From the essay: 'Around the world, people recognize that humans experience transient alterations of subjective state in response to information; people also agree that these alterations are often (with varying degrees of voluntary control) outwardly expressed, that they motivate action, and that they involve a change in one’s perception of oneself, one’s surroundings, and one’s goals. English speakers label these experiences ‘emotions,’ and similar terms occur in many languages.
Because the constituents of this category vary across languages, some anthropologists argue that emotions are primarily cultural in nature, and are incommensurate across cultures. However, critics of this position note that, while labels and connotations differ across cultures, many emotional expressions (particularly those involving the face) are easily recognized by outsiders. This suggests that, while cultures may determine the meaning of events that elicit emotions, and while cultures may glorify, disparage, ignore, or combine particular aspects of the emotion repertoire, the core aspects of human emotions are species typical, and hence are likely to be the products of selection.'
Published in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Evolution, Mark Pagel, ed. Vol. 1, pp. 296-299. 2002. New York: Oxford University Press.
From the essay: 'The basic evolutionary pressures on males and females are identical. Without regard for gender, genes tend to flourish which encode phenotypes that are successful in obtaining for themselves and their relatives (those who share their genes) healthy and regular supplies of water and food, in procreating, and protecting themselves from diseases and injuries.
This success has ample social dimensions, and because humans are highly social, there is a definite - if modest - gender dimorphism (differences) in the mechanical and mental aptitudes of males and females. .. Cognitive and emotional gender dimorphism correspond directly to dimorphism in somatic anatomy and metabolism.
Female procreative organs implement the mechanics of pregnancy. The activation of this system is expensive metabolically, and grossly impedes the envelope of physical performance. Female procreative organs are internal and substantially protected from the elements and from injury. Male procreative organs, in contrast, are exceedingly exposed, so that male fertility has an elevated sensitivity to physical injuries. Male procreation does not usually involve any metabolic or physical taxation beyond that incurred by the sex act.
On average, males are distinctly superior at hurling rocks and spears at targets. They are discernibly superior at the pursuit of goals through direct action without a social intermediary. A female on average has a corresponding advantage in using social mechanisms (particularly, language) to lead another person to act in pursuit of her goals.
Famously, males tend to navigate spatially, while females tend to navigate using landmarks. This has been accounted for by reference to the stereotypical role of the male as journeying hunter and the female as homebody, but of course this tendency is far from a hard and fast rule.'
By Daniel Pouzzner, 2000-Apr-11/12
Page Title: 'Sexual Psychology: Male and Female Brain, Emotions,
Lust, Love, Desire, Arousal, Sex as Psychological / Physical, Orgasm'.
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Analyse any human emotion, no matter how far it may be removed from the sphere of sex, and you are sure to discover somewhere the primal impulse, to which life owes its perpetuation. ... The primitive stages can always be re-established; the primitive mind is, in the fullest meaning of the word, imperishable. ... Mans most disagreeable habits and idiosyncrasies, his deceit, his cowardice, his lack of reverence, are engendered by his incomplete adjustment to a complicated civilisation. It is the result of the conflict between our instincts and our culture. (Sigmund Freud)
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