I am a woman born 1949 and my quest is to find a mindmate
to grow old together as a mutually devoted couple
in a relationship based upon the
egalitarian rational commitment paradigm
bonded by intrinsic commitment
as each other's safe haven and secure basis.

The purpose of this blog is to enable the right man
to recognize us as reciprocal mindmates and
to encourage him to contact me:

The entries directly concerning,
who could be my mindmate,
are mainly at the beginning.
If this is your predominant interest,
I suggest to read this blog in the same order
as it was written, following the numbers.

I am German, therefore my English is sometimes faulty.

Maybe you have stumbled upon this blog not as a potential match.
Please wait a short moment before zapping.

Do you know anybody, who could be my mindmate?
Your neighbour, brother, uncle, cousin, colleague, friend?
If so, please tell him to look at this blog.
While you have no reason to do this for me,
a stranger, maybe you can make someone happy, for whom you care.

Do you have your own webpage or blog,
which someone like my mindmate to be found probably reads?
If so, please mention my quest and add a link to this blog.

Monday, March 12, 2012

503. Evolution And Monogamy

503.  Evolution And Monogamy

In entry 502, I pointed out, that human instinctive behavior has not yet evolved to adapt to the novelty situation of being free from survival needs, in spite of the cognitive reality, that emotional and intellectual needs have become strong influences upon human behavior.   
Under the pressure of survival needs people are coerced to make choices, which they would not make, were they free to choose by taking full account of their emotional needs.  

In this study, women's choice between polygyny and monogamy is explained by the survival benefits of the choice.   It is a very good example of the force of circumstantial restrictions upon options.   
Sathoshi Kanazawa / Mary C. Still:
Why monogamy?

"If resource inequality among men is great, women choose to marry polygynously and the polygynous institution of marriage emerges. If resource inequality among men is small, women choose to marry monogamously and the monogamous institution of marriage emerges. The theory explains the historical shift from polygyny to monogamy as a result of the gradual decline of inequality among men."

The explanation makes perfect logical sense, as long as the options of the choice between monogamy and polygamy are restricted to those for physical survival.    When the choice of a man is a choice between starving and eating, the wish for an exclusive attachment is an unobtainable luxury.   There is no free cognitive choice considering also emotional needs.

Today the environment in the rich modern societies offers for the first time in history the true freedom of choice.    Relieved from the pressure of physical survival struggles, people are now able to sense and perceive their emotional and intellectual needs.   In this situation, monogamy is the best cognitive choice (entry 497)

10,000 and even 1,000 years ago, the situation was very different.   Physical survival depended upon access to scarce resources of food, clothing, firewood, shelter.   The total availability of these resources to a community, village or group was limited.   Even under the best favorable circumstances, people could not produce much surplus above their own needs.
  • Everyday chores were time consuming.   Water had to be carried from the well, cooking required a fire and fire wood.      
  • Without machinery, the production of all goods were slow and limited.  
  • Food production depended on the climate.    Food had to be produced locally.
  • Skills and knowledge were limited. 
As long as the access to fertile land, forest and water was unrestricted to all people, the sum of the resources allowed the survival of everybody on an equal low level.   But any inequality of power over such resources meant, that only the powerful men had the means to survive, while there was not enough left for everybody else.  Medieval systems of rich landowners exploiting their tenants are examples.      

Under such circumstances, a woman's theoretical choice between being the exclusive wife of a poor monogamous man and sharing a rich powerful man's wealth with other wives was not a free choice.   Her emotional needs were an unobtainable luxury beyond her reach, when the price for one poor man's emotional exclusive attachment was perishing and starvation for her and her offspring. 

This situation was aggravated by the lack of safe methods of family planning.   The woman was not even able to choose the monogamous poor man by restricting the number of offspring to match his resources. 

The woman's choice was further determined by her parents' power over her.  Under the pressure of lacking sufficient resources to keep all their children alive, parents coerced their daughters by dire necessity into the choice of the man, who could maintain them, even if she had to share him in a polygynous arrangement.    

Evolutionary biology and evolutionary psychology are very valuable methods to explain hidden instinctive tendencies toward certain behaviors.   But it is a fallacy to confound explanations with justification, connivance or acquiescence.  

It is historical reality, that the superior physical strength of men allowed them to first exclude women from independent access to the survival resources and that the physically strongest men usurped greedily a disproportionally high share of the totally available resources.  This enabled a minority of men to gain control over the majority of women. 

Today the cognitive perception of non-material needs are just as much a reality, including the ability to act morally, to distinguish between justice and injustice and to suffer excruciating emotional pain as the victim of injustice.   Today we have reached a situation, where the instinctive reactions, that were helpful in a different environment, have become obsolete and detrimental.   
The most rational and least instinctive people are guided by their cognition to new adaptive behaviors to the changed environment, while the majority are still driven too much by dysfunctional and anachronistic instincts.

Therefore no scientific explanation of the choice of polygyny in the past by reasons of necessity can be morally used to deny people in the present society their emotional needs for the safe haven of a monogamous exclusive commitment.    No allegedly free choice for polygamy in the past is a valid excuse today for the promiscuous cheating and dumping by desensitized jerks.
When scientific research uncovers instinctive tendencies, which hurt others emotionally, then this is a reason to teach people enhanced awareness to fight their subconscious harmful tendencies, it is not justifiable to use scientific discoveries as an excuse for cruelty.