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Название: Why Sex Matters: A Darwinian Look at Human Behavior
Автор: Low B. S.
University of Michigan professor Low uses an evolutionary approach to understand and explain many common human actions. The central question she poses is, "How do environmental conditions influence our behavior and our lifetimes?" While many might balk at reducing much of human interaction merely to a desire to reproduce and provide for our offspring, Low argues persuasively that similar analyses of other species work remarkably well, and she provides a wealth of supporting data from studies of cultures ranging from indigenous populations in Africa to 19th-century Sweden. She concludes that men and women, because of the difference in the numbers of sperm and eggs produced, are evolutionarily designed to have disparate ambitions: males seek many mating opportunities, and females concentrate on acquiring the resources to ensure the survival of their young. Low notes that many social problemsAwarfare and environmental degradation among themAare the results of the power, perhaps misdirected, of the reproductive drives of both men and women (she links war to male aggression and environmental problems to the female drive to acquire resources for the raising of children). Having deduced that "we have created these problems by doing what we have evolved to do," she admits that she has no advice about "what to do next." Her findings are not new. Indeed, her biological explanation of what many people now view as socially constructed gender roles is bound to earn her vociferous critics. But her cross-cultural data set makes her conclusions hard to ignore. (Dec.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. — This text refers to the Hardcover edition.