Stopping the Stalker

File Name: 0019.FEM

  Msg#: 6                                            Date: 08-28-98  11:55
  From: David Rice                                   Read: Yes    Replied: No 
    To: J-mag Guthrie                                Mark:                     
  Subj: Stopping the Stalker
 -=> Quoting J-mag Guthrie to Rick Jones <=-

>RJ> That's nonsense. There IS a genetic predisposition for 
>RJ> males to seek out and mate with females, and they are 
>RJ> genetically predisposed to be the aggressive part of 
>RJ> the relationship. (Similarly, females are genetically 
>RJ> predisposed to display themselves to males and select 
>RJ> from among as wide a group as possible.)

JG> You're contradicting yourself. If the females are doing
JG> the selecting, then it's the *males* who would be
JG> predisposed to the displaying. In other species, males
JG> are predisposed to kill each other so that they do the
JG> heavy work of weeding out the less-desirable genetic
JG> material (weaker, slower, etc.).
JG> Are you suggesting that we emulate this behaviour?

The disposition of male violence is a feed-back loop: the
females select for this trait and the males select against
it. The selection "for" is both sexual and survival (violent
males produce children that defend themselves better). The
selection "against" is death: violent males kill themselves.
There is a threshold on the behavior that applies a check-
and-balance. Socialization moderates the behavior.

Rick may believe that the existance of stalking behavior
among the other apes is "nonsense," but it is observed.
The behavior has been modeled on a computer with regards
to population growth and reproductive success. There is
an evolutionary benefit for such behavior: females get
brutallized as payment for agressive offspring. That
offspring may die sooner because of their agressive
genes, but enough reproduce before they die that the cost
is not prohibitive.

It should not be necessary to point out that this selection
and evolutionary pressure is NOT a conscious selection: it
is the genes doing the "selecting" via reproductive success,
NOT the organism. The female does NOT want to be abused:
her genes "want" a male that produces abusive offspring,
and the best way to do that is to select an abusive male
to father them.

It SHOULD be pointed out and stressed that violent human male
behavior (and the other apes) is moderated by socialization,
and to very large extent. This is also true of female sexual
selection in many species: there is usually a genetic
predisposition to selecting colorful males, but this behavior
can be modified by a female observing males that other females
have selecetd--- up to a genetic threshold.

It is just a guess on my part, but I suspect Rick finds the
fact of "nature" walking hand in hand with "nurture" in human
behavior uncomfortable when it comes to the issue of violence.
He need not be: it is very clear that social constructs
(ethics, morals, learned compassion (as compared to inherant
compassion, which is also genetically coded)) moderates such
behavior, so humanity is NOT a slave to its DNA.

JG> - J-Mag

... Jesus was a Jew, but only on his mother's side -- Archie Bunker
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