Re: Bastards -- long (Was: how many bastards are there, anyway?)

Bryant (
4 Sep 1996 08:42:44 -0600

In article <>, Lars Eighner <> wrote:
>Being cuckolded is a bad thing only if children are viewed in the
>contemporary urban light, as burdens.

This is demonstrably false. You chided my ignorance about the
ethnographies you seem to be discussing, yet you don't seem to know about
the common practice of infanticide (yes, even amongst the innocent
hunter/gatherers), a major proximate cause of which is 'fathers'
suspecting the paternity of the kid to be not his own.

See Daly & Wilson's 1988 "Homicide," for an ethnographic review.

>All of your arguments seem based on this modern perspective of
>the woman finding some steady, stick-in-the-mud to marry who
>will support the children she has by the hot young stud.

That was merely one speculation, not the sum of my arguments.

>While this may well be an accurate description of heterosexuality
>in the American suburb, its universal applicability is highly

[long, long hypothetical snipped for brevity]

Then (for the fourth time now), I request that you providing some
names of actual cultural groups that represent the alternatives you
allude to.

>Does the word "ethnocentrism" mean anything to you?

Yup. Does the phrase "not a shred of evidence" mean anything to you??

>Your question is based on the entirely local assumption that
>husband and wife will "love" each other,

You make a nice point about loveless marriages (especially where they are
arranged by third parties), but males still control and punish
expressions of the wives' sexuality in those societies. I make no
assumptions about romantic love--only about likely male reactions to

>>The ransom bit is strange, though; how do the families of the extra-pair
>>male copulator know the kid is theirs, and not the husbands??
>Because these societies are not equipped with No-Tel Motels.
>Everyone, including the husband, knows who is seeing whom.

So the husbands and wives in this (apparently imaginary, since you won't
name it) culture don't ever copulate?

>Of course they don't know for sure, no more than every women
>is always sure herself who the father of her child is. It
>doesn't matter. If they are successful in ransoming the child,
>it is theirs.

So they basically seek to pay for the right to raise other men's children
some proportion of the time, eh?

>This stuff is so basic -- my freshman texts are long gone and
>that is where these citations are. I can find the citation for
>how many spears an Azande might expect to pay as bride-wealth for
>his male wife. But as for what bride-wealth is -- who ever expects
>to be asked to document that?

I haven't asked you to. Please document the claim that there are "many"
cultures in which:

1.) A man is "overjoyed" that his wife is pregnant by another,

and 2.) Women regularly take wives.

...Since you yourself seem to be unaware of the practice of killing other
men's infants amongst the Yanomamo, etc., I think you should cut out the
silly and condescending replies to my requests for information. I'm not
an anthropologist, and have made reasonable requests that you simply name
a few groups fairly described by your assertions.


>=Lars Eighner=