Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964517 | Print ISBN: 9781412909167 | Online ISBN: 9781412964517| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Cherie D. Werhun
A derivative of the philosophical viewpoint, determinism, biological determinism is the perspective that all human behavior can be reduced to biological antecedents. That is, behavior is a direct expression of biological origins above and beyond the influence of social, contextual, or environmental factors. As such, due to the forces of natural law, accurate predictions of human behavior are possible at time 2 based on biological information at time 1. This perspective is often viewed in opposition to social determinism, which contends that human behavior is the outcome of social forces, for example, culture, class, race, and education. Within the context of gender, biological determinism offers the perspective that sexually dimorphic behaviors, or behaviors believed different in men and women, are the result of innate biological differences between the sexes. Because of the perspective's emphasis on the physical and anatomical differences between the sexes, theoretical and empirical contributions are dominated by ...