Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford

Evolutionary Biology and Feminism

  • Maryanne L. FisherEmail author
  • Rebecca L. Burch
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_3189-1



There has been an ongoing uneasy relationship between evolutionary biology and feminism(s) due to highly differing perspectives about objectivity in science, issues of sex differences, and the role of biology versus social and cultural construction.


The tension between evolutionary biology and feminism(s) is palpable when it comes to understanding and explaining human behavior. At times, there seems to be no space for integrating the two perspectives: for example, Birke (2017) discusses how biological sex (i.e., anatomically female or male) and more generally the “ghost of biology” still remains problematic for feminist thought. Typically, feminists often view evolutionary based research as anti-feminist, reductionist, and neglecting the inclusion of social and cultural influences. This tension has been documented for at least four decades by a range of scholars (Fausto-Sterling 1997; Fedigan 1986; Fisher et al. in press...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologySaint Mary’s UniversityHalifaxCanada
  2. 2.State University of New York at OswegoOswegoUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Valerie G. Starratt
    • 1
  1. 1.Nova Southeastern UniversityFort LauderdaleUSA