Reporter Column: Nature’s Choice in Our Minds
Reporter Column: Nature’s Choice in Our Minds
  • Reporter Jo Han-Seong
  • 승인 2015.11.04 16:07
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Have you ever questioned why social notions and common behaviors have to be that way? Well, I have questioned them intermittently, and I was able to find an alluring study called “Evolutionary psychology, a theoretical approach in the social and natural sciences” that investigates psychological structure from a modern evolutionary viewpoint. The study contradicts traditional theories that the human mind is a blank slate when people are born, and contends that a big part of our mentality is predetermined by natural selection. The study sometimes becomes polemical since it seems to vindicate some crimes against humanity, most notably sex delinquencies. However, I think people should accept that the science is phenomenology and the study itself does not derive any moral or ethical conclusion, so I write this article.
Many peculiarities related to family can be explained by evolutionary psychology. To begin with, why do mothers usually raise their children? Analogous phenomenon occurs in most entosomatic fertilization animals. Experts’ explanation for this phenomenon is that the lack of a marriage system in nature reduced the certainty of paternity, which means that males have a high chance to invest into other males’ offspring. Moreover, to increase the probability for males to devote themselves to their own offspring, the anomaly that offspring more closely resemble their father than their mother when they are young is common in mammalian species.
Lots of properties of the relationships between men and women can be construed by evolutionary psychology. First of all, men are usually more active in courtship displays than women. Also, women tend to have complicated conditions for their spouse while men do not. The explanation for this phenomenon is that the loss of mating is much bigger for women. Whereas men only have the advantage of passing their genetic information to the next generation, women have the disadvantage of being pregnant and the burden of parenting. Furthermore, throughout history, why is polygamy common while polyandry is nearly nonexistent? Does this mean that womanizing tendencies intrinsically inhere in men? Astonishingly, research results concluded “yes”. Termed the “Coolidge Effect”, males were born to be attracted to new receptive sexual partners.
However, there are still drawbacks of evolutionary psychology. The main drawback is that its heuristic research method engenders many of its explanations to remain as plausible hypotheses. Even though there are empirical evidence and statistics, many explanations lack irrefutable evidence due to the inability to perfectly recreate conditions being tested.