Hormones And Brains

There is, nonetheless, a sense in which sexual differences cannot be strictly left to the genes. If a gene appeared in a Pleistocene man for, say, better sense of direction at the expense of poorer social intuition, it might have been of benefit to him But, as well as his sons, his daughters would have inherited it from him In them the gene might have been positively disadvantageous because it left them less socially intuitive. So its net effect, over time, would be neutral, and it would not...

Why Play Sexual Monopoly

But the polygamy threshold is a bird-centric view. Those who study mammals take a rather different view, for virtually all mammals lie so far above the polygamy threshold that the four commandments are irrelevant Male mammals can be of so little use to their mates during pregnancy that it need not concern the females whether the males have already married. Humanity is a startling exception to this rule. Because children are fed by their parents for so long, they are more like baby birds than...

Harems And Wealth

In the chess game of sex, each gender must respond to the other s moves The resulting pattern, whether polygamous or monogamous, is a stalemate rather than a draw or a victory In elephant seals and sage grouse, the game reaches the point where males care only about the quantity of mates and females only about the quality. Each pays a heavy price, the males battling and exhausting themselves and dying in the often vain attempt to be the senior bull or master cock, the females entirely forgoing...

Emma Bovary And Female Swallows

What s in it for the birds For the males it is obvious enough Adulterers father more young. But it is not at all clear why the female is so often unfaithful Birkhead and Moller rejected several suggestions that she is adulterous because of a genetic side effect of the male adulterous urge, that she is ensuring some of the sperm she gets is fertile, that she is bribed by the philandering males (as seems to be the case in some human and ape societies). None of these fit the exact facts. Nor did...

When Males Pounce And Females Flirt

Until recently, evolutionists had a fairly simple view of mating systems based on the essential differences between males and females If powerful men had their way, women would probably live in harems like seals that is certainly the lesson of history. If most women had their way, men would be as faithful as albatrosses. Although research has modified this supposition, it is nonetheless true that males are generally seducers and females the seduced Humanity shares this profile of ardent,...

The Rewards Of Violence

If reproduction has been the reward and goal of power and wealth, then it is little wonder that it has also been a frequent cause and reward of violence. This is presumably the reason that the early Church became so obsessed with matters of sex. It recognized sexual competition to be one of the principal causes of murder and mayhem. The gradual synonymy of sex and sin in Christendom is surely based more on the fact that sex often leads to trouble rather than that there is anything inherently...

Cuckoldry Paranoia

The cuckold, however, does not stand by and accept his evolutionary lot even unto the extinction of his genes Birkhead and Moller think that much of the behavior of male birds can be explained by the assumption that they are in constant terror of their wives ' infidelity. Their first strategy is to guard the wife during the period when she is fertile (a day or so before each egg is laid) Many male birds do this They follow their mates everywhere, so that a female bird who is building a nest is...