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May 3 16 10:13 AM

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While I have known about Jaimie Veale for a while now, for some reason I did not realize that she had a model of gender variance and expression that closely matches some (much more incomplete) ideas I have been thinking about.

http://www.jaimieveale.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/idmodel.pdf

I had read Jack's blog about her research before but did not notice her concept of Identity-Defense. Essentially, the idea is that how one ends up expressing their gender is a combination of one's gender identity tempered or modified by the application (or not) of defense mechanisms.

An individual may or may not attempt to employ defence mechanisms based on their environment and personality; and even if they do attempt to employ them, they may have varying levels of success, again based on things like personality.

Individuals who employ defence mechanisms do so to avoid facing their own gender variance and therefore tend to face them later in life than individuals who do not employ defence mechanisms.

Veale also presents a model to explain how these two different strategies correlate to sexual orientation. In fact, an interesting part of her model is that how the individual deals with their gender variance influences their sexual orientation rather than the other way around.

In my personal case, I clearly see how her model applies to my journey. Unlike other models, which seem more taxonomic, Veale builds up from fairly simple principles, which appeals to my sense of scientific elegance.

In short, I like it!

I am curious what others think. Does it make sense to you? Or does it seem not to apply to your particular journey?
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#1 [url]

May 5 16 1:58 AM

It is truly fascinating isn't it?

I believe the general narrative of transgender people suppressing their childhood gender variance in different degrees is unproblematic (even if Felix in his latest post is trying to complement that model).  What is fascinating in Jaimie & Co's model is the relationship between suppression and sexual orientation.

My basic belief has been that the difference between MTF transgender who freely express feminiity on the one hand (called "classical" in the paper. Others use terms like "early onset") and the ones who keep their feminine side more private (called "non-classical" in the paper, cp. late onset, crossdressers, transvestites, "autogynephiliacs" etc.) is the result of their fundamental sexual orientation.

In this narrative "non-classical" MTF transgender people are mostly attracted to females, both sexually and romantically. Since they even as kids prepare for an adulthood where they are to love heterosexual women, they deny their female identity because it will seriously diminish their chances of being accepted as "real men" by them.

Jaimie turns this upside down. Her starting point is the personality profile of the MTF transgender person. Introverts and people-pleasers are more likely to sucumb to the social pressure to behave like "real" heterosexual men. Because  of this they end up eroticising women (understood as the fascinating "other") instead of men. Many of them therefore suppress both their gender variance and their sexual attraction to men.

The more extrovert and "I don't give a damn" personalities on the other hand, feel freer to express and explore both their feminity and their attraction to men, and they are also more likely to find peers and role models in the gay community.

So I have had to ask myself: Is my own attraction to women a product of my socialization, given that I was -- indeed -- an introvert kid? Could I love men?

To be honest with you: I do not know.

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#2 [url]

May 5 16 7:01 AM

I'm confused.  Are we using "early onset" to describe transwomen who present as female at an early age?  Or is it about when gender identification occurs, regardless of whether or not this is overtly expressed?

As for me, I'm extremely introverted, have felt I am really a girl since before puberty, but have always kept it private.  I am sexually attracted to women, but I won't deny there have been times when I've found myself looking at a man and feeling a strong desire to kiss him.

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#3 [url]

May 5 16 9:07 AM

Warning! Talking about Blanchard. Avert your eyes if he or his research disturbs you.

Kippi wrote:
I'm confused.  Are we using "early onset" to describe transwomen who present as female at an early age?  Or is it about when gender identification occurs, regardless of whether or not this is overtly expressed?

As for me, I'm extremely introverted, have felt I am really a girl since before puberty, but have always kept it private.  I am sexually attracted to women, but I won't deny there have been times when I've found myself looking at a man and feeling a strong desire to kiss him.


As far as I know, Blanchard (who I think introduced the concept of early- and late-onset transsexuals) was referring to the age at which the trans women expressed a desire to transition. But, as Jack points out, for Blanchard the fundamental distinction between the two groups seems to have been sexual orientation, not the age at which they transitioned.

Based on reading anecdotal accounts and speaking with my therapist, the vast majority of transgender people are aware that something is "up" with their gender at a young age, including those that seek therapy or transition later in life.

IMHO, the terms early- and late-onset have probably outlived their usefulness, except to refer to this early research (which, I probably don't need to mention, is considered fundamentally flawed and probably harmful by a large number of transgender people and more recent researchers that study them).

I relate very well to your story (introverted, female gender identity, primarily but not exclusively attracted to women). Did you read my script? :) I think simply taking into account personality and environment, like Veale does, is sufficient to explain different groups like "classical" (early-onset homosexual, in Blanchard's terminology) and "non-classical" (late-onset heterosexual) arising from the same gender identity.

Edit: hopefully made it clearer what is definitely my opinion versus what I think is more objectively true.

Last Edited By: Skyler May 5 16 11:16 AM. Edited 2 times.

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#4 [url]

May 5 16 9:25 AM

jackmolay wrote:
It is truly fascinating isn't it?

Yes!
I believe the general narrative of transgender people suppressing their childhood gender variance in different degrees is unproblematic (even if Felix in his latest post is trying to complement that model).  What is fascinating in Jaimie & Co's model is the relationship between suppression and sexual orientation.

I have not been researching this as long or as thouroughly as you and others, but until this paper I had really only found either rather brief discussions of gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, that do not attempt to describe how those facets might interact; or Blanchard's theory, which is controversial and didn't fully match my personal experience. So while I am not surprised that Veale and Co's model is unproblematic, it was very validating to see a serious paper describing things I had been thinking. :)
My basic belief has been that the difference between MTF transgender who freely express feminiity on the one hand (called "classical" in the paper. Others use terms like "early onset") and the ones who keep their feminine side more private (called "non-classical" in the paper, cp. late onset, crossdressers, transvestites, "autogynephiliacs" etc.) is the result of their fundamental sexual orientation.

In this narrative "non-classical" MTF transgender people are mostly attracted to females, both sexually and romantically. Since they even as kids prepare for an adulthood where they are to love heterosexual women, they deny their female identity because it will seriously diminish their chances of being accepted as "real men" by them.

Jaimie turns this upside down. Her starting point is the personality profile of the MTF transgender person. Introverts and people-pleasers are more likely to sucumb to the social pressure to behave like "real" heterosexual men. Because  of this they end up eroticising women (understood as the fascinating "other") instead of men. Many of them therefore suppress both their gender variance and their sexual attraction to men.

The more extrovert and "I don't give a damn" personalities on the other hand, feel freer to express and explore both their feminity and their attraction to men, and they are also more likely to find peers and role models in the gay community.

Agreed, this is so interesting because it is the opposite of what I had ever thought too. And yet there is something plausible about it. However, as she states, the theory of attraction she is using is far from fully accepted.
So I have had to ask myself: Is my own attraction to women a product of my socialization, given that I was -- indeed -- an introvert kid? Could I love men?

To be honest with you: I do not know.

Nor do I. I am paying more attention now, just in case there is any chance of noticing a connection lingering.

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#6 [url]

May 5 16 11:24 AM

Kippi wrote:
Thanks Skyler! I'm still very new to transgender theory, its history and vocabulary.

You're welcome!

I am new to it as well and may well have messed something up (although I think I captured the broad brush idea correctly). There are definitely others here that know far more than I do, hopefully they will chime in to make any needed corrections or clarifications.

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#7 [url]

May 5 16 10:00 PM

I'm confused.  Are we using "early onset" to describe transwomen who present as female at an early age?


Skyler has already covered this, but the main problem seems to be that some scientists seems to confuse practical human made categories (late transitioning transgender women are more likely to be bisexual and gynephilic) with clearly distinguishable real "things" out there in the wold. So for Blanchard the late onset (i.e. those that approach the health system later in life) represent a completely different species of trans than those that come out earlier.

I have been discussing this with a lot of trans people over the years, and I know that this difference only makes sense on an aggregated statistical level. There are early onset MTF transgender people who love men and vise-versa.

And yes late and early can ony refer to when people come out as trans to themselves and other, not when they had transgender feelings at the first time. In older litterature scientists tend to mix this up, but it is clear now that gynephilic MTYF transgender people are just as likely to have transgender feelings at an early age as the others. Not that this is demanded for anyone to be recognized as "real trans", mind you.

Last Edited By: jackmolay May 22 16 12:51 AM. Edited 1 time.

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#8 [url]

May 6 16 12:10 PM

jackmolay wrote:
It is truly fascinating isn't it?

I believe the general narrative of transgender people suppressing their childhood gender variance in different degrees is unproblematic (even if Felix in his latest post is trying to complement that model).  What is fascinating in Jaimie & Co's model is the relationship between suppression and sexual orientation.

My basic belief has been that the difference between MTF transgender who freely express feminiity on the one hand (called "classical" in the paper. Others use terms like "early onset") and the ones who keep their feminine side more private (called "non-classical" in the paper, cp. late onset, crossdressers, transvestites, "autogynephiliacs" etc.) is the result of their fundamental sexual orientation.

In this narrative "non-classical" MTF transgender people are mostly attracted to females, both sexually and romantically. Since they even as kids prepare for an adulthood where they are to love heterosexual women, they deny their female identity because it will seriously diminish their chances of being accepted as "real men" by them.

Jaimie turns this upside down. Her starting point is the personality profile of the MTF transgender person. Introverts and people-pleasers are more likely to sucumb to the social pressure to behave like "real" heterosexual men. Because  of this they end up eroticising women (understood as the fascinating "other") instead of men. Many of them therefore suppress both their gender variance and their sexual attraction to men.

The more extrovert and "I don't give a damn" personalities on the other hand, feel freer to express and explore both their feminity and their attraction to men, and they are also more likely to find peers and role models in the gay community.

So I have had to ask myself: Is my own attraction to women a product of my socialization, given that I was -- indeed -- an introvert kid? Could I love men?

To be honest with you: I do not know.

Have you ever felt like you were repressing an attraction to men? I've always felt like I was repressing my gender variance as well as my kink, but not an attraction toward men. But orientation gets strange for me as I began to have submissive urges around the same age as my crossdreaming. I don't feel like any of the models really fit me because my submissiveness can override my attraction. I would immediately pick being submissive to another man over being dominant with a woman in any case. I don't think I can really call the bisexuality in the sense of having attraction toward men and women because I don't have much of a same-sex attraction but I wouldn't be against sex with a man where I play the submissive role.

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#9 [url]

May 13 16 6:13 PM

I am familiar with Veale's work as well and I do not know how I missed this particular article, either. Having read it my initial reaction is this is the closest thing I have read to approaching my experience and understanding of the social science's research that I have seen. It also may have a lot more backing form the hard sciences as well. I recently had a conversation with a neuropyschologist about the genetics behind sexuality, identity, etc. They surprised me saying that from their collective reading the science (particularly epigenetics) so far is showing sexual preferences most likely occurs on how ones "sexual gene" (they meant all the genes that determine/influence it as a collected whole) is first expressed or experienced, by both biological predispositions and environmental factors. Not sure to what extent I agree or really what the state of the science is, but they believed the science has demonstrated sex drive to be an innate human tendency. However, the direction of this sex drive, meaning how it actually manifests (heterosexual, homosexuality, asexuality, bisexuality, pedophillia, etc.) is not entirely pre-determined. Different individuals may have different pre-dispositions, but how these dispositions come about is also contingent on environmental factors and even to some degree personality, opportunities, and choice/free will. That is, one's sexuality, sexual preference, sexual attraction is not entirely innate, but is more complex than that. They told me to look more into epigenetic research to really see where it is going.

Needless to say, while Veale's paper I think has some holes to fill, and she admits them in the end, I think this is the most comprehensive construction of a framework I have seen on the topic. The paper actually really excites me and I would love to work on sharpening this as a group. On of the biggest challenges I see with it, is repression as reason. While I do think repression plays a role, because I have experienced it myself, and I wholly understand cognitive dissonance as the result, using it sets a scientific standard difficult to satisfy. The accusation/temptation of using repression to explain absolutely every aspect of our experience smacks of moving the goal posts and excuse any objection away as just more repression, or just a big hole in the explanation. Regardless, I still believe that this is a very workable framework and worth more attention. Particularly, I think an examination into the biological science behind this would be very interesting.

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#10 [url]

May 13 16 10:30 PM

The paper actually really excites me and I would love to work on sharpening this as a group.


Yes, let's do that. I have told Jaimie about this thread, and I know that she is planning to follow up on this work, so let us provide some more input!

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#11 [url]

May 14 16 7:03 AM

Fantastic! I recommend we come up with a clear objective and define our parameters of study.

I would love to see a depository where we can place articles for everyone to share and have them organized by topics. I think access is important to generating the participation of everyone. If Jaimie is open to it, I would think they would be, as the author of the study to maybe help direct the discussion a little, like a moderator. They already mentioned in the paper some of they thought needs study. Since this paper is I think six years old, it might be nice to know if this has changed. If Jaimie would be willing to share what direction they are going with it, new insights and studies, and perhaps have some questions they would like to see explored, i think that could be very helpful.

I am curious if we can come up with a broad theory for everyone including trans and CIS or if after the course of our work we will be left with lots of different species of theories. Ultimately it would be nice in my opinion if we can develop some framework that applies to all of us to some degree. I do think that narrowing the topic a bit might be a good start thoug, Since identity defense is the operator of the model, I think that is something we might want to begin focusing on. Repression was used throughout the paper, is that the only way people defend their identity?

I know for me cognitive dissonance is something I have had to deal with in numerous ways, particularly with religion, my rearing, etc. the amount of control I felt I had was also very limited, I was raised in a cult like environment, with plenty of deviancy, so themes like this are very much dear to my heart. I would like to see these explored, but I am biased that way. 😊

I recommend using the topics of influence in the paper as our categories and would add a few in there as well, like, genetics, neurology, fetal development, etc. Perhaps too, development of a questionnaire everyone can fill out that tries to identify people, the things we have in common and the things we do not that will help guide us in our study. For us as Crossdreamers, if we are a distinct group, I would like to know more about how we might be, maybe learn more how we compare, are we static or do we change, how might our experiences, personalities, etc., shape us into who we are compared to others. Lastly, I wonder if a personal narrative file might be helpful. Sometimes, like has been done before, narrative will have patterns and similarities expressed in them that I think lead us to some great insights. What might be helpful is to let people freely write what they would like in these, no leading them. Then develop short questions, or a structured narrative format, that aims at doubling down on certain themes or questions that come up repetitively within these free narratives. I would also think it helpful to perhaps put these narratives into age groups, cultural groups, whatever groups seem to come up, because I think our experiences as cohorts are somewhat unique. I would also think it helpful if we could enlist the help of FtMs in our endeavor for their perspectives and experience. Anyway just some random thoughts on the exploration of the topic. Perhaps this should have it's own thread.

I can already think of a couple points I think are worth exploring. Personality and autism's relationship to identity development. There is already quite a body of research and it is a good start to separating how disposition may play a role. Another would be cultural acceptance or shaping by comparing a society's approvals and disapproval and that relationship to repression as a whole. Then break it down to smaller units, like family dynamics, educational experiences, and child rearing. For example comparing places like Thailand, India, Samoa, Italy, New Zealand, and the UK or USA. I pick these because again there are already some serious studies with these countries.

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#12 [url]

May 14 16 10:32 PM

Skyler, thanks for link to paper. I get really pleasur from reading. It isreally intersting and reasonable model of development.
I think, it can partly explain my personal story of transness development. Like very a lot of facts of eefiminate behaviour from childhood and feeling of difference with other peer boys in childhood and same-time oveselfcontrol. In school i was typicle excellent pupil, with only excelent marks and perfect behavior and to much high self-control, i repressed in myself a lot of all. And some things i just ignored. When in teenage i start close crossdressing and felt desire to man i just ignored and repreeses that facts for analyze nd acceptance, a lot of years of lourney need for me, that finaly recognize me like bisexual transgender.
I think high selfcontrol and selfrepression, fear of social ostracism, introversion and high sensetivity was a big reason for development and recognize my true gender identity and orientation.

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#13 [url]

May 15 16 6:36 AM

I found some good discussions to aid in our examination. The first is a good introduction on what a model must consider:
https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/sexual-personalities/201605/sex-and-gender-are-dials-not-switches

The second is another theory, Sexual Configuration Theory, which I think might be interesting to read. Unfortunately I haven't been able to access a copy yet.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25772652

What I did find was a critique of the above paper, and I think it is useful in helping us check our own model. See: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282125627_Further_Steps_Toward_a_Truly_Integrative_Theory_of_Sexuality_-_Comment_on_VanAnders_2015

I thought these a pretty good addition and background to contrast with Veale's work.

Last Edited By: Carah Maisie May 15 16 9:41 AM. Edited 1 time.

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#17 [url]

May 16 16 3:12 PM

I'm going to be splitting up my responses here since there is so much. This is re: van Anders

I see this as mostly an exercise in clearing the ground. The author attempts to develop a "theory" of gender and sexuality that can account for all the great variance we see. I put theory in scare quotes because I can't see what it is offering in the way of predictive or explanatory power as we would expect from a theory in the narrow sense. However, what it does offer is a model that is much more fluid and encompassing that traditional taxonomies. In this sense, it is very useful again in clearing the ground. Rather than developing one unified, exclusive model it creates one in which various dimensions could, if needed, be added or subtracted and puts them in a relational framework rather than separate categories. I can't comment on the empirics behind this as I am not familiar with many of the authors frequently mentioned (Diamond, Freund, etc.) In general, though, I approach works of sexology that attempt to describe human sexual behavior with some skepticism as this topic so frequently relies on self-reports and questionnaires. (This is not field specific, other fields such as happiness studies suffer from the same problem.) To some extent, van Anders sidesteps this issue, though, by focusing on creating a phenomenological model. Here are some points worth noting:

But feminist science studies scholars have cogently highlighted how focusing on gen-der did not leave sex behind, and it left sex uncritiqued, a dif-ference with major implications in a world where science and critique are crucial (e.g., Fausto-Sterling, 2000, 2005).

Fausto-Sterling has produced numerous critiques of gender essentialism as well as critiques of naive social constructionism that still separates sex and gender in two. This is IMO one instance of the nature-culture distinction that has plagued social science as well as applications of biology since the beginning. It is good to see this incorporated with the category of sex/gender. Analogously, I have seen another somewhat unwieldy term in neuroscience and psychology: Mind-brain. Despite that, it is a better description than the classical conceptions.
A sexual diversity perspective synthesizes minority andmajority sexualities, viewing them as simultaneously intercon-nected,unique,and, above all, positioned relative to each other (see Fig.1c). It attends to the particularities of each sexualityandits relations toother sexualities,acknowledging that sexualities can be grouped invarious ways(and that there is no one natura lway to group) 

I think this is something that has been overlooked for too long. Matters of sex/gender are going to be messy -- just look at those graphs!

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#18 [url]

May 16 16 4:02 PM

The Valentova and Verella response:

This appears to be full of confusion with some good suggestions mixed in. The addition of disgust factors is a good suggestion. The van Anders article makes mentions of neurobiology, but doesn't get into much depth. This could have been better incorporated into the article.

Much of the beginning of the response is irrelevant. The authors nitpick a throwaway line and a footnote through a very uncharitable reading. This is not an attack on biology -- just the opposite in fact. It is mentioning how biology has overcome cruder previous models. Perhaps this could have been phrased better, but the lengthy defense of biology itself in the response article is beside the point. This is made even worse when the authors accuse van Anders of environmental determinism, blank slate-ism, endorsing the sex/gender distinction, etc. As I mention above, they cite the work of Fausto-Sterling -- the whole point of this is to overcome the sex/gender distinction and this is the reasoning behind van Anders' usage of the term sex/gender. The critique in large part is attacking a straw man. These misreadings are not unexpected when accounting for the theoretical background. The authors appear to be part of or broadly influenced by what has come to be known as the "Santa Barbara school of Evolutionary Psychology," hereafter SBSEP. These misreadings are endemic to the SBSEP literature and account for what would be the otherwise bizarre caricatures of historical social scientists (Skinner, Mead, Boas, etc.). Next I will cover the critique of SBSEP in relation to Schmitt and others.

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#19 [url]

May 16 16 5:50 PM

Part I:

Here I will have to rely heavily on links because it is necessary to base the critique of SBSEP's conception of sex/gender in a broader and more fundamental critique of the paradigm which covers pretty much all of social science as well as evolutionary biology, so a forum post isn't going to cut it. (Even an entire book won't, as many have been published on this topic.)

Defining SBSEP's research program

First, let's define SBSEP. I refer to it as SBSEP because SBSEP does not represent all of evolutionary psychology or evolutionary approaches to human behavior. There are a whole variety of different ones. SBSEP, however, has monopolized on the name and discourse as the major textbooks and journals are oriented toward SBSEP. The term itself appears in various places, though the first usage I've found is in Laland and Brown's 2002 book. (See this book for broad overviews of different evolutionary approaches.) SBSEP is a very specific research program named after the EP program that originated in UC Santa Barbara that entails a number of assumptions. Bolhuis et al list 4 (see Box 1 for an overview): Environment of evolutionary adaptedness (EEA), gradualism, massive modularity, and universal human nature. I would add to this list the computational theory of mind, adaptationism or pan-adaptationism, and nativism, although all the subjects in the list can take us down entire new theoretical rabbit holes that are even farther afield than I want to get. (See the EP FAQ for more on these topics as well as Tooby and Cosmides for a foundational document.) Here I hope I can organize all of these ideas in some coherent way.

Universality and adaptation

The general goal of SBSEP is to identify the set of species-typical adaptations that underlie the universal human nature. We're already off to a bad start here. Why should adaptations define human nature? There is no real reason to concentrate on these as the most important aspects other than that SBSEP values universality. Another problem with this is that what is universal (or near universal) is not necessarily an adaptation and vice versa. People eat soup out of bowls across many cultures, but this is obviously not an adaptation. It is an affordance of the environment. In the other direction, lactose tolerance is not universal, but it is an adaptation to an agrarian way of life.(This is known as a case of gene-culture co-evolution, described in Bolhuis et al.)

It is unwise to take adaptationism at face value. It is a useful methodology when used carefully, but can be pushed far past its limits, which is what SBSEP often engages in. Adaptationism is guided by the principle that only adaptation via natural selection can explain complex design. This is not necessarily the case. Complex "design" can emerge from by-products of adaptations, genetic drift, and other stochastic elements of evolution. Adaptationists do not deny these elements of evolution, but downplay them in favor of natural selection. This is a problem because as GC Williams (who himself was associated with adaptationism) noted:

[A]daptation is a special and onerous concept that should be used only where it is really necessary." (quoted in Richardson, p. 9) 

(For the classic and snarky critique of adaptationism, see Gould and Lewontin. For a more recent view on its relation to SBSEP, see Lloyd and Feldman and Gray et al)

Furthermore, at least in molecular genetics (I can't speak for other fields), the (nearly-)neutral theory has become a dominant view. Nearly-neutral theory states that most mutations are neutral (or nearly) so in terms of fitness. Molecular evolution is influenced instead more by drift and stochastic processes. (See Duret)

There is yet another problem in this definition of human nature in terms of species-typical adaptations. Natural selection thrives on variation --  without it there can be no selection. On this basis, Darwinian evolution counters the concept of species essentialism -- Darwin himself noted that the definition of species was hard to pin down. In this way, the SBSEP conception of human nature returns to a pre-Darwinian conception in a very subtle way while denying that it does so by positing an essential human nature characterized by species-typical adaptations. (See Hull, Buller ch. 8)

More to come.

EP FAQ
http://www.anth.ucsb.edu/projects/human/evpsychfaq.html

Bolhuis et al, Darwin in Mind: New Opportunities for Evolutionary Psychology
http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1001109

Buller, "Human Nature", ch. 8 in Adapting Minds
https://books.google.com/books?id=dQ5MGDvn8eIC&dq=buller+adapting+minds&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Duret, Neutral Theory: The Null Hypothesis of Molecular Evolution:
http://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/neutral-theory-the-null-hypothesis-of-molecular-neutral-theory-the-null-hypothesis-of-molecular-Neutral-Theory-the-Null-Hypothesis-of-Molecular-839

Gould and Lewontin, The Spandrels of San Marco and the Panglossian Paradigm: A Critique of the Adaptationist Program
http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/205/1161/581

Gray et al, "Evolutionary Psychology and the Challenge of Adaptive Explanation," ch. 11 in From Mating to Mentality: Evaluating evolutionary Psychology
http://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/myl/ldc/GrayEP.pdf

Hull, On Human Nature
http://155.97.32.9/~mhaber/Documents/Course%20Readings/Hull-OnHumanNature-1984.pdf

Laland and Brown, Sense and Nonsense
https://books.google.com/books?id=2KcbFVBSxWYC&dq=sense+and+nonsense+sense&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Lloyd and Feldman, Evolutionary Psychology: A View from Evolutionary Biology

http://philpapers.org/archive/LLOEPA.pdf

Richardson, Evolutionary Psychology as Maladpted Psychology
https://books.google.com/books?id=KeqiKNFa3YgC&dq=richardson+evolutionary&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Tooby and Cosmides, "The Psychological Foundation of Culture", ch. 1 in The Adapted Mind
http://www.cep.ucsb.edu/papers/pfc92.pdf

Last Edited By: Sofie May 16 16 7:04 PM. Edited 1 time.

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#20 [url]

May 17 16 2:35 PM

2

History and even more about adaptation 

Here, by history, I mean everything encompassing the totality of recorded history, pre-historic archaeology, and paleoanthropology. To the matter of the EEA, we move into evolutionary history and testing ideas against the records of fossils and material culture. Richardson writes: 

An adaptation is a trait that is present, or was maintained, because of the selective advantage it offered to ancestors; in this sense, to claim that something is an adaptation is to make a historical claim (see, e.g., Lewontin 1977, 1978; Brandon 1978, 1990; Burian 1983; Sober 1984; and Griffiths 1996). … Whether a trait is an adaptation thus depends on its evolutionary history; and explaining some trait as an adaptation depends on knowing the evolutionary history that produced it. An ideal adaptive explanation also needs to reveal what an adaptation is an adaptation for. (Richardson, pp. 97-98) 

Tooby and Cosmides acknowledge this: 
Although the hominid line is thought to have evolved on the African savannahs, the environment of evolutionary adaptedness, or EEA, is not a place or time. It is the statistical composite of selection pressures that caused the design of an adaptation. Thus the EEA for one adaptation may be different from that for another. 

But what is this statistical composite? It would mean taking into account massive amounts of data (and much of it partial and fragmented) from paleoecology as well as accounting for social structure in pre-human hominins (even more fragmentary as they left behind far less material culture than anatomically modern humans). Although they disclaim the EEA as being defined by the Pleistocene, the EEA in practice ends up being a vaguely defined time period somewhere within this geological epoch. Or here the just as vague usage of the term stone age – “Our modern skulls house a stone age mind.” The Pleistocene and the Stone Age fail to cover even all of hominid evolution as non-stone tool using hominids, the Australopiths, arrived on the scene by 4 million years ago. The first stone tool industry, the Oldowan, begins about 2.5 million years ago with genus Homo, although some now argue that one species of Australopiths, Australopithecus garhi, made the first tools. (Even the claim about the savannah may be controversial due to the discovery of multiple species of Ardipithecus that lived in forested areas, although their relatedness to humans is still debated.) Generalizing about the Pleistocene also proves to be very vague, as Bolhuis et al note:
The Pleistocene was apparently far from stable, not only being variable, but progressively changing in the pattern of variation [25],[26]. The world experienced by members of the genus Homo in the early Pleistocene was very different from that experienced in the late Pleistocene, and even early anatomical modern Homo sapiens that lived around 150,000 years ago led very different lives from Upper Paleolithic people (40,000 years ago) [27][29].

Instead of what might be called “forward-engineering” by looking at evolutionary history through the material record, SBSEP employs what has been called “reverse-engineering” (see Pinker, see Richardson ch. 2 on the critique of reverse-engineering). Reverse-engineering involves looking at a contemporary trait that may or may not be adaptive today and attempting to divine what this trait would have been adaptively useful for in the ancestral environment. Regardless of whether this is a valid technique (Richardson argues no), SBSEP fails to meet its own standards as it consistently ignores (or at best uses superficially) archaeological and paleoanthropological data in its reconstruction of the EEA (see Mithen). 

Next I can (finally!) get to sex/gender roles as a case study in why the methodology of reverse-engineering is flawed, and eventually to why the SBSEP model of transgenderism put forward by Schmitt is fundamentally flawed.

Bolhuis et al, Darwin in Mind: New Opportunities for Evolutionary Psychology
http://journals.plos.org/plosbiology/article?id=10.1371/journal.pbio.1001109

Cosmides and Tooby, Evolutionary Psychology: A Primer
http://www.cep.ucsb.edu/primer.html

Mithen, Cognitive Archaeology, Evolutionary Psychology, and Cultural Transmission
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1525/ap3a.1997.7.1.67/full

Pinker, How the Mind Works
https://books.google.com/books?id=5cXKQUh6bVQC&dq=pinker+how+the+mind+works&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Richardson, Evolutionary Psychology as Maladapted Psychology
https://books.google.com/books?id=KeqiKNFa3YgC&dq=richardson+evolutionary&source=gbs_navlinks_s

Smithsonian Human Evolution page: 
http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils/species/ardipithecus-ramidus
http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils/species/australopithecus-garhi
http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/behavior/stone-tools/early-stone-age-tools

Last Edited By: Sofie May 17 16 3:00 PM. Edited 1 time.

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