Sex differences in mortality rates stem from genetic, physiological, behavioral, and social causes that are best understood when integrated in an evolutionary life history framework. This paper investigates the Male-to-Female Mortality Ratio (M:F MR) from external and internal causes and across contexts to illustrate how sex differences shaped by sexual selection interact with the environment to yield a pattern with some consistency, but also with expected variations due to socioeconomic and other factors.
Although physicians have attempted for centuries to uncover the biological differences between men and women with regard to mental illness, they continue to face the challenges of untangling biological factors from social and cultural ones. This article uses examples from history to illustrate three common problems in trying to establish biological differences: identifying factors as sex-based when they are really gender-based; overlooking changes in masculine and feminine roles over time; and placing too great an emphasis on hormones. By using (...) the benefit of hindsight to identify problems from the past, we can think more critically about these issues in the present and the future. (shrink)
This study considers the role of epistemic turning points in the historiography of sexuality. Disentangling the historical complexity of scientia sexualis, I argue that the late 19th century and the mid-20th century constitute two critical epistemic junctures in the genealogy of sexual liberation, as the notion of free love slowly gave way to the idea of sexual freedom in modern western society. I also explore the value of the Foucauldian approach for the study of the history of sexuality in (...) non-western contexts. Drawing on examples from Republican China (1912—49), I propose that the Foucauldian insight concerning the emergence of a ‘homosexual identity’ in the West can serve as a useful guide for thinking about similar issues in the history of sexuality and the historical epistemology of sexology in modern East Asia. (shrink)
: Before women could become visible as philosophers, they had first to become visible as rational autonomous thinkers. A social and ethical position holding that chastity was the most important virtue for women, and that rationality and chastity were incompatible, was a significant impediment to accepting women's capacity for philosophical thought. Thus one of the first tasks for women was to confront this belief and argue for their rationality in the face of a self-referential dilemma.
This book is a study of post World War II feminist theory from the viewpoint of intellectual history. The key theme is that the social construction of gender has its origins in the feminist theorists of this period. This paradigm is a key foundational element to both second and third wave feminist thought. It will focus on the five key scholars of the period: Komarovsky, de Beauvoir, Mead, Klein and Herschberger. This has been a somewhat overlooked period in the (...) development of feminist theory and philosophy and Tarrant makes a compelling case for it (the fifties) being the turning point in the study of gender. (shrink)
People in the ancient world thought of vision as both an ethical tool and a tactile sense, akin to touch. Gazing upon someone—or oneself—was treated as a path to philosophical self-knowledge, but the question of tactility introduced an erotic element as well. In The Mirror of the Self , Shadi Bartsch asserts that these links among vision, sexuality, and self-knowledge are key to the classical understanding of the self. Weaving together literary theory, philosophy, and social history, Bartsch traces this (...) complex notion of self from Plato’s Greece to Seneca’s Rome. She starts by showing how ancient authors envisioned the mirror as both a tool for ethical self-improvement and, paradoxically, a sign of erotic self-indulgence. Her reading of the Phaedrus , for example, demonstrates that the mirroring gaze in Plato, because of its sexual possibilities, could not be adopted by Roman philosophers and their students. Bartsch goes on to examine the Roman treatment of the ethical and sexual gaze, and she traces how self-knowledge, the philosopher’s body, and the performance of virtue all played a role in shaping the Roman understanding of the nature of selfhood. Culminating in a profoundly original reading of Medea , The Mirror of the Self illustrates how Seneca, in his Stoic quest for self-knowledge, embodies the Roman view, marking a new point in human thought about self-perception. Bartsch leads readers on a journey that unveils divided selves, moral hypocrisy, and lustful Stoics—and offers fresh insights about seminal works. At once sexy and philosophical, The Mirror of the Self will be required reading for classicists, philosophers, and anthropologists alike. (shrink)
While most Chaucer critics interested in gender and sexuality have used psychoanalytic theory to analyze Chaucer's poetry, Mark Miller re-examines the links between sexuality and the philosophical analysis of agency in medieval texts such as the Canterbury Tales, Boethius's Consolation of Philosophy, and the Romance of the Rose. Chaucer's philosophical sophistication provides the basis for a new interpretation of the emerging notions of sexual desire and romantic love in the late Middle Ages.
We argue that broad, simplegeneralizations, not specifically linked tocontingencies, will rarely approach truth in ecologyand evolutionary biology. This is because mostinteresting phenomena have multiple, interactingcauses. Instead of looking for single universaltheories to explain the great diversity of naturalsystems, we suggest that it would be profitable todevelop general explanatory frameworks. A frameworkshould clearly specify focal levels. The process orpattern that we wish to study defines our level offocus. The set of potential and actual states at thefocal level interacts with conditions at (...) thecontiguous lower and upper levels of organization,through sets of many-to-one and one-to-manyconnections. The number of initiating conditions andtheir permutations at the lower level define thepotential states at the focal level, whereas theactual state is constrained by the upper-levelboundary conditions. The most useful generalizationsare explanatory frameworks, which are road maps tosolutions, rather than solutions themselves. Suchframeworks outline what is understood about boundaryconditions and initiating conditions so that aninvestigator can pick and choose what is required toeffectively understand a specific event or situation. We discuss these relationships in terms of examplesinvolving sex ratio and mating behavior, competitivehierarchies, insect life-histories and the evolutionof sex. (shrink)
Paul Ludwig examines how and why Greek theorists treated political passions as erotic. Because of the tiny size of ancient Greek cities, contemporary theory and ideology could conceive of entire communities based on desire. A recurrent aspiration was to transform the polity into one great household that would bind the citizens together through ties of mutual affection. In this study, Ludwig evaluates sexuality, love, and civic friendship as sources of political attachment and as bonds of political association.
In the period 1875-1920, a debate about the generality and applicability of evolutionary theory to all organisms was motivated by work on unicellular ciliates like Paramecium because of their peculiar nuclear dualism and life cycles. The French cytologist Emile Maupas and the German zoologist August Weismann argued in the 1880s about the evolutionary origins and functions of sex (which in the ciliates is not linked to reproduction), and death (which appeared to be the inevitable fate of lineages denied sexual conjugation), (...) an argument rooted in the question of whether the ciliates and their processes where homologous to other cellular organisms. In the beginning of the twentieth century, this question of homology came to be less important as the ciliates were used by the British protozoologist Clifford Dobell and the American zoologist Herbert Spencer Jennings to study evolutionary processes in general rather than problems of development and cytology. For them, homology mattered less than analogy. This story illustrates two partially distinct problems in evolutionary biology: first, the question of whether all living things have common features and origins; and second, whether their history and current nature can be described by identical mechanisms. Where Maupas (contra Weismann) made the ciliates qualitatively the same as all other organisms in order to create a cohesive evolutionary theory for biology, Jennings and Dobell made them qualitatively different in order to achieve the same end. (shrink)
This essay is a case study of the self-destruction that occurs in the work of a social-constructionist historian of science who embraces a radical philosophy of science. It focuses on Thomas Laqueur's Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud in arguing that a history of science committed to the social construction of science and to the central theses of Kuhnian, Duhemian, and Quinean philosophy of science is incoherent through self-reference. Laqueur's text is examined in detail in (...) order to make the main point; a similar phenomenon in the work of the feminist historian of science Evelyn Fox Keller is then briefly discussed. (shrink)
With the recent U.S. Supreme Court cases finding the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional and removing impediments to same-sex marriage in California,as well as a number of recent successes in special elections and with legislators inthe U.S. and other countries, we might wonder whether there is still need for a book debating same-sex marriage. Is not the tide of history inevitably movingtowards marriage equality? While that position seems tempting, it is too quick.
Life history theory predicts that greater extrinsic mortality will lead to earlier and higher fertility. To test this prediction, I examine the relationship between life expectancy at birth and several proxies for life history traits (ages at first sex and first marriage, total fertility rate, and ideal number of children), measured for both men and women. Data on sexual behaviors come from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS). Two separate samples are analyzed: a cross-sectional sample of 62 countries (...) and a panel sample that includes multiple cross-sectional panels from 48 countries. Multivariate regression analysis is used to control for potential confounding variables. The results provide only partial support for the predictions, with greater support among women than men. However, the prediction is not supported in sub-Saharan African countries, most likely owing to the nonequilibrium conditions observed in sub-Saharan Africa with respect to life expectancy. The applicability of the model to understanding HIV/AIDS risk behaviors is discussed. (shrink)
This target article presents an integrated evolutionary model of the development of attachment and human reproductive strategies. It is argued that sex differences in attachment emerge in middle childhood, have adaptive significance in both children and adults, and are part of sex-specific life history strategies. Early psychosocial stress and insecure attachment act as cues of environmental risk, and tend to switch development towards reproductive strategies favoring current reproduction and higher mating effort. However, due to sex differences in life (...) class='Hi'>history trade-offs between mating and parenting, insecure males tend to adopt avoidant strategies, whereas insecure females tend to adopt anxious/ambivalent strategies, which maximize investment from kin and mates. Females are expected to shift to avoidant patterns when environmental risk is more severe. Avoidant and ambivalent attachment patterns also have different adaptive values for boys and girls, in the context of same-sex competition in the peer group: in particular, the competitive and aggressive traits related to avoidant attachment can be favored as a status-seeking strategy for males. Finally, adrenarche is proposed as the endocrine mechanism underlying the reorganization of attachment in middle childhood, and the implications for the relationship between attachment and sexual development are explored. Sex differences in the development of attachment can be fruitfully integrated within the broader framework of adaptive plasticity in life history strategies, thus contributing to a coherent evolutionary theory of human development. (shrink)
A secondary analysis was performed on preliminary data from an ongoing cross-cultural study on assortative pairing. Independently sampled pairs of opposite-sex romantic partners and of same-sex friends rated themselves and each other on Life History (LH) strategy and mate value. Data were collected in local bars, clubs, coffeehouses, and other public places from three different cultures: Tucson, Arizona; Hermosillo, Sonora; and San José, Costa Rica. The present analysis found that slow LH individuals assortatively pair with both sexual and social (...) partners more strongly than fast LH individuals. We interpret this phenomenon as representing (1) an adaptation for preserving coadapted genomes in slow LH strategists to maintain high copying fidelity genetic replication while producing a lower number of offspring in stable, predictable, and controllable environments and (2) a bet-hedging adaptation in fast LH strategists, favoring the genetic diversification of a higher number of offspring in unstable, unpredictable, and uncontrollable environments. (shrink)
A Sociology of Sex and Sexuality offers an historical sociological analysis of ideas about expressions of sexual desire, combining both primary and secondary historical and theoretical material with original research and popular imagery in the contemporary context. While some reference is made to the sexual ideology of Classical Antiquity and of early Christianity, the major focus of the book is on the development of ideas about sex and sexuality in the context of modernity. It questions the widespread assumption that the (...) anxieties and fears associated with old sexual mores have been overcome in the late twentieth century context, and asks whether the discourses of Queer sexual politics have successfully fractured the binary categories of heterosexuality and homosexuality. A Sociology of Sex and Sexuality will be of interest to students in the fields of sociology, sexual history, gender studies and cultural studies. (shrink)
The current research applied a mid-level evolutionary theory that has been successfully employed across numerous animal species—life history theory—in an attempt to understand the Dark Triad personality trait cluster (narcissism, psychopathy, and Machiavellianism). In Study 1 (N = 246), a measure of life history strategy was correlated with psychopathy, but unexpectedly with neither Machiavellianism nor narcissism. Study 2 (N = 321) replicated this overall pattern of results using longer, traditional measures of the Dark Triad traits and alternative, future-discounting (...) indicators of life history strategy (a smaller-sooner, larger-later monetary dilemma and self-reported risk-taking behaviors). Additional findings suggested two sources of shared variance across the Dark Triad traits: confidence in predicting future outcomes and openness to short-term mating. (shrink)
While even today lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people might have cause to distrust the healthcare establishment, how much more fragile was the relationship between sexual minorities and health professionals in the first decade of the AIDS epidemic. Dissent from consensus healthcare and health research then was a question of survival in the face of political and medical intransigence. This article focuses on one version of AIDS dissent: The narrative representations of AIDS in fiction by the gay African-American fantasy writer (...) Samuel R. Delany, which rejected the rigid binarism of “safe” and “unsafe” sex practices, Delany’s evidence-based dissent. He also engaged in a related form of cultural dissent: speaking the unspeakably obscene, at a time when Silence = Death. Delany called into question both the inferential leaps based on limited epidemiological research that were represented in safer sex guidelines and the widespread public reticence about sexual behavior. (shrink)
Independent samples of women were surveyed to test Trivers and Willard’s hypothesis that the mother’s condition and her ability to invest in her offspring affect the (secondary) sex ratio of her offspring. Patterns of sex ratios (number of males per 100 females) were analyzed in conjunction with four attributes of a mother’s microenvironment: level of health in her community, family structure, relative access to resources, and her birthing history. The results inferentially support the hypothesis that the microenvironment of the (...) woman would act to bias the sex ratio of her offspring. These specific data lend support to Trivers and Willard’s general hypothesis. (shrink)
This book emphasizes the affinity between Foucault's and Nietzsche's thought. Both philosophers tried to give clarity to modernity's arbitrary nature. Following on from Foucault's diagnostic enquiries into a "History of Sexuality" and Nietzsche's appreciation of ancient culture, Nilson's study shows a practical consequence: the self-stylization of the individual. This esthetical attitude replaces a belief in metaphysical and even scientific meaning, thus leading to a philosophy of life.
When conducting research on sensitive topics, it is challenging to use new methods of data collection given the apprehensions of Institutional Review Boards (IRBs). This is especially worrying because sensitive topics of research often require novel approaches. In this article a brief personal history of navigating the IRB process for conducting sex communication research is presented, along with data from a survey that tested the assumptions long held by many IRBs. Results support some of the assumptions IRBs hold about (...) sex communication research, but do not support some other assumptions. (shrink)
Background: The development of implicit tests for measuring biases and behavioral predispositions is a recent development within psychology. While such tests are usually researched within a social-cognitive paradigm, behavioral researchers have also begun to view these tests as potential tests of conditioning histories, including in the sexual domain. Objective: The objective of this paper is to illustrate the utility of a behavioral approach to implicit testing and means by which implicit tests can be built to the standards of behavioral psychologists. (...) Design: Research findings illustrating the short history of implicit testing within the experimental analysis of behavior are reviewed. Relevant parallel and overlapping research findings from the field of social cognition and on the Implicit Association Test are also outlined. Results: New preliminary data obtained with both normal and sex offender populations are described in order to illustrate how behavior-analytically conceived implicit tests may have potential as investigative tools for assessing histories of sexual arousal conditioning and derived stimulus associations. Conclusion: It is concluded that popular implicit tests are likely sensitive to conditioned and derived stimulus associations in the history of the test-taker rather than ‘unconscious cognitions’, per se. Keywords: implicit association test; function acquisition speed test; relational frame theory; stimulus equivalence; sex offenders; sexual interests (Published: 15 March 2012) Citation: Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology 2012, 2 : 17335 - DOI: 10.3402/snp.v2i0.17335. (shrink)
The background -- Projects; the significance of sex and love; secret pictures; sexual pluralism -- A history of the philosophy of sex and love -- The ancients; medieval philosophy; modern philosophy; the twentieth century; contemporary philosophy -- Sex -- Sexual concepts -- Analytic questions; sexual activity; sexual desire; social constructionism; polysemicity (polysemy); sexual sensations -- Sexual perversion -- St. thomas aquinas; problems with natural law; psychological perversion; psychiatry and perversion; a conceptual framework -- Sexual ethics -- Contraception; beyond natural (...) law; immanuel kant; contemporary kantian philosophy; utilitarianism; sadomasochism; love -- Sexual politics -- Consent, again; pedophilia; prostitution and marriage; marital rape; compulsory heterosexuality; pornography -- Love -- Varieties of love -- What is love?; love and value; eros and agape; evaluating and assessing love; the fine gold thread; concern and benevolence; union -- Features of love -- Tangles in theories of love; exclusivity; uniqueness; irreplaceability; constancy; reciprocity -- Sex, love, and marriage -- Pauline marriage; the links; sex and love; the death of desire; saving marriage; reasons for monogamy; reasons for marriage -- Gender -- Women and men; gender and sex surveys; heterosexual failure; gendered sexuality; gendered love. (shrink)
Despite a revived interest in explaining the evolution of anisogamy in recent years (i.e. different—micro and macrogametes), there remain more questions than answers. The topic is important because it is thought to be the foundation of the theory of gender differences and relations. Twelve of these questions are briefly reviewed here—(1) the distinction between sex and sexual types; (2) the distinction between mating types and anisogamy; (3) the possible role of ecological as well as social evolution in proto-gender differences and (...) relations; (4) the life history strategies involved; (5) whether the relevant social relationships are based on conflict or cooperation; (6) the origin and properties of meiosis; (7) the conformity of theories with sex allocation theory; (8) the relevance of multiple levels of selection; (9) appropriate modelling strategies; (10) the relationship between the kind of gametes produced and secondary sexual characteristics; (11) the relevance to humans; and (12) how realistic the search for a single explanation is. It is concluded that polarized sexuality may be a form of trade. (shrink)
Women’s fertility is the focus of most demographic analyses, for in most mammals, and in many preindustrial societies, variance in male fertility, while an interesting biological phenomenon, is irrelevant. Yet in monogamous societies, the reproductive ecology of men, as well as that of women, is important is creating reproductive patterns. In nineteenth-century Sweden, the focus of this study, male reproductive ecology responded to resource conditions: richer men had more children than poorer men. Men’s fertility also interacted with local and historical (...) factors in complex ways to have significant impact on population growth. As a result, “the” demographic transition was local, and locally reversible, in Sweden. Results cannot be simply translated from nineteenth-century studies to current attempts to promote fertility decline, because today, male and female resource-fertility curves differ in shape, not only in magnitude. When we translate studies of fertility decline, it is important to study individual fertility and to discern whether, in any particular case, male and female patterns are similar. (shrink)
I examine the consistency of Kant's notion of moral progress as found in his philosophy of history. To many commentators, Kant's very idea of moral development has seemed inconsistent with basic tenets of his critical philosophy. This idea has seemed incompatible with his claims that the moral law is unconditionally and universally valid, that moral agency is noumenal and atemporal, and that all humans are equally free. Against these charges, I argue not only that Kant's notion of moral development (...) is consistent, but also that the assumption of the possibility of moral progress is indispensible for Kant's moral theory. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to argue that Kant's philosophy of biology has crucial implications for our understanding of his philosophy of history, and that overlooking these implications leads to a fundamental misconstruction of his views. More precisely, I will show that Kant's philosophy of history is modelled on his philosophy of biology due to the fact that the development of the human species shares a number of peculiar features with the functioning of organisms, these features entailing (...) important methodological characteristics. From this main claim will follow three further claims: (1) Kant's teleological view of history is not simply based on ethical considerations that have to do with the moral progress of the human species; rather, it stems from his conception of teleology as developed in his philosophy of biology. (2) Kant's philosophy of history allows for the practice of scientific history. In this sense, Kant's view of history is not merely teleological but involves a mechanical (and thus empirical) element. (3) Just as teleology is useful for furthering mechanical accounts of biological phenomena, teleological history is useful for scientific history. (shrink)
What are the relationships between philosophy and the history of philosophy, the history of science and the philosophy of science? This selection of essays by Lorenz Krüger (1932-1994) presents exemplary studies on the philosophy of John Locke and Immanuel Kant, on the history of physics and on the scope and limitations of scientific explanation, and a realistic understanding of science and truth. In his treatment of leading currents in 20th century philosophy, Krüger presents new and original arguments (...) for a deeper understanding of the continuity and dynamics of the development of scientific theory. These result in significant consequences for the claim of the sciences that they understand reality in a rational manner. The case studies are complemented by fundamental thoughts on the relationship between philosophy, science, and their common history. (shrink)
Analytic philosophers are often said to be indifferent or even hostile to the history of philosophy--that is, not to the idea of history of philosophy as such, but as a species of the genus philosophy rather than history. It is argued that such an attitude is actually inconsistent with commonplace positions within the philosophies of mind that are typical within analytic philosophy.
I consider Kant’s use of claims about “nature’s ends” in his arguments to establish maxims of homosexual sex, masturbation, and bestiality as constituting “unnatural” sexual vices, which are contrary to one’s duties to oneself as an animal and moral being. I argue, first, that the formula of humanity is the principle best suited for understanding duties to oneself as an animal and moral being; and second, that although natural teleology is relevant to some degree in specifying these duties, it cannot (...) play a sufficiently robust role to establish Kant’s conclusion. I also discuss what the formula of humanity (along with warranted attention to natural teleology) suggests about the morality of homosexual sex, masturbation, and bestiality. (shrink)
I show the sense in which the concept of history as a human science affects our theory of the natural sciences and, therefore, our theory of the unity of the physical and human sciences. The argument proceeds by way of reviewing the effect of the Darwinian contribution regarding teleologism and of post-Darwinian paleonanthropology on the transformation of the primate members of Homo sapiens into societies of historied selves. The strategy provides a novel way of recovering the unity of the (...) sciences: by construing the physical sciences themselves as human sciences - and, therefore, as themselves historied. (shrink)
Abstract In this essay I trace the role of history in the philosophy of art from the early twentieth century to the present, beginning with the rejection of history by formalists like Clive Bell. I then attempt to show how the arguments of people like Morris Weitz and Arthur Danto led to a re-appreciation of history by philosophers of art such as Richard Wollheim, Jerrold Levinson, Robert Stecker and others.