Re: Suppression of Sociobiology

Bryant (
13 Dec 1996 17:35:36 -0700

In article <>,
omar shafey <> wrote:

>Sociobiology is alive, well and as dangerous as ever because it is used to
>mask social injustice by attributing social inequality to natural biology.
>Note the popularity of the _The Bell Curve_.

Here, for your information, are the questions currently addressed by
sociobiologists where I work:

*Do parents invest discriminatively in offspring?

*Under what circumstances would infanticide be adaptive (that is,
enhance long-term reproductive success)? What cues might
lead to child abuse? How can they be countered?

*Are mate choice mechanisms favoring arbitrary traits ('run away
selection') or traits which advertise health and
developmental integrity ('good genes selection')?

*Do offspring solicitation signals advertise reproductive value as
well as nutritional need?

*Does father absence during childhood affect sexual strategies in women?

*Under what circumstances can we expect non-reciprocity-based
acts of altruism toward non-relatives?

*What environmental parameters correlate with (and may cause) post-
partum depression in women? How might PPD be mitigated
without psychotropic drugs?

*Why do women in some cultures mutilate their daughters' genitalia?
What social and economic correlates for this behavior exist?

*Might animals honestly advertise their resource holding power with
urinary territory marking or vocalizing?

...Now, these might not be *interesting* questions to you, but
they are far more representative of the field you assail than the book by
Herrnstein and Murray (authors of the Bell Curve). These two are not even