Thoughts on Original Sin by Tatha Wiley (2002) 7B

In the last blog, if you haven’t figured it out, “XY” stands for “male”; “XX” stands for female, I mean, feminist; and “XY over XX” stands for one type of “gender bias”.

Everything in the last blog points to “gender bias” as a “cultural” issue, rather than a “biocultural” conundrum.  In several places in chapter 7, Wiley noted that the disputed differences in social relations were due to culture, not nature (biology).

Chapter 12A in An Archaeology of the Fall presents a hypothesis in evolutionary psychology that undermines the assumption that “gender-bias is exclusively cultural”.  Plus, it does so at the start of a re-imagining of the Story of the Fall.

The hypothesis concludes that male-female pair-bonding was one adaptation of the Homo genus (maybe around 3 million years ago).  This adaptation evolved in the format of a bargain:  The bonded male would provide for the bonded female & her (and presumably his) children.  The female would provide hard-to-fake guarantees of her fidelity, which consisted in (culturally formatted) exhibitions of “submission” to the male’s “authority” (which were accompanied by demands for provisions).  In this bargain, both the male and the female would guarantee their own reproductive success (that is, that their genes were passed on to the next generation).

These adaptations relied on behavioral variability.  Those who were more psychologically suited to the bargain were more reproductively successful.  Those who learned to disguise their cheating were also selected.  So the selection pressure never quit.

Traditions also varied, favoring the cultural evolution of hard-to-fake signals of female fidelity.

This biocultural evolution changed the hominid body.

For example, male and female size differentials are not that large for the Homo genus.  If the cultural-based guarantee (of female fidelity) had not worked, larger size differentials would be expected (with a different sociality than male-female pair bonding).

Another example, female ovulation is concealed in our genus.  Is concealed ovulation a biological or cultural trait?  Or is it a biocultural trait?