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Lecture

Lecture 5

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Department
Psychology
Course
PSYCH 3F03
Professor
Paul W Andrews
Semester
Winter

Description
Lecture 5 Notes ­ Unusual Human Traits ­ Evolutionary psychology tries to explain these specific traits ­  Example 1: human brain size ­ Graph: cranial capacity vs millions of years (Ma) ­ Latest data suggests that neandrethals have a larger cranial size than modern  humans ­ Graph 2: brain mass vs body mass for the average mammal ­ Body mass increases with brain mass ­ Data points represent various primates & hominoid species ­ Humans fall way above the average primate ­ Evidence suggests that human beings have been under a selection pressure for a  large brain Bipedalism ­ Differentiates us from many mammals ­ Chimpanzees are capable of walking upright, but they don’t as much ­ Birth canal – is narrowed // bipedalism  ­ Women seek assistance when giving birth in every culture in which the issue has  been studied ­ In other primates, birth is easy ­ The fetus has to twist to leave the birth canal ­ For this, the skull has to be not completely formed, and slightly flexible ­ Normally, the fetus’ head will be facing back ­ The spine is towards the front of the mother (stomach) ­ If she were to pull out the baby herself, it would be against the spine of the baby ­ Therefore, it turns out – from old societies – women always needed help ­ Only after repeated births, there is an ‘ideal’ to give birth on their own (hunter­ gatherer societies) Estrus, Concealed ovulation, and extended sexuality ­ Females are sexually receptive only around the time of ovulation ­ Estrus = time of ovulation ­ Females have displays around their ovulatory status ­ Females don’t seem to have sexual swellings in humans 2 facts suggest lack of estrus ­ lack of sexual swelling ­ Have continuous menstrual cycle, no displays of ovulatory status o Therefore, they have “concealed ovulation” BUT o Turns out, that men can determine womans ovulat
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