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Chapter 13b

PSY BEH 11C Chapter Notes - Chapter 13b: Shelley E. Taylor, Sue Carter, How We Live

Psychology and Social Behavior
Course Code
Susan Charles

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NORTON READER pp.273-281
From The Tending Instinct: How Nurturing Is Essential to Who We Are and How We Live
Shelley Taylor
Female friendship
o Rewarding companionship
o Evolutionary heritage selection
Meets most insistent needs (food and safety) and most vital tasks (care of
children and sustenance of social group)
Early ties
o Hunter-and-gatherer societies
Early women were foragers
May have coordinated so that no isolate would be picked off by a
predator and so that conflict over food sources could be kept low
Some food sharing and child-care arrangements
o Women prepare food together to nourish themselves and others
Throughout life, women seek more close friends than men do
o Early childhood, girls develop more intimate friendships and create larger social
networks for themselves
o Groups of women share more secrets, disclose more details about their lives,
and express more empathy and affection for one another
Sit closer together and touch one another, confide their problems to one
another, seeking help and understanding
Inclination of women to bond together may be far older than we imagine because it is
evident in animals as well
o Psychologist Martha McClintock, who studies female reproductive hormones in
animals, noticed a curious phenomenon in her Norway rats
When too few individual cages necessitated housing the females
together in groups of about five, the rats lived 40% longer than when
they were housed alone
o Biologist Sue Carter, a pioneer in investigations of social affiliation in animals,
noticed a similar curiosity in prairie voles (the small rodent best known for its
tendency to form strong, life-long male-female pairs, as humans often do)
When conditions become stressful for the voles, males seek contact with
their mates. Under the same stressful conditions, however, female voles
tu ot to thei ates, ut to thei feale fieds othe feales ith
whom they have been previously housed)
o Primatologist Sally Mendoza and her colleagues at the Regional Primate Center
in Davis, California, conducted an experimental study
Took the female squirrel monkeys out of their familiar cages and placed
them in an unfamiliar environment, a move that usually distresses
monkeys and leaves them agitated
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