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Evolution and Sexual Behavior

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Evolution and Sexual Behavior

Science goes through fads like anything else. Every now and then, it becomes fashionable to describe phenomena with one theoretical framework. At the moment, it's en vogue to interpret human behavior and sexuality in terms of evolutionary psychology:

"Men are hardwired to spread their seed to as many women as possible."
"Women are programmed to seek the alpha male of any group, regardless of commitment from other men."
"Men are evolutionarily designed to be dominant."
"Women are hypergamous by nature."
"Humans are meant to be polyamorist by nature."
"Women are innately attracted to size and strength."
Etc.

Newspapers, magazines, journals, dating advice websites and blogs are rife with language like this. Some draw reasonable conclusions. Others draw some pretty drastic and ghastly ones. The implication is the same across all of them: human sexual behavior is preordained, and men or women who deviate from it are either psychologically dysfunctional or are denying their instincts for the sake of power and dominance.

In Medieval times, the Catholic church decreed a version of human nature which was unwavering and unscientific. Sex was only permitted between a man and a woman who were married before God, in the …

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