Sex Roles

, Volume 64, Issue 9–10, pp 758–767 | Cite as

Feminism and the Evolution of Sex Differences and Similarities

  • Alice H. EaglyEmail author
  • Wendy Wood
Original Article


Distrust between most evolutionary psychologists and most feminist psychologists is evident in the majority of the articles contained in this Special Issue. The debates between proponents of these perspectives reflect different views of the potential for transforming gender relations from patriarchal to gender-equal. Yet, with respect to the overall prevalence of sex differences or similarities, the articles in the Special Issue show that neither feminist psychologists nor evolutionary psychologists have uniform positions. Questions about how and if women and men differ are still under negotiation in the articles in this Special Issue as well as in other research related to evolutionary and feminist psychology. Clearer conclusions would be fostered by standardized metrics for representing male–female comparisons, more varied research methods for assessing both psychological and biological processes, greater diversity in populations sampled, and more researcher openness to taking into account findings that challenge their theories. Theoretical growth also is needed, especially to develop and integrate the many individual feminism-influenced theories represented in this Special Issue. To this end, we propose an integrative evolutionary framework that recognizes human culture in both ultimate and proximal causes of female and male behavior.


Gender Sex differences and similarities Feminism Evolutionary psychology 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Southern CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA

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