M. Butterfly

John Alcock reviews the controversy that has surrounded evolutionary studies of human social behavior following the 1975 publication of E.O. Wilson's classic, Sociobiology, the New Synthesis. Denounced vehemently as an ideology that has justified social evils and inequalities, sociobiology has survived the assault. Twenty-five years after the field was named by Wilson, the approach he championed has successfully demonstrated its value in the study of animal behavior, including the behavior of our own species. Yet, misconceptions remain. In this objective approach to the sociobiology debate, animal behaviorist John Alcock illuminates how sociobiologists study behavior in all species. He confronts the chief scientific and ideological objections head on, with an analysis of case histories that involve such topics as sexual jealousy, beauty, gender difference, parent-offspring relations, and rape.

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M. Butterfly

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