Something for the gender discussion.

Date: Thu Apr 26 2001 - 22:06:09 BST

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    Subject: Something for the gender discussion.
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    > Long-term relationships are fundamentally dishonest. And it's all the
    > fault of females.
    > Scientists claim that monogamous relationships among many species,
    > including humans, only persist because females have found a way to
    > disguise whether they are fertile. The researchers claim that by
    > offering sex anytime, but no clues as to whether they will conceive,
    > females trick males into hanging round for a long time. The evolution
    > of this deception is the only reason that monogamy has developed.
    > [Oddly enough, William Burroughs once theorised that love was just a
    > conspiracy on the part of women. Interesting that this research would
    > seem to validate that view]
    > New Scientist reports that two zoologists claim to have uncovered the
    > dishonest heart of every faithful relationship. Magnus Enquist of
    > Stockholm University and colleague Miguel Girones from the Netherlands
    > Institute of Ecology have been modelling the development of monogamous
    > relationships and claim that the state only develops when females
    > start deceiving males about their fertility.
    > In many species females often advertise their fertility with visual or
    > chemical cues and, as a result, only suffer the amorous attentions of
    > males when they are likely to conceive. They typically avoid too much
    > sex because it takes energy and leaves them at the risk of contracting
    > disease.
    > This behaviour also helps males decide who to mate with, and when they
    > can move on and try to spread their genes elsewhere. In many other
    > species, such as humans, birds and porcupines, females hide their
    > fertility and so keep males hanging round on the off-chance that they
    > will conceive.
    > This deception also discourages males from seeking other mates because
    > they are just as likely to be fertile as the female the male has
    > shacked up with claims Mr Enquist. The pair tested their theory in a
    > mathematical model and found that males only stopped their roguish
    > bachelor lifestyle when females start hiding their fertility.
    > "Classical explanations of sexual behaviour always focus on the male,"
    > Mr Enquist told New Scientist. "But this gives stronger focus on the
    > woman."

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