Sexual Adaptation a la Carte

by Carol Iannone

Wendy Shalit writes a funny column sending up much of what passes for “science” in evolutionary biology, as represented in Christopher Ryan’s recent essay, ”Monogamy unnatural for our sexy species.” Basing herself on the techniques of evolutionary biologists, such as observing primate behavior and connecting it to human behavior in ways that suit contemporary sexual agendas, Shalit believes that she too can observe the clear imperatives of sexual adaptation arising from evolution. For example:

“Once at the Toronto Zoo, my family witnessed a male orangutan picking nits off his baby’s hair, while the female lolled about peacefully, grooming herself under a tree. Can there be any clearer precedent, from an evolutionary perspective, for men to scrape the dinner plates while women get manicures?” 

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