The Magazine

Love in the Ruins

Men, women, and the way we live now.

Aug 2, 2004, Vol. 9, No. 44 • By HARVEY MANSFIELD
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

What evolutionists think is the closest we usually get to the notion of nature these days. But it is not close enough. For evolution sees everything as organized for survival and cannot recognize our better, higher nature. Thus it sees no difference in rank between the male desire for an active sex life and the male interest in being married, or between the promptings of desire and the instruction of reason. What kind of seriousness is this?

No doubt with a view to these problems, Rhoads does not declare evolutionary psychology to be true. He merely refers to what "evolutionists think" as a useful authority, perhaps with which to defend common sense. He also does not accept the injunction of social science against judgments of value. He has no hesitation in stating, as the result of his research, that "women would be wise to realize" they have a sexual makeup that differs from men's. All women who doubt this finding would be wise to read Rhoads's fine book.

Harvey Mansfield is a professor of government at Harvard University.