Almost years after Charles Darwin first proposed a little-known prediction from his theory of sexual selection, researchers have found that male moths with larger antennae are better at detecting female signals. In , Charles Darwin suggested that a female's choice of mate could drive the evolution of mating signals in males. His idea stems from his observations of the iconic courtship displays of peacocks, the songs of crickets and his contemporary insights into the whimsical nature of human females. The male is effectively advertising his qualities and if a female chooses to mate with him, the genes for his traits are passed on to their offspring in the next generation, ensuring the evolution of the male display and the female's preference. The theory of sexual selection has dominated research into animal behaviour for decades, and Darwin's theory of sexual selection is well supported by thousands of studies, says evolutionary biologist Professor Mark Elgar, from the University of Melbourne's School of Biosciences. So males with sensory structures that can better detect female signals may have the edge in finding them in order to mate and pass on their genes.
Darwin Was Sexist, and So Are Many Modern Scientists
Men, Women, Sex, and Darwin by Taylor Lemieux on Prezi Next
This is a time, part of me thinks, for men to listen to women rather than pontificating about sexism. But I just talked about sexism in science with my friend Robert Wright on Meaningoflife. And I feel obliged to say something about this issue because I teach at an engineering school where females account for less than 30 percent of the professors and students. Below are points I made or wanted to make during my conversation with Wright. Is science sexist? Of course it is, in two ways. First, women in science including engineering, math, medicine face discrimination, harassment and other forms of maltreatment from men.
Natalie Angier plays the gender card in order to portray evolutionary psychology as a sexist science. She selectively quotes male defenders and female critics, ignoring the many women who shaped the field Feb. She fabricates a preposterous claim -- that women want a man who can ''maybe dominate them just a little'' -- to inflame her readers, but the claim contradicts the central tenet of evolutionary psychology, that women's and men's emotions serve their partly competing interests. Angier garbles the claim that women's sexual desire is different from men's into the claim that it is puny, warps my explanation of Clinton's behavior into an ''apologia'' and repeatedly takes credit for arguments that her targets have been making for decades.
Life is short but jingles are forever. Lately the pith of that jingle has found new fodder and new fans, through the explosive growth of a field known as evolutionary psychology. Evolutionary psychology professes to have discovered the fundamental modules of human nature, most notably the essential nature of man and of woman. It makes sense to be curious about the evolutionary roots of human behavior.