Homo sapiens sapiens: What makes us human?
Due November 3 (Rewrite due November 17)
Typed, double-spaced, stapled, and with pages numbered
Length is flexible, but aim for 4-6 pages.
EVOLVED TO MISUNDERSTAND?
The two sexes faced different adaptive challenges in
mating and reproduction during the EEA. In a real sense, the two sexes
competing interests. They have thus evolved different mating
strategies and an associated suite of average differences in physical
This has practical implications for how men and women interact
misunderstand--each other in daily life, including courting and marriage.
The tension has sometimes been described as women being from Venus and
from Mars. In short, we can drive each other crazy. Women complain: Why
does he do that!! Men complain:
Why does she do that!!
Your book describes some of these tension-generating sex differences
and we will be discussing others in class. Many sex
differences make it difficult for one sex to interpret the other sex's
behavior and intentions. Here are a few examples; there are many
others. Note that these are conflicts between the sexes' reproductive
strategies that you might use to explain the mutual
that commonly complicate male and female relationships, which is part 2
of your task.
What they seek or like/dislike in the other sex. For
example, brawn vs. brain; being task-oriented vs. feeling-oriented; being
submissive/passive; being able to anticipate what they want in a certain
situation ("surprises" etc.)
- What they want most or find most important in a potential
partner. For example, from looks and fidelity vs. socioeconomic
good vs. being on time
- When or how soon they want it. For example, sex or
commitment (including "stringing them along")
- How (in what manner) they signal their interest in a
For example, ambiguity vs. directness in confirming/disconfirming
interest in the
other person (such as "gaming")
- How they try to attract the opposite sex's interest.
differences in how men and women use appearance, behavior, gossip,
intimidation, or resource
displays to attract the other sex and fend off rivals
- Graphic help: Mars
and Venus play the mating game: Tragedy and comedy?
Most broadly, your task is to explain how the evolutionary battle between
the sexes causes (shows up in) everyday tensions between two individuals
(possibly) in a dating-mating relationship.
- Describe two typical tensions, mutual misunderstandings, or
disconnects that often arise
between a man and a woman, like a grey fog complicating their
(See the heart in the attached powerpoint graphics.) You must select
disconnects/mutual misunderstandings that develop because
sexes' conflicting adaptations.
- Describe the particular adaptive conflicts that could explain your
misunderstandings. Your two examples may or may not arise from the same
between the sexes'
- What is the most important advice you would give to individuals or
couples who are
particular misunderstandings? It has to be evolutionarily sound. For
instance, just telling them to "be honest" is not informed or helpful
- Writing is clear, organized, stays on topic, and does not
drift into irrelevancies--paper is focused.
- Paragraphs make a clear point and follow logically to build a argument.
- Words and sentences have “meat” and meaning (not empty or
- Paper identifies and fully describes several notable
"misunderstandings" between men and women.
- Your argument ties them directly to the sexes' separate
adaptive problems and
solutions (the evidence in your readings)
- Your practical advice takes account of the evolutionary, evidentiary
sex differences. That is, you have to deal with them, not
just wave them away with the empty admonition to just "communicate
- Reread the assignment one more time after you have finished
your paper. Did you answer all parts of the question? Did you number your