Re: Phenotypic quality and human social behavior

Bryant (
16 Aug 1996 10:26:24 -0600

In article <4v00dc$>,
Robert Snower <> wrote:
>"Evolutionary psychology" always seems so completely obvious, and
>anit-climactical. What on earth is controversial about this?

That is what I was hoping to learn from the rest of you. :)

Obvious, though? Who besides an evolutionary psychologist would've
predicted that male developmental stability (measured as bilateral
symmetry) would correlate positively with the incidence of their female
mates' orgasms? Or that orgasm itself retains sperm from preferred
males, constituting a cryptic post-copulatory mate choice mechanism?

Or that postpartum depression may be an evolved psychological adaptation
designed to enhance maternal fitness through differential maternal
solicitude? (My current, personal favorite, because it's mine.)
I mean, really: how many non-Darwinians would even have realized that
infanticide can be adaptive? Before Hrdy and other behavioral
ecologists, animal infanticide was considered aberrant behavior. Before
Daly & Wilson, evolutionary psychologists, human infanticide was seen as
evidence against the applicability of darwinism to human behavior!