The Woman That Never Evolved

Sarah Hrdy is an American anthropologist who has devoted much of her career to studying parental care in primates. She made major contributions to evolutionary psychology and sociobiology and has been selected as one of the 21 “Leaders in Animal Behavior”.

In her book, “The Woman That Never Evolved“ (1981), Hrdy argued that female primates had developed many strategies for coping with dominant males, including forming alliances with other females.

She maintains that Darwin’s belief in sexually passive females stemmed from relatively new social mores that most primates, including some humans, did not abide by.

Hrdy describes polyandry, the practice of mating with more than one male, as advantageous to females and their young. Most or all of the males that had mated with a given female were likely to believe that the resultant offspring was theirs.

This book is one of the New York Times’ Notable Books of 1981.

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