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's 2015 Conference on Evolutionary Behavioral Sciences, hosted by the Department of Psychology at Suffolk University in Boston, MA, April 9-12. Steven Pinker and Felix Warneken, both of Harvard University, will give invited talks. David Sloan Wilson (Binghamton University) will lead a panel on clinical applications of evolutionary theory. Additional invited speakers TBA. The conference will include a panel discussing developmental issues and submissions relating to this topic are encouraged but not required. We expect representation from a wide range of disciplines, methods, and topics, as with previous conferences. The site for abstract submission is currently open and the submission deadline is November 15th (11:59 pm), see URL below.

Conference Website

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