So I'm reading The Moral Animal, which is a fantastic book. (I started reading it a while back but got sidetracked.) It contains many nuggets of information and I'm not even at the half-way point yet. But one thing that was particularly interesting was a citation from this paper (PDF) (I think; I haven't read it all yet) about how some women are quite happy to trade parental investment for good genes, and this often happens unconsciously.
"Studs", the athletic and strong-build types, typically have "good genes" a woman may like. But those males are also more likely to mate with as many women as possible rather than settling down, one reason being they know they have sought-after genes.
So my thoughts drifted to divorce rates, and then to economics. In our modern society where women work and in many cases are even the breadwinners for a family, parental investment from the father isn't as necessary as it might have been in the ancestral environment. Like the Bluegill Sunfish, humans tend to take in their environment before "deciding" whether to pursue a more sexually reserved or promiscuous strategy. Could high divorce rates and a decline of life-long relationships be caused, at least partially, by the increasing ease in which women can fend for themselves and any offspring? I think so. At least, the option of a divorce will seem even more appealing if the woman has no need of the man financially.
Posted on 2009-12-27 by Jach
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