Certain unspoken rules known as mores Essay

Published: 2020-04-22 08:06:56
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In todays world, there are certain unspoken rules known as mores that keep people from engaging in activities that are immoral and criminal. These mores vary slightly from country to country, but some seem to be followed by nearly every society. Murder is never socially acceptable, and in most situations, neither is incest. In an effort to understand why such different societies find the same actions repugnant, a branch of psychology known as Evolutionary Psychology has been formed.

Evolutionary psychology is based on the ideas of Charles Darwin. He developed the theory of natural selection, which can be defined as the differential contribution of offspring to the next generation by genetically different members of a population (Crawford, p. 2). Evolutionary psychology takes Darwins theory of natural selection and applies the theory to explain how we as humans overcame certain problems that our ancestors encountered, primarily the issues of mating and incest.

Following the idea of the evolutionary psychology of brother sister incest avoidance, Darwinists have found that raising different sex children together has a profound impact on how they are attracted to each other (Crawford, p. 4). As a general rule, they do not wish to mate, and that wish reflects a mechanism humans evolved to avoid inbreeding and genetic problems often suffered by the next generation produced from incest (Crawford, p. 4. ).

There are more researchers that take the idea of ancestral cues and evolutionary psychology and apply them to what most people think of as a serious health problem. Some researchers take the idea of evolutionary psychology and apply it to the problems that mostly young women have with anorexia. These researchers tend to focus on the idea that when young women feel they are in a situation that is unfavorable for reproduction, they attempt to render their bodies unfit for bearing children.

The researchers believe that anorexia may reflect an ancestral reproductive suppression mechanism activated by contemporary cues (Juda, Campbell, and Crawford, p. 200). In more simplistic terms, the researchers believe that when a woman of childbearing age finds that she has a lack of support, a lack of resources, and an unsuitable mate, she will purposefully lose weight to the point that her body would not be able to become pregnant. In the unlikely event she did become pregnant the odds of the pregnancy completing successfully would be very low.

The researchers believe the action taken by these women is triggered by a trait passed down from our ancestors that would keep the population low in times of trouble, such as famine, for example. However, society seems to lean toward the idea that women lose weight in an effort to look beautiful. Although being beautiful may be some womens motivation to lose weight, researchers believe that beauty is not the only motivation. There are different standards for beauty all over the world. In the United States, there is a prevailing attitude that thinner is prettier.

One can contrast that attitude with other counties that find bigger women to be more desirable. Most people think that social pressures make women in some countries want to be thin, but evolutionary psychologists have a different viewpoint. Some researchers believe that not only does an ancestral cue cause women to have eating disorders, but a similar cue could influence women to gain and lose weight in normal ranges due to the socio-ecological state in which they live (Salmon, et al, p. 2).

More so, these same researchers believe that this cue is being felt to an extreme degree and for longer periods in the Western Hemisphere (Salmon, et al, p. 2). Thus, weight control is considered to be the result of an internal mechanism, not individual standards for beauty. Evolutionary psychology is an interesting branch of study that may prove useful in gaining a better understanding of what we do and why. Cues from the past influencing the world that we live in today is an interesting approach to determining the hidden reasons behind peoples actions.

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