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  #31  
Old 03-30-2011, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by SvartSvensk View Post

I would consider the hypothesis that Humans have had a variety of relationship types in different settings for millions of years, to include monogamy, polygamy, polyandry, and group marriage, which could explain why different people need different things. How to test this? Now THERE'S yer problem...
I agree. I think that instead of being 'biologically hard-wired for (serial) monogamy', humans posses enough monogamous tendencies to give rise to the phenomenon of (serial, double- and single standard) monogamy. I've always found the need to explain how could evolution allow for homosexual behavior to arise be somewhat curious obsession. I feel instead of assuming heterosexuality is the one true evolutionary way, it's much more probable than in the infinite variety of human (and animal) sexual expression, those who posses strong heterosexual tendencies (i.e. manage to have enough of PIV sex) tend to reproduce faster and in greater numbers than those for whom heterosexual behavior is more incidental. Heterosexuality is not natural, just popular, because some of it's expressions tend to lead into conception and thus passing on of those tendencies to offspring.

The trouble for me in socio-biology that attempts to answer questions like 'How did monogamy/male dominance/homosexuality originate?' is that they take granted that we live in the best possible world from an evolutionary viewpoint. Evolution is blind; it would not care if humans never evolved. It does not strive for the best/most organized/most functional lifeforms, but rather by accident favors those individuals whose traits, again quite accidentally, match the environmental changes occurring. Recent evidence indicates that Neanderthals did not go extinct because they were less smart or evolved than Homo Sapiens; they were simply highly adjusted to very cold climes, and when the climate started to warm up, they lost the habitat they were most comfortable in.

Sorry, a ramble, but I do so like trashing evolutionary psychology.
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  #32  
Old 03-30-2011, 03:49 PM
Myrddin Myrddin is offline
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Heterosexuality is not natural, just popular, because some of it's expressions tend to lead into conception and thus passing on of those tendencies to offspring.
Erm, that is usually what evolutionary biologists mean by natural. Have you read The Selfish Gene? Of course, natural doesn't mean right.

There must be some evolutionary influence on behaviour, otherwise different species wouldn't have such different (usual) sexual patterns. For example, the other two chimpanzee species tend to use sex the way we'd use a polite handshake. Why don't humans?

My favourite book on this stuff is The Red Queen, by Matt Ridley. The later chapters are basically an exercise in comparative anthropology, except that instead of looking at different tribes he looks at different species. Birds in particular have a lot of different mating patterns, depending on the species' environment.
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  #33  
Old 03-30-2011, 04:15 PM
Tonberry Tonberry is offline
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In my opinion, all forms of sexuality are natural. I mean, what's the alternative, them being artificial?

In comparison, no cars or pairs of glasses or computers are natural. Doesn't mean I'm going to stop using them.

Good point about how you can pass things through females. I think then I would add a lack of consideration for women. In a lot of societies, they had few rights, and using them to pass property might have felt like giving them too much importance.

I was reading the Amicus's closing arguments for the current BC polygamy case. One part I found interesting was a quote about how monogamy advantages men from a Darwinian point of view.

The basis was that, survival-wise, it's best for men to have as many mates as possible, and for women to have mates who can support the children they have. Therefore the Darwinian point of views sees these as the goals, and nothing about love, freedom, jealousy or anything like that.

From a Darwinian point of view, with polygamy women have the option to marry rich men. If they're already married, no problem, and they can support several wives. From that point of view, it's better for them than monogamy, in which men get "taken", and women have to marry men who are poorer.
Polygamy results in rich men having many wives, poor men having none. (Notice this is focusing on polygyny. I believe it's because it's also a study on patriarchal societies).
So, polygyny is better for all women (they all get to pick a mate who can support their kid better compared to who they could with monogamy) as well as for some men. But it's bad for some other men.

Therefore, the quote mentions how monogamy becomes a compromise between rich men and poor men. Rich men keep having first pick in mates, but have to limit themselves to one at a time. Poor men get to have wives that "trickle down" due to not being able to marry already married rich men. Women end up, on average, poorer and less supported, as do their children.

It was an interesting take, as people are quick to talk about how polygyny is bad for women. I thought a study about how monogamy might have been put in place to advantage men was definitely an interesting read.
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  #34  
Old 03-30-2011, 04:24 PM
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Absolutely fascinating thread. WOW. If only more people would question this stuff!
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  #35  
Old 03-30-2011, 04:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Myrddin View Post

There must be some evolutionary influence on behaviour, otherwise different species wouldn't have such different (usual) sexual patterns. For example, the other two chimpanzee species tend to use sex the way we'd use a polite handshake. Why don't humans?
Actually according to Sex at Dawn, only the bonobos do this. Chimps do not, they are more territorial, and the females only have sex at estrus, not throughout the menstrual cycle like bonbos. Also, bonobos have lots of gay/lesbian contact. It's so refreshing to see another ape species that is more like humans.

Quite a few humans do use sex as a handshake or a temporary release! Ever been in a bar at closing time?

Remember the hippies? Love the one you're with?
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  #36  
Old 03-30-2011, 05:21 PM
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TheBlackSwede TheBlackSwede is offline
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Originally Posted by Magdlyn View Post
Actually according to Sex at Dawn, only the bonobos do this. Chimps do not, they are more territorial, and the females only have sex at estrus, not throughout the menstrual cycle like bonbos. Also, bonobos have lots of gay/lesbian contact. It's so refreshing to see another ape species that is more like humans.

Quite a few humans do use sex as a handshake or a temporary release! Ever been in a bar at closing time?

Remember the hippies? Love the one you're with?
Correct - Bonobos are about the only species of primate that have such open, plentiful, and unassuming sex. That being said however, even ape species which are considered to be "monogamous" are often observed having incidental sexual contact with individuals who are not their mates, often times repeatedly with the same other individual for years. ...a sort of "affair", if you will.

I suppose the point is that NO primates are actually monogamous.
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  #37  
Old 03-30-2011, 06:39 PM
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BlackUnicorn BlackUnicorn is offline
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Erm, that is usually what evolutionary biologists mean by natural. Have you read The Selfish Gene?[/URL].
I don't mean evolutionary biology as a science, but its bastardization as 'evolutionary psychology' which makes assumptions about the evolutionary basis for behavior in modern humans. Although natural is not right, the proponents of this philosophy do emphasize that changing sex roles, for example, is basically a futile attempt because men's philandering and violent behaviors are so ingrained in the human genetic make-up. This pseudo-science presents itself as value-neutral, but has very strong Social Darwinist undertones and owes its birth to a specific historical situation where religion is again gaining ground in science and politics. With the onslaught of the religious right in American politics, for example, many natural scientists have succumbed to making natural science into a pseudo-religion/world explanation which makes it easy to discredit science as a tool, as well.

I have not read the Selfish Gene but know the basic argument behind it, which of course isn't the same thing as having actually read and understood it as it was originally formulated by the author. The word 'selfish', however, illustrates to me well the basic fallacy behind this school of thought; anthropomorphizing nature and evolution to have goals, mental states etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Myrddin View Post
There must be some evolutionary influence on behaviour, otherwise different species wouldn't have such different (usual) sexual patterns. For example, the other two chimpanzee species tend to use sex the way we'd use a polite handshake. Why don't humans?
Yeah, absolutely. There are probably no social behaviors in modern humans which could not have an evolutionary effect, and which thus could not become the 'evolutionary basis' behind future behaviors in our species. However, assuming a hypothetical past situation and THEN assuming a unilateral, as opposed to multiple co-existing, evolutionary progress for some behaviors we witness in today's populations is mere speculation; entertaining, but garbing it as 'science' is unfounded.
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  #38  
Old 03-30-2011, 07:00 PM
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MonoVCPHG MonoVCPHG is offline
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I suppose the point is that NO primates are actually monogamous.
Just me

Bonobos also engage in fights, kill thier children and were largely studied in captivity...just saying.
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  #39  
Old 03-30-2011, 07:08 PM
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According to Sex at Dawn, bonobos do not practice infanticide. Offspring are cared for by the tribe, and even nursed by multiple "mothers." Knowing what I do about lactation, this means the infant/toddler bonobo drinks in the DNA from several mothers, thereby, to an extent, actually becoming biologically the child of more than one mother!

It seems to me the male bonobos are far too busy chillin and fuckin to worry about whose kid is whose.

(God, I wish I was a bonobo...)

We all know data collected from animals in captivity is not as valuable as that from wild animals in their natural habitat. My understanding is that there has been quite a bit of research done on bonobos in the wild, thought it is very difficult because of their remote location in a politically volatile country (Rep of Congo/Zaire).
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  #40  
Old 03-30-2011, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by BlackUnicorn View Post
I don't mean evolutionary biology as a science, but its bastardization as 'evolutionary psychology' which makes assumptions about the evolutionary basis for behavior in modern humans. Although natural is not right, the proponents of this philosophy do emphasize that changing sex roles, for example, is basically a futile attempt because men's philandering and violent behaviors are so ingrained in the human genetic make-up. This pseudo-science presents itself as value-neutral, but has very strong Social Darwinist undertones and owes its birth to a specific historical situation where religion is again gaining ground in science and politics. With the onslaught of the religious right in American politics, for example, many natural scientists have succumbed to making natural science into a pseudo-religion/world explanation which makes it easy to discredit science as a tool, as well.
Is your hypothesis then that human behavior is non-evolutionary? It's important to keep science value-neutral in order to better understand the world and our species. Setting out under the assumption that men and women are exactly equal in all respects is fallacious - we are a sexually dimorphic species in form, and chemically dimorphic also - science has shown clearly the effect that different chemical landscapes have on the way our brains operate. I'll agree that drawing instant conclusions to support traditional gender roles is nonscientific and stupid, obviously... but I think it's important to consider our evolution when analyzing behavior.

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Originally Posted by MonoVCPHG View Post
Just me

Bonobos also engage in fights, kill thier children and were largely studied in captivity...just saying.
Well, speaking about species as a whole, obviously.

And as for fighting and killing children, this is a pretty common thing among primates as a whole as well. Humans included.
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