Chapter 9 chronicles the ways in which our contemporary culture has become detached from core human instincts and the primacy of nature's intimate pair bond. Sex is up, romance is down. Modern society is becoming a "use and discard" marketplace of crude sexual barter. In the process, masculinity is becoming a pathology, and femininity a burden. In the 21st century economic order of fierce competition, rapid downsizing and industry-wide outsourcing, winners flourish and losers scramble. Today's man is either a peacock or a pigeon.

Meanwhile, women are sandwiched in the middle, bombarded from all sides and left to fend for themselves. Many are torn between trying to build a supposedly glamorous career and pursuing the natural if denigrated prospect of motherhood. Yet while women now grapple with the chores of masculinity, men grow increasingly indifferent and disenfranchised. Many men tune out on their manhood, extend their adolescence deep into adulthood, become irresponsible and perhaps irretrievable. Repressing their longing for love and intimacy, too many men seek quick payoffs in relationships of pillage and pleasure—and flee the consequences. As women more and more do the same, modern relationships are descending into a battlefield of wounded souls. The perverse result is that women are often overwhelmed and men are not sufficiently challenged. Win-win between the sexes has turned into lose-lose.