Re: virus: sexuality
Mon, 16 Sep 1996 19:08:51 -0500 (CDT)

On Mon, 16 Sep 1996, Ken Pantheists wrote:

> I wonder if monogamy is actually more culturally informed than genetic.
> Many cultures practice polygamy. There are many references to polygamy in
> the old testament-- I don't see it as a hinderance to the propogation of the
> genes.

There are many references to polygyny in the Old Testament. I can't think
of any references to polyandry in either Testament.

I would note that polygyny occurs in far more cultures. There are
biological reasons why various militaries traditionally favor men.
[These reasons don't hold for holocaustic war, only large-scale war and
smaller--i.e., when the warfront can be localized away from the normal
population. It is much easier to regenerate your population with a 1:2
male/female ratio than a 2:1 male/female ratio....]
Raw speculation:
I would expect polygyny in societies that frequently
skirmish/limited war [note that total war is a 20th century invention], or
when relative wealth is severely imbalanced among men.
I would expect serial monogamy in societies at relative peace for a
long time [US would qualify; no major war efforts since Vietnam.]
I have expectations for when societies accept total lack of marriage
institutions [US qualifies, again!], but:
1) They are derived from less-than-critically examined
conservative Christian culture.
2) They can cause instant emotional overload [barely-controlled
anger, etc.] in memebots of the aforementioned culture.

/ Kenneth Boyd