viernes, 5 de agosto de 2016

MercatorNet: Women’s leverage in the mating market

MercatorNet: Women’s leverage in the mating market

Women’s leverage in the mating market

Science confirms: women set the rules for dating, sex and marriage.
Helen M. Alvaré | Aug 5 2016 | comment 

Some schools of feminism hate the observation that women’s decisions set the “rules” for dating, sex and marriage. In other words, sexual relations will take place, or not, according to women’s decisions about where to draw the line. And women are inclined to draw lines with attention to the well-being of potential children.
More than a few feminists rather conceive of women’s “power” in the “market” for relationships, sex and marriage, as the ability to have casual sex without strings, and without children.
The problem with their vision, however, is that the evidence is stacked against them.
While today – in a world awash with contraception and abortion, and cheerleaders mistaking both for “freedom” – women will more often talk themselves into casual sex, they have the natural power to do otherwise.
An important article explains this phenomenon: The evolution of human mating: Trade-offs and strategic pluralism,” by evolutionary psychologists Dr. Steven Gangestad and Dr. Jeffrey Simpson, published in Cambridge University Press’ Behavioral and Brain Sciences journal.
The authors conclude that women choose men, in part, based upon environmental conditions’ likely impact upon future children. If the environment signals that long-term bi-parental care would benefit the child, they seek men who will stick around for the long run. If it signals toxic conditions which could hurt the child, they would be more willing to choose men on the basis of their “genetic fitness” to create stronger, healthier children.[1]
And what about men’s mating behavior? “[M]en tracked and adjusted their mating tactics and preferences to the behavior of women.” For this conclusion, the authors cite the additional support of an article by a University of Texas Evolutionary Psychologist, bluntly concluding: “In short, females track the environment; males track the females.”[2]
These findings are supported by research from another discipline, economics, applied to the question of the exchange of sex between men and women. The authors bluntly identify men as “buyers” and women as “sellers” in this marketplace, writing:
The central point to our social exchange analysis of sex is that sex is essentially a female resource. When a man and a woman have sex, therefore, the woman is giving something of value to the man. In that sense, the interaction is one-sided—unless the man gives the woman something else of comparable value. (p. 341).
None of this is intended to reduce human beings to powerless products of evolution, or actors in an economic marketplace. There are so many factors—among them religious and cultural and familial factors—influencing relationships between men and women. But these types of research do point helpfully to women’s power to shape their destinies—and to women’s particular attention to the well-being of their children. 
Helen M. Alvare is a Professor of Law at George Mason University and cofounder of the movement Women Speak For Themselves. This article first appeared on the WSFT blog and is reproduced here with permission.
[1] In science-ese: “If the local environment was difficult and demanded biparental care, women placed more weight on the investment potential of prospective mates and less weight on indicators of their genetic fitness. As a result, a larger proportion of women adopted long-term mating tactics almost exclusively. If on the other hand, the pathogens were prevalent in the local environment…women placed more weight on indicators of the genetic fitness of prospective mates. In such environments, a larger proportion of women were willing to engage in short-term, extra-pair matings, allowing them to gain genetic benefits from men who provided less parental investment at the risk of losing parental investment from their primary mates.” (p. 586).
[2] Citing Del Thiessen, “Environmental Tracking by Females: Sexual Lability”, Human Nature, Vol. 5 (2), 1994.

It's not quite true that voters in the US presidential election can choose only between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Candidates from the Libertarian Party and the Green Party will be on the ballot in most states. Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, is currently polling about 10 percent. If he pulls in another 5 percent, he might even be included in the televised debates, potentially boosting his candidacy even more. However, the Libertarian creed may not excite people who dislike legalised prostitution and marijuana.. 
But there is a vast array of other candidates as well, I have discovered on a political website. None of them have a snowball's chance in hell of affecting the election. But they do provide some interesting alternatives. Zoltan Istan, the Transhumanist candidate, has featured in MercatorNet before. He opposes death and supports immortality. Mark Dutter, from Spearfish, South Dakota, is a "strong believer in the middle road". Julian Lewis Jr is an "independent, pious bishop" who believes in "the traditional American values of yesteryear". And quite a few others. 
Nonetheless, for most people, the choice is between Clinton and Trump. As Matthew Franck argues in his intelligent and perceptive essay below, if neither are qualified, a conscientious voter does not have to cast a vote for either of them. 

Michael Cook 

A vote’s consequences and a voter’s conscience

Matthew J. Franck | FEATURES | 5 August 2016
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The McMartyrs of jihad

Theodore Dalrymple | ABOVE | 5 August 2016
In what sort of universe does the vocation of suicide bomber make sense?

Women’s leverage in the mating market

Helen M. Alvaré | FAMILY EDGE | 5 August 2016
Science confirms: women set the rules for dating, sex and marriage.

What an ageing population means for economic growth

Marcus Roberts | DEMOGRAPHY IS DESTINY | 5 August 2016
Another headwind for recovering economies...

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