[Comment is Free] Men and women? Both from Earth

I have a new post up at the Guardian’s Comment is Free section. Why is evolutionary psychology so popular with headline writers?

Evolutionary psychology promises big answers – and best of all for headline-writers, the big answers all have to do with sex. In its academic form, it’s an effort to interpret human behaviour in the light of our genetic heritage – data from psychological and behavioural studies, archaeological and anthropological data can all be thrown into the big narrative of how humans bred their way out of the caves and into the cities. The information it draws on is, or should be, empirically established observations. The stories evolutionary psychology tells with that information are speculative.

For more about why the Telegraph thinks you need to keep your eye on your big-chinned lady, and why this misrepresentation depresses me so utterly, read the rest of the article…

5 thoughts on “[Comment is Free] Men and women? Both from Earth

  1. I like the article but it strikes me as something that would probably reward a longer treatment. You didn’t have the space to get really stuck in to it. Does the CiF site have a word limit for entries?

    Oh, the main problem is probably that people are allowed to comment on it. I know that’s the central premise but people appear, by and large, to be quite stupid. Have you read the comments?

  2. Yeah – I’ve replied, but I didn’t know what time the piece was going up so my comment doesn’t show until page two. By which time many 0f the commenters had got themselves in a froth about things I was actually very careful not to say – and a couple of the comments are so exquisitely stupid, my brain couldn’t comprehend them. (Although, as you say, it could have been a longer piece if the wordcount had been available, and maybe that would have helped to make things clearer. ) Things such as “well how come fashion designers are women!!!” and “but my daughter loves Barbie!!!” are like impossible shapes of bad logic. They look grammatically complete, but there’s no way of reconciling them with the normal rules of conversation.

  3. Aye, that sort of stuff would give me a headache.

    Best just to ignore the idiots surely?

  4. Engaging is kind of a requirement of CiF, but it’s interesting how much better a conversation seems to go if the writer gets in early rather than late…

  5. Cut and Paste these foolproof measures:

    “Shut it, you’re wrong.”

    “You’re kidding nobody you big wrong bastard.”


    “As if! You can’t even spell evverlushun write.”

    “I blame Thatcher, and Reaganomics.”

Comments are closed.