Navigation Links
Darwin was right
Date:4/13/2010

COLUMBIA, Mo. In 1871, Charles Darwin sparked debate that continues today when he proposed that human sex differences evolved based on sexual selection. Sexual selection is Darwin's theory that certain physical, mental or psychological traits evolved because they aid in competition among individuals for access to preferred mates or because they are enhancements of traits that help to attract mates. Now, in a much expanded update of his book, Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences, a University of Missouri researcher has compiled research that shows how Darwin's sexual selection is the best explanation of the differences between women and men including from infancy, relationships with friends, mate choices, to brain and cognition. The MU researcher also explains how the expression of these differences can vary across cultures and historical periods.

"Choosing a mate is one of the most important decisions made in one's lifetime and one of Darwin's core components of sexual selection," said David Geary, author and Curators' professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences in the MU College of Arts and Science. "Sex and reproduction complicate our lives in many ways, the most fundamental of which involve the demands of finding a mate. These choices are important because they echo through subsequent generations. The social dynamics that emerge as a result of sexual reproduction usually involve competition with members of the same sex for access to mates or control of the resources that will attract mates."

In his book, Geary documents how sex differences found in humans and many other species can be explained by Darwin's sexual selection. One of these sex differences is the level of parental involvement by males. Male parenting is found in less than 5 percent of mammal species. Because the males in many species do not provide any parental investment, females in many species do not compete for mates. In humans, however, men have a significant role in parenting, compelling women to compete for mates.

"The more men have to offer, the more valuable they become to women as a reproductive resource," Geary said. "For this reason, men in all cultures are highly motivated to attain social status and control of culturally significant resources. The resources can vary from land to herds of cattle to large paychecks. Male-male competition is about making themselves attractive to women but the competition also can lead men to compete in lethal ways to gain control of social resources."

Female competition may include how they dress or adorn themselves in ways that enhance their traits that men find attractive. Women may degrade these same traits in potential competitors and manipulate social information and relationships to drive competitors away from potential romantic partners. Male-male competition may explain factors, such as greater male mortality, risk-taking and rough-and-tumble play. Female-female competition may account for greater female emotional sensitivity and greater language proficiency, Geary said.

In 1998, Geary wrote the first edition of Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences, which compiled the research to that point on sex differences and synthesized it based on Darwin's theory.

"Since then, research on human sex differences has exploded with the emergences of new technologies, such as brain imaging techniques that allow us to understand men and women and boys and girls in ways that Darwin could have only dreamed of," Geary said.

As a result of this new research, Geary's second edition of Male, Female, includes references to nearly 2,500 studies across biology, psychology, anthropology, genetics and neuroscience.

Geary integrates sexual selection with what is known about the evolution of lifespan, primate behavior, the evolution of fatherhood, and the evolution and development of the human mind, sex differences in human infancy, human social development, folk psychology, folk biology and folk physics.

The second edition of Geary's book, Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences, was published in 2010 by the American Psychological Association.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kelsey Jackson
JacksonKN@missouri.edu
573-882-8353
University of Missouri-Columbia
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. New Theory Emerges on Darwins Illness
2. Upstairs Solutions Teams with PointRight to Launch Industry's First Five-Star Quality Rating System Online Training for Long Term Care Facilities
3. Rugged High Bright Touch Screen Computer Designed and Tested for the Most Extreme Environments
4. LifeGuardian Technologies Supports Patients Right to Choose In-Home Care
5. Humans Tree-Dwelling Ancestors May Have Also Walked Upright
6. SAFC Hitech(R) Well Positioned for High-Brightness LED Manufacturing Boom With TMG Expansion at Bromborough UK Plant
7. Bright Horizons Honored as Company that Cares for Third Straight Year
8. Idaho Passes Bill to Put Conscience Between Patients & End of Life Rights
9. Little City Foundation Battles for Rights of Individuals with Disabilities in Springfield and Meets with Legislators Day Before Governors Budget Address
10. Best Selling, Non Toxic Skin Brightener Does the Job Using Safe, Healthy Ingredients and Introduces New Anti Aging Ingredients
11. 3-D cell culture: Making cells feel right at home
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... There are many ways to cook a hot dog, but ... Americans prefer their dogs straight off the grill. Of the 90 percent of Americans ... to cook a hot dog, far outpacing other cooking methods such as steaming (12 ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... Oakland, California (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 ... ... liabilities associated with discovery of thousands of defective respirators, according to court documents ... in the case of William and Becky Tyler v. American Optical Corporation, Case ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... ... May 26, 2016 , ... Georgia State University ... specialty academic programs. , Answering to the increasing demand for curricular specializations, the ... law, and environmental and land use law. ,  , “The demand for lawyers ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... the men and women who lost their lives in military battle for the country. ... discount cards in 2015 to provide more programs that empower independence for disabled military ...
(Date:5/26/2016)... , ... May 26, 2016 , ... ... that has a significant negative impact on long-term patient survival, reports a team ... results, published online this week in the Journal of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... FDA 510(k) clearance covers ... for urological and surgical applications Mauna ... Cellvizio®, the multidisciplinary confocal laser endomicroscopy (CLE) platform, ... US with the 12 th 510(k) clearance ... This new FDA clearance covers Confocal Miniprobes indicated ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... IRVINE, Calif. , May 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... of testing for their new reference materials that ... workflows from sample collection to analyses. The rapid ... the demand for researchers to have standard methods ... data being generated. Biases inherently exist at every ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... CHESTERFIELD, Va. , May 25, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... next-generation sequencing test for wounds and infections. This ... ALL parasites, and select viruses. The test requires ... area. David G. Bostwick ... molecular testing to facilitate wound healing: "We are ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: