Sex is inextricably bound up with a web of relationships that make particular forms of human social life possible. To claim that human sexuality in an ahistorical fashion is at best naïve; at its worst, it’s pseudoscience.
“Evolutionary principle X is applied to study the salamander’s mating behavior. When the exact same principle & epistemology is used to study human mating behavior, clowns scream ‘just-so storytelling.’ The attacks on evolutionary psychology are largely rooted in ideological resistance and/or scientific ignorance.”—Gad Saad, Professor of Marketing @ The John Molson School of Business, Concordia University (Montreal, Quebec)
I find the theory of evolution by natural selection quite convincing. It explains so much, and it does so elegantly. What’s more, I happen to be interested in the mating behavior of salamanders (truth be told, I’ve always been something of a wannabe herpetologist, much to my wife’s chagrin). Regardless, comparing the mating habits of humans and salamanders is absurd. Most salamanders come together (pun not intended) only during the mating season, and only for the purpose of procreation. They live out most of their solitary lives alone. The same cannot be said of human beings. We’re intensely social creatures, and, as a consequence, our mating behavior is (of necessity) inextricably bound up with a web of relationships that make particular forms of human social life possible. As such, to claim (as many evolutionary psychologists do) that human sexuality can be studied in an ahistorical fashion, without reference to its particular social context, is at best naïve; at its worst, it’s pseudoscience. If saying that makes me a clown, according to Gad Saad, so be it.
–John Faithful Hamer, From Here (2015)
Originally published at Committing Sociology. Reprinted with permission.
Photo courtesy of the author.