My guest today is Heather Remoff, author of What’s Sex Got to Do with It? Darwin, Love, Lust and the Anthropocene. Heather first discovered flaws in Darwin's theory of sexual selection during her doctoral research in the 1970s and has spent the last 40 years developing her understanding of it and related fields, including economics.
What’s Sex Got to Do with It? is her attempt to add insight to Darwin’s work so that it can accommodate advances in genetics and in female mating choice – advances that were unavailable to Darwin when he wrote The Descent of Man, his sequel (if you will) to the Origin of Species and his exploration of sexual selection.
In this conversation, we learn about all the work Heather has done that took her sociology work and her PhD in anthropology at Rutgers and beyond.
The timeline for the podcast is as follows.
2.00 How Heather got into anthropology and evolutionary theory through sociology, including testosterone levels in women and what it does to leadership standing.
8.30 Interviewing women to find out the traits that most influenced their choice of reproductive partner.
10.30 Getting beyond material resources and being saved by the tape.
16.30 What studying economics taught her about evolution and sexual selection and the link between economics and inequality.
23.30 Who are her ideal readers for the book?
26.00 What was the hardest part about writing the book?
31.00 The puzzle of concealed ovulation and sexual receptivity and how it affects female choice.
35.00 The extraordinary importance of chromosome fusion as our abrupt origin story.
38.00 Final thoughts and close.
Be sure to look out for our other interviews with Heather as we explore her ideas in more detail.
To read the book go to: