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Hardwire This: Let’s Turn Evo Psych Upside Down, Shall We?

Evolutionary psychologists specialize in coming up with primal, survival-related explanations for The Way Men and Women Are, carelessly tossing around – not to mention way overusing – words like “hardwired.” (Translation: “That’s just the way it is – don’t dare dream of this changing any time soon! Abandon hope!”) Take this recent gem from psychologytoday.com: “Apparently, men’s bodies are hard-wired to compete with rival semen.” Alrighty, then. While some of their scenarios are thought-provoking, upon a closer peek, some of their interpretations make them little more than Professional Guessers. And most of them saddle men with the majority of the blame along with the glory (no fair for anyone) for most of humanity’s traits around mating and reproduction, and just about everything else besides “nurturing,” “empathy,” and “relationship-building.”

So it’s time we flip the speculation on its head and ask why other explanations couldn’t be at least as plausible as their male-centric ones, or even just considered as other possible explanations. I don’t claim to know either way; I personally prefer to evaluate each individual I meet based on their unique personhood and not through a pair of gender-filter glasses. My Female Intuition (couldn’t resist) tells me that men and women share both the blame and the glory, so as long as we’re offering guesses a la pop evo psych, here are some alternatives to chew on:

The topic of procreation itself is rife with maybe/maybe-nots in the world of evo psych. Naturally, women’s reproductive capacity is more ...

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