Homo Consumericus

The nature and nurture of consumption

Rihanna versus TLC

The two surviving members of the all-female group TLC recently publicly chastised Rihanna for her scantily clad attire and overt sexuality. This is to be expected once one understands the evolutionary roots of intra-sexual competition. Read More

Slut-Shaming is not gender specific

This article would make sense if women were the only ones who slut-shame women. This is far from the truth, though.

The most bizarre aspect of

The most bizarre aspect of modern feminism to me is the notion that "the patriarchy" is enforcing "sexual repression" on women. That's like saying that drivers are trying to force gas stations to charge more for gasoline, or that chocolate lovers are trying to ban chocolate. The obvious is true once again: It's women, not men, who complain about female as well as male promiscuity, because a culture of promiscuity inherently hurts women. It's men, not women, who complain about supposed "repression", because blaming a "repressive culture" displaces the reason for a man's inability to find a sex partner at any given time. If there is a patriarchy, it's not shaming "sluts" but training them and rewarding them.

Mem looking for long-term

Mem looking for long-term relationships slut-shame women, too.

...which makes perfect

...which makes perfect sense.

Who wants some woman that let herself get used by every slob she meets and then expects her hubby to be faithful and pay the bills and get vanilla sex?

No man worth a crap would want a slut for a wife and mother of his children.

A slut not shamed

Anonymous - one hubby for 25 years, 2 great kids and three satisfied lovers for many years. Why do my hubby and lovers stay with me? I am a great lover, friend, writer, teacher, mother, and cook.
I am outgoing, considerate, and I actually LISTEN.

I am a proud slut, never shamed.

Yuck. Sounds like a bunch of

Yuck.

Sounds like a bunch of ugly people that are stuck with each other.

No. If we want an

No. If we want an evolutionary view of promiscuity, it would make every bit as much sense for women to be promiscuous as resulting offspring could belong to any of the men, therefore reducing chances of male-perpetrated infanticide and increasing community investment in childrearing.

That is the problem inherent in evolutionary psychology; for every explanation as to why one behaviour makes sense there is one for the opposite making sense. It also assumes that every common behaviour gives an evolutionary advantage, when in fact all it has to do is *not* be a disadvantage. We are not perfectly adapted, we are merely adapted *well enough*. That is a basic principle of evolutionary theory.

It makes far more sense to say that, for whatever reason you favour, whether it's deliberate increasing of interpersonal alienation in order to destabilise rivals for resources, the flip side of stereotypes created as a misguided attempt to make sense of a confusing world, or simply "patriarchy" (I think that's a red herring myself, but I can see where its proponents are coming from), these behaviours are cultural. Since being cultural doesn't make them any less real, for better or worse, why some people are so keen to disprove it despite having no actual evidence on their side, I don't know.

Also classic evopsych points for erasing LGBT (including intersex) people. I thought even this peculiar field had moved past doing that, but perhaps not.

My brief rebuttals to two of your points.

"No. If we want an evolutionary view of promiscuity, it would make every bit as much sense for women to be promiscuous as resulting offspring could belong to any of the men, therefore reducing chances of male-perpetrated infanticide and increasing community investment in childrearing."

=> I am afraid that this is incorrect. There are evolutionary reasons as to why women might engage in extra-pair copulations but the latter is not a driving one (but it is indeed operative in other species). There are very rare cases of polyandry (Tibetan polyandry) but typically these are typically fraternal polyandry precisely because the men "sharing" the same women are biologically related (and hence any child would still augment the fitness of each man even if only indirectly). Humans are a bi-parental species where human males provide substantial parental effort. As such, anti-cuckoldry strategies are an inherent part of male psychology. Few men would take well to the reality that you are proposing as evidenced by innumerable data across time and space.

"That is the problem inherent in evolutionary psychology; for every explanation as to why one behaviour makes sense there is one for the opposite making sense."

=> This is an old canard that has been rebutted on endless occasions by several generations of evolutionary scientists. There is nothing inherently unfalsifiable about evolutionary psychological predictions. If anything (as I explain in several of my publications), the burden of evidentiary proof that evolutionary psychologists typically seek in testing their hypotheses is profoundly greater than that found in fields that typically levy such a charge. Competing hypotheses can be found in any scientific discipline. This is the nature of science. Evolutionary scientists face similar epistemological challenges.

GS

What about shared paternity

What about shared paternity though? Or the different ways many cultures have of recognizing paternity?

What's more dominant, a default way we have of interpreting parenthood or the environment's influence on our practices?

If what's dominant is some instinctive way of interpreting parenthood, then what do we do about the disadvantages this creates?

and another question, can

and another question, can humans naturally recognize fatherhood?

BTW I'm not the same anonymous that wrote the post you replied to, I'm the one who wrote these replies to you.

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Gad Saad is Professor of Marketing at Concordia University and author of The Evolutionary Bases of Consumption and The Consuming Instinct.

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