Re: how many bastards are there, anyway?

Matt Beckwith (
31 Aug 1996 16:09:49 GMT (David Vanecek) wrote:

>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.

Perhaps you should say "historically" rather than "typically", since in
the U.S. of today it's the women and the government who support and
nurture the children. There is no relationship except sex that requires
a man. The woman is needed to carry the baby for nine months and then
give birth. In primitive societies, she's then needed for the nursing.

>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.) (David Vanecek) responded:

>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.

I agree. Besides, the idea that the genes of attractive men have more
survival value is not an assumption, but a conclusion based on the
obvious fact that attractive men have more frequent sex, and sex with
more women. The same is true for the genes of attractive women. Isn't
it cool that there is a natural force making people more beautiful? I
think so.

>Hugh Gibbons ( wrote:

>: The more conventional and more likely explanation is that females have
>: orgasm to attract them to the act of sex, which results in
>: procreation.

Same difference, since the men they're going to have sex with are the
attractive men. (David Vanecek) wrote:

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

I think you're thinking of the American suburban teenager. The American
urban teenager has sex with the man she's interested in (without a single
thought of marriage) and understands that she will get pregnant. She is
hoping that he will stick around as a result of the baby. She is
planning to go on AFDC. In a sense, she's married to the U.S.
Government. It's really amazing. I ask these women when I see them in
my office what they do for a living, and they look at me dumbfounded, as
if to ask, "What makes you think I'd have a job?"

In order to truly disengage sex and childbearing, we'll need a really
effective, available, temporary, and one-time-use form of birth control,
so that pubescent teens will be able to make a temporary decision not to
have kids, act on it (perhaps at their neighborhood convenience store),
then not have to give the subject another thought until such time as they
decide to have children. Then we wouldn't have these evolutionary forces
currently under discussion any more. Attractiveness would be less
selected for, for example. (David Vanecek) wrote:

>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?


>Hugh Gibbons ( wrote:

>: His childrearing efforts are spent on kids that are probably his, and >: he (David Vanecek) replied:

>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.

What an interesting idea. I can see that only being around women might
make a man weak-willed and effeminate (though the most popular guys among
my friends were the ones raised by women, perhaps because they understood
women well), but I don't see the connection between being raised by women
and violence and perversion.

Also interesting is the idea that drinking milk is tantamount to failure
to wean. I guess that means that we humans associate milk with Mom, and
every time we imbibe we are reverting to infancy. What is the
significance of beer, then?

>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."

Not any more, not in the U.S. We have AFDC, so support is irrelevant.

>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.'

I suspect dictionaries are sometimes wrong. Your explanation sounds
pretty good to me.

>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.


David, thanks for a fascinating discourse. It's not often you get such
meaty ideas on Usenet. You obviously know a thing or two! Are you an
anthropologist? I'm glad I cross-posted this thread to the other group!


Matt Beckwith