Re: Feminist critique of sociobiology...critiqued

Bruce Scott TOK (
4 Sep 1996 16:06:22 GMT

To those concerned with the feminist critique on sociobiology, I ask
what is to be made of a feminist sociobiologist? Example, Sarah Hrdy.
In _The Woman That Never Evolved_ she opens with clarification of the
misconceptions that biology works against women, that "looking to the
science of biology for information that bears on the human condition" is
something to which feminists should take exception instead of (much more
productively) mining for information which exposes stereotypes for what
they are, and that "biology is destiny". She demonstrates to complete
satisfaction that sociobiology has no such agenda, and if anything is
more favorable to those of feminist persuasion and hope than otherwise.

In short, Sarah Hrdy got into biology as a feminist and was drawn to
E O Wilson and sociobiology precisely because they offered the hope of
moving beyond simple stereotype.

So what's the problem? Why do feminists see this as their enemy? I've
never understood why that should be the case and would be quite willing
to see a serious explanation. I can't believe simple misrepresentation
is the only reason. I hope simple caricature is not the only reason.

Mach's gut!
Bruce Scott Congratulations to Ghada Shouaa,
Max-Planck-Institut fuer Plasmaphysik Olympic heptathlon champion!