Evolved for Exhibitionism? Wired column makes weak claims about human behavior, psychology
“Sound the evo-psych bullshit klaxon!” British science journalist Ed Yong tweeted on Thursday. He was right to be concerned.
Yong’s warning pertained to an op-ed at Wired Science by Ogi Ogas. Jumping off from the string of celebrities who’ve taken naughty pictures of themselves only to have those images leaked from their cellphones and shared publicly, Ogas argues that people have a universal desire to “sext” one another. Not only that, he says, this exhibitionist urge is an evolutionary adaptation of the brain.
“The source of all this au naturel flaunting lies not in the culture of fame, but in the design of our sexual brains,” Ogas writes. “In fact, research has unveiled two distinct explanations: Female exhibitionism appears to be primarily cortical, while male exhibitionism is mainly subcortical.”
That means, one guesses, that he thinks a woman’s desire to flash is rational while a man’s is instinctual because the desire is rooted in different parts of their brains. But what is the evidence for this? What “research has unveiled” this understanding?