Posts Tagged ‘evolution’

The idea that there are only minor differences between the personality profiles of males and females should be rejected as based on inadequate methodology. (continue reading…)

How big are gender differences in personality and interests, and how stable are these differences across cultures and over time? To answer these questions, I summarize data from two meta-analyses and three cross-cultural studies on gender differences in personality and interests. Results show that gender differences in Big Five personality traits are ‘small’ to ‘moderate,’ with the largest differences occurring for agreeableness and neuroticism (respective ds = 0.40 and 0.34; women higher than men). In contrast, gender differences on the people–things dimension of interests are ‘very large’ (d = 1.18), with women more people-oriented and less thing-oriented than men. Gender differences in personality tend to be larger in gender-egalitarian societies than in gender-inegalitarian societies, a finding that contradicts social role theory but is consistent with evolutionary, attributional, and social comparison theories. In contrast, gender differences in interests appear to be consistent across cultures and over time, a finding that suggests possible biologic influences. (continue reading…)

Glenn Geher
Daniel Gambacorta

This research explored political motivations underlying resistance to evolutionary
psychology. Data were collected from 268 adults who varied in terms of academic
employment and parental status. Dependent variables represented whether participants
believed that several attributes are primarily the result of biological evolution versus
socialization. Variables addressed attitudes about: (a) sex differences in adults, (b) sex
differences in children, (c) sex differences in chickens, (d) human universals, and (e)
differences between dogs and cats. Using a Likert-scale, participants were asked to rate
the degree to which they believed items were due to “nature” versus “nurture.” For
instance, one of the items from the cat/dog subscale was “Dogs are more pack-oriented
than cats.” Independent variables included political orientation, parental status, and
academic employment status. Political liberalism corresponded to endorsing “nurture” as
influential – but primarily for the two human sex-difference variables. Academic
employment status was independently predictive of the belief that sex differences are
the result of “nurture.” This effect was exacerbated for academics who came from
sociology or women’s studies backgrounds. The effect of academic employment status
also corresponded to seeing behavioral differences between roosters and hens as
caused by “nurture.” Further, parents were more likely than non-parents to endorse
“nature” for the sex-difference variables. Beliefs about differences between cats and
dogs and beliefs about causes of human universals (that are not tied to sex differences)
were not related to these independent variables, suggesting that the political resistance
to evolutionary psychology is specifically targeted at work on sex differences.

(Continue reading...)

nature_nurture

Nineteenth century science that claimed to establish man’s superiority over woman
has now been discredited although some writers like Camille Paglia may at times sound as
if they were still in thrall to the most extreme forms of male glorification.^ Less virulent
supporters of innate and unavoidable differences between the two sexes may claim that now
women’s tum has come and they will domínate the new era… (Continue Reading...)