Re: how many bastards are there, anyway?

David Vanecek (
30 Aug 1996 05:30:16 GMT

Both previous posters are using 'cuckold' for its opposite.
I have corrected this by substituting the word 'adulterer' where approriate.
'Adulterer' will be kept in quotes, since it is inaccurate; we lack
a good term for "sire of a bastard regardless of dam's marital status."

Hugh Gibbons ( wrote:
: Matt Beckwith wrote:
: > Wow, somebody actually answered a post of mine with something other than
: > hostility. I think this is going to be a good day!

Please don't let my followups dilute it!

: >
: > So it isn't that 'adulterers' are superior by virtue of being 'adulterers', but
: > that women sleep with men who are attractive to them, and the attractive
: > men become 'adulterers' because so many women want them.
: >
: > So how would we get an attractive, faithful man? The 'adulterer' would have
: > to finally want more from a relationship, and realize that you can't get
: > that without commitment.

Men *very commonly* in *many* societies at *all* levels of economic development
live without significant relationships with women. There is no
human relationship except sex that *requires* a woman. If perversion or
celibacy is allowed, even that vanishes. There is a social necessity
to support children; typically this is the responsibility of the men.

: >
: > Matt Beckwith
: >

Hugh Gibbons ( wrote:
: I don't like this explanation because it relies on fairly dubious
: assumptions.
: (That attractive men have genes that make them able to survive better.)

See below on 'survival.' Survival value is: "able to impregnate more
often resulting in survivable offspring." (I.e. nobody smothers the
bastards, somebody feeds them.) It has nothing to do directly, with
"quality of life." The most fecund societies are among the crummiest.

: The more conventional and more likely explanation is that females have
: orgasm to attract them to the act of sex, which results in procreation.
: Since women are intelligent, men would have a hard time persuading them

There are societies of humans who do not correlate copulation with
pregnancy. 'American urban teenager' is one such sub-society.

It is very easy to persuade a woman to engage in sex. It is very
easy to persuade a man to engage in sex. Individuals who are easily
persuaded to have sex do so more often. People who do not have
sex are called 'extinct.' Seen any Shakers lately?

: to engage in sex, knowing the dangers of pregnancy, unless the women
: got immediate benefit.

Payment in cash or kind is the traditional non-orgasmic immediate benefit.
Many prostitutes report almost no erotic pleasure in an act that
nonetheless they indulge compulsively. Many Christian wives report
the same absence of pleasure, yet are famous for their fecundity.

: The 'adulterer' takes advantage where he finds it by persuading a female to
: mate with him and possibly have his children. This does not interfere
: much with his main chance of reproducing, which is with his regular
: mate.

Why would this be his *main* chance? An adulterer can impregnate
scores of females, (credibly reported by certain males), repeatedly.
Most of his children will be bastards.

It also depends on his wife's behavior. It depends on the social consequences
of adultery. If the female is protected by law, a husband or a family,
the adulterer may find himself incapable of any future behavior of any
kind except in the afterlife.

: His childrearing efforts are spent on kids that are probably his, and he

Men do not rear infants, usually. Men support the rearing of children.
In many societies, men have nearly no contact with daughters, and little
with sons until they are sentient. Americans are raised almost exclusively
by females until well after puberty. This, and the horrid practice of
milk drinking (failure to wean), is why American men are weak-willed,
effeminate, violent, and increasingly prone to perversion.
(Explanation and controversial examples on request. Off topic here.)

It depends on the nature of the adultery. If it is with a contract-mistress,
then he will be supporting her kids, presumably his. Since the
contract-mistress is less likely to be chaste, his level of support
is lower. If the adultery is with a fee-for-service prostitute, the
support is probably adequate to the fractional probability that the
prostitute's children are his. Only by impregnating a non-supported
female does the adulterer benefit.

: gets free bonus kids on the side. The female's advantage in the scheme
: is that she gets children of the 'adulterer', whose male offspring
^^^^ also female
: may inherit the very traits that attracted her, increasing their own
: reproductive odds.

Female sex is motivated by support in the long run. If a woman is not
assured of support (either from a husband, or in other ways) she is
unlikely to have children, and such children as she may have will not
thrive; an infant dead of starvation or exposure is nature's way of
saying: "wrong mate, stupid, find one that pays."

A gene with high survival value means a gene that reproduces itself
better, and produces an adult more likely to reproduce. An organism is
a gene's method of making more genes like itself. A society is a gene's
method of setting rules and establishing conditions for its survival.

The goal of every individual in a species is to insure the survival of
his or her OWN genes, i.e. children. When we speak of 'survival of the
fittest' we often forget what 'fittest' means: it means 'most able to
reproduce successfully.' And NOTHING else.

Women marry for money, abstracted into 'support.' Men marry to
guarantee the paternity of their wives' children. If there are other
ways than paternal support to raise a child, bastardry will rise in
proportion. If the primary purpose of marriage be to raise children,
marriage will decline in the face of alternatives.

A woman has no motive for avoiding adultery unless it endangers the
support of her offspring. Since a woman is biologically conditioned
to copulate almost without vacation from menarch to menopause, even
during pregnancy and suckling, some selection process needs to be
in place. In the past, this was support by a mate or family, since
a woman with children cannot survive by her own means in most economies.
BUT If society will support her in producing bastards, she has no reason
to marry, a goal central to feminist politics in all ages. A man has no
motivation to support his own children himself, *if *he *can *trick
*another *man, *called *a '*cuckold', *into *supporting *them*.
The woman seeking to live 'in control of her body' also *must*
demand control of the bodies of others, if she is to reproduce.
These others are called 'cuckolds.'

The *cuckold*, whether he is a betrayed husband or a bamboozled
taxpayer (of either sex), or a casual lover sued at law for a
lifetime of debt, is necessary in a society which tolerates
or (like ours) encourages bastardry. In the extreme practice of
bastardry, even the dam abandons her children, which children are, in
our society, 'adopted.' That adoptees are mistreated by their parents
is another commonplace, particularly if there are genuine children
present. The purpose of adopting is not reproduction, but to gratify
the mothering urges of barren women. When the child stops being
'cute,' it receives less attention; when, with sentience, it exhibits
genetically inherited behaviors at odds with its foster parents,
it may be beaten or abandoned. Men formerly adopted to obtain
farm laborers, but now have no motive except to pacify a barren
wife, whom he is keeping for sexual gratification or sometimes
other reasons (study dowry laws). In this way the sexual urge
motivates male adoption.

An animal that practices 'adopting out' is the cuckoo, which tricks
other birds into raising its young. 'Out' means 'out of its native
genetic milieu.'

English Usage Part: The etymologies of 'cuckoo' and 'cuckold' are,
according to my dictionary, unrelated. But 'cuckold' could be thought
of as a passive construction of a verbed noun *'to cuckoo': to inflict a
child on a stranger. Someone thus afflicted would have been
*'cuckooed', thus be a 'cuckold.'

The cuckold, (not the homosexual), may be thought of as the 'third
sex,' necessary for reproduction in a human society that
practices bastardry. The cuckold must be tricked into believing his
own paternity, (human babies resemble their fathers more than their
mothers, a counterforce to cuckoldry), forced into support (the
taxpayer), or rewarded in some way, say through subsidized access to
prostitutes (welfare). It is not an accident that the silly, daft
phrase "It takes a village to raise a child" is commonly on the lips
of the parents of bastards. "It takes a village to raise a bastard" is
still inaccurate, but closer to the truth: "It takes a cuckold to
raise a bastard." Perhaps the role of the cuckold would be clearer if
we called it the 'host' sex. In a welfare system, the cuckolds might
be collectively called the 'host' subculture.

The welfare system is an etherealization of prostitution: a female is
apportioned support (from virtual cuckolds) on contract, proportional
to the number of her bastards. Support being guaranteed her, she may
then disregard the paternity of the bastards. Strictly speaking,
welfare is a medial form, between the piece-work of prostitution and
the long-term contract of marriage. It may be properly called
"socialized cuckoldry." It is a form of paternity insurance for
adulters, funded by cuckolds.

We should meditate on the processes of natural selection that produced
in us a species with the notion of paternity. We may contrast
ourselves with the chimpanzee, which practices bastardry and is in
danger of extinction. We are not unique; cats (domestic and others)
are aware of paternity, and the males routinely kill cubs not their
own. Since we are not brutes, we use abortion, and establish societies
(Planned Parenthood) to encourage it among the poor and genetically

Toleration of bastards is a consequence of men's poor sense of smell.
If paternity could be judged by smell, there would be no bastards and
no cuckolds. Successful adultery would be, like suicide, a
once-in-a-lifetime event. Curiously, paternity can now be "smelled"
with laboratory instruments. Advocates of bastardry might profit from
the contemplation of future social evolution.