Jump to navigation
Catherine Salmon (author)Charles Crawford (author)Laura Dane (author)Oonagh Zuberbier (author)
Ancestral mechanisms in modern environments
Final article published
It is commonly assumed that the desire for a thin female physique and its pathological expression in eating disorders result from a social pressure for thinness. However, such widespread behavior may be better understood not merely as the result of arbitrary social pressure, but as an exaggerated expression of behavior that may have once been adaptive. The reproductive suppression hypothesis suggests that natural selection shaped a mechanism for adjusting female reproduction to socioecological conditions by altering the amount of body fat. In modern Western culture, social and ecological cues, which would have signaled the need for temporary postponement of reproduction in ancestral environments, may now be experienced to an unprecedented intensity and duration.
Eating disorders in womenAnorexia nervosaWomen--IdentitySocial pressureSocial influenceFeminine beauty (Aesthetics)Reproductive health
AdaptationAnorexic behaviorEating disordersEnvironmentReproductive suppression
© 2008. Springer. Human Nature.