Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Love and Marriage (Maybe)

The Scratching Post has a wonderful post titled On the Effects of Sex Ratios. In the post our Maximum Leader points out that "Women want marriage, and men want sex". While that is, of course, an over simplification, it certainly isn't wrong.

Many years ago (ick... it was 1989) I read a book called "Sexual Selection" by James L Gould and Carol Grant Gould (a Scientific American Library publication, which does not seem to be in print now). On page 258, there is a revealing list of thirteen characteristics that one might use to select a mate. The list was ordered by males and females here are the lists:
Kindness and understanding Kindness and understanding
Intelligence Intelligence
Physical attractiveness Exciting personality
Exciting personality Good health
Good health Adaptability
Adaptability Physical attractiveness
Creativity Creativity
Desire for children Good earning potential
College graduate College graduate
Good heredity Desire for children
Good earning potential Good heredity
Good housekeeper Good housekeeper
Religious Orientation Religious Orientation
Basically the lists are identical except for the two items in bold (technically the "College graduate" is also one higher in the Female column, but it correlates with Good earning potential, so it can be ignored). Notice the two items are exactly the kind of things that one might expect based on basic evolutionary arguements about who cares about what (just as per the arguements KT gives in his post).

These sorts of facts cause the social liberals great consternation, as they challenge their cherished beliefs about what should be (in their opinion).

To them I can only say what every scientist is taught, "Theory guides, Experiment decides".

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