RE: Male Parental Investment
Fri, 07 Jul 95 18:43:49 -0500

NE>: > While the legal institution of marriage is obviously a social
NE>: > construction, the human pair bond is not.

This is an interesting assertion, but I have never seen any proof if it;
does anyone know of research to that effect? On the contrary, it has
been my observation that the human pair bond is transitory at best and
that even cultural and legal institutions like marriage are unable to
maintain the bond for long without extreme tension.

Nor did it come about
NE>: > so that "men [could] claim rights vis a vis [their] offspring";
NE>: > it evolved as a result of natural selection because proto-men who
NE>: > made a paternal investment passed on more of their genes than
NE>: > those who did not and proto-women who were the recipients of such
NE>: > investments were likewise more reproductively successful.

I doubt seriously that "proto-men" or "proto-women" had any concept of
genes or of reproductive success, any more than most higher animals do

NE>: In fact, if you are going to talk about evolution, do it with the facts.
NE>: The history of the world is not filled with monogamously-paired couples,
NE>: but with men who had sex with lots of different women. A man who was
NE>: *not* monogamous was far, far more likely to have *more* offspring.


NE>I'd be interested to see your sources for this claim. Here's what
NE>some anthropologists and psychologists have to say about it:

NE>Helen Fisher:
NE>HL# Perhaps the most remarkable thing the sexes havce in common is
NE>HL# that they bother to marry at all. Marriage is a cultural
NE>HL# universal; it predominates in every society in the world....

Marriage and pairbonding are two different things. Business
partnerships are also a cultural universal, one of them being marriage.

NE>HL# Because of the genetic advantages of polygyny for men and because
NE>HL# so many societies permit polygyny, many anthropologists think that
NE>HL# harem building is a badge of the human animal. I cannot
NE>HL# agree. Certainly it is a secondary _opportunistic_ reproductive
NE>HL# strategy.

I think this person has it backwards! <g>

But in the vast majority of societies in which polygyny
NE>HL# is permitted, only about 5 to 10 percent of men actually have
NE>HL# several wives simultaneously. Although polygyny is widely
NE>HL# discussed, it is much less practiced.

Here again, marriage and coitus are two different things!

NE>HL# In fact, after surveying 250 cultures, anthropologist George Peter
NE>HL# Murdock summarized the controversy: " An impartial observer
NE>HL# employing the criterion of numerical preponderance, consequently,
NE>HL# would be compelled to characterize nearly every known human
NE>HL# society as monogamous, despite the preference for and frequency of
NE>HL# polygyny in the overwhelming majority." Around the world men tend
NE>HL# to marry one woman at a time.

So we get serial monogamy? That's a pair bond? Tell that to a swan!

NE>RW# is the atom of social organization. Fathers everywhere feel love
NE>RW# for their children, and that's a lot more than you can say for
NE>RW# chimp fathers and bonobo fathers, who don't seem to have much of a
NE>RW# clue which youngsters are theirs. This love leads fathers to help
NE>RW# feed and defend their children, and teach them useful things.

Ah, what a perfect fantasy world!

NE>RW# At some point, in other words, extensive _male parental
NE>RW# investment_ entered our evolutionary lineage. We are, as they say
NE>RW# in the zooology literature, high in MPIU.

I think that this is more likely cultural training than any evolutionary

NE>DB# Women, like weaverbirds, prefer men with desirable
NE>DB# "nests".

On the other hand, women who have their own desirable nests prefer men
who have other desirable features.

Consider one of the problems tha women in evolutionary
NE>DB# history had to face: selecting a man who would be willing to
NE>DB# commit to a long-term relationship. ...

There is absolutely no evidence for this! More than likely a woman's
long term relationships would include her siblings and same age cousins
as well as her children and grandchildren. All of this Victorian
imposition of the "nuclear family" upon primitive society is just

NE>DB# weaverbirds. ... In human ancestral environments, it is likely
NE>DB# that infants and young children were morelikely to die without
NE>DB# prolonged investment from two parents or other related kin.

The "other related kin," yes, but if papa was off hunting <g>, or
resting up from his last hunt, or sitting around with the boys planning
the next hunt, he wasn't much good for providing day to day protection.

NE>Unfortunately for the happiness of proto-men, proto-women were under no
NE>obligation to have sex with them. Proto-women preferred proto-men who
NE>showed commitment.

NE>: Quit making things up.


NE>Regretably I cannot accept authorship of most of my ideas concerning
NE>evolutionary anthroplogy/psychology. As the references given above
NE>indicate, these are already well established ideas in the field.

Regrettably, your references given above don't indicate any such thing;
you have been reading popular slush, not anthropology, and apparently
don't know the difference.

NE>However, I am interested in the source of your assertions: could you post
NE>references? or did you make them up?

Life, child, life! I have been living it! And, immersed in human
culture, I have been watching very carefully what goes on around me.
Isn't that what an anthropologist does? ;)


€ OLX 2.1 TD € It's best to avoid cliches like the plague!