Sunday, January 09, 2011

We Think Because of Evolution…

One of the most thought-provoking books I have reads in a long time, Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters attempts to take an “evolutionary psychology” view of life.

In short, we do things as men and women because for millions of years, those behaviors were “selected” for by evolution.

If you’ve read Freakonomics, you will thoroughly enjoy this book.

One of the more interesting findings was that women value their children more than men do.

You see, one woman can, realistically, have at a maximum, about 25 children.

A man, on the other hand, could theoretically have thousands of them.

As a consequence, women recognize the limited number of kids they have and inherently value kids more than men do.

Other questions which they raised and answered included:

  • why does having sons reduce the risk of divorce?
  • why do girls of divorced parents experience puberty earlier than girls whose parents remain married?
  • why are almost all violent criminals men?
  • why are women more religious than men?

They take a data-based approach to these questions (and are quick to stress that just because the data supports it doesn’t mean it’s an ideal situation. For them, it’s “just the facts.”)

Still, I found myself after every 2 pages or so, putting the book down to think about some element of their argument. It’s been a while since I did that.

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