Commentary:

Evolutionary psychology is compatible with equity feminism, but not with gender feminism: A reply to Eagly and Wood (2011)

Evolutionary Psychology 10(1): 39-43 Barry X. Kuhle, Department of Psychology, University of Scranton, Scranton, PA, USA, BarryKuhle@gmail.com

Abstract

I comment on Eagly and Wood’s biosocial constructionist evolutionary theory (2011; DOI: 10.1007/s11199-011-9949-9). Although this gender feminist theory allows for evolved physical differences between men and women and evolved psychological similarities for men and women, it fails to consider evolutionary accounts of psychological sex differences. I hypothesize that gender feminists’ reluctance to acknowledge that evolution has left different fingerprints on men’s and women’s bodies and brains stems from two common misunderstandings of evolutionary psychology: the myth of immutability and the naturalistic fallacy. I conclude that although evolutionary psychology is eminently compatible with equity feminism, evolutionary psychology and feminist psychology will conflict as long as the latter adheres to gender feminism and its unwillingness to acknowledge the evidence for evolved psychological sex differences.  Gender feminism’s dualistic view of evolution hinders the search for and understanding of the proximate and ultimate causes of inequality. Feminist psychology needs to evolve by embracing equity feminism, which has no a priori stance on the origin or existence of differences between the sexes.

Keywords

Darwinian feminism, equity feminism, gender feminism, evolutionary psychology, biosocial constructionist evolutionary theory

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Evolutionary Psychology - An open access peer-reviewed journal - ISSN 1474-7049 © Ian Pitchford and Robert M. Young; individual articles © the author(s)
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