Why do only females select males?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by aaqucnaona, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. keith1 Guest

    Doesn't work the same for gorillas and humans. Grandma's whispering to her grand daughter about picking a man was wives-tale B.S. All the so-called "alpha matings" in my local circle, ended up with retarded offspring, alcoholism, and divorce.
    Traditional matching ritual has turned out to be a cultural disaster.
     
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  3. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

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    I googled the answer for you, Geoff.

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    Apparently it is the male of that species which is discriminating (the females less so) and these fellas like their mamas on the large size, lol....

     
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  5. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

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    I wonder if it is the changes in our cultural attitudes that may be contributing to this disaster?

    We have become a generation of instant gratification. What ever happened to long periods of courtship as a mate selection process?
    We have a culture that is obsessed with youthful body image and sex and the importance of children to the future of our species seems to be lost in the pursuit of pleasure and wealth.
     
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  7. aaqucnaona This sentence is a lie Valued Senior Member

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  8. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

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    Hmm…that’s a good point, Scheherazade. Another thought was that women who were ovulating may be better at selecting biologically compatible mates. Researches thought that the birth control pill might have an affect on their judgment, and concluded that “when women started taking the pill, their preferences shifted toward the scent of men with more similar genes to their own.”

    Birth Control Pills Affect Women’s Taste in Men

    The Science of Sex Appeal

    Attractive Man Funk?
     
  9. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

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  10. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

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    Interesting links, Trooper.

    Yes, the science and the mystery that yet remains behind mate selection is quite fascinating.

    Another thing to contemplate is the propinquity effect.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propinquity

    We become attracted to that which we become comfortable with or habituated unto.

    Then again, there are always those who do not wish to commit, the genetic adventurers so to speak.

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  11. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pr4UkL-TcHk

    I shit you not. This is identical to the conversation that I just had with my brother in-law. I am so sending this to the knuckle dragger. This will surely spice up our holiday gathering. You are awesome!

    Thanks!
    ________________________

    Ah yes, the propinquity effect is something we always forget to consider.
    True. Good observation!
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
  12. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    Agreed, but keep in mind that all those things _contribute_ to lots of children - which 99% of the time means evolutionary success. Thus such behavior is selected for.

    Unfortunately higher ideals like staying with someone forever don't increase the odds of reproduction - and choices like monogamy and avoidance of premarital sex (and affairs) _reduces_ the odds of reproduction. Thus such behaviors are selected against.
     
  13. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

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    Interesting points, billvon.

    So we have become more prolific, yet are we actually more 'successful' by means of this strategy? Does the survivability of our species depend on sheer numbers? What about fitness and adaptability?
     
  14. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

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    Depends on what challenges the survival of our species has to overcome.

    For instance, say a massive asteroid hit the planet, wiping out 95% of the people at impact and then wiping out agriculture for several years.

    At the end of that period maybe only the dozen or so who are still alive were morbidly obese when the asteroid struck, and from these few all future humans descend.

    Hard to say, until confronted with the conditions creating a massive die off, what trait might be the one you want to have to survive.
     
  15. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

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    That makes sense. I suppose a strategy of both numbers and diversity offers the best chance of success for any species when considered from that perspective.
     
  16. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    In nature, are there wallflower female birds,
    who wait, uncontested for, until males have finished vying for the best females?

    I've certainly never seen that on any nature documentary.

    Are there girl-nerd birds?
    Girls who can build a nest in ten minutes, but just ain't pretty.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2011
  17. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    I think your use of quotes around "successful" demonstrates the difficulty with this kind of description - who defines successful? From the point of view of evolution it is the organism that best reproduces its genome. Hence Ghenghis Khan, from a purely evolutionary standpoint, was far more successful than Jesus Christ.

    Of course many people may define "success" differently.

    All three are important, but I think that from what we've seen of nature, numbers almost always wins. It makes a genome more likely to propagate and it makes a species more adaptable (more offspring = more likelihood of advantageous mutations.) It can also cause starvation due to overpopulation, but even in populations at risk for overpopulation (i.e. rabbits) "more is better" seems to hold sway.
     
  18. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

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    We've had population bottlenecks...
    I expect the above is roughly right-i.e survival of the fattest. I also think it likely happened, except it was probably this volcano:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toba_catastrophe_theory

    ...And that's why I'm evolved to get fat like nobody's business!
    GAAAH!
    Thanks a bunch, evolution!

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  19. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

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    Very interesting link, chimpkin. Thanks for posting it.

    ***************************************

    Nature provides many opportunities, Captain, and not all individuals need compete to be successful. Just being in the right place at the right time can be a most effective strategy and also one that conserves resources. I still chuckle to recall watching several big dogs battle it out while an opportunistic little mutt sidled up to the female who was the cause of the commotion. He had the deed done in a flash.

    Propinquity and opportunity.
     
  20. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

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    And I thank you. :worship:

    And thus, it's the party that invests more that gets picky.
     
  21. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

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    Depends on the species...
    Human children require a lot of work.
    Remember, it's not just popping them out, it's making sure they reach a healthy sexual maturity.
    Admittedly, I seem to remember reading a study involving genetic sampling of fathers and children...that found about 10% of the kids are not actually their 'dad's' child.
    So it's keeping a parental figure around.
    edited to add:
    My anthropology professor did her fieldwork in an African matriarchy...and there the mother's brothers are more parental than dad...who, if he acts up, may get his things set outside, meaning he can go home to mom.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2011
  22. scheherazade Northern Horse Whisperer Valued Senior Member

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    This section from an earlier link by Trooper speaks to the 'science' behind female infidelity.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HHZAl2R_1lw&feature=related
     
  23. Trooper Secular Sanity Valued Senior Member

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    But monogamy may have helped to increase genetic diversity. Khan may have been more successful at increasing his own individual gene pool, but Jesus (if he existed) was more successful at expanding the diversity in the human genome, which helps us to survive bouts of intense selection.

    Richard Alexander was the first biologist to propose that it wasn’t our natural inclination, that is was only socially imposed. The question is why is it socially imposed?

    People always think that it is something that men would love, and women would hate, then why has it always been the men who promote it? Historically, men have been in charge. Why did they let this happen? Do you think it was a compromise, we agreed to serve them, and in return they'd stick around? I don't think so.

    Someone recommended this book, “The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are” by Robert Wright. He explained how polygamy actually benefits only the female.

    Christianity did serve as a vehicle for monogamy, which was popular because it pitched its message to poor and powerless men. Polygamy is not advantageous for losers, only for the rich and successful men. I know many women who would trade up for Bill Gates in a heart beat, even if they were #10. Better to have half a rich man, than to have all of a poor one.

    Hmm…I wonder how China’s male population would feel about polygamy, right about now. :bugeye:
     

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