Darwin dating

Of course, no fossilized record can really tell us how people behaved or thought back then, much less they behaved or thought as they did.

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Those results seemed definitive — until a few years ago, when Terri D.

Conley, a psychologist at the University of Michigan, set out to re-examine what she calls “one of the largest documented sexuality gender differences,” that men have a greater interest in casual sex than women. Conley found the methodology of the 1989 paper to be less than ideal. If you ask people what they would do in a specific situation, that’s a far more accurate way of getting responses.” In her study, when men and women considered offers of casual sex from famous people, or offers from close friends whom they were told were good in bed, the gender differences in acceptance of casual-sex proposals evaporated nearly to zero.

In “The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex,” Charles Darwin gathered evidence for the notion that, through competition for mates and sustenance, natural selection had encouraged man’s “more inventive genius” while nurturing woman’s “greater tenderness.” In this way, he suggested that the gender differences he saw around him — men sought power and made money; women stayed at home — weren’t simply the way things were in Victorian England. A century later, a new batch of scientists began applying Darwinian doctrine to the conduct of mating, and specifically to three assumptions that endure to this day: men are less selective about whom they’ll sleep with; men like casual sex more than women; and men have more sexual partners over a lifetime. Trivers, a graduate student at Harvard, addressed that first assumption in one of evolutionary psychology’s landmark studies, “Parental Investment and Sexual Selection.” He argued that women are more selective about whom they mate with because they’re biologically obliged to invest more in offspring.

Given the relative paucity of ova and plenitude of sperm, as well as the unequal feeding duties that fall to women, men invest less in children.

BUT if evolution didn’t determine human behavior, what did?

The most common explanation is the effect of cultural norms.“No one really comes up to you in the middle of the quad and asks, ‘Will you have sex with me? IN light of this new research, will Darwinians consider revising their theories to reflect the possibility that our mating behavior is less hard-wired than they had believed? In an article responding to the new studies last year, Mr.Schmitt, a leading voice among hard-line Darwinians, ceded no ground. Conley’s finding that women were more likely to agree to casual sex with a celebrity, Mr.That, for instance, society tends to view promiscuous men as normal and promiscuous women as troubled outliers, or that our “social script” requires men to approach women while the pickier women do the selecting.Over the past decade, sociocultural explanations have gained steam. Everyone has always assumed — and early research had shown — that women desired fewer sexual partners over a lifetime than men.Therefore, men should be expected to be less discriminating and more aggressive in competing for females.

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