Category Archives: evolutionary psychology

I get pushback on the sexual-selection theory for sexual dimorphism

Last week I published a post intended to show that the profound sexual dimorphism for human size (and musculature) reflected sexual selection in our ancestors, a form of selection that can be explained only by an evolved difference in behavior: in humans, as in many other species in which females invest more in reproduction than do males, […]

The ideological opposition to biological truth

One distressing characteristic of the Left, at least as far as science is concerned, is to let our ideology trump scientific data; that is, some of us ignore biological data when it’s inimical to our political preferences. This plays out in several ways: the insistence that race doesn’t exist (and before you accuse me of saying that races […]

Michael Moore, misandrist, and a note on sex differences in behavior

Michael Moore has taken out after men on his Twi**er feed; here’s a sample of three in order of posting: The day can't come soon enough when women will take charge. Public policy will not be decided by dick pix, Tic Tacs, grab-assers or the GOP. — Michael Moore (@MMFlint) October 29, 2016 No women […]

The sociological religion of no biological differences between the sexes

As a biologist, I’ve learned that there are two related issues that are taboo for academics to discuss openly. The first is the issue of “races”—or genetic differences between human populations. Cultural anthropologists tell us that races are “social constructs.” Well, there’s a bit of truth in that, insofar as there is no finite number of […]

The evolutionary level of human violence

There’s a new paper in Nature about the level of intraspecific violence in humans and other species, written by José Maria Gómez et al. (free reference and download below).  The question is how often members of single species kill each other in the wild, and whether humans are outliers. It’s already gotten a lot of attention in the press, […]

Slate author suggests that we stop idolizing chimps and model our society on bonobos

When someone sent me the title of this Slate piece, “Why do we idolize chimps when we could be imitating feminist bonobos?“, I was sure it was a parody—perhaps from The Onion. But no, I don’t think so—or else it’s parody that isn’t good because it’s so close to seeming real without a hint that it’s […]

Why is red nail polish so popular?

Walking to the store the other day, I found myself bored and unable to brain. Then a woman passed me wearing sandals (it’s summer up here, after all) and bright red toenail polish. That gave me something to do: I decided to count the colors on the feet of all the women who passed me […]

My conversation with Gad Saad

On Gad Saad‘s new videocast, “The Saad Truth” on Larry King’s network (, I talked with the affable Lebanese/Canadian psychologist for about 75 minutes. The original video is here, but it’s also on YouTube, which I’ve embedded. As always, I can’t stand to watch it; maybe you can. Saad, as I’ve noted before, is a […]

Why do we holler when we’re hurt? My dubious evolutionary-psychology hypothesis

We’ve all noticed and experienced the phenomenon that when we’re hurt, we yell. When we stub our toe, hit our thumb with a hammer, or burn ourselves, we often let out a bloodcurdling scream. People who are pushed off buildings do it, too—at least in the movies. Yet when we experience intense pleasure, we don’t […]

Evolutionary psychology, sexual dimorphism, and ideology

(Note to non-biologists: “sexual dimorphsim” refers to any trait or behavior that differs between the sexes, like the ornamented tail of the male peacock, the brighter color of the male painted bunting—and of many birds—and the bower-building behavior of male but not female bowerbirds.) There are some science-friendly folk (including atheists) who simply dismiss the entire […]