evolution

Recent posts

Evolutionary Sexual Behavior: Still Useful Today?

An intriguing idea I read about in Confessions of a Pickup Artist Chaser is the notion that our early ancestors developed “alpha male” behavior because it was advantageous during evolution, and remains so today. This is supposedly why women are attracted to dominant men (even when they’re jerks). I found this blogger’s take on the issue interesting (and compelling, since he cites scientific research): Masculine or “alpha” behavior is attractive to some women sometimes. It appears to be a retained trait from multiple millions of years ago, that was once advantageous, but has lost its significance with respect to the population as a whole. Whether or not women are hard-wired to want more aggressive, active mates, it seems to me that individual preference and cultural context also play a large role. Continue Reading →

Thoughts On Female Orgasm

The female orgasm has been receiving more attention by scientists lately; not just sexuality scholars and therapists who are interested in helping women achieve orgasms, but also researchers curious about the evolution of the female orgasm. In contrast to the male orgasm, which is easily explained by its purpose in facilitating reproduction, the female orgasm can seem downright perplexing. This blog post by Greg Laden explains the dilemma rather well:

It is essential that males have orgasms or there would be no reproduction. Therefore there is male orgasm-related physiology. Just as males accidentally have female nipples because of a quirk of developmental biology, the theory went, females accidentally have some left over bits of orgasm-making machinery in their bodies so we end up with the occasional and largely unexpected female orgasm. Continue Reading →

Evaluating Sex Research On The Internet

How reliable is the internet as a tool for sex research? This write-up on a new book, A Billion Wicked Thoughts by Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam, summarizes the research and asks some questions about the methodology. In my opinion, though, the study is not as sound as it’s made out to be. The authors let themselves be guided by the most popular internet queries about sex, and from there conducted some interviews and hung out in topical web forums. However, the authors had some shady strategies, as detailed in this Neurocritic article on the study. The authors did not have Institutional Review Board approval for the study of human subjects, which is basically mandatory for scholarly research that involves living people. Continue Reading →

Rape, Evolution, And Untenable Hypotheses

The hypothesis that rape is a hardwired human behavior is not a new one, and it remains controversial. One new take on the situation, though, is the hypothesis that women have evolved to protect themselves from rapists. At first glance, this is an interesting idea–but sadly, it relies on fragmentary evidence and misogynistic premises. First, the author’s narrow definition of rape as “the use of force, or threat of force, to achieve penile-vaginal penetration of a woman without her consent” ignores the spectrum of sexual assault that does not involve intercourse, and which is no less damaging to a woman (whether we’re talking emotionally, psychologically, or in terms of her reproductive worth or ability to select a mate, as this author seems most interested in the Darwinian effects of rape). The author, to his credit, acknowledges that studying the history of rape in human evolution is not the same as condoning the behavior… Continue Reading →