Why Sex Matters : A Darwinian Look at Human Behavior

Why is homicide largely a male enterprise? Why are men and women jealous about different things? Why did family sizes fall in nineteenth-century Europe and North America (the “demographic transition”)?

Why is today’s demographic transition in the developing world so different? What is the impact of the “global village”—the evolutionary novelty that our actions here and now affect others’ lives far away?

What can we do about the fact that many of today’s problems have relatively straightforward technical solutions— which will work only if we can see the interests of strangers in strange lands as equal to our own, something it never paid our ancestors to do?


Bobbi S. Low: Why Sex Matters

1. Introduction

  • Vampire Stories and Beyond
  • Explaining Behavior without Folklore
  • Kinds of “Why” Questions
  • Simple Rules, Complex Outcomes
  • Humans as Critters

2. Racing the Red Queen: Selfish Genes and Their Strategies

  • Whose Genes Count, and Why? Kin Selection
  • Summing Up the Basics: Assumptions and Objections
  • Novel Evolutionary Environments: Can the Principles Still Hold?
  • More than Ants or Peacocks: Lifetimes, Culture, Ecology, and Variation

3. The Ecology of Sex Differences

  • Sex and Strategies
  • The Ecology of Being Male and Female
  • Mating Effort
  • Parental Effort
  • Variance in Reproductive Success: Mating versus Parental Strategists

4. Sex, Status, and Reproduction among the Apes

  • The Ecology of Dominance and RS in Primates
  • Ecological Aspects of Mating Systems
  • Sex, Resources, and the Ecology of Human Reproduction
  • The Ecology of Human Mating Systems
  • The Ecology of Monogamy and Polyandry

5. Sex, Resources, Appearance, and Mate Choice

  • What Men and Women Want
  • Beauty, Resources, and Mate Choice
  • Signals of Desirability and Their Manipulation
  • Who Can Choose?

6. Sex, Resources, and Human Lifetimes

  • Starting Out: Resource Striving in the Womb
  • What’s a Mother to Do? Optimizing Maternal Effort among Offspring
  • Conflicts of Interest: Abortion, Infanticide, Abandonment, Neglect
  • Sex Differences in Reproductive Lifetimes Sex Differences in Senescence

7. Sex and Resource Ecology in Traditional and Historical Cultures

  • Sexual Divisions of Labor
  • Sex and Control of Resources
  • Men, Women, and Resources in Traditional and Historical Cultures

8. Sex, Resources, and Fertility in Transition

  • Nineteenth-Century Sweden
  • Sex, Resources, and Life Histories
  • Female Life Paths
  • Male Life Paths
  • Sex, Resources, and Fertility
    Fertility Transitions: What, If Anything, Do They Mean?

9. Nice Guys Can Win — In Social Species, Anyway

  • Are We Lemmings? A Cautionary Tale
  • When and Why Do We Cooperate?
  • Simple Strategies in Winning Games
  • From Family to Dyads to Groups to Cultures
  • The Group Selection Muddle
  • Altruists or Good Neighbors?
  • Cooperation and Free-Riders

10. Conflicts, Culture, and Natural Selection

  • Cooperation, Competition, and Groups
  • Working Out Our Conflicts: Moral Systems and Group Life
  • Intertwining Cultural and Natural Selection
  • Logically Inept, Socially Adept: The Social Contexts of Intelligence

11. Sex and Complex Coalitions

  • Coalitions, Resources, and Reproduction
  • Sex and Human Coalitions

12. Politics and Reproductive Competition

  • Men, Women, and Politics Cross-Culturally
  • Women in Politics: When Did It Pay?

13. Sex, Resources, and Early Warfare

  • Resources and Conflict
  • Why Women Warriors Are Rare
  • War: Runaway Sexual Selection?
  • Other Biological Approaches to Understanding War
  • Intergroup Conflict in Other Species
  • Conflict in Preindustrial Societies

14. Societal Complexity and the Ecology of War

  • Greek Hoplites: Early “Western” Warriors?
  • The Ecology of Renaissance War
  • The Behavioral Ecology of Modem War
  • Disadvantaged Men in War
  • War and Reproductive Success Today
  • Proximate and Ultimate Causes of War: Evolutionary Novelty

15. Wealth, Fertility, and the Environment in Future Tense

  • Fertility, Consumption, and Sustainability: Weaving the Strands
  • Wealth, Fertility, and Consumption Today: Empirical Data
  • Wealth, Women’s Age-Specific Fertility, and Women’s Life Paths Today
  • An Evolutionary Perspective: Reducing Both Fertility and Consumption Is Novel
  • What’s Missing in Current Strategies?
  • Can New Strategies and Tactics Help?
  • An Evolutionary Bottom Line

Language: English
Format: PDF online
Pages: 431
Size: 4 mb