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The Science of Diversity$
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Mona Sue Weissmark

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190686345

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190686345.001.0001

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Diversity and Relationships

Diversity and Relationships

(p.114) 5 Diversity and Relationships
The Science of Diversity

Mona Sue Weissmark

Oxford University Press

This chapter outlines key issues in scientific literature concerning how evolutionary processes have shaped the human mind. To that end, psychologists have drawn on Charles Darwin’s sexual selection hypothesis, or how males compete for reproduction and the role of female choice in the process. Darwin argued that evolution hinged on the diversity resulting from sexual reproduction. Evolutionary psychologists posit that heterosexual men and women evolved powerful, highly patterned, and universal desires for particular characteristics in a mate. Critics, however, contend that Darwin’s theory of sexual selection was erroneous, in part because his ideas about sexual identity and gender were influenced by the social mores of his elite Victorian upper class. Despite this critique, some researchers argue similarly to Darwin that love is part of human biological makeup. According to their hypotheses, cooperation is the centerpiece of human daily life and social relations. This makes the emotion of love, both romantic and maternal love, a requirement not just for cooperation, but also for the preservation and perpetuation of the species. That said, researchers speculate that encounters with unfamiliar people, coincident with activated neural mechanisms associated with negative judgments, likely inspire avoidance behavior and contribute to emotional barriers. This suggests the need to further study the social, psychological, and clinical consequences of the link between positive and negative emotions.

Keywords:   evolutionary process, sexual selection, diversity, sexual reproduction, sexual identity, gender, love, cooperation, avoidance behavior, emotional barrier

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