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3 years ago  ::  Jun 18, 2014 - 9:11AM #1
rangerken
Posts: 16,967
Here's an intetresting article i found during my morning perusal of th real clear politics web site.

is-human-sexuality-determined-by-evolution/

I took the thread title from the article, and here are two paragraphs that...excited... my interest.

"....our real-world sexual choices tend to reflect biological imperatives that have, over the course of millions of years, programmed men and women to approach sex very differently. For women, pregnancy is a difficult, costly process, and raising children even more so, meaning that sex must be taken seriously. By and large, biology conditions women to avoid casual sex and to connect sex with love. It also pushes them to look for good providers who tend to be older and wealthier."

and...

"Men, on the other hand, have lots of love to give at no cost to themselves, and they behave in ways that will spread their genes as widely as possible. On this theory, men will settle down with a woman who is fertile and whose fidelity is assured, in order to have legitimate offspring. But they will also sleep around as much as they can, especially with women who possess the key ‘fertility cues’ of youth and physical beauty."

None of this is new of course, but coming early on in the article it got me interested in finding out what the author was going to say.... so on i read.... and you should too! (By the way, the second quoted paragraph above is one with which I completely agree based on my own experience, and the first one I agree with based on my wife's.)

The whole realm of evolutionary psychology, which is what this is really all about, is rife with conflicting theories. Here's a paragraph that speaks to contemporary reality....

"...we all have an interest in figuring out what will make us sexually happy. Humans in the 21st century, at least those in developed, Western democracies, live in an environment that provides almost complete sexual liberty. And thanks to technology, we can now connect with one another with unprecedented ease. We can see more potential mates in an hour on Tinder than our Pliocene ancestors encountered in their lifetimes. Assuming that we are hard-wired sexually, ignoring that hardwiring will come at a cost. Modern consumers have unlimited freedom when it comes to food. But if they use that freedom the wrong way, they could make themselves obese, and potentially die of a heart attack."

And it goes on and gets better so read and ponder and pontificate. This could be full of delightful opinions and arguments and all sorts of purient stuff.
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3 years ago  ::  Jun 18, 2014 - 9:56AM #2
Do_unto_others
Posts: 11,942

Or, it could be a big fat yawn, since there's not a syllable new in what you shared with us.

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 18, 2014 - 10:34AM #3
Druac
Posts: 14,509

Sounds interesting...I will read it as soon as I get a chance.


However, I often think about this very subject, but not just in relation to sex and procreation, but in many of our natural instincts that we seem to have a hard time suppressing.


All part of the evolutionary process...we are still young in terms of our 'civilized' aspects...it took a long time for evolution to instill those instincts...it will take some time to wash them out as well.

Jesus Is My Savior...He Saves Me From REALITY!
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We created god in our own image and likeness!
[George Carlin]
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"Reason & Logic" - A Damn Good Slogan!
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"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." - Steven Weinberg, an American physicist
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3 years ago  ::  Jun 18, 2014 - 4:00PM #4
Ebon
Posts: 10,148

The problem with EvoPsych (and this is after having spent a year studying it) is that it takes our society as it is now and then projects that backwards, trying to come up with post hoc reasons for it. The reason that's a problem is that we know damn well that gender roles are, to a large extent, cultural constructions and we know that because in many cases, they used to be the opposite. For example, in classical society, it was women who were thought to be the sexually insatiable and predatory gender. And actual research says that both genders are pretty insatiable.

He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. ~ Proverbs 14:31

Fiat justitia, ruat caelum

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 18, 2014 - 5:00PM #5
Do_unto_others
Posts: 11,942

Jun 18, 2014 -- 4:00PM, Ebon wrote:


The problem with EvoPsych (and this is after having spent a year studying it) is that it takes our society as it is now and then projects that backwards, trying to come up with post hoc reasons for it. The reason that's a problem is that we know damn well that gender roles are, to a large extent, cultural constructions and we know that because in many cases, they used to be the opposite. For example, in classical society, it was women who were thought to be the sexually insatiable and predatory gender. And actual research says that both genders are pretty insatiable.




Agreed 1001%.

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 18, 2014 - 7:05PM #6
rangerken
Posts: 16,967

Jun 18, 2014 -- 5:00PM, Do_unto_others wrote:


Jun 18, 2014 -- 4:00PM, Ebon wrote:


The problem with EvoPsych (and this is after having spent a year studying it) is that it takes our society as it is now and then projects that backwards, trying to come up with post hoc reasons for it. The reason that's a problem is that we know damn well that gender roles are, to a large extent, cultural constructions and we know that because in many cases, they used to be the opposite. For example, in classical society, it was women who were thought to be the sexually insatiable and predatory gender. And actual research says that both genders are pretty insatiable.




Agreed 1001%.




I agree. So what about what the article says?

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 18, 2014 - 7:48PM #7
Druac
Posts: 14,509

The phrase that keeps getting me from that article and what I see in dealing with many different sexual orientations and preferences...sexual plasticity is the best way to describe human sexuality. It has always been there. However, it seems just recently in our evolutionary history, we have decided to suppress it and call it a bad thing. Part of that, I think, has been our desire to define ourselves as divorced from everything natural in the world and pretend we are special and above that...that we were created to rule it and that we are special in that sense.


Good article...want to read it again...

Jesus Is My Savior...He Saves Me From REALITY!
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We created god in our own image and likeness!
[George Carlin]
---------------------------------------------
"Reason & Logic" - A Damn Good Slogan!
---------------------------------------------
"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." - Steven Weinberg, an American physicist
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3 years ago  ::  Jun 18, 2014 - 8:59PM #8
rangerken
Posts: 16,967

While reading it, and re-reading it I asked myself this question...


"If I was not bound by contemporary law and morality, and could pretty much do as I wished and had both the ability and 'power' to do as I wished in terms of sex, would I still be a law abiding, moral, monogamous, faithful husband?"


The honest answer is No, I would not.


Anyone else care to respond honestly?

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 18, 2014 - 9:04PM #9
Ebon
Posts: 10,148

Jun 18, 2014 -- 7:48PM, Druac wrote:

The phrase that keeps getting me from that article and what I see in dealing with many different sexual orientations and preferences...sexual plasticity is the best way to describe human sexuality. It has always been there.



What I suspect that means is that far more people than we realise are, to some degree, bisexual. Kinsey came up with a seven-point scale with exclusively straight and exclusively gay at opposite ends. Personally, I'm exactly in the middle. I'm sexually and romantically attracted to roughly equal numbers of men and women. What I suspect that plasticity refers to is the great number of people who are "straight except for Johnny Depp" or something similar. There are a great number of people who have sex with members of their own gender but, for various reasons, do not identify as gay (which is why psychologists use the terms MSM and FSF).


The other thing I think we need to note here is that our current ways of defining sexuality are relatively recent. The Greco-Roman world, for example, didn't define sexuality by who you had sex with but by what kind of sex you had. They didn't think in terms of gay and straight but in terms of active and passive, who did the penetrating and who was penetrated. Most Native American tribes had male and female but also a third gender called Two-Spirit that combined elements of homosexuality and transgenderism.


I've been studying the intersection of sexuality and psychology (that the media, to my chagrin, keeps calling "sexology") for years, first informerly and, in recent years, formerly.


However, it seems just recently in our evolutionary history, we have decided to suppress it and call it a bad thing. Part of that, I think, has been our desire to define ourselves as divorced from everything natural in the world and pretend we are special and above that...that we were created to rule it and that we are special in that sense.



That's part of it. Rousseau might have considered freedom to be man's natural state but man's natural state is also to be sitting in a tree, gulping down his dinner as it wriggles. The entirety of human history has been a flight away from nature, to break and tame nature to our means.


I think you also have to consider the influence that teh Abrahamic faiths have had on our history. For whatever reason, the Abrahamic faiths became teh world's dominant belief system and they don't like homosexuality.


Jun 18, 2014 -- 8:59PM, rangerken wrote:

While reading it, and re-reading it I asked myself this question...


"If I was not bound by contemporary law and morality, and could pretty much do as I wished and had both the ability and 'power' to do as I wished in terms of sex, would I still be a law abiding, moral, monogamous, faithful husband?"


The honest answer is No, I would not.


Anyone else care to respond honestly?



Law-abiding, yes. Moral depends on your personal belief system. Would I be monogamous and faithful? Yes. And I'll tell you how I know that. Kat and I have an arrangement that says that while emotional intimacy is reserved for each other, we are allowed to have "just sex" with whomever we like outside the relationship. We agreed to that arrangement over a decade ago but in a decade, neither of us has ever felt the need to use that arrangement.


Now, I consider our arrangement to be entirely moral. We don't cheat, we are honest and upfront with one another. We simply have an agreement that, if we feel teh need, we can go outside the relationship for pure physical gratification.Thus far, neither of us have felt the need.


To my way of thinking, the immoral part of having an affair is the dishonesty. If you and your partner decide that you'd rather have a monogamous relationship, that's fine. But if you decide you'd rather have a relationship like Kat and I's, that's fine too. And if you decide you want a true poly relationship, that's also fine. The key, important part is respect for and honesty with your partner.

He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. ~ Proverbs 14:31

Fiat justitia, ruat caelum

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3 years ago  ::  Jun 19, 2014 - 9:03AM #10
Druac
Posts: 14,509

Jun 18, 2014 -- 8:59PM, rangerken wrote:


While reading it, and re-reading it I asked myself this question...


"If I was not bound by contemporary law and morality, and could pretty much do as I wished and had both the ability and 'power' to do as I wished in terms of sex, would I still be a law abiding, moral, monogamous, faithful husband?"


The honest answer is No, I would not.


Anyone else care to respond honestly?




Ok...I will bite...if I had the 'power' to have her, I would have her:


Jesus Is My Savior...He Saves Me From REALITY!
---------------------------------------------
We created god in our own image and likeness!
[George Carlin]
---------------------------------------------
"Reason & Logic" - A Damn Good Slogan!
---------------------------------------------
"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." - Steven Weinberg, an American physicist
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