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Identify several criticisms of evolutionary explanations of gender differences in sexuality

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A few years ago, I was giving an invited presentation to an audience of mostly sociologists and family studies professors on the topic of evolution and human reproductive strategies. I kid you not, I could see rows of people who Identify several criticisms of evolutionary explanations of gender differences in sexuality genuinely horrified.

It seems to me many critics of evolutionary psychology cling steadfastly to false stereotypes of the field, both theoretical and empirical. Add to that the methodological breadth of different techniques used by evolutionary scholars to test hypotheses about the adaptive design of the human mind, and it is understandably difficult to know what all evolutionary researchers have been, and currently are, up to as active Darwinian scientists.

Perhaps more than other social scientists, evolutionary psychologists use an incredible variety of research methods, ranging from self-report surveys and behavioral field test experiments, to investigations involving genetics, hormones, and neuroscience, to cross-species and cross-cultural comparisons, to ethnographies of foraging societies and computer modeling of artificial intelligences [2] [3] [4].

Now, in science extreme skepticism is generally a good thing. Sometimes, though, this attitude is more than healthy skepticism about a particular empirical finding and is, instead, clearly an attitude of irrefutable empirical nihilism toward evolutionary psychology studies in particular.

Looking across the animal kingdom, one cannot help but notice that members of most species tend to mate non-randomly. Whether it is peahens preferring peacocks with more elaborate trains [5] or female common chimpanzees preferring males who possess higher social dominance [6]males and females of most species display adaptive forms of preferential mate choice. Evolutionary psychologists were among the first to propose similar sex differences might exist in human mate preferences. One way to evaluate whether women possess long-term mate preferences for cues to status-related traits is to directly ask people whether they prefer those attributes in long-term mates via methods such as self-report surveysand then compare the intensity of responses of women and men.

Negative d values typically indicate women score more highly on a particular preference, whereas positive values indicate men score more highly. Obviously, these findings are not definitive proof that men and women differ in the evolved design of long-term mate preferences. The findings are merely tests of evolutionary-guided hypotheses, and the tests were supportive of specially-designed sex differences existing in human mate preferences. Still, some critics challenge these results, arguing yes, Identify several criticisms of evolutionary explanations of gender differences in sexuality. One cannot trust the results of just one study.

Evolutionary psychologists need to conduct many more studies before I am convinced these effects are legitimate, let alone evidence of evolved psychology.

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