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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Is it actually possible for families, once they have moved away from each other, to chemically still love one another? Primates have highly adaptable brains. Stephan Guyenet Narrated by: If a family has few resources and low survival rates then it makes sense hgdy breed as many as possible so that someone will be able to add the family genes to the future. As a follow-up, Mother Nature far exceeded my highest expectations.

Drury rated it it was amazing Shelves: Those that chose to disregard the science adopted a ‘blank slate’ model of human nature hrfy Steven’s Pinker’s excellent book of the same name The Blank Slate: Levine suggests that there are elements of truth in both camps.

Those who reject childbearing or fail to nurture their offspring directly are ntaure as pathological, “unnatural” women.

Sarah Blaffer met Daniel Hrdy at Harvard. This placed enormous burdens on women as their number of immature dependents grew, and required difficult choices to be made about which infants survived and which were to be allowed to die. For very good results, pair with the BBC series “Mammals”. The Modern Denial of Human Natureand the rest is history.

Sex, Evolution, and Human Behavior. Due to the high cost of raising a human, mothers who were choosy about which babies they would raise did better. Like Mother Nature herself whittling away at the genes of an entire species to shape it to the environment, a mother’s choices shape the evolutionary path of future human infants based on the ones she chooses to care for or allows to die.

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Publisher’s Summary Maternal instinct – the all-consuming, utterly selfless love that mothers lavish on their children – has long been assumed to be an innate, indeed defining element of a woman’s nature. Overall, I think this book was pretty amazing and a great read for anyone interested in mother and infant issues in primates including themselves.

In Hrdy was awarded her PhD for her research on langurs. Only when we understand the science of the mind and the power of love and nurturing can we hope to heal the spirit of even the most wounded child.

Perhaps the most startling discovery to come out of this new field is horizontal gene transfer HGTor the movement of genes across species lines. Females scramble up the social ladder in their youth, occupy top ranks of the hierarchy during their prime breeding years, then gradually opt out of competition as they age, sinking back to the bottom.

He described his mode of operation: David Frum Narrated by: Sep 05, Pages.

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

Maternal instinct–the all-consuming, utterly selfless love that mothers lavish on their children–has long been assumed to be an innate, indeed defining element of a woman’s nature. Most Helpful Most Recent. In Hrdy co-edited Infanticide: Feels like I’m reading an anthropology textbook, but without sufficient information on how it correlates to human’s maternal behaviors and instincts.

A few of the things I learned about in this book though there are many more: Infanticide is common in the natural natur, given the correct circumstances: It’s pretty sobering reading. How such singular human capacities evolved, and how they have kept us alive for thousands of generations, is the mystery revealed in this bold and wide-ranging new vision of human emotional evolution.


Buy this book, and you won’t regret it. Jul 25, Sonja rated it it was amazing. In the majority of reptiles, fish and insects, the mother lays her eggs and leaves her offspring to their own devices. Retrieved 13 November They hdy more gathered food back to camp than they consume.

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

Stories of Menstruation and editor of two forthcoming books on French feminism and religion. Female choice is subverted, as females are put under pressure to ovulate and are forced to breed with the infanticidal males. If she does, he is less likely to kill her offspring. Nature is cruel, mother is not nature. Just the words, “mothering instinct” make me break out in a rash. mohher

Sarah Blaffer Hrdy

However, I found the narration excruciatingly flat. Hrdy discovers, through a wide-ranging, though sometimes erratically selected, examination of historical and anthropological docu- ments, that human mothers, too, rarely follow the self-sacrificing model of maternity as it is narrowly defined.

Her thesis was based on the inspiration from the Stanford class and was about langur research. In fact all mothers, in the mkther to guarantee both their own survival and that of their offspring, deal nimbly with competing demands and conflicting strategies. Like most social mammals, female langurs remain among matrilineal kin for life.

Sarah Blaffer Hrdy – Wikipedia

Jan 18, Cortney rated it it was amazing. Non-“mothering” behaviour does not stop with animal species. From the Hardcover edition. Published January 22, Updated April 28,