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Intra-vaginal anti-cuckoldry tactics and the psychobiology of semen: An Evo Psych pop quiz

Napping: A terrible anti-cuckoldry tactic
Napping: A terribly ineffective anti-cuckoldry tactic

Today, a little Evo Psych Pop Quiz for you all!

5 of the following 6 statements are actual quotes from a 2007 article in the open access peer-reviewed journal Evolutionary Psychology. Can you spot the quote that isn’t from the article?

  1. “The section on intra-vaginal anti-cuckoldry tactics focuses on sperm competition, providing fascinating descriptions of the semen-displacement hypothesis (Gallup Jr. and Burch) and the psychobiology of semen (Burch and Gallup Jr.).”
  2. “[I]ntra-vaginal battles demand men to become aroused to situations that are actually unpleasant for them, for instance the suspicion of their partner’s infidelity.”
  3. “This section also includes discussions of the interesting notions that … women should not be motivated to have sex with their main partner right after an extra-pair copulation because of the possibility of sperm displacement (the penis appears to be shaped to do just that), [and] that a man may manipulate a woman’s mood via semen content (Rice, 1996, has experimentally shown something similar in fruit flies) … .”
  4.  “One of the mating strategies examined as an early prevention method is violence against women within partnered relationships.”
  5.  “Despite this scrutiny, a man can still gain from deliberately ejaculating in front of his partner from time to time. Choosing each occasion carefully so as to display a good ejaculation can be a powerful way to advertise his continuing good health.”
  6. “Affirmative feedback did not increase men’s likelihood to allocate resources to self-morphed images, but men were significantly less likely to allocate resources to self morphed images when told the morphed image did not resemble them … . “

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Answer: Number 5 is the ringer! But, lacking confidence in my own ability to come up with something as convincingly batty as the quotes from the real article, I cheated a little here, borrowing this quote from a real Evo Psych book — Sperm Wars, by Robin Baker, a popular title from a major publisher recommended on countless Pickup Artist and “Red Pill” reading lists. It’s a truly bizarre and often quite disturbing read. (If you have a bit of Google-fu you should be able to locate a pdf of it online with no trouble.)

And speaking of pdfs, if you want tp read the article in Evo Psych I got most of these quotes from, a book review by Kelly D. Suschinsky and Martin L. Lalumière titled The View From the Cuckold, you can find a pdf of it here. See, I really didn’t just make it up!

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Myoo
Myoo
6 years ago

Similarly, if “part of the function of oxytocin is increasing pair bonds and motivating people to give resources to their loved ones,” then you could easily disprove that by injecting people with oxytocin and then seeing if they WITHHOLD resources from stangers… and look, they do.

Huh? How does one come from the other? You try to prove that oxytocin’s function is making people share resources with loved ones and you test it by seeing if people withhold resources from strangers? That proves nothing, for all you know oxytocin could just make you selfish in general.

Watch, I’ll make a bunch of just-so-stories to explain anger right now:

-Anger is a defence mechanism, part of the fight-or-flight mechanism. Animals that get angry attack potential predators and that causes said predators to attack them less;

-Anger is a mating strategy. Animals use it to scare of sexual competitors to have a better chance at a potential mate;

-Anger is an unintended by-product of the adrenal system. Adrenaline grants an animal enhanced strength while under stress, but it also “short-circuits” the brain, so to speak, causing the animal to act irrationally. The benefit from the short burst of strength outweighs the negative effect of anger and therefore animals with that system survive better;

-Anger is a beneficial effect for young animals because it allows them to fight off predators that they would otherwise be unable to due to their small size. However, the anger mechanism persists into adulthood, where it is no longer useful;

-And, for an MRAish spin on it, anger is a “mate-retention” strategy. Animals that get angry when their mates have sex with others punish their mates and therefore they have a higher chance to pass on their genes.

All of these are just as plausible as your “anger is a way to address wrongs” “theory” and they’re just as bullshit because they can’t be tested.

pecunium
6 years ago

Howard: I wasn’t even going to try to deal with the competing theories in Linguistics about what/how language is (nor the strange problems of how linguists re-invent the wheel every 25-40 years. Chomsky wasn’t new with the “deep grammar” idea; and the problems in both the actual work of Sapir and Whorff, and what has been misunderstood about what they actually said on top of that… oy!)

Ally S
6 years ago

Bannister: So what do you think about the (in my opinion) impressive ability of children to acquire and manipulate language; to intuitively understand grammatical structures, which seem to happen in all known cultures. I think that is one of the best candidates for something that is genuinely hard-wired in the brain

Are you referring to Chomsky’s theory of universal grammar? Because there are a lot of problems with that theory. The observations used to argue for a model of hardwired language acquisition device (as Chomsky calls it) are just as easily if not better explained by the theory that children acquire language via memorization and observation of the probability and frequency of certain words, sentences, grammatical inflections and derivations, etc.

For instance, you can say that a child learning to make the past tense of “buy” by saying “buyed” suggests that children have an innate knowledge of a basic grammar. But that could also be explained by the fact that hir parents and friends often say verbs in the past tense with the “-ed” suffix.

talacaris
6 years ago

Just some books on generative grammar, not in detail, but I think it is fascinating idea. I haven’t seen that it was widely reviled.

“‘but there must be an instinctual core to the learning’ and ‘there must be an instinctual part to all speech”

Yes, i think that is an idea worth exploring that such an instinctual core exists. Flat-out stating that it is so, not so fine. I’d also say that there are clear evolutionary advantages, so there are probable grounds for further investigation and not something that should be immediately rejected.

talacaris
6 years ago

I think it also interesting the differences how you are learning a primary language and a secondary language. It feels like I have in instinctual feeling of my primary language, while not in my secondary languages ( such as English), where I have to rely on rules and memorization.

“theory that children acquire language via memorization and observation of the probability and frequency of certain words, sentences, grammatical inflections and derivations,”

Also, this is a pretty complex procedure.Most children seem to handle this even if they learning difficulties in other areas, and if was so, why should it be much harder for most people to learn a secondary language later.

pecunium
6 years ago

I think it also interesting the differences how you are learning a primary language and a secondary language. It feels like I have in instinctual feeling of my primary language, while not in my secondary languages ( such as English), where I have to rely on rules and memorization.

But for people who learn more than one as “first” languages they are both clear, and both distinct (I know a number of, “from birth” bi-linguals). It’s also the case that the second is the hardest to learn.

I like to think of it as, “unlearning a habit”. Piece of anecdata: When I was learning Russian my French (which was passable, but never, “fluent”) got a lot better. This was true of everyone in the class who was working on a third language. We theorised this was because our brains were looking for the, “not-english” and grabbed a hold of the other language we had some grasp of, because it wasn’t using the same words/rules.

Some of the concepts in french (e.g. the two different ways to say, “because”) stopped being a thing I had to think about; because I wasn’t thinking about them; just as I don’t, “think” about my English (which is wrong, I do, I’m just so used to it that I can parse several different ways of saying something and choose the rhetoric/diction I think best suits my intent).

So a lot of the, “innate” is a function of habit. Walking isn’t something I think about either. Nor is sharpening a knife (because I’ve spent thousands, if not tens of thousands) of hours doing it, over the course of thirty years.

And that’s a big part of it. By the time we are as little as five years old, we’ve spent 43,800 hours in a world where there is language. That’s a lot of time to internalise the rules/conventions.

And conventions is what makes for accent/dialect.

But I think I’ve started to ramble.

pecunium
6 years ago

Also, this is a pretty complex procedure.Most children seem to handle this even if they learning difficulties in other areas, and if was so, why should it be much harder for most people to learn a secondary language later.

See above. By the time someone is 15 (secondary education, the place were many learn their secondary languages), someone has spent 79,000 hours in a language ridden world (I took out eight hours per day for sleep).

katz
6 years ago

Also, riddle me this: If you were trying to judge the age of someone wearing a lot of clothes, you’d look at their face. Thus you’d expect their faces to be “younger” looking to make everyone think they’re young teenagers (ick). But Scandinavians (stereo)typically have longer, thinner faces with a more pronounced bone structure: “older” faces, while races that more often have shorter, rounder faces aren’t generally blond.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
6 years ago

The thing about blond hair is such a perfect example of how the whole field goes wrong. First they’ve made an assumption (men universally find blonde hair more attractive), and then another assumption (this is because blonde hair makes the dudes think the women who have it are young), and then another (the idea age is apparently 15, which is odd because if blonde hair is going to darken it will usually have already done so by that age, but never mind), and based on this cascade of assumptions they’ve concluded that blonde hair evolved to make women who wear a lot of clothes attractive to men. Notice the complete lack of words like “experiment” and “data”.

And that’s before we even get into the fact that in countries where lots of women are blonde the men usually are too, or ask ourselves why selection for traits that make men horny has now apparently become the only thing driving evolution.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Idk about hair, but I thought the theory why Swedes and the rest of y’all up at the Arctic circle are so pale was about vitamin d production?

Cuz see, that makes actual sense, and is sorta testable — do people with darker skin who move up there have lower levels of vitamin d?

In other news about the young, the current fry count is 8! Eight wee little fishies!

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
6 years ago

I know the answer to this one! People with darker skin need more sun exposure to make adequate levels of vitamin D. People with very pale skin need much less in order to keep their vitamin D levels in the good-enough range. There’s actually a website where you can input where you live (ie, how strong is the sunlight in general) and your skin tone and it will tell you the minimum amount of daily sun exposure you need.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
6 years ago

How close to the equator you are really does make a difference btw. I chose a few different places I’d lived just to see the difference, and it turns out that I need 5 times as much time in the sun to make adequate levels of vitamin D in California as I did in Saudi Arabia. If I was in Scotland, I’d need to be outside a lot more than I am here to avoid a deficiency.

katz
6 years ago

And it will probably give me a negative number.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Eh, I found it, but I haz doubts.

http://nadir.nilu.no/~olaeng/fastrt/VitD-ez_quartMEDandMED_v2.html

It does the vitamin d math, and time to sunburn, but it takes at least twice that long, in the summer. No way in hell do I burn in 2 hours, here, this weather. And I went for the darker option (darker Caucasian v Mediterranean, being a quarter Italian, and knowing I don’t burn, I went for the latter)

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

*at least twice that long and no baseline tan of any sort

I’ve burned twice, both times I was in the sun All Day.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
6 years ago

I can burn in under an hour here, no problem. Granted that I’ve lost my base tan, but I’m really not that pale, the sun here is just intense.

Argenti Aertheri
6 years ago

Dear gods…that’s the same…

I didn’t burn when I spent a week in Florida in February, from here, so no tan WhatSoEver. I did, however, change at south of the border into clothing that still fits…I was like 14. Eh, it’ score the best that I didn’t grow, means my damn twisted spine didn’t twist further.

kittehserf
6 years ago

Way back upthread, M Dubz:

Totally off topic you guys, but I’m studying Talmud right now, and I just read the Rambam’s (a 13th century Egyptian/ Spanish rabbi) commentary on why women shouldn’t be allowed to learn Torah. Basically it boils down to “a woman should only learn to pray because women tend to seek out jerks who plague them all day, even though they COULD have a totally sweet and saintly Nice Guy to marry.” One of our oldest and most venerated rabbis would fit right in on an MRA forum. This makes me both sad and I find it incredibly hilarious.

I’m not sure I’m glad the internet wasn’t around in the 13th century or not. I have this image of Rambam sitting around typing screeds on how terrible women are.

On sunburn: I will be red after twenty minutes in the sun even if it’s only in the mid-twenties centigrade.

On hugging and hormones and suchlike: what about those who share stuff with their families without hugging being involved? Or those who share stuff with strangers (or relative strangers) anyway? It’s all so stupid, pretending social mores and habits and so on have no role in our behaviour, and universalising very narrow, modern behaviours (creepy men hitting on blonde teenagers) to All The Things.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
6 years ago

There are cultures where lots of hugging isn’t really a thing*. Do people in those cultures just not bond with their families (in evopsychland)?

* One of my besties, who is Japanese, says that she can’t remember her dad ever really cuddling her. It just wasn’t done with fathers and daughters, back in the day. She and her dad still loved each other (although she wishes he had felt able to hug her more).

kittehserf
6 years ago

But other cultures are not a thing! Only western dudes* are really real cultures.

*preferably misogynistic ones

LBT
LBT
6 years ago

It is no coincidence that blond hair evolved in Scandinavia and northern Europe,

*cups face in hands* You know, this is embarrassing. I’m not a scientist, at all, and even I know that blond hair evolved in exactly TWO places. Northern Europe… and Melanesia. You know, those islands in the fucking Pacific, like Fiji and such? THOSE islands?

So it doesn’t even pass the most basic sense test, because the statement ISN’T EVEN TRUE. If they can’t even get their basic truth right, when fucking WIKIPEDIA would tell you it, is just embarrassing.

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