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《考研英语阅读理解100篇 高分版》 Unit 24 - TEXT THREE

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2019年02月25日

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In the case of equal rights, feminists have had much to complain about. But one striking piece of inequality has been conveniently overlooked: lifespan. In this area, women have the upper hand. All round the world, they live longer than men. Why they should do so is not immediately obvious. But the same is true in many other species. From lions to antelope and from sea lions to deer, males, for some reason, simply can't go the distance. One theory is that males must compete for female attention. That means evolution is busy selecting for antlers, aggression and alloy wheels in males, at the expense of longevity. Females are not subject to such pressures. If this theory is correct, the effect will be especially noticeable in those species where males compete for the attention of lots of females. Conversely, it will be reduced or absent where they do not.
To test that idea, Tim Clutton-Brock of Cambridge University and Kavita Isvaran of the Indian Institute of Science in Bengalooru decided to compare monogamous and polygynous species (in the latter, a male monopolises a number of females). They wanted to find out whether polygynous males had lower survival rates and aged faster than those of monogamous species. To do so, they collected the relevant data for 35 species of long-lived birds and mammals.
As they report, the pattern was much as they expected. In 16 of the 19 polygynous species in their sample, males of all ages were much more likely to die during any given period than were females. Furthermore, the older they got, the bigger the mortality gap became. In other words, they aged faster. Males from monogamous species did not show these patterns. The point about polygyny is that if one male has exclusive access to, say, ten females, another nine males will be waiting to topple the harem master as soon as he shows the first sign of weakness. The intense competitive pressure means that individuals who succeed put all their efforts into one or two breeding seasons.
That obviously takes its toll directly. But a more subtle effect may also be at work. Most students of ageing agree that an animal's maximum lifespan is set by how long it can reasonably expect to escape predation, disease, accident and damaging aggression by others of its kind. If it will be killed quickly anyway, there is not much reason for evolution to divert scarce resources into keeping the machine in tip-top condition. Those resources should, instead, be devoted to reproduction. And the more threatening the outside world is, the shorter the maximum lifespan should be.
There is no reason why that logic should not work between the sexes as well as between species. The test is to identify a species that has made its environment so safe that most of its members die of old age, and see if the difference continues to exist. Fortunately, there is such a species: man. Dr. Clutton-Brock reckons that the sex difference in both human rates of ageing and in the usual age of death is an indicator that polygyny was the rule in humanity's evolutionary past—as it still is, in some places. That may not please some feminists, but it could be the price women have paid for outliving their menfolk.
1. The passage is mainly discussing about _____.
[A] difference in life span between males and females of different species
[B] difference in life span among species of different mating patterns
[C] the reason of why human females outlive their male counterparts
[D] natural selection among males and females during evolution
2. In the sentence “That means evolution is busy selecting for antlers, aggression and alloy wheels in males...” (Paragraph 1), “antlers, agression and alloy wheels” represent _____.
[A] the most excellent males
[B] the most powerful males
[C] the most attractive males
[D] the most aggressive males
3. Which one of the following statements is TRUE of points proved by the test of Tim Clutton-Brock and Kavita Isvaran?
[A] Polygynous species have shorter life spans than monogamous species.
[B] Polygynous species aged faster than monogamous species.
[C] Polygynous males decrease faster in number as they grow older.
[D] Monogamous males live as long as their females.
4. The logic behind the fact that the species living in the most dangerous environment have the shortest life span is that _____.
[A] resources should be devoted to reproduction rather than sustaining life
[B] resources should be used most efficiently
[C] species in the most dangerous environment should not waste the resources
[D] there is no need to divert scarce resources into keeping the machine in best condition
5. The test conducted by Tim Clutton-Brock and Kavita Isvaran demonstrates that _____.
[A] polygyny was the rule in humanity's evolutionary past
[B] the sex difference on life span is attributable to humans' biological past which should not be denied by feminists
[C] the logic does not work between the sexes as well as between species
[D] it was polygyny that accounts for human females' general longevity over males

1. The passage is mainly discussing about _____.
[A] difference in life span between males and females of different species
[B] difference in life span among species of different mating patterns
[C] the reason of why human females outlive their male counterparts
[D] natural selection among males and females during evolution
1. 这篇文章主要讨论了 _____。
[A] 不同物种的雄性和雌性之间寿命的不同
[B] 物种的不同配偶模式之间的寿命不同
[C] 人类的女性比男性长寿的原因
[D] 进化过程中雄性和雌性间的自然选择
答案:C 难度系数:☆☆☆
分析:主旨题。文章主要讲述了人类的男性和女性之间寿命的不同以及背后的原因。虽然文章用了很大的篇幅谈论了各种物种的情况,但是从开头和结尾可以看出,文章主要针对的是人类,因此,答案为C。
2. In the sentence “That means evolution is busy selecting for antlers, aggression and alloy wheels in males...”(Paragraph 1), “antlers, agression and alloy wheels” represent _____.
[A] the most excellent males
[B] the most powerful males
[C] the most attractive males
[D] the most aggressive males
2. 在句子“这意味着进化选择鹿角、侵略和和合金轮子”(第一段)中,“鹿角、侵略和合金轮子”代表着 _____。
[A] 最优秀的雄性
[B] 最强有力的雄性
[C] 最吸引人的雄性
[D] 最有攻击性的雄性
答案:C 难度系数:☆☆
分析:推理题。在第一段中提到:One theory is that males must compete for female attention. That means evolution is busy selecting for antlers, aggression and alloy wheels in males, at the expense of longevity. Females are not subject to such pressures. 即进化在男性中间选择的鹿角、侵略和合金轮子,其实就是雄性最有魅力的特征所在,因此,答案为C。
3. Which one of the following statements is TRUE of points proved by the test of Tim Clutton-Brock and Kavita Isvaran?
[A] Polygynous species have shorter life spans than monogamous species.
[B] Polygynous species aged faster than monogamous species.
[C] Polygynous males decrease faster in number as they grow older.
[D] Monogamous males live as long as their females.
3. 关于Tim Clutton-Brock和 Kavita Isvaran所进行的实验证明的观点,下列哪个陈述是正确的?
[A] 多配物种比单配物种的寿命要短。
[B] 多配物种比单配物种衰老得快。
[C] 多配物种的雄性随着年老,数量减少得更快。
[D] 单配物种的雄性和雌性的寿命相同。
答案:B 难度系数:☆☆☆
分析:细节题。根据第三段对他们实验的描述:In 16 of the 19 polygynous species in their sample, males of all ages were much more likely to die during any given period than were females. Furthermore, the older they got, the bigger the mortality gap became. In other words, they aged faster. Males from monogamous species did not show these patterns. 可见,多配物种年龄越大,雄性和雌性之间死亡率的差距就越大,雄性老得也更快。因此,选项B是正确答案。
4. The logic behind the fact that the species living in the most dangerous environment have the shortest life span is that _____.
[A] resources should be devoted to reproduction rather than sustaining life
[B] resources should be used most efficiently
[C] species in the most dangerous environment should not waste the resources
[D] there is no need to divert scarce resources into keeping the machine in best condition
4. 最危险的环境下生活的物种寿命最短,该事实背后的逻辑是 _____。
[A] 资源应当用于繁殖而不是用于维持生命
[B] 资源应当得到最有效的利用
[C] 在最危险环境中生活的物种不应该浪费资源
[D] 没有必要将有限的资源用于将机器保持在最好的状态
答案:B 难度系数:☆☆☆☆
分析:推理题。根据第四段:If it will be killed quickly anyway, there is not much reason for evolution to divert scarce resources into keeping the machine in tip-top condition. 即动物如果很快就被杀死了,那么有限的资源就不应用于让它们保持在很好的状态,而应用于繁殖,这背后的逻辑就是有限的资源要得到最有效的利用。因此,答案为B。
5. The test conducted by Tim Clutton-Brock and Kavita Isvaran demonstrates that _____.
[A] polygyny was the rule in humanity's evolutionary past
[B] the sex difference on life span is attributable to humans' biological past which should not be denied by feminists
[C] the logic does not work between the sexes as well as between species
[D] it was polygyny that accounts for human females' general longevity over males
5. Tim Clutton-Brock和 Kavita Isvaran进行的实验说明了 _____。
[A] 一夫多妻是人类进化历史中的规律
[B] 寿命上的性别差异主要源自人类过去的生物学特征,这是女权主义者们不能否认的
[C] 这种逻辑在性别之间以及物种之间都不起作用
[D] 正是一夫多妻制使得女性比男性更加长寿
答案:D 难度系数:☆☆☆
分析:推理题。文章最后一段指出:Dr. Clutton-Brock reckons that the sex difference in both human rates of ageing and in the usual age of death is an indicator that polygyny was the rule in humanity's evolutionary past—as it still is, in some places. That may not please some feminists, but it could be the price women have paid for outliving their menfolk. 可见,人类男女之间现在还有寿命的区别,这根据他们所做的实验可以推断出,过去人类可能是一夫多妻制,这样男性才比女性的寿命短。因此,答案为D。选项A具有较强的干扰性,但其错误在于rule一词,这个词的意思与原文的推测语气不尽相同。B是错误的,关于女权主义者的话题是作者加进去的,与该实验无关。选项C是明显错误的。

在平等权利这个问题上,女权主义者怨声载道。但有一个明显的不平等现象一直被人们忽略了:寿命。在这方面,女性处于领先地位。世界各地的女性都要比男性寿命长。个中原因尚不清楚,但是许多其他物种也存在相同的情况。从狮子到羚羊,从海狮到鹿,雄性总是活得不够长。一种理论认为,雄性必须通过竞争来获得雌性的注意,这就意味着进化忙着在雄性中间选择鹿角、侵略和合金轮子,其代价就是寿命,而女性却不用面对这种压力。如果这个理论成立的话,那么在那些雄性要通过竞争来引起雌性注意的物种中,雌性比雄性长寿的现象就应该格外明显。相反,在无需此类竞争的物种中,这种区别会较少甚至没有。
为了证实这种想法,剑桥大学的Tim Clutton-Brock和位于印度班加罗尔市的印度科技学院的Kavita Isvaran决定对比研究单配物种和多配物种(后者指的是一个雄性有多个雌性配偶)。他们的目的在于,研究多配物种雄性的存活率是否比单配物种低,老得快。为了达到这一目的,他们搜集了35种寿命较长的鸟类和哺乳动物的相关信息。
他们称结果与他们预想的差不多。在他们选择的19种多配物种中,有16种的各个年龄段的雄性在任何时期都比雌性更容易死亡。而且,随着年龄的增长,它们死亡率的差距就越大,也就是说它们老得越快。而单配物种的雄性就没有这些特征。在多配物种中,如果某一个雄性拥有10个雌性,那么它一旦出现衰弱的迹象,另外九个雄性就会推倒这位占有多个雌性的主人。强大的竞争压力意味着,胜利的那些雄性个体要把所有的精力集中在一个或两个繁殖季节。
很明显,这直接缩短了雄性的寿命。但是还存在另一个更不易被察觉的影响。大部分研究老化的学生都认为,动物的寿命极限取决于其能否逃避被捕食、疾病、意外和同类进攻等因素。如果它们很快就被杀死,那么进化就不可能将有限的资源用于保证整个种群处于最佳状态了。相反,这些资源应当用于繁殖。外界的环境越危险,寿命就应该越短。
同理,这种逻辑在性别或物种之间也存在。该实验旨在找到一种能将自己的生存环境变得非常安全,其大多数成员都可以安享天年的物种,从而检验上述差异是否仍然存在。幸运的是还真有这么一个物种——人类。Clutton-Brock博士估计,人类衰老的速度和正常的死亡年龄的性别差异标志着,一夫多妻曾是人类进化的法则,因为现在在某些地方还存在着这种现象。一些女权主义者可能会不高兴了,但这可能就是女性比男性寿命更长所要付出的代价吧。
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