Friday, November 21, 2014

Evolutionary psychology takes another hit

One of the claims of evolutionary psychology, that theory so beloved by New Atheists like Steven Pinker and Richard Dawkins, is that women prefer older men because of an evolutionarily-endowed innate predilection.

Well lucky for proponents of evo-psycho, they've never depended on evidence to support their pet theory, because it looks like thanks to the female income revolution women are going for younger guys:
According to Fischer, data from specific age brackets -- 30-49, 50+ and even 20-29 -- showed similar patterns of women preferring younger men, although older female users were even more likely to respond to messages from younger guys.
If the numbers contradict conventional wisdom, a look around at the way people actually date suggests that they're right on the mark. As CNN pointed out in February, Hollywood and the broader celebrity sphere is full of young women dating younger men, from actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler, 31, to race car driver and model Danica Patrick, 30, to Eva Longoria, 38. 
The data also make sense in light of women's financial realities. Women under 30 are out-earning young men in major metropolitan areas. Women are now the primary breadwinners in 4 out of 10 households with children. There are signs that men are increasingly interested in women who earn as much or more than they do. Since they can count on themselves, women don't need an older man for financial stability, and dating a younger one may be a way of establishing relationships where they have at least as much control as the man. In a recent story on the data, TIME quoted Harvard psychologist Justin Lehmiller speculating that "when the woman is older, it shifts the traditional heterosexual power dynamic toward greater equality," and equality makes for happier couples.

But of course evo-psychos will invent some just-so story to get out of facing yet more evidence that the theory is based on, as anthropologist Marvin Harris said, "biologizing inequality."

And speaking of Richard Dawkins, that best-selling and revered millionaire considers himself a victim - the comments below the quote are P.Z. Meyer's:

I don’t take back anything that I’ve said, Dawkins said from a shady spot in the leafy backyard of one of his Bay Area supporters. I would not say it again, however, because I am now accustomed to being misunderstood and so I will … He trailed off momentarily, gazing at his hands resting on a patio table.I feel muzzled, and a lot of other people do as well, he continued. There is a climate of bullying, a climate of intransigent thought police which is highly influential in the sense that it suppresses people like me. 
Richard Dawkins is worth over $100 million. Every book Richard Dawkins writes is a best-seller. People pay Richard Dawkins $10-20,000 to come lecture at them for an hour. When any news source wants to get an opinion from the atheist community, who do they turn to first? Richard Dawkins. Richard Dawkins gets to tell conference organizers who to uninvite from their speaker list. Richard Dawkins makes movies about Richard Dawkins.
And poor little Richard Dawkins is muzzled? After whining that American women ought to hush up about getting fondled in the workplace or harassed in an elevator, because they’re so well off compared to women in the patriarchal cultures of the Middle East, he’s claiming victimhood as a wealthy outspoken opinionated man, because people criticize him?
Jesus fuck. That’s pathetic.