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Price: $93.95

Hardback 496 pp.
6.125" x 9.25"



Publication date:
March 2013

Imprint: OUP US

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Evolution's Empress

Darwinian Perspectives on the Nature of Women

Edited by Maryanne L. Fisher, Justin R. Garcia and Rosemarie Sokol Chang
Foreword by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy

Over the last decade, there has been increasing debate as to whether feminism and evolutionary psychology can co-exist. Such debates often conclude with a resounding "no," often on the grounds that the former is a political movement while the latter is a field of scientific inquiry. In the midst of these debates, there has been growing dissatisfaction within the field of evolutionary psychology about the way the discipline (and others) have repeatedly shown women to be in passive roles when it comes to survival and reproduction. Evolutionary behavioral research has been misled due to theoretically misguided assumptions. As a result, the community has missed important areas of research, and in some cases, will likely come to inaccurate conclusions based on existing dogma, rather than rigorous, theoretically driven research. The bias in the field of evolutionary psychology echoes the complaints against the political movement attached to academic feminism. This is an intellectual squabble where much is at stake, including a fundamental understanding of the evolutionary significance of women's roles in culture, mothering, reproductive health and physiology, mating, female alliances, female aggression, and female intrasexual competition.

Evolution's Empress identifies women as active agents within the evolutionary process. The chapters in this volume focus on topics as diverse as female social interactions, mate competition and mating strategies, motherhood, women's health, sex differences in communication and motivation, sex discrimination, and women in literature. The volume editors bring together a diverse range of perspectives to demonstrate ways in which evolutionary approaches to human behavior have thus far been too limited. By reconsidering the role of women in evolution, this volume furthers the goal of generating dialogue between the realms of women's studies and evolutionary psychology.

Readership : Primary audience includes scholars and instructors with an interest in evolutionary psychology, feminism, gender studies, women studies, history of science, animal behavior, anthropology, and biology.

Sarah Blaffer Hrdy: Overdue Dialogues: Foreword to Evolution's Empress
Maryanne L. Fisher, Rosemarie Sokol Chang, and Justin R. Garcia: Introduction to Evolution's Empress
Part One: Sex Roles, Competition and Cooperation
1. Maryanne L. Fisher: Women's Intrasexual Competition for Mates
2. Laurette Liesen: The Tangled Web She Weaves: The Evolution of Female-female Aggression and Status-seeking
3. Liza R. Moscovice: Getting by with a Little Help From Friends: The Importance of Social Bonds for Female Primates
4. Patricia Adair Gowaty: A Sex-Neutral Theoretical Framework for Making Strong-Inferences about the Origins of Sex Roles
Part Two: Mothers and Parenting
5. Kathryn Coe and Craig T. Palmer: Mothers, Traditions, and the Human Strategy to Leave Descendants
6. Nicole M. Cameron and Justin R. Garcia: Maternal Effect and Offspring Development
7. Lesley Newson and Peter J. Richerson: The Evolution of Flexible Parenting
8. Rosemarie Sokol Chang: Human Attachment Vocalizations and the Expanding Notion of Nurture
9. Laura Betzig: Fathers vs. Sons: Why Jocasta Matters
Part Three: Health and Reproduction
10. Chris Reiber: Women's Health at the Crossroads of Evolution and Epidemiology
11. Bobbi S. Low: Fertility: Life History and Ecological Aspects
12. Johannes Johow, Eckart Voland, and Kai Willfhr: Reproductive Strategies in Female Post-generative Life
13. Michelle Escasa-Dorne, Sharon M. Young, and Peter Gray: Now or Later: Peripartum Shifts in Female Sociosexuality
Part Four: Mating and Communication
14. Linda Fedigan and Katharine Jack: Sexual Conflict in White-faced Capuchins: It's Not Whether You Win or Lose
15. David Frederick, Tania Reynolds, and Brooke Scelza: The Importance of Female Choice: Evolutionary Perspectives on Constraints, Expressions, and Variations in Female Mating Strategies
16. Christopher J. Wilbur and Lorne Campbell: Swept off Their Feet? Females' Strategic Mating Behavior as a Means of Supplying the Broom
17. Elizabeth Oberzaucher: Sex and Gender Differences in Communication Strategies
Part Five: New Disciplinary Frontiers
18. Tami Meredith and Maryanne Fisher: A New View of Evolutionary Psychology Using Female Priorities and Motivations
19. Nancy Easterlin: From Reproductive Resource to Autonomous Individuality: Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre
20. Julie Seaman: The Empress's Clothes
21. Michele Pridmore-Brown: Consuming Midlife Motherhood: Cooperative Breeding and the 'Disestablishment' of the Reproductive Clock in the Postindustrial Era
22. Leslie L. Heywood: The Quick and the Dead: Gendered Agency in the History of Western Science and Evolutionary Theory

There are no Instructor/Student Resources available at this time.

Maryanne L. Fisher, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and member of the Women and Gender Studies program at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Canada. Justin R. Garcia is a CTRD Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is also affiliated with the Center for the Integrative Study of Animal Behavior and the Cognitive Science Program at Indiana University, Bloomington. Rosemarie Sokol Chang, Ph.D., is Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychology at State University of New York at New Paltz, and at Southern New Hampshire University.

Sex, Power, Conflict - Edited by David M. Buss and Neil Malamuth
Evolution Challenges - Edited by Karl S. Rosengren, Sarah K. Brem, E. Margaret Evans and Gale M. Sinatra
The Oxford Handbook of Sexual Conflict in Humans - Edited by Todd K. Shackelford and Aaron T. Goetz

Special Features

  • The first volume to rectify a major theoretical gap in the evolutionary behavioral sciences.
  • Pushes research forward with a more nuanced and accurate model of evolution and behavior.