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What to Make of polygamy?

 
 
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 12:22 am
Apparently 8000 years ago each guy who bred had on average 17 women if monogamy was practiced

http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2015/03/20/the_brutality_of_the_stone_age_only_1_man_had_children_for_every_17_women.html?wpisrc=obinsite

Slate hopes that this was some kind of a voluntary situation, specifically that the women were gold diggers and would enmass refuse to mate with the men who did not have much wealth or power. I find this unlikely.


I picture each mating male killing on average 16 males to get the right to enjoy sex, a lot. Picture Hunger Games if you will.

What say you?
 
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 02:00 am
@hawkeye10,
Going by the number of women raped by Genghis Khan Temüjin and the descendants he left, it could be conquest . There may be as many as 16 million men in the world today descended from Temüjin rapes and wives and concubines .

Or there were an awful lot of gay men .
0 Replies
 
FBM
 
  3  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 02:25 am
Hmm. They're saying that the ones who were better at agriculture also had their genes replicated most often. I knew I shoulda become a farmer.

Maybe I can talk farmerman into hooking me up with a half dozen or so of his castoffs...
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 02:51 am
I'm starting to think that report needs peer review . Some believe the first farms were owned by women . They have found women buried in the place of honour and men buried in the least honourable place . This means women were selecting their mate . This would look like the male was the good farmer .
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 02:58 am
Stoneage people as a rule lived in a group - men hunting, women taking care of "household"
One man had 17 women and a certain amount of children to feed and no other men around means he had to hunt alone to feed around fifty people.
That sounds very unrealistic. You cannot feed a large group on a rabbit or two a day and now and then a dear.
Wonder how much energy he had left for hunting after satisfying 17 women anyway?
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 04:37 am
@saab,
Agriculture was spreading by 8,000 BC and was certainly in Egypt . Hunting, esp of large mammals as a way of life was definitely on the way out . Thats why I say women were choosing who to mate with, no doubt a very handsome man such as myself, and because women were the farmers it made our stud APPEAR to be a good farmer . But farming at this time seems to have been the sole prerogative of women, with men beginning to herd animals .
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 05:08 am
@hawkeye10,
Why wouldn't early human mating behavior be similar to that of other primates? We see how the other similar species solve the problem. There are primate groups where the powerful male gets to mate with all of the desirable females, but the weaker males can still get some on the side (no bloodbath required). There is also serial monogamy which would account for the initial finding... modern men who have sex with 17 women are not that surprising.

The female run societies are more myth than reality. We in the 21st century want to see our mythological ideal of equality in earlier societies... but it is wishful thinking by researchers who have trouble keeping their own biases from shaping their findings.

Female run societies happen with insects, not so much with primates.
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 05:50 am
@maxdancona,
Some argue that modern man came into existence about 110,000 yrs ago, but there is new evidence that we actually became what we now would "put in a suit and not be able to tell the difference" about 75,000 yrs ago . This is not early man .

Quote:
The female run societies are more myth than reality.
Your reasoning is....(with sources please).

Quote:
Female run societies happen with insects, not so much with primates.
Bonobos, Baboons and others have female led societies . Insects tend not to have a leader but are chemical stimulus driven .
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 07:08 am
@maxdancona,
Even amongst early humans it took two to tango. Women also picked a man whom whould be good for her. Depending on if he was a fast runner, good hunter or slow but very good in making tools.
A modern man can sleep with 17 women, but very seldom have kids with all of them.
Early society had to share responsibilities.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 07:32 am
@saab,
There are reasons modern men don't have children with all of the women they have sex with; namely birth control and child support. There is no physical reason that a modern man couldn't have children with 17 women (if he wanted to).

Stone Age men in a position of power wouldn't have had anything to prevent them from having children with 17 women, nor any reason to not do this.
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 07:56 am
I do not think we know much about the amount of women men had 8 000 years ago

If you go back around 2000 to 2500 years ago marriage was a very serious thing. The Germanic people prefered one wife. There were very few exeptions. The husbonds brought the dowry into the marrige often a practical thing like a horse or an oxen.
Also it was looked upon as something very disgraceful to have a sexual realtionship with a woman under twenty.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 08:04 am
@saab,
Quote:
I do not think we know much about the amount of women men had 8 000 years ago


We are talking about DNA evidence... which is real hard science... that suggests that at this period in human history very few men fathered children with 17 women each (while the other men were childless).

The rest is speculation... but you can't argue with a scientific fact.
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 08:10 am
@saab,
I am curious about your source for the mating behavior of Germanic people. I am pretty skeptical about the monogamy part... just based on my understanding that human nature makes monogamy unlikely even in cultures that demand it.

I am very skeptical about the under twenty part which doesn't make any sense culturally or evolutionarily. Human females are able to reproduce by 13 or 14, and in a non-modern societies the life expectancy was about 40... starting at 20 doesn't leave very much time to reproduce. The relatively high infant and child mortality rate that occurs without modern medicine puts further pressure to reproduce earlier (assuming that these were viable societies).

saab
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 08:11 am
@maxdancona,
I am not going to argue about scientific facts.
I am not even going to mention one single of the many scientitic facts that has proven wrong.
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 08:16 am
@FBM,
early days in this area of study
lots more research to do

http://www.psmag.com/nature-and-technology/17-to-1-reproductive-success

Quote:
if Wilson Sayres' team's hypothesis is correct, it would be one of the first instances that scientists have found of culture affecting human evolution.


Quote:
So much for what our DNA can tell us. This study, published last week in the journal Genome Research, can't directly account for why the dip occurred. Instead, the team members tried to think through other explanations. "Like was there some sort of weird virus that only affected males across the whole globe, 8,000 years ago?" Wilson Sayres asks—a hypothesis the team found unlikely.

To further test the wealth-and-power idea, the researchers plan to look for other genetic markers that would indicate that something cultural, not physical, kept those early male farmers from reproducing. Team members could also collaborate with anthropologists and archaeologists, to see if they have any clues.


hopefully they're open-minded as to what the further research might suggest
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  0  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 08:17 am
@saab,
Quote:
The Germanic people prefered one wife.
Monogamy in Southern Europe was based on the Greek homosexual society . If you only wanted a wife for breeding then you only needed one . Middle East society was the alpha male has a lot of wives and his sons engage in warfare to get wives . This was recorded in the Bible as the '"land of milk and honey"...it wasnt about cows and bees, it was about sex for the men who would conquer Canaan . This is also why the Bible says a man with many sons is blessed . He's safe, but anyone with lots of daughters is in trouble .
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 08:34 am
So...how about most men spend their time moving around with the sheep whilst the women tend the crops and the alpha male stays at the village with the women ? This fits what we know about the first societies .
0 Replies
 
saab
 
  1  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 08:34 am
@maxdancona,
Some of my information comes from a book by Peter Vilhelm Glob (February 20, 1911 – July 20, 1985), also known as P.V. Glob, was a Danish archaeologist who worked as the Director General of Museums and Antiquities of the state of Denmark and was also the Director of the National Museum in Copenhagen.

Beside his book I happen to have a couple of others. Then of course one can search internet in different languages to see what information one can get, but I stuck with my books.
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 08:38 am
@saab,
What are we discussing then? We are looking at this from a modern culture. Our modern culture has its own set of beliefs and value, and its own mythology.

In my opinion, the interesting discussion means that we have to look at the facts... even if they don't support our modern narrative or sense of values.

If the goal is to take every bit of evidence that fits the 21st cetntury narrative, and ignore (or desperately try to explain away) any evidence that we find troubling, it doesn't lead\ to an intellectually interesting discussion.

We a little go on about what life was like 2500 years ago. We have a couple of ancient texts, we have DNA evidence, we have archaeology and we have an understanding of human nature.

I strongly suspect that any 21st century person who actually visited these cultures would find anything to actually support our currently cultural beliefs... and would rather find some practices of these cultures to be quite disturbing to modern sensibilities (and likewise they if they visited us they would feel the same).

It is a mistake to think of our culture as the one true culture that all of these other cultures were leading up to.

These stories of ancient monogamous female controlled utopias are very appealing to certain modern audiences. That is why they are so popular. But they are modern myths. Once you start questioning them, they don't really make sense.
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  -1  
Reply Mon 6 Apr, 2015 08:56 am
@saab,
Quote:
The Germanic people prefered one wife.
The Germanic people didnt exist for another 6,300 years .
0 Replies
 
 

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