Alan S. Miller and Satoshi Kanazawa are evolutionary psychologists. They have written an article for Psychology Today that goes a long way toward explaining why this discipline is in such bad shape [Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature]. Miller is a professor of social psychology in the Department of Behavioral Science at Hokkaido University, Japan. Kanazawa is a Reader in Management and Research Methodology at the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Did you know that all men prefer women with large breasts? I didn't. If true there must be a lot of very frustrated men in Asia and a lot of small-breasted spinsters wandering around somewhere. Anyway, Miller and Kanazawa have figured out why
Until very recently, it was a mystery to evolutionary psychology why men prefer women with large breasts, since the size of a woman's breasts has no relationship to her ability to lactate. But Harvard anthropologist Frank Marlowe contends that larger, and hence heavier, breasts sag more conspicuously with age than do smaller breasts. Thus they make it easier for men to judge a woman's age (and her reproductive value) by sight—suggesting why men find women with large breasts more attractive.Boy, you learn something every day from these evolutionary psychologists, don't you?
Now here's a useful bit of information. Do you know why young Muslim men are more violent and prone to suicide missions? The evolutionary psychologists have the answer,
Suicide missions are not always religiously motivated, but according to Oxford University sociologist Diego Gambetta, editor of Making Sense of Suicide Missions, when religion is involved, the attackers are always Muslim. Why? The surprising answer is that Muslim suicide bombing has nothing to do with Islam or the Quran (except for two lines). It has a lot to do with sex, or, in this case, the absence of sex.This is useful information. It means that we can settle all of the problems in the Middle East by withdrawing our troops and simply banning polygyny. Did somebody tell Dick Cheney?
What distinguishes Islam from other major religions is that it tolerates polygyny. By allowing some men to monopolize all women and altogether excluding many men from reproductive opportunities, polygyny creates shortages of available women. If 50 percent of men have two wives each, then the other 50 percent don't get any wives at all.
So polygyny increases competitive pressure on men, especially young men of low status. It therefore increases the likelihood that young men resort to violent means to gain access to mates. By doing so, they have little to lose and much to gain compared with men who already have wives. Across all societies, polygyny makes men violent, increasing crimes such as murder and rape, even after controlling for such obvious factors as economic development, economic inequality, population density, the level of democracy, and political factors in the region.
There's lots more where this came from. Did you know that rich people have more sons than daughters? Neither did I, but lets not allow facts to interfere with a good just-so story. Here's the evolutionary explanation,
It is commonly believed that whether parents conceive a boy or a girl is up to random chance. Close, but not quite; it is largely up to chance. The normal sex ratio at birth is 105 boys for every 100 girls. But the sex ratio varies slightly in different circumstances and for different families. There are factors that subtly influence the sex of an offspring.If you believe this garbage then please send me an email message expressing your confidence in evolutionary psychology (and adaptationism). I'd like to talk to you about some swampland that I own in Florida. It will make a terrific vacation property.
One of the most celebrated principles in evolutionary biology, the Trivers-Willard hypothesis, states that wealthy parents of high status have more sons, while poor parents of low status have more daughters. This is because children generally inherit the wealth and social status of their parents. Throughout history, sons from wealthy families who would themselves become wealthy could expect to have a large number of wives, mistresses and concubines, and produce dozens or hundreds of children, whereas their equally wealthy sisters can have only so many children. So natural selection designs parents to have biased sex ratio at birth depending upon their economic circumstances—more boys if they are wealthy, more girls if they are poor. (The biological mechanism by which this occurs is not yet understood.)
This hypothesis has been documented around the globe. American presidents, vice presidents, and cabinet secretaries have more sons than daughters. Poor Mukogodo herders in East Africa have more daughters than sons. Church parish records from the 17th and 18th centuries show that wealthy landowners in Leezen, Germany, had more sons than daughters, while farm laborers and tradesmen without property had more daughters than sons. In a survey of respondents from 46 nations, wealthy individuals are more likely to indicate a preference for sons if they could only have one child, whereas less wealthy individuals are more likely to indicate a preference for daughters.
[Hat Tip: RichardDawkins.net]