Sexual Selection: Fact or Fiction

1997 Words8 Pages
Sexual Selection: Fact or Fiction

Darwin's theory of sexual selection is an intriguing one because it offers an explanation of human striving and cultural value systems. The theory is that humans who are more sexually desirable will have more offspring and thus their traits will be passed on to future generations to a greater extent than those of less sexually desirable humans. As opposed to Darwin's other theory, natural selection, those who are the best adapted to their environment will be more likely to pass on their genes, or, "survival of the fittest", you might call sexual selection "survival of the sexiest." The theory is intended to in part explain why, when humans diverged from other primates, the human brain tripled in size in just two million years. At first glance, this theory also seems to explain much of the motivation behind human culture and achievement. Upon closer inspection, there are some fairly conspicuous problems with it, especially when it is extended to describe not only human evolution in the distant past but it the present, but it may still be the most plausible explanation available to explain why humans mental capacities have expanded so far beyond those of our primate relatives.

It makes complete sense that we would be biologically driven to prove our sexiness. At the most basic level, this could explain the plenitude and popularity of fashion magazines for young women and the emphasis on being good at sports in school for both genders. Beyond this, it could also explain why men and women are driven to succeed at their various careers, or to be perceived to be successful, smart, witty, fun-loving, good-looking, responsible, or any of a number of things that human aspire to be which are also s...

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...corded history. Even if this theory was once true, it does not appear to hold true anymore, because those who we consider the most successful and desirable are not producing the greatest number of offspring, and so, the traits that are being selected for future generations may be entirely different. Ironically, we may be spending our lives trying to prove we have traits which evolution is actually selecting against.

References

1) Creativity, Evolution and Mental Illnesses

http://jom-emit.cfpm.org/1997/vol1/preti_a&miotto_p.html

2) Evolution, Creativity, and ADD

http://borntoexplore.org/evolve.htm

3) Sexual Selection and the Mind: A Talk with Geoffrey Miller

http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/miller/miller_p2.html

4) The Mating Mind: How Sexual Choice Shaped the Evolution of Human Nature

http://www.cogsci.ecs.soton.ac.uk/cgi/psyc/newpsy?12.008
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