Skip to main content

Margie Profet

  • Living reference work entry
  • First Online:
Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science


Margaret Profet; Profet


Margie Profet contributed evolutionary theories of pathogen and toxin avoidance as they pertained to pregnancy sickness, allergies, and menstruation.


This entry focuses on the theoretical contributions made by Margie Profet in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Profet’s key contributions included describing the adaptive significance of pregnancy sickness, menstruation, and allergies. Prior to Profet’s work, researchers had not explained these topics through the lens of evolutionary theory; instead, these physiological processes were largely portrayed as biological anomalies or evolutionary by-products. Profet was therefore recognized as a key figure in bridging evolutionary theory with health sciences, but also stirred up controversy among biologists and physicians in the popular media. This entry therefore describes each of the key contributions made by Profet and the social context surrounding her theories.



This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this chapter

Institutional subscriptions


Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Caitlyn D. Placek .

Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Section Editor information

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

Copyright information

© 2020 Springer Nature Switzerland AG

About this entry

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this entry

Placek, C.D. (2020). Margie Profet. In: Shackelford, T., Weekes-Shackelford, V. (eds) Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science. Springer, Cham.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-16999-6

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-319-16999-6

  • eBook Packages: Springer Reference Behavioral Science and PsychologyReference Module Humanities and Social SciencesReference Module Business, Economics and Social Sciences

Publish with us

Policies and ethics