It should come as no surprise to anyone that I enjoy studing human nature. I also greatly enjoy discussing it.  The title article will probably kick off a touch of an arguement. 

It should be noted that people who are not arguing with logic and facts but with venom and emotion will have their comments deleted.

Teasers here, whole article here.

 1) Men like blond bombshells (and women want to look like them)

Long before TV—in 15th- and 16th- century Italy, and possibly two millennia ago—women were dying their hair blond. A recent study shows that in Iran, where exposure to Western media and culture is limited, women are actually more concerned with their body image, and want to lose more weight, than their American counterparts. It is difficult to ascribe the preferences and desires of women in 15th-century Italy and 21st-century Iran to socialization by media.

2) Humans are naturally polygamous

The history of western civilization aside, humans are naturally polygamous. Polyandry (a marriage of one woman to many men) is very rare, but polygyny (the marriage of one man to many women) is widely practiced in human societies, even though Judeo-Christian traditions hold that monogamy is the only natural form of marriage. We know that humans have been polygynous throughout most of history because men are taller than women.

3) Most women benefit from polygyny, while most men benefit from monogamy

When there is resource inequality among men—the case in every human society—most women benefit from polygyny: women can share a wealthy man. Under monogamy, they are stuck with marrying a poorer man.

4) Most suicide bombers are Muslim

According to the Oxford University sociologist Diego Gambetta, editor of Making Sense of Suicide Missions, a comprehensive history of this troubling yet topical phenomenon, while suicide missions are not always religiously motivated, when religion is involved, it is always Muslim. Why is this? Why is Islam the only religion that motivates its followers to commit suicide missions?

5) Having sons reduces the likelihood of divorce

Sociologists and demographers have discovered that couples who have at least one son face significantly less risk of divorce than couples who have only daughters. Why is this?

6) Beautiful people have more daughters

It is commonly believed that whether parents conceive a boy or a girl is up to random chance. Close, but not quite; it is largely up to chance. The normal sex ratio at birth is 105 boys for every 100 girls. But the sex ratio varies slightly in different circumstances and for different families. There are factors that subtly influence the sex of an offspring.

7) What Bill Gates and Paul McCartney have in common with criminals

For nearly a quarter of a century, criminologists have known about the “age-crime curve.” In every society at all historical times, the tendency to commit crimes and other risk-taking behavior rapidly increases in early adolescence, peaks in late adolescence and early adulthood, rapidly decreases throughout the 20s and 30s, and levels off in middle age.

8) The midlife crisis is a myth—sort of

Many believe that men go through a midlife crisis when they are in middle age. Not quite. Many middle-aged men do go through midlife crises, but it’s not because they are middle-aged. It’s because their wives are. From the evolutionary psychological perspective, a man’s midlife crisis is precipitated by his wife’s imminent menopause and end of her reproductive career, and thus his renewed need to attract younger women. Accordingly, a 50-year-old man married to a 25-year-old woman would not go through a midlife crisis, while a 25-year-old man married to a 50-year-old woman would, just like a more typical 50-year-old man married to a 50-year-old woman. It’s not his midlife that matters; it’s hers. When he buys a shiny-red sports car, he’s not trying to regain his youth; he’s trying to attract young women to replace his menopausal wife by trumpeting his flash and cash.

9) It’s natural for politicians to risk everything for an affair (but only if they’re male)

On the morning of January 21, 1998, as Americans woke up to the stunning allegation that President Bill Clinton had had an affair with a 24-year-old White House intern, Darwinian historian Laura L. Betzig thought, “I told you so.” Betzig points out that while powerful men throughout Western history have married monogamously (only one legal wife at a time), they have always mated polygynously (they had lovers, concubines, and female slaves). With their wives, they produced legitimate heirs; with the others, they produced bastards. Genes make no distinction between the two categories of children.

10) Men sexually harass women because they are not sexist

An unfortunate consequence of the ever-growing number of women joining the labor force and working side by side with men is the increasing number of sexual harassment cases. Why must sexual harassment be a necessary consequence of the sexual integration of the workplace?
***

Thoughts?

  • LOL! I love #8! 😉

    • 🙂
      I'm still waiting for the backlash…

      • Lashes below!
        (All in good fun, to be sure.)

  • Among primate and nonprimate species, the degree of polygyny highly correlates with the degree to which males of a species are larger than females.
    Hm. I think they should have emphasized the "harem structure" a bit harder — it's not just that the male has many mates, but that he's trying to monopolize them and keep other males away. Cats are hardly monogamous, for instance, but there's not much difference between a male and female that I've seen. Heck, I've got a grown cat who's smaller than his mother! (And, in fact, they are using polygyny… somewhat incorrectly; when referring to non-humans, it does indeed include the housecat model of mating along with the deer or seal harems. At least according to dictionary.com, anyway.)

    • Domestic cats sure, but the differnece in size in lions for example can be almost double http://www.bigcatrescue.org/lion.htm :
      Size and Appearance: Second only in size to the Siberian tiger among the felines, the lion is the largest carnivore in Africa, and the second largest feline predator in the world. Average males weigh 385-450 pounds, and females weigh 250-320 pounds.
      or Amur/Siberian Tiger shttp://www.amur.org.uk/art.shtml :
      Weight of adult male: up to 800 lbs
      Weight of adult female: up to 500 lbs
      Length of adult male: up to 10 feet

  • Pfft!
    Number three only obtains when the man in question is wealthy. It assumes that men are the wealth-holders. (Not so! There are more than enough women these days feeling the gawd-awful sting of the division of their hard-earned assets.)
    So, let's modify that. Poor people benefit from polygamy. Rich people benefit from monogamy.

  • And as long I'm being waspish (because women with opinions are bitches while men with opinions are assholes, I mean, opinionated)….
    I'll modify number 8, too.
    I know plenty of women my age who have undergone midlife crises that are quite a bit like the ones men go through. Again, I think it's a matter of economics and how you've spent your life. By the time you hit your 40's and 50's and realize that you've worked for most of your adult life, well, everything gets cast in a different shade of pale. Things no longer satisfy.
    At least that's why I walked away from a ridiculously lucrative career.
    (Checking down my shirt) And I'm not a man.

    • Funny thing is…
      There's evidence that forceful women are (at least initially) attractive to most men. The basis for this being that a woman who is able to scream, holler, and kick is displaying good health and is hence reasonably fit for reproduction.
      The difference between the forceful woman and the bitch being readily apparent.

      • And all this time, I thought was my wide hips and ample….

        • 😛
          Attraction theory is quite possibly the least understood aspect of human behavior. Given how much people _lie_ about anything having to do with sex, and how messy language is, it's surprising we know as much as we do. Most of what we do know are general spieces wide constants, but what for example make _me_ attractive to one of a set of twins, and not the other?

  • I'm going to sound like an idiot but…YOU WRITE GOOD.
    Well.
    Whatever.

    • Yes, that and at least 70,000 other words. 😛

  • Number 5: do you *have* a daughter?
    Do you know what they are like when they hit, like, eleven? Do you *know* what it's like when you (who have been a daughter yourself) get cursed with the single most potent bit of magic in the universe — the Mother's Curse?
    (For anyone who doesn't know — the Mother's Curse — "May you have a child just like you some day.")
    My x wanted 50% custody of our daughter. I've told him can have 50%, he can have ages 11 to 22.
    (Seriously, I love my daughter unconditionally. But my son was a lot easier to raise up.)

    • No kids at all, but more nieces than i care to count, not to mention a 4H Club full of sprats from 5 to 18. I try not to talk to females between 11 and 19… or at least the one I'm related too. 🙂
      As for the MC! I started hearing that at um, six… but then me and Mom are not much a like. By 12-14 she'd stopped saying it. It might have had something to do with my saying "At least then I'll understand them and stop trying to make them into someone they aren't."

  • #3 is so me, but #8?
    Regarding #3; I've been that way since I was 20.
    and # 8?
    I'm on the cusp of starting menopause now; Worried for my husband – He's just 35 now. Yeah, I must be that older woman/younger man thing.
    Oh God! so are my mother and my stepfather – Mom is 63, while he is 49.

  • I know that this will sound humorless, but I thought the evidence for their generalizations was extremely thin. People dying their hair blonde in the Renaissance does not indicate that "men prefer blonde bombshells." Maybe those women wanted to look aristocratic in a society where the aristocracy was descended, at least in part, from Germanic conquerors in the early middle ages. Maybe it was the same impulse that drives some people to dye their hair pink and green (etc) nowadays.
    Anyway, women were dying their hair red with henna thousands of years earlier. Doesn't this prove that men prefer redheads? One swallow does not make a summer, except to someone who'll swallow nearly anything.

    • Psychology today, is mostly a magazine like Time, or Maxim that is meant for the masses and not the pro's. I did make a run through one or two of the papers of the authors and the rearch didn't have any glaring cases of stupid.
      As for redheads, red heads, even in europe of the time were very rare, and probably not common enough for a sommatic prefrence to be formed.

    • Other thought on red hair:
      1) its highly variable in presentation. It can be anything from nearly blond to nearly brown.
      2) with the pretty high prevalence of color blindness particularly in the red spectrum red hair was unlikely to be differentiated adequately in those who were color blind from the other shades it might resemble to the color blind, which is IIRC a double recessive set of genes like green eyes or red hair.

  • My first thought was that "Kamikaze" means something like "Divine Wind" — is this another cross between religion and suicide?
    Buddhists also commit suicide with fair regularity — monks often burned themselves alive as a form of protest. Quite a few autoerotic asphyxiation victims also turn out to be Buddhist — but that is a quirk for another day, and probably not a purposeful suicide.
    Still — the Japanese and the Moslem intend to take others with them, which makes them sort of their own class.

    • Interesting point. OTOH, Japanese culture tends to have a lot of latitude for honor-suicides, and death in war is very honorable self inflicted or enemy caused.
      IIRC Islam is not in general fond of suicide outside of battle.

  • I read the article, too. My thoughts about evolutionary psychology: I do like it because it offers pragmatic and reasonable explanations that can be true in their simplicity, and it offers perspectives others may not have considered. What I don't like about it is that it sometimes seeks to find reasons for things in a roundabout way; it assumes there must be an evolutionary explanation for our behavior instead of looking for other explanations.
    My reflections on some of these:
    1. I've heard somewhere that long ago, men sought out women with rare characteristics that made them uniquely pretty; blond hair and blue eyes are recessive traits. Could there be something to all this? I guess. It still seems kind of like a culturally biased assumption to me.
    3. Focuses entirely on wealth and leaves the important stuff out. Hello, jealousy and emotional turmoil?!? Us chicks are so freaking dramatic, I really don't see the majority of us handling sharing our men very well. Relationships with two people are freaking hard enough (I know you said to leave emotion out, but sometimes it's relevant, yes?).
    6. Explains the result of that happening but nothing about the cause. (Or maybe I'm just tired.)
    10. I had no clue WTF they were talking about at first, but after reading the article, I get it and I agree.

    • on #3 i suspect that if the women are chosen with even a moderate amount of care they can/will find at least enough common ground not to be at open warfare. From a biological standpoint, the reduced likelihood of renewed sexual activity immediately after childbirth would possilbly contribute to slightly lower illness from post birth complications, and reduce the likelihood of dying young from too many children too fast. There's also the fact that genecically speaking if there is someone else to care for your children even if you die young, your genes have a higher chance of spreading beyond the current generation.
      #6 Is i suspect a case of reinventing the wheel with a new name. It's been known for years that in times of stress more boys are born. I suspect that the causes of this are: Less attractive people are in more stress about their relationship, if they are attractive they _are_ treated better (see the studies on sentancing of attractive people vs unattractive ones, and also the ones on pay) and _know_ they are getting treated well and are hence less stressed.
      #10 is a big o'le: DUH!!

  • 10) Men sexually harass women because they are not sexist
    An unfortunate consequence of the ever-growing number of women joining the labor force and working side by side with men is the increasing number of sexual harassment cases. Why must sexual harassment be a necessary consequence of the sexual integration of the workplace?

    Many men do not know how to relate to women as anything but potential dating/sexual partners. They aren't harassing deliberately; they're just behaving as they feel they should around women. Conversely, stories/jokes/pranks that are acceptable in a group of men may be awkward when a woman is added to the group, further straining the relationships.
    Case in point: I take martial arts with a really serious group of men. I have met exactly 2 other women out of 50 students. The guys are good people and smart, but mostly they get along by treating me like another guy. Two weeks ago, someone put his hand on my chest in order to make sure he was close enough to hit me if he punched me, then blushed and stammered for several seconds until I reassured him I wasn't offended.

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