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Sexual Evolution and Runaway Consumerism

Date: 02/11/13
Time: 5:30pm
Audience: Public
Sponsored By: EvoS Club, CAS, and The Campus Bookstore
Location: LC100
Contact: Briana Tauber (EvoS Assistant),
Web Site:

A talk by evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller, Ph.D, author of The Mating Mind (2000) and Spent: Sex, evolution, and consumer behavior (2009), and co-editer of Mating intelligence (2007) with SUNY-New Paltz professor Glenn Geher. "Sexual Evolution and Runaway Consumerism" Ever since the Cambrian explosion 543 million years ago, animals have been choosing their sexual partners for visible signals of good genes, good health, and good brains. For example, the human brain evolved partly to display intelligence, creativity, humor, music, art, moral virtues, and other “mental fitness indicators” to attract and retain mates. In the 20th century, humans adopted a new mating system based on conspicuous signals of wealth and elite taste, such as premium branded luxury goods and higher education credentials. By prolonging mating effort at the expense of parenting effort, such conspicuous consumption cuts runaway population growth, but it imposes many personal, social, and environmental costs. By viewing modern human culture in the context of sexual evolution, we might develop social institutions that prove more satisfying and sustainable. Reception to follow in College Terrace- Darwin's Birthday Costume Party!