Conceptions of paternity and evolutionary psychology

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Wojciech Załuski


Evolutionary psychology offers a fairly ‘patriarchal’ picture of sex differences, according to which men are, ‘by nature’, (a) much more polygamously disposed, (b) much more desirous of power over the opposite sex (this desire manifests itself in their more intense sexual jealousy), and (c) much more aggressive than women.  However, the picture – at least in its components (a) and (b) – becomes problematic if one looks at the history of conceptions of paternity accepted by our ancestors.  It is argued in the paper that the very fact that our ancestors accepted various and essentially different conceptions of paternity casts a shadow of doubt on the ‘patriarchal’ picture of sex differences (especially if this fact is coupled with the hypothesis that our most distant – Pleistocene – ancestors accepted the conceptions which deny or marginalize the role of father in the process of the generation of children).

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Załuski, W. (2021). Conceptions of paternity and evolutionary psychology. Philosophical Problems in Science (Zagadnienia Filozoficzne W Nauce), (71), 107–127. Retrieved from


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