Closed Thread Icon

Topic awaiting preservation: A social animal..? (Page 1 of 1) Pages that link to <a href="http://ozoneasylum.com/backlink?for=22121" title="Pages that link to Topic awaiting preservation: A social animal..? (Page 1 of 1)" rel="nofollow" >Topic awaiting preservation: A social animal..? <span class="small">(Page 1 of 1)</span>\

 
White Hawk
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: London
Insane since: May 2004

posted posted 06-09-2004 21:17

Opinions please:

Humans are social animals who strive to co-exist (on the whole). Society exists because we crave the sense of community, and we work together (to a large degree) to support it.

Beyond this, we are also capable of monogamy, but is it natural?

I understand that some animals mate for life, whereas most just shag the best looking or most aggressive (in effect) within their group.

Some creatures are utterly anti-social, and I marvel at their ability to reproduce at all! There is always still that drive to mate.

I like to have time and space to myself sometimes, but I crave the comfort and company of a long-term partner (though I can't imagine getting excited by the idea of marriage). I'd like to think that most humans are like this, but it doesn't necessarily require serious emotional problems for a person to prefer their own company to anothers', or to prefer bed-hopping to marriage.

Are we naturally pre-disposed toward monogamy, or is it more reasonable to assume that monogamy and marriage are human constructs - considering a time when marriage was probably more of an assurance of one's progeny than of one's conjugal rights?

This is not intended as a religious argument, but feel free to spout on about going forth and multiplying (or coming first and splitting), if that is what kicks your bucket for you. I really would like to know your thoughts on this.

bodhi23
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Greensboro, NC USA
Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 06-09-2004 22:50

I remember saying when I was younger that I didn't ever want to be married. Having now been married for 3.5 years, I can say that at 16, I had no idea what I was talking about.
It's a really neat kind of relationship - you know everything about the person, good and bad, you are there for them and they are there for you, no questions asked. My husband is my best friend. We can have the worst knock down, drag out fights and still say "I love you" at the end of the night.

No relationship is perfect, there will always be arguments and disagreements. It is important to pick one's battles and make compromise where necessary. It is also important that you don't collapse into the other person. You have to retain your own identity, as well as make sure you have what you need to be you. "Me Time" is very important.

If I am recalling my history correctly, the institution of marriage came about with civilization, and with the rise of patriachical societies. I believe, (feel free to correct me if I'm wrong) that while monogamous relationships existed before this time in history, they were not the norm. In matriarchal societies, the paternity of a child was not important, it was who the child's mother was that mattered. How could you honestly say who fathered a child before DNA testing?

my $0.02

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-10-2004 11:35
quote:
Beyond this, we are also capable of monogamy, but is it natural?



Recent research suggests that Human Beings are not naturally monogamous. This has to do with the different strategies that the sexes use, to propogate the species further.

Also, that fact that divorce exists, pretty much does away with the natural monogamy theory. If humans were naturally monogamous, there would be no reason to have divorce, would there?

I believe that monogamy and marriage are definitely human constructs (for Human Beings).

InI
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Somewhere over the rainbow
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-10-2004 11:51

The poster has demanded we remove all his contributions, less he takes legal action.
We have done so.
Now Tyberius Prime expects him to start complaining that we removed his 'free speech' since this message will replace all of his posts, past and future.
Don't follow his example - seek real life help first.

White Hawk
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: London
Insane since: May 2004

posted posted 06-10-2004 13:02

I never suffered from sybling jealousy. When my younger brother came along, I was about a year and a half. I was an odd sort of kid in that, even newborn, I was better left alone. I didn't like being handled too much, and I seemed capable of amusing myself.

My brother, on the other hand, was a real screamer. I remember being quite happy that he took up all my parent's time (and he was definitely the jealous one) because it meant that I could be left to my own devices.

I can understand the sybling jealousy thing though - but I wouldn't say that it was all that relevant to the subject.

I wonder about the nature of humans and long-term relationships.

If monogamy is unnatural, why such feelings of jealousy? Then again, if it is natural, why is it so damn hard to find the right girl?

My brother and I are almost complete opposites. He is the sort of boy who lost count of his partners by the time he was 10 (I tell you no lie). He started early, and as far as I can tell, he hasn't slowed since.

I, on the other hand, take my time about falling into bed with a partner. I have rarely had what you might call a fling, because I am more interested in the long-term prospects of a relationship.

In short, my mates all think I'm a soppy git - which leads me to believe that I'm an exception to the rule.

Women too, seem be getting more and more like men in their attitude towards sex and love. This, I feel, is a great shame. Women should be aware that they are the ones with the choice (and statistically, women are the ones who 'choose' their partners, where men tend to fall in with anyone who'll have them) - so why end up with any old slob?

Is monogamy just a fashion of sorts??

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-10-2004 13:52

White Hawk - you need to consider, that the institution of Monagamous Marriage is a Christian thing. Though ritual pairing rites do go much further back into human history - most aboriginal peoples practiced having more than one significant other.

Consider the eskimos - and that alone blows your theory on jealousy and anger. I really feel (and most support the idea) that jealousy and anger as such is tied together with possession, and the idea of possession (ownership). In cultures without such, there appears to be no jealousy/anger attached to significant others.

quote:
Women too, seem be getting more and more like men in their attitude towards sex and love.

Ummm...no, I don't see that happening, not at all. I see that women are becoming more independant, because they are no longer dependant on a man supporting her. Still, women have their own approach to sexual propagation of the species, as men do. They are quite different from one another. The biggest difference being the Menstrual cycle of women.

InI
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Somewhere over the rainbow
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-10-2004 14:20

The poster has demanded we remove all his contributions, less he takes legal action.
We have done so.
Now Tyberius Prime expects him to start complaining that we removed his 'free speech' since this message will replace all of his posts, past and future.
Don't follow his example - seek real life help first.

InI
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Somewhere over the rainbow
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-10-2004 14:27

The poster has demanded we remove all his contributions, less he takes legal action.
We have done so.
Now Tyberius Prime expects him to start complaining that we removed his 'free speech' since this message will replace all of his posts, past and future.
Don't follow his example - seek real life help first.

White Hawk
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: London
Insane since: May 2004

posted posted 06-10-2004 14:37

Um... jealousy and anger? are you reading my posts?

I never suggested any theories on jealousy and anger...

bodhi23
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Greensboro, NC USA
Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 06-10-2004 14:40

Marriage is the institution of patricarchal society. With the rise of the patriarchs, it became important to know for certain that the offspring of a woman was that of a specific man. Marriage existed before Christianity.

The inclination to foster a monogamous relationship is separate from the idea of marriage. Marriage is a legal and economic institution - it has little to do with love. It is considered an expression of love to promise to be faithful to one person for the rest of your life, but it is not necessary to maintain a monogamous relationship. It is only necessary to obtain certain legal and economic benefits from society. Don't confuse the two.

Polygamy has been examined in any number of ethnographic studies. The majority of women in polygamous cultures accept multiple wives as a matter of custom. Wives that were interviewed stated that the other wives of the household were their friends and helpers and that they are grateful to be relieved of some burden of a wife's duties. There is a definite hierarchy among them, though. There is always a "First Wife". Remember, it is society that dictates what we find acceptable or not.

Patriarchal society has oppressed women's independence, and made them the property of men for centuries. Is it any wonder that, given the opportunity to sow some "wild oats", women take full advantage of it? In the US, what might be considered "natural" sexual activity has been supressed for a long time.

The Puritans, who were among the first settlers in the US, were extremely uptight about sexual activity. So much so, that they required that a sheet with a hole in it be placed between the man and his wife so that they could not see each other during the act. Sexual activity was only considered appropriate for procreation and it was considered a sin to enjoy yourself during it. During the Victorian era, these sentiments continued to be glorified. We are still trying to shed the misconceptions of the past. Our heritage is full of sexual repression - it is no surprise that we look on other forms of marriage and sexual relation in a derogatory light. It will be many years, if ever, before natural sexual activity is no longer considered a "sin".

In the animal world, the rule is survival of the fittest. Male animals seek to impregnate all of the females they have access to, to secure their genetic descent. It is frequently reported that when the new male leader takes over a family group, he kills the offspring of the previous male leader. Female animals, on the other hand, seek out the strongest male in the group to be the father of their offspring. Some form of this instinct must still exist in humans, and I would surmise that this is the real reason behind the desire to seek multiple partners.

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-10-2004 15:08
quote:
Cluetrain, Nature's part:
You nailed it, If monogamy is unnatural, why such feelings of jealousy?
I don't think it is irrelevant. to mention jealousy in this context:

Nature doesn't tell me, so far, if we all are inclined towards monogamy or polygamy,
but nature tells me polygamy makes me and others suffer.

Doesn't that look a clue as to how nature conceived us?



Nature's clues to us, as Humans, (when we examine the past, and the behavior of social groups and cultures of the past) show that Polygamy occurs more often than monogamy. Studies of every culture (and modern ones, as well) show that "cheating" (if you wish to call it that) is widespread, and seems to be a part of human breeding schemes irregardless of bonding ritual(s). Every 4th child conceived is not from the suppposed "Father" of the child - a cuckoos egg, so to speak (latest results from such a study in Germany). This then suggests that having more than one sexual partner is rather the norm, and having just one life-long is not. If such were not the case, then temptation, cheating, and finding others besides your mate attractive and desirable would not take place after bonding for it would serve no purpose!

Female sexual ativity has been shown to be strongely related to her Menstrual cycle.

And I already explained the feelings of jealousy. And it is not just "isolated" to the Eskimos - that was just an example.

Bodhi

quote:
Patriarchal society has oppressed women's independence, and made them the property of men for centuries. Is it any wonder that, given the opportunity to sow some "wild oats", women take full advantage of it? In the US, what might be considered "natural" sexual activity has been supressed for a long time.



Studies of the rather rare examples of a Matriachial society shows that women did exactly the same thing - took many men to be their husbands, and lovers. It is to a woman's advantage to have more than one male, competing against each other for her favor.

(Edited by WebShaman on 06-10-2004 15:09)

bodhi23
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Greensboro, NC USA
Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 06-10-2004 15:42

WS - Certainly. Name me one matriarchal society in existence at any time later than 500 years ago.
My remark was intended to illustrate how when humans encounter an activity from which they have been banned, they tend to over-indulge in that activity when it becomes no longer "taboo". Women have more freedom and independence than they have had for centuries. It is not surprising that they seek to push their new limits.

Don't mistake me, I'm not trying to get into a women vs. men type of conversation. I am merely discussing the history of inter-gender relations.

And yes, women's sexuality is directly tied to their menstrual cycle. Of necessity, it has to be - precreation wouldn't work otherwise. But some women, like some men, are more sexually active than others, and this is not necessarily tied to menstruation. Only in the human species does the female seek sexual activity outside of her fertility cycle. The most basic reason for this is the obvious physical and emotional pleasure that comes with the act in humans, but for some reason, not in any other species. Humans are the only species who seek sex for pleasure in addition to procreation.

InI
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Somewhere over the rainbow
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-10-2004 15:47

The poster has demanded we remove all his contributions, less he takes legal action.
We have done so.
Now Tyberius Prime expects him to start complaining that we removed his 'free speech' since this message will replace all of his posts, past and future.
Don't follow his example - seek real life help first.

InI
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Somewhere over the rainbow
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-10-2004 16:02

The poster has demanded we remove all his contributions, less he takes legal action.
We have done so.
Now Tyberius Prime expects him to start complaining that we removed his 'free speech' since this message will replace all of his posts, past and future.
Don't follow his example - seek real life help first.

bodhi23
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Greensboro, NC USA
Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 06-10-2004 16:06

Let's refer to "multiple sexual partners" as it should be: promiscuous or promiscuity. To take away any misconceptions...

InI - Promiscuity does not imply the having of a monogamous relationship the way that the word "cheating" does. It might make it easier to explain your point.

We don't want to digress into semantics.

InI
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Somewhere over the rainbow
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-10-2004 16:17

The poster has demanded we remove all his contributions, less he takes legal action.
We have done so.
Now Tyberius Prime expects him to start complaining that we removed his 'free speech' since this message will replace all of his posts, past and future.
Don't follow his example - seek real life help first.

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-10-2004 16:41

bodhi

quote:
WS - Certainly. Name me one matriarchal society in existence at any time later than 500 years ago.

- do you mean before, or after 500 years ago? There are examples of both.

Ini - it would seem, that you have your mind made up, as to what you believe. Therefore, irregardless of what evidence I (or anyone else, for that matter) offer, you will not accept it as such.

quote:
I still see no proven inclination to polygamy here... gimme proofs, would you?

What would you accept as proof?

bodhi23
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Greensboro, NC USA
Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 06-10-2004 16:52

With 'later' being post and 'earlier' being pre, anything between now and 500 years ago is what I'm looking for.
But you will grant me that within the last 500 years, purely matricarchal societies are few and far between?

The rules of the majority of societies in the past 5 centuries have been patriarchal in nature and as such, women's freedom and independence have been suppressed as much as possible. It is only in the last few decades that women in modern society have enjoyed a reasonable amount of freedom and independence. Therefore, again, it is understandable, in light of this new-found freedom of personal expression and the ability to answer only to ourselves rather than to a husband or father, might incline women to be more promiscuous in their sexual expression than has been previously allowed by societal constrictions?

InI - don't feel the need to distance yourself from the conversation. Surely your position on the subject is as valid as anyone else's might be. Sometimes your posts might seem a little more emotional than the conversation warrants, but certainly they are not less valid. Feel free to interject where you feel necessary. It's a short lived debate with only two positions. WS and I might come to some agreement here shortly and then where will the thread be?

White Hawk
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: London
Insane since: May 2004

posted posted 06-10-2004 16:58

I'd like to add my two-pennies worth about the pursuit of sexual pleasure in the animal kingdom.

Animals do seek sex for pleasure. Dolphins, for instance, are fairly promiscuous creatures. Sex lasts from 1 to 5 seconds for them, but they do it constantly, and indiscriminately.

They're not alone...

InI
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Somewhere over the rainbow
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-10-2004 17:18

The poster has demanded we remove all his contributions, less he takes legal action.
We have done so.
Now Tyberius Prime expects him to start complaining that we removed his 'free speech' since this message will replace all of his posts, past and future.
Don't follow his example - seek real life help first.

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-10-2004 17:20

Ok. here is what I could dig up in a short amount of time -

quote:
What is "natural?" The anthropologists have a fairly good answer. If a practice exists in most cultures it is natural, otherwise it is not. Ethnographers have documented 365 cultures. The results of their studies are coded in the human relations area files. A web source is http://www.yale.edu/hraf/index.html. This extensive collection is available partly on line and partly on microfilm. It is available by subscription. Major academic libraries sometimes maintain a subscription.

An article (or short piece?) in Scientific American a few years ago suggested that the human reproductive strategy is monogamy mixed with affairs on the side. This was based on two things: theory as to what would increase reproductive success, and observations of human genetic diversity which the authors claimed could not have achieved its present state if humans had been exclusively monogamous.



http://www.polyamory.org/~howard/Poly/sociology.html

http://www.faqs.org/faqs/polyamory/faq/

quote:
Subject: 5). What about jealousy?

Some people seem to have no jealousy; it's as if they didn't get
that piece installed at the factory. Others, including some
long-term polyamorists, feel jealousy, which they regard as a
signal that something needs investigation and care, much as they
would regard depression or pain. Jealousy is neither a proof of
love (and this is where polyamory differs from possessive or
insecure monogamy) nor a moral failing (and this is where
polyamory differs from emotionally manipulating one's partner(s)
into relationships for which they are not ready).



http://www.psy.plym.ac.uk/year3/psy364sexual-selection/psy364sexual-selection.htm#human-mating-systems

http://www.whfreeman.com/generalreaders/book.asp?disc=&id_product=2001002561&compType=EXCER

quote:
1. Monogamy for Beginners
Anthropologist Margaret Mead once suggested that monogamy is the hardest of all human marital arrangements. It is also one of the rarest. Even long-married, faithful couples are new at monogamy, whether they realize it or not. In attempting to maintain a social and sexual bond consisting exclusively of one man and one woman, aspiring monogamists are going against some of the deep-seated evolutionary inclinations with which biology has endowed most creatures, Homo sapiens included. As we shall see, there is powerful evidence that human beings are not "naturally" monogamous, as well as proof that many animals, once thought to be monogamous, are not. To be sure, human beings can be monogamous (and it is another question altogether whether we should) but make no mistake: It is unusual, and difficult.

Whether such inclinations are wrong is a difficult, and perhaps unanswerable question. But as we shall see, thanks to recent developments in evolutionary biology combined with the latest in biomolecular technology, there is simply no question whether sexual desire for multiple partners is "natural." It is. Similarly, there is simply no question of monogamy being "natural." It isn't.



Theodore C. Bergstrom, "On the Economics of Polygyny", U. Mich. Center for Research on Economic and Social Theory, Working Paper Series 94-11, (July 1994).

quote:
"Although overt polygamy is rare in our own society, it is a very common mode of family organization around the world. Of 1170 societies recorded in Murdock's Ethnographic Atlas, polygyny (some men having more than one wife) is prevalent in 850. ... Most polygynous societies have positive prices for brides. ... In the polygynous societies of Africa, these prices, which anthropologists call ``bridewealth'', are typically paid to the bride's male relatives rather than to the bride According to Jack Goody (1973, p. 5), ``Bridewealth is not to be consumed in the course of the celebration, nor is it handed to the wife, it is given to the bride's male kin (typically brothers) in order that they can themselves take a wife.'' Dowry, in contrast to bridewealth, is a payment from the bride's relatives. But according to Goody, dowry is not the ``reverse'' of bride wealth. Dowry typically goes directly to the newly married couple rather than to the relatives of the groom, constituting as Goody suggests, ``a type of pre-mortem inheritance to the bride.''"



@ bodhi - Matriarchal Societies

(Edited by WebShaman on 06-10-2004 17:25)

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-10-2004 17:32

bodhi -

quote:
With 'later' being post and 'earlier' being pre, anything between now and 500 years ago is what I'm looking for.
But you will grant me that within the last 500 years, purely matricarchal societies are few and far between?



quote:
The Tuareg (Twareg)

"It is highly unusual in the history of writing in that it is confined to women. Tuareg society is in fact matriarchal, and there, as elsewhere, literacy represents power." (Jean, Georges. Writing, the story of alphabets and scripts. 1992)
Among the Tuareg, women enjoy freedom of choice in sexual involvement and actively pursue romantic preferences. They may have male visitors when their husbands are absent. Women also retain custody of their children after divorce. Children are the financial responsibility of their fathers but they are considered by nature and by custom as belonging to their mothers. The tents and their furnishings are the personal property of the women. When a woman wants a divorce, she takes her bed (the only bed in the tent) to her mother's place. If she is real serious, she takes the tent as well and the husband has no place where to sleep, he must find shelter with his mother.


Bijagós islands

off the coast of Guinea Bissau have a matriarchal family structure; that is, the woman is the head of the family and has the right to choose and divorce her husband at will. The husband has no claim to the children and they bear their mother's last name. The bush and the sea are predominantly the domain of the men, while the entire area of the village, the education of children and spiritual matters are the main responsibility of the women. The Bijagós are known for their elaborate religious rites and ceremonies, cosmogony and sculptural art.


The Hausa areas

of West Africa were ruled by a dynasty of queens, 17 in all until around 1050 CE when it split into seven states. Later a conqueror queen of Zazzau state, Aminatu (ruled 1536-1573) expanded her state. According to the legend, she took a new lover in every town she conquered and the man was beheaded the next morning. At present time, Hausa women are subordinate to their husbands.
K. Anthony Appiah wrote in NY Times in Dec 1999: "My uncle, the king of Ashanti, died earlier this year, but I can attest that the ceremonial at his funeral and at the installation of his successor was a vast, impressive occasion (). This time, however, the people of Ashanti were able to review the royal candidates for succession on television, before the queen mother made her choice."


In Togo, women are in charge of much of the trade. The political power rests with men, but women act as religious leaders.


Samoa and Tonga

Girls and women of rank enjoyed almost godlike veneration. It is not only through their prestige that they have great influence over their husbands and relatives and through them, over affairs of state, but titles and offices, even the throne are open to them. The four highest titles in all Samoa, traced through female ancestral connections, once came under the rule and authority of one person who was a woman, Salamasina, AD 1500, held these titles. Normally, there are many more male chiefs than female. In order for a titleholder to be politically influential today, he must keep the support of his sacred sister. Her veto power within the descent group's affairs still makes her a political ally or foe. Politics is the arena for men, and religion for women. Sisters had a higher status than their brothers, moreover, young boys prepared the food for old men.

Tibetans

Tibetans traditionally practised polyandry where one woman had more than one husband. The marriage could have many forms: either two or three brothers married the same woman, and the eldest brother was the head of the household; or a heiress took more than one husband to live in her house in which case she was the head of the household. Also monogamy was possible.

Indonesia, Sumatra: Minangkabau

The Minangkabau are the largest and most stable matrilineal society in the world today. Numbering some 4 million people in West Sumatra, the traditional homeland of their culture, the Minangkabau are the fourth largest ethnic group in the archipelago. They are a proud people well known in Indonesia for their literary flair, democratic leanings, business acumen, and "matriarchal" ways. The matrifocality in Minangkabau society means that families live in matrilineal longhouses and all ancestral property goes to women. Women are the guardians of economy, they keep the key to the rice house.
Young boys and divorced husbands sleep in Mosques. Men leave their homes when married but a woman cannot leave her house. A woman stays in the place where she was born and upholds adat, the traditional law. Women are considered to be weak and that is the reason why they must be given rights. The moral responsibility resides in women. Men are in fact proud of their independence. Men deal with formal political matters and act as village leaders. Matrilineage and household are conceived as the centre of power. The legends tell about a queen, Bundo Kanduang, who is a central figure in the folklore but her historicality is unclear.
To read more, see: Women at the Center: Life in a Modern Matriarchy <http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~psanday/sanday.htm>

North America: Cherokee

The Cherokee were matrilineal with a complex society. Cherokee women had many rights and privileges other than domestic duties. Not only did married women own property, such as homes, horses, cattle and fields of growing crops and fruit trees, but they also participated in both the fighting of wars and the Council of War, and sat with the Civil Council of Peace. Lineage was traced through the women's clan.
The Women's Council was influential having for example power over captives' lives.Their female warrior chief had the title of Beloved woman. The last Beloved woman, Ghighau, Nancy Ward, resigned her office in 1817. She had earned her title by taking the weapons of her deceased husband and participating into a battle. She was the head Beloved Woman of Chota, the oldest, "mother" town of Cherokee, and in this position she tried to negotiate and maintain peace with the whites, which proved impossible. It took 170 years before the Cherokee again had a female supreme chief, Wilma Mankiller, who was elected in 1987.



(Edited by WebShaman on 06-10-2004 17:35)

bodhi23
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Greensboro, NC USA
Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 06-10-2004 17:43

I would like to see some academic proofs of animals seeking sexual activity for pleasure. I don't believe this happens in the same sense that humans do it. The urge to have sex is a natural instinct. If cats and dogs are neutered or spayed early enough, they do not exhibit the desire to seek sexual satisfaction. If they are "fixed" late, the act is already learned and cannot be unlearned - even though the animal is sterile at this point. With animals, dogs in particular, the sexual act is a means of displaying dominance, as much as it is for procreation. For cats, their physical make-up definitely indicates that sexual activity for them is not pleasurable. It does, in fact, hurt the queen when the tom mounts her. (To avoid graphic descriptions of what I mean by this, look up some information on feline sexual activity - you'll see.) I might be inclined to believe the bit about dolphins, them being extremely intelligent animals themselves, but it would take some academic data to convince me.

It is certainly true that dogma and self-awareness are separate. Dogma being a construct of society and religion, and self-awareness being innate. I don't believe there is a predisposition to being either polygamous or monogamous. I believe both are cultural distinctions which have little, if anything, to do with instinct. Inter-gender relationships have evolved with society, and, as products of the society we live in, our general ideas about those relationships are basically a product of that society as well.

The desire to seek sexual satisfaction in a natural tendancy. I don't believe that monogamy or polygamy are institutions dictated by the desire to have sexual relations. The rules for these types of relationship are defined by the culture in which a person is raised.

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-10-2004 17:46
quote:
WS, about jealousy, would you feel comfortable about seeing your partner having sex to some stranger?



No, I would not. I am very serious about my solemn pledges, and I expect my Ehefrau (wife) to do the same. However, in the past, I have done so without problem (before I was married). For me, it depends on the relationship, and on what it is founded. I prefer open, honest relationships based on communication and respect for the other (s). As I get older, I find that I do not have the energy to sustain a multi-person (more than 2) type relationship (which requires more energy than a 2 person relationship). I am at this stage in my developement, more than content with my wife. I look happily forward to living out the rest of my days with her together.

I am not a very jealous person. I do not consider my wife my property. I am however, very serious in how I take and keep my vows, and promises. I expect the same from my present wife, and she does the same of me. Therefore, for your scenario, I would not be jealous, but angry and hurt, becasue I would feel betrayed, which is different than jealousy. For me, jealousy is a sign of insecurity.

I have never "cheated". Nor would I.

InI
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Somewhere over the rainbow
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-10-2004 17:56

The poster has demanded we remove all his contributions, less he takes legal action.
We have done so.
Now Tyberius Prime expects him to start complaining that we removed his 'free speech' since this message will replace all of his posts, past and future.
Don't follow his example - seek real life help first.

bodhi23
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Greensboro, NC USA
Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 06-10-2004 18:36

WS - touche.

How refreshing to know that matriarchy has not gone the way of the dodo. (Admittedly, several of those references are right around 500 years ago, and as such, cannot be considered "modern societies".)

Though I still think my position stands. I realize I'm thinking specifically of large Asian, European and American urban societies, which all tend towards patriarchy. Though there are a large number of tribal cultures that also espouse patriarchy.

Jealousy doesn't necessarily have anything to do with sexual partners. Jealousy can be invoked because someone around you has access to something you do not. This can be a person, material possession or body of knowledge. That type of emotion wouldn't dictate the types of relationship we choose.

Just because we get jealous doesn't mean we must be monogamous. WS has a good point though. Marriage involves a promise of lifetime commitment. If you don't think you can fulfill that promise, you shouldn't make it in the first place.

(Edited by bodhi23 on 06-10-2004 18:41)

InI
Paranoid (IV) Mad Scientist

From: Somewhere over the rainbow
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-10-2004 19:31

The poster has demanded we remove all his contributions, less he takes legal action.
We have done so.
Now Tyberius Prime expects him to start complaining that we removed his 'free speech' since this message will replace all of his posts, past and future.
Don't follow his example - seek real life help first.

Xpirex
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Still looking..
Insane since: Mar 2003

posted posted 06-10-2004 19:45

bodhi23: your first post here sounds so lovely and simple and beautiful.. and I believe it can be just so.... good on ya.

er.. ok Im gonna take a risk and be honest again.. I have actually witnessed a partner of mine have sex with anothe male.. I initiated it.. I wondered what I would feel after (and her).. and how I would cope with the 'angst', jelousy.. insecurity and the rest. I would write a whole explicit essay on the experience but I'm sure Emps would delete it, so if anyone wants to know email me: xpi2@hotmail.com

I ain't scared to be truthful any more.. and I gain nothing by hiding behind curtains and that fake illusion of protectiing myself. I am wide open. No fear.

bodhi23
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Greensboro, NC USA
Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 06-10-2004 22:50

Xpirex - I firmly believe that the reason James and I have such a good relationship is that we are totally honest with each other and not afraid to piss the other off every now and then. We have no illusions about having a "perfect marriage". I don't think there is such a thing. Everybody has bad days, and when you cohabit with someone, you see everything. When you make the promise, "for better or for worse", you agree to take the good and the bad. Life is hard. It's easier for me with him beside me. We work hard together to accomplish our goals. It's more fun to me than trying to do it all on my own.

I don't think I would be able to watch him have sex with someone else, and I happen to know for a fact that he would seriously hurt the man (or woman!) who expressed interest in doing so with me. And I think in both cases, I would consider the feeling to be jealousy. He's threatened the existence of several gentlemen who have expressed interest in simply having lunch with me on a friendly basis. And I agree with WS that this feeling comes from insecurities, but I feel that those insecurities are fairly deep-seated. Not that I ever think he would leave me for someone else (the man's got it made, he knows it!), or vice versa - just that we don't want it to ever be an issue. We made a promise to be faithful to each other, and we both intend to keep it.

quote:
but it does mean nature hasn't fully equipped us for polyandry or polygamy either.
Which matches the hypothesis of a semi-monogam reproduction model.


InI - well, no - of course it doesn't. Jealousy is a pretty broad emotion, and anger is part of it. So is hurt, and so is possessivness. My only point is that jealousy alone does not dictate what type of relationship is "instinctive" to humans. I believe society and culture dictate what type of relationships we, as people, will accept. Instinct is only a small portion of it.

(Edited by bodhi23 on 06-10-2004 22:51)

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 06-11-2004 03:58
quote:
Xpirex said:

I would write a whole explicit essay on the experience but I'm sure Emps would delete it



Probably - if it was explicit.

(Edited by Emperor on 06-11-2004 04:01)

Xpirex
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Still looking..
Insane since: Mar 2003

posted posted 06-11-2004 10:48

I'm blushing now..

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 06-11-2004 11:28
quote:
Are we naturally pre-disposed toward monogamy

I'm getting into this a bit late but I say that monogamy is not natural for men. I am no expert in this however, I don't personally know one man that would not prefer to mate with multiple women. There are many reasons why more don't but that is not the question White Hawk is asking.

I tend to believe that most women are not as promiscuous as men. But *please* keep in mind that I am speaking in general terms, I know there are exceptions to this for both men and women.

Take a look at homosexuality for clues on this. Male homosexuals are far far more promiscuous than female homosexuals. Their behaviors are markedly different. I think that may be a good indication of the basic differences between the sexes on this issue.

Why do I remain monogamous? Because of the values I believe in. I believe it is better for me, my wife, my daughter, my society, and utlimately my God to live in this way. Our natural urges are products of a fallen world and work against the concept of true love revealed to us by God. If I wanted to live naturally, there is no way I would be monogamous because my natural urges are clearly oriented towards promiscuity. Were it not for the overwhelming love I have for my family, I would not stay the course.

This, by the way, was something I wanted to bring up when the homosexual question was raised no too long ago. I choose to live a life contrary to my orientation if you could call it that. That is one of the reasons I don't buy the argument that we *have* to live according to the way our bodies would urge us to.

(Edited by Bugimus on 06-11-2004 11:30)

White Hawk
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: London
Insane since: May 2004

posted posted 06-11-2004 14:45

I think it's safe to say that there is no definitive answer to the question I have asked - but this is not what I seek, anyhow.

It is interesting to read your opinions on this (and surprising to discover that it as a subject so strongly debated). I will definitely be returning frequently to see how this developes.

Thank you all for your input!

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-11-2004 15:58
quote:
Take a look at homosexuality for clues on this. Male homosexuals are far far more promiscuous than female homosexuals.



Ummm...where do you have this information from, Bugs? First of all, the Lesbian lifestyle is not well documented. From my experiences as an outsider in the Lesbian scene, what you have said is not true. I have spend more than a small amount of time with Lesbians from both the US, Australia, and Germany. Now, some of the more radical groups among the Lesbian scene I avoided, for obvious reasons (they really do hate men with a passion, and are more than willing to physically demonstrate it). A lot of the groups that I spent time in consisted of women who changed partners quite often, and often had more than one sexual partner at a time. One particular group was fanatical in the belief that a Lesbian was in every woman, and attempted to "convert" every straight woman they could. They were among the most promiscuous that I met.

Offical studies on Lesbians are hard to find.

I hope that I have not offended anyone, by using the term Lesbian. If I have, than I apologize.

bodhi23
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Greensboro, NC USA
Insane since: Jun 2002

posted posted 06-11-2004 18:06

Surely the term "lesbian" is not offensive to anyone who practices the lifestyle? Any more than "gay" or homosexual would be for men who practice that lifestyle.

I have to say that all of the lesbians I have come into contact with lead fairly promiscuous lifestyles. In fact, most of the people I have met who are not in committed relationships lead fairly promiscuous lifestyles.

In light of this perspective, I still say that monogamy and polygamy are culturally dictated, not instinctively dictated.

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 06-12-2004 01:12

WS, I am basing that on discussions I have heard on various interview programs that deal in modern cultural norms. Like I said, I am no expert in this field and I was not being dogmatic at all in my remarks. I have very little personal experience to bolster what I said about the promiscuity levels between female and male homosexuals. I would very much like to see some studies on the subject. If anyone knows of any please get some links in here

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 06-12-2004 10:55

I'll scour the net for whatever I can find...probably won't be that much though. It really is a "dark" area.

White Hawk
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: London
Insane since: May 2004

posted posted 06-12-2004 20:41

I have been enjoying many of the points made here, but I find myself coming back to this one:

FFS - is anyone really so ignorant of the nature of animals?

Animals ARE capable of experiencing sexual or sensual pleasure (scratch a dog behind the ear and see what I mean).

Mammals are also capable of emotion. They possess similar physiological systems to humans for producing these emotions.

Not just limited emotion either - they can be jealous enough to kill, they can be devoted enough to die for you (blame this on instinctive behaviour, and I'll say humans are the same), and they can suffer from depression and emotional and mental illness.

Anyone who thinks otherwise has probably never had a pet dog.

The real difference between humans and animals is that we apply our perceptive and analytical intellect to the experience. Animals just tend to feel it rather than think it.

The question of monogamy may have everything to do with emotional attachment and pleasure, or it may not - but, please, for the sake of my sanity ( ), do not argue something so frankly ludicrous as whether or not animals derive pleasure from sex, or whether they can experience emotion.

They can, and they do. This is not just my opinion, but an easily observed fact. If you want academic proof - use your own! Get a pet dog or buy a horse, and spend some time with it. If you are unable to do this, at least admit that you haven't the knowledge or experience to argue it.

Now, back to the point in hand...

(Edited by White Hawk on 06-12-2004 20:48)

« BackwardsOnwards »

Show Forum Drop Down Menu