Category Archives: David Schmitt

David Schmitt

If men do possess psychological design features that reliably lead to higher levels of sociosexuality, this would in no way justify their unrestricted sexual behaviour in a moral sense. Such a conclusion would be the result of faulty reasoning known as the “naturalistic fallacy” or “because something is (natural), it ought to be.” There are myriad examples of unpleasant behaviors that are to some degree natural, in that they probably occurred with some frequency over our evolutionary history (e.g., high child mortality, intergroup conflict, perhaps even warfare). Just because something is natural does not justify it. Instead, understanding the way that a behavior is natural—especially the underlying psychological adaptations that give rise to the behaviour—may help to control the behaviour if that is what a culture decides is preferable. Indeed, increasing our scientific knowledge about the theoretical links between culture and sexuality may prove crucial to alleviating the public health problems of overpopulation, reproductive dysfunction, sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, and—seemingly at the heart of most health concerns—gender inequity.

David Schmitt, ‘Sociosexuality from Argentina to Zimbabwe: A 48-nation Study of Sex, Culture, and Strategies of Human Mating’, Behavioral and Brain Sciences, vol. 28, no. 2 (2005), p. 271