Regardless of your stance on Valentine's Day, there's no way to avoid being bombarded with romantic imagery. So you might as well take this as an opportunity to learn something new. With that in mind, here are ten things you probably didn't know about sex, love and lust.
They believe that certain groups of people are inherently smarter than others. They write books about how rape is a natural part of human evolution. And now, with another scandal rocking the world of evolutionary psychology, we can officially welcome a new breed of mad scientist into the spotlight: evopsych douchebags.
Are men hard-wired to put the needs of their nieces and nephews over the needs of their own children? A University of Utah anthropologist conducted a mathematical analysis that could explain why some men go out of the way to care for the offspring of a sister.
A new study purports to use evolutionary psychology to explain why men fall asleep after sex, and what it actually means. The study is being widely reported as proving that men only fall asleep after sex to avoid giving affection or commitment to their female partners. Or maybe it proves that men who fall asleep after…
Evolutionary psychology has a lot of ideas that are, well, pretty nutty. The latest theory argues that social prejudice can be fought by being more careful about the spread of disease. It's definitely nutty...but it might also do some good.
In general, the more aware of reality you are, the more likely you are to survive. But sometimes lying to yourself has its advantages. Possessing an over-inflated belief in yourself can help you perform better than accurately knowing your abilities.
When you happen upon a couple of bear cubs in the woods, what's the first thing that should come to mind? If you answered "I wanna squeeze 'em," you're wrong. It should be "where's the mom?" And with good reason. Numerous non-human mammals are known to exhibit heightened levels of aggression in defense of their young.
There's an old bit of folklore that children tend to more closely resemble their fathers than their mothers. There's a possible evolutionary explanation for this, and one study seemed to confirm it all. Here's why it's all bogus.
Social scientists have long known that people manage their reputations by modifying their behavior in public. But new research out of Australia now shows that this tendency to "act appropriately" extends beyond our actions and into our moral judgments.
There are lots of possible explanations for why humans became bipedal, including changing ecosystems and food resources. But what if it was just so it was easier for early humans to beat the crap out of each other?
Men and women say "I love you" at different points in their relationships, and they say it for very different reasons. It turns out that even the timing of "I love you" is all about following our ancient evolutionary drives.
Most humans are grossed out by things like oozing sores or rotten meat, and there might well be an evolutionary basis for staying away from these harmful things. But it might go deeper: that disgust might have created our morality.
In many cultures, girls play with dolls more often than boys do. Now chimps have been observed treating sticks like dolls. Is there a gender imbalance in the way chimps play with their dolls, too?
Corruption is as old as human history. For as long as people have organized themselves into groups with powerful leaders, those leaders have sometimes abused their power. But evolutionary biologists say corruption might actually be holding societies together.
Even for evolutionary psychology, this latest finding is really bizarre. Cell phone bills suggest women avoid talking to their fathers during periods of high fertility, which might be a relic of an evolutionary imperative to avoid mating with close relatives.
Female members of one fish species show strong responses in a primitive part of her brain when she watches her chosen male lose in a fight. Humans might also possess this overwhelming evolutionary imperative to find the toughest, most combat-ready mates.
From an evolutionary standpoint, humans should become more aggressive when they see meat. But research indicates the exact opposite is true.
The different behaviors of males and females in the bedroom has been ably investigated by decades of stand-up comics, but only now are scientists entering the fray to examine the deeper motivations of post-coital activities. Evolutionary psychology to the rescue!
Harvard's media-friendly evolutionary psychologist Marc Hauser, famous for his 2006 book Moral Minds, is under investigation for misrepresenting research on morality in primates. Students asked Harvard officials to raid Hauser's lab three years ago; they didn't like what they found.