Womens disconnect between the objective and subjective

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Re: Womens disconnect between the objective and subjective

#81  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 19, 2011 9:55 am

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:I imagine that the reason that they were so successful at inhibiting their response in the study you cited is 1) because it was an experimental setting (where it's quite awkward anyway), and 2) they'd be using photographic images or films to produce the sexual response (and there would be a natural habituation response in males anyway). When it comes to a real life situation, with a woman "getting all up on it", it would take inhuman willpower to inhibit any sexual response, especially when they are turned on.

The main point about these studies is that there was no voluntary inhibition (as tested with brain scans to see brain activation) when males were shown bonobo sex, heterosexual sex when they were gay, gay sex when they were hetero, ie the men had sexual responses to the very same stimuli they said they were excited by. It was not a case of the men stopping themselves having erections when looking at bonobos having sex. Neither their bodies nor their minds were turned on and the brain scans showed that this was not due to intentional inhibition of a response.

For women though, there was a genital arousal response to anything that involved sex even though they were not turned on mentally.
When there was no reason for the men to inhibit their sexual response and brains scans confirmed no inhibition going on they still only responded to what they said turned them on. Women responded to everything in the genitals while to only certain things in the head.


Indeed, I understand that - my last sentence about male arousal being inhibited can be applied to "conscious" or "unconscious" will. My explanations still hold; the awkwardness of the situation and the habituation (the level of exposure males have to pornographic images) could result in a sex difference that is independent of any biological difference.

sprite wrote:It presents the possiblity for females that they can learn to have all kinds of sex. If they have the genital arousal in any sexual situation then all that is needed is for them to be taught to want the sex mentally and they can then be 'willingly' having sex of any description. Perhaps this is why women more easily than men can learn to enjoy sex with other women or pretty much any kind of sexual behaviour the porn industry might want from them.
It suggests that for men who do not have the genital arousal in connection to any kind of sex that a straight male will not be able to learn to enjoy sex with another male. He does not have the automatic sexual arousal to any sex.

Should be pointed out here, though, that these differences between men and women are not absolute and ony significant differences. As with everything there is variation and overlap.


Hmm.. potentially. But as I mentioned, we'd have to demonstrate that it's an actual biological difference first.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:I'm not aware of rape fantasies in history, but I could be wrong. Do you know of any evidence for them?

Well, women have not left much art or literature etc themselves.
There was that novel Clarissa from 1767 where the main character Lovelace drugs and rapes her. I saw something about this the other week and can't remember where just now, but it was basically that female readers of the book 'fell in love' with and wanted Lovelace themselves.


That would be interesting.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:

There are a number of them, including the primacy of the ipod (being released first), the "catchy" marketing (salient in society), the novelty factor (the clickwheel), and a larger range of functions which the Zune took to long to replicate. All added up, we can easily account for the preference without an appeal to evolution.


But women's sexual fantasies are/were secret to themselves. They are not something public or fashionable or even known to exist in anyone else at least initially.
It is the inner conflict over these for women. Some feminists gave up thinking about this because it was too difficult to deal with. There continues this great problem for many women regarding 'sex' whether about these type of fantasies or porn, sex work etc etc.


I'm not sure what point the "secrecy" of them is? Cultural fads are caused by common environmental factors, whether everyone engaging in them are aware of the popularity of the thing is irrelevant.

sprite wrote:These are things which can be used against women to argue that women lie about rape or are all very happy to be sex workers etc etc.
Appeals to evolution are even used to show that females are actually very promiscuous or want to be raped as we have seen on this thread.
These are arguments about the 'nature' of women and female sexuality which even use mis-representations of females of other species.
It is essential for women to know the male bias in the representaions of female nature in humans and across species. To have an understanding of the evolution of sex and the sexes, and selection acting on females as well as males etc etc.


I'm not sure what you mean by "male bias in the representation of female nature"?
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Re: Womens disconnect between the objective and subjective

#82  Postby michael^3 » Mar 19, 2011 10:21 am

sprite wrote:A couple of points.

In the experiments where women had sexual arousal responses to pretty much any depiction of sex one theory (expressed by John Bancroft who does much of the research on human sexual behaviour)is that 'sexual arousal' in females ie vaginal lubrication, is an evolved self-protective mechanism. The theory is that in the presence of sexually aroused males females may be forced to copulate whether they choose to or not. So the female may not want to copulate so she has no conscious sexual arousal but unavoidable copulation may then be injurious due to ack of lubrication. The body has therefore evolved to have the lubrication - the phyiscal readiness - without the actual desire. A kind of protective stress arousal.

I'm not sure but I seem to remember that vaginal lubrication can/does occur in stress situations.
It is something which needs considering. And especially so when lack of lubrication and vaginal injury is required for rape accusations to be taken seriously in the first instance.


That's a great point. It puts an interesting perspective on the rather condescending claim that "women disconnect between the objective and subjective".

No sir, that woman was not "in denial about her sexual desire". You were just scaring her.
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Re: Womens disconnect between the objective and subjective

#83  Postby sprite » Mar 19, 2011 2:59 pm

Mr.Samsa wrote: My explanations still hold; the awkwardness of the situation and the habituation (the level of exposure males have to pornographic images) could result in a sex difference that is independent of any biological difference.

But neither men nor women had been exposed to bonobo sex before and the straight women will have been exposed to lesbian sex more than straight men to gay sex so habituation is not the issue here. And the awkardness of the situation is the same for both sexes.


Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:
There was that novel Clarissa from 1767 where the main character Lovelace drugs and rapes her. I saw something about this the other week and can't remember where just now, but it was basically that female readers of the book 'fell in love' with and wanted Lovelace themselves.


That would be interesting.

I've worked my memory to find that it was in Sebastian Faulks' recent series on fiction on the BBC. No longer available to view but foundthis
Faulks begins in the eighteenth century with Samuel Richardson’s Clarissa and the rakish Lovelace. His sole purpose in life is to seduce as many women as possible and endlessly pursues the novels heroine Clarissa. He is determined to have Clarissa at any cost and his unerring self-belief makes him the terrifying epitome of male aristocratic sexuality. Despite raping Clarissa, Lovelace remains resolute in his self-belief and remarkably female readers of the time were obsessed and seduced by his character.


Mr.Samsa wrote:I'm not sure what point the "secrecy" of them is? Cultural fads are caused by common environmental factors, whether everyone engaging in them are aware of the popularity of the thing is irrelevant.

I would agree that what goes on in the head re. specific sexual fantasies have got there from images from the environment.
I did say earlier that women's 'rape' fantasies may be due to the environmental portrayal of sex being mainly created by men so women take their images from the expression of male sexual 'wants'.
This is a problem we have re 'what do women want' when women have, and have had, such a minor public presence. Women are reactive to expressions by men rather than being initiators of what occurs in public.
And that's why some of us look to wider nature for some clues of what women might themselves be - Hrdy's'The Woman That Never Evolved' for example.

No doubt you would argue that this is irrelevant to the here and now but personally I'm sick of hearing about the great mystery that is the human female. I absolutely believe that as well as looking at the male-created world we live in and and in which women react, that the evolutionary biology of sex and the sexes provides some essential basics. If we do not understand those basics then we simply continue to flounder around and women continue to be susceptible to sexual manipulation.

Mr.Samsa wrote:I'm not sure what you mean by "male bias in the representation of female nature"?

Perhaps my previous point gives you a clue?

Or to take Darwin as an example - the coy (rather than discriminating) female etc. But then Darwin also came up with 'female choice' as one side of sexual selection. It took one hundred years for this to actually even start to be accepted.
And then suddenly with feminism and 'sexual liberation' and 'sexual freedom' female animals are 'discovered' to be mating with far more males than they 'ought' according to the science.

Then we get thrown over to the polar opposite - women are actually at least as promiscuous as men. It all fits with the current thinking about the sexes being the same and that monogamy is unnatural and enforced by religion etc etc. Men can get loads more sex with loads more women, sexual rejection by females of males isn't 'natural', rape isn't real, women love to be in sex work, men don't 'naturally' want to stay around with one woman and raise kids together. Women don't want this either.

But hold on. Evolutionary biology and what happens in other species never showed evidence for this.
One version gives us the 'madonna' and the other version the 'whore' ie the two unreal female natures that men want depending on whether they want a wife or casual sex.

I believe there are some basics about sex which need to be understood.
And I believe that knowing as much as possible about the evolution of sex and the sexes is the best protection against manipulative use of cherry-picked or even false evidence.
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Re: Womens disconnect between the objective and subjective

#84  Postby sprite » Mar 19, 2011 5:26 pm

Mr.Samsa wrote:What difference between male and female sexuality?

Where to start :think:

Do you think there are differences between male and female sexuality in other species or not?
As you probably think that irrelevant, do you think that human sexuality is competely learned? That we are born blank slates re. our sexuality?

It is actually difficult to tackle this with someone who only considers the here and now relevant, but I'll give it a go.

I want to go right back to anisogamy. I don't know how much you know about this but basically once upon a time ( :lol: )sex cells were of one size. Selection led to sex cells of two distinct types (I can discuss this in much more detail if you wish). At about the same time multi-celled animals evolved. These first animals were hermaphrodites (I can go in to the reasons this is most likely so if you wish) so bodies of one type produced the two types of sex cell ie not yet male and female bodies.

Selection led to two sexes which now experienced different selection pressures depending on whether they produced eggs or sperm.
While sharing more or less the same genome mechanisms evolved to alter development depending on whether the body was producing one sex cell or the other.
So we get sexual dimorphism.

If sexuality is the same for both sexes then how could sexual dimorphism evolve?

You could argue that it is just about primary sex differences that are necessary for egg and sperm to meet. But we also have secondary sexual traits, usually in males, which are about competition between them for sexual access to the other sex.
Standard sexual selection.
What we now realise is that there is no real division between primary and secondary sexual traits.
Male genitalia, for example, evolves from competition between males. Female genitalia evolves to discriminate between sperm.

Sexual dimorphism is the result of the different selection pressures on bodies that are producing sperm compared to bodies that are producing eggs.

We can get the extreme forms where males are minute and even live inside the female.
And we can get the ones we are more used to seeing in the animals around us.

Leap forward to apes as examples.
In which of the apes is male and female sexuality the same?

Gibbons form small pair-bonded family groups. Male and female are pretty much the same in bodies and behaviours. Ummm...interesting. While either sex may mate outside the pair-bond opportunistically, on the scale of monogamy/promiscuity they are at the monogamous end. Male and female reproductive interests are pretty much tied together in the very same offspring. Selection is pretty much the same on both sexes.

Orangs have the massive males and the much smaller females. No pair-bonding. Some males stay small though sexually mature and are able to harass and rape the females but females mostly mate with the big male in whose territory they live. Selection has acted differently to produce differences in bodies and behaviours.

Gorillas have the one-male family group again with the massive male and relatively small females. Males are very aggressive towards each other and infanticide by males is quite common as a means for males to acquire females. Selection has again acted differently to produce differences in bodies and behaviours.

(Of course the selection is very much in relation to the environment as well as phylogeny)

And again with chimpanzees and bonobos the sexual differences are quite clear. (I can go into details if you wish)

So your question 'What difference between male and female sexuality?' if you just mean humans implies that you think that humans are either monogamous and so have little difference like gibbons, which evidence very much goes against, or you think that humans have evolved something unique which means they can have different selection pressures on males and females but these do not affect their bodies and behaviours - any difference is about something else.

So you are suggesting that while in other species differential reproductive success within each sex is different and results from differences in bodies and behaviours and leads to the spreading of certain different traits in each of the sexes, in humans differential reproductive success has done nothing.

Or do you think differential reproductive success in other species also does nothing which is inherited?



Mr.Samsa wrote:And it's also necessary to understand how our evolved biology is massively shaped by learning and culture. Hence why indisputably biological things like hunger and thirst are often a function of learning and the environment.


From things you have said elsewhere I'm presuming that this is basically about pleasure/pain doing the teaching?

So if we see a difference in pleasure and pain between the sexes what would that tell us?

Two quite different examples.
Firstly back to hermaphrodites. In most, though not all, simultaneous hermaphrodites each one tries to avoid being inseminated while trying to inseminate the other. Is there some pleasure connected to insemination and pain connected to being inseminated? Why would that be? In some cases there is in fact genuine pain - being stabbed and the seminal fluid burning through the skin, for example. But even in the case of fish where the gametes are simply being released there is still this difference. It would appear to be painful to release eggs but not sperm? So we get 'sperm' trading where the most keen to mate releases eggs first - does the more painful thing? - and then the exchange commences.
Why have they evolved to experience different pleasure or pain in relation to eggs and sperm do you think?

In the few hermaphrodites where it seems to be preferable to receive the sperm it appears to be because the sperm is digested ie used as food rather than to fertilize eggs. Far less painful when sperm is a useful food source. (Then we get males evolving chemicals in the ejaculate or the 'love darts' of snails which stop their sperm being digested by the mate).

Secondly a quite different example, chimpanzee (and bonobo) female dispersal.
Males always stay in their birth group, females mostly disperse.

There was a fascinating tv documentary recently about a community of chimpanzees that has become isolated in a steep narrow valley. The land around them was bare and dangerous to venture in to. One female had reached puberty and kept going to the edge and looking across the bare land. She actually did set off to find a new community but returned a few days later having obviously failed to cross the bare land even though it was only a few miles to forest and other chimpanzees.

So the males, presumably, feel pleasure in remaining in their birth group but the females when they reach puberty feel pain and seek pleasure elsewhere? The sexes experience differences in pleasure and pain? Why? Does this not mean that they have some innate difference which means they experience these pleasure/pain differences?



Mr.Samsa wrote:I don't deny that, generally, people would prefer to decide the specifics of their reproductive cycle, but this hasn't been demonstrated to be evolutionary.


It is the very root of evolution.
It is sexual selection.

It is not about conscious decision making necessarily but as you might argue it is perhaps about pleasure and pain. Hence the extreme pain women feel regarding true rape.
Or that girls feel in societies where they are married off to men twice their age or older though no doubt a pleasure for the men.

It would be a very unfortunate state if we had a situation where men and women were assumed to have the same pleasure/pain experience rather than different ones. I'm sure this is part of the problem regarding sexual rejection for men. Even some have asked this question on these forums, and a gay friend once asked me the same ie why not just enjoy the sex? So we get all kinds of theories from men about how women are teasing them, leading them on, manipulating them, being vengeful etc etc. If men think women really feel the same as they do about sex ie any sex is better than none, then we have a serious problem.

This is not like hunger or thirst which is the survival part of natural selection, it is about sex/reproduction which is about two different sexes where selection acts differently (except in true genetic monogamy).

If you then argue that the differences men and women feel about pleasure in connection to sex is learned then if women say that 'actually that experience was painful' the response from him is that it is only because she has learned incorrectly? Could she not argue that, no, his pleasure in that experience is because he has learned incorrectly? Who decides?

Sex is not about sharing fluids but about a one way journey of sex cells from him to her. Not a minor difference.
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Re: Womens disconnect between the objective and subjective

#85  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 20, 2011 2:45 am

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote: My explanations still hold; the awkwardness of the situation and the habituation (the level of exposure males have to pornographic images) could result in a sex difference that is independent of any biological difference.

But neither men nor women had been exposed to bonobo sex before and the straight women will have been exposed to lesbian sex more than straight men to gay sex so habituation is not the issue here. And the awkardness of the situation is the same for both sexes.


The specific exemplars are irrelevant, as the effect will be a result of generalisation and not a concretely learnt concept. In other words, if I'm driving along and I see a slightly orange truck with flashing lights and the word "FIRE" on the side, I'm going to treat it like a fire truck even if it's not red. The beauty of learning is that we don't need to be reinforced for specific behaviors in order for us to display them.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:I'm not sure what point the "secrecy" of them is? Cultural fads are caused by common environmental factors, whether everyone engaging in them are aware of the popularity of the thing is irrelevant.

I would agree that what goes on in the head re. specific sexual fantasies have got there from images from the environment.
I did say earlier that women's 'rape' fantasies may be due to the environmental portrayal of sex being mainly created by men so women take their images from the expression of male sexual 'wants'.
This is a problem we have re 'what do women want' when women have, and have had, such a minor public presence. Women are reactive to expressions by men rather than being initiators of what occurs in public.
And that's why some of us look to wider nature for some clues of what women might themselves be - Hrdy's'The Woman That Never Evolved' for example.

No doubt you would argue that this is irrelevant to the here and now but personally I'm sick of hearing about the great mystery that is the human female. I absolutely believe that as well as looking at the male-created world we live in and and in which women react, that the evolutionary biology of sex and the sexes provides some essential basics. If we do not understand those basics then we simply continue to flounder around and women continue to be susceptible to sexual manipulation.


The problem is that we have to establish that these basics apply at all.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:I'm not sure what you mean by "male bias in the representation of female nature"?

Perhaps my previous point gives you a clue?

Or to take Darwin as an example - the coy (rather than discriminating) female etc. But then Darwin also came up with 'female choice' as one side of sexual selection. It took one hundred years for this to actually even start to be accepted.
And then suddenly with feminism and 'sexual liberation' and 'sexual freedom' female animals are 'discovered' to be mating with far more males than they 'ought' according to the science.

Then we get thrown over to the polar opposite - women are actually at least as promiscuous as men. It all fits with the current thinking about the sexes being the same and that monogamy is unnatural and enforced by religion etc etc. Men can get loads more sex with loads more women, sexual rejection by females of males isn't 'natural', rape isn't real, women love to be in sex work, men don't 'naturally' want to stay around with one woman and raise kids together. Women don't want this either.

But hold on. Evolutionary biology and what happens in other species never showed evidence for this.
One version gives us the 'madonna' and the other version the 'whore' ie the two unreal female natures that men want depending on whether they want a wife or casual sex.

I believe there are some basics about sex which need to be understood.
And I believe that knowing as much as possible about the evolution of sex and the sexes is the best protection against manipulative use of cherry-picked or even false evidence.


I'm not sure if "whore" is the correct word to use for the idea that women are just as promiscuous as men, as men aren't "whores". This idea seems to be consistent with what we find in psychology; that men and women think about sex just as often, both rank sex as equally important in their lives, etc etc. This doesn't mean that women are whores, of course, because men aren't whores - there is variation, some are indiscriminate and fuck anything that moves, some are virginal altar boys, and most are pretty selective depending on whether they like the person or not.

I agree that there might be a patriarchal bias in the interpretation of this fact - that is, just because women "want it" just as much as men doesn't mean that rape doesn't occur, because rape occurs in men too. It doesn't, or shouldn't, justify any excuse that "secretly" she wanted it, and legally such an excuse would get thrown out of court when there is evidence of requests for the man to stop. Most of the claims you've brought up appear to be pretty broad and ones that are partially true but clearly inapplicable to large groups of people - for example, "women love to be in sex work" is essentially a meaningless statement. Some will enjoy it, some will hate it, and most will just see it as another job. As long as these women aren't forced into it by other people though, and they are consenting adults, then whether they love it or not isn't too important and the evolutionary nature of female sexuality shouldn't even come into it.

At the base of it though, I think it's important to separate "male bias" from "patriarchal bias".

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:What difference between male and female sexuality?

Where to start :think:

Do you think there are differences between male and female sexuality in other species or not?


In what sense, behaviorally? In some species, undoubtedly.

sprite wrote:As you probably think that irrelevant, do you think that human sexuality is competely learned? That we are born blank slates re. our sexuality?


Not at all, but undoubtedly some of it is. The difficulty is figuring out which is which.

sprite wrote:It is actually difficult to tackle this with someone who only considers the here and now relevant, but I'll give it a go.

I want to go right back to anisogamy. I don't know how much you know about this but basically once upon a time ( :lol: )sex cells were of one size. Selection led to sex cells of two distinct types (I can discuss this in much more detail if you wish). At about the same time multi-celled animals evolved. These first animals were hermaphrodites (I can go in to the reasons this is most likely so if you wish) so bodies of one type produced the two types of sex cell ie not yet male and female bodies.

Selection led to two sexes which now experienced different selection pressures depending on whether they produced eggs or sperm.
While sharing more or less the same genome mechanisms evolved to alter development depending on whether the body was producing one sex cell or the other.
So we get sexual dimorphism.

If sexuality is the same for both sexes then how could sexual dimorphism evolve?


This is a misleading question. The issue is not whether sexuality has been the same for both sexes in our evolutionary history, the question is what aspects of our current behavior can be explained by evolutionary processes and what aspects can be explained by learning processes.

sprite wrote:*snip*

So your question 'What difference between male and female sexuality?' if you just mean humans implies that you think that humans are either monogamous and so have little difference like gibbons, which evidence very much goes against, or you think that humans have evolved something unique which means they can have different selection pressures on males and females but these do not affect their bodies and behaviours - any difference is about something else.

So you are suggesting that while in other species differential reproductive success within each sex is different and results from differences in bodies and behaviours and leads to the spreading of certain different traits in each of the sexes, in humans differential reproductive success has done nothing.

Or do you think differential reproductive success in other species also does nothing which is inherited?


No, what I was asking for was simply evidence based examples of differences in gender based sexuality (in humans). And, specifically, evidence which helps us differentiate between aspects that are learnt, and those that have evolved.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:And it's also necessary to understand how our evolved biology is massively shaped by learning and culture. Hence why indisputably biological things like hunger and thirst are often a function of learning and the environment.


From things you have said elsewhere I'm presuming that this is basically about pleasure/pain doing the teaching?

So if we see a difference in pleasure and pain between the sexes what would that tell us?


I'm not sure what you mean by this... We see no difference in the fundamental learning processes of males and females. The "pleasure/pain" variable of learning is one of the oldest evolved traits that we know of, and it's likely to be universal across all species (at least, it is universal in all tested species).

sprite wrote:Two quite different examples.
Firstly back to hermaphrodites. In most, though not all, simultaneous hermaphrodites each one tries to avoid being inseminated while trying to inseminate the other. Is there some pleasure connected to insemination and pain connected to being inseminated? Why would that be? In some cases there is in fact genuine pain - being stabbed and the seminal fluid burning through the skin, for example. But even in the case of fish where the gametes are simply being released there is still this difference. It would appear to be painful to release eggs but not sperm? So we get 'sperm' trading where the most keen to mate releases eggs first - does the more painful thing? - and then the exchange commences.
Why have they evolved to experience different pleasure or pain in relation to eggs and sperm do you think?

In the few hermaphrodites where it seems to be preferable to receive the sperm it appears to be because the sperm is digested ie used as food rather than to fertilize eggs. Far less painful when sperm is a useful food source. (Then we get males evolving chemicals in the ejaculate or the 'love darts' of snails which stop their sperm being digested by the mate).


I'm not sure what this example is trying to suggest?

sprite wrote:Secondly a quite different example, chimpanzee (and bonobo) female dispersal.
Males always stay in their birth group, females mostly disperse.

There was a fascinating tv documentary recently about a community of chimpanzees that has become isolated in a steep narrow valley. The land around them was bare and dangerous to venture in to. One female had reached puberty and kept going to the edge and looking across the bare land. She actually did set off to find a new community but returned a few days later having obviously failed to cross the bare land even though it was only a few miles to forest and other chimpanzees.

So the males, presumably, feel pleasure in remaining in their birth group but the females when they reach puberty feel pain and seek pleasure elsewhere? The sexes experience differences in pleasure and pain? Why? Does this not mean that they have some innate difference which means they experience these pleasure/pain differences?


It's impossible to tell from such an example, as the females would have vastly different learning experiences from the males..

This doesn't seem relevant to my original point though, which was that even fundamental biological needs are not simply a function of evolution. As a very simple example, even though eating and hunger is most likely an evolved trait, we still eat even when we aren't hungry - like when we go out on dates, or to cheer ourselves up, or at birthday parties, etc. The point is that sometimes we do topographically identical behaviors for vastly different reasons, and if we tried to attribute the "cheering up eating" to an evolutionary process, then we'd be flat out wrong. The same applies to thing like sex - given the correct learning environment, a person with a "low sex drive gene" (for simplicity's sake) could become the most lascivious horn dog, and equally someone with the "aggressive sex gene" could become someone who isn't turned on by anything but very gentle, sweet lovemaking.

In other words, we do these behaviors for a number of vastly different reasons, and to treat them all as a singular group is a mistake.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:I don't deny that, generally, people would prefer to decide the specifics of their reproductive cycle, but this hasn't been demonstrated to be evolutionary.


It is the very root of evolution.
It is sexual selection.


You haven't demonstrated that though. You've just pointed out that sexual selection is a real evolutionary process, that reproduction cycles can form part of sexual selection, and then asserted that human behavior can be explained by this process.

sprite wrote:It is not about conscious decision making necessarily but as you might argue it is perhaps about pleasure and pain. Hence the extreme pain women feel regarding true rape.
Or that girls feel in societies where they are married off to men twice their age or older though no doubt a pleasure for the men.


Are you really suggesting that our aversion to rape is because it means that we have no control over our evolutionary futures?

sprite wrote:It would be a very unfortunate state if we had a situation where men and women were assumed to have the same pleasure/pain experience rather than different ones. I'm sure this is part of the problem regarding sexual rejection for men. Even some have asked this question on these forums, and a gay friend once asked me the same ie why not just enjoy the sex? So we get all kinds of theories from men about how women are teasing them, leading them on, manipulating them, being vengeful etc etc. If men think women really feel the same as they do about sex ie any sex is better than none, then we have a serious problem.


Some women do, some women don't. But that's not really the question, because even if we could demonstrate that biologically men and women have the same default setting for sex, we would still expect men to find it more pleasurable than women in our current society. So the fact that we find this doesn't tell us anything about our evolutionary past as it is predicted by two separate theories.

I'm confused by your last line: do you really think men believe that "any sex is better than none"? Part of the reason I wanted to differentiate "male bias" from "patriarchal bias" above is precisely this reason - stereotypes exist for both sexes and the patriarchy can be damaging to both. So, this bias might lead to a belief that women should be pure virgins and any girl that ever has sex is a "whore", but it also leads to the hilariously mistaken view that men love sex, that it takes up a lot of their life, and that they'd do almost anything to get it.

I think we do have a problem, but it's probably more to do with the cartoon characters of each sex that our society has created.

sprite wrote:This is not like hunger or thirst which is the survival part of natural selection, it is about sex/reproduction which is about two different sexes where selection acts differently (except in true genetic monogamy).


It's still the same principle - biological processes are appropriated by learning mechanisms.

sprite wrote:If you then argue that the differences men and women feel about pleasure in connection to sex is learned then if women say that 'actually that experience was painful' the response from him is that it is only because she has learned incorrectly? Could she not argue that, no, his pleasure in that experience is because he has learned incorrectly? Who decides?


This is an odd response. Are you suggesting that if your evolutionary explanation is correct, then it's perfectly reasonable for the man to respond to the women by suggesting she has evolved incorrectly? It's nonsensical.

We're talking about science, the results are descriptive not prescriptive. If men and women have evolved to enjoy sex to different levels, then that's just a fact, neither one is "right" or "wrong". Our legal system covers the rest - if a man wants to argue that he didn't rape a woman because she's evolved/learnt to secretly like sex as much as him, he'll still get thrown in jail if she didn't consent to it.

sprite wrote:Sex is not about sharing fluids but about a one way journey of sex cells from him to her. Not a minor difference.


Arguably true, but discussing the evidence surrounding how this affects behavior is the problematic part. This is the key part of the disagreement. I accept sexual selection occurs, and I accept that it's probably occurred in humans (I see no reason to doubt it). However, this doesn't not mean that we can automatically attribute any differences between men and women to sexual selection, and just because a behavior is sexual does not validate that leap in logic at all.
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Re: Womens disconnect between the objective and subjective

#86  Postby sprite » Mar 20, 2011 1:10 pm

Mr.Samsa wrote:The specific exemplars are irrelevant, as the effect will be a result of generalisation and not a concretely learnt concept. In other words, if I'm driving along and I see a slightly orange truck with flashing lights and the word "FIRE" on the side, I'm going to treat it like a fire truck even if it's not red. The beauty of learning is that we don't need to be reinforced for specific behaviors in order for us to display them.

You've lost me here.
If it was about male habituation to porn etc why did the males respond so easily to the sex they did say they preferred? That would be what they had most viewed etc and should be most habituated to.

Mr.Samsa wrote:I agree that there might be a patriarchal bias in the interpretation of this fact - that is, just because women "want it" just as much as men doesn't mean that rape doesn't occur, because rape occurs in men too. It doesn't, or shouldn't, justify any excuse that "secretly" she wanted it, and legally such an excuse would get thrown out of court when there is evidence of requests for the man to stop. Most of the claims you've brought up appear to be pretty broad and ones that are partially true but clearly inapplicable to large groups of people - for example, "women love to be in sex work" is essentially a meaningless statement. Some will enjoy it, some will hate it, and most will just see it as another job. As long as these women aren't forced into it by other people though, and they are consenting adults,

What if they are forced into it by environmental conditions? Or by survival needs? Or that they have been educated by a particular environment to ignore the negatives?

Mr.Samsa wrote:then whether they love it or not isn't too important and the evolutionary nature of female sexuality shouldn't even come into it.

So that other females in other species exchange sex for resources is irrelevant?
Or that they exchange sex for protection by males?
Or they exchange sex to avoid being harmed or their children being harmed as in other species?

Males in other species do not do the reverse nor in humans.
Is that irrelevant too?

To pretend that sex is the same for the two sexes in any species, including humans, is ridiculous.
What happened is that the view that women either don't want sex or want it much less than males, etc etc was wrong.
All that has happened is that the falsehood of this belief has sent us to the opposite view that women are the same as men.
That is equally wrong.


Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:If sexuality is the same for both sexes then how could sexual dimorphism evolve?


This is a misleading question. The issue is not whether sexuality has been the same for both sexes in our evolutionary history, the question is what aspects of our current behavior can be explained by evolutionary processes and what aspects can be explained by learning processes.


And for that we have to look at our evolutionary history.
What evolutionary processes do you look at without looking at them in other species?

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:So your question 'What difference between male and female sexuality?' if you just mean humans implies that you think that humans are either monogamous and so have little difference like gibbons, which evidence very much goes against, or you think that humans have evolved something unique which means they can have different selection pressures on males and females but these do not affect their bodies and behaviours - any difference is about something else.

So you are suggesting that while in other species differential reproductive success within each sex is different and results from differences in bodies and behaviours and leads to the spreading of certain different traits in each of the sexes, in humans differential reproductive success has done nothing.

Or do you think differential reproductive success in other species also does nothing which is inherited?


No, what I was asking for was simply evidence based examples of differences in gender based sexuality (in humans). And, specifically, evidence which helps us differentiate between aspects that are learnt, and those that have evolved.


Well, female sexual interest varies due to the menstrual cycle with a peak around ovulation and probably pre-menstrually. I think anyone who has ever been in a heterosexual relationship knows how the relationship varies across the cycle.
See The Evolutionary Biology of Human Female Sexuality which puts in in terms of womens having more than one sexuality but basicaly is about how women think and feel about sex changes across the menstrual cycle.

Males don't have menstrual cycles and produce hundreds of millions of sex cells everyday. That is a massive difference to start with and one that has evolved.

Human females have evolved to be receptive to sex outside of oestrus, and lesser versions of this are seen in other apes and monkeys and we understand the adaptiveness in other species.

Do you think human females have evolved or learn to have sex when there is no chance of conception? And if this has evolved in other species? Or do you think this behaviour is learned in other species too?
Do you think females have evolved to be more or less constantly sexually attractive to males throughout the menstrual cycle or have learned to be so?
Can you think (and here I'm noting that when you use the word 'evolved' you are really talking about adaptations?) of how this can be adaptive behaviour in the females of some species, including our own? How it is an evolved trait?

(I could even start a massive debate about the female orgasm but I'd be surprised if anyone would say that it is the same in the two sexes - not the actual experience but all that goes with it from ease of achievement to multiple orgasms to whether it is an adaptation in females or a by-product of an adaptation in males)

I think the basic issue here boils down to what I think is different in humans. Our mating system has been one where more successful reproduction ie more survival of offspring, has come about by both sexes having to largely go against their 'nature' (through a mixture of evolved mate-guarding and evolved cooperation between philopatric males). Whatever genetic changes there have been, and there surely have been some, we are not 'naturally' monogamous but pair-bonding is what produced the best outcome for offspring.
See for example Primeval kinship: how pair-bonding gave birth to human society

Where monogamy exists in other species it is mostly in isolated family groups where it occurs because females stop the male mating with other females and males stop the female mating with other males.
We had to manage our pair-bonding+male parental investment within large multimale-mutifemale groups.
Due to a number of things we inherited from our immediate ancestors (eg male philopatry, sexual dimorphism)females could be mate-guarded more easily than males.

So we have this mis-match in both sexes between the more promiscuous (though still very different between the sexes) nature and the needs of offspring. Both sexes had to compromise between their own inherited attraction to novel members of the other sex and the survival of offspring.
Then we get the greater dominance of some males and so on.

So that is why we struggle so much with our 'wants' and with the demands of offspring and problems in reproductive relationships and control of females etc etc.
Currently females can have direct access to resources or the state can take over paternal investment in offspring or people can even give up the costs of offspring etc etc so both sexes can revert to a more promiscuous sex life.
But even that earlier nature, which will have also been altered for some (as selection has likely selected more pair-bonding propensities in some or in parts of the life-cycle), will be one of differences between the sexes. These differences will be the basic ones connected to the effects of the different gametes on the bodies that produce them plus probably other differences that have evolved during our own evolution since the pan/homo split.




Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:Two quite different examples.
Firstly back to hermaphrodites. In most, though not all, simultaneous hermaphrodites each one tries to avoid being inseminated while trying to inseminate the other. Is there some pleasure connected to insemination and pain connected to being inseminated? Why would that be? In some cases there is in fact genuine pain - being stabbed and the seminal fluid burning through the skin, for example. But even in the case of fish where the gametes are simply being released there is still this difference. It would appear to be painful to release eggs but not sperm? So we get 'sperm' trading where the most keen to mate releases eggs first - does the more painful thing? - and then the exchange commences.
Why have they evolved to experience different pleasure or pain in relation to eggs and sperm do you think?

In the few hermaphrodites where it seems to be preferable to receive the sperm it appears to be because the sperm is digested ie used as food rather than to fertilize eggs. Far less painful when sperm is a useful food source. (Then we get males evolving chemicals in the ejaculate or the 'love darts' of snails which stop their sperm being digested by the mate).


I'm not sure what this example is trying to suggest?

Exactly what it says.
The production of eggs leads to something different re. the experience of peasure/pain than does the production of sperm.
As the meeting of eggs and sperm is reproduction, why there are two sexes, why the two sexes interact etc etc, this interaction means that what is good/pleasurable for the goose is not necessarily good/pleasurable for the gander. Conflict.



Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:Secondly a quite different example, chimpanzee (and bonobo) female dispersal.
Males always stay in their birth group, females mostly disperse.

There was a fascinating tv documentary recently about a community of chimpanzees that has become isolated in a steep narrow valley. The land around them was bare and dangerous to venture in to. One female had reached puberty and kept going to the edge and looking across the bare land. She actually did set off to find a new community but returned a few days later having obviously failed to cross the bare land even though it was only a few miles to forest and other chimpanzees.

So the males, presumably, feel pleasure in remaining in their birth group but the females when they reach puberty feel pain and seek pleasure elsewhere? The sexes experience differences in pleasure and pain? Why? Does this not mean that they have some innate difference which means they experience these pleasure/pain differences?


It's impossible to tell from such an example, as the females would have vastly different learning experiences from the males..

Such as?

Mr.Samsa wrote:This doesn't seem relevant to my original point though, which was that even fundamental biological needs are not simply a function of evolution. As a very simple example, even though eating and hunger is most likely an evolved trait, we still eat even when we aren't hungry - like when we go out on dates, or to cheer ourselves up, or at birthday parties, etc. The point is that sometimes we do topographically identical behaviors for vastly different reasons, and if we tried to attribute the "cheering up eating" to an evolutionary process, then we'd be flat out wrong. The same applies to thing like sex - given the correct learning environment, a person with a "low sex drive gene" (for simplicity's sake) could become the most lascivious horn dog, and equally someone with the "aggressive sex gene" could become someone who isn't turned on by anything but very gentle, sweet lovemaking.

In other words, we do these behaviors for a number of vastly different reasons, and to treat them all as a singular group is a mistake.

So why do we not have cultures where men exchange sex for resources from women?
Or exchange sex for protection from women?
Or exchange sex for protection of their children?



Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:I don't deny that, generally, people would prefer to decide the specifics of their reproductive cycle, but this hasn't been demonstrated to be evolutionary.


It is the very root of evolution.
It is sexual selection.


You haven't demonstrated that though. You've just pointed out that sexual selection is a real evolutionary process, that reproduction cycles can form part of sexual selection, and then asserted that human behavior can be explained by this process.

No, not that all human behaviour is thus explained.
I'm only saying that men and women are not the same.


Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:It is not about conscious decision making necessarily but as you might argue it is perhaps about pleasure and pain. Hence the extreme pain women feel regarding true rape.
Or that girls feel in societies where they are married off to men twice their age or older though no doubt a pleasure for the men.


Are you really suggesting that our aversion to rape is because it means that we have no control over our evolutionary futures?

No. A female's aversion to rape is because she evolved from successfully reproducing females who were successful because they could prevent rape.
Behaviours evolve because they lead to more offspring that have those behaviours.
If females that allow males they find unattractive to fertilize their eggs have fewer numbers of offspring than females who have mechanisms that discriminate between males or between sperm then 'female choice' evolves.
Are you saying 'female choice' is not an evolved mechanism?
Geez, one hundred years it took to get past the male bias against female choice and forty years later we are back there again.

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:It would be a very unfortunate state if we had a situation where men and women were assumed to have the same pleasure/pain experience rather than different ones. I'm sure this is part of the problem regarding sexual rejection for men. Even some have asked this question on these forums, and a gay friend once asked me the same ie why not just enjoy the sex? So we get all kinds of theories from men about how women are teasing them, leading them on, manipulating them, being vengeful etc etc. If men think women really feel the same as they do about sex ie any sex is better than none, then we have a serious problem.


Some women do, some women don't. But that's not really the question, because even if we could demonstrate that biologically men and women have the same default setting for sex, we would still expect men to find it more pleasurable than women in our current society. So the fact that we find this doesn't tell us anything about our evolutionary past as it is predicted by two separate theories.

How could the sexes have evolved the same default setting for sex?
Give examples where this has happened in other species.
Under what envrionmental conditions would such a thing evolve?
Where is this environment in our past?

Mr.Samsa wrote:I'm confused by your last line: do you really think men believe that "any sex is better than none"? Part of the reason I wanted to differentiate "male bias" from "patriarchal bias" above is precisely this reason - stereotypes exist for both sexes and the patriarchy can be damaging to both. So, this bias might lead to a belief that women should be pure virgins and any girl that ever has sex is a "whore", but it also leads to the hilariously mistaken view that men love sex, that it takes up a lot of their life, and that they'd do almost anything to get it.

I think we do have a problem, but it's probably more to do with the cartoon characters of each sex that our society has created.


I agree that stereotypes are a problem and variation is not given enough attention.
But when I can look at other species and see both these stereotypical behaviours in the males and females, and differences that can be explained by the very same reasoning that explains the stereotypes then I don't see why all this is suddenly irrelevant for humans.
In the 70s it was perfectly normal to believe in humans as being 'blank slate'. We all thought that. I learned ( :lol: ) how wrong that was.

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:This is not like hunger or thirst which is the survival part of natural selection, it is about sex/reproduction which is about two different sexes where selection acts differently (except in true genetic monogamy).


It's still the same principle - biological processes are appropriated by learning mechanisms.

So you think that you could be trained to be absolutely anything?
As a parent and grandparent I only wish training was that easy.
The thing about humans is why we do things in spite of being trained otherwise and even when on the surface it brings us pain.



Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:If you then argue that the differences men and women feel about pleasure in connection to sex is learned then if women say that 'actually that experience was painful' the response from him is that it is only because she has learned incorrectly? Could she not argue that, no, his pleasure in that experience is because he has learned incorrectly? Who decides?


This is an odd response. Are you suggesting that if your evolutionary explanation is correct, then it's perfectly reasonable for the man to respond to the women by suggesting she has evolved incorrectly? It's nonsensical.


No, I'm saying this is your reasoning.
Ok, jump to the political.
Soviet Russia. Educate people for a particular social/political/economic system. The education is not completely acceptable to everyone and some people say it causes them pain.
So have they been educated incorrectly?
Do they need to be re-educated?

When there is a conflict of interests as there is in sexual/reproductive relations then if, say, women say they feel pain that they are constrained to be monogamous while their mate mates with other women is it because they have been educated incorrectly? Do they need re-education?
If women express their pain about their husband's addiction to internet porn is it becuase one or the other has been educated incorrectly?
Do we educate them both to enjoy the porn or both not to enjoy the porn?
If the pleasure or pain each feels about this is just because they have learned to view porn differently what should we start teaching our sons and daughters? That they both should enjoy it or neither should.
Women taught to enjoy DP and 'facials' etc etc
There was some psychology I seem to remember (Freud?) that concluded that women are naturally masochists.
I can't wait for the new world where women ask each other 'does he swallow menstrual blood?'

And the book I mentioned way back by the psychologist Bader apparently (I haven't read it yet) says that though the humiliation of women in porn and male fantasy is real the men don't actually want the women to not be enjoying the experience but to be enjoying it ie enjoy being humiliated. Guess there's a lot of successful education and re-education going on of more and more women in this respect too.(Why have we not educated men away from porn and into romantic fiction? Can't any variation on this be achieved if we want in your view?)
No problem? You think?
Apparently so without any objective framework involved. I think evolution at least provides an objective framework.

Is there anything you think would be difficult to educate people to do and enjoy?
Do you think everything is equally easy or difficult to instil in people?
Might there at least be some things that are easier than others?
Why would that be?

What I am saying is that pretending men and women are the same, or all people are born the same, and anyone can be anyhting just isn't on.
More than that, it is quite a horrific belief.

Mr.Samsa wrote:We're talking about science, the results are descriptive not prescriptive. If men and women have evolved to enjoy sex to different levels, then that's just a fact, neither one is "right" or "wrong". Our legal system covers the rest - if a man wants to argue that he didn't rape a woman because she's evolved/learnt to secretly like sex as much as him, he'll still get thrown in jail if she didn't consent to it.


Yet only 6% of rape cases get a conviction in court and vast numbers more don't even go to court and women don't even report rape because as their rapist enjoys telling them - no one will believe them.
Men and women are the same when it comes to sex, you say, so why not just enjoy the sex? How on earth can a woman kiss and canoodle and pet with a man and not want sex? He does and she, you say, is the same as him after all. You think she has some 'natural' sexuality same as his that has just been stopped from being freely expressed due to learning. You wish :roll:

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:Sex is not about sharing fluids but about a one way journey of sex cells from him to her. Not a minor difference.


Arguably true, but discussing the evidence surrounding how this affects behavior is the problematic part. This is the key part of the disagreement. I accept sexual selection occurs, and I accept that it's probably occurred in humans (I see no reason to doubt it). However, this doesn't not mean that we can automatically attribute any differences between men and women to sexual selection, and just because a behavior is sexual does not validate that leap in logic at all.


'Arguably true'??!!! It is true.
I do a lot of arguing against the EPers that state 'facts' about the differences between the sexes when they are wrong too.
What is a disaster looming, though, is to react by going too much in the opposite direction.
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Re: Womens disconnect between the objective and subjective

#87  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 20, 2011 2:36 pm

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:The specific exemplars are irrelevant, as the effect will be a result of generalisation and not a concretely learnt concept. In other words, if I'm driving along and I see a slightly orange truck with flashing lights and the word "FIRE" on the side, I'm going to treat it like a fire truck even if it's not red. The beauty of learning is that we don't need to be reinforced for specific behaviors in order for us to display them.

You've lost me here.
If it was about male habituation to porn etc why did the males respond so easily to the sex they did say they preferred? That would be what they had most viewed etc and should be most habituated to.


Because not all habituation is equal. You get the behavioral equivalent of 'momentum', where the most reinforcing things are more resistant to extinction. So if sexual responses were habituated in a person who was exposed to a lot of porn, then we would expect that there would be minimal-to-zero responses to images that they don't find appealing, and the most response to the images they find appealing.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:I agree that there might be a patriarchal bias in the interpretation of this fact - that is, just because women "want it" just as much as men doesn't mean that rape doesn't occur, because rape occurs in men too. It doesn't, or shouldn't, justify any excuse that "secretly" she wanted it, and legally such an excuse would get thrown out of court when there is evidence of requests for the man to stop. Most of the claims you've brought up appear to be pretty broad and ones that are partially true but clearly inapplicable to large groups of people - for example, "women love to be in sex work" is essentially a meaningless statement. Some will enjoy it, some will hate it, and most will just see it as another job. As long as these women aren't forced into it by other people though, and they are consenting adults,

What if they are forced into it by environmental conditions? Or by survival needs? Or that they have been educated by a particular environment to ignore the negatives?


Then it's the same as any other job. I'd say 99% of all employed people in the world got into their line of work as a result of environmental pressures, survival needs and because they weren't fully aware of what the job entailed.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:then whether they love it or not isn't too important and the evolutionary nature of female sexuality shouldn't even come into it.

So that other females in other species exchange sex for resources is irrelevant?
Or that they exchange sex for protection by males?
Or they exchange sex to avoid being harmed or their children being harmed as in other species?


Yes, it's irrelevant.

sprite wrote:Males in other species do not do the reverse nor in humans.
Is that irrelevant too?


I'm not sure what you mean? Are you suggesting that there is no such thing as male prostitutes? Or men who become boy toys to rich older women? Or stay in unsatisfying relationships for their kids?

sprite wrote:To pretend that sex is the same for the two sexes in any species, including humans, is ridiculous.
What happened is that the view that women either don't want sex or want it much less than males, etc etc was wrong.
All that has happened is that the falsehood of this belief has sent us to the opposite view that women are the same as men.
That is equally wrong.


Out of interest, describe to me what the male position on sex is.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:If sexuality is the same for both sexes then how could sexual dimorphism evolve?


This is a misleading question. The issue is not whether sexuality has been the same for both sexes in our evolutionary history, the question is what aspects of our current behavior can be explained by evolutionary processes and what aspects can be explained by learning processes.


And for that we have to look at our evolutionary history.
What evolutionary processes do you look at without looking at them in other species?


Looking at other species is the last part of the research. First we need to establish that a difference exists, then we need to rule out learning factors, then we need to verify that it is consistent with what we know about evolved behaviors, and then finally we need to establish that it has an evolutionary precursor (by looking at other, related, species).

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:So your question 'What difference between male and female sexuality?' if you just mean humans implies that you think that humans are either monogamous and so have little difference like gibbons, which evidence very much goes against, or you think that humans have evolved something unique which means they can have different selection pressures on males and females but these do not affect their bodies and behaviours - any difference is about something else.

So you are suggesting that while in other species differential reproductive success within each sex is different and results from differences in bodies and behaviours and leads to the spreading of certain different traits in each of the sexes, in humans differential reproductive success has done nothing.

Or do you think differential reproductive success in other species also does nothing which is inherited?


No, what I was asking for was simply evidence based examples of differences in gender based sexuality (in humans). And, specifically, evidence which helps us differentiate between aspects that are learnt, and those that have evolved.


Well, female sexual interest varies due to the menstrual cycle with a peak around ovulation and probably pre-menstrually. I think anyone who has ever been in a heterosexual relationship knows how the relationship varies across the cycle.
See The Evolutionary Biology of Human Female Sexuality which puts in in terms of womens having more than one sexuality but basicaly is about how women think and feel about sex changes across the menstrual cycle.


Interesting. And how do the authors separate out the effects that the menstrual cycle has on behavior, and the evolutionary effects associated with the menstrual cycle?

sprite wrote:Males don't have menstrual cycles and produce hundreds of millions of sex cells everyday. That is a massive difference to start with and one that has evolved.


Sure, but we're talking about behavior, not physical differences.

sprite wrote:Human females have evolved to be receptive to sex outside of oestrus, and lesser versions of this are seen in other apes and monkeys and we understand the adaptiveness in other species.

Do you think human females have evolved or learn to have sex when there is no chance of conception? And if this has evolved in other species? Or do you think this behaviour is learned in other species too?


Hard to tell, I don't know if it'd be possible to create a study to separate out the effects as the process of menstruation is presumably somewhat painful for the woman and comes along with a number of unpleasant side effects, so naturally we'd expect them to have different responses to sexual advances over the course of their cycle.

sprite wrote:Do you think females have evolved to be more or less constantly sexually attractive to males throughout the menstrual cycle or have learned to be so?


"Consistently" is speaking beyond the evidence, but the fact that hormonal changes could produce changes that make it more probable that a male would find them attractive seems pretty uncontroversial.

sprite wrote:Can you think (and here I'm noting that when you use the word 'evolved' you are really talking about adaptations?) of how this can be adaptive behaviour in the females of some species, including our own? How it is an evolved trait?


The better question would be: why are you lumping in hormonal changes with a discussion on behavior?

sprite wrote:(I could even start a massive debate about the female orgasm but I'd be surprised if anyone would say that it is the same in the two sexes - not the actual experience but all that goes with it from ease of achievement to multiple orgasms to whether it is an adaptation in females or a by-product of an adaptation in males)


Perhaps an interesting discussion, but not entirely relevant to a discussion on behavior..

sprite wrote:I think the basic issue here boils down to what I think is different in humans. Our mating system has been one where more successful reproduction ie more survival of offspring, has come about by both sexes having to largely go against their 'nature' (through a mixture of evolved mate-guarding and evolved cooperation between philopatric males). Whatever genetic changes there have been, and there surely have been some, we are not 'naturally' monogamous but pair-bonding is what produced the best outcome for offspring.
See for example Primeval kinship: how pair-bonding gave birth to human society

Where monogamy exists in other species it is mostly in isolated family groups where it occurs because females stop the male mating with other females and males stop the female mating with other males.
We had to manage our pair-bonding+male parental investment within large multimale-mutifemale groups.
Due to a number of things we inherited from our immediate ancestors (eg male philopatry, sexual dimorphism)females could be mate-guarded more easily than males.

So we have this mis-match in both sexes between the more promiscuous (though still very different between the sexes) nature and the needs of offspring. Both sexes had to compromise between their own inherited attraction to novel members of the other sex and the survival of offspring.
Then we get the greater dominance of some males and so on.

So that is why we struggle so much with our 'wants' and with the demands of offspring and problems in reproductive relationships and control of females etc etc.
Currently females can have direct access to resources or the state can take over paternal investment in offspring or people can even give up the costs of offspring etc etc so both sexes can revert to a more promiscuous sex life.
But even that earlier nature, which will have also been altered for some (as selection has likely selected more pair-bonding propensities in some or in parts of the life-cycle), will be one of differences between the sexes. These differences will be the basic ones connected to the effects of the different gametes on the bodies that produce them plus probably other differences that have evolved during our own evolution since the pan/homo split.


I'm a little confused - if you're saying that our sexual behaviors (in the form of monogamy and so on) are going against our "nature", then you're saying that the behaviors are learnt. If they aren't learnt, then they are part of our nature.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:Two quite different examples.
Firstly back to hermaphrodites. In most, though not all, simultaneous hermaphrodites each one tries to avoid being inseminated while trying to inseminate the other. Is there some pleasure connected to insemination and pain connected to being inseminated? Why would that be? In some cases there is in fact genuine pain - being stabbed and the seminal fluid burning through the skin, for example. But even in the case of fish where the gametes are simply being released there is still this difference. It would appear to be painful to release eggs but not sperm? So we get 'sperm' trading where the most keen to mate releases eggs first - does the more painful thing? - and then the exchange commences.
Why have they evolved to experience different pleasure or pain in relation to eggs and sperm do you think?

In the few hermaphrodites where it seems to be preferable to receive the sperm it appears to be because the sperm is digested ie used as food rather than to fertilize eggs. Far less painful when sperm is a useful food source. (Then we get males evolving chemicals in the ejaculate or the 'love darts' of snails which stop their sperm being digested by the mate).


I'm not sure what this example is trying to suggest?

Exactly what it says.
The production of eggs leads to something different re. the experience of peasure/pain than does the production of sperm.
As the meeting of eggs and sperm is reproduction, why there are two sexes, why the two sexes interact etc etc, this interaction means that what is good/pleasurable for the goose is not necessarily good/pleasurable for the gander. Conflict.


But learning doesn't operate over groups, so only the pleasure and pain of the individual will affect its learning.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:Secondly a quite different example, chimpanzee (and bonobo) female dispersal.
Males always stay in their birth group, females mostly disperse.

There was a fascinating tv documentary recently about a community of chimpanzees that has become isolated in a steep narrow valley. The land around them was bare and dangerous to venture in to. One female had reached puberty and kept going to the edge and looking across the bare land. She actually did set off to find a new community but returned a few days later having obviously failed to cross the bare land even though it was only a few miles to forest and other chimpanzees.

So the males, presumably, feel pleasure in remaining in their birth group but the females when they reach puberty feel pain and seek pleasure elsewhere? The sexes experience differences in pleasure and pain? Why? Does this not mean that they have some innate difference which means they experience these pleasure/pain differences?


It's impossible to tell from such an example, as the females would have vastly different learning experiences from the males..

Such as?


What different learning experiences do female chimps have from males? Essentially everything. For starters they are smaller in size, so they have to learn new ways to get access to food and other resources besides aggression. Presumably after giving birth, they will spend most of the time with the baby whilst the males do other things (e.g. aggressive attacks on other groups of chimps) and so they'll not only improve their methods of communication, but through teaching their children skills like tool use they will practice and improve on their own skills.

There are a number of different things, but undeniably males and females across species have different learning experiences.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:This doesn't seem relevant to my original point though, which was that even fundamental biological needs are not simply a function of evolution. As a very simple example, even though eating and hunger is most likely an evolved trait, we still eat even when we aren't hungry - like when we go out on dates, or to cheer ourselves up, or at birthday parties, etc. The point is that sometimes we do topographically identical behaviors for vastly different reasons, and if we tried to attribute the "cheering up eating" to an evolutionary process, then we'd be flat out wrong. The same applies to thing like sex - given the correct learning environment, a person with a "low sex drive gene" (for simplicity's sake) could become the most lascivious horn dog, and equally someone with the "aggressive sex gene" could become someone who isn't turned on by anything but very gentle, sweet lovemaking.

In other words, we do these behaviors for a number of vastly different reasons, and to treat them all as a singular group is a mistake.

So why do we not have cultures where men exchange sex for resources from women?
Or exchange sex for protection from women?
Or exchange sex for protection of their children?


But men do do this. And especially more so as the "man culture" (where men had to be the provider, had to be strong, and independent, etc) is decreasing in popularity, and it's becoming more acceptable for men to be house husbands.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:

It is the very root of evolution.
It is sexual selection.


You haven't demonstrated that though. You've just pointed out that sexual selection is a real evolutionary process, that reproduction cycles can form part of sexual selection, and then asserted that human behavior can be explained by this process.

No, not that all human behaviour is thus explained.
I'm only saying that men and women are not the same.


Undeniably so. But not all differences are a result of sexual selection, obviously.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:It is not about conscious decision making necessarily but as you might argue it is perhaps about pleasure and pain. Hence the extreme pain women feel regarding true rape.
Or that girls feel in societies where they are married off to men twice their age or older though no doubt a pleasure for the men.


Are you really suggesting that our aversion to rape is because it means that we have no control over our evolutionary futures?

No. A female's aversion to rape is because she evolved from successfully reproducing females who were successful because they could prevent rape.
Behaviours evolve because they lead to more offspring that have those behaviours.
If females that allow males they find unattractive to fertilize their eggs have fewer numbers of offspring than females who have mechanisms that discriminate between males or between sperm then 'female choice' evolves.
Are you saying 'female choice' is not an evolved mechanism?
Geez, one hundred years it took to get past the male bias against female choice and forty years later we are back there again.


This is so wrong. You don't think that the horrible experience of someone violating you against your will would affect how people view rape? Are you suggesting that humans have a natural aversion to rape?

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:It would be a very unfortunate state if we had a situation where men and women were assumed to have the same pleasure/pain experience rather than different ones. I'm sure this is part of the problem regarding sexual rejection for men. Even some have asked this question on these forums, and a gay friend once asked me the same ie why not just enjoy the sex? So we get all kinds of theories from men about how women are teasing them, leading them on, manipulating them, being vengeful etc etc. If men think women really feel the same as they do about sex ie any sex is better than none, then we have a serious problem.


Some women do, some women don't. But that's not really the question, because even if we could demonstrate that biologically men and women have the same default setting for sex, we would still expect men to find it more pleasurable than women in our current society. So the fact that we find this doesn't tell us anything about our evolutionary past as it is predicted by two separate theories.

How could the sexes have evolved the same default setting for sex?
Give examples where this has happened in other species.
Under what envrionmental conditions would such a thing evolve?
Where is this environment in our past?


It was a hypothetical to point out the importance of not ignoring environmental effects. The point wasn't that the sexes have evolved the same setting for sex, but rather that even in that highly hypothetical situation, learning processes could still produce the same observations we see today. So if we accepted that the setting was not the same for each sex, then we're faced with the serious problem of separating out learnt from evolutionary effects.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:I'm confused by your last line: do you really think men believe that "any sex is better than none"? Part of the reason I wanted to differentiate "male bias" from "patriarchal bias" above is precisely this reason - stereotypes exist for both sexes and the patriarchy can be damaging to both. So, this bias might lead to a belief that women should be pure virgins and any girl that ever has sex is a "whore", but it also leads to the hilariously mistaken view that men love sex, that it takes up a lot of their life, and that they'd do almost anything to get it.

I think we do have a problem, but it's probably more to do with the cartoon characters of each sex that our society has created.


I agree that stereotypes are a problem and variation is not given enough attention.
But when I can look at other species and see both these stereotypical behaviours in the males and females, and differences that can be explained by the very same reasoning that explains the stereotypes then I don't see why all this is suddenly irrelevant for humans.


So you are suggesting that men are basically horn dogs that would have sex with almost anything?..

sprite wrote:In the 70s it was perfectly normal to believe in humans as being 'blank slate'. We all thought that. I learned ( :lol: ) how wrong that was.


That is ridiculous.. What course were you doing? How did they even find a blank slate position in science? I can't think of a single blank slate philosophy that has been suggested in the last few hundred years.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:This is not like hunger or thirst which is the survival part of natural selection, it is about sex/reproduction which is about two different sexes where selection acts differently (except in true genetic monogamy).


It's still the same principle - biological processes are appropriated by learning mechanisms.

So you think that you could be trained to be absolutely anything?
As a parent and grandparent I only wish training was that easy.
The thing about humans is why we do things in spite of being trained otherwise and even when on the surface it brings us pain.


No of course not, as John B Watson explained, we can only raise people within their natural constraints. But these constraints have a fair bit of leeway and learning can account for a vast amount of our behaviors, even when they look biological in form.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:If you then argue that the differences men and women feel about pleasure in connection to sex is learned then if women say that 'actually that experience was painful' the response from him is that it is only because she has learned incorrectly? Could she not argue that, no, his pleasure in that experience is because he has learned incorrectly? Who decides?


This is an odd response. Are you suggesting that if your evolutionary explanation is correct, then it's perfectly reasonable for the man to respond to the women by suggesting she has evolved incorrectly? It's nonsensical.


No, I'm saying this is your reasoning.
Ok, jump to the political.
Soviet Russia. Educate people for a particular social/political/economic system. The education is not completely acceptable to everyone and some people say it causes them pain.
So have they been educated incorrectly?
Do they need to be re-educated?


I don't see what relevance this has?

sprite wrote:When there is a conflict of interests as there is in sexual/reproductive relations then if, say, women say they feel pain that they are constrained to be monogamous while their mate mates with other women is it because they have been educated incorrectly? Do they need re-education?
If women express their pain about their husband's addiction to internet porn is it becuase one or the other has been educated incorrectly?
Do we educate them both to enjoy the porn or both not to enjoy the porn?
If the pleasure or pain each feels about this is just because they have learned to view porn differently what should we start teaching our sons and daughters? That they both should enjoy it or neither should.
Women taught to enjoy DP and 'facials' etc etc
There was some psychology I seem to remember (Freud?) that concluded that women are naturally masochists.
I can't wait for the new world where women ask each other 'does he swallow menstrual blood?'


These are all political questions and irrelevant to science.

sprite wrote:And the book I mentioned way back by the psychologist Bader apparently (I haven't read it yet) says that though the humiliation of women in porn and male fantasy is real the men don't actually want the women to not be enjoying the experience but to be enjoying it ie enjoy being humiliated. Guess there's a lot of successful education and re-education going on of more and more women in this respect too.(Why have we not educated men away from porn and into romantic fiction? Can't any variation on this be achieved if we want in your view?)
No problem? You think?


I don't get what any of this has to do with the topic.

sprite wrote:Apparently so without any objective framework involved. I think evolution at least provides an objective framework.

Is there anything you think would be difficult to educate people to do and enjoy?
Do you think everything is equally easy or difficult to instil in people?
Might there at least be some things that are easier than others?
Why would that be?


No of course some things are easier to learn than others because some things are the product of evolutionary "preparedness" (and even "counterpreparedness"). And some concrete innate behaviors like fixed-action patterns can be incredibly difficult to alter.

I don't understand the relevance though.

sprite wrote:What I am saying is that pretending men and women are the same, or all people are born the same, and anyone can be anyhting just isn't on.
More than that, it is quite a horrific belief.


Fortunately, nobody has suggested that. With regards to sex specifically though, I'm yet to see any evidence that men are biologically more promiscuous than women.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:We're talking about science, the results are descriptive not prescriptive. If men and women have evolved to enjoy sex to different levels, then that's just a fact, neither one is "right" or "wrong". Our legal system covers the rest - if a man wants to argue that he didn't rape a woman because she's evolved/learnt to secretly like sex as much as him, he'll still get thrown in jail if she didn't consent to it.


Yet only 6% of rape cases get a conviction in court and vast numbers more don't even go to court and women don't even report rape because as their rapist enjoys telling them - no one will believe them.


That's a problem with the legal system and irrelevant to our discussion.

sprite wrote:Men and women are the same when it comes to sex, you say, so why not just enjoy the sex? How on earth can a woman kiss and canoodle and pet with a man and not want sex? He does and she, you say, is the same as him after all. You think she has some 'natural' sexuality same as his that has just been stopped from being freely expressed due to learning. You wish :roll:


What? That isn't anything like what I've suggested.

Some men and some women just like to mess around - kissing and heavy petting isn't consent to have sex, and it doesn't imply that someone "subconsciously" wants to have sex. And I'm also appalled at the "you wish" comment as the implications seem to be pretty distasteful.

Regardless, the point is that there are differences in how men and women view sex as a result of learning. Surely this isn't a controversial position? The fact that for centuries (or longer), society has dictated that women should be "proper ladies" and induced guilt-trips on any woman that dared have sex, accusing them of being "whores", "sluts" and "slappers", and you're thinking that this wouldn't affect how they view sex?

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:Sex is not about sharing fluids but about a one way journey of sex cells from him to her. Not a minor difference.


Arguably true, but discussing the evidence surrounding how this affects behavior is the problematic part. This is the key part of the disagreement. I accept sexual selection occurs, and I accept that it's probably occurred in humans (I see no reason to doubt it). However, this doesn't not mean that we can automatically attribute any differences between men and women to sexual selection, and just because a behavior is sexual does not validate that leap in logic at all.


'Arguably true'??!!! It is true.


"Arguably" because it was a soundbite that was meaningless without context, and I was accepting it based on my interpretation of what I thought you meant. In other words, on the face of it, the statement is false. Sex can include a number of things that don't involve transferring sex cells, and sometimes it doesn't even involve sharing fluids - even if we exclude various sexual activities outside of intercourse, there's still the fact that sex with a condom rules out this possibly. So it is "arguably true" in that as long as you're talking about sex with the intention of reproduction, then yes it's about the transference of sex cells.

sprite wrote:I do a lot of arguing against the EPers that state 'facts' about the differences between the sexes when they are wrong too.
What is a disaster looming, though, is to react by going too much in the opposite direction.


I haven't gone in any direction, I'm simply skeptical of claims.
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Re: Womens disconnect between the objective and subjective

#88  Postby sprite » Mar 20, 2011 7:23 pm

Mr.Samsa wrote:Because not all habituation is equal. You get the behavioral equivalent of 'momentum', where the most reinforcing things are more resistant to extinction. So if sexual responses were habituated in a person who was exposed to a lot of porn, then we would expect that there would be minimal-to-zero responses to images that they don't find appealing, and the most response to the images they find appealing.

So when straight guys first start looking at porn they are turned on by gay sex just like the women who have not been exposed to porn (if they haven't) are turned on by lesbian sex?
The thing is, the more women are getting into porn the more they seem to enjoy the lesbian sex so there is another difference it would seem? Why don't the straight men 'learn' to enjoy gay sex in the same way?


Mr.Samsa wrote:Then it's the same as any other job. I'd say 99% of all employed people in the world got into their line of work as a result of environmental pressures, survival needs and because they weren't fully aware of what the job entailed.

Ok
Then isn't it about time sex work 'jobs' were treated the same as all other jobs ie advertised the same, talked about in school the same? Open the same for both sexes?
Shouldn't it be as ok for your wife to be a prostitute as work in a supermarket?
If it is just another job then why do we have problems with it?

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:then whether they love it or not isn't too important and the evolutionary nature of female sexuality shouldn't even come into it.

So that other females in other species exchange sex for resources is irrelevant?
Or that they exchange sex for protection by males?
Or they exchange sex to avoid being harmed or their children being harmed as in other species?


Yes, it's irrelevant.

I don't think it is irrelevant that females in our primate cousins go through 'fake' sexual behaviours in order to acquire something which is not sexual pleasure. And human females do too. It is a difference between the sexes.

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:Males in other species do not do the reverse nor in humans.
Is that irrelevant too?


I'm not sure what you mean? Are you suggesting that there is no such thing as male prostitutes? Or men who become boy toys to rich older women? Or stay in unsatisfying relationships for their kids?


So the fact that a few men do sex work means the sexes are the same? Wrong.

You know, I've seen some of these male prostitutes. One went shopping with the woman as his 'sex work'.

And yes, I do accept that women might pay a sexy male to make love to them. Just that these are more exceptions for women rather then the norm for men.

Why don't the men who want sex just pair up with the women who want sex and then they get it for free?

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:To pretend that sex is the same for the two sexes in any species, including humans, is ridiculous.
What happened is that the view that women either don't want sex or want it much less than males, etc etc was wrong.
All that has happened is that the falsehood of this belief has sent us to the opposite view that women are the same as men.
That is equally wrong.


Out of interest, describe to me what the male position on sex is.

I think spending time on forums like this tells us most of that, don't you think? It comes up (sic) on many threads. :lol:
Trying to sum it up, male sexuality is generally persistent behaviour towards females, usually those with the clearest signs of fertility, about 'pick up lines' and tactics - hey, look at porn sites and the adverts for how to get women to f**k.
Compared to females it is a lot less discriminating (though men will be choosy even with sex workers eg in brothels where the women are lined up to be selected from).
It's about being quite choosy when it comes to a mother for children.
It's about novelty of women in terms of arousal. About enormous pleasure from looking at naked/semi-naked women's bodies. (way more than women get looking at men).
It's about getting turned on by noisy female sexual responses (even faked ones).
It is centered in the genitals.
It is orgasm-oriented.
It is massively impressed with semen.
It is not about reading romance novels much, nor overly 'chick flicks'.
It is about conquering or seducing, achievement, 'scoring'. Like getting it is some sort of challenge, like successfully working past obstructions to the goal.



Mr.Samsa wrote:Looking at other species is the last part of the research. First we need to establish that a difference exists, then we need to rule out learning factors, then we need to verify that it is consistent with what we know about evolved behaviors, and then finally we need to establish that it has an evolutionary precursor (by looking at other, related, species).

But when you show that you can so easily ignore differences that exist then that makes me doubt these methods.
You have already established that for you there are no differences between the sexes.


Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:Well, female sexual interest varies due to the menstrual cycle with a peak around ovulation and probably pre-menstrually. I think anyone who has ever been in a heterosexual relationship knows how the relationship varies across the cycle.
See The Evolutionary Biology of Human Female Sexuality which puts in in terms of womens having more than one sexuality but basically is about how women think and feel about sex changes across the menstrual cycle.


Interesting. And how do the authors separate out the effects that the menstrual cycle has on behavior, and the evolutionary effects associated with the menstrual cycle?

Do you mean the change in behaviour over the menstrual cycle as a by-product compared to it being selected/adaptive?
Well, their view IIRC is that it is adaptive to mate differently during ovulation than at other times of the cycle. The mating during ovulation is in accordance with acquiring good genes. At other times it can be about other resources.
What I would say is that the studies that show females to be more sexually gregarious during ovulation and that men find women more attractive when they are ovulating (the lap-dancing studies) is the remnants of oestrous behaviour we see across species. I'm not convinced myself yet whether good genes or just sperm acquisition is the main thing here. I think possibly which may well depend on other factors such as the 'quality' of the female, age, the quality of males, maybe other things.

The adaptiveness of mating when conception cannot happen is about acquiring other resources. These can be food, protection, 'paternity confusion'.

This is something which has taken some work to get through regarding female sexual behaviour - it is adaptive even when disconnected from conception. And even sexual pleasure.
With males reproductive success is connected more to fertile matings.

We do have to go back to when females had distinct oestrus and mating was pretty much tied to that time.
When Hrdy looked at langurs and saw females mating when they were not fertile and couldn't conceive she discovered that it was an adaptive behaviour which confused paternity and those female's offspring were less likely to be killed by langur males.
If we look at chimpanzees they also mate well beyond the peri-ovulatory period - they have sexual swellings that last longer than this brief period so the males are attracted to them (though the alpha male often gets to mate when they actually are ovulating so the males do know when the main chance for conception is).
And in bonobos the females mate more even during the long (four year) interbirth intervals when chimpanzee females don't swell or mate so much.

Human females are receptive even for longer periods - though as Frank Beach pointed out about the 'constant' sexual receptivity of human female: "Any male who entertains this illusion must be a very old man with a short memory or a very young man due for bitter disappointment".

Females mating beyond oestrus is adaptive in other species. In humans we get the adaptive ideas about keeping the males around or Hrdy would say it is to get resources from many males because one male was unreliable.


Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:Males don't have menstrual cycles and produce hundreds of millions of sex cells everyday. That is a massive difference to start with and one that has evolved.


Sure, but we're talking about behavior, not physical differences.

And you don't think they are connected?
If a male body has antlers and a female body does not, isn't this connected to behaviour. When the hermaphrodite ancestor evolved into either producing eggs or sperm did not the bodies then continue to diverge and their mating behaviours? If a female body evolves breasts and a male body doesn't isn't this connected to two different behaviours? Selection acts differently on the two sexes physically and this is connected to selection for different behaviours.

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:Do you think human females have evolved or learn to have sex when there is no chance of conception? And if this has evolved in other species? Or do you think this behaviour is learned in other species too?


Hard to tell, I don't know if it'd be possible to create a study to separate out the effects as the process of menstruation is presumably somewhat painful for the woman and comes along with a number of unpleasant side effects, so naturally we'd expect them to have different responses to sexual advances over the course of their cycle.

Women are only fertile for a few days, about three I think. They aren't menstruating on the other 25 days of the cycle! Nor when they are pregnant. Nor when they are not fertile decause they are breast-feeding.
I sincerely hope that my previous point has helped you understand something of the evolution of 'concealed ovulation' and women's extended sexual recptivity beyond the peri-ovulatory period.


Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:Can you think (and here I'm noting that when you use the word 'evolved' you are really talking about adaptations?) of how this can be adaptive behaviour in the females of some species, including our own? How it is an evolved trait?


The better question would be: why are you lumping in hormonal changes with a discussion on behavior?

Because hormonal changes affect behaviour.
Come on, men and women both know that.

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:(I could even start a massive debate about the female orgasm but I'd be surprised if anyone would say that it is the same in the two sexes - not the actual experience but all that goes with it from ease of achievement to multiple orgasms to whether it is an adaptation in females or a by-product of an adaptation in males)


Perhaps an interesting discussion, but not entirely relevant to a discussion on behavior..

So you would say that the existence of orgasm does not affect sexual behaviour? :o

Mr.Samsa wrote:I'm a little confused - if you're saying that our sexual behaviors (in the form of monogamy and so on) are going against our "nature", then you're saying that the behaviors are learnt. If they aren't learnt, then they are part of our nature.

Yes, I am saying that our monogamy is largely learned. Though those ancestors who found pair-bonding easier and so had the most successful offspring likely had genetic variations connected to this and there would then be some evolved changes in the human.
For instance there have been changes in human semen in that copulatory plugs may have been lost (they exist in chimpanzees).
There has probably been selection on men for traits that help with bonding with women and especially with children.

I've said from the start that monogamy is not natural.
While traditionally it has been seen as unnatural for men and natural for women more recently the fact that it is natural for neither sex has led to some very confused thinking about female sexuality such as it is the same as male sexuality.
Monogamy is not natural but the non-monogamous nature of the two human sexes is as different as the non-monogamous nature of the two sexes in other species.

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:The production of eggs leads to something different re. the experience of peasure/pain than does the production of sperm.
As the meeting of eggs and sperm is reproduction, why there are two sexes, why the two sexes interact etc etc, this interaction means that what is good/pleasurable for the goose is not necessarily good/pleasurable for the gander. Conflict.


But learning doesn't operate over groups, so only the pleasure and pain of the individual will affect its learning.

But these animals do not learn to behave differently regarding their sex cells - they have been selected to behave differently because they have experienced different selection pressures due to their sex cells. The hermaphrodites don't start off with random sexual behaviours and then alter them due to experience. They have these behaviours from the start.

Mr.Samsa wrote:Essentially everything. For starters they are smaller in size, so they have to learn new ways to get access to food and other resources besides aggression. Presumably after giving birth, they will spend most of the time with the baby whilst the males do other things (e.g. aggressive attacks on other groups of chimps) and so they'll not only improve their methods of communication, but through teaching their children skills like tool use they will practice and improve on their own skills.

There are a number of different things, but undeniably males and females across species have different learning experiences.

And why should the females on reaching puberty leave the only community they know to join strangers - and have a very difficult experience while doing so - while the males have absolutely no instinct to do so? During their upbringing the females have avoided the periphery of the group as there is danger from stranger males. But puberty hits and off they go. Something hormonal happens and their dispersal behaviour results.

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:So why do we not have cultures where men exchange sex for resources from women?
Or exchange sex for protection from women?
Or exchange sex for protection of their children?


But men do do this. And especially more so as the "man culture" (where men had to be the provider, had to be strong, and independent, etc) is decreasing in popularity, and it's becoming more acceptable for men to be house husbands.

These are western changes and do not occur in hunter-gatherer groups.
They occur in the west due to changes brought about by female attempts to regain control over their reproduction - a very natural thing to seek when the environmental conditions present themselves.


Mr.Samsa wrote:This is so wrong. You don't think that the horrible experience of someone violating you against your will would affect how people view rape? Are you suggesting that humans have a natural aversion to rape?

I'm saying that females have natural aversion to rape of themselves.
I'm saying that men have a learned reaction to the rape of females - it does vary so much across cultures and through time - and it will also be connected to how they link it to their own self-interest.
Gay men raping gay men is a question connected to homosexuality which though important to those concerned is not relevant to differences between heterosexual men and women.
In other species if a male does not want to mate with a female he doesn't mate. I would say it is the same for humans. I'm trying to think of any instances in other species where a female could be said to be forcing a male to mate that doesn't 'want' to.
I can't.

Mr.Samsa wrote:So you are suggesting that men are basically horn dogs that would have sex with almost anything?..

In some ways yes, at least anything young and reasonably good looking. In the right environment they would. The fantasy of being ship-wrecked on an island of a hundred young women with no other men. Women really would not even entertain the horror of the reverse for them. That environment would have very different consequences for both the men and the woman depending on the sex that was one and the sex that was the hundred.

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:In the 70s it was perfectly normal to believe in humans as being 'blank slate'. We all thought that. I learned ( :lol: ) how wrong that was.


That is ridiculous.. What course were you doing? How did they even find a blank slate position in science? I can't think of a single blank slate philosophy that has been suggested in the last few hundred years.

History/Politics/Philosophy.
I'm not saying that the subjects were about blank-slatism, we obviously learned and argued about them all, but the preference for most politically left-wing activists - students and lecturers - was for that. Including feminists. "All we are born with is the instinct to suckle".
Yes, it sounds ridiculous now but there are still plenty of old hippies who wish it were so.

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:
No, I'm saying this is your reasoning.
Ok, jump to the political.
Soviet Russia. Educate people for a particular social/political/economic system. The education is not completely acceptable to everyone and some people say it causes them pain.
So have they been educated incorrectly?
Do they need to be re-educated?


I don't see what relevance this has?

You are saying that pretty much everything we do is from learning. If so then anything should be possible.
Though you talk about innate constraints you have not mentioned one.
All you have done is react to any suggestion of evolved behaviours as probably being a case of not seeing how these behaviours are in fact learned.
This very strongly suggests that you think learning is the main factor in our behaviour so in theory humans are so empty of innate constraints that they can be taught to accept any social system. Or mating system.

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:When there is a conflict of interests as there is in sexual/reproductive relations then if, say, women say they feel pain that they are constrained to be monogamous while their mate mates with other women is it because they have been educated incorrectly? Do they need re-education?
If women express their pain about their husband's addiction to internet porn is it becuase one or the other has been educated incorrectly?
Do we educate them both to enjoy the porn or both not to enjoy the porn?
If the pleasure or pain each feels about this is just because they have learned to view porn differently what should we start teaching our sons and daughters? That they both should enjoy it or neither should.
Women taught to enjoy DP and 'facials' etc etc
There was some psychology I seem to remember (Freud?) that concluded that women are naturally masochists.
I can't wait for the new world where women ask each other 'does he swallow menstrual blood?'


These are all political questions and irrelevant to science.

But you are suggesting that the science tells us that men and women are basically the same or can be made the same which if true does leave us with the question of what that sameness is.

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:And the book I mentioned way back by the psychologist Bader apparently (I haven't read it yet) says that though the humiliation of women in porn and male fantasy is real the men don't actually want the women to not be enjoying the experience but to be enjoying it ie enjoy being humiliated. Guess there's a lot of successful education and re-education going on of more and more women in this respect too.(Why have we not educated men away from porn and into romantic fiction? Can't any variation on this be achieved if we want in your view?)
No problem? You think?


I don't get what any of this has to do with the topic.

Really?
Aren't we talking about how we learn to behave the way we do and how the sexes are or are not the same?
Perhaps that there is no innate conflict of interests between the sexes, only learned ones?
That the constraints removed from women lead to greater 'male-like' behaviour ie more promiscuity, so should we also not expect that when the constraints are lifted from males we'd expect a movement away from porn and towards romantic fiction?
Or does removing those constraints only lead to increased promiscuity, not less? Why would that be if there is no 'natural' place for our behaviour to go to when constraints are removed. Does the removal of constraints lead to more 'natural' behaviour or to just a different kind of learned/constrained behaviour?

It's about behaviour being learned rather than inherited does not free us from some otherwise nasty genetic determinism.
Learning can be equally nasty.

OK you are saying you are just being descriptive not prescrptive.
But I have been getting the impression that you think things like females learning to be promiscuous or having a natural promiscuity - which coincidently turns out to be just like that of the male - is 'good'.
I'm certainly getting the impression of value judgements being involved in the arguments.


Mr.Samsa wrote:I don't understand the relevance though.

:scratch:


Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:What I am saying is that pretending men and women are the same, or all people are born the same, and anyone can be anything just isn't on.
More than that, it is quite a horrific belief.


Fortunately, nobody has suggested that. With regards to sex specifically though, I'm yet to see any evidence that men are biologically more promiscuous than women.

Because they are sexually rejected more often than women are. And women are not doing this for any other reason than they don't want sex.
Because if the sexes were the same there would be a lot more sex going on and a lot less being paid by men for sex.
There have been studies which I've not the time to look for that show women often wish they had waited longer before having sex. And that they had had fewer partners. Women regret sexual encounters more than men do (alcohol obviously playing its part).

Men and women can only be on average as promiscuous as the other sex allows them to be.
What stops men having more sex is rejection by women.
Women don't have books etc on how to get men into bed.
No PUA books for women. And if women are so promiscuous why do men need those books?

You'll just say this is all learned. I've given the reasons for it not being so regarding how selection acts on bodies differently depending on whether they produce a eggs or produce sperm. You still say no, behaviours are not connected to physical differences. It is still learned.

I say it is not learned in other species. You say it is. I say the reasons these differences are selected. You say they are still learned.


Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:We're talking about science, the results are descriptive not prescriptive. If men and women have evolved to enjoy sex to different levels, then that's just a fact, neither one is "right" or "wrong". Our legal system covers the rest - if a man wants to argue that he didn't rape a woman because she's evolved/learnt to secretly like sex as much as him, he'll still get thrown in jail if she didn't consent to it.


Yet only 6% of rape cases get a conviction in court and vast numbers more don't even go to court and women don't even report rape because as their rapist enjoys telling them - no one will believe them.


That's a problem with the legal system and irrelevant to our discussion.


But part of the problem within the legal system is that the people within it think men and women are the same and so women are lying about not wanting sex when some degree of sex play has occurred on a date. Or some degree of flirtation at work. When a man does that he's not doing it to then say no to sex so the woman is lying.


Mr.Samsa wrote:Regardless, the point is that there are differences in how men and women view sex as a result of learning. Surely this isn't a controversial position? The fact that for centuries (or longer), society has dictated that women should be "proper ladies" and induced guilt-trips on any woman that dared have sex, accusing them of being "whores", "sluts" and "slappers", and you're thinking that this wouldn't affect how they view sex?

Of course it does.
But that does not make a male-like female promiscuity any more real. All it means is that women are not naturally monogamous. I've said that. It is obvious. It's the same in most other species yet it is still that males are rejected more, seek sex more persistenty, females resist far more than males. When females are promiscuous it is under different conditions from male promscuity. Promiscuous species have things like large testicles, copulatory plugs, chemicals in sperm connected to sperm competition and female reproductive tracts that sort the sperm. Physical traits and behaviours are connected.

Mr.Samsa wrote:So it is "arguably true" in that as long as you're talking about sex with the intention of reproduction, then yes it's about the transference of sex cells.

From the male to the female - never the transfer of eggs into the males body. Males have never had to deal with that at any time in our evolution.

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:I do a lot of arguing against the EPers that state 'facts' about the differences between the sexes when they are wrong too.
What is a disaster looming, though, is to react by going too much in the opposite direction.


I haven't gone in any direction, I'm simply skeptical of claims.


Could you link me to debates where you argue against claims about behaviours being learned?
I have found many of your points interesting, others frankly ludicrous but I left them largely unchallenged.
I would be interested to know what you see as the supported innate sex differences which you have alluded to but not specified.
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Re: Womens disconnect between the objective and subjective

#89  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 21, 2011 7:08 am

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:Because not all habituation is equal. You get the behavioral equivalent of 'momentum', where the most reinforcing things are more resistant to extinction. So if sexual responses were habituated in a person who was exposed to a lot of porn, then we would expect that there would be minimal-to-zero responses to images that they don't find appealing, and the most response to the images they find appealing.

So when straight guys first start looking at porn they are turned on by gay sex just like the women who have not been exposed to porn (if they haven't) are turned on by lesbian sex?


Potentially, it's something we'd need to find data for.

sprite wrote:The thing is, the more women are getting into porn the more they seem to enjoy the lesbian sex so there is another difference it would seem? Why don't the straight men 'learn' to enjoy gay sex in the same way?


Firstly you'd need to support the assertion that significantly high numbers of heterosexual women are getting into lesbian porn, and secondly, without numbers at hand, I think you'd find that a lot of heterosexual men do enjoy gay porn (especially when we include transsexuals in this category).

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:Then it's the same as any other job. I'd say 99% of all employed people in the world got into their line of work as a result of environmental pressures, survival needs and because they weren't fully aware of what the job entailed.

Ok
Then isn't it about time sex work 'jobs' were treated the same as all other jobs ie advertised the same, talked about in school the same? Open the same for both sexes?
Shouldn't it be as ok for your wife to be a prostitute as work in a supermarket?
If it is just another job then why do we have problems with it?


I agree. In New Zealand this is what is happening since it has been legalised. They advertise it like any other job and they carry on with normal lives. Whether people want to date someone in that line of work is up to their own individual preferences - personally I wouldn't care, but I know some people would. But we have to keep in mind that this doesn't just apply to prostitution - there are people who refuse to date people in the army, tax collectors, etc., so there's nothing significant about choosing not to date someone who has a job that disagrees with your own principles.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:Yes, it's irrelevant.

I don't think it is irrelevant that females in our primate cousins go through 'fake' sexual behaviours in order to acquire something which is not sexual pleasure. And human females do too. It is a difference between the sexes.


It's not a difference though because men do it too (hence faking orgasms etc).

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:Males in other species do not do the reverse nor in humans.
Is that irrelevant too?


I'm not sure what you mean? Are you suggesting that there is no such thing as male prostitutes? Or men who become boy toys to rich older women? Or stay in unsatisfying relationships for their kids?


So the fact that a few men do sex work means the sexes are the same? Wrong.


No that's not what I said. You said that males don't do this, and I pointed out that they did. Whether the rates are the same or not is another question.

sprite wrote:You know, I've seen some of these male prostitutes. One went shopping with the woman as his 'sex work'.


How is this different from what a lot of escorts do? I know one guy who hires hookers, then takes them out, buys them ice cream, and then drops them off home. Supposedly a large part of the job for prostitutes is the whole "connection" thing, and that's why they offer services where they literally just sit and talk to men, with gentle hugging and kissing, for an hour without any sex.

sprite wrote:And yes, I do accept that women might pay a sexy male to make love to them. Just that these are more exceptions for women rather then the norm for men.

Why don't the men who want sex just pair up with the women who want sex and then they get it for free?


There are a large number of reasons. The simplest being that the man is too ugly or socially awkward to pick up a girl, or the man is too busy, and so hiring a prostitute is the easiest way to go about it.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:To pretend that sex is the same for the two sexes in any species, including humans, is ridiculous.
What happened is that the view that women either don't want sex or want it much less than males, etc etc was wrong.
All that has happened is that the falsehood of this belief has sent us to the opposite view that women are the same as men.
That is equally wrong.


Out of interest, describe to me what the male position on sex is.

I think spending time on forums like this tells us most of that, don't you think? It comes up (sic) on many threads. :lol:
Trying to sum it up, male sexuality is generally persistent behaviour towards females, usually those with the clearest signs of fertility, about 'pick up lines' and tactics - hey, look at porn sites and the adverts for how to get women to f**k.

Compared to females it is a lot less discriminating (though men will be choosy even with sex workers eg in brothels where the women are lined up to be selected from).
It's about being quite choosy when it comes to a mother for children.
It's about novelty of women in terms of arousal. About enormous pleasure from looking at naked/semi-naked women's bodies. (way more than women get looking at men).
It's about getting turned on by noisy female sexual responses (even faked ones).
It is centered in the genitals.
It is orgasm-oriented.
It is massively impressed with semen.
It is not about reading romance novels much, nor overly 'chick flicks'.
It is about conquering or seducing, achievement, 'scoring'. Like getting it is some sort of challenge, like successfully working past obstructions to the goal.


:shock: That's not a description of male sexuality, that's a horny cartoon character. Do you really think that the subpopulation that porn sites ads are aimed at would give us anywhere near a representative idea of male sexuality?

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:Looking at other species is the last part of the research. First we need to establish that a difference exists, then we need to rule out learning factors, then we need to verify that it is consistent with what we know about evolved behaviors, and then finally we need to establish that it has an evolutionary precursor (by looking at other, related, species).

But when you show that you can so easily ignore differences that exist then that makes me doubt these methods.
You have already established that for you there are no differences between the sexes.


I have never said this anywhere in this thread or forum. I have not ignored anything as no evidence has been presented.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:Well, female sexual interest varies due to the menstrual cycle with a peak around ovulation and probably pre-menstrually. I think anyone who has ever been in a heterosexual relationship knows how the relationship varies across the cycle.
See The Evolutionary Biology of Human Female Sexuality which puts in in terms of womens having more than one sexuality but basically is about how women think and feel about sex changes across the menstrual cycle.


Interesting. And how do the authors separate out the effects that the menstrual cycle has on behavior, and the evolutionary effects associated with the menstrual cycle?

Do you mean the change in behaviour over the menstrual cycle as a by-product compared to it being selected/adaptive?


I mean that the menstrual cycle will have effects on the body, so it will necessarily change behavior. What I'm interested in is how the authors separate out these changes (that occur as a result of environmental changes), and the behaviors being adaptations.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:Males don't have menstrual cycles and produce hundreds of millions of sex cells everyday. That is a massive difference to start with and one that has evolved.


Sure, but we're talking about behavior, not physical differences.

And you don't think they are connected?
If a male body has antlers and a female body does not, isn't this connected to behaviour. When the hermaphrodite ancestor evolved into either producing eggs or sperm did not the bodies then continue to diverge and their mating behaviours? If a female body evolves breasts and a male body doesn't isn't this connected to two different behaviours? Selection acts differently on the two sexes physically and this is connected to selection for different behaviours.


Yes they're connected, but the development of a menstrual cycle doesn't mean that there is a correlative development of behavioral sequences. So whilst these differences in physical structures will affect the behavior of the sexes, these differences would then be a product of learning (i.e. responses to the structural differences).

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:Do you think human females have evolved or learn to have sex when there is no chance of conception? And if this has evolved in other species? Or do you think this behaviour is learned in other species too?


Hard to tell, I don't know if it'd be possible to create a study to separate out the effects as the process of menstruation is presumably somewhat painful for the woman and comes along with a number of unpleasant side effects, so naturally we'd expect them to have different responses to sexual advances over the course of their cycle.

Women are only fertile for a few days, about three I think. They aren't menstruating on the other 25 days of the cycle! Nor when they are pregnant. Nor when they are not fertile decause they are breast-feeding.
I sincerely hope that my previous point has helped you understand something of the evolution of 'concealed ovulation' and women's extended sexual recptivity beyond the peri-ovulatory period.


The cycle has a number of different phases, each with differing effects on the body and hormonal levels. It's not a simple "bleeding/not-bleeding" dichotomy.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:Can you think (and here I'm noting that when you use the word 'evolved' you are really talking about adaptations?) of how this can be adaptive behaviour in the females of some species, including our own? How it is an evolved trait?


The better question would be: why are you lumping in hormonal changes with a discussion on behavior?

Because hormonal changes affect behaviour.
Come on, men and women both know that.


Yes, but these effects on behavior would be a result of the interaction of biology and environment (i.e. the behaviors are learnt). They aren't behavioral adaptations.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:(I could even start a massive debate about the female orgasm but I'd be surprised if anyone would say that it is the same in the two sexes - not the actual experience but all that goes with it from ease of achievement to multiple orgasms to whether it is an adaptation in females or a by-product of an adaptation in males)


Perhaps an interesting discussion, but not entirely relevant to a discussion on behavior..

So you would say that the existence of orgasm does not affect sexual behaviour? :o


No, I'm saying that an orgasm is not a behavior.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:I'm a little confused - if you're saying that our sexual behaviors (in the form of monogamy and so on) are going against our "nature", then you're saying that the behaviors are learnt. If they aren't learnt, then they are part of our nature.

Yes, I am saying that our monogamy is largely learned. Though those ancestors who found pair-bonding easier and so had the most successful offspring likely had genetic variations connected to this and there would then be some evolved changes in the human.
For instance there have been changes in human semen in that copulatory plugs may have been lost (they exist in chimpanzees).
There has probably been selection on men for traits that help with bonding with women and especially with children.

I've said from the start that monogamy is not natural.
While traditionally it has been seen as unnatural for men and natural for women more recently the fact that it is natural for neither sex has led to some very confused thinking about female sexuality such as it is the same as male sexuality.
Monogamy is not natural but the non-monogamous nature of the two human sexes is as different as the non-monogamous nature of the two sexes in other species.


So if monogamy is learnt, and monogamy is the dominant system which drives a lot of our sexual behaviors, then there is necessarily a confound when it comes to sexual differences between the sexes. Specifically, how do we know that a difference is a result of biological differences, and when it is a result of the institution of monogamy?

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:The production of eggs leads to something different re. the experience of peasure/pain than does the production of sperm.
As the meeting of eggs and sperm is reproduction, why there are two sexes, why the two sexes interact etc etc, this interaction means that what is good/pleasurable for the goose is not necessarily good/pleasurable for the gander. Conflict.


But learning doesn't operate over groups, so only the pleasure and pain of the individual will affect its learning.

But these animals do not learn to behave differently regarding their sex cells - they have been selected to behave differently because they have experienced different selection pressures due to their sex cells. The hermaphrodites don't start off with random sexual behaviours and then alter them due to experience. They have these behaviours from the start.


Firstly, I never said that the sexual behaviors of hermaphroditic organisms was learnt. Secondly, even if it was learnt, why would you assume that the behavior would start off "random"?

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:Essentially everything. For starters they are smaller in size, so they have to learn new ways to get access to food and other resources besides aggression. Presumably after giving birth, they will spend most of the time with the baby whilst the males do other things (e.g. aggressive attacks on other groups of chimps) and so they'll not only improve their methods of communication, but through teaching their children skills like tool use they will practice and improve on their own skills.

There are a number of different things, but undeniably males and females across species have different learning experiences.

And why should the females on reaching puberty leave the only community they know to join strangers - and have a very difficult experience while doing so - while the males have absolutely no instinct to do so? During their upbringing the females have avoided the periphery of the group as there is danger from stranger males. But puberty hits and off they go. Something hormonal happens and their dispersal behaviour results.


Well one thing we can say with almost complete certainty is that the female straying behavior is probably not an "instinct". As for why the females specifically do this, I'm not sure, as I said we'd need more information on what processes could have led up to it.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:So why do we not have cultures where men exchange sex for resources from women?
Or exchange sex for protection from women?
Or exchange sex for protection of their children?


But men do do this. And especially more so as the "man culture" (where men had to be the provider, had to be strong, and independent, etc) is decreasing in popularity, and it's becoming more acceptable for men to be house husbands.

These are western changes and do not occur in hunter-gatherer groups.
They occur in the west due to changes brought about by female attempts to regain control over their reproduction - a very natural thing to seek when the environmental conditions present themselves.


So you accept that cultural variation and learning can significantly change the sexual behaviors in the sexes? If so, then how do you know that the differences that you are talking about are biological and not learnt? For example, how do you know that your speculation above is true?

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:This is so wrong. You don't think that the horrible experience of someone violating you against your will would affect how people view rape? Are you suggesting that humans have a natural aversion to rape?

I'm saying that females have natural aversion to rape of themselves.
I'm saying that men have a learned reaction to the rape of females - it does vary so much across cultures and through time - and it will also be connected to how they link it to their own self-interest.
Gay men raping gay men is a question connected to homosexuality which though important to those concerned is not relevant to differences between heterosexual men and women.


:shock: That's insane.

sprite wrote:In other species if a male does not want to mate with a female he doesn't mate. I would say it is the same for humans. I'm trying to think of any instances in other species where a female could be said to be forcing a male to mate that doesn't 'want' to.
I can't.


Wait, what.. Did you just say that men can't be raped by women? And you're trying to justify such ignorance by appealing to what other species do? What the fuck.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:So you are suggesting that men are basically horn dogs that would have sex with almost anything?..

In some ways yes, at least anything young and reasonably good looking. In the right environment they would. The fantasy of being ship-wrecked on an island of a hundred young women with no other men. Women really would not even entertain the horror of the reverse for them. That environment would have very different consequences for both the men and the woman depending on the sex that was one and the sex that was the hundred.


:lol: That is such a ridiculous caricature of both men and women.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:In the 70s it was perfectly normal to believe in humans as being 'blank slate'. We all thought that. I learned ( :lol: ) how wrong that was.


That is ridiculous.. What course were you doing? How did they even find a blank slate position in science? I can't think of a single blank slate philosophy that has been suggested in the last few hundred years.

History/Politics/Philosophy.
I'm not saying that the subjects were about blank-slatism, we obviously learned and argued about them all, but the preference for most politically left-wing activists - students and lecturers - was for that. Including feminists. "All we are born with is the instinct to suckle".
Yes, it sounds ridiculous now but there are still plenty of old hippies who wish it were so.


Well the idea that there are no instincts past about 6 months of age isn't a blank slate position, it's just a statement of fact. No biologist, psychologist or behavioral scientist would disagree with it because it's undeniably true. This doesn't mean that there aren't evolved predispositions that affect our behavior and development past that age, but simply that humans don't display any innate behaviors past that age.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:
No, I'm saying this is your reasoning.
Ok, jump to the political.
Soviet Russia. Educate people for a particular social/political/economic system. The education is not completely acceptable to everyone and some people say it causes them pain.
So have they been educated incorrectly?
Do they need to be re-educated?


I don't see what relevance this has?

You are saying that pretty much everything we do is from learning. If so then anything should be possible.
Though you talk about innate constraints you have not mentioned one.
All you have done is react to any suggestion of evolved behaviours as probably being a case of not seeing how these behaviours are in fact learned.
This very strongly suggests that you think learning is the main factor in our behaviour so in theory humans are so empty of innate constraints that they can be taught to accept any social system. Or mating system.


Why would learning anything be possible? Of course there are biological constraints, but they depend on the context of what's been discussed. For example, I can't teach a midget to be the best basketball player ever because of biological constraints. Likewise, I can't convince a tiny women to be an aggressive serial rapist (because she'd struggle to overpower a number of men).

I do not think that learning is the main factor in our behavior and nothing I have said even hints at that.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:When there is a conflict of interests as there is in sexual/reproductive relations then if, say, women say they feel pain that they are constrained to be monogamous while their mate mates with other women is it because they have been educated incorrectly? Do they need re-education?
If women express their pain about their husband's addiction to internet porn is it becuase one or the other has been educated incorrectly?
Do we educate them both to enjoy the porn or both not to enjoy the porn?
If the pleasure or pain each feels about this is just because they have learned to view porn differently what should we start teaching our sons and daughters? That they both should enjoy it or neither should.
Women taught to enjoy DP and 'facials' etc etc
There was some psychology I seem to remember (Freud?) that concluded that women are naturally masochists.
I can't wait for the new world where women ask each other 'does he swallow menstrual blood?'


These are all political questions and irrelevant to science.

But you are suggesting that the science tells us that men and women are basically the same or can be made the same which if true does leave us with the question of what that sameness is.


I haven't suggested that men and women are basically the same, I've only suggested that we have reasons to doubt your claim that there are biological differences in some areas - for example, men and women both think about sex just as often.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:And the book I mentioned way back by the psychologist Bader apparently (I haven't read it yet) says that though the humiliation of women in porn and male fantasy is real the men don't actually want the women to not be enjoying the experience but to be enjoying it ie enjoy being humiliated. Guess there's a lot of successful education and re-education going on of more and more women in this respect too.(Why have we not educated men away from porn and into romantic fiction? Can't any variation on this be achieved if we want in your view?)
No problem? You think?


I don't get what any of this has to do with the topic.

Really?
Aren't we talking about how we learn to behave the way we do and how the sexes are or are not the same?
Perhaps that there is no innate conflict of interests between the sexes, only learned ones?
That the constraints removed from women lead to greater 'male-like' behaviour ie more promiscuity, so should we also not expect that when the constraints are lifted from males we'd expect a movement away from porn and towards romantic fiction?
Or does removing those constraints only lead to increased promiscuity, not less? Why would that be if there is no 'natural' place for our behaviour to go to when constraints are removed. Does the removal of constraints lead to more 'natural' behaviour or to just a different kind of learned/constrained behaviour?


We're not talking about implementing practices to change behavior though. It's possible that learning mechanisms in place have made women more prudish, and made males more promiscuous - as we can see with the slow decline of the patriarchy, these stereotypes are changing, with women becoming more "promiscuous" and males become more selective. This doesn't necessarily mean that these differences are learnt, but it's something that we need to explain.

sprite wrote:It's about behaviour being learned rather than inherited does not free us from some otherwise nasty genetic determinism.
Learning can be equally nasty.


Of course, all behavior is explained by genetics and environment - it's all determinism with no room for free will or anything like that. I don't see why that's "nasty" though. I have no aversion to genetic explanations, I'm not trying to hold on to some mistaken idea of "humanity" where we have free choice or anything, I only have an aversion to pseudoscientific non-explanations.

sprite wrote:OK you are saying you are just being descriptive not prescrptive.
But I have been getting the impression that you think things like females learning to be promiscuous or having a natural promiscuity - which coincidently turns out to be just like that of the male - is 'good'.
I'm certainly getting the impression of value judgements being involved in the arguments.


If you think I've argued that anything is good and bad then you've severely misunderstood what I've written. I have not made a single value judgement in any of my posts, nor have I hinted at any. If women are promiscuous, or prudes, or insane puppy eaters, it doesn't matter to me as we're simply describing behavior.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:What I am saying is that pretending men and women are the same, or all people are born the same, and anyone can be anything just isn't on.
More than that, it is quite a horrific belief.


Fortunately, nobody has suggested that. With regards to sex specifically though, I'm yet to see any evidence that men are biologically more promiscuous than women.

Because they are sexually rejected more often than women are. And women are not doing this for any other reason than they don't want sex.


First you need to present data showing that men are rejected more than women, and then if you can show this, you have to explain how you've separated out the biological differences from the significant cultural differences that play a major role in this difference (i.e. the strong social punishers in place for women approaching men and asking them out).

sprite wrote:Because if the sexes were the same there would be a lot more sex going on and a lot less being paid by men for sex.


Not necessarily, it depends why most men pay for sex. I imagine the biggest factor would be time constraints, so in that case we wouldn't see a significant decrease in men paying for sex (as it would still be more efficient for men to pick up a prostitute than to head out to a club). There's also the extra issue of prostitutes being cleaner than most bar-goers, so there are still reasons for men to continue paying for sex.

sprite wrote:There have been studies which I've not the time to look for that show women often wish they had waited longer before having sex. And that they had had fewer partners. Women regret sexual encounters more than men do (alcohol obviously playing its part).


Those studies show that it goes both ways. Men are much happier and have much more stable relationships when they wait longer before having sex with their partner.

sprite wrote:Men and women can only be on average as promiscuous as the other sex allows them to be.
What stops men having more sex is rejection by women.
Women don't have books etc on how to get men into bed.
No PUA books for women. And if women are so promiscuous why do men need those books?


Firstly, even though the beliefs of society are changing, there are still significant punishers in place for promiscuous women so there aren't a lot of promiscuous women around. And secondly, what man actually buys books on how to get women into bed?

Are you basing your understanding of male behavior on the spam emails you receive?

sprite wrote:You'll just say this is all learned. I've given the reasons for it not being so regarding how selection acts on bodies differently depending on whether they produce a eggs or produce sperm. You still say no, behaviours are not connected to physical differences. It is still learned.

I say it is not learned in other species. You say it is. I say the reasons these differences are selected. You say they are still learned.


:doh:

Total misunderstanding of my position. I have no said it is all learnt. I have said that learning obviously takes place, to some degree. My question is how have you separated out learning effects that produce sex differences, and biological differences that produce sex differences. In reply to that you've simply said "But sexual selection...!".

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:That's a problem with the legal system and irrelevant to our discussion.


But part of the problem within the legal system is that the people within it think men and women are the same and so women are lying about not wanting sex when some degree of sex play has occurred on a date. Or some degree of flirtation at work. When a man does that he's not doing it to then say no to sex so the woman is lying.


That's not the problem with the legal system. Part of the problem with prosecuting rapists is that there is rarely ever any evidence that the victim did not consent. We can do swabs, check for vaginal tearing, and so on, but this only proves that sex (and sometimes rough sex) has taken place - it tells us nothing about whether the victim consented. Thus, a lot of rapists get let off.

If a woman says no to sex, and there is evidence of this, then the rapist will get prosecuted. The judge will not throw out, say, a video recording of her removing consent and say, "Sure, she said no, but I know that deep down women want sex just as much as men so this obviously can't be rape".

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:Regardless, the point is that there are differences in how men and women view sex as a result of learning. Surely this isn't a controversial position? The fact that for centuries (or longer), society has dictated that women should be "proper ladies" and induced guilt-trips on any woman that dared have sex, accusing them of being "whores", "sluts" and "slappers", and you're thinking that this wouldn't affect how they view sex?

Of course it does.
But that does not make a male-like female promiscuity any more real. All it means is that women are not naturally monogamous. I've said that. It is obvious. It's the same in most other species yet it is still that males are rejected more, seek sex more persistenty, females resist far more than males. When females are promiscuous it is under different conditions from male promscuity. Promiscuous species have things like large testicles, copulatory plugs, chemicals in sperm connected to sperm competition and female reproductive tracts that sort the sperm. Physical traits and behaviours are connected.


Again you're still fantastically missing the point of my argument. You've accepted that learning processes play a significant role in the development of sexual behaviors. So when we find that there is a difference between the sexes, how do we know what behaviors are learnt and which are biological?

This is the main point that you keep dodging by appealing to sexual selection without explaining how sexual selection differentiates the two processes.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:So it is "arguably true" in that as long as you're talking about sex with the intention of reproduction, then yes it's about the transference of sex cells.

From the male to the female - never the transfer of eggs into the males body. Males have never had to deal with that at any time in our evolution.


Sure, but this doesn't relate to anything I've said.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:I do a lot of arguing against the EPers that state 'facts' about the differences between the sexes when they are wrong too.
What is a disaster looming, though, is to react by going too much in the opposite direction.


I haven't gone in any direction, I'm simply skeptical of claims.


Could you link me to debates where you argue against claims about behaviours being learned?


I can't think of any. What does it matter? I haven't claimed that the sex differences here are a result of learning. I'm neutral on the issue, but you made a claim about the behaviors being adaptations. I was interested in whether you had any evidence for your claims of not.

sprite wrote:I have found many of your points interesting, others frankly ludicrous but I left them largely unchallenged.


:lol:

Image

sprite wrote:I would be interested to know what you see as the supported innate sex differences which you have alluded to but not specified.


I can't think of any - like I said, I'm neutral on the issue.
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Re: Womens disconnect between the objective and subjective

#90  Postby sprite » Mar 21, 2011 4:19 pm

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:Then isn't it about time sex work 'jobs' were treated the same as all other jobs ie advertised the same, talked about in school the same? Open the same for both sexes?
Shouldn't it be as ok for your wife to be a prostitute as work in a supermarket?
If it is just another job then why do we have problems with it?


I agree. In New Zealand this is what is happening since it has been legalised. They advertise it like any other job and they carry on with normal lives. Whether people want to date someone in that line of work is up to their own individual preferences - personally I wouldn't care, but I know some people would. But we have to keep in mind that this doesn't just apply to prostitution - there are people who refuse to date people in the army, tax collectors, etc., so there's nothing significant about choosing not to date someone who has a job that disagrees with your own principles.

So these jobs and advertisements etc are in similar numbers for both sexes?
Or is it still a service almost always provided by women to men?
Should we not work to open it up to men, like is done with traditional 'men's' jobs?

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:Yes, it's irrelevant.

I don't think it is irrelevant that females in our primate cousins go through 'fake' sexual behaviours in order to acquire something which is not sexual pleasure. And human females do too. It is a difference between the sexes.


It's not a difference though because men do it too (hence faking orgasms etc).

Yes men do fake orgasms.
In our 'part-learned' monogamous long-term relationships the two sexes do converge. Monogamy leads to the two sexes being alike in bodies and behaviours. It is the same across species. But the influence of the menstrual cycle also exists here. While the men might be tired (and having to deal with a sexually voracious mid-cycle partner) the woman will have more of a regular variation over the menstrual cycle. So the faking is to a different degree and due to different evolved mechanisms.

On the promiscuous side of the equation is where the sex differences are expected to be different again. Sex with a novel partner is where the difference would be expected to be greatest, with females far more likely to vary in how much sexual desire/orgasm exists. Mid-cycle with a 'good genes' male, and the arousal and orgasm would be predicted to be more likely for the woman. I'm sure there are some studies on this. Women far more than men will fail to have orgasms with novel men.
There have been studies too that show women more consistently have orgasms in long-term, secure relationships.

Connected to this there is this study Genetic influences on variation in female orgasmic function: a twin study:
One in three women (32%) reported never or infrequently achieving orgasm during intercourse, with a corresponding figure of 21% during masturbation. A significant genetic influence was seen with an estimated heritability for difficulty reaching orgasm during intercourse of 34% (95% confidence interval 27–40%) and 45% (95% confidence interval 38–52%) for orgasm during masturbation. These results show that the wide variation in orgasmic dysfunction in females has a genetic basis and cannot be attributed solely to cultural influences. These results should stimulate further research into the biological and perhaps evolutionary processes governing female sexual function.


Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:So the fact that a few men do sex work means the sexes are the same? Wrong.


No that's not what I said. You said that males don't do this, and I pointed out that they did. Whether the rates are the same or not is another question.


Of course the rates are crucial.
If someone says women don't have colour blindness and someone points out 'yes they do' we just ignore the different rates? Or decide that we need to take 'learning' rather than genetics into consideration?


Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:You know, I've seen some of these male prostitutes. One went shopping with the woman as his 'sex work'.


How is this different from what a lot of escorts do? I know one guy who hires hookers, then takes them out, buys them ice cream, and then drops them off home. Supposedly a large part of the job for prostitutes is the whole "connection" thing, and that's why they offer services where they literally just sit and talk to men, with gentle hugging and kissing, for an hour without any sex.

Sweet. ;)
The women do a good job - so many of them confess to disliking and even hating the men. But smiling is a requirement of the job.

One male prostitute I heard said he loved his clients, mostly having a small number of regular ones. He came across as something like a silverback gorilla with a harem. He too only regretted that he had no relationship and felt sad about not having someone to come home to. Guess he wasn't getting his 'connection' needs met with his ladies. They probably don't pay to be the ones to have to listen to him :lol:


Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:And yes, I do accept that women might pay a sexy male to make love to them. Just that these are more exceptions for women rather then the norm for men.

Why don't the men who want sex just pair up with the women who want sex and then they get it for free?


There are a large number of reasons. The simplest being that the man is too ugly or socially awkward to pick up a girl, or the man is too busy, and so hiring a prostitute is the easiest way to go about it.


So why is it the males who do the picking up?
And if the sexes are the same there must be an equal number of ugly and socially awkward women/girls wanting to pick up boys? Why don't they have the same service provided to them? Why don't 'attractive' boys and men take advantage of their potential market of ugly and socially awkward or simply too busy women?
And why do so many men in relationships seek large numbers of different other women for brief sex/connection.

I don't deny that men can and do seek 'connection' rather than simply sex. Geisha girls do not provide sex, only the illusion (often to married men) that there are lots more sexy young women around that really like the men and think they are very attractive. Women don't have their own version of this, though.

It really epitomizes the monogamy/promiscuity evolution of our species. We want both the 'connection' of a (even pretend) pair-bonded relationship and we want sex or 'connection' with more than one partner. Women far less than men seem to be willing to pay for it though, otherwise this market would have already been far more exploited by men. It's hard to believe that such a large market has been left untapped by men.


Mr.Samsa wrote: :shock: That's not a description of male sexuality, that's a horny cartoon character. Do you really think that the subpopulation that porn sites ads are aimed at would give us anywhere near a representative idea of male sexuality?

So you are saying that the highest grossing industry we have has been so successful in a market that does not exist?

I do think that (non-religious) men need to be a lot more vocal and visible about their 'anti-porn', 'anti-casual sex' 'anti-promiscuity' etc etc. I think it would make a massively positive impact on relations between the sexes.

But even you have been pushing more for the sameness of the sexes being towards sameness re. casual sex, promiscuity, male prostitutes etc rather than promoting the sameness of the sexes towards sameness re. committed, pair-bonded relationships.

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:But when you show that you can so easily ignore differences that exist then that makes me doubt these methods.
You have already established that for you there are no differences between the sexes.


I have never said this anywhere in this thread or forum. I have not ignored anything as no evidence has been presented.

Well, the evidence of differences in male/female prostitution for example, you have ignored the very obvious differences to make simplistic statements like men are prostitutes as if that is the end of evidence for difference.
What it is like is me saying men are taller than women. You say some men are taller than some women. End of story about sexual difference in height.

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:
Do you mean the change in behaviour over the menstrual cycle as a by-product compared to it being selected/adaptive?


I mean that the menstrual cycle will have effects on the body, so it will necessarily change behavior. What I'm interested in is how the authors separate out these changes (that occur as a result of environmental changes), and the behaviors being adaptations.

So you are saying that the hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle occur as a result of environmental changes? :eh:

Mr.Samsa wrote:Yes they're connected, but the development of a menstrual cycle doesn't mean that there is a correlative development of behavioral sequences. So whilst these differences in physical structures will affect the behavior of the sexes, these differences would then be a product of learning (i.e. responses to the structural differences).


So to go back to the antler analogy, while the differences in the existence/physical structure of the antlers will affect the behaviour of the sexes, these behavioural differences would then be a product of learning? The females don't compete for males because they don't have antlers and learn that they don't so don't try to fight. The males learn they have antlers and that they can use them in competition with other males. Ummm....

Or we could say that the ancestor had males that competed by knocking heads. Some genetic variation occurred where some individuals developed hard growths on the head. This would initially have occurred in both sexes. Sexual selection and the action of establshed mechanisms to sexually limit the expression of genes that are adaptive in one sex but not the other leads to gradual increase over time of the evolution of the male antlers and the absence in the female.
I.e the behaviour of male-male competition shaped the selection of the genes for antlers in males while females did not have the same behaviour so the antler development was selected against.

Primate females evolved menstrual cycles. In monkeys we get mating largely limited to oestrus.
Just looking at the langurs where Hrdy first studied the mating by females outside of oestrus under certain conditions .
These live in one-male groups and there are groups of bachelor males too. When females come across the bachelor males they will mate with them even, I think, if not in oestrus.
The male in the group only has on average about 22months before these bachelor males will launch a take-over.
When this happens the females in the group will mate with them and then when the new single male only remains they will actively solicit matings with him even though not in oestrus and even when pregnant.
Is this adaptive? Absolutely yes. The male will seek out and kill the infant of any female he has not mated with. Females mating with new males is absolutely adaptive for females. This means mating outside of oestrus is adaptive.
It is surely selection for a particular behaviour in particular circumstances.

This behaviour in females of mating outside of oestrus can be seen in other monkeys and becomes increasingly so in apes until we get to humans where it occurs most of all.
It is adaptive in all the other primates. It would have been adaptive in our earliest ancetors at the pan/homo split. And is very likely to have increased in our ancestry because it was adaptive to do so.
Particular behaviours expressed in particular circumstances that are absolutely adaptive.


Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:
Because hormonal changes affect behaviour.
Come on, men and women both know that.


Yes, but these effects on behavior would be a result of the interaction of biology and environment (i.e. the behaviors are learnt). They aren't behavioral adaptations.

Why not?
Going back to the langurs you are saying that the biology of the ancestral species that did not mate outside of oestrus is the same as the current biology of the females that do, and all that has changed is that some females for some unknown reason started to mate with novel males outside of oestrus and other females copied this behaviour. The fact that they then had more surviving offspring is incidental.
I would say that an ancestral female had a variation in the genetics of her mating behaviour (soliciting novel males with 'false' oestrus signals to them) that led to her mating with novel males outside of oestrus. She had more surviving offspring and the variation spread though them.

Mr.Samsa wrote:No, I'm saying that an orgasm is not a behavior.

So a discussion on sexual behaviour ought to leave out 'orgasm' which is only, what, a physiological reward mechanism for a behaviour? :eh:


Mr.Samsa wrote:So if monogamy is learnt, and monogamy is the dominant system which drives a lot of our sexual behaviors, then there is necessarily a confound when it comes to sexual differences between the sexes. Specifically, how do we know that a difference is a result of biological differences, and when it is a result of the institution of monogamy?

By looking at the hunter-gatherers, primates (especially apes), physical differences between the sexes, genetic differences, physiological differences, fossils, which behaviours are adaptive for one sex and not the other, sexual conflict.

Mr.Samsa wrote:Firstly, I never said that the sexual behaviors of hermaphroditic organisms was learnt. Secondly, even if it was learnt, why would you assume that the behavior would start off "random"?

Ok
So if we look at this mating behaviour of Pseudobiceros bedfordi
Image

Are we arguing as to whether this is an evolved, adaptive behaviour or whether it is a learned?
Trying now to work out your definition of 'learned' .............. a product of the interaction of biology and environment? These hermaphrodite mates have some evolved mating mechanism or not? Presumably so as they would just avoid each other and get on with feeding rather than wasting time and energy on this.

So if we accept evolved traits that lead them to proximity and some evolved trait that leads them to jab the other with their penises.....................but, I'm getting the feeling you would say this all happens in interaction with the environment so it is learned.
I get the feeling from your definition 'learned' we could actually show that absolutely nothing has in fact evolved. :?

What you really mean is how do we distinguish between behaviours due to interactions between adaptations and the environment and behaviours due to interactions between non-adaptive biology and the environment.
Normally this is just asked in the form of 'how do we know if this is an adaptation or not'.
But you also seem to be saying that the involvement of any interaction means the biological trait either does not actually exist or is not an adaptation.
:think:
Part two to follow.
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Re: Womens disconnect between the objective and subjective

#91  Postby sprite » Mar 21, 2011 4:38 pm

Mr.Samsa wrote:Well one thing we can say with almost complete certainty is that the female straying behavior is probably not an "instinct". As for why the females specifically do this, I'm not sure, as I said we'd need more information on what processes could have led up to it.

Well incest avoidance is the basic one. In all social species one or both sexes disperses. Females especially resist incestuous matings.
Usually it is males who disperse as mother and offspring formed the first social unit, then daughters staying around while sons seek novel females.
Some change in apes led to sons staying with fathers and daughters then leaving to seek novel males and avoid incest.
We have it to some degree in gorillas which have one male or a male and son with unrelated females who move between silverbacks.
When the female bonobo reaches puberty she stops her sexual interactions and moves to the periphery of the group and then disperses. Maybe moving between groups before settling in one. This is where these otherwise promiscuous females exercise 'female choice' - they choose which community of related males they will mate with.

Incest avoidance with the attraction to some degree of novelty goes right back to the first sex cells.


Mr.Samsa wrote:So you accept that cultural variation and learning can significantly change the sexual behaviors in the sexes? If so, then how do you know that the differences that you are talking about are biological and not learnt? For example, how do you know that your speculation above is true?

Because they all boil down to the same species-wide principles of sexual selection, control over reproduction, and sexual conflict.

Mr.Samsa wrote:

:shock: That's insane.


When women are stoned for being raped in some cultures the people there clearly think she should die.
Or in the past when it was the father or husband who was compensated the experience of the raped woman does not seem to have been one of particular concern about her.
Or for many cultures and in our own history that the rape of married women was viewed as impossible to exist.

Are you saying that these variations are not connected to the self-interest of the men involved?
And while these vary according to the environment I am saying they vary a lot more than do the feelings of the women who are raped across these cultures and situations.
And yes, you can create an environment where women will learn to accept rape more or less.
In some cultures girls are gang raped immediately before marriage (Australia), or gang-raped when they refuse to be free with their bodies (Amazonia).
Though it is part of the culture the girls still hate it.

Mr.Samsa wrote:

Wait, what.. Did you just say that men can't be raped by women? And you're trying to justify such ignorance by appealing to what other species do? What the fuck.

Ok Time for evidence of men being raped by women.
Or are we yet again using the 'it doesn't matter if it happens relatively rarely in men' geez. :roll:

Mr.Samsa wrote:

:lol: That is such a ridiculous caricature of both men and women.


Do you know about the Pitcairn islanders?
In 1790 nine mutineers from HMS Bounty landed on Pitcairn along with six male and thirteen female Polynesians. !5 men and 13 women. When the colony was discovered eighteen years later ten of the women had survived but only one of the men. Of the other 14 men, one had committed suicide, one had died, and twelve had been murdered.


Mr.Samsa wrote: First you need to present data showing that men are rejected more than women, and then if you can show this, you have to explain how you've separated out the biological differences from the significant cultural differences that play a major role in this difference (i.e. the strong social punishers in place for women approaching men and asking them out).

Yes, of course there are environmental influences.
Going back to the 70s, women were quite free to approach men. There were all those sex communes then etc etc. 'Free sex' was welcomed by a lot of people of both sexes. I read somewhere (and many years back so don't remember where) that when the men decided to settle down they reverted to wanting women who had not slept around.
I saw something from Iran recently about male and female students having sexual relationships. They talked to the girls who were quite starry-eyed about their boyfriends and marriage. Then they, separately, talked to the boys. "Will you marry your girlfriend". One boy thinks and looks a little horrified by the prospect. What about the women they will marry - if she has had other boyfriends will that matter? No hesitation from the boys. Of course it will matter. The boys would not marry any woman who, as they put it, was secondhand goods. I just wished the girls could have seen this.
Of course this strict want for a virgin wife is cultural.

Boys and men asked similar questions here say things like it being preferable she has had fewer partners than he. I think nine was that accepted number for one group of males. And they would not want to be told it was anymore. They advised women to lie.
I guess the number who would marry a sex worker is likely to be pretty low then. ;)

Of course men, in certain circumstances, want women to be promiscuous. They often want to be promiscuous themselves so of course they can't do that without promiscuous women around. The story often changes when it comes to marriage and parenting.

I think that women should be at least a little suspicious of men's encouragement of their promiscuity. It still has far more negative consequences for female reproductive success than it does for the man.


Mr.Samsa wrote:Those studies show that it goes both ways. Men are much happier and have much more stable relationships when they wait longer before having sex with their partner.

Are there studies that show men would have preferred to have waited longer ie till they were older, before they started having any sex as studies of women show. I.e. stayed virgins longer?

Mr.Samsa wrote:Firstly, even though the beliefs of society are changing, there are still significant punishers in place for promiscuous women so there aren't a lot of promiscuous women around.

Oh yes there are - you said above that they were hanging around in bars but unwanted because they're unclean. :lol:

Mr.Samsa wrote:And secondly, what man actually buys books on how to get women into bed?

Are you basing your understanding of male behavior on the spam emails you receive?

No, the number of books in this genre, Amazon book sales and discussions.

Mr.Samsa wrote:Total misunderstanding of my position. I have no said it is all learnt. I have said that learning obviously takes place, to some degree. My question is how have you separated out learning effects that produce sex differences, and biological differences that produce sex differences. In reply to that you've simply said "But sexual selection...!".

:doh:


Mr.Samsa wrote:That's not the problem with the legal system. Part of the problem with prosecuting rapists is that there is rarely ever any evidence that the victim did not consent. We can do swabs, check for vaginal tearing, and so on, but this only proves that sex (and sometimes rough sex) has taken place - it tells us nothing about whether the victim consented. Thus, a lot of rapists get let off.

If a woman says no to sex, and there is evidence of this, then the rapist will get prosecuted. The judge will not throw out, say, a video recording of her removing consent and say, "Sure, she said no, but I know that deep down women want sex just as much as men so this obviously can't be rape".

So it boils down to his word against hers. And we get a 6% conviction rate.

Mr.Samsa wrote:Again you're still fantastically missing the point of my argument. You've accepted that learning processes play a significant role in the development of sexual behaviors. So when we find that there is a difference between the sexes, how do we know what behaviors are learnt and which are biological?

This is the main point that you keep dodging by appealing to sexual selection without explaining how sexual selection differentiates the two processes.



I'm now thinking the problem is that your definition of learnt seems to be anything that is a result of the interaction between the individual's biology and the input from the environment, while 'biological' seems to have to require no input from the environment which is impossible.
As earlier in discussing the hermaphrodites, with this definition everything is 'learnt' and nothing is 'biological'.
But then we also have this other term 'evolved' which I have had to assume means evolved adaptations. So this is the 'biological'. Evolved adaptations are also expressed in interaction with the environment. So does this then mean they are learned? That's what you seem to be ultimately arguing because they are not independent of the environment.
You think an adaptation must express itself regardless of the environment otherwise it is learned.
You also think physical traits are distinct from behavioural ones connected to them.

I'll run this with a species you brought up yourself a little while ago - the 'learning' damselflies.
Two very similar species where the females of one species learned which male was the one of their own species.
How does she learn this? She mates with them. So what does this mating tell her? Most likely, and suggested in the paper, the difference between the males is in their genitalia.

Insects have the most diverse and rapidly evolving genitalia of all species. They are the main subjects and evidence for Eberhard's work on female cryptic choice. Many species can ony be distnguished by the male genitalia. Females have their preferences for particular genitalia with particular stimulation. Sexual selection. Post-copulatory male-male competition plus post-copulatory female choice.

So the female damselflies do not have a mating adaptation regarding what the male looks like in terms of the dark colour of the wings in these two species. There is also female preference for darker wings but the darkest wings belong to the other species.
So what do we actually have going on here with this 'learning'? We have a damselfly female with a mating preference for darker wings. If she is just with her own males, no problem. But when in an area with another species that is externally much the same as her own she mates with them too. Then his genitals do not match her evolved preference in her species. She can now distinguish between her own and the other species.

Yes, she has learned which is the correct mate but only because her evolved preference applies to the genitals and only through mating can this be known. Genitals that have evolved through sexual selection. Genitals that evolve rapidly through sexual selection and that lead to speciation too.
She has evolved to accept males with the correct genitalia and genital stimulation.

You might think that because 'learning' is involved that mate choice is not an evolved, adaptive behaviour in this species. But of course it is. It's just that the evolved adaptation concerns the genitals with copulation needing to be in progress for female choice to act.

Here we have something which on the surface looks like 'learning' but these species have always and still are making mate choices through evolved preferences for particular male genitalia.


Mr.Samsa wrote:

Sure, but this doesn't relate to anything I've said.

Yes it does because it is the production of eggs and sperm that in most instances determines how selection will act differently on individuals of the same species. If we were hermaphrodites then sex differences would not exist.
With two sexes comes two (often very) different environments for male and female, ie one has the environment where they must reproduce only with males, the other only with females. Bodies and behaviours diverge. That's just a fact of life. Males and females of the same species exist in different reproductive environments.
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Re: Womens disconnect between the objective and subjective

#92  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 22, 2011 3:02 am

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:I agree. In New Zealand this is what is happening since it has been legalised. They advertise it like any other job and they carry on with normal lives. Whether people want to date someone in that line of work is up to their own individual preferences - personally I wouldn't care, but I know some people would. But we have to keep in mind that this doesn't just apply to prostitution - there are people who refuse to date people in the army, tax collectors, etc., so there's nothing significant about choosing not to date someone who has a job that disagrees with your own principles.

So these jobs and advertisements etc are in similar numbers for both sexes?
Or is it still a service almost always provided by women to men?
Should we not work to open it up to men, like is done with traditional 'men's' jobs?


It is open to men too, and it is fairly equal - probably about 60:40 women to men. And if we were to include similar professions, like strippers and escorts, then I imagine it would be practically 50:50.

sprite wrote:There have been studies too that show women more consistently have orgasms in long-term, secure relationships.

Connected to this there is this study Genetic influences on variation in female orgasmic function: a twin study:
One in three women (32%) reported never or infrequently achieving orgasm during intercourse, with a corresponding figure of 21% during masturbation. A significant genetic influence was seen with an estimated heritability for difficulty reaching orgasm during intercourse of 34% (95% confidence interval 27–40%) and 45% (95% confidence interval 38–52%) for orgasm during masturbation. These results show that the wide variation in orgasmic dysfunction in females has a genetic basis and cannot be attributed solely to cultural influences. These results should stimulate further research into the biological and perhaps evolutionary processes governing female sexual function.


Sure - and now demonstrate that this is an evolved trait. Remember our discussion about how biological functions can be appropriated by learning mechanisms?

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:So the fact that a few men do sex work means the sexes are the same? Wrong.


No that's not what I said. You said that males don't do this, and I pointed out that they did. Whether the rates are the same or not is another question.


Of course the rates are crucial.
If someone says women don't have colour blindness and someone points out 'yes they do' we just ignore the different rates? Or decide that we need to take 'learning' rather than genetics into consideration?


The rates aren't crucial when falsifying a ridiculously generalised claim. You claimed this was a woman-only profession, I falsified your claim.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:You know, I've seen some of these male prostitutes. One went shopping with the woman as his 'sex work'.


How is this different from what a lot of escorts do? I know one guy who hires hookers, then takes them out, buys them ice cream, and then drops them off home. Supposedly a large part of the job for prostitutes is the whole "connection" thing, and that's why they offer services where they literally just sit and talk to men, with gentle hugging and kissing, for an hour without any sex.

Sweet. ;)
The women do a good job - so many of them confess to disliking and even hating the men. But smiling is a requirement of the job.

One male prostitute I heard said he loved his clients, mostly having a small number of regular ones. He came across as something like a silverback gorilla with a harem. He too only regretted that he had no relationship and felt sad about not having someone to come home to. Guess he wasn't getting his 'connection' needs met with his ladies. They probably don't pay to be the ones to have to listen to him :lol:


All anecdotal though. I've heard the opposite - that most female prostitutes think that their clients are generally sweet and they do what they can to make them happy and comfortable because they care about them, to some degree. Whereas the male prostitutes tend to dislike their work more because they are usually lumped with uglier, older women. Unless we have any evidence to suggest which is right (if either), then the position is moot.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:[There are a large number of reasons. The simplest being that the man is too ugly or socially awkward to pick up a girl, or the man is too busy, and so hiring a prostitute is the easiest way to go about it.


So why is it the males who do the picking up?
And if the sexes are the same there must be an equal number of ugly and socially awkward women/girls wanting to pick up boys? Why don't they have the same service provided to them? Why don't 'attractive' boys and men take advantage of their potential market of ugly and socially awkward or simply too busy women?


Because our culture demands that men pick up women, and that women be prudish and not have sex (as that would make them "whores"). Even if there are biological differences, these environmental forces would necessarily skew the data and we still need to figure out what is causing what.

sprite wrote:And why do so many men in relationships seek large numbers of different other women for brief sex/connection.


The last I checked, the infidelity rates in marriages was 50/50.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote: :shock: That's not a description of male sexuality, that's a horny cartoon character. Do you really think that the subpopulation that porn sites ads are aimed at would give us anywhere near a representative idea of male sexuality?

So you are saying that the highest grossing industry we have has been so successful in a market that does not exist?


No, I'm saying that it's not representative of males in general. We also have to remember that one of the biggest earners in the porn industry is that aimed at women, so it would be odd not to apply the same arguments to women.

sprite wrote:I do think that (non-religious) men need to be a lot more vocal and visible about their 'anti-porn', 'anti-casual sex' 'anti-promiscuity' etc etc. I think it would make a massively positive impact on relations between the sexes.


Perhaps, but you have to remember that it's incredibly difficult for men to do so given the current cultural demands. If a man notes that he doesn't watch porn or masturbate, what happens? He gets laughed at and called a liar. A man says that he doesn't approve of sleeping around? He's suddenly a "faggot" (and, depending on the idiocy of the company he keeps, he gets his ass kicked for his troubles).

The same equally applies to women - whenever they try to point out that masturbation is okay, or that they don't have a problem with sleeping around, they get called a "whore" and abused for it.

sprite wrote:But even you have been pushing more for the sameness of the sexes being towards sameness re. casual sex, promiscuity, male prostitutes etc rather than promoting the sameness of the sexes towards sameness re. committed, pair-bonded relationships.


I have never pushed for the sameness of the sexes.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:I have never said this anywhere in this thread or forum. I have not ignored anything as no evidence has been presented.

Well, the evidence of differences in male/female prostitution for example, you have ignored the very obvious differences to make simplistic statements like men are prostitutes as if that is the end of evidence for difference.
What it is like is me saying men are taller than women. You say some men are taller than some women. End of story about sexual difference in height.


What? I've accepted that there are more women prostitutes than men. What I deny is that this represents a biological difference - you need to demonstrate that.

Your arguments are ridiculous. Are you seriously suggesting that if I got a group of chihuahuas and poodles, then taught the chihuahuas to jump up and down when I ring a bell, and taught the poodles to roll over when I ring a bell, that observing the differences in their behavior after ringing a bell demonstrates a biological difference between the two groups?

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:
Do you mean the change in behaviour over the menstrual cycle as a by-product compared to it being selected/adaptive?


I mean that the menstrual cycle will have effects on the body, so it will necessarily change behavior. What I'm interested in is how the authors separate out these changes (that occur as a result of environmental changes), and the behaviors being adaptations.

So you are saying that the hormonal changes during the menstrual cycle occur as a result of environmental changes? :eh:


No, I said: "I mean that the menstrual cycle will have effects on the body, so it will necessarily change behavior."

With these biological changes, there will be changes in behavior. Some of these changes will be learnt, as a function of the organisms interaction with the environment (i.e. if they are bleeding from their vagina, they are less likely to go swimming in a pool), and some of these changes will be behavioral adaptations (e.g. perhaps they are more receptive to a certain kind of male). The problem is that the former (aversion to swimming pools) is not an evolved feature, it's a learnt behavior. In other words, there are going to be a number of behavioral effects associated with the cycle and we need to figure out what is caused by what.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:Yes they're connected, but the development of a menstrual cycle doesn't mean that there is a correlative development of behavioral sequences. So whilst these differences in physical structures will affect the behavior of the sexes, these differences would then be a product of learning (i.e. responses to the structural differences).


So to go back to the antler analogy, while the differences in the existence/physical structure of the antlers will affect the behaviour of the sexes, these behavioural differences would then be a product of learning? The females don't compete for males because they don't have antlers and learn that they don't so don't try to fight. The males learn they have antlers and that they can use them in competition with other males. Ummm....

Or we could say that the ancestor had males that competed by knocking heads. Some genetic variation occurred where some individuals developed hard growths on the head. This would initially have occurred in both sexes. Sexual selection and the action of establshed mechanisms to sexually limit the expression of genes that are adaptive in one sex but not the other leads to gradual increase over time of the evolution of the male antlers and the absence in the female.
I.e the behaviour of male-male competition shaped the selection of the genes for antlers in males while females did not have the same behaviour so the antler development was selected against.


Indeed - so we would have two equally plausible hypotheses. We would need to test them to figure out which is which.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:No, I'm saying that an orgasm is not a behavior.

So a discussion on sexual behaviour ought to leave out 'orgasm' which is only, what, a physiological reward mechanism for a behaviour? :eh:


:doh:

Can you at least attempt to just read what I write and not come up with your crazy interpretations?

The orgasm is not a behavior, so even if you could find evidence that the evolutionary path of the orgasm was different and that adaptations produced changes in males and females, this does not show that the behavior preceding the orgasm (the behavior that is rewarded) is an adaptation.

To claim that it is is a severe misunderstanding of evolutionary and behavioral theory.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:So if monogamy is learnt, and monogamy is the dominant system which drives a lot of our sexual behaviors, then there is necessarily a confound when it comes to sexual differences between the sexes. Specifically, how do we know that a difference is a result of biological differences, and when it is a result of the institution of monogamy?

By looking at the hunter-gatherers, primates (especially apes), physical differences between the sexes, genetic differences, physiological differences, fossils, which behaviours are adaptive for one sex and not the other, sexual conflict.


I don't see how any of those factors could help separate the effects. It sounds like guesswork based on fanciful fairy tales.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:Firstly, I never said that the sexual behaviors of hermaphroditic organisms was learnt. Secondly, even if it was learnt, why would you assume that the behavior would start off "random"?

Ok
So if we look at this mating behaviour of Pseudobiceros bedfordi
Image

Are we arguing as to whether this is an evolved, adaptive behaviour or whether it is a learned?
Trying now to work out your definition of 'learned' .............. a product of the interaction of biology and environment?


:doh: For fuck's sake. No that's not my definition of fucking learning.

sprite wrote:These hermaphrodite mates have some evolved mating mechanism or not? Presumably so as they would just avoid each other and get on with feeding rather than wasting time and energy on this.


I don't know whether the behavior is evolved or not because I haven't read enough about them to know, but how the hell does your second sentence have any relevance at all? Are you saying that if sexual behaviors weren't evolved, then organisms would never learn to have sex?

Ridiculous understanding of learning mechanisms.

sprite wrote:So if we accept evolved traits that lead them to proximity and some evolved trait that leads them to jab the other with their penises.....................but, I'm getting the feeling you would say this all happens in interaction with the environment so it is learned.
I get the feeling from your definition 'learned' we could actually show that absolutely nothing has in fact evolved. :?


No, that definition was made up in your own head based on a misrepresentation of my position.

sprite wrote:What you really mean is how do we distinguish between behaviours due to interactions between adaptations and the environment and behaviours due to interactions between non-adaptive biology and the environment.
Normally this is just asked in the form of 'how do we know if this is an adaptation or not'.


That was my original question but given your failure to answer it or even support it, I had to simplify the question for you.

sprite wrote:But you also seem to be saying that the involvement of any interaction means the biological trait either does not actually exist or is not an adaptation.
:think:
Part two to follow.


:doh:

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:Well one thing we can say with almost complete certainty is that the female straying behavior is probably not an "instinct". As for why the females specifically do this, I'm not sure, as I said we'd need more information on what processes could have led up to it.

Well incest avoidance is the basic one. In all social species one or both sexes disperses. Females especially resist incestuous matings.
Usually it is males who disperse as mother and offspring formed the first social unit, then daughters staying around while sons seek novel females.
Some change in apes led to sons staying with fathers and daughters then leaving to seek novel males and avoid incest.
We have it to some degree in gorillas which have one male or a male and son with unrelated females who move between silverbacks.
When the female bonobo reaches puberty she stops her sexual interactions and moves to the periphery of the group and then disperses. Maybe moving between groups before settling in one. This is where these otherwise promiscuous females exercise 'female choice' - they choose which community of related males they will mate with.

Incest avoidance with the attraction to some degree of novelty goes right back to the first sex cells.


Indeed, so in this scenario the "exploring" behavior would not be an instinct - it would be a learnt response to a number of factors, including the avoidance of incest. Just in case you don't understand the distinction here, look at it this way: pain is a biological response, and arguably we could say that the retraction from pain is an "instinct". Now suppose I taught my dog to run around a ridiculous obstacle course including see saws, slalom poles, and a part where it has to roll over, shake paw, and yodel to the latest country singing sensation, and I did all this using the pain "instinct". Undeniably, these behaviors are learnt and no one would argue that the yodelling to Garth Brooks is an instinct in the dog.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:So you accept that cultural variation and learning can significantly change the sexual behaviors in the sexes? If so, then how do you know that the differences that you are talking about are biological and not learnt? For example, how do you know that your speculation above is true?

Because they all boil down to the same species-wide principles of sexual selection, control over reproduction, and sexual conflict.


But you've already demonstrated that you're willing to apply this post-hoc explanation to anything, even things you've accepted are a result of cultural factors. So this explanation isn't good enough.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:

:shock: That's insane.


When women are stoned for being raped in some cultures the people there clearly think she should die.
Or in the past when it was the father or husband who was compensated the experience of the raped woman does not seem to have been one of particular concern about her.
Or for many cultures and in our own history that the rape of married women was viewed as impossible to exist.

Are you saying that these variations are not connected to the self-interest of the men involved?


They're for the self-interest of the man, certainly. I wouldn't argue that they are evolved behaviors though.

sprite wrote:And while these vary according to the environment I am saying they vary a lot more than do the feelings of the women who are raped across these cultures and situations.
And yes, you can create an environment where women will learn to accept rape more or less.
In some cultures girls are gang raped immediately before marriage (Australia), or gang-raped when they refuse to be free with their bodies (Amazonia).
Though it is part of the culture the girls still hate it.


Of course women across cultures and situations will consistently hate it - it's a horrible experience. Why would we want to teach them to accept it?!

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:

Wait, what.. Did you just say that men can't be raped by women? And you're trying to justify such ignorance by appealing to what other species do? What the fuck.

Ok Time for evidence of men being raped by women.
Or are we yet again using the 'it doesn't matter if it happens relatively rarely in men' geez. :roll:


Obviously these figures are even more difficult to judge than female rape statistics because there are even more societal pressures which prevent a man from reporting rape (estimated that less than 10% of male rape is reported). The only statistic I can find is that 4% of rapes are done by women - however this obviously doesn't tell us whether there is any difference in the number of rapists (i.e. it could be that there are equal numbers but men are simply more prolific).

So obviously your statement above is flat-out, completely and dangerously wrong. Even if we accept that it happens "relatively rarely" (a claim that is disputed in the literature on the subject), this doesn't change the fact that your ridiculous belief that men aren't raped by women to be absolutely bogus.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:

:lol: That is such a ridiculous caricature of both men and women.


Do you know about the Pitcairn islanders?
In 1790 nine mutineers from HMS Bounty landed on Pitcairn along with six male and thirteen female Polynesians. !5 men and 13 women. When the colony was discovered eighteen years later ten of the women had survived but only one of the men. Of the other 14 men, one had committed suicide, one had died, and twelve had been murdered.


Oh well, that proves it then...




:roll:


sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote: First you need to present data showing that men are rejected more than women, and then if you can show this, you have to explain how you've separated out the biological differences from the significant cultural differences that play a major role in this difference (i.e. the strong social punishers in place for women approaching men and asking them out).

Yes, of course there are environmental influences.
Going back to the 70s, women were quite free to approach men. There were all those sex communes then etc etc. 'Free sex' was welcomed by a lot of people of both sexes. I read somewhere (and many years back so don't remember where) that when the men decided to settle down they reverted to wanting women who had not slept around.


That doesn't tell us anything.

sprite wrote:I saw something from Iran recently about male and female students having sexual relationships. They talked to the girls who were quite starry-eyed about their boyfriends and marriage. Then they, separately, talked to the boys. "Will you marry your girlfriend". One boy thinks and looks a little horrified by the prospect. What about the women they will marry - if she has had other boyfriends will that matter? No hesitation from the boys. Of course it will matter. The boys would not marry any woman who, as they put it, was secondhand goods. I just wished the girls could have seen this.
Of course this strict want for a virgin wife is cultural.


Exactly.

sprite wrote:Boys and men asked similar questions here say things like it being preferable she has had fewer partners than he. I think nine was that accepted number for one group of males. And they would not want to be told it was anymore. They advised women to lie.
I guess the number who would marry a sex worker is likely to be pretty low then. ;)


Except this isn't the only factor for marriage, and what people report is usually very different from their actual behaviors (hence why self-reported data is generally pretty useless). Given that vast amounts of men apparently prefer experienced women compared to virgins in Western society, I'd imagine that prostitutes would have no problem finding a husband.

sprite wrote:Of course men, in certain circumstances, want women to be promiscuous. They often want to be promiscuous themselves so of course they can't do that without promiscuous women around. The story often changes when it comes to marriage and parenting.

I think that women should be at least a little suspicious of men's encouragement of their promiscuity. It still has far more negative consequences for female reproductive success than it does for the man.


What do you mean "men's encouragement of their promiscuity"? It seems to me that the biggest promoters of women's right to have sex with whomever they want, whenever they want is coming from the women themselves - particularly the feminists.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:Those studies show that it goes both ways. Men are much happier and have much more stable relationships when they wait longer before having sex with their partner.

Are there studies that show men would have preferred to have waited longer ie till they were older, before they started having any sex as studies of women show. I.e. stayed virgins longer?


There's this study: http://www.bmj.com/content/320/7244/1243.full where 27% of boys regretted their first time, compared to 32% of girls.

This result shouldn't be too surprising, a large number of guys regret their first time. I know I do.

Whilst searching for this, I found this paper with these results:

Code: Select all
                             
                   Never    Rarely    Sometimes    Often    Always
Men (n = 78)          17.9  28.2      38.5          10.3   5.1
Women (n = 181)     29.3  27.1      35.9           6.1    1.7
Combined (n = 259)  25.9  27.4      36.7           7.3    2.7


Where the subjects were asked "Have you ever regretted engaging in a sexual activity?". The interesting part is that the results completely contradict your idea about men "always being up for it". And furthermore, the males scores are higher in all of the columns except for "Never", where women are overrepresented...

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:Firstly, even though the beliefs of society are changing, there are still significant punishers in place for promiscuous women so there aren't a lot of promiscuous women around.

Oh yes there are - you said above that they were hanging around in bars but unwanted because they're unclean. :lol:


I never said that.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:And secondly, what man actually buys books on how to get women into bed?

Are you basing your understanding of male behavior on the spam emails you receive?

No, the number of books in this genre, Amazon book sales and discussions.


And of course this is an accurate measure of sex differences...

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:That's not the problem with the legal system. Part of the problem with prosecuting rapists is that there is rarely ever any evidence that the victim did not consent. We can do swabs, check for vaginal tearing, and so on, but this only proves that sex (and sometimes rough sex) has taken place - it tells us nothing about whether the victim consented. Thus, a lot of rapists get let off.

If a woman says no to sex, and there is evidence of this, then the rapist will get prosecuted. The judge will not throw out, say, a video recording of her removing consent and say, "Sure, she said no, but I know that deep down women want sex just as much as men so this obviously can't be rape".

So it boils down to his word against hers. And we get a 6% conviction rate.


Exactly - the law is based on 'innocent until proven guilty', so if there is only a witness testimony and no other evidence, then the court can't prosecute. So your interpretation early is clearly wrong.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:Again you're still fantastically missing the point of my argument. You've accepted that learning processes play a significant role in the development of sexual behaviors. So when we find that there is a difference between the sexes, how do we know what behaviors are learnt and which are biological?

This is the main point that you keep dodging by appealing to sexual selection without explaining how sexual selection differentiates the two processes.



I'm now thinking the problem is that your definition of learnt seems to be anything that is a result of the interaction between the individual's biology and the input from the environment, while 'biological' seems to have to require no input from the environment which is impossible.
As earlier in discussing the hermaphrodites, with this definition everything is 'learnt' and nothing is 'biological'.
But then we also have this other term 'evolved' which I have had to assume means evolved adaptations. So this is the 'biological'. Evolved adaptations are also expressed in interaction with the environment. So does this then mean they are learned? That's what you seem to be ultimately arguing because they are not independent of the environment.
You think an adaptation must express itself regardless of the environment otherwise it is learned.
You also think physical traits are distinct from behavioural ones connected to them.


No, I'm using the standard definition of learning. I actually think the problem is the other way around, where you're using anything that has a biological aspect to mean that a very specific behavioral sequence must then be an adaptation. Of course behavioral adaptations involve an interaction with the environment, and nobody here is arguing "nature vs nurture" (at least I'm not), but the point is that if you're saying that a very specific behavior is evolved, then it makes no sense to say that the massive amounts of learning required to reach the final behavioral state is simply part of the evolved process. Like I demonstrated with the dog training example above, the fact that biological aspects play a role in shaping behavior is undeniable, but to say that yodelling to country music is an evolved behavior in the dog is ridiculous.

If you were arguing for general biological predispositions which make some behaviors more or less likely, then that's an entirely reasonable position (given supporting evidence), but you're arguing for a much more specific form of behavior than that. You're making claims like women have a natural aversion to rape - given that such aversion is completely different from every single innate behavior (of the class you're talking about), then we can either conclude that it isn't an adaptation, or it is an incredibly unique form of adaptation that you'd require massive amounts of evidence to support.

sprite wrote:I'll run this with a species you brought up yourself a little while ago - the 'learning' damselflies.
Two very similar species where the females of one species learned which male was the one of their own species.
How does she learn this? She mates with them. So what does this mating tell her? Most likely, and suggested in the paper, the difference between the males is in their genitalia.

Insects have the most diverse and rapidly evolving genitalia of all species. They are the main subjects and evidence for Eberhard's work on female cryptic choice. Many species can ony be distnguished by the male genitalia. Females have their preferences for particular genitalia with particular stimulation. Sexual selection. Post-copulatory male-male competition plus post-copulatory female choice.


How are you managing to twist this into an evolved behavior in your head? Yes, biological constraints shape behavior, and the evolved shape of the genitalia makes conspecific mating more likely, but the mating behavior is not evolved.

sprite wrote:So the female damselflies do not have a mating adaptation regarding what the male looks like in terms of the dark colour of the wings in these two species. There is also female preference for darker wings but the darkest wings belong to the other species.
So what do we actually have going on here with this 'learning'? We have a damselfly female with a mating preference for darker wings. If she is just with her own males, no problem. But when in an area with another species that is externally much the same as her own she mates with them too. Then his genitals do not match her evolved preference in her species. She can now distinguish between her own and the other species.


There was no overall preference for darker wings - the preference changed depending on their learning histories.

sprite wrote:Yes, she has learned which is the correct mate but only because her evolved preference applies to the genitals and only through mating can this be known. Genitals that have evolved through sexual selection. Genitals that evolve rapidly through sexual selection and that lead to speciation too.
She has evolved to accept males with the correct genitalia and genital stimulation.

You might think that because 'learning' is involved that mate choice is not an evolved, adaptive behaviour in this species. But of course it is. It's just that the evolved adaptation concerns the genitals with copulation needing to be in progress for female choice to act.

Here we have something which on the surface looks like 'learning' but these species have always and still are making mate choices through evolved preferences for particular male genitalia.


Insane reinterpretation of the data... You're completely misunderstanding what learning and behavioral adaptations are.

Look at it this way - all humans drink tea (or hot drinks) out of a mug or cup of some kind, and none drink them off of plates. This is because when they try to drink them off plates, the hot drink slides off and burns them. So is drinking tea from a mug an evolved behavioral adaptation? If you answer "yes" then there's really no point continuing this discussion because it's ridiculous, and if you answer "no" then you'd be inconsistent not to apply the same logic to the damselflies above.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:

Sure, but this doesn't relate to anything I've said.

Yes it does because it is the production of eggs and sperm that in most instances determines how selection will act differently on individuals of the same species. If we were hermaphrodites then sex differences would not exist.
With two sexes comes two (often very) different environments for male and female, ie one has the environment where they must reproduce only with males, the other only with females. Bodies and behaviours diverge. That's just a fact of life. Males and females of the same species exist in different reproductive environments.


This doesn't do anything to suggest that all sex differences are the result of sexual selection though! The point is that I'm not denying that sex differences are possible, the point is that I'm saying sex differences can come about through evolution, and through learning. How do you tell the difference? You haven't even attempted to do so yet.
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Re: Womens disconnect between the objective and subjective

#93  Postby sprite » Mar 23, 2011 9:18 am

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:So to go back to the antler analogy, while the differences in the existence/physical structure of the antlers will affect the behaviour of the sexes, these behavioural differences would then be a product of learning? The females don't compete for males because they don't have antlers and learn that they don't so don't try to fight. The males learn they have antlers and that they can use them in competition with other males. Ummm....

Or we could say that the ancestor had males that competed by knocking heads. Some genetic variation occurred where some individuals developed hard growths on the head. This would initially have occurred in both sexes. Sexual selection and the action of establshed mechanisms to sexually limit the expression of genes that are adaptive in one sex but not the other leads to gradual increase over time of the evolution of the male antlers and the absence in the female.
I.e the behaviour of male-male competition shaped the selection of the genes for antlers in males while females did not have the same behaviour so the antler development was selected against.


Indeed - so we would have two equally plausible hypotheses. We would need to test them to figure out which is which.


You really think we need to test whether male deer evolved antlers and then started using them in competition with males? Why did they not continue to develop in females if they had no costs? And this would, of course, be going back to the first ancestor where the antlers evolved, not the current species where the sex-limited mecahnisms are already in force.

You think only male deer ancestor evolved the antlers first from the start and then it was case of 'uh, what shall I do with these?' :shock:

A lot of resources go into building antlers.
The novel trait would have been in both sexes to start with.
It would have been selected against in both sexes if it had no advantage to either.
It was selected against in females.
It was selected for in males.
It was therefore connected to the differences in behaviour of the two sexes that were there at the start.
The antlers are regrown for each mating/rutting season - again, clearly connected to male-male competition.

In caribou both sexes have antlers though the males have theirs for the rutting season and the females have theirs for the winter.
They were selected for in males due to their advantage in male-male competition, something which existed before the antlers evolved.
They were not selected against in females - or they may have been in the ancestor but again appeared in the caribou female and were then selected for in the females but with a quite different ontology than in the male, again no doubt connected to sex-limitation mechanisms - the female advantage was experienced in the winter months in competition with males over food.


Mr.Samsa wrote:The orgasm is not a behavior, so even if you could find evidence that the evolutionary path of the orgasm was different and that adaptations produced changes in males and females, this does not show that the behavior preceding the orgasm (the behavior that is rewarded) is an adaptation.

To claim that it is is a severe misunderstanding of evolutionary and behavioral theory.

So transporting sperm to eggs is not an adaptation??????????????
When eggs and sperm evolved from a one-size sex cell with one becoming large and full of cytoplasm, organelles, nutritients etc and the other reduced to just the DNA plus mobility to find the egg, these were achieved by selection and adaptive advantage. The adaptive advantage of being either one or the other but not in between. The traits that were successively selected by which sperm, or the bodies producing them, out-reproduced others of the same (males), and those successively selected by which eggs, and the bodies that produced them, out-reproduced others of the same (females) (and plays a large part in the diversity of species).
I've never come across anything but adaptive explanations for this in all the literature on the subject.

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:What you really mean is how do we distinguish between behaviours due to interactions between adaptations and the environment and behaviours due to interactions between non-adaptive biology and the environment.
Normally this is just asked in the form of 'how do we know if this is an adaptation or not'.


That was my original question but given your failure to answer it or even support it, I had to simplify the question for you.

From a search of this thread this is the first time you have never used the words 'adaptive' or 'adaptation' so :scratch:
We have this rather obscure nature of your use of 'biology' and 'evolved' which is far from clear and 'adaptation' is never used.


Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:So the female damselflies do not have a mating adaptation regarding what the male looks like in terms of the dark colour of the wings in these two species. There is also female preference for darker wings but the darkest wings belong to the other species.
So what do we actually have going on here with this 'learning'? We have a damselfly female with a mating preference for darker wings. If she is just with her own males, no problem. But when in an area with another species that is externally much the same as her own she mates with them too. Then his genitals do not match her evolved preference in her species. She can now distinguish between her own and the other species.


There was no overall preference for darker wings - the preference changed depending on their learning histories.


No. From the paper:

This suggests that the allopatric C. splendens females perceived these conspecific males with enlarged wing patches as extra attractive mates............

The strong positive female responses in allopatry suggest that female preferences are open-ended in favor of an exaggerated version of the basic male signaling trait in C. splendens, that is, the dark wing patch. Sexual selection will not conflict with
species recognition in these allopatric populations, because of the absence of heterospecific C. virgo males. Allopatric C. splendens females can and do thus show an increased preference for large dark wing patches, because they do not run any risk of mating with a heterospecific males. Although one might expect a conflict between species recognition and sexual selection in sympatry (Fig. 2B), such a conflict would not exist in allopatry at all, because there are no C. virgo males. This is the most likely explanation for the open-ended preferences in allopatry in which females clearly preferred males with entirely melanized wings.




Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:Yes, she has learned which is the correct mate but only because her evolved preference applies to the genitals and only through mating can this be known. Genitals that have evolved through sexual selection. Genitals that evolve rapidly through sexual selection and that lead to speciation too.
She has evolved to accept males with the correct genitalia and genital stimulation.

You might think that because 'learning' is involved that mate choice is not an evolved, adaptive behaviour in this species. But of course it is. It's just that the evolved adaptation concerns the genitals with copulation needing to be in progress for female choice to act.

Here we have something which on the surface looks like 'learning' but these species have always and still are making mate choices through evolved preferences for particular male genitalia.


Insane reinterpretation of the data... You're completely misunderstanding what learning and behavioral adaptations are.


Really??????????

Again from the paper:
The mechanisms for such aversive learning are still unknown, but they might have their origin in the physical interactions the males during the cage exposure experiments. For instance, heterospecific males might clasp females differently than conspecific males, or there might be a poor mechanical fit between the genitalia of males and females in the heterospecific couples (McPeek et al. 2008). Slight interspecific differences in fine-scale genital morphology (McPeek et al. 2008), might be perceived as tactical cues by females. There might also be behavioral differences between the species in how the different male types interacted with the females. These factors could provide the negative feedbacks that shape the final mate preferences in females, and the result might be an increased aversion against heterospecific males in sympatry.


So the very extensive and widely documented incredibly diverse genitalia in insects - when the bodies are otherwise indistinguishable - and the connection between this and the females choice of the sperm used, and between this and speciation etc etc plus this clearly happening here is to your mind 'insane'. :naughty:
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Re: Womens disconnect between the objective and subjective

#94  Postby Mr.Samsa » Mar 23, 2011 12:56 pm

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:So to go back to the antler analogy, while the differences in the existence/physical structure of the antlers will affect the behaviour of the sexes, these behavioural differences would then be a product of learning? The females don't compete for males because they don't have antlers and learn that they don't so don't try to fight. The males learn they have antlers and that they can use them in competition with other males. Ummm....

Or we could say that the ancestor had males that competed by knocking heads. Some genetic variation occurred where some individuals developed hard growths on the head. This would initially have occurred in both sexes. Sexual selection and the action of establshed mechanisms to sexually limit the expression of genes that are adaptive in one sex but not the other leads to gradual increase over time of the evolution of the male antlers and the absence in the female.
I.e the behaviour of male-male competition shaped the selection of the genes for antlers in males while females did not have the same behaviour so the antler development was selected against.


Indeed - so we would have two equally plausible hypotheses. We would need to test them to figure out which is which.


You really think we need to test whether male deer evolved antlers and then started using them in competition with males? Why did they not continue to develop in females if they had no costs? And this would, of course, be going back to the first ancestor where the antlers evolved, not the current species where the sex-limited mecahnisms are already in force.

You think only male deer ancestor evolved the antlers first from the start and then it was case of 'uh, what shall I do with these?' :shock:


If we wanted to take a simplistic understanding of evolution then we could frame the question in that way yes - in the same way we could ask "if the eye evolved, then what use is half an eye?". The point is that we'd need to establish a number of things before we could figure out how the behavior came about. For example, we'd need to figure out whether antlers developed as a result of this behavior, or whether this behavior co-opted horn-like growths on the head to produce antlers. And even if we could figure out the two, we'd still need to establish whether the "knocking heads" behavior is something which has evolved, or whether it is a learnt behavior - i.e. just because the antlers have been selected as an adaptive trait, does not mean that the behavior has equally been selected.

sprite wrote:A lot of resources go into building antlers.
The novel trait would have been in both sexes to start with.
It would have been selected against in both sexes if it had no advantage to either.
It was selected against in females.
It was selected for in males.
It was therefore connected to the differences in behaviour of the two sexes that were there at the start.
The antlers are regrown for each mating/rutting season - again, clearly connected to male-male competition.

In caribou both sexes have antlers though the males have theirs for the rutting season and the females have theirs for the winter.
They were selected for in males due to their advantage in male-male competition, something which existed before the antlers evolved.
They were not selected against in females - or they may have been in the ancestor but again appeared in the caribou female and were then selected for in the females but with a quite different ontology than in the male, again no doubt connected to sex-limitation mechanisms - the female advantage was experienced in the winter months in competition with males over food.


Interestingly, you'll note that none of this suggests that there is an innate "knocking heads" behavior, which is supposed to be the point of the example.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:The orgasm is not a behavior, so even if you could find evidence that the evolutionary path of the orgasm was different and that adaptations produced changes in males and females, this does not show that the behavior preceding the orgasm (the behavior that is rewarded) is an adaptation.

To claim that it is is a severe misunderstanding of evolutionary and behavioral theory.

So transporting sperm to eggs is not an adaptation??????????????


How the fuck do you keep reaching these conclusions? :scratch:

sprite wrote:
We have this rather obscure nature of your use of 'biology' and 'evolved' which is far from clear and 'adaptation' is never used.


I'm using their standard usage in reference to behavior. "Biology" refers to the general bodily functions, "evolved" refers to behaviors that have specifically come about as a result of evolutionary processes, and "adaptive" refers to those behaviors which have evolved as a result of natural selection.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:So the female damselflies do not have a mating adaptation regarding what the male looks like in terms of the dark colour of the wings in these two species. There is also female preference for darker wings but the darkest wings belong to the other species.
So what do we actually have going on here with this 'learning'? We have a damselfly female with a mating preference for darker wings. If she is just with her own males, no problem. But when in an area with another species that is externally much the same as her own she mates with them too. Then his genitals do not match her evolved preference in her species. She can now distinguish between her own and the other species.


There was no overall preference for darker wings - the preference changed depending on their learning histories.


No. From the paper:

This suggests that the allopatric C. splendens females perceived these conspecific males with enlarged wing patches as extra attractive mates............

The strong positive female responses in allopatry suggest that female preferences are open-ended in favor of an exaggerated version of the basic male signaling trait in C. splendens, that is, the dark wing patch. Sexual selection will not conflict with
species recognition in these allopatric populations, because of the absence of heterospecific C. virgo males. Allopatric C. splendens females can and do thus show an increased preference for large dark wing patches, because they do not run any risk of mating with a heterospecific males. Although one might expect a conflict between species recognition and sexual selection in sympatry (Fig. 2B), such a conflict would not exist in allopatry at all, because there are no C. virgo males. This is the most likely explanation for the open-ended preferences in allopatry in which females clearly preferred males with entirely melanized wings.


And immediately before that:

In sympatric populations,
C. splendens females respond negatively against large dark wing
patches typical of C. virgo males (Figs. 2B and 3). Presumably,
these sympatric females perceived males with entirely dark wings
as being heterospecific (C. virgo) males and therefore rejected
them (Figs. 1A and 3). These results are entirely in line with our
previous study from a single sympatric population and confirms
that the dark wings function as a sexual isolation character between
these species (Svensson et al. 2007). Here we extended
this experiment and found that the same pattern of strong female
species discrimination holds true across three different C.
splendens populations that are sympatric with C. virgo (Figs. 2B
and 3).
In striking contrast to this strong sexual isolation in sympatry,
allopatric females do instead show a positive preference
for males with entirely dark wings (Figs. 2A and 3). Females
from allopatric populations respond significantly more positively
to such males than they do toward the normal (conspecific) male
phenotype which carries only a small wing patch (Figs. 1–3).


There was no overall preference for dark wings.

sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:

Insane reinterpretation of the data... You're completely misunderstanding what learning and behavioral adaptations are.


Really??????????

Again from the paper:
The mechanisms for such aversive learning are still unknown, but they might have their origin in the physical interactions the males during the cage exposure experiments. For instance, heterospecific males might clasp females differently than conspecific males, or there might be a poor mechanical fit between the genitalia of males and females in the heterospecific couples (McPeek et al. 2008). Slight interspecific differences in fine-scale genital morphology (McPeek et al. 2008), might be perceived as tactical cues by females. There might also be behavioral differences between the species in how the different male types interacted with the females. These factors could provide the negative feedbacks that shape the final mate preferences in females, and the result might be an increased aversion against heterospecific males in sympatry.


So the very extensive and widely documented incredibly diverse genitalia in insects - when the bodies are otherwise indistinguishable - and the connection between this and the females choice of the sperm used, and between this and speciation etc etc plus this clearly happening here is to your mind 'insane'. :naughty:


Indeed, and the quote you presented contradicts your interpretation - they do not suggest that this form of discrimination learning is a result of an evolved behavior.
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Re: Womens disconnect between the objective and subjective

#95  Postby sprite » Mar 23, 2011 2:48 pm

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:I agree. In New Zealand this is what is happening since it has been legalised. They advertise it like any other job and they carry on with normal lives. Whether people want to date someone in that line of work is up to their own individual preferences - personally I wouldn't care, but I know some people would. But we have to keep in mind that this doesn't just apply to prostitution - there are people who refuse to date people in the army, tax collectors, etc., so there's nothing significant about choosing not to date someone who has a job that disagrees with your own principles.

So these jobs and advertisements etc are in similar numbers for both sexes?
Or is it still a service almost always provided by women to men?
Should we not work to open it up to men, like is done with traditional 'men's' jobs?


It is open to men too, and it is fairly equal - probably about 60:40 women to men. And if we were to include similar professions, like strippers and escorts, then I imagine it would be practically 50:50.


So this is male prostitutes for female clients make up 40% of prostitutes?
No.
I've been trying to find figures but it is not easy.
The first male for females prostitute in a Nevada brothel quit after two months as he only got ten clients.

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:There have been studies too that show women more consistently have orgasms in long-term, secure relationships.

Connected to this there is this study Genetic influences on variation in female orgasmic function: a twin study:
One in three women (32%) reported never or infrequently achieving orgasm during intercourse, with a corresponding figure of 21% during masturbation. A significant genetic influence was seen with an estimated heritability for difficulty reaching orgasm during intercourse of 34% (95% confidence interval 27–40%) and 45% (95% confidence interval 38–52%) for orgasm during masturbation. These results show that the wide variation in orgasmic dysfunction in females has a genetic basis and cannot be attributed solely to cultural influences. These results should stimulate further research into the biological and perhaps evolutionary processes governing female sexual function.


Sure - and now demonstrate that this is an evolved trait. Remember our discussion about how biological functions can be appropriated by learning mechanisms?


The usual view is that the female orgasm is a by-product of selection for orgasms in males. So the female orgasm but not the male, would particularly fit your 'learning' view in that women have it as a by-product, it is unreliable, but it can be improved by learning.

I think this is too quick a conclusion.
Some have tried to demonstrate the 'upsuck' of sperm during orgasms as a sperm choice mechanism.
I'm not so sure about 'up-suck'.

If female orgasm was an adaptation we would expect it to occur more at mid-cycle and with more attractive males.
This former has much evidence and the latter has some.

Human female orgasm is noisy. The copulation calls of other primates is a signal to others - either the male involved in the copulation or other near-by individuals for varied reasons.
Barbary macaque males do not ejaculate unless the female gives a copulation call.
In bonobos the females give them when they are mating with higher status males or G-G rubbing with high status females.


Mr.Samsa wrote:All anecdotal though. I've heard the opposite - that most female prostitutes think that their clients are generally sweet and they do what they can to make them happy and comfortable because they care about them, to some degree. Whereas the male prostitutes tend to dislike their work more because they are usually lumped with uglier, older women. Unless we have any evidence to suggest which is right (if either), then the position is moot.

So what makes the older and uglier women unattractive to men, and the men find it hard to care about them, while often older and ugly men are not experienced in the same way by women?
That sounds like a significant difference - and still one that fits what we have always seen as a difference between the sexes.

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:
So you are saying that the highest grossing industry we have has been so successful in a market that does not exist?


No, I'm saying that it's not representative of males in general. We also have to remember that one of the biggest earners in the porn industry is that aimed at women, so it would be odd not to apply the same arguments to women.

The 'women-friendly' is actually, so far, very much less than that aimed at men. I know. ;)
Perhaps you can provide the evidence that this is not so. :evilgrin: (And if you just mean that soft crap where we don't get to see the erected male bits, that's one big error of thinking and it is men who prefer to not see that, not women.)

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:I do think that (non-religious) men need to be a lot more vocal and visible about their 'anti-porn', 'anti-casual sex' 'anti-promiscuity' etc etc. I think it would make a massively positive impact on relations between the sexes.


Perhaps, but you have to remember that it's incredibly difficult for men to do so given the current cultural demands. If a man notes that he doesn't watch porn or masturbate, what happens? He gets laughed at and called a liar. A man says that he doesn't approve of sleeping around? He's suddenly a "faggot" (and, depending on the idiocy of the company he keeps, he gets his ass kicked for his troubles).

You should like this, then.
The AntiPornMenProject


Mr.Samsa wrote:Your arguments are ridiculous. Are you seriously suggesting that if I got a group of chihuahuas and poodles, then taught the chihuahuas to jump up and down when I ring a bell, and taught the poodles to roll over when I ring a bell, that observing the differences in their behavior after ringing a bell demonstrates a biological difference between the two groups?

No. I'm saying that if you got male dogs and female dogs and put them together you would get differences between the males and the females and differences between males and females exist across all species.
With wolves we get the alpha female mating with the alpha male and the pack comprises their offspring. Offspring can be seduced to mate by outside novel individuals to start off their own packs. The male offspring sometimes overthrow their father. Females have a single breeding season per year. The pack all provision the pups.
When humans selected from these wolves behaviours that suited their own use this also changed their reproductive environment - females had two mating seasons, the male-female alpha pair-bonding disappeared and males stopped provisioning young.
The selective pressures changed, the physical traits changed, and the behaviour changed - including the reproductive behaviour.
The adaptiveness of traits, ie what led to more offspring than others of the same sex in the changing environment, changed.

Reproductively adaptive traits are in all species different for the two sexes unless there is (more or less) true monogamy.

If promiscuity leads to females having more offspring than monogamy then whatever aspects of it are heritable will spread and so will the behaviour.
It will depend on the enviornment, which also includes what other females are doing (as well as males), so we can also get different strategies being successful in different environments, different numbers of individuals using different strategies being successful, and individuals using different strategies at different time of life also being successful. (Evolutionary Stable Strategies)
See eg
Mating strategies


Though a lot of the literature has been more about the alternative strategies of males, females have situation dependent sexual behaviours which is what I've been pointing out such as with the females evolving to mate outside of oestrus. When a novel trait came about that meant that this behaviour in certain circumstance led to greater reproductive fitness then the heritable part of the trait spreads and will be expressed in the appropriate environment.
And with humans, in one environment women will have greater reproductive fitness through monogamous behaviour, in another through more promiscuous behaviour.


Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:Trying now to work out your definition of 'learned' .............. a product of the interaction of biology and environment?


:doh: For fuck's sake. No that's not my definition of fucking learning.

What is it then?
You said:
Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:
Because hormonal changes affect behaviour.
Come on, men and women both know that.


Yes, but these effects on behavior would be a result of the interaction of biology and environment (i.e. the behaviors are learnt). They aren't behavioral adaptations.


Mr.Samsa wrote:

I don't know whether the behavior is evolved or not because I haven't read enough about them to know, but how the hell does your second sentence have any relevance at all? Are you saying that if sexual behaviors weren't evolved, then organisms would never learn to have sex?

Yes if we are talking about evolved traits for egg and sperm to meet.
Perhaps think of a sponge-ike ancestor for simplicity. When we got multi-celled organisms (that developed from a diploid cell and the job of producing haploid cells was the job of a section of the sponge's cells) they had some ancestral inheritance that meant a necessary return to haploid cells as part of the life-cycle (haploid cells being the ancestral state). Just when the eggs or sperm are produced and released will have evolved according to some environmental factor connected to the presence of gametes of the other type being in the environment. Some sort of cues. From the beginning the meeting of two haploids was connected to some chemical cues from those cells, so we expect environmental chemical cues from the other gametes or the other sex.
Any animal that did not produce these cells would be a dead-end as would any that realeased them at the wrong time or could not read the right cues et etc. Those that did all this the best produced the most offspring.
Any adaptation that improved on what the others of the same sex were doing would spread.
Of course adaptations evolve in particular environments, including that of members of the same species, of the same sex, and of the other sex. Genes expressed in one individual affect what happens in another.

So what do you mean by learning - some sort of reinforcement of behaviour?
The reinforcement of, say, the appropriate time to release the cells is differential reproductive success ie variation in the organisms in the way they do this which is a result of variation in their genes means those that are better at getting it 'right' have more offspring and spread their variation.

Mr.Samsa wrote:Indeed, so in this scenario the "exploring" behavior would not be an instinct - it would be a learnt response to a number of factors, including the avoidance of incest. Just in case you don't understand the distinction here, look at it this way: pain is a biological response, and arguably we could say that the retraction from pain is an "instinct". Now suppose I taught my dog to run around a ridiculous obstacle course including see saws, slalom poles, and a part where it has to roll over, shake paw, and yodel to the latest country singing sensation, and I did all this using the pain "instinct". Undeniably, these behaviors are learnt and no one would argue that the yodelling to Garth Brooks is an instinct in the dog.

And in the ancestral females, say, there would have been the variation in behaviour and those that stayed in their natal group would have had far poorer reproductive fitness than those who left. So over time the genes connected to leaving rather than staying would have spread and been expressed in daughters but not sons.
The 'pain' that shaped those behaviours was the dead-end for the genes that led to traits that did not lead to dispersing.

And the 'incest' avoidance is also connected to 'rape' and the female aversion to it.
In an imaginary ancestral population where mating is random the females who had the most offspring would be those that did not mate with close male relatives. Any variation in females that made them able to not mate with close male relatives would be selected. And this extends to other aspects of female choice and avoiding poor quality matings.
These are adaptations. How they will or will not be expressed will depend on the environment.

Mr.Samsa wrote:Of course women across cultures and situations will consistently hate it - it's a horrible experience. Why would we want to teach them to accept it?!

Well in lots of societies women do not get a choice about whom they have sex with, husband etc etc. Though this is not officially 'rape' it does boil down to the same thing.
In the first example above it is the soon to be husband's 'brothers' who carry out the gang rape. I presume it is some sort of way they try to rid themsleves of sexual interest in a 'brother's' wife immediately prior to the marriage.
In the latter example they have some ritual promiscuity which girls have to be involved in whether they want to or not. Those that don't are taught to accept it in this way.
Mr.Samsa wrote:Obviously these figures are even more difficult to judge than female rape statistics because there are even more societal pressures which prevent a man from reporting rape (estimated that less than 10% of male rape is reported). The only statistic I can find is that 4% of rapes are done by women - however this obviously doesn't tell us whether there is any difference in the number of rapists (i.e. it could be that there are equal numbers but men are simply more prolific).

So obviously your statement above is flat-out, completely and dangerously wrong. Even if we accept that it happens "relatively rarely" (a claim that is disputed in the literature on the subject), this doesn't change the fact that your ridiculous belief that men aren't raped by women to be absolutely bogus.


gawd, you really are desperate to argue for the sexes being the same.



Mr.Samsa wrote:Except this isn't the only factor for marriage, and what people report is usually very different from their actual behaviors (hence why self-reported data is generally pretty useless). Given that vast amounts of men apparently prefer experienced women compared to virgins in Western society, I'd imagine that prostitutes would have no problem finding a husband.

Yes, they're quite the catch these days. Perhaps we need some of those match-making websites for high status attractive men to meet prostitutes for marriage.

Mr.Samsa wrote:What do you mean "men's encouragement of their promiscuity"? It seems to me that the biggest promoters of women's right to have sex with whomever they want, whenever they want is coming from the women themselves - particularly the feminists.

Women of course want that, but that includes being able to say no to sex, it does not mean saying yes more. It has meant being able to say no in marriage and other relationships, about being able to say no and not be raped, about being able to say no to enforced sex-work (including the poor life experiences that pushes young girls into sex work).
Why do you assume female choice is about saying 'yes' and not 'no'?



Mr.Samsa wrote:Where the subjects were asked "Have you ever regretted engaging in a sexual activity?". The interesting part is that the results completely contradict your idea about men "always being up for it". And furthermore, the males scores are higher in all of the columns except for "Never", where women are overrepresented...

and......

The only significant sex difference was that women reported regret due to feeling pressured by a partner more often than men.



Mr.Samsa wrote:Exactly - the law is based on 'innocent until proven guilty', so if there is only a witness testimony and no other evidence, then the court can't prosecute. So your interpretation early is clearly wrong.


Which makes our system little different from the Islamic one which people here often rant against where the three witnesses are needed. Three witnesses needed or not needed makes little or no difference after all.

Mr.Samsa wrote: You're making claims like women have a natural aversion to rape - given that such aversion is completely different from every single innate behavior (of the class you're talking about), then we can either conclude that it isn't an adaptation, or it is an incredibly unique form of adaptation that you'd require massive amounts of evidence to support.

No, it is a simple adaptation which is one of many which come under 'female choice'.
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Re: Womens disconnect between the objective and subjective

#96  Postby sprite » Mar 23, 2011 4:37 pm

Mr.Samsa wrote: For example, we'd need to figure out whether antlers developed as a result of this behavior
Physical traits can't evolve because of a behaviour.
Mr.Samsa wrote: or whether this behavior co-opted horn-like growths on the head to produce antlers.

Some initial horn like growth would start with some new genes
Mr.Samsa wrote: And even if we could figure out the two, we'd still need to establish whether the "knocking heads" behavior is something which has evolved, or whether it is a learnt behavior - i.e. just because the antlers have been selected as an adaptive trait, does not mean that the behavior has equally been selected.

Well, if it were learnt the females would have the same antlers but just not the behaviour.

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:A lot of resources go into building antlers.
The novel trait would have been in both sexes to start with.
It would have been selected against in both sexes if it had no advantage to either.
It was selected against in females.
It was selected for in males.
It was therefore connected to the differences in behaviour of the two sexes that were there at the start.
The antlers are regrown for each mating/rutting season - again, clearly connected to male-male competition.

In caribou both sexes have antlers though the males have theirs for the rutting season and the females have theirs for the winter.
They were selected for in males due to their advantage in male-male competition, something which existed before the antlers evolved.
They were not selected against in females - or they may have been in the ancestor but again appeared in the caribou female and were then selected for in the females but with a quite different ontology than in the male, again no doubt connected to sex-limitation mechanisms - the female advantage was experienced in the winter months in competition with males over food.


Interestingly, you'll note that none of this suggests that there is an innate "knocking heads" behavior, which is supposed to be the point of the example.

:doh:
The point is that if only the males have antlers they have evolved because of some previous male-male behaviour where the gradual increase in the size of horn growth on the head was advantageous.
Whether this is head-knocking or scraping pretty designs in tree trunks is hardly the point. But head-knocking would seem somewhat closer to the mark being such a widespread behaviour across many species.


Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:The orgasm is not a behavior, so even if you could find evidence that the evolutionary path of the orgasm was different and that adaptations produced changes in males and females, this does not show that the behavior preceding the orgasm (the behavior that is rewarded) is an adaptation.

To claim that it is is a severe misunderstanding of evolutionary and behavioral theory.To claim that it is is a severe misunderstanding of evolutionary and behavioral theory.

So transporting sperm to eggs is not an adaptation??????????????


How the fuck do you keep reaching these conclusions? :scratch:

So you are saying that when the sex cells were the same and some became smaller and mobile this was not an adaptive advantage at the time? And the various chemicals and signalling mechanisms between eggs and sperm were not selected because they were advantageous?
And when organisms became mobile that a male better able at seeking out and perhaps mate-guarding a fertile female was not an advantageous adaptation.
You think that olfactory and visual signalling that elicit behaviours from the other are adaptive physical and chemical traits that are adaptive independently of the mating behaviour they have evolved to elicit? :?
And that males depositing or expelling or ejaculating sperm (perhaps rewarded with an orgasm)in the vicinity of ripe eggs is not an adaptation?
:scratch:




Mr.Samsa wrote:I'm using their standard usage in reference to behavior. "Biology" refers to the general bodily functions, "evolved" refers to behaviors that have specifically come about as a result of evolutionary processes, and "adaptive" refers to those behaviors which have evolved as a result of natural selection.

So which evolutionary processes other than natural selction (including, of course, sexual selection) to you consider important? Of course drift comes into it, founder effects etc. Anything else in your mind?

Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:

There was no overall preference for darker wings - the preference changed depending on their learning histories.


No. From the paper:

This suggests that the allopatric C. splendens females perceived these conspecific males with enlarged wing patches as extra attractive mates............

The strong positive female responses in allopatry suggest that female preferences are open-ended in favor of an exaggerated version of the basic male signaling trait in C. splendens, that is, the dark wing patch. Sexual selection will not conflict with
species recognition in these allopatric populations, because of the absence of heterospecific C. virgo males. Allopatric C. splendens females can and do thus show an increased preference for large dark wing patches, because they do not run any risk of mating with a heterospecific males. Although one might expect a conflict between species recognition and sexual selection in sympatry (Fig. 2B), such a conflict would not exist in allopatry at all, because there are no C. virgo males. This is the most likely explanation for the open-ended preferences in allopatry in which females clearly preferred males with entirely melanized wings.


And immediately before that:

In sympatric populations,
C. splendens females respond negatively against large dark wing
patches typical of C. virgo males (Figs. 2B and 3). Presumably,
these sympatric females perceived males with entirely dark wings
as being heterospecific (C. virgo) males and therefore rejected
them (Figs. 1A and 3). These results are entirely in line with our
previous study from a single sympatric population and confirms
that the dark wings function as a sexual isolation character between
these species (Svensson et al. 2007). Here we extended
this experiment and found that the same pattern of strong female
species discrimination holds true across three different C.
splendens populations that are sympatric with C. virgo (Figs. 2B
and 3).
In striking contrast to this strong sexual isolation in sympatry,
allopatric females do instead show a positive preference
for males with entirely dark wings (Figs. 2A and 3). Females
from allopatric populations respond significantly more positively
to such males than they do toward the normal (conspecific) male
phenotype which carries only a small wing patch (Figs. 1–3).


There was no overall preference for dark wings.


The colour of the wings distinguishes the two species in sympatric populations so C splendens females in sympatric populations discriminate against their own males with the larger dark patches ie that look most like C virgo
When in allopatric populations the preference for dark wings can be expressed.
The size of the black wing patches is correlated with male immunological condition because of the connection of the melanin producing enzyme with the immune system. So darker colour is preferred but the presence of C virgo males who have black wings means the females mate preference is countered by hybridization risk.
Also in sympatric populations the C splendens males with the darker wings are attacked more by C virgo males.

(There are also other features involved in mate choice including mate choices expressed by males.)



Mr.Samsa wrote:
sprite wrote:
Mr.Samsa wrote:

Insane reinterpretation of the data... You're completely misunderstanding what learning and behavioral adaptations are.


Really??????????

Again from the paper:
The mechanisms for such aversive learning are still unknown, but they might have their origin in the physical interactions the males during the cage exposure experiments. For instance, heterospecific males might clasp females differently than conspecific males, or there might be a poor mechanical fit between the genitalia of males and females in the heterospecific couples (McPeek et al. 2008). Slight interspecific differences in fine-scale genital morphology (McPeek et al. 2008), might be perceived as tactical cues by females. There might also be behavioral differences between the species in how the different male types interacted with the females. These factors could provide the negative feedbacks that shape the final mate preferences in females, and the result might be an increased aversion against heterospecific males in sympatry.


So the very extensive and widely documented incredibly diverse genitalia in insects - when the bodies are otherwise indistinguishable - and the connection between this and the females choice of the sperm used, and between this and speciation etc etc plus this clearly happening here is to your mind 'insane'. :naughty:


Indeed, and the quote you presented contradicts your interpretation - they do not suggest that this form of discrimination learning is a result of an evolved behavior.


Female mate choice is evolved behaviour.
Female preferences for particular male genitalia and stimulation from them are inherited. Sexualy selected behaviours.
If the males wore their different genitalia on their heads for the females to see then they would not have to mate before finding out what was actually there.


There are quite a few papers on this species eg:
Molecular population divergence and sexual selection on morphology in the banded demoiselle (Calopteryx splendens)
Gender Differences in Species Recognition and the Evolution of Asymmetric Sexual Isolation
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Re: Womens disconnect between the objective and subjective

#97  Postby Gallstones » Mar 23, 2011 5:37 pm

The upsuck hypothesis doesn't work.

The semen has to be there before the orgasm (in the female) but if the semen is already there the male is done and there will not be any more stimulation for the female--which she will need in order to have an orgasm.

It could work if simultaneous orgasm was the norm.

It's really too bad too, because if upsuck increased the facilitation of fertilization, easier orgasm during coitus would be present in females.


Antlers could have been sex linked at the outset, just as calico and tortoiseshell color is in cats.
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Re: Womens disconnect between the objective and subjective

#98  Postby sprite » Mar 23, 2011 7:24 pm

Gallstones wrote:The upsuck hypothesis doesn't work.

The semen has to be there before the orgasm (in the female) but if the semen is already there the male is done and there will not be any more stimulation for the female--which she will need in order to have an orgasm.


Not necessarily as the female can still reach orgasm by rubbing against the male. Or masturbation.
And it is meant to work if she orgasms from one minute before the male (and up to 45 minutes after).
But I agree that it isn't very convincing.
Then again, if a male is holding on waiting for the female and she orgasms and he obviousy knows it then he is not likely to be taking much longer himself so a minute could be plenty of time for him. :smile:


Gallstones wrote:It could work if simultaneous orgasm was the norm.

It's really too bad too, because if upsuck increased the facilitation of fertilization, easier orgasm during coitus would be present in females.

Only if the male is 'good quality' and the female is in the peri-ovulatory period. Otherwise with the former the female would be better to avoid orgasm and in the latter there would be no egg to fertlize.


Gallstones wrote:Antlers could have been sex linked at the outset, just as calico and tortoiseshell color is in cats.

They appear to be sex-limited in that the expression of the genes for antler growth are regulated by tesoterone so are autosomal genes carried by both sexes ie not on the 'X' chromosome.
'Sex-linked' is when it is the female having two 'X' chromosome genes because she has two 'X's, and the male only one gene on his single 'X' as with the cat colours.

It is considered that when a novel trait arises on autosomal genes that both sexes can express that trait initially before the different selection pressures act for or against the trait depending on sex. Sex hormones are the usual mechanism.
Something different has evolved in the caribou and the antlers grow soon after birth,at least parltly because they don't grow from androgen-dependent pedicles.
The ovaries do produce an oestradiol hormone which acts like testosterone and is connected to the casting of the antlers.
Caribou only diverged about 2million years ago.

It is interesting considering how traits that are sexually dimorphic arise and sex-limiting mechanisms come into play.
In peafowl females removing the ovaries causes the development of the showy male plumage.
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Re: Womens disconnect between the objective and subjective

#99  Postby cavarka9 » May 01, 2011 4:41 pm

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/home ... 086620.cms

LONDON: If you think your macho look can make you a hit among girls, think again - women find men with feminine faces more attractive, claims a new study.

Psychologists at New York and Princeton universities found that most women prefer men with more feminine shaped faces and darker skin.

But the study found that men typically like women's faces to be feminine with plump lips and wide eyes. For the study, the researchers recruited two groups of men and women and showed them a selection of thousands of computer-generated faces of the opposite sex to rate, which had been manipulated to look either more masculine or feminine.

The computer model tested 50 dimensions of facial features, including nose size, plumpness of lips and complexion. The scientists found that more men want women's faces to have a feminine shape, while women want men's faces to have a feminine shape, but darker skin.

The findings showed that male and female attractiveness are not equal and opposite. They also found that the appeal of average faces is less straightforward than previously thought.

The study, to be published in the Psychological Science journal, showed that attractiveness is more complex than had been found by previous studies, the researchers said.

While both men and women find average faces attractive, the most average faces are not considered the most attractive, they added.



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