The Truth About Cinderella: A Darwinian View of Parental Love
by Martin Daly and Margo Wilson
Yale Univ Press, 1999
A child is one hundred times more likely to be abused or killed by a stepparent than by a genetic parent, say two scientists in this startling book. Martin Daly and Margo Wilson show that the mistreatment of stepchildren, long a staple of folk tales, has a solid basis in fact; Daly and Wilson apply the perspective of evolutionary psychology to investigate why stepparenthood is different from genetic parenthood and why steprelationships succeed or fail.
“An important book. … The implications are profound.”—Brenda Maddox, Daily Mail
“A short but fascinating book … [that] suggests that cruel step-parents are far from a myth. They are the uncomfortable, but literal, truth.”—Nigel Hawkes, The Times (London)
“The most shocking book of the [Darwinism Today] series. … Psychologists Martin Daly and Margo Wilson make a powerful argument that one of folklore’s stock characters, the abusive stepparent, has considerable basis in fact. … A logical, if brutal, evolutionary analysis.”—Publishers Weekly
“Daly and Wilson argue that step-parents lack a genetic interest in their stepchildren. … This is an illuminating illustration of the problems of evolutionary psychology.”—-R. Brian Ferguson, Natural History