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Evolution and MoralityNOMOS LII$
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James E. Fleming and Sanford Levinson

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780814771228

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814771228.001.0001

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Nature, Culture, and Social Engineering

Nature, Culture, and Social Engineering

Reflections on Evolution and Equality

(p.347) 12 Nature, Culture, and Social Engineering
Evolution and Morality

Linda C. Mcclain

NYU Press

This concluding chapter examines arguments that nature constrains feminist law reform. Appeals to nature argue that brain science and evolutionary psychology find significant differences between women and men, limiting what social engineering can achieve in fostering sex equality or reforming family law. Responding to these assertions requires that feminist theorists generate and contribute to well-informed visions of the interplay of nature and culture. Appeals to “bridging the gender divide” in ordering human society invite feminist counternarratives. As such narratives theorize about the proper role of social engineering and institutions, a feminist commitment to substantive equality should remain a guiding ideal.

Keywords:   feminist law reform, brain science, evolutionary psychology, social engineering, sex equality, family law, feminist theory, feminist counternarratives

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