The emperor still has no clothes! Genetic determinism as evolutionary psychology
Source TitlePolitics and Culture: An International Reviews Journal
University of Melbourne Author/sLAZAROW, MELANIE
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsLazarow, M. (2002). The emperor still has no clothes! Genetic determinism as evolutionary psychology. Politics and Culture: An International Reviews Journal, 2.
Access StatusOpen Access
© 2002 Melanie Lazarow
Alas Poor Darwin and It Ain't Necessarily So are excellent tools to help dispel some of the commonly-promoted ideas about genetic determinism that have become so widespread in both academic and popular writing. Evolutionary psychology (EP) has precursors in both sociobiology and eugenics, yet differs from them, pointedly in that sociobiology was never seriously academically accepted while EP is part of the mainstream of academic programs in psychology, biology and anthropology. However it still serves the important ideological purpose of reinforcing sexism, racism and inequality today. EP is needed because, after all, in a society of equal opportunity and social mobility, how is one to explain differences in social power if not by differences in intrinsic ability? Both books show how genetic determinism - although it is poor science - proclaims itself as the legitimate emperor of twenty-first century psychology.
Keywordscriticism of evolutionary psychology; criticism of biological determinism; human genome
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