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Wendy Wood is a social psychologist whose research explores the evolutionary origins of sex differences in behavior. By evaluating men’s and women’s behavior across cultures, she seeks to understand the evolutionary pressures on human ancestors that yielded universal sex differences as well as variability in men’s and women’s responses to particular social structures, developmental processes, and local ecologies.
At Radcliffe, Wood intends to write an integrative review of sex differences across cultures, drawing on ethnographies of preindustrial societies as well as data from industrialized countries. As part of the review, she intends to develop a theory of the origins of human sex differences using dual-inheritance evolutionary models that allow for the evolution of complex culture in addition to evolution through natural selection.
Wood received her PhD in social psychology from the University of Massachusetts. She is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University and a codirector of Duke’s Social Science Research Institute. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (Division 8) and the American Psychological Society and a founding member of the Society for Research Synthesis Methodology. Wood currently is associate editor of Psychological Review and has been associate editor of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, the Personality and Social Psychology Review, and the Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Her research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation.