Human evolution

Hard times, meek mates? … weak stories!

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We are told by Australia’s TV science broadcaster that hard times make for meek men.

Start with this (the article doesn’t): “Lee says the cross-cultural studies were limited in their findings as they failed to show the mechanisms underpinning the effect.”

In today’s edition of the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, University of Queensland researchers Anthony Lee and Dr Brendan Zietsch show environmental factors can influence a woman’s choice of a mate.They find that when faced with the threat of increased prevalence of disease, women choose more masculine males. But during times of resource scarcity, “feminine” males, who are more committed to long-term relationships and caring for resulting offspring, come to the fore.

– Dani Cooper, “Meek men the perfect mate in austere times” (ABC 22 June 2011)

The researchers claim that more masculine males show low commitment. Who knew?

Most of the story is just that increasingly irritating tepid Darwinsludge:

“For women, producing an offspring requires at least nine months of gestation, and even more time and resources raising the child through infancy,” he says.

And the guy is just standing there doing nothing, right?

“Since men can invest relatively less in producing an offspring, it can be evolutionarily advantageous for men not to be as choosy as women.”

Unless they live in a community that doesn’t tolerate it, which is most historical human communities that have survived absent government welfare.

6 Replies to “Hard times, meek mates? … weak stories!

  1. 1
    mike1962 says:

    “Darwinsludge”

    Hehe

  2. 2
    Ilion says:

    I was going to comment on that new term, too. I like it!

  3. 3
    Ilion says:

    “Since men can invest relatively less in producing an offspring, it can be evolutionarily advantageous for men not to be as choosy as women.”
    .
    Unless they live in a community that doesn’t tolerate it, which is most historical human communities that have survived absent government welfare.

    And since a society based around government subsidation of male (and female!) sexual/reproductive irresponsibility cannot endure over the medium-term, much less the long-term, there are *no* successful “historical human communities” to which this little DarTale applies. — A society in which the men do not contribute significantly — and directly, including exercising authority — to the upbringing of the society’s children is a moribund society. Further, a society in which the men have responsibility and authority over the upbringing of their *own* children (rather than, say, their sister’s), will be the more successful.

    Shoot! You’d think that “evolutionary psychologists” (and Darwinists, in general), of all people, would realize that “traditional social arrangements”, such as that great e-e-e-vil, patriarchy, exist and persist *because* that is what works for human beings. But, Darwinists are generally “liberals” or even leftists, and so their religion takes precedence over their (imaginary) “science.”

  4. 4
    O'Leary says:

    Fact is, we have no evidence that there was ever a state of human society where it was naturally advantageous for men to have as many children as possible and forget about them. That’s purely a Darwinist construct.

    Everywhere we look, we see that societies restrict access to sex as a means of social control. Realizing its necessity is hardly a dramatic intellectual feat. Even wolves can do it.

    Almost certainly, our ancestors did it.

  5. 5
    Ilion says:

    I recall reading of studies which found that, on average, promiscuous men have noticibly fewer offspring than non-promiscuous men — which just makes sense, as the non-promiscuous men tend to actually devote their time and effort into keeping their offspring alive.

  6. 6
    Mung says:

    Darwinsludge.

    We’ve got to get this into the next edition of the OED.

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