The Love Life of a Fact

Publication year

Here's the abstract:

We usually expect the travel of scientific facts to proceed in the following manner:  the facts are generated and circulate within scientific communities, from which they are then disseminated to lay communities.  This essay traces a remarkable journey in which a lay community (romance writers) plays a significant role in generating facts, which are then rediscovered by a scientific community (evolutionary psychology).  We will look in depth at the creation and travel of facts about the hero some believe to be women's ideal mate: the alpha male.

I posted a discussion of this item at Teach Me Tonight when it first appeared and Heather Schell turned up to add to that conversation, which I much appreciated. I'd expressed some minor quibbles with it but mostly I wanted to share some evidence re the Mills & Boon "Alphaman" which predated the period on which Schell focuses but which supported her argument. Schell commented that she had been aware of all these things, it was just that she was trying to keep her discussion in the published volume within the word limit set by the editors.