Cathy Newman revisited


Geschlechterunterschiede: In einer lebensbedrohlichen Situation eher den Partner oder das Kind retten?

Eine interessante Studie:

The context of a famous novel by Milan Kundera (Immortality) suggests that when faced with a life-or-death situation, every woman would prefer to save her child than her husband, left hanging whether every man would do the same. We labeled this as the Kundera hypothesis, and the purpose of this study was to test it empirically as we believe it raises a thought-provoking question in evolutionary terms. Specifically, 197 college students (92 women) were presented a questionnaire where they had to make different decisions about four dilemmas about who to save (their mate or their offspring) in two hypothetical life-or-death situations: a home fire and a car crash. These dilemmas involved two different mate ages (a 25- or a 40-year-old mate) and two offspring ages (1- or a 6-year-old child). For comparative purposes, we also included complementary life-or-death dilemmas on both a sibling and an offspring, and a sibling and a cousin. The results generally supported the Kundera hypothesis: Although the majority of men and women made the decision to save their offspring instead of their mate, about 18% of men on average (unlike the 5% of women) consistently decided to save their mate across the four dilemmas in the two life-or-death situations. These data were interpreted with reference to Hamilton’s inclusive fitness theory, the preferential role of women as kin keepers, and the evolution of altruism toward friends and mates.

Quelle: Testing the Kundera Hypothesis: Does Every Woman (But Not Every Man) Prefer Her Child to Her Mate?

Einer der nahe liegenden Einwände wäre natürlich, dass man eine solche Entscheidung schlicht nicht mit einer Frage simulieren kann. Es ist erst mal ein reines Gedankenspiel. Und natürlich besteht dieTestgruppe auch wieder einmal aus Studenten. Aber ja dennoch eine interessante Frage, die ich weiter gebe:

In einer Situation, wo man entweder seinen Partner/Partnerin retten kann oder ein eigenes Kind und der andere stirbt, wen würdet ihr retten:

Aus der Studie:

Most literature focused on studying the potential differences between men and women regarding family can be summarized as follows: “…females are much more likely to keep track of kin and are more concerned about their welfare than men” (Hames, 2015, p. 518). In fact, it has been shown that women recall more relatives than men within their particular genealogy (but see Chagnon, 1988, for an exception with Yanomamo traditional society), and that family seems more important for women’s personal identity than for men’s (Salmon & Daly, 1996). It has also been pointed out that women’s attention to kin network formation and maintenance across their lifetime, particularly at middle and older ages, is substantially better than that of men, which is generally more directed to nonkin networks (Benenson et al., 2009; Neyer & Lang, 2003; Scelza, 2009). The grandparent solicitude literature also clearly indicates that grandchildren feel more close to, and get more attention and resources from their grandmothers, than they do from their grandfathers (see, e.g., Euler & Weitzel, 1996). Something similar happens with matrilinear aunts and uncles (Gaulin, McBurney, & Brakerman-Wartell, 1997). Not surprisingly, the presence of a grandmother, or even a firstborn daughter, who can play an alloparenting role, and the size of the maternal kin network have often been found to be related to both higher survival and better health among women’s offspring and also to a narrower interbirth interval (Hadley, 2004; Hames & Draper, 2004; Hawkes, O’Connell, & Blurton Jones, 1997; Snopkowski & Sear, 2013). Therefore, it seems tenable to hypothesize that family plays a more central role for women, compared to men, in terms of their inclusive fitness.

Dieser Unterschied in der Gewichtung ist auch interessant:

  • Frauen setzen eher auf Familiennetzwerke
  • Männer eher auf Netzwerke außerhalb der Familie

Es unterstreicht die Bedeutung der Familie für Frauen und würde auch den Gedanken nahelegen, dass sie sich auch deswegen, wenn sie zwischen Familie und Beruf wählen können, mit einer höheren Wahrscheinlichkeit für die Familie entscheiden, während die Männer eher das externe Netz nutzen.
Natürlich können diese Ergebnisse auch schlicht umgekehrt die Folge davon sein, dass sich (und sei es wegen der Rollenerwartungen) die Frauen eher auf den Bereich der Familie spezialisiert hatten und deswegen da auch bessere Netzwerke ausgebaut haben und es bei den Männern ebenso ist.