Human nature is one of those things that everybody talks about but no one can define precisely. Every time we fall in love, fight with our spouse, get upset about the influx of immigrants into our country, or go to church, we are, in part, behaving as a human animal with our own unique evolved nature—human nature.
Human behavior is a product both of our innate human nature and of our individual experience and environment. In this article, however, we emphasize biological influences on human behavior, because most social scientists explain human behavior as if evolution stops at the neck and as if our behavior is a product almost entirely of environment and socialization. In contrast, evolutionary psychologists see human nature as a collection of psychological adaptations that often operate beneath conscious thinking to solve problems of survival and reproduction by predisposing us to think or feel in certain ways. Our preference for sweets and fats is an evolved psychological mechanism. We do not consciously choose to like sweets and fats; they just taste good to us.
The implications of some of the ideas in this article may seem immoral, contrary to our ideals, or offensive. We state them because they are true, supported by documented scientific evidence. Like it or not, human nature is simply not politically correct.
Adapted from Why Beautiful People Have More Daughters, by Alan S. Miller and Satoshi Kanazawa, to be published by Perigee in September 2007.
- Men like blond bombshells (and women want to look like them)
- Humans are naturally polygamous
- Most women benefit from polygyny, while most men benefit from monogamy
- Most suicide bombers are Muslim
- Having sons reduces the likelihood of divorce
- Beautiful people have more daughters
- What Bill Gates and Paul McCartney have in common with criminals
- The midlife crisis is a myth—sort of
- It's natural for politicians to risk everything for an affair (but only if they're male)
- Men sexually harass women because they are not sexist