In evolutionary psychology predictions, women’s mate preferences shift between fertile and nonfertile times of the month to reflect ancestral fitness benefits. Our meta-analytic test involving 58 independent reports was largely nonsupportive. Specifically, fertile women did not especially desire sex in short-term relationships with men purported to be of high genetic quality. The few significant preference shifts appeared to be research artifacts. The effects declined over time in published work, were limited to studies that used broader, less precise definitions of the (...) fertile phase, and were found only in published research. (shrink)
Our social role/biosocial theory provides a more adequate account of aggression sex differences than does Archer's sexual selection theory. In our theory, these sex differences arise flexibly from sociocultural and ecological forces in interaction with humans' biology, as defined by female and male physical attributes and reproductive activities. Our comments elaborate our theory's explanations for the varied phenomena that Archer presents.
The ultimate causes of sex differences in human aggressive behavior can lie mainly in evolved, inherited mechanisms that differ by sex or mainly in the differing placement of women and men in the social structure. The present commentary contrasts Campbell's evolutionary interpretation of aggression sex differences with a social structural interpretation that encompasses a wider range of phenomena.
Schmitt's findings provide little evidence that sex differences in sociosexuality are explained by evolved dispositions. These sex differences are better explained by an evolutionary account that treats the psychological attributes of women and men as emergent, given the biological attributes of the sexes, especially female reproductive capacity, and the economic and social structural aspects of societies.
Redish et al. trace vulnerabilities in habit and planning systems almost exclusively to pharmacological effects of addictive substances on underlying brain systems. As we discuss, however, these systems also can be disrupted by purely psychological factors inherent in normal decision-making and everyday behavior. A truly unified model must integrate the contribution of both sets of factors in driving addiction.
This reply addresses the issues raised by the thoughtful commentaries on Wood, Kressel, Joshi, and Louie’s meta-analysis. We maintain that menstrual cycle influences on women’s mate preferences are obtained inconsistently in the literature and are linked to research artifacts. This pattern provides little support for the simple evolutionary psychology biology-to-behavior models that inspired this research. As illustrated by the commentaries, more promising theories of human reproduction situate biological and psychological processes within societal structures.
Wood, Kressel, Joshi, and Louie’s meta-analysis of menstrual cycle influences on mate preferences identified three artifacts that influenced study findings: imprecise estimates of the fertile phase, decline over time, and publication effects. These artifacts also were evident in another recent meta-analysis by Gildersleeve, Haselton, and Fales. This consistent evidence of artifacts is not challenged by Gildersleeve et al.’s failure to find another artifact–chasing significance levels. In addition, Wood et al. correctly coded the findings of Gangestad and colleagues’ research, given the (...) variation in their reporting formats and inclusion criteria, which in some studies included only 54% of the sample. The controversy over menstrual cycle effects could be beneficial in increasing interest in publishing null results as well as in identifying evolutionary models that build on women’s capacity to regulate reproduction according to societal roles. (shrink)