GENDERITIS – Oops, Wrong All Along


Oops – it looks like the study back in the 1940s that so many have based their notions of higher male promiscuity on for so long was botched from the beginning. Using the best methods of the time it produced results – that promiscuity gave male fruit flies and advantage that it did not give females, ergo males fuck around and females keep their legs crossed – that no one has been able replicate since. Nonetheless it has become conventional wisdom that males fuck around and females keep their legs crossed. Well now someone has gone back in and done the experiment over, this time with DNA analysis to establish actual parentage, and found the original conclusions are wrong.

Several lessons:

  1. Remain skeptical. Doubt everyone’s, including your own, data and certainly doubt all conclusions, and when new methods become available, go back and review the conclusions to see if they still hold up.
  2. Don’t overgeneralize your conclusions. Don’t blithely assume that the same evolutionary constraints work on species separated by over 400 million years of evolution. There are universals, yes, but there are lots of them, and one is that a species faces new situations with all its past solutions hanging around in its DNA, not as a blank slate, and those old mutations are themselves new evolutionary constraints. A marine mammal species is not free to just suddenly lose the lungs and develop gills, however much more advantageous that might be. (And it doesn’t take 400 million years for this kind of disparity to develop. Don’t blithely assume that chimpanzee sexuality is necessarily any kind of model of human sexuality.)
  3. So pay some attention to detail. Look at the totality of the constraints a species faces. A species with long childhoods requiring high parental investment probably does not derive the same evolutionary benefit from promiscuity as one who just sows eggs broadcast into the passing currents might.
  4.  Expect those disparate constraints to challenge your intuitions. Here’s a species of antelope where the females pester the males for sex, and the males play hard to get. And this arrangement benefits the females. How would a study on fruit flies predict such an outcome, or even be able to predict it? Who says gender roles are not malleable, even at the genetic level?
  5. Sometimes if you look carefully enough, you get exactly the opposite results. Look, here’s another species of fruit fly for which the indications are that female promiscuity enhances species survival in general. Oops, that study on fruit flies would indeed have gioven the same result as the one on topi antelopes.

Scepticism is the sword that destroys certainty, delusion and superstition.

Jim Doyle
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Jim Doyle

<span class="dsq-postid" data-dsqidentifier="2888">7 comments</span>

  • Fruit flies was never meant to be the replacement for status on humans.The purpose was the same as rats,to do preliminary testing.Who ever the main purpose of fruit flies is to stadu what happens between generations.Because life cycle in fruit flies is very short.And one of the menu reasons we don’t do this type of status on humans,is a long life spend.There are also weru interesting reasons wai even rats are not perfect models.Up until ricentlu it was that male rat did all the work regarding mating,and then just sit there and look pretty.One of the main reasons for that is that this ratc were in ceptivety.And female in order to engage in her wery complexes reproductive behavior needed space.To run around and,do her little song and dance as it were.So this animals are not meant to be replecmen for human testing.But to chart the course of human testing,and to trai elimenet serious damage.This is also one of the rising we are that to take everything with grain of salt, regarding animal testing.

    Thank to fruit flies(and some other animals) we descavored several important thing about gender ,believe it or not.Some of this discoveries are very controversial.

  • Ganganbgs could be extremely beneficial for women because of spermcompetition between a ton of sperm from different guys. Even a guy that looks less attractive than another one will have some sperm that could produce even better looking children than his competitor, he just has a lot fewer of them. If you have the sperm of a bunch of guys compete some of the sperm of one of the less attractive might win out because that one spermie is just an incredible and high quality swimmer and so having all the sperm compete can be better than just picking the best guy.

    Because the last guy to have sex with her will pull out a lot of the other guys sperm with the head of his penis and no one will pull his out, he will be the one with the most sperm in there. Hence the desire of many swingers men to see their wife get fucked by other men and then fuck her last. By doing it this way they not only trade sex with their own wife for sex with other mens wives, which makes it an equal deal, but get the extra benefit of increasing the odds to impregnate his own wive compared to if he was first or in the middle.

  • Valkina, that is exactly my point, although you brought an important aspect I left out, that these tests are useful, juts not the final word.

    wudang, humans are adapted for group sex, with chemical soprm competition and the flanged glans and all the rest. It not only benefits the female because she gets the best availbale sperm for her child, but it benefits the group because it gives all the males a stake in the child, as far as they know. It may also help bond the males to each other. The twist is that later humans evolved pair bonding, right on top of their whoel other suite of adaptations.

  • My mom one time told me,or was that lifeguard told her that she told me……any way it is not important.

    That the most dangerous one are the swimmers who are at the middle.
    You don\’t have to worry about professionals,sins there are good.And they know how to behave even if things go bad.
    The one that dont know who to swim,or are bad at it.Stay out of the water or don\’t go deep into it.Because they know there are not weru good,and they are afraid.
    The ones in the middle are most dangerous to them self because,they have in confidence to go in to deep water.But not enough skill,and they get weary coku rigardin their abilities.So they get in true trouble kuwait often,because they want to show off.

    And I think it is the seim regarding science.
    The scientist knows what is what,and they won\’t jump to conclusions.Expect some bad ones.
    The ones who don\’t know,can do anything.Ore thu don\’t understand inaf.
    It is usually people who do know something but not the entire story,who jump to conclusions.Sometimes in to weru dangerous one.
    Sadly scientist can fall into that trap as well.Bud not cross referencing with ather saentifick filds,ore other scientist.If you luck in to history,the most therebal things are done by people who did not know the entire story.Who just that to jump to wrong conclusions.

  • Oh God, Valkina. Pputting out seudoscience to the piblic ought to get people put on some kind of registry. And it’s nolt just non-scietists who make that mistake; some scientitsts think they are so brilliant that they can just wander into disciplines where they know no more than any layman and spout all kinds of nonsense. physicists are particularly bad about this, maybe ebcause in physics you either succeed young or never, so very early you get the seal of genius. That doesn’t set you up for fields with higher levels of complexity, as in contradictory and even flat-out false data.

  • I am well aware of that.This is why I sed that scientist can fall in the same trap.And I had several run ins with them.

  • @Hackberry, moving this over from the other thread upon TyphonBlue’s request.

    I chose the review because it pointed out what all the glowing reviews seem to have missed: that many citations to weak science doesn’t make for a strong case.

    The review never addressed any specific research but generalized globally about it being deficient.

    It’s a review, not a rebuttal. The focus of the review is to attack the works cited and express doubt, nothing more.

    The comment that was left on the review was misleading and somewhat nonsensical in places. For istance,

    Yes, it is hard to prove or disprove various hypotheses that have been put forward by sociobiologists and evolutionary psychologists, but this does not mean we stick our heads in the sand. Instead, hard empirical work- such as that done by Geary- is necessary.

    This begs the question, if Geary isn’t proving or disproving hypothesis, then what exactly is the hard empirical work that he’s doing?

    Sometimes I think that the difference between a hard science and a soft science is that in soft science, citations are counted as proof. They’ve come to be incredibly abused, along with the whole race to publish papers to gain a reputation instead of, you know, doing science.

By Jim Doyle

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