Matt Ridley's The Red Queen

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Matt Ridley book, The Red Queen, is a thoughtful work on evolutionary psychology. The central idea of The Red Queen is the question whether the evolutionary need to constantly update and change your mental patterns and behaviors in order to compete and survive in a constantly changing ecosystem is the answer that explains the whole spectrum of human behavior, but especially in relation to sex, gender and mating rituals. This essay will begin by summarizing The Red Queen, and then will discuss the book’s explanation for the differences in male and female sexual behavior and bodies and brains, which I found very interesting. Then I will discuss how this book affected my view of the sexes. The Red Queen begins by discussing how nobody can ever…show more content…
Ridley suggests that we aren’t thriving, we are just surviving, and at any moment random events could eventually wipe us out. All species have the same chance at extinction, and it is random. Ridley, Matt. "The Power of Parasites." The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature. New York: Macmillan Pub., 1994. N. pag. Print. So the variation and adaptability that sexual reproduction provides is crucial to our survival. There is also a lot of scientific discussion about how genes are always mutating, and the separation of chromosomes in males and females allows re-combination and suppresses these gene mutations. Ridley seems to suggest that the gender of a child is determined by the environment, and that dominant women are most likely to have sons than daughters. The book also speculates over whether you can pre-select the gender of the child due to hormone ratios in the mother and father. Ridley, Matt. "Genetic Mutiny and Gender." The Red Queen: Sex and the Evolution of Human Nature. New York: Macmillan Pub., 1994. N. pag.…show more content…
I don’t think Ridley spent a lot of time considering matriarchy-oriented communities, like the Native American Hopi tribe in the United States for example where women pursue their own mates and do the chasing and choosing. I also don’t think it’s true that all men want to be promiscuous and all women want monogamous relationships so I wish he had been more balanced. I do think that the majority of men and women are like that but again there are many isolated human societies where that is not true. I did find his discussion of the role that hormones play interesting,

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