We use the evolutionary perspective developed earlier in the book to more fully assess modern masculinity and contemporary life—from sex and romance to today's complicated family relationships. Our evolutionary lens is focused on urban living and the advanced technologies that distinguish our era. We take up the individualism of our modern digital age, the failing matrimonial bargain, the erosion of the extended family, and the gradual decline of organized religion and other community supports.

Returning to the central themes of sexual specialization and the enduring legacy of the sexual pair bond, the chapter concludes with a summing up of the primal desires that continue to propel our contemporary quest for intimate partnership. Using a broad range of indices from Census Bureau statistics, Congressional reports and academic studies, the chapter hones in on the shifting social landscape, the transition from family and clan toward the cult of the individual and its attendant culture of selfishness. Society's most basic unit, the pair bond and the family we build around it, are in declining health and under unprecedented strain. Forsaking community, we appear condemned to peddle the brand called "me."