingly cites Michel Foucault undermines its claim to rigorousness. While the subject of The Monogamy Gap is interesting, the book draws on 120 interviews of university men. That’s all. Its conclusions might be mildly useful for understanding that particular group but its claims shouldn’t be applied beyond that tiny group. There are many useful things to be said about monogamy, but most of them have been and are being said by evolutionary biologists, psychologists, novelists, and memoirists (“memoir writers?”), and to a lesser extent economists.
What Camille Paglia said in “Scholars in Bondage” also applies to The Monogamy Gap.
120 interviews is a little short for making generalised claims, sure, but why the unreserved attack on Foucault? Why is his work an automatic black mark in the credibility stakes?
but why the unreserved attack on Foucault?
Because he doesn’t know what he’s talking about—see chapter four of The Killing of History—because he’s a bad writer in general, and because of the reasons Paglia lists in Junk Bonds and Corporate Raiders: Academe in the Hour of the Wolf.
How Foucault came to prominence among U.S. academics remains bizarre to me, especially with something like History of Sexuality, Vol. 1, a book rich in claims and barren of citations. Or elegance.