Evolutionary Sex Differences

According to evolutionary psychology, sex differences originate in dispositions that evolve as a result of natural and sexual selection. Evolutionary theory is a theory of origin in which distal causes—based on conditions in the past—are examined. In this entry, characteristics such as mating preferences, visual-spatial ability, aggression, and emotion are discussed from an evolutionary perspective. The entry concludes with a brief discussion of some of the criticisms of evolutionary explanations of psychological sex differences and alternative theories in which proximal causes are taken into account.

Natural and Sexual Selection

In evolutionary theory, the origin of human sex differences is found in the solutions to problems successfully employed by our primitive ancestors. Males and females are genetically predisposed to behave differently because throughout the centuries, these differential ...

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