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-   -   Nature, Nurture... -- Choice? (http://www.polyamory.com/forum/showthread.php?t=722)

Beodude123 09-02-2009 07:31 PM

Nature, Nurture... -- Choice?
 
Let it be known that this thread was originally started by River. In an error of moderation I, Redpepper, made it by someone else and merged some threads together. In an attempt to rectify the situation I have gone through and indicated the writer where ever possible so that the conversation can continue. I'm sorry that this mistake has happened. Please understand that everything that the moderators could do was considered and tried... hopefully it is possible to pick up where we left off.

Thanks, Redpepper :)


River
I stumbled upon this bit of text while reading articles found on the web.:

"When scientists inserted a piece of DNA from a monogamous species of mice (prairie voles) into males from a different--and highly promiscuous--mice species, the latter turned fervently monogamous. What is more striking is that some people carry an extra bit of DNA in a gene responsible for the distribution of vasopressin receptors in the brain (a hormone associated with attachment bonds), while others do not, and that piece of DNA is very similar to the one found in the monogamous prairie voles. Although the implications of this finding for our understanding of human mating await further clarification, it strongly suggests that a diversity of relationship styles--both monogamous and polyamorous--may be genetically imprinted in humans."


http://www.tikkun.org/article.php/Fe...ory-and-beyond

Much more needs to be learned, but maybe there's something to the notion I'd previously not taken so seriously. Maybe some people are "naturally" monogamous and others are "naturally" prone to be non-monogamous or polyamorous? That is, there may be a biological difference between those humans inclined to be monogamous and those inclined to be non-monogamous.

If this turns out to be the case, there are some tough -- very tough -- issues and questions to be addressed. Suppose a person is biologically predisposed to become non-monogamous and yet his socialization in family and culture intensely inculcates monogamy? This person may insist that he/she is "naturally monogamous".

That's a very interesting Thought isnt it? While I like to think I am just who I am..because I am Me... Its kinda like The theory that you "choose" to be gay...I didnt chose.. Its just who I am.

But it would be interesting to see how it would go if they put the DNA of the Promiscuous Mice into the monogamous mice...would they suddenly be Promiscuous?

MonoVCPHG
Quote:

Originally Posted by JRiverMartin (Post 6118)
both monogamous and polyamorous--may be genetically imprinted in humans." [/INDENT][/INDENT][/B]

".

I'm not surprised by this at all. I feel completely naturally monogamous but see that others...such as Redepper, are not.

Fascinating find though JRM! I think it would be much easier to deal with issues if there is understanding that people are naturally different and genetically wired mono and poly. That would clear up why I simply can't put myself into a place to really understand how someone loves more than one person as "lovers".

River
Quote:

Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG (Post 6129)
That would clear up why I simply can't put myself into a place to really understand how someone loves more than one person as "lovers".

Well, inculcation & socialization could certainly have the same effect, it seems to me.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/inculcation

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/socialization

Some people are simply not very well socialized, but are prone to question and even reject common social norms, taboos and expectations. It's a temperament thing--and very common among practicing poly folk.

Of course, we're all speculating -- and none of us has a solid handle on the facts of the matter.

So..., as I'm inclined to do when presented with puzzles or questoins, I went poking around on the internets to see what's up.

The subject matter of my inquiry was the biology of mating, of monogamy and non-monogamy.... Turns out that monogamy is quite rare among animals, generally, and mammals especially. And even where monogamy does occur among animals, it is typically just "social monogamy" that's going on at home or in the nest. Sexual monogamy is the rarest of the rare -- among humans and animals.... Which brings me to my point and my question.

You see, I'm fine with thinking of us humans as one animal species among others. Yet many people -- probably most -- will be offended by that idea. "We're not animals! We're human!"

My point is that we're humans and animals.

My question is, Does this statement offend you?

XYZ123
"You and me baby ain't nothing but mammals so let's do it like they do on the Discovery Channel"?

:D I'm sorry. That just immediately popped into my head. For me, humans ARE animals. We're just animals with higher brain functions which, unfortunately, most of us use to the detriment of eachother, other species, and the world in general.

As far as mono vs poly, it would be interesting to see if there were a genetic link, just as it would be interesting to conclusively prove a genetic link for homosexuality. But, as far as I'm concerned, it doesn't matter. I am who I am. You are who you are. As long as no one is being hurt and all are happy, live and let live.

Quote:

Originally Posted by JRiverMartin (Post 6135)
My question is, Does this statement offend you?

The ability and intelligence required to destroy the planet seperates us from the rest of earth's creatures. There is something both special and terrifying in that. I'm not offended at all, but I recognize something is very different about being human.

River
Quote:

Originally Posted by XYZ123 (Post 6141)
"You and me baby ain't nothing but mammals so let's do it like they do on the Discovery Channel"?

One of my favorite songs!:D

I think I'll make it my signature for a bit. How swinger of me. :)

MonoVCPHG
Quote:

Originally Posted by JRiverMartin (Post 6131)

Some people are simply not very well socialized, but are prone to question and even reject common social norms, taboos and expectations. It's a temperament thing--and very common among practicing poly folk.

.

Based on the monthly poly meetings I attend which have a fairly large attendance I will completely agree with you on this point JRM. This is partially why I have such a hard time mixing with the community. I embrace social norms and rarely swim upstream. I don't question the norms and naturally thrive within them.

River 09-03-2009 03:27 PM

It seems to me that I've spent a LOT of time in my life, from very early on, sifting and separating wheat from chaff -- good, positive, healthy, wholesome social norms from bad, ugly, repulsive, destructive ones. Society has plenty of both, and I really think living a full and purposeful, constructive, life requires some of this sifting process -- whether we like it or not. And it's often like having dental work done. No fun.

MonoVCPHG 09-03-2009 05:47 PM

I am a political and societal leaf in the wind. I flow wherever the breeze takes me and give little thought to what the breeze consists of. I am simply happy to float there.

redsirenn 09-03-2009 05:58 PM

It may also be hard to say we have "higher brain function" than other mammals or other animals... Other animals exhibit social rituals, utilize tools, have song, communicate, and learn! It is almost impossible for us to gauge their smarts!

As a scientist, I think evolution as a game of chance... we just happened to develop physically in a way that promoted the development of higher thought AND the physical means to act upon thoughts (larger brain case, bipedalism, opposing thumbs, etc.) This fed upon itself... we learn, build, learn from that, build, etc.

(yeah, I have done some reading on biological anthropology :) )

Barry 09-03-2009 11:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redsirenn (Post 6202)
It may also be hard to say we have "higher brain function" than other mammals or other animals... Other animals exhibit social rituals, utilize tools, have song, communicate, and learn! It is almost impossible for us to gauge their smarts!

Before I drift off topic, I'd like to say that I think we are, to a high degree, biologically predispositioned toward specific behaviors. For sure experience and culture shape us, but innate traits that we are born with are like the needle on a compass pointing to magnetic north. Some of us follow the arrow and some of us choose a different path.

When you spoke of other animals I immediately thought of a problem that I have been having at my "retreat" home in Georgia. It's just a little get away place where I spend some time trying to make sense out of me. Anyway, there is an Eastern Woodrat (Pack Rat) Neotoma Floridana that has wreaked havoc on my house. They tend to be solitary animals, so I'm thinking its only one or two. It has bored holes in the walls and floors, taken pictures off the walls and tried to drag them under the house, eaten through water pipes, taken the TV and Stereo remotes under the house, that in itself is impressive. But what amazed me is that it emptied a five gallon bucket of bird seed. Mouth full by mouth full and took it under the house. I bought a large bag of Rat poison. As far as I was concerned this was war. It emptied the entire bag and took it mouthful by mouthful under the house. It emptied a 25lb bag of fire ant poison and took it under the house. They typically use all of these items to build a midan. They surround their nest with all of this stuff. It has taken screws, eating utensils, plates, small figurines and who knows what else. It's like a miniature wolverine. :) It is extremely determined, industrious and intelligent. I agree completely when you say we are not capable of fully understanding the intelligence of other animals. And I am determined to match wits with this one. :mad:

River 09-04-2009 12:05 AM

Packing Off Pack Rats: Don't kill the rats, move 'em
http://www.tsweekly.com/outside/natu...s-move-em.html

====

Being a mammal myself, and too empathetic for my own good, I tend to prefer live trapping and relocating where possible. Unfortunately, the gopher that continues to destroy my tiny edible garden is laughing all the way to the food bank.

Barry 09-04-2009 12:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JRiverMartin (Post 6263)
Packing Off Pack Rats: Don't kill the rats, move 'em
http://www.tsweekly.com/outside/natu...s-move-em.html

Being a mammal myself, and too empathetic for my own good, I tend to prefer live trapping and relocating where possible. Unfortunately, the gopher that continues to destroy my tiny edible garden is laughing all the way to the food bank.

I did leave out the part about live trapping. That's exactly what I did. And I caught him, even made a video of the big adventure. I transported this industrious little guy to an abandoned hunting shack four miles away and enjoyed the bliss of it all for about three weeks. Then one day he announced, "I'm back" by chewing through the water pipe under the bathroom floor. Needless to say we are at it again. I'm convinced its the same rat and he found his way back home. If I catch him again I'd be glad to UPS him.......any volunteers?

River 09-04-2009 12:43 AM

Good grief, Barry! That's one helluva rat!

The article I linked mentions the pack rat's territoriality, and tendency to find their way home again. Naturally, I'm thinking that you certainly would have to carry the poor and industrious fellow MANY miles afar. But I'm just not into killing anybody, however many legs they have -- which thought makes me realize that I really ought to be vegitarian, or vegan even, but then I'd have to quit utilizing cars, since road kill is everywhere..., and pretty much live deep in the wilderness as a hermit monk of some sort, and... and I'm just not that evolved.


Edit: If you must kill the poor, poor industrious fellow, do it quickly and use no poisons! I hate to think of him/her dying slowly of internal bleeding or some damn thing.

More editing as preemptive response to the vegitarians and vegans among us: I fully support radical revision of animal "husbandry" laws, requiring all animal products to come from animals well-treated before the lowering of the boom.

MonoVCPHG 12-16-2009 10:15 PM

No comment on the validity of the research but I find the topic interesting.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/...in-people.html

"What if you could tell whether a man is husband material just by peering at his genes?

There has been speculation about the role of the hormone vasopressin in humans ever since we discovered that variations in where receptors for the hormone are expressed makes prairie voles strictly monogamous but meadow voles promiscuous; vasopressin is related to the "cuddle chemical" oxytocin. Now it seems variations in a section of the gene coding for a vasopressin receptor in people help to determine whether men are serial commitment-phobes or devoted husbands.

Hasse Walum at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, and colleagues looked at the various forms of the gene coding for a vasopressin receptor in 552 Swedish people, who were all in heterosexual partnerships. The researchers also investigated the quality of their relationships.

They found that variation in a section of the gene called RS3 334 was linked to how men bond with their partners. Men can have none, one or two copies of the RS3 334 section, and the higher the number of copies, the worse men scored on a measure of pair bonding.

Not only that, men with two copies of RS3 334 were more likely to be unmarried than men with one or none, and if they were married, they were twice as likely to have a marital crisis."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arginin...ptor_1A#Humans

"Polymorphisms

Homozygosity in allele 334 of RS3 is associated in men (but not women) with problems with pair-bonding behavior, measured by traits such as partner bonding, perceived marital problems, marital status, as well as spousal perception of marital quality.[19]"

http://www.pnas.org/content/105/37/14153.full

ladyjools 12-18-2009 12:06 PM

i think its very likley that being poly or mono has something to do with DNA
however much like sexuality i think there is sometimes no black and white more a scale,
some people are very straight others are def very gay, but there are many more people somewhere in the middle of those extreems

what if being poly was the same?

Jools


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