Fatherhood vs Sexual Selection Failure

It’s Father’s Day, so obviously I’m meant to dredge up some sort of platitude about fatherhood that makes everyone feel all warm and fuzzy about fatherhood.
Nah. Sex Rank and the Body Agenda is too brutal for that.
So lets compare two guys to each other. The first is a ”lowly Beta” with not much going for him other than a rather dull 4 wife. He’s only ever had sex with her and together they have a couple of funny looking kids. The second is a master of Game and…
Buy Me!

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Comments

  1. GudEnuf says:

    Evolutionary psychology is not a normative theory.

  2. Athol Kay says:

    Not in the sense that it gives moral advice no.

    However does take the position that the end goal of sexual activity is to pass the individuals genes on to the next generation though. I'm just saying reaching that goal is easier for most of us via boring old marriage and fatherhood.

    Married monogamy is simply a sexual strategy.

  3. Krapulax says:

    "Married monogamy is simply a sexual strategy."
    Well, apart from being the only force in the universe known to create civilizations.

    The only problem with this marriage & sexual selection thing is that women are hypergamous and tend to cheat on beta providers with alpha males. But you covered this angle a couple of days ago :)

  4. CH says:

    GudEnuf nailed it.

  5. Ellen says:

    Example of positive statement:

    Evolutionary psychology hypothesizes that human behavior tends to consist of strategies that result in genes being passed on to future generations.

    Example of a normative statement:

    Evolutionary psychology says people should try to pass on their genes.

    The first is true, the second is not.

  6. Krapulax says:

    "Evolutionary psychology is not a normative theory."
    This doesn't change the fact that what AK said was true.
    Maybe it would be more precise to simply say evolution instead of evopsych in this context, but hey, what he meant was still clear.
    And to be honest your statement add nothing to the conversation and this type of pseudointellectual posturing is very tiring.

  7. GudEnuf says:

    Krapulax: Okay, fine. EVOLUTION is not a normative theory.

  8. hambydammit says:

    Well…

    Yes. The guy who has sex with 120 women and has no children is an evolutionary loser, but as your first commenter pointed out, it's pretty much impossible to get from there to "you should have children." In fact, there are many dynamics in social animals which, when taken as a "macro", indicate that evolution "prefers" that some creatures sacrifice their own genes for the betterment of the species. That is, group selection has experienced a resurrection and is alive and well in evolutionary theory.

    And there's another really important point to make. Without contraception, the guy who has sex with 120 women will have lots of kids. For 99.99999% of human history, any man who had sex with 120 women was the biggest genetic winner in the bunch.

    Add to this the likelihood that the funny looking children are going to have trouble mating, and the Beta doesn't come out looking so good from an evolutionary point of view. Funny looking generally means asymmetrical, which is an evolutionary way of saying "BAD GENES."

    Krapulax… um… you have very strange ideas about human reproductive history. Very, very strange. Do some scholarly research (read: peer reviewed science papers) and you'll discover that polygamy has been a HUGE part of our reproductive history, and that even when marriage has been the norm, the most powerful men have always gotten multiple females with which to mate.

    Now, before somebody flames me for saying people ought to be monogamous — I'M NOT MAKING A NORMATIVE STATEMENT. I'm correcting some incorrect statements of fact.

  9. hambydammit says:

    Whoops… "flames me for saying people ought to be polygamous"

  10. Athol Kay says:

    Well the guy who has sex with 120 women is a false positive of sorts anyway. Contraception allows women to have fun and not worry about the consequences of possible pregnancy.

    Having sex with 120 women even a few decades back would have been an ultra rare event. Now simply uncommonly high.

    And yes – I can assure you that some people really shouldn't breed.

  11. Krapulax says:

    "Okay, fine. EVOLUTION is not a normative theory."
    Well, it's still not very much on topic and says nothing. AK's original post said that from an evolutionary point of view betas with children "score" better than alphas without children. It IS true regardless of how you view evolution or evopsych. It is trendy nowadays to dismiss evolution & evopsych easily because liberals try to distance themselves from anything which might prove that humans have "wired" (unchangable) instincts and desires.
    If you actually have anything of value to add to the conversation please feel free to do so.

    "it's pretty much impossible to get from there to "you should have children.""
    It's not some abstract commandment of an imaginary force of evolution for people to have children. But evolution (in this personal sense) is basically the survival of someone's genes, and for that he/she MUST have children. There is noone behind your back telling you to have children, but if you have none you ARE an evolutionary dead-end nonetheless.
    So the conclusion is rather weird: if you want to have children, have children. F*cking tons of women will not cut it if they don't give birth to your children.

    "Without contraception, the guy who has sex with 120 women will have lots of kids. For 99.99999% of human history, any man who had sex with 120 women was the biggest genetic winner in the bunch."
    Absolutely. And as far as I can tell, AK's point in writing this article was exactly this; that times have changed and men should be aware of that. What was working before does not work anymore.

    "funny looking children are going to have trouble mating, and the Beta doesn't come out looking so good from an evolutionary point of view"
    It's not really a valid argument here because our premise is that alphas will have no offspring whatsoever. So "having trouble mating" is still uncomparable to not existing at all.

    "polygamy has been a HUGE part of our reproductive history"
    I am aware of this, believe it or not. But civilizations which rose above others were based on monogamy. In most of Europe poligamy was the exception, not the rule.
    If you want masses of men to be productive you have to give them motivation, which was (and probably still is) possible only by giving them their own families. And on a large scale it's only possible by adhering to monogamy.

    "Having sex with 120 women even a few decades back would have been an ultra rare event."
    A few decades ago, maybe. But before that…
    Genghis Khan had sex with more then a 120 women, that's for sure :)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Descent_from_Genghis_Khan

  12. Athol Kay says:

    I love it when the comments turn out longer than the post!

    There's really no question that births and the future sexual success of children is the crux of sexual selection rather than number of copulations or sexual partners.

    What is actually working in terms of that is different than what our biology is wired for. We're wired to seek polygamy but the majority of men are better off with monogamy.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Another point often overlooked by the chest-thumpers is that Alpha males tend to make crap fathers (Alpha degree is inversely proportional to parenting quality).

    They may sow their seed widely but if they're not there to do any parenting, their children get weeded out by natural selection. It's a well known fact that fatherlessness leads to low achievement, low social status and ultimately low reproductive success.

    Many who are last will be first and the first, last…

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