Describe and evaluate evolutionary explanations of gender. [8 + 16]

870 WordsJan 31, 20144 Pages
Describe and evaluate evolutionary explanations of gender. [8 + 16] During the evolutionary adaptation time period, between 10-40 thousand years ago, our ancestors were hunter-gatherers. This created a division between men and women. The men would hunt for food and the women would be in charge of the domestic duties such as cleaning and cooking. Doing the domestic chores would have kept women more protected, as it is less strenuous and would have guarded the camp whilst the men were out hunting therefore increasing the chances of reproductive success. This division of labour would have made them less likely to sustain injuries and so the evolutionary approach would suggest that the groups who divided the labour were been more likely to…show more content…
It is thought that men will look for women who are young whereas women are usually more interested in the resources of a mate. This can be explained from an evolutionary perspective as mating with a physically attractive woman will give better genes to pass onto their offspring, and women seek men with resources such as wealth as it will increase their security and therefore their chances of survival. Evidence for this includes the meat-sharing hypothesis, Stanford 1999. This suggested that meat was very important for survival so men would offer meat to women, in exchange for sex, which explains why the best hunter’s genes would be passed on the most. Ennis et al 2001 showed that men indeed do show a better ‘fight or flight’ response, as during exams men’s cortisol levels are higher than women’s during the same time period. Buss 1989 also provided evidence for the EEA, finding that men placed importance on attractiveness where as women placed it on financial prospects. He analysed data for this study is 37 countries. However methodological issues with the supporting study must also be considered, for example the method used was self-report thus leaving the study vulnerable to demand characteristics. This could mean the study lacks internal validity. The fact that gender roles differ throughout cultures would suggest that social influences are determining our gender roles. Evolutionary explanations may partially explain why gender roles have

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