Social Sciences

Explain with examples, how the processes of natural selection and sexual selection are thought to have contributed to modern-day human behaviour.

Charles Robert Darwin, born 1809-1882, was a British scientist and the first ever evolutionary biologist. Darwin laid the foundation of the theory of evolution after returning home from a voyage of discovery in 1836. After years of research and developing ideas of evolution, he unveiled his theory in 1859 in his first published book ‘Origin of Species’, this book hypothesized on natural selection as a means of driving evolution. In 1871, Darwin focused on the importance of sexual selection as a primary process of evolution and published a second book ‘The Decent of Man’. This essay is going to explore how the combined processes of natural and sexual behaviour has helped to contribute into how we have evolved as humans and how this has possibly affected our modern day human behaviour.

Natural selection was one of the first process theory’s that Darwin had introduced as playing an important part in how we, as humans procreate. The theory of natural selection is based on the idea that all humans show differences in their physical and behavioural characteristics, our inherited genes pass on these behaviours and also evolve and adapt over time to suit our environment. As humans we are naturally competitive, the famous phrase “Survival of the fittest” (Darwin,1859) is one that is still used today, whilst in   modern terms this would be thought of as running faster, being stronger and ultimately winning, it was meant by Darwin as a term of how successfully we are able to reproduce. Reproductive success is passing on strong, healthy genes so our future generations will inherit our attractiveness, physical strength, immune system and various other physical and behavioural characteristics that will increase our survival and enable us to procreate. As our environment changes, human characteristics need to change too, the...