Pre-theoretical assumptions in evolutionary explanations of female sexuality

Philosophical Studies 69 (2-3):139 - 153 (1993)
Abstract
My contribution to this Symposium focuses on the links between sexuality and reproduction from the evolutionary point of view.' The relation between women's sexuality and reproduction is particularly importantb ecause of a vital intersectionb etweenp olitics and biology feminists have noticed, for more than a century, that women's identity is often defined in terms of her reproductive capacity. More recently, in the second wave of the feminist movement in the United States, debates about women'si dentityh ave explicitlyi ncludeds exuality;m uch feminist argument in the late 1960's and early 1970's involved an attempt to separate out an autonomous female sexuality from women's reproductive functions. It is especially relevant, then, to examine biological arguments, particularlye volutionarya rgumentst, o see what they say about whether and how women's sexuality is related to reproduction. We shall find that many evolutionarya rgumentss eem to supportt he direct linkingo f female sexualitya nd reproductionY. et I will argue that this supporti s not well-groundedI. n fact, I think evolutionarye xplanationso f female sexuality exemplify how social beliefs and social agendas can influence very basic biological explanations of fundamental physiological processes. In this paper, I shall spend some time spelling out a few examples in which assumptions about the close link between reproduction and sexuality yield misleading results, then I shall conclude with a discussion of the consequences of this case study for issues in the philosophy of science.
Keywords sexism in science  female orgasm  adaptationism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/BF00990080
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive Elisabeth A. Lloyd, Pre-theoretical assumptions in evolutionary explanations of female sexuality
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2009-01-28

Total downloads

177 ( #20,016 of 1,907,512 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

36 ( #22,270 of 1,907,512 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.