On the flight home, sick with pneumonia and a fever of 104 degrees, Hrdy lay across the middle row of seats drinking water from a baby bottle. Women in harsher environments often lost children to sickness or poverty, if they didn't die during childbirth themselves. Not even a mentally healthy woman should have to be in that situation. The resulting book Mother Nature is really about maternal love and ambivalence. This is why a politician can lose votes for encouraging mothers to stay home, as well as for suggesting they return to work; for pointing out that breastfeeding is beneficial to infants which it is , as well as for neglecting to mention that it is. Certainly there is massive documentation that throughout recorded history, quite a few men opted for more. With deft use of examples of humor and wordplay, Steven Pinker weaves our vast knowledge of language into a compelling story: language is a human instinct, wired into our brains by evolution.
What was the effect on women and children? Levine suggests that there are elements of truth in both camps. It engaged me wholly, making me re-examine many ideas I had already thought deeply about pertaining to culture, patriarchy, reproductive autonomy, and my own life. There was so much more selection on females to mate with multiple males for a variety of reasons, from genetic reasons to extracting more investment, or confusing the issue of paternity. Her theories about why mothers—as well as fathers—behave as they do brought her scorn, and then respect, as one of the most radical evolutionary thinkers of our day. True, it's kind of long and full of scientific and anthropological detail. We evolved to be wired for empathy for, consideration of, and intuition into how others are feeling.
Hrdy graduated summa cum laude from Radcliffe College in Cambridge, Massachusetts and received her Ph. Really deep and thought-provoking look at maternal ambivalence. In acknowledgment of her achievements, magazine recognized her in 2002 as one of the 50 most important women in science. It was in south Texas. When my brother died at the age of 30, my younger sister gave me his baby book. Banning late-stage abortion was simply their first step to banning all abortions. Human babies are 4-8 times fatter at birth than any other primate.
Only when we understand the science of the mind and the power of love and nurturing can we hope to heal the spirit of even the most wounded child. Like other high-status male primates before him, he was intent on controlling when, where, and how females belonging to his group reproduced. Will she have enough resources to feed and protect the children she has as well as for the newborn given the environmental circumstances - circumstances which include the whole cultural milieu as well as her individual situation. This is a big book, and it requires a big review. Hrdy now believes that some of her contrarian insights, such as that killing infants might be adaptive behavior, may have grown out of her struggle against male bias in anthropology and evolutionary biology. Even if born alive, the baby, they were told, would not be viable.
The circumstances surrounding motherhood have never been more different. There was really no consideration of how much variation existed among females. Also, in some primates the males will help feed and protect children that might be theirs. Which is why this book totally rocked my wor I have long been extremely leery of evolutionary or biological explanations for differences between the sexes. Kings, emperors, and despots—who had the power to do so—filled their seraglios with fertile women.
With modern primates, infants are raised exclusively by their mothers until they are weaned, but early human infants were too high-cost for a female to provision alone. At the same time, birth control is still against the law in many countries; and on the sidewalks outside family planning clinics in the United States, near civil war prevails. Without anyone raising their hands to volunteer, we have become guinea pigs in a vast social experiment that reveals what women who can control reproduction really want to do. As infants are physically meek, their only 'weapons' in this fight are their appearance and their behaviour. Sons would stay near where their brothers and fathers were because they made the best allies for defending a particular resource.
These are the types of applications I took from Mother Nature - just wish it was a little more succinct! Maternal instinct - the all-consuming, utterly selfless love that mothers lavish on their children - has long been assumed to be an innate, indeed defining element of a woman's nature. Her brain, like a kaleidoscope, realigns patterns, illuminating them with a clear, startling light. . We have evolved as adept sociobiologists, able to calculate love. This was the basis for the assumption that there was stronger selection pressure on males than on females. Her mother was a woman of the times, distant with her infants.
In this provocative, groundbreaking book, renowned anthropologist and mother Sarah Blaffer Hrdy shares a radical new vision of motherhood and its crucial role in human evolution. Various biologists since have made the same mistake. Status-seeking by mothers today, via jobs and incomes, Hrdy argues, is an evolutionary product of ensuring long and safe lives for their progeny. She says the woman who drowned her five children in the bathtub in Texas is a tragic example of the need for a support system. Instead of relying on the single-minded dedication of their mothers, youngsters had to monitor and engage multiple caretakers as well.