WGS160Y1 Lecture Notes - Heteronormativity, Heterosexuality, Sarah Blaffer Hrdy

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Published on 19 Jun 2012
School
UTSG
Department
Women and Gender Studies
Course
WGS160Y1
Professor
WGS - Lec. 5
-Wilson believes only two sexes, males active in reproduction females are passive, resulting from
different investment between being a sperm producer or ova producer
-those that have Ova are more invested in offspring because females only have few eggs, while men
have plentiful sperm. Therefore women are more cautious when picking a partner due to limited eggs,
while men do no need to be cautious. This also causes difference in male/female behaviour
- underlying assumption everyone interested in genetic immortality
-David Buss cites two theoretical backgrounds for evolution of mate preferences
o Parental investment and sexual selection
o Mate preferences as evolved psychological mechanisms
- parental investment not enough to simply have a fertilized egg, it needs to be born, live and
reproduce itself. If we don’t succeed we are seen as “dead-ends”
- heteo-sexuality seen as norm in this view, only important relationship
- Must assign reproductive value to all potential mates
I. Human Evolutionary/ socio-biology
a. Central Principle
b. Specific application to humans (Darwin, Wilson)
II. 7 Conceptual methods in sexual selection theory:
1) Naturalism notion pass easily from insect behaviour to mammalian behaviour to
human behaviour and so on. Human sexuality is on a natural continuum as with insects
and birds and reptiles.
-polarized child-rearing and involvement is natural, but also natural to predict greater
violence and abuse towards step-children
-only invested in our biological children because they carry our genes
-non-patriarchal view justify female promiscuity, if a female sleeps around with men,
any of these men may believe a resulting child is there and be invested in supporting
child. Gives women more resources. This also happens in nature.
-Appearance and beauty is a sign of fertile women, but unfertile women not useful
-In Wilson’s book he says, “It may not be too much to say that sociology, and the
humanities are the last branches of biology.
- used to understand aggression/violence in males, passivity/nurturance in females as
solely reproductive strategies that are hard-wired into us either as genes or
reproductive systems and so on. No other explanation for it, such as political or social
factors
2) Reductionism
3) ‘non-biological’ context-stripping animals studied are held in captivity or brought up in
labs, so not ordinary species, and takes out context of habitat
-therefore, not a whole lot known about natural species
-only reason we engage in sexual intercourse is for reproductive structures/strategies
4) Determinism fundamentally driven as human beings to express reproductive biological
necessity
5) Sex-dichotomous hetero-isomorphism language of males/females, this tries to
normalize heterosexuality
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Document Summary

Wilson believes only two sexes, males active in reproduction females are passive, resulting from different investment between being a sperm producer or ova producer. Those that have ova are more invested in offspring because females only have few eggs, while men have plentiful sperm. Therefore women are more cautious when picking a partner due to limited eggs, while men do no need to be cautious. Underlying assumption everyone interested in genetic immortality. David buss cites two theoretical backgrounds for evolution of mate preferences: parental investment and sexual selection, mate preferences as evolved psychological mechanisms. Parental investment not enough to simply have a fertilized egg, it needs to be born, live and reproduce itself. If we don"t succeed we are seen as dead-ends . Heteo-sexuality seen as norm in this view, only important relationship. Must assign reproductive value to all potential mates. Human evolutionary/ socio-biology: central principle, specific application to humans (darwin, wilson)

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