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The Sexual Cartel

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  • For me it's the most frightening aspect of suspicion and hostility towards women as a whole.

    Well obv the 'cartel' thing is beyond silly.

    But there is a belief out there among many that women do not enjoy sex.

    I have friends, grown intelligent men, who appreciate that women enjoy sex, but can't seem to get their head around the fact that they are actively seeking it, that they contain the same in-built desires as men.

    I'm sure there is a pressure on young women to perpetuate this myth, and that slut-shaming plays it's part.

    But the result is the kind of crazy jibber-jabber displayed in the OP's suggestion (although that is extreme).




  • There are few things as depressing as seeing an elaborate and lunatic rationalisation of crass misogyny.




  • There are few things as depressing as seeing an elaborate and lunatic rationalisation of crass misogyny.

    Not sure if that was aimed at my comment.

    But there are very few aspects of misogyny that cannot be rationalised.

    As is the case with racism.

    Most human motivations are completely rational.




  • MaxWig wrote: »
    Not sure if that was aimed at my comment.

    But there are very few aspects of misogyny that cannot be rationalised.

    As is the case with racism.

    Most human motivations are completely rational.

    It was aimed at the OP.

    But misogyny is not rational; neither is racism.




  • It was aimed at the OP.

    But misogyny is not rational; neither is racism.

    My apologies.

    We'll agree to disagree on the latter.

    I imagine we are coming to same answer from different angles


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  • For me it's the most frightening aspect of suspicion and hostility towards women as a whole.
    Oh I agree FF, but on the other hand I'm interested in what causes that suspicion and hostility in the first place. We can even see that reflected in our physical bodies adapted over aeons. Look at the other great apes. Male gorillas operate harems and defend them vigourously. They have tiny genitals, because they don't need any bigger as for males it's a "captive market" reproductively speaking. Chimps have bigger willies and huge testes, because they don't operate harems and female chimps are freer to choose mates(and do so), so the male chimp has to adapt to this by upping how many "shots" he fires.

    Humans are somewhere in the middle. Human males have the biggest willies among great apes but medium sized testes. So this suggests in our evolutionary history that human females were more trustworthy than chimps(and selected for bigger penises), but less than gorillas. They also selected to hide their most fertile time and became fertile year round.

    Interestingly, along with major genome changes in dietary adaptations in the last 10,000 years, male sperm production genes also show rapid adaptations, likely because there was more of us in smaller spaces. Like I said a very complex and interesting subject for debate.
    But misogyny is not rational; neither is racism.
    What's scary and what history has shown us that even the most reprehensible ideology can be made to have it's own quite logical rationale. Even among otherwise very intelligent people.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Wibbs wrote: »
    Oh I agree FF, but on the other hand I'm interested in what causes that suspicion and hostility in the first place. We can even see that reflected in our physical bodies adapted over aeons. Look at the other great apes. Male gorillas operate harems and defend them vigourously. They have tiny genitals, because they don't need any bigger as for males it's a "captive market" reproductively speaking. Chimps have bigger willies and huge testes, because they don't operate harems and female chimps are freer to choose mates(and do so), so the male chimp has to adapt to this by upping how many "shots" he fires.

    Humans are somewhere in the middle. Human males have the biggest willies among great apes but medium sized testes. So this suggests in our evolutionary history that human females were more trustworthy than chimps(and selected for bigger penises), but less than gorillas. They also selected to hide their most fertile time and became fertile year round.

    Interestingly, along with major genome changes in dietary adaptations in the last 10,000 years, male sperm production genes also show rapid adaptations, likely because there was more of us in smaller spaces. Like I said a very complex and interesting subject for debate.
    On the other side of this though, that doesn't suggest any psychological awareness of competing for paternity/fatherhood which would describe the suspicion/hostility, that can be put almost purely down to evolutionary adaptations.

    Since we have 'medium' size testes vs gorilla's small testes, that actually suggests women are more promiscuous, though I wouldn't say this has anything to do with 'trustworthiness' with women though - that would be something more determined by what society (or rather, the partners) regard as 'trust' during that time.

    Arguably (though I am not up to spec on all the details of this argument) female sexual fidelity becoming associated with 'trustworthiness' (i.e. monogamous relationships and/or patriarchal society) is something that became more important only in agricultural times, and became more cemented by religious institutions, and is about ready to be discarded with sociologically (no longer has a purpose - especially now that sex doesn't have to lead to reproduction).




  • Splitting this into another post, as it's a whole separate point in its own right:
    I think a lot of that suspicion/hostility is more caused by prevailing attitudes/traditions in society (which are on their way out), than much else.
    What is interesting about that, is I think it probably has less to do with sex overall, and more to do with social/political/economic power over other people (and that affecting specific genders, is only a secondary consequence of it, with the primary goal being power).

    The more I read about it, the more the thought buds in my mind, that women may be held down as just another 'divide and conquer' type strategy, to allow greater power/control over society (make females more dependent on men - create a divide in power in society, make sex/reproduction an issue of 'haves and have nots' that has to be competed over more - create a divide in power in society, this time affecting men more).

    People benefiting from these power divides now, probably aren't even specifically aware of this (though if you look at some of the politically-right in the US, I'm sure some are...), it's just another lingering bit of history waiting to die out.

    When you think about it, this whole 'Men vs Women' nonsense, and the fact that it is still perpetuated in society in various different (and sometimes subtle) ways, can actually be interpreted as promoting still, an 'Us vs Them' type attitude that benefits the division of power (and thus concentration of greater power in fewer hands) in society.




  • On the other side of this though, that doesn't suggest any psychological awareness of competing for paternity/fatherhood which would describe the suspicion/hostility, that can be put almost purely down to evolutionary adaptations.
    Oh of course it's not conscious/deliberate.
    Since we have 'medium' size testes vs gorilla's small testes, that actually suggests women are more promiscuous,
    It also suggests men are too, otherwise where would all these "promiscuous" women be going?
    though I wouldn't say this has anything to do with 'trustworthiness' with women though - that would be something more determined by what society (or rather, the partners) regard as 'trust' during that time.
    It's not that based on culture or time. Partner fidelity is a very strong undercurrent going through pretty much any culture, past or present you can think of and since the male of the species couldn't be sure(until very recently) if any offspring were definitely his, this undercurrent of trust was usually more aimed at women. Though men considered promiscuous didn't escape. Suspicion of cuckolding another man could result in societal exclusion, even death.
    Arguably (though I am not up to spec on all the details of this argument) female sexual fidelity becoming associated with 'trustworthiness' (i.e. monogamous relationships and/or patriarchal society) is something that became more important only in agricultural times,
    It was always there, as can be seen among tribal cultures today, it was more codified after the agricultural revolution alright.
    and became more cemented by religious institutions,
    Depends entirely on the religion. The Abrahamic type is but one theology and but one philosophy on sexual and gender relations.
    and is about ready to be discarded with sociologically (no longer has a purpose - especially now that sex doesn't have to lead to reproduction).
    Great in theory, but not really. Sex didn't always have to result in pregnancy. Indeed of all the great apes save for the Bonobo, humans have sex the most for purposes beyond reproduction. Other apes only have sex when females are displaying signs of fertility. If anything sex in humans has always led to reproduction in the minority of cases of sexual contact. Plus while we have many choices today of reliable contraception, contraception itself is a very old practice. Some tribal cultures embed a pebble in the penis(yea :eek:) that closes off the urethra, except when deliberately opened up for voiding and reproduction. The Roman and Greeks actually caused a plant to go extinct because they thought it had contraceptive uses(among others uses), so the sheer demand doomed it's fate. So the notion, however popular, that somehow there is about to be a complete shakeup in sexual matters is a tad premature. A reset of the mechanism to pre uptight christian mores in christian cultures yes, but that's but one culture in the world today. EG the Islamic world mentioned earlier, is made up of over a billion and a half Muslims who would have a different angle on the whole thing.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Wibbs wrote: »
    Oh of course it's not conscious/deliberate.

    It also suggests men are too, otherwise where would all these "promiscuous" women be going? It's not that based on culture or time. Partner fidelity is a very strong undercurrent going through pretty much any culture, past or present you can think of and since the male of the species couldn't be sure(until very recently) if any offspring were definitely his, this undercurrent of trust was usually more aimed at women.

    Though men considered promiscuous didn't escape. Suspicion of cuckolding another man could result in societal exclusion, even death.
    Well, the issue of 'paternity certainty', i.e. caring whether or not you are the father of a child, is itself a societal creation - there is precedent of society in the past and present (such as the Mosuo in China/Tibet) who were not concerned about this, with the entire community raising the children (there's a great, albeit controversial, book about this whole related issue, called Sex at Dawn, which I just read recently).

    I think that paternity certainty is primarily only an issue forced upon society, when resources like food or other things necessary for survival, are made scarce or artificially scarce (because then the family, particularly father, has to put more effort into taking care of the children - more children meaning more work/poverty/scarcity).

    The agricultural revolution arguably helped create a lot of this scarcity, by ballooning population levels and politicizing both land and access to food as a result.
    Interestingly, this is arguably much the same today: we still have to work our asses off to get by for the most part, but there is no scarcity anymore, so there is no logical reason left for people being forced to work so much, or for society to be structured in a way that makes 'paternity certainty' important in any way (I think it is still that way, to provide a minority of people with power over the rest of society).

    So yes...sorry to go on. This is quite an interesting topic the more I think about it, and it seems to tie into a crapload of other political/economic/power issues in society; I wonder if part of the reason these issues are still controversial, is because they reveal so much about how backwards/unfair the power structure is in society (between the wealthy vs poor, not between genders, which looks to be maintained more as a distraction or 'divide and conquer' strategy).
    Wibbs wrote: »
    It was always there, as can be seen among tribal cultures today, it was more codified after the agricultural revolution alright.
    That isn't true though, because there are plenty of promiscuous tribal cultures, such as the !Kung San and many Amazonian tribes, plus more I could probably find (just is hard to read up on them all at the same place).
    Wibbs wrote: »
    Great in theory, but not really. Sex didn't always have to result in pregnancy. Indeed of all the great apes save for the Bonobo, humans have sex the most for purposes beyond reproduction. Other apes only have sex when females are displaying signs of fertility. If anything sex in humans has always led to reproduction in the minority of cases of sexual contact. Plus while we have many choices today of reliable contraception, contraception itself is a very old practice. Some tribal cultures embed a pebble in the penis(yea :eek:) that closes off the urethra, except when deliberately opened up for voiding and reproduction. The Roman and Greeks actually caused a plant to go extinct because they thought it had contraceptive uses(among others uses), so the sheer demand doomed it's fate. So the notion, however popular, that somehow there is about to be a complete shakeup in sexual matters is a tad premature. A reset of the mechanism to pre uptight christian mores in christian cultures yes, but that's but one culture in the world today. EG the Islamic world mentioned earlier, is made up of over a billion and a half Muslims who would have a different angle on the whole thing.
    As you say, except for the Bonobo ;) Bonobo's are far more closely related to humans genetically, than Gorilla's are.

    What is there left to stop such a disintegration/shakeup of monogamous sexual standards though?

    I agree there are a lot of societal/religious hangovers in various parts of the world, and I am (slowly) getting the budding impression that it's a big part of power-politics in society (not one between mens and women either, but it gets portrayed that way to distract from the bigger inequalities/issues), but as those issues get resolved, I don't see what there is to stop a complete transformation.


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  • Well, the issue of 'paternity certainty', i.e. caring whether or not you are the father of a child, is itself a societal creation - there is precedent of society in the past and present (such as the Mosuo in China/Tibet) who were not concerned about this, with the entire community raising the children (there's a great, albeit controversial, book about this whole related issue, called Sex at Dawn, which I just read recently).

    I think that paternity certainty is primarily only an issue forced upon society, when resources like food or other things necessary for survival, are made scarce or artificially scarce (because then the family, particularly father, has to put more effort into taking care of the children - more children meaning more work/poverty/scarcity).

    The agricultural revolution arguably helped create a lot of this scarcity, by ballooning population levels and politicizing both land and access to food as a result.
    Interestingly, this is arguably much the same today: we still have to work our asses off to get by for the most part, but there is no scarcity anymore, so there is no logical reason left for people being forced to work so much, or for society to be structured in a way that makes 'paternity certainty' important in any way (I think it is still that way, to provide a minority of people with power over the rest of society).

    So yes...sorry to go on. This is quite an interesting topic the more I think about it, and it seems to tie into a crapload of other political/economic/power issues in society; I wonder if part of the reason these issues are still controversial, is because they reveal so much about how backwards/unfair the power structure is in society (between the wealthy vs poor, not between genders, which looks to be maintained more as a distraction or 'divide and conquer' strategy).


    That isn't true though, because there are plenty of promiscuous tribal cultures, such as the !Kung San and many Amazonian tribes, plus more I could probably find (just is hard to read up on them all at the same place).


    As you say, except for the Bonobo ;) Bonobo's are far more closely related to humans genetically, than Gorilla's are.

    What is there left to stop such a disintegration/shakeup of monogamous sexual standards though?

    I agree there are a lot of societal/religious hangovers in various parts of the world, and I am (slowly) getting the budding impression that it's a big part of power-politics in society (not one between mens and women either, but it gets portrayed that way to distract from the bigger inequalities/issues), but as those issues get resolved, I don't see what there is to stop a complete transformation.

    There is lots of evidence to prove that polygyny was the dominant sexual practice in our history.
    It is estimated that females have passed on genes in a ratio of 2:1 compared to males.

    But that doesn't say anything about what is the most beneficial sexual standard in the present day.

    Certainly given our current systems of family law and inheritance, I can't see a transformation of the kind you're speaking of anytime soon.




  • Well, the issue of 'paternity certainty', i.e. caring whether or not you are the father of a child, is itself a societal creation - there is precedent of society in the past and present (such as the Mosuo in China/Tibet) who were not concerned about this, with the entire community raising the children (there's a great, albeit controversial, book about this whole related issue, called Sex at Dawn, which I just read recently).
    Oh do not get me started on what passes for research and conclusions in that book. :)

    The Musuo are often dragged into discussions on this topic(and some branches of feminism), but with the usual inaccuracies. 1) the entire community don't raise the kids. Children most often reside with their mothers. 2) paternity is of no concern. Not to the degree of some societies, however children usually know who their father is and for a woman to not know who the father of her various children is is considered well dodgy. 3) they're not a matriarchal society as some would suggest, more a matrilineal(sp) one(in pre christian Ireland it was matrilineal at times too, but no way was it matriarchal). Inheritance and names pass through the female line, but the men wield the political power. Some have even suggested that this entire way of life was a way of the patriarchal rulling classes keeping control of the peasant class, the Musuo, by imposing a matrilineal construct from above. That way no line of males would arise to oppose them.
    I think that paternity certainty is primarily only an issue forced upon society, when resources like food or other things necessary for survival, are made scarce or artificially scarce (because then the family, particularly father, has to put more effort into taking care of the children - more children meaning more work/poverty/scarcity).
    Naturally such pressures will influence things, however when we look at biology we find some interesting features. EG if a man and woman are separated for a time, the next time they have sex he ejaculates more sperm and healthier sperm with it. Which would suggest a competitive angle, a concern another male may have been in play.
    The agricultural revolution arguably helped create a lot of this scarcity, by ballooning population levels and politicizing both land and access to food as a result.
    Agricultural societies have less scarcity in general, as they can store food, hence they can have a ballooning population.
    That isn't true though, because there are plenty of promiscuous tribal cultures, such as the !Kung San and many Amazonian tribes, plus more I could probably find (just is hard to read up on them all at the same place).
    The San are not "promiscuous". They have a healthier attitude to pre marriage age sexual play and divorce was open to both genders, however playing the field by either gender when still married is frowned upon. Amazonian tribes again can vary. In some rape, even gang rape is accepted without much ado, as is bride stealing, but again adultery is frowned upon and can even lead to death. There have been remarkably few cultures in human history where adultery even promiscuity is tolerated.

    As you say, except for the Bonobo ;) Bonobo's are far more closely related to humans genetically, than Gorilla's are.
    Pretty much the same as our distance from chimps. Still very different to humans though. The Bonobo/human connection gained favour over the chimp/human connection in the 60/70's. They were considered a better, more dare I say it politically correct(and even feminist) close relative compared to the patriarchal violent chimps. And of course they had sex all over the place and were caring and sharing. We preferred that particular mirror being held up. However the real concrete research shows just as many diffs between them and us and chimps and us. We're a very different great ape to the rest. Indeed wild canid family groups show more similarities to hunter gatherer groups than any great ape(and we understand canid communication and they understand human communication better than we understand ape communications). Humans are actually far more like wolves with knives than chimps with knives.
    What is there left to stop such a disintegration/shakeup of monogamous sexual standards though?
    Our basic evolutionary makeup. IE we're serial quasi long term monogamists who are adaptable enough to embrace other practices if the environment requires it. EG life monogamy, Polygyny and even Polyandry though the latter is the rarest.
    I agree there are a lot of societal/religious hangovers in various parts of the world, and I am (slowly) getting the budding impression that it's a big part of power-politics in society (not one between mens and women either, but it gets portrayed that way to distract from the bigger inequalities/issues), but as those issues get resolved, I don't see what there is to stop a complete transformation.
    Transformation into what though?

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Tom M wrote: »
    I believe that there exists a sexual cartel.

    The members of this cartel are a subsection of women. The purpose of this cartel is to engineer a situation whereby they can yield great power from their sexuality. When men believe sex is scarce these women can yield power over men, they can boss around their boyfriends /husbands etc. if the boyfriend/husband does something she doesn't like, all she has to do is the "silent treatment" or generally be moody. The man will then know his chances of sex are slim to none. He will learn to obey or suffer the consequences.

    In order for this to work they must ensure as many men as possible think that sex is highly scarce.

    Therefore they must make men think that they aren't very interested in sex, so they must deny that they masturbate and deny the majority or all of their one night stands etc. you must also hide the fact that women are just as likely to cheat as men and have even "filthier" minds when it comes to sex.

    There are however threats to the sexual cartel, these must be policed to ensure the cartel maintains it's power. Women who openly engage in promiscuous behaviour are a serious threat to the cartel. The more of these women there are the less power the cartel will have. In order to deter women from engaging in such openly promiscuous behaviour the cartel pours scorn on them. Admonishes them, labels them as sluts and sling rhetoric at them such as "they don't respect themselves". They even socially exclude these "sluts" and possibly even bully them.

    Prostitution is another threat to the cartel although a not as bad as "sluts" because at least the men are made to pay for sex.
    Prostitutes are still a threat though as they are a form of competition, men must never be allowed to think that prostitutes are actually attracted to them, ( which is probably the case most of the time) as men must think sex is scarce, so it's important to remind men that prostitutes are only doing it for the money and that there is no attraction from the prostitutes to their clients.

    "Players" would be another threat to the cartel as they generally won't fall for the cartel's ruse. They know how much women love sex and know how to attract women. The percentage of players in society must be kept to a bare minimum, as the more players there are the less power the cartel yields. So if a non player guy asks a woman for advice on how to do better with women he must only be fed advice which fits the cartels agenda, ie allow a woman to control him. He must not be told the true nature of a woman's attraction. He must never be told the truth that doing what a woman tells you is actually a turn off. Frame doormat behaviours in men as kindness etc. Describe actual attractive behaviours in men in derisory terms and pretend that they are actually turn offs. Dominant men for example are "mysogynistic", "assholes" "don't respect women" etc

    Now as members of the sexual with strong sexual needs ( sssh, don't tell anyone), you can have sex with the "players"/ attractive men but you must keep it a secret, in the event you are found having sex with "players" mitigate this by saying you are attracted to his nice qualities. Say he is really a nice guy underneath it all for example.

    Members of the sexual cartel can discuss sex honestly with women, "players" and gay men, but never with the rest.

    What do you think of this?

    How would incessant masturbatory habits fit into your theory ?




  • How would incessant masturbatory habits fit into your theory ?

    Sounds like you're a polygamist without a cause!




  • MaxWig wrote: »
    There is lots of evidence to prove that polygyny was the dominant sexual practice in our history.
    It is estimated that females have passed on genes in a ratio of 2:1 compared to males.

    But that doesn't say anything about what is the most beneficial sexual standard in the present day.

    Certainly given our current systems of family law and inheritance, I can't see a transformation of the kind you're speaking of anytime soon.
    True, it's certainly not catered for well in the current legal system, though that again is a societal constraint that could be changed; you're right also, that while the past is somewhat useful for dispelling myths about what was 'natural' in the past, none of the past really determines what is ideal today.




  • Wibbs wrote: »
    Oh do not get me started on what passes for research and conclusions in that book. :)

    The Musuo are often dragged into discussions on this topic(and some branches of feminism), but with the usual inaccuracies. 1) the entire community don't raise the kids. Children most often reside with their mothers. 2) paternity is of no concern. Not to the degree of some societies, however children usually know who their father is and for a woman to not know who the father of her various children is is considered well dodgy. 3) they're not a matriarchal society as some would suggest, more a matrilineal(sp) one(in pre christian Ireland it was matrilineal at times too, but no way was it matriarchal). Inheritance and names pass through the female line, but the men wield the political power. Some have even suggested that this entire way of life was a way of the patriarchal rulling classes keeping control of the peasant class, the Musuo, by imposing a matrilineal construct from above. That way no line of males would arise to oppose them.
    True, it does come across more as an entertaining rather than academic read ;) an interesting alternate perspective to test out in debate though.

    True yes, the children are raised with the mothers family (which is kind of natural I guess), though (from what I read) usually with help from immediate family and the wider community; the wider history you mention of the Mosuo is quite interesting there, didn't know about much of that.

    I may have to read up on this more to get a better idea of other non-monogamous societies.

    Wibbs wrote: »
    The San are not "promiscuous". They have a healthier attitude to pre marriage age sexual play and divorce was open to both genders, however playing the field by either gender when still married is frowned upon. Amazonian tribes again can vary. In some rape, even gang rape is accepted without much ado, as is bride stealing, but again adultery is frowned upon and can even lead to death. There have been remarkably few cultures in human history where adultery even promiscuity is tolerated.
    I'll bow to greater knowledge here, as I just don't know enough about the topic yet; that's definitely true of a lot of Amazonian tribes, though I'm still curious about those few exceptions to the standard knowledge on the subject.
    Wibbs wrote: »
    Pretty much the same as our distance from chimps. Still very different to humans though. The Bonobo/human connection gained favour over the chimp/human connection in the 60/70's. They were considered a better, more dare I say it politically correct(and even feminist) close relative compared to the patriarchal violent chimps. And of course they had sex all over the place and were caring and sharing. We preferred that particular mirror being held up. However the real concrete research shows just as many diffs between them and us and chimps and us. We're a very different great ape to the rest. Indeed wild canid family groups show more similarities to hunter gatherer groups than any great ape(and we understand canid communication and they understand human communication better than we understand ape communications). Humans are actually far more like wolves with knives than chimps with knives.
    True - to be honest anthropology, evolutionary biology/psychology and the like, seem a bit of a minefield for drawing almost any kind of accurate conclusions about human behavior/society and what is 'natural' or not, as any claims that are made seem like they would be infinitely debatable.
    Wibbs wrote: »
    Our basic evolutionary makeup. IE we're serial quasi long term monogamists who are adaptable enough to embrace other practices if the environment requires it. EG life monogamy, Polygyny and even Polyandry though the latter is the rarest.

    Transformation into what though?
    Transform into a society where monogamy (serial or not) doesn't have that much of a primary role anymore.

    Trouble with making any claims one way or the other about this (especially using evolution as a base) is that it's human psychology and behavior which determines whether or not society can transform into a more non-monogamous one, and evolution can only say a limited amount about this.

    Until we get a more scientific understanding of human psychology (based on actually being able to model the brain, instead of just building theories/guesses as to how our psychology works), it's hard to make claims on way or the other about how manageable this is.




  • Trouble with making any claims one way or the other about this (especially using evolution as a base) is that it's human psychology and behavior which determines whether or not society can transform into a more non-monogamous one, and evolution can only say a limited amount about this.
    Well yes and no K. When I talk of evolution I include our psychology and behaviour and culture in the mix. Even if Darwin hadn't been born and we knew nada of evolution or biology, a study of history and culture would show an overwhelming tendency for humans to pair bond for mutual and reproductive advantage and that pair bond is best represented by some flavour of serial monogamy, usually ending up in some longer term pair bond. Gay folks who biologically are out of the reproductive loop also follow this trend(though obviously many have their own kids by other means).

    A study of biology would show the role of substances like oxytocin in pair bonding. Even things like the migrating clitoris and loss of the penis bone might come in here*. The very act of falling in love causes all sorts of biochemical markers in people which massively select for monogamous pair bonding. And contrary to some belief romantic love was not invented by troubadours in the middle ages. Hunter gatherer tribes in the arse end of nowhere will tell you all about falling in love too. The men are often quite sweet about the whole thing too, bereft of the embarrassment found in other cultures. Interestingly those falling in love markers die down around the 3-4 year mark(in the majority), long enough to get pregnant(cos ya shag ike bunnies when first in love), carry the child to term and wean same.

    Basically we're not a blank slate. That's a notion that was popular among academe for a time(politically as well as anthropologically), the old nurture/culture being stronger than nature/biology vibe(we also see this in gender studies). However the more we know, the more we see the grey area in the middle. That yes we can be quite plastic, but we do tend to follow particular trends as a pretty constant feature of being human** Take the aforementioned Musuo folks. They have so called "walking marriages". Even though they're freer than most cultures to do what they will, they still opt for serial monogamy. The only diff being they don't have a til death do us part ruling on it(though enough do stay together for many years, even life).

    We even get hints of this in the record of humans that came before modern humans. Neandertals appear to have lived in small family groups, with an identical child spacing to us and in one site/case the genes seem to show a familiar pattern mammy/daddy and offspring of various ages. Go back even further(over a million years) and we have a Homo Erectus female who died from vitamin A overdose(probably ate the liver of a predator). She took many weeks to die, yet through that time someone was feeding her, taking care of her as she would have been incapacitated with pain. Her family? Possibly, though just as possibly her mate/partner. This stuff goes deep in us and it will take a lot more than a philosophical construct of some perfect sexual/reproductive society to change it.



    * another interesting diff in humans not related to the bonding thing, is human females have full breasts and this is seen as attractive to men(even in cultures where they're not clothed. To a great ape this would be a major turnoff as she would appear already pregnant.

    **obviously the majority, we will always have outliers and outliers are good.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Wibbs wrote: »
    IE is there an inbuilt evolution selected benefit for women to restrict reproductive access? Clearly there are differences in reproductive strategies between the sexes. Women have a limited number of offspring they can have compared to men. They also have far more to lose in the very real dangers of pregnancy and birth(in the past it was by far the commonest cause of death for women of reproductive age). Plus they require resources while in the late stages of pregnancy and until offspring are weaned(or at least have done for the vast majority of time humans have been around). A man can get a woman pregnant and walk away, a woman who is pregnant can't walk away. It makes good sense for women to be more sexually "fussy" and to restrict sexual access to "suitable" men and even to keep said man guessing/interested until the child is weaned*.
    Very good post.

    People tend to forget that our particular subspecies, Homo Sapien Sapien, has been around for about 200,000 years (the overall Homo Sapien group for about 500,000 years). Civilization, as we call it, where we went from being hunter-gatherers to developing permanent settlements, underpinned by agriculture and leading to law, writing, organized religion, government and so on, only occurred with the Neolithic Revolution, which began only about 10,000 years ago.

    So when we look at human evolution, it's important to remember that it was formed in the context of a hunter-gatherer paradigm, which made up 95% of our history.

    And what you describe is perfectly correct (at least as far as evolutionary biologists and anthropologists are concerned). Females of the species were highly disadvantaged by how we reproduce, which greatly limited their ability to provide food for themselves or their offspring. And naturally this led to a series of evolutionary strategies to allow the female to manage or control the male so that he would provide and protect her - hardly unique, as you'll find it in many other animal species, such as many species of birds and even primates, such as the bonobo.

    A key piece of evidence of this is where it comes to sexual dimorphism in humans. In humans it's much greater than most other species and female physiology has evolved to accentuate sexual characteristics - we're one of the few (if not the only) mammals to develop breasts before pregnancy, specifically for sexual reasons. Think about it; what use are breasts prior to child baring?

    So it's hardly surprising that psychologically men and women retain certain evolutionary strategies buried deep in our subconscious. While retaining the services of a providing male (a.k.a. 'commitment') remains the best recognised of these instincts in women, we can't forget that some of it is directed against other women too - personally, I've long had a suspicion that part of the reason that far more women than men tend to oppose prostitution is because it represents competition.

    Nonetheless, none of this is concious. None of this is planned. Both men and women are hard-wired this way thanks to the 95% of our evolutionary history that overshadows our recent dalliance with civilization. So to suggest a conspiracy, some sort of organized effort by women is to ignore these biological facts and instead replace them with a fanciful theory which has absolutely no evidence supporting it. In my experience, jumping to such theories does tend to be misogynistic, as it presumes some form of premeditated malice on the part of women.
    *Some have even suggested that humans have a reproductive cycle of about 3-4 years. A "honeymoon period" which ensures interest in both sexes to keep high long enough for any offspring to be weaned.
    I've read 7 years myself, but it amounts to the same thing - we're built to be serial monogamists, with relationships being designed to last long enough for the offspring to be largely independent, before the female can move to find a new mate (the diversity of different children by different fathers also brings evolutionary advantages, after all).

    Another evolutionary trait that's been examined has been the cuckold syndrome; when choosing a mate, evolution will cause a female to seek two things - good genetics and good provision. Sometimes you can't get both in one man, which leads to the old scenario whereby a woman is with a good provider, yet having sex (and children) with a handsome 'bad boy', on the side.
    Wibbs wrote: »
    What's scary and what history has shown us that even the most reprehensible ideology can be made to have it's own quite logical rationale. Even among otherwise very intelligent people.
    Depends on what you consider 'racist'.

    The pseudo-science of nineteenth century race theory, and it's modern incarnation racialism, is one end of the scale, in that it takes superficial racial observations and extrapolates often ridiculous conclusions that invariably have social and political motivations.

    On the other side of the scale, you can have a simple fact; such as that Asians are far less able, as a whole, to process alcohol than Europeans (a product of how both regions developed water purification differently over 10,000 years). While both factual and lacking any social or political agenda, such a statement would be considered racist by many.
    Wibbs wrote: »
    The Abrahamic type is but one theology and but one philosophy on sexual and gender relations.Great in theory, but not really.
    This was a major issue during the early conversions to Christianity in the Roman empire. Pagan Roman sexual morality was far more liberal than Christian (effectively Abrahamic) sexual morality - this is not to say that there was little Pagan Roman sexual morality - and this resulted in situations whereby converted Roman wives would refuse sex to their husbands on religious grounds. I remember reading that this was something that let to a fair bit of antipathy twoards Christianity.




  • All of that makes perfect sense anthropologically and in an evolutionary way, the bit where it snags for me though, are the implicit claims about limitations in human behaviour/psychology in society.

    The history and the logic of it is all solid, but I don't see a non-speculative way to apply it to the present and future/near-future; claims like this behaviour being 'buried in our subconscious' I think is a step too far, given that our understanding of human psychology doesn't yet allow for solid/objective claims like that (not until we can physically map/understand the brain better).

    So the claim/implication of there being an innate/unmovable/hard-wired set of psychological 'traits' here, can't be sufficiently backed in my view (it can be heavily suggested, based on past precedent, sure - but it can't be nailed down as true, without much better backing).


    I think a lot of it boils down to the claim: This is how it has been done in the past, therefore it is how it will be done in the future.
    By itself that is fallacious, without further backing; and describing in detail exactly why something has been so prevalent in the past, is not good enough backing to say that is how it will be in the future, because you have to describe why all of the reasons that made it logical in the past, still apply in the present/future.

    This is where it breaks down: A huge amount of the reasoning for this being the case in the past, is starting to disappear now as society changes, and (as good/interesting the points are in discussion here) I just don't see what is still left.




  • All of that makes perfect sense anthropologically and in an evolutionary way, the bit where it snags for me though, are the implicit claims about limitations in human behaviour/psychology in society.

    The history and the logic of it is all solid, but I don't see a non-speculative way to apply it to the present and future/near-future; claims like this behaviour being 'buried in our subconscious' I think is a step too far, given that our understanding of human psychology doesn't yet allow for solid/objective claims like that (not until we can physically map/understand the brain better).
    I think you're looking at it a bit simplistically. Where it comes to nature versus nurture, it's not all black and white. Sure, we can be 'hard-wired' to behave in a certain way, but we're not doomed to do so - our brains don't work the same way as a computer where we must follow binary logic gates.

    Instead we're more analogue and we can and do overcome this 'hard-wired' thinking too; not always, but more often than we realize.


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  • People tend to forget that our particular subspecies, Homo Sapien Sapien, has been around for about 200,000 years (the overall Homo Sapien group for about 500,000 years). Civilization, as we call it, where we went from being hunter-gatherers to developing permanent settlements, underpinned by agriculture and leading to law, writing, organized religion, government and so on, only occurred with the Neolithic Revolution, which began only about 10,000 years ago.

    So when we look at human evolution, it's important to remember that it was formed in the context of a hunter-gatherer paradigm, which made up 95% of our history.
    Well yes and no. While Homo Sapiens has been around for a while, with early versions coming along 200,000 ago, they weren't quite "us". If you dressed one of those guys in jeans and a shirt, he'd look really odd, not quite human. Behaviourally and culturally there's little so far found to distinguish us from other humans at the time. That comes later, quite a bit later, say 50,000 years ago, when we appear to become fully human in the sense of today. So the gap between that change and farming, while a long time, isn't that wide and we may have been farming on a smaller scale long before that, like many Amazonian tribes today who are described as "hunter gatherers". It seems the first biscuits made from wild grains were made by our Neandertal cousins. Whoda thunk it. :) It's all very fuzzy and fluid, with very few lines in time and place saying "here be humans".

    Interestingly the biggest evolution of humans on the genetic level occurred in the last 10-15,000 years. More changes in our genome in that time than in the previous 40,000 years. So one could also argue that we're a very different animal to the humans of 40,000 years ago who would otherwise look identical to us. Most are dietary adaptations, but there are many other changes. (Some seem to apply to sperm production in men. Something, some social pressure selected for these genes).
    And what you describe is perfectly correct (at least as far as evolutionary biologists and anthropologists are concerned). Females of the species were highly disadvantaged by how we reproduce, which greatly limited their ability to provide food for themselves or their offspring. And naturally this led to a series of evolutionary strategies to allow the female to manage or control the male so that he would provide and protect her - hardly unique, as you'll find it in many other animal species, such as many species of birds and even primates, such as the bonobo.
    True enough.
    we're one of the few (if not the only) mammals to develop breasts before pregnancy, specifically for sexual reasons. Think about it; what use are breasts prior to child baring?
    I'd reckon more for reproductive health reasons. Full breasts would broadcast reproductive health and age. So not sexual as such, or at least culture would have it's part to play there. Much like men losing the penis bone. The ability to get and maintain an erection became a matter of cardiovascular plumbing and a reflection of health which would also broadcast reproductive fitness. Older, or unhealthy males would be easy to spot. MIght explain why humans have the largest penises of the great apes. Another sexually selected gauge of physical and reproductive health.
    we can't forget that some of it is directed against other women too
    Interesting article that.
    Nonetheless, none of this is concious. None of this is planned. Both men and women are hard-wired this way thanks to the 95% of our evolutionary history that overshadows our recent dalliance with civilization. So to suggest a conspiracy, some sort of organized effort by women is to ignore these biological facts and instead replace them with a fanciful theory which has absolutely no evidence supporting it. In my experience, jumping to such theories does tend to be misogynistic, as it presumes some form of premeditated malice on the part of women.
    +1
    Another evolutionary trait that's been examined has been the cuckold syndrome; when choosing a mate, evolution will cause a female to seek two things - good genetics and good provision. Sometimes you can't get both in one man, which leads to the old scenario whereby a woman is with a good provider, yet having sex (and children) with a handsome 'bad boy', on the side.
    I call it the "Lady Chatterley's Lover" effect. Beyond the political/class undercurrent in the book, I reckon it describes this genetics/provision thing down pat.
    On the other side of the scale, you can have a simple fact; such as that Asians are far less able, as a whole, to process alcohol than Europeans (a product of how both regions developed water purification differently over 10,000 years). While both factual and lacking any social or political agenda, such a statement would be considered racist by many.
    Oh it would. Those genetic changes of the last 10-15,000 years caused many such differences to come out in different populations. Lactose and gluten tolerance are other examples. Research is showing other physical diffs between populations too. The social/political agenda does come into it and one area is completely out of bounds, that is any suggestion that genes/adaptations that may select for intelligence in a population. That's a biiiig no no.
    All of that makes perfect sense anthropologically and in an evolutionary way, the bit where it snags for me though, are the implicit claims about limitations in human behaviour/psychology in society.
    but there are limits in human behaviour and psychology in society and not just in the reproduction sphere. While we as societies do vary and do allow for some outliers, societies draw lines all over the place. We always have and we always will.

    We can see clear examples of behaviour limits too. Take the Israeli Kibbutz social experiment. It was noted that boys and girls who grew up in such collective environments nearly always looked outside their kibbutz for partners. Because they'd grown up together as children the innate instinct to avoid incest kicked in, so they looked for people who weren't their kibbutz "brothers" and "sisters". Adopted brothers and sisters don't find each other sexually attractive(and society would go ape if they did), though genetically there is zero reason why they shouldn't.

    Like I said the idea that we could trump nature with nurture(or culture) has it's roots in the counterculture 1960's and roots in more left wing political thought(though ironically your fascists would agree with them). It's not nature > nurture either. It's a two way street that puts limits and selection pressures on each other.
    This is where it breaks down: A huge amount of the reasoning for this being the case in the past, is starting to disappear now as society changes, and (as good/interesting the points are in discussion here) I just don't see what is still left.
    I think the idea that a huge amount is changing in society is a fallacy. It's one with legs I grant you, some of the ancient Greeks in their times reckoned so too. Every generation thinks they are inventing the future anew and every previous generation thinks "in my day, harrumph!". In the west there has been a gender revolution and sexual revolution over the last century. So here we are in the warm afterglow of the revolution and yes more people are having sex with more people*, however the vast majority of people, old and young, gay and straight, faced with apparently more choice than ever before still fall into the old serial monogamy vibe, like we've been doing for tens of thousands of years across tens of thousands of cultures and tens of thousands of societal changes. If someday we become more machine than man things will no doubt change, but so long as we're human I'm not so sure. More's the point what would be the advantage, the selective pressure that would make us change?





    *travelers in 18th century London noted, even complained about the amount of openly copulating couples you'd see while walking about the place. In broad daylight too. Check out medieval maps of towns for street names like "Grabcock" and "Gropecúnt" lane". Sex wasn't invented in the 1960's we've been shagging in all sorts of ways with all sorts of people for as long as records are around. Victorian values and all that guff was the outlier, we're living more in the reset from that.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • Wibbs wrote: »
    Well yes and no. While Homo Sapiens has been around for a while, with early versions coming along 200,000 ago, they weren't quite "us". If you dressed one of those guys in jeans and a shirt, he'd look really odd, not quite human.
    Well of course, you don't even have to go that far for our ancestors to be not quite 'us' - the development of the overbite, for example, is actually very recent. Average height, even more so.

    The point I was making was that even in our current subspecies iteration, our entire history of civilization (including prehistoric civilization) is a relatively short, and while the changes that came with its development have been profound, we would do well to remember that there's a lot of evolutionary history that preceded it which can't be forgotten completely either.

    Didn't know about Neanderthal biscuits though - interesting.




  • Wibbs wrote: »
    but there are limits in human behaviour and psychology in society and not just in the reproduction sphere. While we as societies do vary and do allow for some outliers, societies draw lines all over the place. We always have and we always will.

    We can see clear examples of behaviour limits too. Take the Israeli Kibbutz social experiment. It was noted that boys and girls who grew up in such collective environments nearly always looked outside their kibbutz for partners. Because they'd grown up together as children the innate instinct to avoid incest kicked in, so they looked for people who weren't their kibbutz "brothers" and "sisters". Adopted brothers and sisters don't find each other sexually attractive(and society would go ape if they did), though genetically there is zero reason why they shouldn't.
    True, but these lines get redrawn and recede all the time - as we see now regarding homsexuality and other gender/orientation issues.

    The issue with saying avoiding incest is an innate instinct (implying psychological nature, rather than nurture), is that is making unsubstantiated implications about human psychology (I do agree that applies to our reproductive biology though, of course); I think that is better explained by social pressure, than by instinct, especially when you take reproduction out of the picture.

    It's a matter of confusing as natural, what is actually brought about through nurture - though at the moment, there is no way to definitively say one way or the other.
    Wibbs wrote: »
    I think the idea that a huge amount is changing in society is a fallacy. It's one with legs I grant you, some of the ancient Greeks in their times reckoned so too. Every generation thinks they are inventing the future anew and every previous generation thinks "in my day, harrumph!". In the west there has been a gender revolution and sexual revolution over the last century. So here we are in the warm afterglow of the revolution and yes more people are having sex with more people*, however the vast majority of people, old and young, gay and straight, faced with apparently more choice than ever before still fall into the old serial monogamy vibe, like we've been doing for tens of thousands of years across tens of thousands of cultures and tens of thousands of societal changes. If someday we become more machine than man things will no doubt change, but so long as we're human I'm not so sure. More's the point what would be the advantage, the selective pressure that would make us change?
    Well, there is a lot of change we can see directly :) Previous taboo's surrounding gender/sexual identify are gradually being discarded (many of which have been in place for rather a very long time), and in general there's an increasing (but slow) liberalization of many parts of society, which I just don't think has ever been seen on quite the same social/economic/intellectual scale before.

    I think some of the advantages of dropping strict-monogamy or serial-monogamy, are a lot of the disadvantages it causes, like cheating/affairs (a lot of people want to have their cake and eat it, it seems), plus divorce and such, which hurt partners and children often, plus just the dissatisfaction a lot of people have if they start to feel trapped in a relationship over time (as happens with a lot of families); it's certainly not straight-forward as being an advantage mind, it's just different way of doing things with its own set of issues.
    Wibbs wrote: »
    *travelers in 18th century London noted, even complained about the amount of openly copulating couples you'd see while walking about the place. In broad daylight too. Check out medieval maps of towns for street names like "Grabcock" and "Gropecúnt" lane". Sex wasn't invented in the 1960's we've been shagging in all sorts of ways with all sorts of people for as long as records are around. Victorian values and all that guff was the outlier, we're living more in the reset from that.
    Haha, yes I remember reading about that before - I'm certainly curious how social conservatism was back then, as I would think the church still played a large part in things at the time.




  • Here is actually a good article I just came across, on evolutionary psychology, which is specifically about the problem I picked up on, of drawing claims about behaviour/psychology based on genetic selection:
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/07/28/tackling-pinkers-defense-of-evolutionary-psychology/




  • Well of course, you don't even have to go that far for our ancestors to be not quite 'us' - the development of the overbite, for example, is actually very recent. Average height, even more so.

    The point I was making was that even in our current subspecies iteration, our entire history of civilization (including prehistoric civilization) is a relatively short, and while the changes that came with its development have been profound, we would do well to remember that there's a lot of evolutionary history that preceded it which can't be forgotten completely either.

    Didn't know about Neanderthal biscuits though - interesting.

    I don't buy that overbite theory. Does half the world who don't use forks not have overbites?




  • Here is actually a good article I just came across, on evolutionary psychology, which is specifically about the problem I picked up on, of drawing claims about behaviour/psychology based on genetic selection:
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/07/28/tackling-pinkers-defense-of-evolutionary-psychology/

    The psychs like to use biology because they are still deluding themselves and the world they are a science, when they are so interpretive it seems more like an art. And that's fine that its an art, but its the pretence that bugs me.

    I doubt incest taboo is innate. Too many instances of distant siblings falling in love and incest within families where external sexual mores are very stringent.




  • Well of course, you don't even have to go that far for our ancestors to be not quite 'us' - the development of the overbite, for example, is actually very recent. Average height, even more so.
    Well the overbite thang is more a developmental response to softer foods rather than an inbuilt or genetic one. If you're brought up eating soft foods that require less chewing the palate doesn't develop in the same way, leading to things like overbites and tooth crowding. If you look at cultures where food is tougher their teeth, jaws and palate don't show these changes/issues. Their mouth bacteria ecosystem is different too, so caries is a lot less an issue(plus they eat a lot fewer simple carbs). One thing that stands out when you look at prehistoric skulls is dentists and especially orthodontists would be out of a job. They usually have fantastic teeth(unless very old).

    What has happened at a base level is our teeth have gotten smaller in the last 50,000 years. As have our skulls(and brains funny enough). More recently more and more people are being born without the capacity to grow wisdom teeth. Likely as a response to smaller palates. What's interestng about that is people are hardly dying from impacted wisdom teeth before passing on their genes, so why this is happening is, like I say interesting.

    Height is another developmental attribute and down to diet. In medieval times the aristocracy were notably taller than the peasant classes. Back then tall=rich for the most part. Japanese Americans grow in stature generation by generation compared to their relatives back in Japan.
    The point I was making was that even in our current subspecies iteration, our entire history of civilization (including prehistoric civilization) is a relatively short, and while the changes that came with its development have been profound, we would do well to remember that there's a lot of evolutionary history that preceded it which can't be forgotten completely either.
    Oh sure, but it's clear from the genetic adaptations that have occurred in the last 10 odd thousand years that we have changed quite a bit too.
    Didn't know about Neanderthal biscuits though - interesting.
    Yea and they weren't that short either. Same height as we were back then and one lad found in Iran was nearly a 6 footer. Note to self avoid picking a fight with him :D
    True, but these lines get redrawn and recede all the time - as we see now regarding homsexuality and other gender/orientation issues.
    In our culture yes, however there have been cultures where gender and sexual orientation was more fluid, indeed in quite the number of cultures intersex people were feted. Like I said there's little new under the sun. Cultural responses to it varied, but the range of human sexuality was always there. The main difference in current liberalisation is that the culture is more comfortable with the range and the outliers and there are more of us, but we aren't the first. The outliers are more and more accepted but the "mainstream" has changed little enough.
    The issue with saying avoiding incest is an innate instinct (implying psychological nature, rather than nurture), is that is making unsubstantiated implications about human psychology (I do agree that applies to our reproductive biology though, of course); I think that is better explained by social pressure, than by instinct, especially when you take reproduction out of the picture.
    I'd say six of one, half dozen of the other. EG it has been shown in a few studies that people prefer partners with very different immune systems and this is transmitted through scent. Siblings will have very similar immune systems and scents so there is a biological boundary there. Seeking out novel genes makes good sense, avoiding incest also makes good sense, especially in a species like ours that is quite narrow genetically given our sheer numbers.
    in general there's an increasing (but slow) liberalization of many parts of society, which I just don't think has ever been seen on quite the same social/economic/intellectual scale before.
    For me the main difference is the scale.
    I think some of the advantages of dropping strict-monogamy or serial-monogamy, are a lot of the disadvantages it causes, like cheating/affairs (a lot of people want to have their cake and eat it, it seems), plus divorce and such, which hurt partners and children often, plus just the dissatisfaction a lot of people have if they start to feel trapped in a relationship over time (as happens with a lot of families); it's certainly not straight-forward as being an advantage mind, it's just different way of doing things with its own set of issues.
    Depends on where the advantage lies too. Non monogamy is an advantage to those who want it, but what about the disadvantage to those who may not? Taking the taboo away won't ease the hurt of someone who is being "cheated on" even if you take away the cheating label.

    Haha, yes I remember reading about that before - I'm certainly curious how social conservatism was back then, as I would think the church still played a large part in things at the time.
    It seems it did and it didn't. It didn't seem to have the power to influence as much as say a taliban type setup or indeed a 50's ireland type set up. Plus by the time of the rolling plagues(not just the black death) that ran through Europe on a yearly basis killing large chunks of the population and reducing life expectancy to under 30 that would have had a social effect. Like people shagging like rabbits through the London Blitz. If you may die tomorrow you may get more religious, but you're also a lot less likely to give a feck about strict moral codes too.
    Here is actually a good article I just came across, on evolutionary psychology, which is specifically about the problem I picked up on, of drawing claims about behaviour/psychology based on genetic selection:
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/07/28/tackling-pinkers-defense-of-evolutionary-psychology/
    Oh I'd agree. Genetics/evolution are the go to solution these days. The scientific fashion de jour. It's applied to damn near everything and considered near infallible. Very much a case of if all you have is a hammer every problem looks like a nail. We're only beginning to scratch the surface, but our egos often tell us otherwise.
    The psychs like to use biology because they are still deluding themselves and the world they are a science, when they are so interpretive it seems more like an art. And that's fine that its an art, but its the pretence that bugs me.
    I'd agree. Take depression. It's suggested that near 1 on 4 are genetically predisposed to the condition, yet there are cultures where it's notably rarer than others. Same humans, same genes yet... Type 2 diabetes another that's "in the genes", yet there are again cultures where it's pretty much unknown. Clearly it's much more environmental and I'd say exactly the same about depression.

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.





  • I don't buy that overbite theory. Does half the world who don't use forks not have overbites?
    The overbite development is more a Western development.

    Either way, I wouldn't place too much emphasis on the fork theory; the point is that the incidence in overbites in humans has increased dramatically in the last few hundred years.
    Wibbs wrote: »
    What's interestng about that is people are hardly dying from impacted wisdom teeth before passing on their genes, so why this is happening is, like I say interesting.
    That is actually.
    Height is another developmental attribute and down to diet. In medieval times the aristocracy were notably taller than the peasant classes. Back then tall=rich for the most part. Japanese Americans grow in stature generation by generation compared to their relatives back in Japan.
    Well, the same goes for younger generations of Japanese. The shift from the traditional to a Western one has seen a number of changes in Asia; increased height, decrease in health issues associated with an Asian diet (e.g. high blood pressure) and a corresponding increase in health issues associated with a Western diet (e.g. cancer).
    Yea and they weren't that short either. Same height as we were back then and one lad found in Iran was nearly a 6 footer. Note to self avoid picking a fight with him :D
    Pre-Neolithic man wasn't actually short. It was the shift from a meat rich diet to a cereal based one that did that.




  • That is actually.
    yea it really is. Hell TC I was born a lamarckian and I'll die a lamarckian, so it's an easier fit for me. :D
    Well, the same goes for younger generations of Japanese. The shift from the traditional to a Western one has seen a number of changes in Asia; increased height, decrease in health issues associated with an Asian diet (e.g. high blood pressure) and a corresponding increase in health issues associated with a Western diet (e.g. cancer).
    True. Even so it can be difficult to apply a disease topography when we're dealing with different populations with different local adaptations. As an example the Japanese also suffer much less with tobacco related illnesses, yet for a goodly while smoked like chimneys. For me it's clear that different human populations have very different responses to environment.

    Basically, we're not as homogenous a species as is popular to believe(even PC to believe. I said the PC word :eek::eek:). Even in genetics we can see this. Non African folks have Neandertal DNA*, up to 5% and in the past(like Otzi the iceman) that was even higher. Go to some east Asian populations and we see nigh on 10% of their genes come from archaic humans. Makes sense, humans from the get go like to get jiggy jiggy. :D

    And that's no bad thing either IMHO. TBH I dislike the idea that is a given these days, that humans are basically the same. Yes I DO see the real racist shíte that might be extrapolated from the idea we were "races" in the past and the horrible results that came out of that. However I think it's more important to tell the story of how we all came to be this fantastic bunch of muppets and kings who we are today. The reason I hate racism is not because it's obviously moral to do so, it's because it's obviously daft in a scientific way.

    Then again I might be odd in this. I firmly believe the Neandertal and Denisovan(and undiscovered others) folks before us were people just like you and me, just different and different is good. Indeed, given a couple of hundred million of us carry their genes today, I'd say they didn't go nearly as extinct as the easy story goes(Speaking as someone with 4 odd % Neandertal DNA, I'm just rooting for my peeeeople** :)) I like that we may be all "sub species" of "human", each of us with our own adaptive advantages. Bringing difference, but with mutual recognition, is for me a way better way forward for our humanity. It makes us more future proof too.
    Pre-Neolithic man wasn't actually short. It was the shift from a meat rich diet to a cereal based one that did that.
    True enough. I recall a convo I had with an archaelogist many moons ago about this. She said that it was often easy enough to spot the transition from Hunter gatherer to farmer in the robustness of the remains. The former was usually bigger, taller and stronger, with higher bone density than the pastoralists that followed.





    * you can be sure that African folks have their own archaic DNA going on, it;s just that it's harder to see, because of preservation issues and there's an element of "oh well they're different, even among the most "right on". Bollocks I say. Africans have the widest genetic variance on this planet and they didn't lick it from a stone.

    **from a very early age I was fascinated by them. These amazing looking people who survived countless ice ages and shít. And this was in the 70's when they were seen as a shambling buffoon. I don't buy the idea of race memory, but by god I was a good example of it :D On holidays to Lourdes(very fash in the 70's) followed by trips to Spain and other parts of France I tried to collect bits of them. I found a fair few too(and pre regulation it was so easy). An 8 year old weirdo I was. Nada has changed much on that score. :)

    Few enough were innocent in the past, few enough are innocent in the present, we just don’t know why yet.



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  • Wibbs wrote: »
    Yes I DO see the real racist shíte that might be extrapolated from the idea we were "races" in the past and the horrible results that came out of that. However I think it's more important to tell the story of how we all came to be this fantastic bunch of muppets and kings who we are today. The reason I hate racism is not because it's obviously moral to do so, it's because it's obviously daft in a scientific way.
    The problem with modern racialism, I find, is a two-fold axiomatic flaw.

    Firstly, it's still largely based on theories that were first developed in the latter half of the 18th century, but became popular in the latter half of the 19th, with the rise of racial anthropology. Indeed, they were more observations, rather than theories, which originally noted broad differences between three basic racial groupings*.

    Thing is that races are not so tidy as to fit into such classifications. They 'blur' into each other once you get to geographical boundaries between peoples, and even within a theoretically homogeneous region, variations occur. Europeans or Aryans, for example, got subdivided further into Nordic, Alpine, Mediterranean and Slavic sub-groups, and the sub-divisions continued into the modern age, to smaller and smaller groups - all based upon these original observations, that were not only meant to be at best broad classifications, but also were never empirically confirmed.

    Secondly, was the ideological influence on the study. Historically, it's no secret that race theory was used politically as a means to justify slavery and later imperialism**. This influence continued into the 20th century and can be seen in the almost schizophrenic approach that Nazi Germany used racial classifications; Slavs (who were previously considered an Aryan subset) were reclassified as Mongoloid, while previously, non-Aryan groups were suddenly reclassified as such or placed in special categories as the War progressed, because membership into the SS needed to be expanded due to demand.

    This resulted, overall, in an flawed approach to research. As with most scientific process, a hypothesis would be developed then would be either proven or dis-proven; however only hypotheses that followed an ideological agenda were put forward and if dis-proven, the results would be discounted. As time went on 'proven' hypotheses became dubiously so, with many relying on 'proof' which in reality was simply a reference to another unproven hypothesis.

    As a result of the above, racialism or racial anthropology pretty much lost any credibility as a serious science. Like Intelligent Design, it fails to follow the scientific process and is too ideologically influenced to be considered objective.

    This process of reductio ad absurdum and ideological influence can be seen today. If you go to one of the most popular racialist sites out there, Stormfront.org, you'll find numerous racial sub-classifications and fora. Where it becomes amusing is not only the antipathy even between many of the various sub-racial groups, but even within a single forum; the Italian forum appears to be populated by a mixture of Italian-Americans (who are predominately of southern Italian stock) and Northern Italians. Problem is that the latter consider the former to be 'terroni' and little more than North Africans, with hilarious results.

    Personally I think it's a pity; the study of variations between different populations of humans on our planet, would be an interesting field, but it has been so discredited as a scientific field and so politically tainted that it's practically a taboo. I think it only, just about, exists in serious scientific circles, to a very limited extent, as a branch of modern anthropology today***.




    * Blumenbach originally postulated five; Caucasian, Mongoloid, Malay, Negroid and (native) American races, however both the Malay and American ones were soon reclassified as subsets of the Mongoloid classification.
    ** Two classic examples of race being used to rationalize imperialism would be the doctrines of 'Manifest Destiny' and 'White Man's Burden'.
    *** Academics, such as Ruth Benedict are still staples of anthropology in universities today, although for how much longer I'm not sure as many of her writings would be classified as 'racist' today and thus may well be prohibited in the future.


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