Media Advisory: Challenging Casanova

In his new book, “Challenging Casanova:  Beyond the Stereotype of the Promiscuous Young Male,” Wake Forest University psychology professor Andrew Smiler challenges the idea that young men only want sex and don’t care about relationships.

He provides the research to counteract the image reinforced in movies like “American Pie” and “Superbad,” in TV shows like “How I Met Your Mother” and in the news with sex scandals involving political leaders and well-known sports and entertainment figures.

“It seems guys who sleep around are expected to act that way,” Smiler says.  “Even though the research shows a majority of young men do not, these cultural expectations can create a self-fulfilling prophecy.”

To combat what he calls, “The Casanova Complex,” Smiler argues that the perception of boys and young men needs to shift and parents and teachers can play an important role.

Smiler can talk about:

  • How parents can talk with their children about dating, relationships and sex
  • Why having those conversations is important
  • How misperceptions negatively affect girls’ behavior
  • How we have come to believe The Casanova Complex describes all boys and men
  • The latest research on boys and men and how the data provides ways to challenge the Casanova image

A visiting professor at Wake Forest, Smiler has been featured in The New York Times and USA Today for his groundbreaking research in teenage and adult sexual behavior and ideas about masculinity. For several years, he was a family therapist.

He is available for interviews, including morning shows.


About Wake Forest University
Wake Forest University combines the best traditions of a small liberal arts college with the resources of a large research university. Founded in 1834, the school is located in Winston-Salem, N.C. The University’s graduate school of arts and sciences, divinity school, and nationally ranked schools of law, medicine and business enrich our intellectual environment. Learn more about Wake Forest University at

Categories: Media Advisory