6
   

The winner takes all for the right to reproduce.

 
 
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2010 06:46 am
There are two strategy:

1: many women marry to one man, but not the other way around.
2: each woman marry to one man, vise versa.

Claim: 2 benefits the male.
why? By way 2, every male gets a girl, and get to reproduce.
By way 1, some men are at a disadvantage. since, a rich, successful men have more money, and able to marry N>1 wifes, thus, leaving these unsuccessful male with no mate. way 1 is really a winner takes all strategy.

what does the above reasoning tell us? A woman is willing to marry 1/N of a successful male, than 1 whole unsuccessful male.

The common consensus from experts are that most of history, the strategy is 1. The winner takes all approach.

 
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2010 06:53 am
@TuringEquivalent,
What is the goal?

There is no rule in nature that says that every male should reproduce. Quite the contrary-- in species where only the strongest, fittest males are able to reproduce, it benefits the species because the strong, fit genes are selected.

In our closest evolutionary relatives (i.e. Chimpanzees and Gorillas) there is a dominant male that has a harem of females over whom he claims exclusive ownership.


ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2010 07:18 am
@TuringEquivalent,
There have in history been societies where there were more females then males-- particularly when low technology societies lived with war or dangers with gathering resources.

If such a society wants to continue, it needs to reproduce. In this case it is imperative to protect the wombs. A uterus is a scarce resource, a man can have lots of babies a year... but a womb can only be used once per year.

The only way for these societies to survive was to have the men do the dangerous jobs, fighting war and hunting (as they were more reproductively expendable). In this case, with some of the men dying, letting men have multiple partners is the most efficient way to sustain the society.
0 Replies
 
TuringEquivalent
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2010 07:22 am
@ebrown p,
so, if monkeys have multiple partners, people ought to have it as well? survival of the fitness? Pretty stupid comments. What we can say is that there is good empirical evidence that people for most times have multiple partners.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  3  
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2010 07:51 am
@ebrown p,
You're leaving out our closest evolutionary relatives, bonobos, who are matriarchal.

Quote:
(B)onobos are matriarchal. If it’s usual for female chimps to get pushed around and battered by males, bonobo females run things. Once, while in the Congo, I witnessed Tatango, this young male bonobo, start to do what the chimps in Uganda regularly did: he went up to the alpha female, Mimi, and backhanded her across the face. She gave him the most withering look. Within seconds, five unrelated females chased him into the forest. Poor guy. They almost took his testicles off. After that, he never made another problem. Bonobo females seem to know that if they stick together, the males can’t dominate.


http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/06/science/06conv.html
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2010 08:01 am
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent wrote:
The common consensus from experts are that most of history, the strategy is 1. The winner takes all approach.

I think it's important to remember that "most of history" was actually in pre-history. Human evolution and human behavior are deeply derived from lifestyles which were geared for environments which were much more difficult to survive in. And yet, we have the ability to supersede our instincts by choice (a major adaptive advantage for humans).

I think the mating behaviors of groups of mammals are extremely dependent on what type of environment they are living in. Civilization(s) have given us more choices which work.
TuringEquivalent
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2010 08:10 am
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:

TuringEquivalent wrote:
The common consensus from experts are that most of history, the strategy is 1. The winner takes all approach.

I think it's important to remember that "most of history" was actually in pre-history. Human evolution and human behavior are deeply derived from lifestyles which were geared for environments which were much more difficult to survive in. And yet, we have the ability to supersede our instincts by choice (a major adaptive advantage for humans).

I think the mating behaviors of groups of mammals are extremely dependent on what type of environment they are living in. Civilization(s) have given us more choices which work.


The most common adoptive strategy is 1 according to common consensus. The whole notion of one man, one wife is a recent development due to judeo_christian norms.
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2010 08:15 am
@TuringEquivalent,
TuringEquivalent wrote:
The most common adoptive strategy is 1 according to common consensus. The whole notion of one man, one wife is a recent development due to judeo_christian norms.

A lot of herd animals go with option #1, but they live in environments where survival of the fittest is in full force.

I'm not sure the one man, one woman, setup is strictly a function of judeo-christian norms. For example, there may always have been a desire for that particular arrangement, but it may have been superseded by survival requirements. It's possible that it is only being revealed now that our survival requirements have been buffered by our civilizations.
0 Replies
 
ebrown p
 
  3  
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2010 08:15 am
Turing, it seems like you entered the discussion with an concrete outcome in mind. My main point is that if you want to judge between two strategies, you need to establish some criteria for judging. I think the scientific perspective is a valid one, and reproductive success is the only valid scientific measure that I could come up with.

Sozobe, the Bonobos are an interesting counterexample. I don't intend to argue that one male to many females is always the best strategy from a reproductive/evolutionary perspective, I am simply pointing out that there is an evolutionary advantage to the one male to many females strategy in many species. Not surprisingly, as Turing points out, this strategy has been seen in human cultures as well.

ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2010 08:17 am
I am kind curious about his question...

What percentage of Bonobo males never produce offspring (compared to the number of females)?

I don't have a clue on how to get the answer to this question, but I would find it quite interesting.

0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2010 08:30 am
So according to "Sex At Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins Of Modern Sexuality", the chimp model is not at all accurate. The book proposes that humanity actually evolved with group sex and multiple partners rather than a winner takes it all or monogamous model. Book excerpt from Amazon:

Quote:
Since Darwin's day, we've been told that sexual monogamy comes naturally to our species. Mainstream science--as well as religious and cultural institutions--has maintained that men and women evolved in families in which a man's possessions and protection were exchanged for a woman's fertility and fidelity. But this narrative is collapsing. Fewer and fewer couples are getting married, and divorce rates keep climbing as adultery and flagging libido drag down even seemingly solid marriages.
How can reality be reconciled with the accepted narrative? It can't be, according to renegade thinkers Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá. While debunking almost everything we "know" about sex, they offer a bold alternative explanation in this provocative and brilliant book.
Ryan and Jethá's central contention is that human beings evolved in egalitarian groups that shared food, child care, and, often, sexual partners. Weaving together convergent, frequently overlooked evidence from anthropology, archaeology, primatology, anatomy, and psychosexuality, the authors show how far from human nature monogamy really is. Human beings everywhere and in every era have confronted the same familiar, intimate situations in surprisingly different ways. The authors expose the ancient roots of human sexuality while pointing toward a more optimistic future illuminated by our innate capacities for love, cooperation, and generosity.
With intelligence, humor, and wonder, Ryan and Jethá show how our promiscuous past haunts our struggles over monogamy, sexual orientation, and family dynamics. They explore why long-term fidelity can be so difficult for so many; why sexual passion tends to fade even as love deepens; why many middle-aged men risk everything for transient affairs with younger women; why homosexuality persists in the face of standard evolutionary logic; and what the human body reveals about the prehistoric origins of modern sexuality.
In the tradition of the best historical and scientific writing, Sex at Dawn unapologetically upends unwarranted assumptions and unfounded conclusions while offering a revolutionary understanding of why we live and love as we do. (edited by author)
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2010 08:43 am
@sozobe,
ebrown p wrote:
In our closest evolutionary relatives (i.e. Chimpanzees and Gorillas) there is a dominant male that has a harem of females over whom he claims exclusive ownership.

sozobe wrote:
You're leaving out our closest evolutionary relatives, bonobos, who are matriarchal.

Can't resist the urge to quibble with both of you. Our closest relatives are both the chimpanzees and the bonobos. In the great apes' family tree, their branches split off from each other after their common branch split off from ours. The gorillas' branch, on the other hand, split off from ours before ours split from the chimpanzees' and bonobos'. In other words: from the gorillas' point of view, humans, chimpanzees, and bonobos all are their closest relatives.
0 Replies
 
TuringEquivalent
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2010 08:50 am
@engineer,
engineer wrote:

So according to "Sex At Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins Of Modern Sexuality", the chimp model is not at all accurate. The book proposes that humanity actually evolved with group sex and multiple partners rather than a winner takes it all or monogamous model. Book excerpt from Amazon:

Quote:
Since Darwin's day, we've been told that sexual monogamy comes naturally to our species. Mainstream science--as well as religious and cultural institutions--has maintained that men and women evolved in families in which a man's possessions and protection were exchanged for a woman's fertility and fidelity. But this narrative is collapsing. Fewer and fewer couples are getting married, and divorce rates keep climbing as adultery and flagging libido drag down even seemingly solid marriages.
How can reality be reconciled with the accepted narrative? It can't be, according to renegade thinkers Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá. While debunking almost everything we "know" about sex, they offer a bold alternative explanation in this provocative and brilliant book.
Ryan and Jethá's central contention is that human beings evolved in egalitarian groups that shared food, child care, and, often, sexual partners. Weaving together convergent, frequently overlooked evidence from anthropology, archaeology, primatology, anatomy, and psychosexuality, the authors show how far from human nature monogamy really is. Human beings everywhere and in every era have confronted the same familiar, intimate situations in surprisingly different ways. The authors expose the ancient roots of human sexuality while pointing toward a more optimistic future illuminated by our innate capacities for love, cooperation, and generosity.
With intelligence, humor, and wonder, Ryan and Jethá show how our promiscuous past haunts our struggles over monogamy, sexual orientation, and family dynamics. They explore why long-term fidelity can be so difficult for so many; why sexual passion tends to fade even as love deepens; why many middle-aged men risk everything for transient affairs with younger women; why homosexuality persists in the face of standard evolutionary logic; and what the human body reveals about the prehistoric origins of modern sexuality.
In the tradition of the best historical and scientific writing, Sex at Dawn unapologetically upends unwarranted assumptions and unfounded conclusions while offering a revolutionary understanding of why we live and love as we do. (edited by author)



I don ` t see that as being more common. The common consensus is that one rich man have many wifes are common in history. The word "wife" suggest a relationship, agreement, established norms in society that is quite different from "sex partners". A son will inheritance money when the father dies. The same is not true for children of non-wife sex partners. Perhaps, humans like to share their wife with another men, and have another mens babe. I highly doubt it. Give me some evidence that most people swing in the past.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2010 08:52 am
@engineer,
How do they explain the fact that the one man to many women model is so much a part of multiple human cultures? The opposite (one woman to many men) is a rarity (if it ever really was a cultural norm).

Of course there were promiscuous society, but even in these there was almost always a marriage institution that protected societal reproductive needs.
Thomas
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2010 08:53 am
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:
Turing, it seems like you entered the discussion with an concrete outcome in mind. My main point is that if you want to judge between two strategies, you need to establish some criteria for judging.

I agree.
0 Replies
 
Thomas
 
  2  
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2010 09:04 am
@ebrown p,
ebrown p wrote:
How do they explain the fact that the one man to many women model is so much a part of multiple human cultures?

I don't know how they explain it, but from our genes' point of view, the explanation is pretty straightforward: human wombs are scarce, human sperm is abundant. Therefore, the optimal reproductive strategy for human males is to impregnate as many women as they can. The optimal strategy for human females, on the other hand, is that each of them compare the many men who want to have sex with her and reproduce with the fittest one.
ebrown p
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2010 09:30 am
@Thomas,
It is funny Thomas, how the development of money messed up the evolutionary system.

Women are wired to select the most successful male they can get. Before money, this meant the healthiest, cleverest and strongest mate. These are things that are indications of genetic factors.

When money comes along, success means access to money... the pathways in a woman's mind that developed to select the best genes were hijacked (since you can inherit money with no redeeming genetic qualities).




engineer
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2010 11:31 am
@TuringEquivalent,
One man may have many wives, but that doesn't mean that all the children are his. I've only read reviews of the book. You would have to check it out to see what proof if any it offers for consenual mutual partners.
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2010 12:41 pm
In herbivore herds like horses and elephants the female members and the young group together and the eldest female, the mother or grandmother, guides the group. The males srike off on their own when they reach maturity and ond with other males. Only during mating season do they seek out the female herds. Each going into rut at his own pace so there are no gang bangs. The male seeks out the female. However when there is another male in the same rut then they fight over the female in rut.
0 Replies
 
TuringEquivalent
 
  1  
Reply Thu 8 Jul, 2010 03:33 pm
@engineer,
engineer wrote:

One man may have many wives, but that doesn't mean that all the children are his. I've only read reviews of the book. You would have to check it out to see what proof if any it offers for consenual mutual partners.


True! But what is the empirical evidence for it? The common consensus is that one successful man, and many wifes are common. This does not say anything about sex partners, and swing. There is very little evidence that most people swing, and those that do, it is always the husband that do.
 

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