Friday, December 5, 2008

Why Sex Matters: A Darwinian Look at Human Behavior - Bobbi S. Low

Sex differences, Low says, are central to our lives. Are they genetically programmed or the result of social traditions? "New research ... supports the perhaps unsettling view that men and women have indeed evolved to behave differently." The differences arise from "the fundamental principle of evolutionary biology, that all living organisms have evolved to seek and use resources to enhance their reproductive success." Low, a professor of resource ecology at the University of Michigan, develops her argument through examinations of genetics, primate societies, and human behavior past and present. Then she asks a haunting question. Have we, simply by doing well what we have evolved to do, "changed the rules so that now it may even be detrimental to 'strive' to our utmost abilities?" It seems likely, she says, "that we will face new problems as growing, and increasingly consumptive, human populations interact with environmental ... stability." Scientific American

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