ANT 211H5F(2015): Sex, Evolution and Behavior



ANT 211H5F(2015): Sex, Evolution and Behavior

Term Assignment: Worth 25% of the final grade


Sociobiology interprets social behaviors within a Darwinian framework of reproductive success, and therefore modern human behaviors are explained in terms of their adaptive value.  In the scholarly literature, there is much criticism of sociobiology because the sexual behaviors of modern humans have differing and related genetic, environmental and cultural influences.  In light of this, critical thinking skills are crucial in the interpretation of evolutionary explanations for modern human sexual behaviors in order to maintain an objective and well researched examination of human sexuality.


Goals of the Assignment

  1. To critically analyze an article in the popular media that discusses the relationship between a sexual behavior and evolution.
  2. To expand the discussion of the topic with scholarly sources (i.e. peer reviewed journal articles).
  3. This will be achieved by:
    1. supporting the arguments in the original article with scholarly sources.
    2. refuting the arguments in the original article with scholarly sources.


A Successful Assignment

A successful assignment will

  1. Answer all of the questions clearly and concisely using a minimum of 9 peer reviewed scholarly journal articles (in addition to the online story that you are critiquing, and where applicable it may include the primary article that the story is referring to).
  • This brings the TOTAL REFERENCE  LIST  TO  10 sources


  1. Write in your own words – try to avoid direct quotations.  Remember to reference all the information that is not an original thought (even though it is in your own words!).


  1. Properly use the APA referencing system to cite all of the references used within the text of the paper (i.e. author, date: pg#). – Footnotes & endnotes are not acceptable and they will result in a reduction in your grade.


  1. Have a complete and properly formatted bibliography which includes ALL of the references that are cited in the text of the paper.


  1. Follow the formatting and content instructions in the grading rubric.


  1. Conform to the proper conventions of English grammar and spelling.




  1. Read over the online posts/websites/blogs/newspaper articles that are provided in the Assignment Topics handouts.
  2. Choose ONE article to begin the discussion of your topic
  3. If applicable, click on the link in the website or use the UofT library online journal search to find the original study that the author is referring to.
  4. Use the UofT library online journal search to find more  scholarly articles that discuss the evolutionary explanation for that topic
  5. Answer the questions for your topic in complete and concise sentences.







ANT 211H5F(2015): Sex, Evolution and Behavior

Term Assignment: Worth 25% of the final grade (continued)


  1. You may answer each question in turn with the question # and the question typed out before your answer.
  2. Assignments must be typed in 12 font and double spaced with 1 inch margins on each sheet.
  3.  You do not have to include a title page but please remember to include your full name (surname first in CAPITAL LETTERS), your student number, and the date of your submission.
  4. APA format must be used for all references.  Remember to cite all of your articles in the text of your paper (author, year) and (author, year: page#) for direct quotations.  NO endnotes or footnotes!!
  5. Remember to include a bibliography with all of your articles (including the media article).  Use the following as an example of the format:


Boothroyd, L.G., Jones B.C., Burt, D.M., and D.I. Perratt. 2007. Partner Characteristics Associated with Masculinity, Health and Maturity in Male Faces. Personality and Individual Differences, 43(5): 1161-1173.

(journal titles should be in italics or underlined)



Assignments must be handed into via the blackboard website by Wednesday November 18th at 1130pm.  YOU MUST bring a hard copy of your assignment to the lecture on Thursday November 19th or the late penalty will apply.  Follow the electronic submission instructions on blackboard.


OFFICE HOURS: The TAs will hold the following office hours to give students help on their assignments.  You can also drop by Dr. Fukuzawa’s office hours on Wednedays from 12-2pm in HSC380.  Please come prepared with AT LEAST FIVE REFERENCES that you have found for your topic.


Thursday November 12th from 1-6pm                               Patrick Bozek               HSC304

Friday November 13th from 10am-3pm                             Melissa Edwards   m.edwards@mail,                              HSC304

Monday November 16th from 10am-3pm           Chris Kendall               HSC394

Monday November 16th from 10am-3pm           Ashley Smith               HSC394


TA office hours will be held in HSC (Terrence Donnelly Health Science Complex) 3rd floor.



Remember that your references must be from peer reviewed journal articles.  Peer reviewed journals are found in the UofT library catalogue under the tab “scholarly journals” or “peer reviewed journals” or “journal articles”  Choose this option to narrow your search.

Here are some (obviously not all) common peer reviewed journals that published articles on evolutionary psychology and sociobiology.

  • Evolution and Human Behavior (previously called “Ethology and Sociobiology”)
  • Journal of Sex Research
  • Evolution
  • Trends in Ecology and Evolution
  • International Journal of Primatology
  • Evolution
  • Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
  • Behavioral and Brain Sciences
  • Nature
  • Journal of Evolutionary Biology
  • Journal of Human Evolution
  • American Journal of Physical Anthropology
  • Human Nature
  • Sex Roles
  • Antiquity
  • Archives of Sexual Behavior
  • Personality and Individual Differences

Grading Rubric

Student surname:_____________________________                        given  name________________________

Student #:            ______________________________        Date submitted: _____________________



Part A: Overview of the Media Article (10 Marks) grade Comments
  1. Credentials :

Author – who, what is their background (if available)

Source – what is the publication, who is the intended audience




  1. Primary purpose of the article

What is the goal/hypothesis of the article?



  1. Supportive evidence

What evidence does it present to support the hypothesis/goal?



  1. Refuting evidence

What evidence does it present to refute the hypothesis/goal?



  1. Scholarly references supporting

Does the article provide a bibliography of the supporting research?



  1. Refuting scholarly references

Does the article provide a bibliography of the refuting research?





Part B: Discuss the Evolutionary Theory (40 marks)    
  1. Explain the evolutionary theory as it relates to the topic

·        An explanation of the evolutionary theory that is specifically referred to in the media article demonstrates the student’s knowledge of the topic.

·        The explanation must include variables that are not covered in the media article so that the student demonstrates their knowledge using scholarly journal articles (not lectures, films or course readings).

·        The scholarly articles are properly referenced.

  • The explanation is in the student’s own words (no direct quotes)








Rest of the questions IN GENERAL

·        A thorough discussion of additional scholarly journal articles

·        Answers must specifically answer the question that is addressed (e.g. supporting evidence, refuting evidence etc.)

·        Answers should be in the student’s own words (no direct quotes)

·        Scholarly sources should be assimilated into a discussion – Answers are not just a summary of each article in turn.

·        Students should NOT rely on the same few articles to answer all the questions!

·        Different articles should be used to answer each question (as much as possible)

·        All references must be from scholarly peer reviewed journals

·        Each question may be answered in generally one page or so (depending on the question)

Question 2 /  
Question 3 /  
Question 4 /  
Question 5 /  
Question 6 /  
Question 7 /  
Question 8 /  

·        Bibliography is properly formatted

·        There are at least 9 scholarly articles referenced (plus the original media article)

·        APA referencing is used throughout the text of the assignment (even if the answers are in the student’s own words!)

·        The answers are written in proper grammatical form

·        There are no spelling mistakes

·        The assignment adheres to the formatting instructions (12” font, double spaced, 1” margins)










TOTAL GRADE /55 =      /25


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