Friday, May 7, 2010

human monogamy is a myth

i know this is no news to you (there's even a book by that title) but i attended a lecture in the anthropology forum yesterday where the young phd spoke on 'the evolution of human sexuality'.

i did learn some interesting facts. the male gorilla has the smallest penis and the human the largest. looking at any gay magazine for men you'll see some spectacular examples of the latter. alas, chimpanzees have larger testes and healthier sperm. win a few, lose a few.

why this has happened results in many academic disputes. evolution makes strange bedfellows. however, she attempted to chart much more contentious territory. why do women hide their ovulation time and how come everybody makes it behind closed doors? she maintained humans follow these procedures due to being monogamous, while other primates not.

well, i didn't want to rain on her parade. she's far too good-looking with a fun sense of the ridiculous and applying for a post here. i did raise my hand and asked about the affect of private land and inheritance? she obviously hadn't thought about it, nor had the anthropology teachers in the room.

maybe cause we're like fish who don't know what water is. our modern universe totally maintained by the belief in, and laws supporting, private property. people stay monogamous, when they do, mostly for practical reasons. habit, children, fear of alimony and loneliness, etc.

years ago i gave a talk in this very same forum on 'the anthropology of love.' the most interesting book i found published by helen fisher in 1994:

fisher's thesis: men stick around til the kids turn four, this due to the human child being the most helpless and vulnerable of all species, then it's wife-swapping time. she looked the timings of divorce, for example, and much of it follows this pattern. of course, the fun stuff about singles bars. turns out, women always give the first signal of interest, the man being oblivious but responding unconsciously and making a move. i'm sure this would be entertaining reading for you.

i once had an uncle in a small indiana town who said, 'you'd be surprised by the number of women around here i've been to bed with.' we tend to hide such adventures cause it's dangerous (irate wives and husbands, most murders happen in the family), illegal, and threatens our security. thankfully, the last fifty years have changed our mating habits for the better. i give most of the credit to the pill and the woman's movement.

so, though i didn't burst the lecturer's balloon, i was laughing inwardly. and all of us have wandering eyes, regardless of sexual orientation. only the wise know to keep their hands in their pocket.

new pics:

at the endangered species faire nobody put up a booth for humans. hmm, fish in water, short-sighted.