Friday, September 20, 2013

Monogamy, or scientists are dummies

Over the past two months a couple studies were published by scientists trying to determine if monogamy is genetic, evolved, or whatever.  I heard an interview with one of the anthropologists/biologists on the radio and then a couple of articles popped up when I checked out my Google news feed.  These scientists were trying to break down the relationships throughout the centuries, how inter-gender relationships developed.  When did we go from the mindless fuck-the-best-prospect-each-season to a monogamous mate-for-life situation?

For a scientist, this is obviously a nature vs. nurture vs. evolution debate.  Are we genetically predisposed to monogamy?  Is monogamy a survival trait?  Is it a learned behavior?  And how does it help ensure our survival as a species?  Wouldn't the fuck-everybody-all-the-time mentality work better for propagating the species?  What advantage do we get from monogamy?

Well, it's an interesting question but it's also a really, really stupid question.  Once we developed as a species to the point where we could think and make decisions outside of pure instinct then things changed.  A lot of things changed.  We might want to "mate" (a euphemism for "fuck"), but our logic can either interfere or reinforce that behavior (if logic weren't a factor every high school in the world would be a giant gang-bang).  So, the scientists didn't seem to take our logic into account.  We're not just an animal, we're a thinking animal.  And we spend a lot of our brain power thinking about sex.

To a scientist, our relationships are either monogamous or not, that's it.  What's so stupid is that they toss these relationships into those categories.  It's dumb.  This isn't a question of genetics or learned behavior, it's simply an issue of logic.  We're logical beings.  We're monogamous when it's logical to be monogamous, we aren't when it isn't.

Every decision we make is interpreted through a complex decision making process.  We aren't simply driven by some animalistic need to reproduce, we're driven by an animalistic need to reproduce that is then filtered through a complex computer that is our brain.  There are a million factors.  We need to reproduce, yes, but what is the best time?  The best partner?  How does it affect us socially?  How does it affect our standing in society?

Just look at different mating habits between cultures.  Has a man with five wives in a third world country evolved differently than a man with one wife in a first world country?  Is he genetically predisposed to having five wives?  No, that's fucking stupid.  He has five wives because that's the logical thing to do in a society where five wives is normal.

There are behaviors that have been seen in birds, where a female bird will become monogamous with a "stable, sensible" bird of the opposite sex and then cheat with a stronger, more alpha male when the opportunity arises.  Does this mean that women will always cheat with a more alpha male?  No, it means that the relationships of birds are more complex than first assumed.  Will a woman in a monogamous relationship cheat when offered the opportunity of mating with a more alpha male?  Possibly.

All cheating is a risk vs reward situation.  If the reward is high and the risk is low than the chances of cheating are greater.  If the risk is high and the reward is low than the chances are lesser.  But due to our logical wiring, what makes a person more or less desired evolves as well.  It used to be the man who clubbed the most game was the most alpha male, probably not so much anymore. So, what would make a male more desired changes.  Would a woman cheat with a more physically fit male?  Would she cheat with a man higher in the social standings?  With a more wealthy man?  What makes a partner more attractive to us?  What makes the "reward" enough to take the risk?

In a society that cares for monogamy, than the risk of non-monogamous relationships and cheating becomes greater.  In a society that cares less about monogamy and more about "success" than the risk is lessened.  If the risk is small enough, or the rewards are great enough, than the relationship becomes practical.  In other societies, the risk might be too great, or the rewards too small, for the relationship to make any sense.

Once logic became a factor in our evolution, that logic determined the risk or reward of fucking around.  Polyamorous, open, cheating, monogamy, all decided by logic.  It depends on the quality of the relationship already established, it depends on the quality of the potential cheat, it depends on the risks, it depends on the normal social structures in society.  There are so many factors that logic plays an essential role.

I'm all for exploring the relationship between men and women, it's a bit of a mystery to us all.  But the types of questions these scientists were asking were just retarded.  Sometimes the simplest explanations are also the best explanation.

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