Saturday, October 24, 2015

Sexual Politics Ia: Evolutionary Psychology

Feminists hate the patriarchy and blame men. Fair enough, but even fairer, if less satisfying, would be blaming evolution. In most of our close evolutionary relatives, care for infants is almost exclusively a female task. It's a precarious business, and their limited ecospace has now almost disappeared. Humans haven't been like that.

For a male, the evolutionary bargain involved in supporting one's children depends on them actually being one's children and not somebody else's, a problem that doesn't arise for females. Solving that problem apparently required domination of the female and leashing her sexuality.

Of course the world today is not the world in which our instincts and behaviors evolved, but those instincts and behaviors remain powerful, which is why the great cultural struggle in the world today is less about religion than it is about educating and otherwise empowering women.