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Thread: How natural is monogamy for men? page 3

  1. #21
    Daemonized's Avatar
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    Primal Fuel
    In reality.....I'm more happy when I'm dating several people and getting it most every day than when I'm dating one person exclusively and not getting it as much. The Daemon has never been a fan of abstinence and has a fairly large appetite. I also understand thought that once a relationship is underway that straying is a bad idea too though and won't do that either.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SerialSinner View Post
    That sounds very optimistic
    I think that the notion that all events are determined by prior events is compatible with the notion that we can subvert our genetic instructions. The extent to which we subvert our genetic instructions is largely due to causal environmental factors and we can subvert the hell out of them, whether or not we were able to not subvert the hell of them is inconsequential to our propensity to subvert to hell out of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by cillakat View Post
    Theoretically yes....but in reality?
    Hard to say. The have-50-kids-and-live-in-a-wooden-shack strategy may indeed be more advantageous than the have-3-kids-and-live-comfortably one. That's why I lean more towards the "humans do whatever they feel like most of the time" option.
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  3. #23
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    Also depends how many kids you need to guarantee a few grandchildren - a hundred years ago, 10-15 children was "normal" - allow a few sad losses for disease - put the others to work on the land or latterly in a factory..... Now, 3 kids is seen as extravagent

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daemonized View Post
    I also understand thought that once a relationship is underway that straying is a bad idea too though and won't do that either.
    Many men and, I think, most women would tend to feel that way - but certainly not all. There are couples who practice polyamory. And couples who swing. And who practice variations on those two themes.

    Though seriously, human relationships are already complex (infinitely so, it at times seems to me) and I would imagine that all of those options add additional challenges and difficulties.

    Challenges aside, people do it. And happily. I guess what I'm saying is that it's good to know yourself, then be that authentic self (as has come up in some of the personality threads and journals recently), and find like-minded people with whom to form relationships and community.



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  5. #25
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    I'm pretty much with Serial Sinner on this one. Human males are mostly serial monogamists. Do we have the flexibility for other lifestyles? Absolutely. Some are dictated by society, others by where the man falls into the variability curve. Chimps are polygamists. Gorillas are harem keepers. Others are serial monogamists. Humans show tendencies for all three.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stabby View Post
    The extent to which we subvert our genetic instructions is largely due to causal environmental factors and we can subvert the hell out of them, whether or not we were able to not subvert the hell of them is inconsequential to our propensity to subvert to hell out of them.
    Wait, isn't it the opposite? That it only matters what we *actually do*, not what we have the *inclination* to do.



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  7. #27
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    There are two senses of "inclination" at play here. On the one hand our genes will program us to be inclined to do certain things in order to propagate themselves. But on the other hand what we are actually inclined to do in reality isn't simply what our genes "want" us to do but is the sum of our individual psyches which are comprised of our conscious cognitions, subconscious environmental conditioning, and our genetic predispositions, and probably some more stuff. So my point to serialsinner was that what we actually have the tendency to do isn't based solely on our genes but on their interactions with environment and our conscious reasoning which was borne of the latter two and so I don't think that we are free from a deterministic universe, but we are free from our genetic instructions to an extent. All of our genes want us to propagate them to the best of our abilities and yet we don't because we have discovered other meaning in our lives, which means that humans are an exception to selfish gene theory literalism.
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stabby View Post
    So my point to serialsinner
    Ah, got it.


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  9. #29
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    @Stabby:
    the notion that all events are determined by prior events is compatible with the notion that we can subvert our genetic instructions.
    I completely agree with what I think you are trying to convey. If we consider Personality as part of our Phenotype, and Phenotype = Genotype + Environment, then it makes sense to see our genetic predispositions being heavily influenced by our social environment. I tend to gravitate very heavily towards the notion of Free Will being pretty much an illusion though, hence my reference to Psychological Determinism and my underlining of the words "we can" as quoted.

    On the other hand, I think that regardless of social environments, there are some clear basic behavioral patterns we can work with which do manifest themselves regardless of culture. Status in men, for example, tends to be universally attractive to women. the next step would be to define status, and this would change greatly from context to context. But I guess we can safely assume that a higher status, independently of how we define it, would translate to more access to some sort of tangible or intangible resource which would imply, conscious or unconsciously, a better chance of get more quality/quantity of male/parental investment, which would be a desirable quality in a potential mate. Hope this makes sense.
    Last edited by SerialSinner; 06-28-2010 at 02:15 PM. Reason: (predetermined) typo corrections
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  10. #30
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    Yeah I'm also a psychological determinist, and that is pretty much what I meant.

    I agree with that. We can contradict our genetic instructions depending on how environment and the cognitive world we accumulate from them alter phenotype, but in many cases the desire simply isn't there to do it and if we do, it isn't to as great a degree as we could have. The desire to have children is an extremely strong one and originally all of our pleasure mechanisms and everything that helps determine our quality of experience was created by the genes to guide the conscious mind towards behaviors most likely to propagate and maintain them in the gene pool so it makes sense that a good life will be one full of these things that trigger quality life experiences, and those would theoretically be the very behaviors that result in propagation. There are definitely environmental and cognitive factors that can lead to the subversion and betrayal of genetically originated goals but even if we decide not to reproduce we're still going to have a lot of of those supporting drives and pangs hanging around. Like you said, even if we don't want children we still might want sex and we will still likely be drawn to the traits that denote a good mate. Or even if we don't have children to raise we still might want a lot of property and material possessions because affluent people tend to have more status and more means to support more offspring. Somewhere along the line in evolution, self-awareness, what started as a brilliant tool to be able to make logical predictions and create abstractions also made ourselves aware of ourselves (and aware of our self-awareness...) and some of us have become really good at dismissing many of these genetic instructions and creating new meaning for ourselves, although I doubt anyone will ever be able to break completely free, and I'm not sure if they would want to or what that would look like.
    Stabbing conventional wisdom in its face.

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