Re: Social evolution of hominids
12 Jan 1997 16:33:18 +0200 wrote:

snip wrote:
> >: I find it difficult to imagine, how the mere hanging around of a
> >: certain man would specially enhance the care of the children. Since
> >: the number of men and women is equal, there would always be a man
> >: hanging around, anyway. And since other women are receptive, too,
> >: continuous sex would be available for him anywhere.
> This is an absurd picture. What world are you living in?

Yes, it is really absurd compared with what I tried to say! <g> I
meant to say, that a man hanging around just for *sex*, alone, would
not make any difference. There must be other mechanisms to *cause* a
permanent pair bond. The *results* of permanent pair bonding may well
include better care of children. Monogamous cultures have been the
most successful.

> For hominids, I'd rate
> protection by a group of (sexually contented) co-operating
> males as being much more important than provisioning. The
> male instinct to provide for his (probable) offspring seems
> much weaker than the female's; and the male combative one
> is remarkably strong. (How many females are keen sports
> fans?)

Agreed, in principle.

In arctic hunter-gatherer groups much of the food is provided by men.
This makes monogamy sound a better strategy than in tropics, where
women can provide food even when pregnant.

Did monogamy appear when new weapons made hunting more efficient,
so that it began to have importance in providing food for the group?
Men were more efficient in protecting, too, with this new power,
and the importance of the 'gang' behaviour diminished a bit. So it
allowed pairing?

Is the beginning of such efficient hunting seen in the stone tools?
In rapid spread of Homo s?
Did erectus hunt?
Were Neanderthals monogamous?


> Paul.

Aila Korhonen in Finland