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is an American
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...
anthropologist who is best known as one of the founders of evolutionary psychology
Evolutionary psychology is an approach in the social and natural sciences that examines psychological traits such as memory, perception, and language from a modern evolutionary perspective. It seeks to identify which human psychological traits are evolved adaptations, that is, the functional...
, and for pioneering the study of human sexuality
Human sexuality is the awareness of gender differences, and the capacity to have erotic experiences and responses. Human sexuality can also be described as the way someone is sexually attracted to another person whether it is to opposite sexes , to the same sex , to either sexes , or not being...
from an evolutionary perspective. His 1979 book, The Evolution of Human Sexuality
, is considered by many evolutionary psychologists to be one of the classics in the field and was instrumental in helping to launch an evolutionary perspective on human behavior. His most recent work, with Catherine Salmon, is Warrior Lovers
, an evolutionary analysis of slash fiction
Slash fiction is a genre of fan fiction that focuses on the depiction of romantic or sexual relationships between fictional characters of the same sex...
He is presently Professor Emeritus in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara
The University of California, Santa Barbara, commonly known as UCSB or UC Santa Barbara, is a public research university and one of the 10 general campuses of the University of California system. The main campus is located on a site in Goleta, California, from Santa Barbara and northwest of Los...
- Symons, D. (1978) Play and Aggression: A Study of Rhesus Monkeys. Columbia University Press
- Symons, D. (1979) The Evolution of Human Sexuality. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195029070
- Symons, D. (1987) "If we're all Darwinians, what's the fuss about?" in Crawford, Smith & Krebs, Sociobiology and Psychology, 121—146.
- Symons, D. (1989) "A critique of Darwinian anthropology," in Ethology and Sociobiology, 10: 131—144.
- Symons, D. (1990) "Adaptiveness and adaptation," in Ethology and Sociobiology, 11: 427—444.
- Symons, D. (1992) "On the use and misuse of Darwinism in the study of human behavior" in Barkow, J., Cosmides, L. & Tooby, J. (eds) (1992) The Adapted Mind: Evolutionary psychology and the generation of culture (New York: Oxford University Press)
- Symons, D. (1993) "The stuff that dreams aren't made of: Why wake-state and dream-state sensory experiences differ." Cognition, 47: 181-217.
- Salmon, C. and Symons, D. (2003) Warrior Lovers. Yale University Press.