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Lec. 5.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Women and Gender Studies

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
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