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A Mind Of Her OwnThe Evolutionary Psychology of Women$
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Anne Campbell

Print publication date: 2002

Print ISBN-13: 9780198504986

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198504986.001.0001

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The essential woman: Biophobia and the study of sex differences

The essential woman: Biophobia and the study of sex differences

(p.1) Chapter 1 The essential woman: Biophobia and the study of sex differences
A Mind Of Her Own


Oxford University Press

In the past twenty years over 110,000 studies of women, gender and sex differences have appeared in academic journals. When we can open up new opportunities for expression, enjoyment, and achievement for women, we should do it because it is morally right. But that is very different from saying that gender has no biological basis and that the nature of men and women is wholly constructed by society. The problem with such a position is that it fails to address the issue of why sex differences take the particular form that they do. Social constructionist and environmental theories explain the transmission of the status quo — but without asking where it came from. Evolutionary theory addresses this very question, while evolutionary psychology is the application of evolutionary principles to the study of the evolution of mind. This chapter discusses some of the objections to evolutionary psychology and examines three questions: Are there inequities between women and men in society? Where did they come from? How shall we change them?

Keywords:   women, sex differences, men, evolutionary theory, evolutionary psychology, gender, status quo, mind, inequities

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