The above statement makes no sense. One child vs 5 or 6? It seems to me that the ugly, faithful guy wins if a woman is only a biological breeding machine.
In the short term perhaps. But their children won't be as good at surviving and reproducing as the children of a man who was good at surviving and reproducing. Raising one child of a "superstud" is more genetically profitable than raising several children of a "loser". Of course quality has to be balanced with quantity and the benefits of having a man around to raise the children, with having to raise them by herself. This actually seems to lead to an interesting scenario where women will marry the more dependable man, the "good provider" but will have affairs with the "bad boy" type, this way getting the best of both worlds, children with good genes and someone to raise them.
Are you saying that you believe that behaviour is a product of genetic programming? What do you provide as proof of your assertion, if so?
Not entirely, of course. Unlike most animals, we have large and complicated brains which enable us to make decisions that aren't necessarily in the best interest of our genes (for example we can choose to remain celibate, or use contraception to avoid reproducing) but for the most part, we tend - like all other organisms - to behave in ways that maximise our reproductive success. This is almost a tautology. Organisms that do not do this are far less likely to survive.
The burden of proof, therefore, is not really on me. It's on those who claim that humans are somehow exempt from this natural law. There is an overwhelming body of evidence to support the claim that our behaviour is strongly influenced by our genes, so much so that it's ridiculous to argue otherwise. The only real quibbling point concerns how much of our behaviour is directly controlled by our genes and how much influence culture and learning have (Often known as the nature/nurture debate).
Yes, a huge amount of time and energy is invested in her offspring so it would be a good idea if the father sticks around to help with the costs of such offspring. Again, genetically, the ugly, faithful guy wins.
But only if he's the real father. A woman who marries such a man and cheats with a more attractive man is increasing the spreading power of her genes. This is borne out by studies that show a higher rate of pregnancy from illicit sex.
Let's see, stability, companionship, help with the offspring is considered to be a loser? Not in my opinon. Not if it is only genetics and survival that is involved here. Again, the ugly, faithful man wins. At least until the kids are old enough to fend for themselves.
Stability may be enough now, but for our ancestors it wasn't. Every day was a struggle for survival. Pair-bonding with someone who can't protect you is not a good survival strategy, but it's (genetically) better than being alone.
Yes, women do make a conscious choice regarding mates. Unfortunately, some women are addicted to the high that the philanderer causes them. They can't see past the excitement to make a logical choice.
Exactly. Something overrides their rational thought processes. Like you say, it's not logical to behave in such a way but they're driven to do so anyway. Why does the excitement of the philanderer trigger such an emotional response? Because women are "genetically programmed" to maximise their reproductive potential by mating with such men.
They also want to save this bad boy because many women have a saviour complex and stupidly think that their love is gonna save him. Just the way Hollywood want them to think. After all, love did save John Nash, right? What a load of crap Hollywood produces.
I don't think Hollywood is entirely responsible for this. My take on the "saviour complex" is that it's just another one of those things we do to rationalise behaviour that we don't consciously understand.
If we are going to discuss the wisdom of genetics, doesn't it make more sense genetically that women would want a stable, loving, provider for them and their children?
The most successful strategy is to try to bag the "alpha male". If that fails, the best option might be to pair-bond with a male of lower status and reproductive worth, but to cheat with alpha males when ovulating. There is considerable evidence that this happens.
And what about the women who are past child bearing age? Who are they going to chose for a mate?
Doesn't matter a jot - from a genetic point of view at least. It will have no influence on their genetic heritage.
it is funny how these physiologists never mention that women have the same biological drive to provide genetic diversity. Could this be because it is socially acceptable, yeah, encouraged for a man to get out there and get all the gusto he can while not providing women the same opportunity?
Could be. It could also be because men reproduce in a very different way to women. A man can maximise his reproductive success by having sex with as many women as possible whenever possible. A woman cannot. A woman can, at the most, have one child every nine months (excluding multiple births of course). There is no limit to the amount of children a man can father in the same time, and becuase there's relatively little cost to a man to father a child they attempt to do so with almost any women.
Women have to be more picky. Not only do they have fewer chances to reproduce but the costs to them are far higher. They have to carry a child for nine months and then look after it for several more years. For this reason women tend to be choosier than men about whom they will have sex with.
This is because men do not want a level playing field. They want their cake and to eat it too. I really wonder if their fragile egos can handle having done to them what they love to do to women and so use science to support their randy behavior while denying women the same excuse. Also, until recently, the only way that society could ensure that the offspring produced in a marriage was truly the husband's was to insist that the wife remain faithful.
Your last sentence there is probably the key to the whole issue. A woman will always know whether she is the mother of a child. She doesn't have to trust the father. In fact, he can be having sex with dozens of other women and it doesn't really affect her. Her time and energy are going in to looking after a child she knows is hers.
A man whose wife cheats on him however may end up expending a lot of energy protecting and caring for a child that is not his. From a genetic viewpoint, this is the worst thing possible and we have clearly evolved to avoid such situations.
Of course, it's still advantageous for the woman to cheat with a "superior" male if she can get away with it, and it's to the man's advantage to cheat with as many women as possible. Getting away with it may be less important for the man, depending on the culture.
It bothers me that the sociologists look to other members of the animal kingdom to support their claims that we are all just a bunch of genetic breeders and that men are only doing "what is natural".
You mean sociobiologists.
It may bother you. It bothered Keats when Newton "unweaved" the rainbow by explaining it in scientific terms. It bothered Einstein when quantum theory seemed to show that "God plays dice". And it understandably bothers a lot of people when we are compared to other animals. But reality doesn't always capitulate to our prejudices. We are animals - we are hairless apes with large brains -and our behaviour reflects this.
While I do believe that genetic survival and genetic diversity do play into what makes us tick and that humans are bipedal animals, one of the thing that seperates us from the rest of the animal kingdom is our well developed frontal lobes. Because of this, we need not be victims to mindless, biological impulses. We can make logical choices when it comes to breeding as well as a few other things.
Yes we can, we do and we should. But we don't always. Where we don't behave logically, it is because we are driven by other forces. I'm not sure what you think those forces are. I think most of them are genetic in origin. And i think there is overwhelming evidence to support this conclusion.
The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
Why Is Sex Fun? by Jared Diamond
Sperm Wars by Robin Baker
The Red Queen by Matt Ridley