With Mother Nature, U.S. anthropologist Sarah Blaffer Hrdy strides into the minefield, examining motherhood across cultures, historical periods. In this provocative, groundbreaking book, renowned anthropologist (and mother) Sarah Blaffer Hrdy shares a radical new vision of motherhood and its crucial. “As was the case for her earlier classic, Mother Nature, Sarah Hrdy’s Mothers and Others is a brilliant work on a profoundly important subject. The leading.

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Mother Nature: Maternal Instincts and How They Shape the Human Species

From Charles Darwin onward, those accounts are mostly the work of men, and Hrdy points out in meticulous detail how partial and biased was their understanding of the remote past… Mothers and Others offers enormous rewards.

While this makes for a less enjoyable read, one can mothee appreciate that Hrdy was unwilling to whittle the complex and competing forces under discussion into a more palatable narrative. In addition to her numerous “as if kin” references, she writes about the importance of being part of a “community,” but then adds without a blink that such a community is “a group of kin” without accounting for the fact that most communities today are not at all kin related.

Don’t even get me started about this, you’ll never hear the end of it. Jul 08, Cara Pulley rated it it was amazing. The first was agriculture, which increased the amount of calories a woman could consume and thus increased her fertility.

Article text size A. Looking for More Great Reads? The end comes back around to describing what it is that children, in hrvy own evolutionary wiliness, demand of us as parents, so it ends on the note of “But you should be a good mother anyway.


As Hrdy says, to be pro-life, one has to be pro-choice. Women have done this successfully for millions of years, and their success will not stop now. Because crying babies get fed to shut them up, and quiet wall flowers are seen as ‘too weak to make a sound’ so are left to wither.

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We need a new definition of what heredity is nwture, through Carl Zimmer’s lucid exposition and storytelling, this resounding tour de force delivers it. But they made their decisions under different, vastly more arduous, circumstances.

Hrdy does not describe how her perspective is consistent with her endorsement of kin selection which is a central tenant of sociobiological theory. The male who is taking hrdj has a very small window of opportunity to pass on his genes. Guilt-ridden working mothers take heart: Maybe I shouldn’t have read it just weeks postpartum — or, then again, maybe that was the perfect time. Feb 27, Benjamin rated it it was amazing.

That requires both males and females to invest heavily in social skills for bargaining with other members of their groups. In this provocative, groundbreaking book, renowned anthropologist and mother Sarah Blaffer Hrdy shares a Kim Hill and Magdalena Hurtado recall a startling interview with an old hunter, then in his mid-seventies, reminiscing back to a time when just the sound of his footsteps on the leaves of the forest floor struck terror in the hearts of old women.


I haven’t even scratched the surface of what this book offers, and could easily list another 30 interesting insights contained within its pages. This is where the idea of sexual counter-strategies comes into play. Have you ever wondered why mammals lick their young?

Mother Nature: Maternal Instincts and How They Shape the Human Species by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy

There are as many types of mothering behaviours as there are species, and rarely are they self-sacrificing. And certainly no one wants to overeat for years, become overweight, and end up with a high risk of diabetes or heart disease – yet two thirds of Americans do natuee that.

That is, a good mother is an ambitious mother and nothing is more “natural” than a working mother. I either don’t understand or don’t agree with the whole “environment of evolutionary adaptedness” concept.

Review: Mother Nature, by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy – The Globe and Mail

So human females have to line up helpers—sometimes extending beyond their own kin—to raise their young. I’m a print subscriber, link to my account Subscribe to comment Why do I need to subscribe? After trial, you’ll get 3 titles each month: Log in Subscribe to comment Why do I need to subscribe?

Other editions – View moyher Mother Nature: This postulated tactic would be very advantageous to the male langurs who practiced infanticide.