Enuja wrote:Vash, please use and describe the studies you citied, instead of just listing them. Explain how they are relevant to your point and your intellectual development, what their methodologies and conclusions were. Un-annotated lists of citations are not convincing, and do not make it likely that I will actually read the citations, because I don't know if you've read the articles you are citing, and I don't know if they address the parts of your argument that I think need data and sources. You don't need more sources, Vash, you need to actually use the many sources you've already cited. For example, which study has 40+ culture cross-cultural data, and what questions were asked and answered in that study?
I refuse to channel that much
effort into a forum post. I already made effective summaries of what the studies said. If you're asking me to read them for you and write a paper, I won't. Read an evolutionary psychology textbook if you want a summary of at least part of the research I am looking that. I haven't suggested that until now, because frankly, I'm trying to avoid making an evolutionary argument. I'm just trying to look at data. If I write a paper, it won't be on here. You aren't telling me anything new. You aren't motivating me to do anything, either. Papers exist to be read. I don't need to write something that is already there.
I while ago, I read Promiscuity: An Evolutionary History of Sperm Competition by Tim Birkhead, 2002. I'm not suggesting that anyone read it, because while it's a fun book, it's not hugely relevant to this thread, but it is relevant to my intellectual history on this subject. One of the main points of Promiscuity was how much biologists have blinded themselves to the actual sexual systems of the organisms they study, because they were using mental analogies and expectations of marriage, and often ignoring the sexual behavior of females. Instead of the animal kingdom being a universe of polygyny, monogamy, and a little bit of polyandry, there is a lot of promiscuity. Mating systems that have been described as polygyny often include very active participation by the females in copulation with males other than their apparent "mate."
I can tell you that David Buss' evolutionary psychology does not ignore the sexual behavior of females. That doesn't mean it posits it to be identical to that of men.
Carrying with me that background from the perspective of biology, I got into the history of sex, gender, and sexuality. And I've learned that, in Western society, people used to think that female orgasm was necessary for fertility, that women were "naturally" more sexual and interested in sex than men, that women's sexuality had to be controlled because it was a destructive, primitive force. Later, however, scientists thought that women didn't even have orgasms, that women were "naturally" more moral, less sexual, that having sex with their husbands was a duty women had to fulfill for the sake of their husbands. Prostitutes and "low women" had been polluted and destroyed by the regrettable but natural sexual inclinations of men, and needed to be brought back to the proper and natural sexual position of women: pure and disinterested. (Citations provided upon request, but this is a summary of a historic transition I've read about in a very wide variety of sources.) Although scientists have accepted the reality of human female orgasm, I am not at all convinced that societies' biases have moved on: I think that societal assumptions about women's purity, men's sexuality, and the universality of a marriage model still heavily bias both our society and scientific study.
I know of all of those phenomena. I am more concerned with the actual content of the research, including whether these biases are manifest in it. Clearly, it is still manifest in society. You also assume that no one is trying to be objective, and that the research I am looking at is part of the field or trend you likely have a valid generalization of.
I think our society is in the middle of an enormous transition in how we view gender and sex. I am quite aware that, here and now in our society, gay men are more sexually promiscuous than lesbian women, but both gay men and lesbian women come from our society that thinks that men are "naturally" more sexual than women, and I think that this social bias is important in determining behavior. I think that homosexuality, the sex positive movement, the feminist movement against sexual harassment and abuse, and social expectations of gender equality in general are currently giving women both more sexual power and more sexual interest.
Schmitt, D.P. (2005). Sociosexuality from Argentina to Zimbabwe: A 48-nation study of sex, culture, and strategies of human mating. Behavioral and Brain Sciences
"The Sociosexual Orientation Inventory (SOI; Simpson & Gangestad 1991) is a self-report measure of individual differences
in human mating strategies. Low SOI scores signify that a person is sociosexually restricted, or follows a more monogamous mating strategy.
High SOI scores indicate that an individual is unrestricted, or has a more promiscuous mating strategy. As part of the International
Sexuality Description Project (ISDP), the SOI was translated from English into 25 additional languages and administered to a total sample
of 14,059 people across 48 nations. Responses to the SOI were used to address four main issues. First, the psychometric properties
of the SOI were examined in cross-cultural perspective. The SOI possessed adequate reliability and validity both within and across a diverse
range of modern cultures. Second, theories concerning the systematic distribution of sociosexuality across cultures were evaluated.
Both operational sex ratios and reproductively demanding environments related in evolutionary-predicted ways to national levels of sociosexuality.
Third, sex differences in sociosexuality were generally large and demonstrated cross-cultural universality across the 48 nations
of the ISDP, confirming several evolutionary theories of human mating. Fourth, sex differences in sociosexuality were significantly
larger when reproductive environments were demanding but were reduced to more moderate levels in cultures with more political and
economic gender equality. Implications for evolutionary and social role theories of human sexuality are discussed."
I may have cited the wrong study, though, actually. The most relevant one to what I said was:
Schmitt, D. P. and 118 members of the International Sexuality Description Project. (2003). Universal sex differences in the desire for sexual variety: Tests from 52 nations, 6 continents, and 13 islands. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
"Evolutionary psychologists have hypothesized that men and women possess both long-term and short-term mating strategies, with men's short-term strategy differentially rooted in the desire for sexual variety. In this article, findings from a cross-cultural survey of 16,288 people across 10 major world regions (including North America, South America, Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, Middle East, Africa, Oceania, South/Southeast Asia, and East Asia) demonstrate that sex differences in the desire for sexual variety are culturally universal throughout these world regions. Sex differences were evident regardless of whether mean, median, distributional, or categorical indexes of sexual differentiation were evaluated. Sex differences were evident regardless of the measures used to evaluate them. Among contemporary theories of human mating, pluralistic approaches that hypothesize sex differences in the evolved design of short-term mating provide the most compelling account of these robust empirical findings."
Men desire more sexual partners than women. I don't think this is very questionable. You could argue that this is transmitted culture from an original human culture or set of cultures, but that's the only alternative possibility. Where that seems to break down is in the failure of social engineering, but I haven't seen a case where the people are really willing to be miserable for a couple of generations. Also, if it was transmitted culture, wouldn't it just change after a certain point? (I say this because frankly, I think people would just start killing themselves, leaving, or giving up rather than being THAT miserable).
I know at least Vash and Iceman, and probably a lot of other posters, disagree with the above paragraph. But, even if women are "naturally" less interested in sex and in having multiple partners than men are,
Women in general are not less interested in sex. They are less interested in multiple partners. I would appreciate it if you could pay more attention to the fact that I am also very careful to qualify statements like that with "in general" or "the trend is." I am not making such a unilateral argument, and you have no need to argue against that. There are some women less interested in multiple partners than the general, and some much more. It's a distribution. I forget who said it before, but you should also remember your place in the distribution and that you do not necessarily summarize all women. I do get that sense from at least one poster here, especially since the point has not been acknowledged. If you want to argue that some people regulate down their own sex drive or restrict their own sexual choices, that's fine, but provide a reasonable justification for why they shouldn't. Oppression in cultures where there is no oppression of sex drive (and indeed, where women may have more casual sex) is not sufficient. The difference remains.
that doesn't mean that most or all modern women want to be life-long accessory partners in highly unequal polygynous relationships.
Something that I acknowledged, but you're about to get to the meat of your point so I'll just ignore that.
Wanting resources, and getting some of them from a spouse or partner, doesn't mean that most women will embrace polygyny. For one thing, there is always the option of being in an apparent polygynous relationship while having sex with other people. There are trade-offs with the actual resources you get in resource-based polygyny, depending on the number of partners and the number of resources your partner has.
I've always thought polygamy in general to be tricky because of jealousy. I am sure, also, that it works for some people. However, there may be a case in which a man cannot shelve his jealousy or his desire for multiple women. Women who could manage their own jealousy and do not need that much attention could easily marry that man. People can also make sacrifices and compromises. Presumably, one has to in almost any relationship. The facts alone that women desire resources and that rich men can provide more resources than 2 poor men (you should know about the distribution of wealth) indicate a bias toward polygyny. No research seems to indicate that attention even factors in, though I am not sure it has been examined. Social groups can also replace the time that would be spent with a single man (in a monogamous relationship) or multiple men. That is not to say that a woman dating a rich man would never want to have another relationship, but it's not necessarily inequality if it is otherwise. I have to clarify that statement, though. That's only if that woman is unwilling to compromise and is going ahead with it anyway.
As soon as there are extra guys, some women will get more resources by partnering with unpartnered guys.
Poor men who have nothing to offer?
You don't need most women to want lots of male partners to equal things out: you just need a few women who want lots of male partners, and most women not wanting to be completely ignored in their relationships (which provides a limit on the number of female partners a man can get). A future society isn't going to have multiple marriage without divorce: if young women choose older men with lots of resources and lots of wives, those women can later change their minds, when they've got resources of their own, and not be trapped in unequal polygyny for their entire lives.
Actually, the research seems to indicate that women with resources prefer men with even more resources. It's because the desire is an instinct, not a power structure. That's more preliminary research, though (not cross-cultural across 50 countries).
If most women in college have an older, resource-rich sugar-daddy paying for their education in exchange for exclusive sex, but, after getting their own resources chose more equal relationships, I wouldn't call the resultant society universally polygynous. If young women often had children with older, resource-rich men who provided resources and care for the resultant children while the women moved on to more equal relationships when they got older, I wouldn't call the resultant society universally polygynous.
The premise is potentially irrelevant via my previous argument. Also, if it is proportionally, then it is. It doesn't help the case that younger women are more desirable for marriage because they can have more children in the future. That is not a huge factor in monogamy, but it is in polygamy.
Maybe older men will have polygynous relationships with younger women while older women have polyandrous relationships with younger men. Maybe most women will live in polygynous households, but use some of those increased resources to have a boy toy or two on the side, in a completely socially acceptable way. And, hey, maybe almost everyone will be in huge multiple marriages with lots of people of many genders. But that's not the only non-monogamous possibility to avoid misogynistic polygyny. There are tons of different ways relationships could change over time or benefit women (even if women are less interested in sex and in multiple partners than men are) without near-universal monogamous marriage. Some men having multiple partners, or using resources to get sex, doesn't necessarily mean that the women involved aren't getting exactly what they want, or that other men will have no opportunities to have sex with women.
Polyandry seems to be with brothers, again. Otherwise, most men will want exclusive sexual access; though, with paternity tests, maybe no one gives a fuck since they can know if a kid is theirs? I would imagine most women would take that as an insult, though. I also don't think that it will overcome jealously anyway.
I understand the logical possibilities of all possible social relationships. I am concerned with the theoretical possibilities of human relationships without genetic engineering.
No, you have to acknowledge the reality that because of jealousy, things aren't going to work as you say. Some people will be excluded, and it will be by default men who are worse off.
The solution to this whole issue is simple, but unequal. Outlaw polygyny, legalize all other forms of polygamy. I so far haven't been able to come up with anything better, though I'm not exactly trying to come up with a brilliant solution. That also leaves greater inequity in women, potentially.
Azrael wrote:You're glossing over her point regarding behavior in historical conditions vs inherent human behavior. Studies of how the world currently works are all molded by how the world has been working for the vast majority of the studied culture's history. Even the most egalitarian modern society has only been as egalitarian as they are (which still isn't "very" when discussing gender) for ... 3 or 4 generations? And much of the world you'd have to sample for a 40-country survey aren't egalitarian at all.
Cultural pressure about what's acceptable/correct/right/moral do not dissolve that quickly or easily. Our behaviors now are certainly still shaped by our behaviors then. Especially in places where the cultural gender-roles haven't changed as significantly as they have in the developed world.
No one has disputed that history has been more polygynous. What is being disputed is whether that behavioral pattern is an indicator of an inherent human trait, or a learned behavior from hundreds of years of cultural dominance by a single gender. Claiming papers as citations, without addressing the actual point of contention isn't demonstrating (or adding to) an understanding of the discussion. So, to follow up on Enuja's request: Which of those studies strove to understand and illuminate the difference between history and inherent behavior? How did they control their experiment accordingly?
No. Just no. If it doesn't exist, it doesn't exist. Stop playing word games and cite actual behavior. You are not the first to raise your concerns, and it has been studied to some extent at least. If it's not in English, ask a foreign academic for their knowledge on a country.
Yes. Even an analysis of current society (never mind a historical vantage point) can easily validate the assumption that some portion of women in a patriarchal society have supported or still do support that patriarchy. In short, this is why "feminist" is a distinct descriptor and yet not all women label themselves as such. To a convenient historical example, not all women supported suffrage in the US in the 1920's. The supporting portion can be shown to have be higher as societies were/are more patriarchal by way of an inverse reduction in dissent or activism.
(response to the "yes") What the US research indicates is that in a more egalitarian society than a rule by despot polygyny still exists. What it doesn't demonstrate is that it cannot be eliminated. Also, all human societies so far are patriarchies. The only way to create a matriarchy or equal rule society is to acknowledge human nature, and if possible create a set of conditions that counterbalance it. You aren't helping by closing yourself to ideas of humanity that aren't gender feminist.
(response to the rest) I agree.
Edit: Just to add something, there is a correlation between promiscuity and masculine features (broad shoulders, thick jaw/chin) in women. Post hoc ergo propter hoc, but it could manifest because of promiscuity, be a characteristic of a person, or both to some degree. Possible vector: testosterone ingestion through semen? I have no idea if that can have an effect. Excuse my ignorance. From what I understand, there can be some positive health effects.
Aaeriele wrote:Natural selection works over time frames larger than most societies remain in existence for. Since you still don't appear to get the hint, I'm going to try one more time:
We don't really care about your evo psych. What we care about is the actual moral and legal aspects of the matter.
Yes, let's discuss morality and law with no reference to empirical reality.
God hates adulterers, whores, and in the New New Testament, man-hos and iguana owners. God declares animal rights, the human right to be an animal with no freedom. The animal right to be a human with freedom. Don't forget the American way and Jesus' country sky band rocking across the sky galaxy where the clouds rain down because Jesus is a clown and sad because there is too much sin.
You're just following a different religion than mine. Kill! Kill! Kill all the sinners! Kill all the blasphemers! They cannot violate the absolute law.