Re: Biology of the father

From: Chris Taylor (
Date: Mon 31 May 2004 - 14:11:08 GMT

  • Next message: Chris Taylor: "Re: "childless couple told to have sex" meme"

    I'm not sure monogamy is established at all -- cf. the Koran's advice on keeping as many wives as you can 'manage' (economically and socially). Monoandry (er, sic...) is also contentious, but much more heavily enforced by men in recent times due to the economics of things. Amazon-style matriarchal societies (what few we know about) are interesting when considering this issue. And of course species like some spiders and mantids, where the male _really_ commits to a mating, by doubling as the post-coital snack... :)

    I raised an interesting (to me...) issue a while ago (it came from a paper on sparrows) where offspring learn to be good fathers from their parents, and the larger the investment from both parents (brood swaps proved this was not genetic) the larger the particular male's 'chest badge' (a patch of dark colour on the chest of the males). This was a good indicator that they had received good input from both parents and were more likely to be 'good' fathers to their own young (having learned traits when young), the patch being an indicator trait females selected mates on the basis of. The nice guy is the one that gets the wife.

    So take home: if there is a way (and an opputunity) for females to select for males that will put all their effort into raising one family, they will select for it. Same is true in humans where most women go for
    'exciting' (and usually screwed up) guys when young, but go for the
    'nice dependable guy' to raise a family with once they have got the other thing out of their system (where they get a choice).

    Cheers, Chris.

    Van oost Kenneth wrote:
    > I found this in the paper I read, DM 27. 05. 2004
    > Something of interest !?
    > There are biological differencies between being a father and being a
    > mother. For men procreation is from a biological point of view for a
    > great deal a noncommittal thing.
    > They have much more choise or and in how far they will take up
    > responsibilities of fatherhood. They can be a father without even
    > knowing it, and if they know it, they can deny it or even escape the
    > consequenties.
    > They aren 't forced to take up responsibility from within biology and
    > are thus thrown on what culture provides / dictates for such cases.
    > Translated by Kenneth Van Oost, May 2004.
    > This extract is written as a preview for a book by M. Michielsen,
    > ' Fathers of a kind ' ( translation).
    > If so, then ir raises a few fair questions,
    > _ when began /culture/ !?
    > and did it /start/ with what men thought they will/ can or might do
    > in order to raise ( their) children !?
    > _and if there were no /rules/ did women /start/ something /cultural/
    > to bring men into line with what seems a biological inbedded
    > trait of women !?
    > I got to search for it, but I have somewhere an article, that says
    > that /monogamy /is a women biological trick to keep men into line
    > with their responsibility towards /their /children.
    > Regards,
    > Kenneth

      Chris Taylor (
      HUPO PSI: GPS --
    This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
    For information about the journal and the list (e.g. unsubscribing)

    This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Mon 31 May 2004 - 14:18:55 GMT