1. I wonder if Darwin and others considered the possibility that many species have sex for reasons other than reproduction.
2. I wonder if Eric Michael Johnson, the author, can write an article about sex that carefully defines his value-laden words such as "infidelity" and "cheat."
Take this sentence:
Previous studies have reported evidence of female infidelity in small-scale societies such as the !Kung of South Africa, the Ekiti of Nigeria, the Vanatinai of New Guinea, the Tiwi of Northern Australia, the Tsimane of Bolivia, and the Yanomami of Brazil. Do the Tiwi of Northern Australia have the concept of infidelity in the same sense as ostensibly pro-monogamous societies do? Is he assuming they do?
As Hrdy revealed to a scandalized scientific community, the genetic benefits that came from seeking extra-pair matings—while maintaining the support of an existing partner—meant that evolution could favor females who choose to cheat. How can he even use the word "cheat" with all its nonsensical associations when talking about langurs who probably did not have a pre-nup agreement. For all he knew, langurs might have open relationships.
These were some things that jumped out at me in an otherwise interesting article. Btw, the word "promiscuity" is also loaded with negative connotations. As I've said elsewhere on hubski "Promiscuous is a word often used by people who don't like sex to put down those that do."
The penultimate sentence
far from being passive, females are “flexible and opportunistic individuals who confront recurring reproductive dilemmas and tradeoffs within a world of shifting options.” would be improved with the addition of the words, "not unlike members of the male species."
My favourite sentence in the piece is this
Our worldviews constrain our imaginations Yes, absolutely, and I try to keep that in mind. At the same time, our world views prop up our reality and make it possible to seek community and collaboration. It's hard to live completely off the world-view grid.
Final comment: Cadell, I've been meaning to thank you for all your posts, both the ones you write and the ones you link.