Re: whether all cultures are equal. The forces of darkness are discussing this topic, too. Visit the Western Standard Blog (brainchild of stunted monkey boy Ezra Levant) to check out the “discussion”.

Got $100 million? How about a trip around the moon?

Reuters is reporting on a new study which measures the prevalence of men raising children who are not their own (yet who believe them to be their own) to be higher than anticipated. Clearly, this stuff has legal, social and medical consequences. But since everyone enjoys a little evolution talk, let’s explore the biological perspective a little, shall we?

It is believed by some, including myself, that –in general– human males seek out physically attractive women, and human females seek out socially well-positioned and powerful men. (Inevitably someone will angrily email me to point out that their spousal choice does not conform to this model… this is why I wrote “in general”, people! Pay attention!)

This tendency is driven by the innate desire by both partners to produce and rear healthy, successful children. Since a baby gestates within a woman’s body, the criteria about her that most immediately and profoundly influence her ability to produce healthy children have to do with her physical state. Sorry, but it’s true. Her intellect, wit, charm and family fortune are all bonuses which contribute to the offspring’s eventual genetic robustness, but are ultimately meaningless if she is physically unable to carry a child to term. This is why, as I touched on in my Toronto Star article, male ideas about female beauty are universally mapped around proxy measurements of female fecundity: youth, clear skin, symmetry, curvy shape, strong body, etc. It’s the youth thing that pisses off most people, but you have to realize that men are hard-wired to be attracted to young women for their greater child-bearing potential.

On the other hand, the physical state of men is important only in two contexts: a large, strong man is historically more likely to rise to a position of high status within the group and hence will command more resources for his family; and a physically attractive man will likely have genes good enough to produce a robust fetus. But a man’s ability to provide resources and attain status are historically more important, I would argue, than his genetic contribution. Proxy measurements for being a good provider include, not only size and athletic ability, but intelligence and charm. Indeed, a man’s physical prowess is almost meaningless in a modern societal context.

Want proof of these tendencies in modern humans? Just scan any set of personals ads. The women are looking for stable, established, intelligent men. The men are looking for physically attractive women.

So what does this have to do with the Reuters report? Well, the evolutionary model ain’t so cut-and-dry. Over the aeons, we have developed additional strategies to get everything we want. One such strategy is for a woman to seek the genetic contribution of a physically gifted man and the resource contribution of a more stable, established man. The product? The bastard children of rakish men, raised by the clueless, wealthier husbands. As a society we frown on this, but despite social efforts to suppress this behaviour, clearly a high percentage of women continue to employ this strategy, so well ingrained it is in our genes.

The equivalent male strategy is equally as socially distasteful: the “trading up” of spouses. Older, less fecund wives are abandoned in favour of younger, more fecund new-comers. Again, despite society’s displeasure at such behaviour, it continues because it is an evolutionarily advantageous strategy. In some ways, it has been argued, modern Western society’s distaste for plural marriage is counterproductive. Perhaps, the argument goes, it is more natural for a man of good resources to keep his ageing wife and acquire a new wife with whom to continue to produce offspring; the older woman would suffer less and her familial contributions would be sustained.

Hey, don’t send me the angry emails. This is all current socio-biological theory. Blame God. Or Darwin. Or somebody else.