On the Twilight Saga
Using Evolutionary Psychology to Make a Case for Jacob Black
By Erica Berg
When Bella chose Edward over Jacob, she made the mistake of a lifetime.
Or should I say an eternity?
Let’s consider Bella’s options.
Edward Cullen: Vampire. Drives dangerously. Physically built to be seductive to prey. Kind of wishy-washy: Initially, constantly expresses guilt that he endangers Bella on a daily basis, yet continues to taunt her with sexual tension and put her in harm’s way. Later, claims to care but flees when scared, leaving Bella to sink into despair and depression.
Jacob Black: Native American werewolf. Natural leader. Bella’s best friend. Caring, protective, and, above all, loyal to a fault.
When we compare Edward and Jacob, it seems that Bella made a poor choice in picking Edward. Her choice is even more confounding when we consider that, from the perspective provided by evolutionary psychology, one would assume that she would choose Jacob.
Evolutionary Psychology and Mate Selection
Let’s take a moment for a quick review of basic science. The field of evolutionary psychology uses natural selection to explain psychological traits in the human population. One area of research in evolutionary psychology is related to sexual selection and mating: why we want to have sex with the people we want to have sex with. The field essentially confirms what we have known all along, which is that both sexes use a certain set of instinctual criteria to select the people they mate with. (As you might imagine, science that essentially confirms stereotypes is controversial, but this research is at least consistent with the psychological theory that, in fact, there …