5 “Evolutionary Psychology” Studies That Will Make Your Brain Hurt

If there are two words that tend to make scientists roll their eyes when paired together, it’s “evolutionary psychology”.

And not without reason. The problem with “evolutionary psychology” is that while the basic concept, namely that we’ve evolved certain behaviors over time and cling to them even if they’re outmoded, is intriguing, too often it’s used to cover up shoddy science, bad experimental design, or just the kind of gibbering idiocy you normally associate with creatures that lack a nervous system or basic neurological functioning, such as anybody who writes a comment on YouTube.

Oh, also flat-out racism, sexism, and blatant political agendas.

In short, it’s the intellectual dumpster where an already soft science gets so squishy you might barf if you step in it. And here are five of the worst.

#5) Falling Asleep After Sex Is So She’ll Love You!

Hey, you know how hacky comedians always joke that men finish quickly and fall asleep? Meet the scientific version of that joke.

The idea is that, by falling asleep after sex, men get to keep women from having “conversations about commitment” with them and thus make the woman more interested in being committed to them.

Of course, this idea is somewhat sabotaged by the fact that the data was assembled entirely with online surveys. But, hey, it’s still science, right?

#4) Ovulation Makes You Racist!

Apparently, if a white woman ovulates, she’s immediately afraid of black men, because they might rape her.

Here’s what we’re wondering: nobody read this and thought to say “Uh, guys, maybe you might want to check your data on this particular conclusion?”

#3) No, Evolution Made Us Racists!

Here’s a study for you: a bunch of teenagers rate various women from 1-5 as part of a study. Somebody blogging for Psychology Today adds up all the scores and immediately posts an article entitled “Why are Black Women Less Attractive?”, you know, because attractiveness is entirely decided by a small sample of horny teenagers in the suburbs. Unsurprisingly, this person is flamed to a crisp.

Oh, and if that didn’t sound mind-blowingly stupid and racist enough…

#2) Getting Vaccinated Means You Aren’t Racist Anymore!

Yes, you are reading a study about how getting a vaccination makes you hate immigrants less. You know, because there’s no other factor that could possibly reduce ignorance.

And now for the crowning achievement in stupidity.

#1) Beating Your Wife Confers An Evolutionary Advantage!

Yes, somebody seriously argued this.

Don’t you feel better about not getting that psychology degree?

image courtesy alles-schlumpf at Flickr