New Paper:
Kruger, D. J., Fisher, M. L., Wright, P. (2014). Patriarchy, male competition, and excess male mortality. Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, 8, 3-11.

Studies of patriarchy typically focus on women's subordination to men and the detrimental consequences for females. In this study, however, the authors predict that greater social empowerment of women will be associated with smaller mortality differences between women and men, which may seem counterintuitive from a nonevolutionary perspective. In other words, they predict that higher levels of societal patriarchy will be associated with greater levels of excess male mortality. They propose that the degree of patriarchy reflects both the extent of male control of females as reproductive assets, as well as the degree of male competition for positions of high status and power that have historically conferred disproportionate reproductive benefits. The intensity of this male competition directly predicts the extent to which male mortality rates exceed female mortality rates. The authors examined national level sociodemographic and mortality data from the WHO Mortality Database, United Nations, CIA World Factbook, and the Encyclopedia of World Cultures. They found that across nations, women's social and economic empowerment had a strong inverse relationship with the disparity between male and female mortality from both external(direct behavioral) and (behaviorally mediated) internal causes, even when accounting for general economic inequality and the prevalence of polygyny. This study demonstrates the usefulness of an evolutionary framework for explaining contemporary social phenomena and important public health issues.


The NorthEastern Evolutionary Psychology Society presents the 2015 Conference on Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, hosted by the Department of Psychology at Suffolk University in downtown Boston, MA, April 9-12. This conference will have a broad representation of evolutionary science, including Anthropology, Biology, Criminology, Cultural studies, Education, Ethology, History, Political Science, Primatology, and Psychology, from scientists and scholars across 12 countries. The conference will open on Thursday evening with a keynote presentation by Steven Pinker in the historic Old South Meeting House. Felix Warneken will also give a keynote presentation, David Sloan Wilson will lead a panel on clinical applications of evolutionary theory, and we will have a symposium panel on evolution and development. Conference registration will be $75 for students and $150 for academics/professionals and will include the conference banquet.

Conference Website

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