Evolutionary Psychology is Capitalist Conjecture Masquerading as ‘Science’

Or why Steven Pinker is wrong about human nature

Stephanie Leguichard
8 min readAug 8, 2022


Sidenote: This is an excerpt from a paper I presented at the annual conference of the American Anthropological Association in November 2021. I initially feared that my paper was a bit too polemical for an academic setting, so I was elated when it was well received. But of course, I was among fellow anthropology enthusiasts, in an environment free of Steven Pinker’s mansplaining sycophants.

Neoliberal Nature and Hobbesian Hardwiring: A Critical Anthropological Analysis of Evolutionary Psychology Discourse

In recent decades, evolutionary psychology has become increasingly influential in the U.S. Promulgated by academics such as Steven Pinker, David Buss, and Robert Wright, it has reached beyond academia to permeate popular culture.

Countless evolutionary psychology books have been written for a popular audience, such as Pinker’s “The Blank Slate,” Wright’s “The Moral Animal,” Geoffrey Miller’s “The Mating Mind,” and Randy Thornhill’s “A Natural History of Rape: Biological Bases of Sexual Coercion” (yes, this book pseudoscientifically argues that rape is just “human nature”).

Evolutionary psychology is known for making claims like these:

  • “Girls evolved to like pink because our female ancestors foraged for berries, and berries are pink.”
  • “Humans are naturally competitive and selfish. Therefore, capitalism coincides with human nature, whereas socialism inherently conflicts with human nature.”
  • “Humans are naturally prone to violence and war. If it weren’t for capitalism subduing our violent impulses, war would be much more rampant.”
  • “Men are more sexually aroused by visual stimuli because hunting made them more visual creatures.”
  • “Men are more sexual and promiscuous than women because they evolved to ‘spread their seed.’ That’s also why men commit sexual assault more than women. Women evolved to be vessels of reproduction, so their sexual desire is much weaker than men’s.”
  • “Men are naturally more…



Stephanie Leguichard

Writer, editor, leftist activist. Endlessly fascinated by the complexities of human minds and cultures. Completing my MA in Anthropology. sleguichard@gmail.com