October 31, 2011

Making the world safe for polygamy, one Predator drone at a time

By Adam Nossiter in the NYT:
TRIPOLI, Libya — It was just a passing reference to marriage in a leader’s soberly delivered speech, but all week it has unsettled women here as well as allies abroad. 
In announcing the success of the Libyan revolution and calling for a new, more pious nation, the head of the interim government, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil, also seemed to clear the way for unrestricted polygamy in a Muslim country where it has been limited and rare for decades. 
It looked like a sizable step backward for women at a moment when much here — institutions, laws, social relations — is still in play after the end of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s 42 years of authoritarian rule. 
In his speech, Mr. Abdel-Jalil declared that a Qaddafi-era law that placed restrictions on multiple marriages, which is a tenet of Islamic law, or Shariah, would be done away with. The law, which stated that a first wife had to give permission before others were added, for instance, had kept polygamy rare here. 
“This law is contrary to Shariah and must be stopped,” Mr. Abdel-Jalil told the crowd, vowing that the new government would adhere more faithfully to Shariah. The next day he reiterated the point to reporters at a news conference: “Shariah allows polygamy,” he said. Mr. Abdel-Jalil is known for his piety. 
He also remarked cryptically, “We will not abolish any law.” 
Still, some women here saw the collective remarks of the chairman of the Transitional National Council as a menacing sign that the new Libya would mean new repression. Human-rights lawyers also viewed the comments as a clearly aimed swipe at the Qaddafi law on marriage, as did a scholar of Islamic law at the University of Tripoli. 
Libya experts abroad saw the leader’s foray as a political effort aimed at placating newly influential Islamists. “He and the other leaders are not quite certain which way this is going to turn,” said Dirk J. Vandewalle, an associate professor of government at Dartmouth College. “They are hedging their bets. The worrisome thing is he mentioned these things, which take him outside the mainstream.” 
Abroad, the reaction was one of dismay among allies whose military firepower ensured Colonel Qaddafi’s fall. ... 
There was disquiet that Mr. Abdel-Jalil had zeroed in on the marriage issue in a relatively brief speech. Unprompted, the young women circulating in a university courtyard angrily brought up his comments.
... Unlike in its African Muslim neighbors to the south, where multiple-wife family compounds are frequently seen, polygamy has hardly been part of the essential fabric of daily life here. Under Colonel Qaddafi, there was a notion that polygamous marriages were the exception, said Azza Kamel Maghur, a lawyer here. Apart from the wife’s consent — delivered in front of a judge — a man had to give reasons for taking another wife. 
Like other women here, Ms. Maghur, whose father was briefly foreign minister under Colonel Qaddafi, was sharply critical of the country’s temporary leader for proposing fundamental changes during a period of transition. “Women gained rights in the 1970s,” she said. “We don’t want to lose them.” ... 
In Benghazi on Friday, several hundred men staged a demonstration in support of Mr. Abdel-Jalil and demanded that his prescriptions be carried out. ...

You notice how no guy ever says in one of these articles: "Hey, under polygamy, I'd probably wind up a lonely bachelor, so I'm against polygamy!"? Are guys really that dumb that they don't get the basic math? I'm sure that Mustafa Abdel-Jalil and his male relatives will do very well for themselves in the marriage market as long as he's head of government, but what about men as a whole? How do more men wind up better off if some men get to have four wives?

This sort of speech might almost make you skeptical about the motivations of elites. But if average Libyan guys start being cynical about the motivations of Mustafa Abdel-Jalils call for more polygamy, then average Americans might someday stop believing that the reason Bill Gates is always calling for more immigration is not because he's in favor of more equality, and start wondering if its because he's in favor of more inequality. If this kind of bad attitude is allowed, Southerners might start to imagine Jefferson Davis had ulterior motives in favoring slavery and secession.

Anyway, making the law more favorable to polygamy probably won't have much impact statistically because the truth is that outside of tropical hoe agriculture economies where the women do most of the work, large numbers of men can't afford to have a lot of wives. The irony is that this is especially true in Islamist cultures where the women have to be kept out of sight. Wives can't very easily be bringing home the bacon if they can't drive and have to be escorted everywhere by male relatives and have to wear awkward tent-like clothes that they have to grasp with one hand at all times.

169 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Wives can't very easily be bringing home the bacon if they can't drive and have to be escorted everywhere by male relatives and have to wear awkward tent-like clothes that they have to grasp with one hand at all times."

hahahahahahahaha

Anonymous said...

Offtopic but Herman Cain has been accused of 'sexually suggestive behavior.' whatever that means.

Kaz said...

YUP YUP YUP YUP YUP

Saw this coming.

Though I suppose the rest of this sphere did as well.

Anonymous said...

What ulterior motives did Jefferson Davis have, exactly?

On the other hand we know for a fact that Lincoln, et al had ulterior motives for opposing secession and slavery. You could say anti-secession was the ulterior motive behind anti-slavery.

Anonymous said...

Steve,
From an evolutionary biology perspective, there's nothing worng with polygamy, in fact it is most likely the ancient and default mode of reproduction for our species and the driver of evolutionary progress.
That howls are raised in the west just shows how wussified the west has become.

Anonymous said...

In lake wobegon all children are above average. Whereas in Libya the majority of men think they are a measly 2/3 of a standard deviation more marriageable than the average schmuck, (which puts them in the 75th percentile), and able to get basic math strongly oppose men being able to wed more than 4 wives.

In other news; if a ruler is an honest-to-god autocrat, he can afford to be whimsical; or if he is propped up by outsiders they usually pander to them; however if they are put in the chair by transient coalitions in addition to lynching-sodomizing local mobs guess who they will pander to? c.f. libya and afghanistan vs iraq.

Anonymous said...

I don't know about that Steve.
One of the womders of the internet are the plethora of mail-order bride sites offering women from all parts of the globe begging to be taken as wives by men with more than a few dollars in their pockets.
What this syas about the reality between men and women is immeasuribly more valuable than any bullcr*p from a leftist 'academic'.
Ethiopian women seem very drawn to selling themselves as brides - I'm sure a trade could develop with oil rich Libya.
Just think of the juxtaposition of Libyan oil wealth (every Libyan man is a man of substance compared to a subsaharan), and the teeming malthusian poverty south of the Sahara.
One would think a 'bride trade' to be a rational and succesful business.

Anonymous said...

The great Sir Richard Burton (no, not the actor), the distinguished victorian British arabist is surely missed in these times.What we need are people such as Burton in senuor positions.Men who have lived amongst Arabs and know their ways.

Sid said...

Hey Steve,

I talked with a number of Emiratis last summer. The Emiratis told me that polygamy is quite common in the UAE. The super wealthy elites acquire a number wives from their local areas.

So what does the common Emirati man do?

There is still enough oil money to trickle down to the common Arab in the UAE. What Emirati men do is travel to other Islamic countries and use their lucre to get a wife. One Emirati girl I knew had an Egyptian mother, another one had a Muslim Indian mother. It reminded me of how Native Americans would kidnap women from other tribes to help diversify the gene pool.

It'll be interesting to see what happens in the future. Libya has premium oil, so it's possible that urban elites will acquire a number of local wives, while the less-well-to-do city dwellers will travel around for wives. I doubt the rural Berber or Bedouin types will change too much.

hbd chick said...

i wonder if polygamy is all that bad for men in the arab/muslim world. they've got a LOT of divorce there, so i wonder if it mightn't be kinda easy to pick up a second-hand wife -- unless all the women are just circulated amongst the alpha men.

what i'm thinking is, you might have to wait until you're 40, and your second-hand wife might be 30, but maybe you do get to marry eventually in the arab/muslim world.

i dunno. i don't have any numbers.

the situation is different in sub-saharan africa. there, like you say, men can keep a lot of wives 'cause they pretty much keep themselves. so a lot of men must just lose out (or have to sneak around with married men's wives). there's an awful lot of violence in sub-saharan africa -- too many frustrated young men?

polygamy is not good for women 'cause in a polygamous situation, women have fewer kids each on average (husband's too tired, i guess (~_^) ). on the plus side, tho, you might get to 1) mate with an alpha male, and 2) if you marry a cousin (which happens a lot in those areas of the world), then maybe you do get to pass on a good number of your genes since you share a lot of genes with your husband.

Anonymous said...

Polygamy is the free market at work.

Lugash said...

Anyway, making the law more favorable to polygamy probably won't have much impact statistically because the truth is that outside of tropical hoe agriculture economies where the women do most of the work, large numbers of men can't afford to have a lot of wives.

Maybe Libya will follow the KSA model. A small percentage of insiders controlling the oil wealth and women, with a huge chunk of the population dirt poor.

Peter A said...

We have plenty of polygamy among elites in the West too, it is just that we have serial polygamy,i.e. you have to divorce your existing wife before taking a new one. But the principle isn't that different. I suppose you could argue our Western system is better because we are freeing older used up women to be available for the betas once the alphas have finished with them.

Georgia Resident said...

Well, if we assume a highly meritocratic society, it seems that polygamy, as practiced in the Arab countries, would actually be eugenic, since it would presumably help the most successful men to reproduce the most, while making sure the duds reproduce little, if at all.

Anonymous said...

Who cares? No one gets married nowadays anyway. I couldn't care less about marriage. I will never get married. Marriage is an institution created to protect women and children. As a man, I have everything to lose and nothing to gain from marriage. The only two reasons why any man would get married are as follows:

1. Sex

2. Children

Sex is so easy to get nowadays. In fact, I have to thank feminists as they made women much more available sexually. Feminism is the biggest ally of men in their quest for more sex. The worst society possible for a man is exactly a conservative one, where there are strict and brutally enforced laws to restrict a man's access to sex. You guys are really stupid for supporting conservatism. In our modern feminist-World, any guy can get regular sex from different women if he wants, and the few who can't have plenty of available prostitutes. In a couple more decades, we will have extremely realistic dolls that will feel exactly like a woman, and by 2040+ there will be 3-D artificial reality programs that will allow you to have sex with any woman you want, and with electrodes attached to the nucleus accumbens region of the brain, will give you intense orgasms = women not needed anymore. Women have always used men's intense sex drive to oppress and exploit them, and this easy ride is coming to an end.

Now for children, this is the only reason why a man would get married. But for men who don't want to reproduce, such as myself, the point is moot. If I absolutely wanted to reproduce, I would choose a genetically superior woman from an egg bank, pay another woman to carry the foetus, and then pay a couple to adopt the child and raise him as I certainly wouldn't do it myself. And let's face it, guys: this is a horrible World to bring boys into...boys are third-class citizens in a society like U.S.A. I wouldn't want to bring boys into this awful World. I wouldn't be able to live with myself knowing all the horrors they would go through as boys. And I would not want daughters as I would have nothing in common with them. I don't have anything in common with women besides wanting to have sex with them, so how exactly would I relate to daughters?!

So, marriage is stupid. So some rich guy in Lybia wants to have ten wives? Let him. He will have to pay a fortune to keep them. I can have 10 X more women than him for much less money, and after I get what I want, they leave. Works for me!

eh said...

Dog bites man: Islamic country practices Islam.

Simon in London said...

"How do more men wind up better off if some men get to have four wives?"

I think the sub-Saharan system works fine for most men - as Beta males they get to seduce/have sex with the uncloistered wives of the Big Man Alphas. While the wives do 80% of the work, the Big Man still has to work fairly hard managing things. The Betas get fairly easy access to sex, with zero responsibility. A lot of nonhuman primate cultures like chimp troupes seem to work this way, too.

Islamic-style polygamy + cloistering has different results though, as you say.

Felix M said...

The NY article says that "Mr. Abdel-Jalil declared that a Qaddafi-era law (restricting multiple marriages) ... would be done away with ... He also remarked cryptically, 'We will not abolish any law.'”

It's risky commenting on legal points from another jurisdiction or on the basis of a media report. However, I suggest the guy's take is that the Qaddafi law won't be "abolished" because it is intrinsically invalid (being contrary to Shariah law).

Simon in London said...

Georgia Resident:
"Well, if we assume a highly meritocratic society, it seems that polygamy, as practiced in the Arab countries, would actually be eugenic, since it would presumably help the most successful men to reproduce the most, while making sure the duds reproduce little, if at all."

Whatever they're selecting for, it's not IQ. The purest Arabs, the Saudi Arabians, are mind-bogglingly unintelligent, and most of the rest are not much better.

Vilko said...

Steve wrote:
You notice how no guy ever says in one of these articles: "Hey, under polygamy, I'd probably wind up a lonely bachelor, so I'm against polygamy!"? Are guys really that dumb that they don't get the basic math? I'm sure that Mustafa Abdel-Jalil and his male relatives will do very well for themselves in the marriage market as long as he's head of government, but what about men as a whole? How do more men wind up better off if some men get to have four wives?

Steve, you should know that the alphas do all the talking. Libyan betas probably have no illusions - although many of them probably think that with Kadhafi's oil money they'll be able to buy wives from abroad or from poor Libyan families - but they don't take the big political decisions and they don't talk to the media.

hbd chick wrote:
polygamy is not good for women 'cause in a polygamous situation, women have fewer kids each on average

What we see here in France, among polygamous African immigrants, is wives competing for status by having as many children as possible. It's probably just as true in Africa, which may explain why birth rates remain so high over there.

Lugash wrote:
Maybe Libya will follow the KSA model. A small percentage of insiders controlling the oil wealth and women, with a huge chunk of the population dirt poor.

The guy who said that polygamy will become easy again in Libya is obviously a leader, an alpha male. In the new Libya he'll be one of the top leaders of the country, and he wants his rewards immediately: power, oil money, and women. What happens to the betas is their own problem: alphas don't understand - are not interested in knowing, actually - why not everybody is an alpha.

AMac said...

> “The worrisome thing is he mentioned these things, which take him outside the mainstream,” said Dirk J. Vandewalle, an associate professor of government at Dartmouth College.

The mainstream of Ivy League students' dating practices, Prof. Vandewalle must mean.

> Abroad, the reaction was one of dismay among allies whose military firepower ensured Colonel Qaddafi’s fall.

Yes, the Qatari elite who supplied most of the rebels' arms (WSJ, Huge Role of Tiny Kingdom...) have made no secret of their dismay.

Inexplicably, Google News returned this message: "Your search - +qatar +libya +polygamy +dismay - did not match any documents."

Helpful to be reminded of that news which Adam Nossiter's editors at The Times don't consider to be Fit to Print.

How about an iSteve betting pool: what's the date of the first NYT Editorial titled "A Revolution Betrayed!"? Or a drinking game, down a shot each time the moniker "Arab Spring" is trotted out.

Glaivester said...

Steve,
From an evolutionary biology perspective, there's nothing wrong with polygamy,


That depends on what kind of society you want. If you want something resembling traditional western society, polygyny is detrimental to that goal.

The point of evo-conservatism and/or evo-psychology is to determine how to redirect people's biological urges in order to produce the society we want, not to deterrmine the morality of behavior based on how well it comports with our biological urges.

Anonymous said...

meanwhile in Benghazi...
http://tinyurl.com/6hy5o9y

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Hillary had to cover up before she went for her victory lap in Tripoli?

Antioco Dascalon said...

Wives also can't easily bring home the bacon because they would be stoned to death for bringing home food forbidden by the Prophet, Peace be upon him.

europeasant said...

OT but the controversy is stil going on.Itz as if no one has ever read "The Bell Curve"

" OPRF board clashes over test score gap

By BILL DWYER wdwyer@pioneerlocal.com September 16, 2011 1:10PM OPRF High School board members had a heated exchange Thursday night over the continued gap between white and black students’ test scores.

Oak Park-River Forest High School did not meet federal AYP, Adequate Yearly Progress under No Child Left Behind.

The overall composite AYP score was 72.8 percent who met or exceeded standards in reading and 68.8 percent for math. With the AYP minimum standard rising to 95 percent in 2012 and 100 percent in 2013, it’s unlikely any subgroup, including whites, will meet AYP in future testing.

However, School District 200 board members expressed concern over the gaps between white and black students.

Of the white students who took the Prairie State Achievement Examination, 87.4 percent met or exceeded standards in both reading and mathematics. The next highest percentage was Hispanic students, at 70 percent and 61 percent respectively. Blacks met or exceeded standards only 39.7 percent in reading and 40.7 percent in math.

Sharon Patchek-Layman said she “was astonished” that after eight years of AYP, there had been little or no change in the disparity between black and white test scores at OPRF.

“We started at 40 percent eight years ago,” she said.

Amy Hill, director of assessment and research who presented the report, termed the test results both familiar and “unsettling.”

“Patterns in the data remain similar (with past years),” said Hill. “The largest difference in groups is between whites and black, ranging between 6.2 and 8.1 points.”

“Over the years, the composite scores have increased slightly,” Hill said. “But the disparity remains. There is no incremental change in that gap, as we’d hoped to see.” "

read the rest here;
http://riverforest.suntimes.com/7694327-417/oprf-board-clashes-over-test-score-gap.html

Hunsdon said...

Rather than focus on the issue of polygamy, Hunsdon here prefers to focus on the insanity of Western elites waging war on a whim. Hunsdon is a reactionary, and Hunsdon thinks the question "What's the worst that could happen?" is something that should be seriously considered before, you know, unsheathing the terrible swift sword of war.

In short, Hunsdon thinks that getting rid of the K-man was another short-sighted, foolish, insane move by Western elites.

It's like Iraq, in a way. "Hey, kids, let's overthrow the demon Saddam, who is a secular tyrant of Sunni extraction, ruling over a restive mass of Shias. What's the worst that could happen? I mean, it's not like there's another Shia majority state anywhere nearby, and certainly no Shia-run state nearby. Is there?"

Hunsdon now leaves Bob Dole mode.

Anonymous said...

MSM keeps cheering these victories... can they REALLY be this stupid? Can the necons REALLY be this stupid??

Anonymous said...

the idea of some libertarians and pcglobalists morons considering legalizing polygamy would have been inconceivable just 50 years ago. Having these 'rational' (eg like some enlightment academics would have) discussions on the 'benefits' overlooks the point that it is fundamentally immoral

Winston Mustafa Smith said...

Wives can't very easily be bringing home the bacon if they can't drive and have to be escorted everywhere by male relatives and have to wear awkward tent-like clothes that they have to grasp with one hand at all times.

Except in the United States of Diversitistan where such a "disability" moves you to the head of the refugee, "job", and/or welfare line.

Hopefully Anonymous said...

You beat me to the general analogy, but the king analogy is non-wealthy social conservatives (granted it's finally starting to seem like only a minority of them) opposing economic redistribution policies that make affordable family formation easier.

Hopefully Anonymous
http://hopefullyanonymous.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Better polygamy than 'gay marriage'. If polygamy could boost the number of white chldren, I'm all for it.

Anonymous said...

Offtopic but Herman Cain has been accused of 'sexually suggestive behavior.'
Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill 2.0 ? Is this the democratic playbook option for black republicans?

Anonymous said...

That howls are raised in the west just shows how wussified the west has become.
Evolution has become a religion.. i guess the west has been 'wussified' for 2000+ years. Moron.

Anonymous said...

The great Sir Richard Burton
His book "the Jew, the Gypsie and El Islam" is still heavily censored by Jewish groups that brought the manuscript.

He admired aspects of Islam, but he was... how does one diplomatically say it, less than fond of Jews.

beowulf said...

Abroad, the reaction was one of dismay among allies whose military firepower ensured Colonel Qaddafi’s fall.
Idiots.

You notice how no guy ever says in one of these articles: "Hey, under polygamy, I'd probably wind up a lonely bachelor, so I'm against polygamy!"? Are guys really that dumb that they don't get the basic math?
Its easy to laugh at them but its hard to argue that Americans are any smarter-- 3 to 1 are better odds than 99 to 1. As Time magazine famously reported in 2000:

Gore tries to make a fairness attack, all those benefits going to the top 1 percent. But according to a Time/CNN poll last week, Americans feel so hopeful that fully 19 percent of them think they are in that top 1 percent, and an additional 20 percent expect to be one day.
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,58922,00.html

Q said...

From an evolutionary biology perspective, there's nothing worng with polygamy



From an evolutionary biology perspective, there's nothing wrong with anything. You don't know jack about evolutionary biology.

elvisd said...

:"Wives can't very easily be bringing home the bacon if they can't drive and have to be escorted everywhere by male relatives and have to wear awkward tent-like clothes that they have to grasp with one hand at all times."

Exactly,just like the pants-sagging thugs. hard to be productive when you've got one hand on your diaper. Sagging is a message, and the message is: "I don't work."

Q said...

One of the womders of the internet are the plethora of mail-order bride sites offering women from all parts of the globe begging to be taken as wives by men with more than a few dollars in their pockets.



There's a lot of wishful thinking going on there. But wishful thinking aside, the math remains what it is - as long as there are equal numbers of men and women in the world, polygamy means that some men having more than one wife will result in other men having no wife. You're just another one of the multitude who imagine that they'll be in the top 1%.

Chicago said...

NATO used the pretext of protecting civilians from bombardment in order to launch it's own bombing campaign. So how many civilians were killed in the thousands of bombing runs NATO launched? The photos of Sirte show quite a bit of destruction. Wonder how many people were massacred there after the bombing. Just out of curiosity I'd like to know how many people NATO caused to die in this humanitarian war.
Where's all the foreign mercenaries Gaddafi supposedly had ? Gone, dead, disappeared? Seems that the ones who had the foreign mercenaries were really the rebels. This was a dirty, treacherous little war. That after all that's happened, for the issue of polygamy to be at the forefront of their concerns is really bizarre but just shows how little is really known by the public as to who or what these NATO backed freedom fighters are.

SFG said...

"Are guys really that dumb that they don't get the basic math?"

Um, yeah. Every dude I've explained your argument about polygamy being bad for men, not women, seems to believe that *they* will be the one to get the four women instead of one of the three who won't get any. (I did find one exception who thought that little insight was brilliant. Unsurprisingly, an ex-nerd.) It's some sort of evolutionary bias towards optimism. Women are attracted to confidence, after all.

It's not surprising women would protest, though. Not every woman is a Roissy-esque alpha-chaser; a lot of them just want to start families. Of course, these aren't the hot ones the Gamers are going after.

Q said...

Well, if we assume a highly meritocratic society, it seems that polygamy, as practiced in the Arab countries, would actually be eugenic, since it would presumably help the most successful men to reproduce the most, while making sure the duds reproduce little, if at all.



None of that makes the slightest bit of sense. By your definition the men (and women) who reproduce the most are the most highly successful. In the American context this means that blacks and Hispanics are more successful than whites. It's "meritocracy" in action.

The root of the problem is that you think that the phrase "highly meritocratic society" has some concrete and specific meaning when in fact it's an empty vessel into which anything can be poured.

Q said...

We have plenty of polygamy among elites in the West too, it is just that we have serial polygamy,i.e. you have to divorce your existing wife before taking a new one.


This word "polygamy" does not mean what you think it means.

As I pointed out here once before, the male members of the Western "elite" do not actually have the huge broods of children which your theory says they should have.

Kylie said...

"there's an awful lot of violence in sub-saharan africa -- too many frustrated young men?"

That must be it. There couldn't possibly be any other reason.

"We have plenty of polygamy among elites in the West too, it is just that we have serial polygamy,i.e. you have to divorce your existing wife before taking a new one."

I think that's more accurately referred to as serial monogamy.

Anonymous said...

The phrase "evolutionary biology" is a redundant redundancy. There is no non-biological mechanism by which evolution takes place. When people say evolutionary biology, they mean "evolution".

From the standpoint of evolution there is no up or down or right or wrong. Whatever happens, happens. It's not something we need worry about.

From the standpoint of individual humans and human societies it matters a lot how those societies are organized. And polygamy is very bad indeed for human societies, as shown by the ongoing disaster which is the Muslim world.

Kylie said...

"Wives can't very easily be bringing home the bacon if they can't drive and have to be escorted everywhere by male relatives and have to wear awkward tent-like clothes that they have to grasp with one hand at all times."

Then why don't more Muslim women start online businesses? You can type on a computer keyboard with one hand, I know, because my husband does it all the time.

There are all sorts of goods and services available online that would probably prove quite popular in the Muslim world; to name but two: burquinis and mail order brides. And if sodomy is going to figure more prominently along with polygamy in the new Libya, kitchen knives could be the next big thing.
The possibilities are endless for a really enterprising Muslim wife who wants to contribute to the household purse and help make her husband's dreams of a polygamous marriage come true.

Anonymous said...

Who knows? These new jokers may make us miss Gadaffhi.

Anonymous said...

Does polygamy raise area IQ? SS Africa and SW Asia are the two main polygamous regions, and they don't strike me as hotbeds of high IQ.

goatweed

airtommy said...

Well, if we assume a highly meritocratic society, it seems that polygamy, as practiced in the Arab countries, would actually be eugenic, since it would presumably help the most successful men to reproduce the most, while making sure the duds reproduce little, if at all.

But in reality it has been dysgenic. As Steve has pointed out, the main losers in polygamy are men who are left without a woman. To solve this problem, the Arabs brought in concubines from sub-Saharan Africa. This would explain why the ancient cradle of civilization is now just struggling to just to maintain basic social stability and cannot even conceive of cultural advancement.

Elli said...

Polygamy is quite economically feasible in Britain, and in France, and in Sweden, and in the Netherlands, and in Canada, and in the U.S.

No wonder a Somali cabdriver wants to emigrate!

Justin said...

OZ Conservative just posted an article about how Western feminists are pushing FOR polygamy, while apparently, Middle Eastern feminists view it as a huge roll back of their "women's rights".

Could someone please get them together so they can figure this out.

Anonymous said...

That howls are raised in the west just shows how wussified the west has become.

There's been de facto polygny in the West, and there's been no outcry against it and no indication that it will be reversed anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

Polygamy may not be that bad. It obviously has some evolutionary advantages for it to have lingered on for so long.

Svigor said...

White people are so far beyond stupid. We're still surprised when Muslims use their new-found freedom to take a more fundamentally Islamic turn, even though they do it every time.

Svigor said...

Steve,
From an evolutionary biology perspective, there's nothing worng with polygamy, in fact it is most likely the ancient and default mode of reproduction for our species and the driver of evolutionary progress.
That howls are raised in the west just shows how wussified the west has become.


Re-population seems to be the main advantage of polygyny. It's not surprising that we saw it re-emerge in the Mormons, who were a struggling minority in a tough, wild, sparsely-populated environment.

Svigor said...

We have plenty of polygamy among elites in the West too, it is just that we have serial polygamy,i.e. you have to divorce your existing wife before taking a new one.

That's serial monogamy.

Mel Torme said...

I am not Lugash; I am Mel Torme.


"Maybe Libya will follow the KSA model."

What is the KSA model? (I can't figure out your abbreviation there.)


I am not Lugash; I am Mel Torme.

ATBOTL said...

IIRC, there were some statistics discussed here a while back that showed that there were very few polygamous marriages actually occurring, even in Arab countries in which they were legal.

Africa is a different story and is strong counter evidence against the idea that there is any kind of eugenic benefit to polygamy. In Africa, it tends to be OLDER men(like really old) who have the extra wives. They wives are more or less purchased and probably getting with younger men on the side.

Anonymous said...

When the Duck of Death ran the show his tribe and hangers on did very, very well.

The boys in the east received the minimum --- basically like living in the projects.

Expect that pattern to be flipped -- that is all.

Steve Sailer said...

"Americans feel so hopeful that fully 19 percent of them think they are in that top 1 percent, and an additional 20 percent expect to be one day."

You know, if this kind of cynicism gets out of control, some people might start suspecting that editorials in the Wall Street Journal are intended to advance the interests of Wall Street.

Anonymous said...

Q,
You obviously did not or cannot understand the point I was trying to make.
My point is that even the meanest, poorest Libyan man is very rich by standards that pertain in sub-saharan Africa, and thusly in a position to 'buy' a bride from one of those countries.
The said Libyan man couldn't a grannie's about what that does to sex ratios in the sub-saharan countries - just in the same way George W. Bush couldn't care less about American jobs lost to Chinese exporters in the name of 'free trade'.

Anonymous said...

Are guys really that dumb that they don't get the basic math?

Guys are smart enough to realize that announcing you don't think you're a winner who would succeed in polygamy is a pretty good way to ensure that you're a loser.

Pre-emptive surrender in the status wars is no way to impress les femmes.


Smart guys who aren't at the apex, however, would be working against this behind the scenes, or publicly opposing it for other reasons

-osvaldo M.

Anonymous said...

Q,
The behavior of the primates most closely related to us (chimpanzees, gorillas), is based upon alpha males sexually monopolizing harems(!) of females, to the exclusion of subordinate males - and no doubt this behavior is evolutionary beneficial, since it selects for genes responsible for aggression, dominanace and strength.If it wasn't evolutionary beneficial it would not exist.
Doubtless also that man's pre-human ancestors behaved in this way, after all Freud's Oedipus complex is predicated on the actual occurrence in distant times of such an event.
Anyway, the alpha males of western countries have been doing the same for years in a thinly disguised form.Only it's called 'having a mistress'.

Anonymous said...

Q,
In evolutionary terms, 'success' has only one meaning.That is 'reproductive success'.It is a common and vulgar error (Darwin himself warned against it), that evolution has some sort of idea of 'progress' in its course.

Anonymous said...

Q,
You've got it all wrong again.The point is that women, western women are drawn to alphas due to instinct that has been hard-wired into them over countless millenia.The instinct is to bear the alpha's children.
Now, in themodern world, the alpha and his mate might not actually have the children, but the instinct that instructed the woman to pair-bond with the alpha is there - it is 'staking a claim' on the alpha, and as such is exclusionary of other females.

Svigor said...

KSA=Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Anonymous said...

KSA = Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Svigor said...

If it wasn't evolutionary beneficial it would not exist.

Nonsense (naturalistic fallacy). Evolution tries out all sorts of things, and some of them suck.

Svigor said...

Freud's Oedipus complex is predicated on

You're actually supporting your evolution arguments with Freud? I just want to make sure we're clear on this.

The only legitimate area to be using Freud is to explain Freud.

SFG said...

"Smart guys who aren't at the apex, however, would be working against this behind the scenes, or publicly opposing it for other reasons"

Conservative Christians? Traditional morality is pretty good for betas--keeps the alphas from hogging all the ladies.

Q said...

The point is that women, western women are drawn to alphas due to instinct that has been hard-wired into them over countless millenia.The instinct is to bear the alpha's children.



That is not a "point". That is a claim, an assertion, a postulate. And a rather silly one at that. The reality is that for at least the last thousand years (and probably long before that) women in the West have not had the children of so-called "alphas". The average woman has always married and had children with the average man. This is true even today. In spite of what you might be led to believe from reading "game" blogs, the typical white woman will marry a typical white man (not a so-called "alpha") at some stage and have children with him.

So if this "instinct" exists at all, it's one which is notable for its weakness and rarity.

Anonymous said...

Serial monogamy is de facto polygyny.

Q said...

In evolutionary terms, 'success' has only one meaning.That is 'reproductive success'.


I'm well aware of that. I'm also aware that from the standpoint of evolution, reproductive success is something which occurs at the species level. Nature does not give a thumbs up to a man who impregnates a lot of women. Nature is largely indifferent to his actions.

No doubt there was once a male passenger pigeon which sired hundreds of little baby passenger pigeons. Nature does not care. The passenger pigeon remains extinct. The reproductive success of individual members of a species is of no great consequence.

Anonymous said...

"Re-population seems to be the main advantage of polygyny. It's not surprising that we saw it re-emerge in the Mormons, who were a struggling minority in a tough, wild, sparsely-populated environment."

Yup. Mormons practiced polygyny. I've also heard the Catholic Church turned a blind eye to polygyny in Paraguay in the 1870s after the War of the Triple Alliance decimated the adult male population.
Polygamy is good for fast repopulation. Other than that..... not particularly eugenic and not good for society.

Anonymous said...

Divorce and remarriage are centralized in a minority of men in the West. For many, this means they leave behind a stream of women and possibly offspring. In extreme cases, they don’t even bother to marry and divorce—they merely cuckold other men. Both of these are less desirable for beta males than the situation in, say, Africa, where women do most of the agricultural labor because the environment lets them bear it.

In the West, although women are “farming” the managerial state because the environment lets them bear it, the alphas don’t even show the betas the respect due to men who care for the alphas children. When polygyny is formalized, there are at least roles like eunuchs which are formally respected by the alphas—rather than having the alphas and their harems continually trying to convince the betas they are actually homosexual, or “hateful,” or that there's something "wrong" with them, or whatever.

It's simply a more humane system than de facto polygyny because it is more honest.

Monogamy, or more accurately, the suppression of of polygyny, is an artifact of technology which allowed us to expand into other climates (i.e. harsh climates with low carrying capacity) where female dependence on male technology for reproduction was a fact of life.

So if the individual male is no longer the primary provider, then it's Africanization time.

The pressure toward de jure polygyny is actually from the females although they would never admit it. Many women simply cannot maintain a fertile relationship with a man who they perceive as genetically a dead end—which, in the current vicious environment, is any so-called “nice guy”. But neither can they admit to themselves what, exactly, is bugging them. So many end up with no children at all. Moreover, many women who end up being kicked out of their positions as concubines to the managerial state—usually right around the age they are starting to run a risk of "difficult" pregancies—would be far better off if they were in a real harem with relationships with fellow concubines and their children that are not going to be terminated just because they are no longer fertile.

Dutch Boy said...

...polygamy always tends to die out. Even in the east I believe that, counting heads, it is by this time the exception rather than the rule. Like slavery, it is always being started, because of its obvious conveniences. It has only one small inconvenience, which is that it is intolerable.
- G.K. Chesterton

Anonymous said...

Civilization is built on the pretense that husbands are alpha males so that they don't revolt against those in positions of authority. The 60s exploded that pretense leaving the glass ceiling protecting those positions of authority as the real alpha males surrounding themselves by de facto harems. It has taken decades, but the consequences are now coming home to roost in the form of high fertility rates among patriarchal immigrant cultures. Islam is the the likely beneficiary since it dispenses with the hypocrisy surrounding de facto harems and formally sanctions harem sizes limited to a maximum of 4 females.

No one wants to even consider what the counterpart to female liberation might be. But consider: A female's godhood is exercised when she chooses which genes will pass through her to the next generation. A male's godhood is exercised when he chooses which other male he will meet in a natural duel to prevent his genes from passing into the next generation -- or die trying.

If males are liberated, the glass ceiling would be shattered along with all positions of authority.

Q said...

The behavior of the primates most closely related to us (chimpanzees, gorillas), is based upon alpha males sexually monopolizing harems(!) of females, to the exclusion of subordinate males


I'm not sure what point you think you are making. Gorillas are herbivorous, humans are not. Would you conclude from this that humans are wrong to eat meat? Gorillas live in forests, humans, with some rare exceptions, do not. It's odd that you believe that gorillas sexual practices alone are worthy of human emulation.

I've noticed that men who cheerlead for the idea of "subordinate males" never show any interest in filling that role themselves. (I assume - I don't know your sex life of course)

corvinus said...

Guys are smart enough to realize that announcing you don't think you're a winner who would succeed in polygamy is a pretty good way to ensure that you're a loser.

Exactly. A man may inside be feeling insecure, but he knows he can't talk about it, otherwise he WILL be in the 75%.

Offtopic but Herman Cain has been accused of 'sexually suggestive behavior.' whatever that means.

From what I gather, it's because he flirted with women who weren't sexually attracted to him. Big whoop. This could happen to ANY man. Men don't flirt only with women who are turned on to them.

I talked with a number of Emiratis last summer. The Emiratis told me that polygamy is quite common in the UAE. The super wealthy elites acquire a number wives from their local areas.

So what does the common Emirati man do? What Emirati men do is travel to other Islamic countries and use their lucre to get a wife. One Emirati girl I knew had an Egyptian mother, another one had a Muslim Indian mother.


The UAE still has a small population, and the number of Emirati citizens is even smaller -- fewer than a million. The rich Gulf Arab states are fully capable of having their polygamy satisfied by the rest of the Muslim world.

Q said...

My point is that even the meanest, poorest Libyan man is very rich by standards that pertain in sub-saharan Africa, and thusly in a position to 'buy' a bride from one of those countries.



I took it (and still take it) that your point was that American men are rich by world standards and thus in a position to "buy" a bride from poor countries. At least, assuming that women in those poorer countries are willing to sell themselves and that people of both sexes in America are willing to go along with it.

But yeah, if you hand-wave that other stuff out of existence, it all comes down to a financial transaction.

corvinus said...

One of the womders of the internet are the plethora of mail-order bride sites offering women from all parts of the globe begging to be taken as wives by men with more than a few dollars in their pockets.

Ethiopian women seem very drawn to selling themselves as brides - I'm sure a trade could develop with oil rich Libya.


In the Muslim world, Ethiopian girls are the new Russians, since the latter are becoming much scarcer and more expensive in recent years. (Even so, Russian women still continue to promote themselves to Western European men, and Muslim men who go to Russia or Ukraine are still likely to score, but not as readily as ten years ago.) In East Asia, it's Vietnamese and Filipinas (South Korean and Taiwanese men are the biggest, uh, consumers in this case), and Latin American women are still fairly common too.

Anonymous said...

The much-lauded liberation of female "choice" -- choice in sexual partners, reproductive choice, career choice, "lifestyle" choice, choice of social support services from the government -- over the last generation is now a fixture of Western civilization.

The moral force behind this female empowerment is the extent to which it represents returning to individual females their sovereignty.

What about male individual sovereignty?

Under natural law the ultimate power -- the power that shapes the future -- of female individual sovereignty is the choice of which genes make it into the next generation and that power is exercised through birth.

Under natural law the ultimate power of male individual sovereignty is the choice of that which is to be killed in single combat.

Civilization is founded on a meta-stable "deal" in which females give up their individual sovereignty to their mates and their mates give up their individual sovereignty to the State. If, in this scenario, you liberate only one sex, not only does civilization collapse, but until it does, the circumstances are unbearable to the sex not liberated.

In Western civilization there is no going back to the age of females giving up their individual sovereignty to their mates, so Western civilization is ending and we are left with two choices:

Figure out how to legitimize formal individual combat to the death between males, or adopt Islam.

That's a true dilemma

Anonymous said...

Feminism is a civilizing influence as is anything that neutralizes sex. Two males of just about any species in nature will engage in natural duel. This common theme of natural duel is simply not compatible with maintaining a social organism like civilization in which the appeal of last resort in dispute processing is words.

Once you remove this essential expression of masculinity, as civilizations always tend to do, you have removed the essence of masculinity. Most civilizations think they can get away with compensating for this by similarly "castrating" females through institutions like state or religion sponsored prostitution called "marriage". That "works" for a while -- maybe thousands of years, but eventually females will come to question this arrangement for very natural reasons.

But by the time that has happened, everyone has forgotten that civilization also suppressed the natural duel! So things go _really_ haywire and uncontrollably so as natural forces disrupt the culture starting in the limbic systems of virtually every citizen. You can only commodify this discontent and sell it back to on DVD in the form of mano-a-mano fights at the climax of the movie so much. Something must give. That something is sex itself. And here we have, just in time, genetic engineering and cloning.

Anonymous said...

In nature, males and females have two respective powers: To destroy and to preserve. People think that civilization is founded on control of destruction and seem to forget that civilization also depends on controlling female power to preserve. With the return to females of choice, hence their power, something equivalent must be done for males, such as enforcing natural duels to the death (natural meaning just putting the two disputants out in the wilderness with one to return). Of course, no one can face that this is the logical consequence of female liberation, so civilization slowly transforms into something unrecognizable except, perhaps, to the eusocial insects and their negation of sex.

Anonymous said...

One of the womders of the internet are the plethora of mail-order bride sites offering women from all parts of the globe begging to be taken as wives by men with more than a few dollars in their pockets.


The internet makes it very easy to mistake a tiny minority for a massive movement. If I believed the internet I'd think that the average woman has a G cup breast. The primary purpose of those mail-order bride sites is to make money for the people who run them. I imagine the number of actual mail order brides numbers in the thousands.

Q said...

Under natural law the ultimate power -- the power that shapes the future -- of female individual sovereignty is the choice of which genes make it into the next generation and that power is exercised through birth.


Under natural law the ultimate power of male individual sovereignty is the choice of that which is to be killed in single combat.



That's a really odd way of looking a things. Why can't men exercise their "ultimate power" by picking and choosing which women they have sex with, which is what the great majority of men already do?

Anonymous said...

Serial monogamy is de facto polygyny.

Q said...

Guys are smart enough to realize that announcing you don't think you're a winner who would succeed in polygamy is a pretty good way to ensure that you're a loser.



It's got nothing to do with "you". It's got nothing to do with any individual. Polygamy is a bad idea because it's bad for everyone, not only because it's bad for the majority of men. (And for the majority of women, not that you care much what they want)

This is where libertarianism, with it's monomaniacal focus on the individual, ends up lobotomizing the right. Every individual man shooting for the stars means that we all wind up in the sewer. Not most of us, all of us. It's better to be Joe Citizen in a monagamous Western republic than a prince in some polygamous rat-hole.

Q said...

Serial monogamy is de facto polygyny.



Ha ha. That can only be true if there exists some infinite supply of women.

Since "serial monogamy" actually means that women have serial husbands as well as men having serial wives, it's not actually polygyny. It's polygamy.

But the entire concept of "serial monogamy equals polygamy" can only fly among people who don't know the meanings of words. Polygamy consists of a person having two or more spouses at the same time.

Please, stop abusing the English language.

Anonymous said...

That's a really odd way of looking a things. Why can't men exercise their "ultimate power" by picking and choosing which women they have sex with, which is what the great majority of men already do?

No, it's not odd at all. It's basic heterosexuality. Men compete with men.

The ultimate power of choice rests with the female. Men generally can't just pick and choose any woman they want to have sex with. That's called rape.

Maya said...

Steve,

Poor Muslim men do marry more wives than they can afford, if they can manage to convince the fathers of their brides. Ugly girls (unmarried women, usually don't cover their faces fully) and old maids (older than 17 or older than 15 with many sisters close in age) are easy enough to take off their parents' hands. Then, they proceed to have more children than they can afford resulting in overall misery. Have you heard of Nojoud Ali? She is a little girl who was able to get a divorce when she was 10 by attracting international attention. Her father is a useless shmuck who married Nojoud's mother, had more kids than he could feed and then married another woman and had a bunch of kids with her, some with severe special needs. While they lived in a small village, the two wives were able to sustain the children, more or less, through gardening. Then, the whole clan fled to the city (after an older daughter got raped), and the younger wife was, pretty much, abandoned with her retarded progeny and supported her branch of the family through cleaning jobs. Nojoud and her full blood siblings panhandled, sold gum on the streets and tried to clean windshields of the cars that stopped on red lights. Finally, Nojoud got sold to an old pervert, at nine years old. I read up on the validity of issues raised in Nojoud Ali's story, and, apparently, men marrying outside their means and failing to take care of their wives and children is a huge problem, especially in rural areas. And, yes, the abandoned wives still have to dress appropriately and honor their husbands as they struggle to support themselves and their children. Many countries in the Middle East have vague laws that supposed to prevent such irresponsible behavior, but they have trouble applying those laws to reality.

Q said...

The ultimate power of choice rests with the female. Men generally can't just pick and choose any woman they want to have sex with.


News flash - women generally cannot just pick and choose any man they want to have sex with either.

You gave some really peculiar notions about human mating practices. In spite of what you seem to have gleaned from watching nature programs on TV, human males do not beat their chests or bang their antlers together to decide which of them gets to have sex with the passively waiting females.

Since you seem to have just teleported down from your Antarian spaceship, I'll explain a few things to you. Human males and human females are hard-wired to find one another attractive, especially in the prime mating years of 18 - 26. Among our kind the females can and do hop into bed with males they find attractive, they do not have to wait for the males to engage in some competition and then sleep with the winner.

Anonymous said...

Polygyny and polygamy are the same thing. Polygamy just tends to connote a formal sanction.

Serial monogamy is centralized by a minority of men.

Serial monogamy is de facto polygyny. In both cases a man will have multiple wives during his adult life.

Anonymous said...

Polygyny and polygamy are the same thing.


Nope. Polygyny is a form of marriage in which a man has two or more wives at the same time.

Polyandry is the form of marriage in which one woman has two or more husbands at the same time.

The term polygamy encompasses both polygyny and polyandry.

Anonymous said...

Serial monogamy is de facto polygyny In both cases a man will have multiple wives during his adult life.



Serial monogamy is not de facto polygyny.

Having multiple wives during your life is not the definition of polygyny. Having multiple wives at the same time is the definition of polygyny.

You might as well say that I'm a real estate magnate because I own multiple homes during my lifetime.

Stop making up words to suit yourself.

Svigor said...

Serial monogamy really isn't polygamy. Now, keeping a wife and a mistress on a consistent basis could be seen as polygyny...

Anonymous said...

"Human males and human females are hard-wired to find one another attractive"

We have twice as many female ancestors as male ancestors, and that is with the patriarchy doing its damndest to skew the ratio towards the common man for several thousand years.

Anonymous said...

Had the arabs not allowed polygamy and slavery, their golden age might not have ended. The changes that those pratices were and are responsible for, both demographic and economic, have undeniably been negative to the common arab.

David said...

But Steve, we killed somebody with our big guns. Well, not openly - we did it more or less behind the scenes. So you should be jumping up and down in celebration with the likes of Geraldo Rivera. What are you - unAmerican?

Anonymous said...

Nope. Polygyny is a form of marriage in which a man has two or more wives at the same time.

Polyandry is the form of marriage in which one woman has two or more husbands at the same time.

The term polygamy encompasses both polygyny and polyandry.


I know you like to feel smart correcting people about this, but I already knew this. Polyandry is rarer and wasn't even the context of this definition.

Anonymous said...

I know you like to feel smart correcting people about this, but I already knew this.


Then I'm not sure why you persist in saying things like "Polygyny and polygamy are the same thing".

Of course you also keep saying that "serial monogamy is de facto polygamy/polygyny".

And that's why I'm forced to correct you, not because of some desire to appear smart but because the things you are saying require correction.

Anonymous said...

I never said it was "the definition of polygyny". I said it was de facto polygyny.

They both involve the centralization of male fertility. In both cases a subset of men have multiple wives over the course of their lives.

A polygamist could marry 10 women at once, and then rotate them over a decade, spending a year with each one while he keeps the rest in the basement or something, never to see them. A serial monogamist can marry a divorce 10 women in a series over a decade. The only differences here are labels and formal designations.

If, say, a doctor buys and sells real estate in his free time on a scale similar to a professial real estate magnate, then yes, I would say he is a de facto real estate magnate even if that isn't his professional, formal occupation and designation.

Stop confusing words for reality.

"Serial monogamy" is a really misleading term because monogamy proper involves basically equal numbers of men and women forming reproductive pair bonds. "Serial monogamy" in the real world does not involve equal numbers of men and women sharing each other and forming equal numbers of pair bonds in a series.

Q said...

We have twice as many female ancestors as male ancestors


Speak for yourself, bub! I have exactly the same number of male and female ancestors!

And that's a very peculiar response to the words - "Human males and human females are hard-wired to find one another attractive".

You can prove anything via DNA studies. For instance, I can say that you are wrong and that we are all descended from a single female ancestor.

Link.

Sid said...

"The UAE still has a small population, and the number of Emirati citizens is even smaller -- fewer than a million. The rich Gulf Arab states are fully capable of having their polygamy satisfied by the rest of the Muslim world."

Libya's population is in the ballpark of 6.5 million, so it's not impossible, given their relatively low population relative to their vast supplies of premium oil, that an urban elite will be able to hoard the local women, while the others can go to neighboring countries and acquire foreign women.

Eric said...

what i'm thinking is, you might have to wait until you're 40, and your second-hand wife might be 30, but maybe you do get to marry eventually in the arab/muslim world.

So... it's like being a poor guy in the US?

Nim said...

I suspect this push for polygamy is tied very much with the anti-Gaddafi tribes coming out ahead in the civil.


The winning tribe typically gets the losing sides women after all.

Anonymous said...

on the other hand, shariah law is much more fair to the husband in the event of divorce than modern American/European laws and their derivatives. E.g. in India the courts are calling some newfangled liberal law "legal terrorism" http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dowry_law_in_India#Criticism_by_Judiciary (too bad judiciary is not made of the same cloth). Fair divorce law would encourage more marriage by poor men. Also, as noted above, they can always import women from poorer places, like nearby Egypt.

Black Sea said...

"Hey, under polygamy, I'd probably wind up a lonely bachelor, so I'm against polygamy!"

Interminable, clan-based conflict helps balance out the numbers. Why are we intervening in this ecosystem?

Anonymous said...

I never said it was "the definition of polygyny". I said it was de facto polygyny.


They both involve the centralization of male fertility.



What the hell is "the centralization of male fertility"? The phrase conjures up images of some central planning board allocating permission to have children to men.



A polygamist could marry 10 women at once, and then rotate them over a decade, spending a year with each one while he keeps the rest in the basement or something, never to see them. A serial monogamist can marry a divorce 10 women in a series over a decade. The only differences here are labels and formal designations.


If you're trying to admit that the label "serial monogamy" is not the same thing as the label "polygamy", then good. A man who marries ten women at the same time is not the same thing as a man who marries ten women consecutively. I'm going to keep repeating this very obvious truth until it sinks into your thick skull.



If, say, a doctor buys and sells real estate in his free time on a scale similar to a professial real estate magnate

A doctor who buys and sells real estate on the scale of a real estate magnate is a real estate magnate. And a man who marries two or more women at the same time is a polygamist. Because that is what these words mean.

A man who marries several women in the course of his life is not a polygamist, any more than Liz Taylor is a polygamist.

Because, you see, the word "polygamist" does not mean "a person who has a number of consecutive spouses".

I'm confident that if this simple concept is explained to you another dozen times or so, even you will be able to grasp it.


"Serial monogamy" in the real world does not involve equal numbers of men and women sharing each other and forming equal numbers of pair bonds in a series.


Yes, you blathering nincompoop, that is exactly what it does mean.

Q said...

"Serial monogamy" in the real world does not involve equal numbers of men and women sharing each other and forming equal numbers of pair bonds in a series.



Depends on how picky you want to be about the word "equal". Among whites about 10% of women and 16% of men never marry, for whatever reason. To put it another way, 90% of women and 84% of men do marry.

You make it sound as if 90% of the women are being monopolized (or "centralized") by 10% of the men.

Anonymous said...

Q,
On your point about having 'equal numbers of male and female ancestors', in the generality this is is not true.
For example geneticists have shown that an enormous proportion of central asians now living are the paternal descendants of one common ancestor who lived in the 11th century - so it was postulated that that man was Genghis Khan himself.tHe ultimate 'alpha' - harems, impregnation, reproductive success and all that, just what I'm attempting to argue.
What happened to all the other ancient paternal lines that existed at Genghis's time? - Why, most of them died out, they are gone, finished, caput, ceased to be - just like the dinosaur.In this way, in the generality of central asians at least, the number of paternal lines that now exist is wholly unrepresentative of those that existed 800 years ago, ergo there was a 'bottleneck' of male ancestors.

Anonymous said...

Centralization of male fertility refers to the pattern of differential male fertility.

"Serial monogamy" and "polygyny" are not the same label.

Serial monogamy is de facto polygyny from the view of sociobiology which is what matters, unlike mere labels.

The term "serial monogamy" is not used in the real world to describe a situation involving equal numbers of men and women sharing each other and forming equal numbers of pair bonds in a series. Such a situation does not exist today. It's used to refer to the contemporary situation which is actually de facto polygyny.

Anonymous said...

Q,
There is a general rule in biology that the more sexual dimorphism a mammalian species displays, the more likely that species reproduces in an alpha male/harem type scenario.
The extreme case is seen in elephant seals.In species where there appears to be little difference in size and strength of males and females (which happens to be most mammalian species), free mating and pair bonding occurs.
As it happens, the human species tends towards the extreme of the dimorphic range.

Anonymous said...

On a related note, during the boom time in the City of London, successful financial traders were known amongst the fraternity as 'big swinging dicks'.

Q said...

As it happens, the human species tends towards the extreme of the dimorphic range.


I repeat, you really, really need to stop using words you do not understand. The human species is on the low end of the dimorphic range among mammals. Among gorillas, to use the example of the "primates closest to us" which you offered earlier, males weigh twice as much as females.

Q said...

Q,
On your point about having 'equal numbers of male and female ancestors', in the generality this is is not true.
For example geneticists have shown that an enormous proportion of central asians now living are the paternal descendants of one common ancestor who lived in the 11th century



I gave you a link to a study (a study by geneticists!) showing that we're all descended from one woman. It might help if you made some token effort to engage with what other people say to you instead of simply repeating your talking points over and over.

Q said...

Centralization of male fertility refers to the pattern of differential male fertility.



There is no "differential male fertility". No matter how many times you make the claim that a handful of "alphas" are fathering all the children in America, it will remain untrue. Bill Gates will continue to have three children and not three hundred, and you will continue to sound none too bright.

Anonymous said...

On a related note, during the boom time in the City of London, successful financial traders were known amongst the fraternity as 'big swinging dicks'.

That term was first used on Wall Street.

Q said...

There is a general rule in biology that the more sexual dimorphism a mammalian species displays, the more likely that species reproduces in an alpha male/harem type scenario.


As it happens, the human species tends towards the extreme of the dimorphic range.


Leaving aside the fact that all this is factually untrue and that humans are actually fairly undimorphic, it's peculiar that on the one hand you are insisting that humans should be more like gorillas and have an" alpha male/harem type scenario", while on the other hand you complain about the (equally false) situation whereby a small minority of human males father all the children.

It would be nice if you'd stop saying things which are wrong, but it would be a step in the right direction if the various wrong things you say were all consistent with one another. Do you desire or oppose human societies based on the "alpha male/harem type scenario"?

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

"A man who marries ten women at the same time is not the same thing as a man who marries ten women consecutively. I'm going to keep repeating this very obvious truth until it sinks into your thick skull."

Far too many bright lines being drawn in this debate, without realizing than even something as seemingly black and white as monogamy vs. polygamy might exist along a continuum. It also fails to consider that polygamy isn't just about sexual access to a woman, but about reproductive access as well. The two are not the same.

A man who has ten wives at once is obviosuly a polygamist. A man who has only one sexual partner throughout his life is obviously a monogamist. A man who has 5 partners at different times is a serial monogamist.

But what of a man who has had 5 wives/partners and children with each of them? Upon divorcing them he may be freeing them up sexually to partner with someone else, but they are still busy raising his issue. (This is not entirely unrealistic - Clint Eastwood has had 7 children by 5 different women, and then of course there's the ghetto.)

I think this may be regarded as effectively a form of polygamy. I especially regard it as such because many single men avoid dating women with "baggage," so in a sense it removes women from the dating market, and it certainly removes them from the breeding market. Likewise, a man who lays a cuckoo's egg in another man's nest is a kind of ploygamist. In Western countries, since at least the time of Charlemagne, this has in fact been the primary form of "polygamy."

When I was single I generally avoided women with kids. It isn't because I wanted to avoid complications with exes, or didn't want to raise another man's children (though admittedly these played small roles), but mostly because I feared that a woman who'd already had one or two children with another man may not be interested in having many more.

Q said...

On a related note, during the boom time in the City of London, successful financial traders were known amongst the fraternity as 'big swinging dicks'.


How is that in any way "related"? Do you imagine that the traders in question had dicks of unusually large size which swung to and fro? In the extremely unlikely event that they do possess such genitals, it still has nothing to do with polygamy.

Svigor said...

A polygamist could marry 10 women at once, and then rotate them over a decade, spending a year with each one while he keeps the rest in the basement or something, never to see them. A serial monogamist can marry a divorce 10 women in a series over a decade. The only differences here are labels and formal designations.

No, actually, that's not the only difference. Monogamy applies to the latter case, but not the former. So monogamy vs polygyny is a real difference.

Monogamy is one spouse at a time. Polygyny is multiple wives at one time. They're different, not the same.

Q said...

a man who lays a cuckoo's egg in another man's nest is a kind of ploygamist. In Western countries, since at least the time of Charlemagne, this has in fact been the primary form of "polygamy."


Yes, it has been, and not this "serial monogamy" nonsense. So our Anonymous correspondent who is not smart enough to give himself a handle ought to talk about that instead of the preposterous things he is talking about. But then, he's no rocket scientist.


what of a man who has had 5 wives/partners and children with each of them?


If that ever becomes more common than one man in one million, we can worry about it then.

Anonymous said...

There is no "differential male fertility". No matter how many times you make the claim that a handful of "alphas" are fathering all the children in America, it will remain untrue. Bill Gates will continue to have three children and not three hundred, and you will continue to sound none too bright.

I never said that "a handful of 'alphas' are fathering all the children in America".

There obviously is differential male fertility.

This is demonstrated by the fact that not all males reproduce, and males who do reproduce do not have the same number of offspring.

It's good you bring up Bill Gates because there is a positive correlation between a man's wealth and his fertility even in developed countries. It's just that the threshold where that positive correlation starts is far above the middle class level it was during the 1950s before the sexual revolution.

Anonymous said...

If that ever becomes more common than one man in one million, we can worry about it then.

You don't really have to worry about it. Your lifespan is relatively trivial compared to major evolutionary change, even if it has accelerated as argued by Cochran and Harpending.

Differential fertility drives evolution. Very small differences have large effects over time.

Q said...

I never said that "a handful of 'alphas' are fathering all the children in America".


Then what the hell are you saying? Try to be specific for a change.


There obviously is differential male fertility.


This is demonstrated by the fact that not all males reproduce, and males who do reproduce do not have the same number of offspring.


So is it your contention that every male should reproduce, and that every male should have exactly the same number of children as every other male? Yes or no. You must have written thirty comments on this thread but have still not made more than one concrete claim.

I would point out that not all females reproduce, and that the females who do reproduce do not all have the same number of offspring, if I thought for a second that you would not simply ignore the point entirely.



It's good you bring up Bill Gates because there is a positive correlation between a man's wealth and his fertility even in developed countries. It's just that the threshold where that positive correlation starts is far above the middle class level it was during the 1950s before the sexual revolution.


What the hell does that even mean?

If Bill Gates is a wealthy man even by the standard of developed countries, which he is, and if wealthy men are the alpha males with harems which you keep saying they are, where is Bill's harem? Where is his large brood of children?

The last time I encountered this much illogic, twisted thinking, and denial of reality was when I was I arguing with a "fire can't melt steel" 9/11 Truther.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

"If that ever becomes more common than one man in one million, we can worry about it then."

Are you kidding me? Men having children with 5 different women may be uncommon (though not '1 in a million' uncommon) but men with children by 2 or 3 different women is not. In many or even most cases, those women will have children with no other men. And those are the known cases, which is not to even consider the cuckoo's eggs.

Q said...

I never said that "a handful of 'alphas' are fathering all the children in America".



You can't seem to make up your mind what you are saying.

You said that "serial monogamy is centralized by a minority of men", and that "western women are drawn to alphas due to instinct that has been hard-wired into them over countless millenia.The instinct is to bear the alpha's children".

So you are saying that a minority of men are "centralizing" the majority of women.

At least, you are saying that until such time as you backtrack and say that you are NOT saying that, which I predict will occur in your next comment.

Anonymous said...

But what of a man who has had 5 wives/partners and children with each of them? Upon divorcing them he may be freeing them up sexually to partner with someone else, but they are still busy raising his issue. (This is not entirely unrealistic - Clint Eastwood has had 7 children by 5 different women, and then of course there's the ghetto.)

I think this may be regarded as effectively a form of polygamy.


Right. "Serial monogamy" started to be used to describe the post-sexual revolution environment which consisted of a decline in monogamy proper (lifetime reproductive pair-bonds) and the rise of the scenario you describe here. This scenario is one of de facto polygyny.

Anonymous said...

You said that "serial monogamy is centralized by a minority of men", and that "western women are drawn to alphas due to instinct that has been hard-wired into them over countless millenia.The instinct is to bear the alpha's children".

I didn't say the latter. That was someone else.

You can't seem to understand the idea of quantitative differences along a continuum.

Anonymous said...

Q,
The point is Bill Gates could very well choose to impregnate an enormous number of women (by the simple expedient of paying cold, hard cash if he was ever taken withat bizarre fantasy), but he chooses no to.

Anonymous said...

Men having children with 5 different women may be uncommon (though not '1 in a million' uncommon) but men with children by 2 or 3 different women is not. In many or even most cases, those women will have children with no other men. And those are the known cases, which is not to even consider the cuckoo's eggs.

Yes and if these patterns persist, they will have large effects over time even if they seem minor compared to the extreme cases (i.e. men having children with 5 diff. women). The difference is the number of generations it takes for the effects.

Anonymous said...

'Humans are fairly undimorphic'

Pish posh.

I suggest you open your eyes the next time you go for a walk in a pubic space.
I haven't got the height/weight numbers for the healthy no obese at hand, but just consider the gender differetial in the fitness recruiting codes for the armed forces.
To say that there is a 'marked' diffrence is an understatement.

Anonymous said...

Q,
I know what I mean and mean what I say about 'sexual dimorphism'.
To put it bluntly, many mammals such as bears, tigers, weasels, rats, leopards, cats etc differ very little in the size and ferocity of the respective sexes.
In these cases, a 'harem system' of mating is not found, an altogether different pattern of oestrus and mating is the rule.
The lion however is a dimorphic cat and has harems.Lions will kill the cubs of other lions to bring the lioness into oestrus.
Mammals that have 'harems' (ie alphas monopolize a coterie of females), generally exhibit dimorphism.Such animals include bovines, ungulates, piniped and primates.

Q said...

I didn't say the latter. That was someone else.


Perhaps your gigantic throbbing brain could figure out how to post under some handle other than "Anonymous" at some point.

If not, don't be afraid to ask for help.


You can't seem to understand the idea of quantitative differences along a continuum


You can't seem how understand how to communicate with other people. I've asked you several specific questions, including where on this continuum you think we are and where on this continuum you think we should be.

And all I ever get in response to my specific questions is more evasion and obfuscation.

Anonymous said...

The point is Bill Gates could very well choose to impregnate an enormous number of women (by the simple expedient of paying cold, hard cash if he was ever taken withat bizarre fantasy), but he chooses no to.

That wasn't my point.

My point was that there is a positive correlation between a man's wealth and his fertility even in developed countries, it's just that the threshold where that positive correlation starts is far above the middle class level it was before the sexual revolution.

Q said...

'Humans are fairly undimorphic'

Pish posh.

I suggest you open your eyes the next time you go for a walk in a pubic space.



Fiddlesticks and twaddle!

Humans are fairly undimorphic by comparison with other mammals, and in particular by comparison with some of the mammals you have cited.

Male silverback gorillas weigh twice as much as females. Male elephant seals weight five times as much as females. Human males weigh a mere 1.16 times as much as the average female.

I suggest you refrain from making assessments of how dimorphic humans are compared to other mammal species on the basis of a "walk in a public space" and make some effort to research the subject you are sounding off on.

The fact that you can instantly discern the difference between a human male and a human female but have difficulty doing the same for dogs, cats, or gorillas has nothing to do with dimorphism.

Q said...

To put it bluntly, many mammals such as bears, tigers, weasels, rats, leopards, cats etc differ very little in the size and ferocity of the respective sexes


Now if you could just notice that humans differ very little in the size of their sexes, you could finally admit that you were wrong.

Of course you'd have to make a little more effort than taking a walk in a pubic place to notice this.

I think the real reason why the "Anonymous" commenters like to stay Anonymous, rather than call themselves "Publius" or some such, is that they don't want to have to take ownership of some of their more foolish remarks.

Q said...

The point is Bill Gates could very well choose to impregnate an enormous number of women (by the simple expedient of paying cold, hard cash if he was ever taken withat bizarre fantasy), but he chooses no to.




That is the point all right, but you just don't seem to get it. What matters is what people actually do and not what they perhaps could do. I bet Bill Gates could be a terrific evil mastermind and blow up Seattle if he choose to.

There should be some men out there impregnating an enormous number of women if your theories are correct. Where the heck are they?

And I mean today in America, not a thousand years ago in Asia.

Anonymous said...

So is it your contention that every male should reproduce, and that every male should have exactly the same number of children as every other male? Yes or no. You must have written thirty comments on this thread but have still not made more than one concrete claim.

I don't have a normative contention here.

I've made plenty of positive claims here, no normative ones.

What the hell does that even mean?

If Bill Gates is a wealthy man even by the standard of developed countries, which he is, and if wealthy men are the alpha males with harems which you keep saying they are, where is Bill's harem? Where is his large brood of children?


If you can't parse that, you're just too dull to even bother engaging.

Anonymous said...

I've asked you several specific questions, including where on this continuum you think we are and where on this continuum you think we should be.

And all I ever get in response to my specific questions is more evasion and obfuscation.


There's been no "evasion and obfuscation". I've been pretty clear. If you're too dense to parse things, that's too bad. And I don't necessarily have a normative position.

Anonymous said...

That is the point all right, but you just don't seem to get it. What matters is what people actually do and not what they perhaps could do. I bet Bill Gates could be a terrific evil mastermind and blow up Seattle if he choose to.

There should be some men out there impregnating an enormous number of women if your theories are correct. Where the heck are they?


That wasn't me, and that wasn't my point.

Svigor said...

I think the real reason why the "Anonymous" commenters like to stay Anonymous, rather than call themselves "Publius" or some such, is that they don't want to have to take ownership of some of their more foolish remarks.

I agree, though I'd expand on "foolish remarks." E.g., some people just score highly on sociopathy and double anonymity (i.e., not even a pseudonym) fits their MO.

Having a handle makes you more circumspect.

Svigor said...

Serial monogamy is de facto polygyny from the view of sociobiology which is what matters, unlike mere labels.

Nope. Polygyny maximizes male fertility to an extent that serial monogamy does not. Ergo, sociobiology need not conflate the two strategies, even if it took the view you attribute to it.

Think about it: while our serial monogamist is working on his first wife, our serial polygynist is working on his first four wives. When our serial monogamist is working on his second wife, our serial polygynist is working on his second four wives.

Getting the picture yet? These are different strategies for collecting trophies (kids); just because people work 'em to maximize their trophy collection doesn't mean they're the same strategy.

Of course you're being deliberately obtuse, so you don't get the picture. Was it Upton Sinclair, said a man whose career depends on not getting it probably isn't going to get it? So you a Muslim, mormon, what? You seem to be trying to drag Christians down to the level of Muslims in the minds of Christians. Sorry, there really is a difference.

Anonymous said...

Nope. Polygyny maximizes male fertility to an extent that serial monogamy does not. Ergo, sociobiology need not conflate the two strategies, even if it took the view you attribute to it.

I'm not sure what you mean by "maximizes male fertility". You could have a strictly monogamous society where every man has 10 kids and has greater fertility than a polygynous society. I think you mean something like concentrates male fertility.

I'm arguing that serial monogamy is de facto polygyny. You could have two societies, one with serial monogamy that outlaws polygamy and another with formalized polygamy, that are polygynous. It's not necessarily the case that the one with legal polygamy will concentrate male fertility more. The one with polygamy might limit the number of wives, legally or socially and culturally.

I'm not a Muslim or a Mormon. And I don't see how I'm "trying to drag Christians down to the level of Muslims in the minds of Christians". Christians tend to be the most monogamous. I suspect serial monogamists especially extreme ones aren't very Christian, are atheists, apathetic about religion, etc.

Anonymous said...

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/darwin-eternity/201108/are-people-naturally-polygamous-0

"And although Western culture remains officially monogamous, it tolerates de facto polygamy in many forms. For example, serial monogamists like Donald Trump and Larry King divorce older wives to marry younger ones, which serves to monopolize the fertile years of multiple women (the same thing that polygamy would accomplish). Celebrities like Hugh Hefner and Charlie Sheen live openly with multiple girlfriends, and various male athletes, rock stars, and actors accumulate hundreds or thousands of sexual partners."

Anonymous said...

The handbook of evolutionary psychology by David M. Buss

pg. 262

http://books.google.com/books?id=YT4nXpF07YIC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA262#v=onepage&q&f=false

"In modern cultures, men with high status and ample resources are often legally prohibited from obtaining additional wives. However, some evidence suggests modern men with high status still have a greater potential for fertility by copulating more often, having sex with more partners, engaging in more extrapair copulations or affairs, and practicing legalized de facto polygyny by divorcing and remarrying a series of highly fertile women over time."

Anonymous said...

The Moral Animal: Evolutionary Psychology and Everyday Life by Robert Wright

pg. 101

http://books.google.com/books?id=_9bmyrgYSBAC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA101#v=onepage&q&f=false

"A polygynous nation, in which large numbers of low-income men remain mateless, is not the kind of country many of us would want to live in.

Unfortunately, this is the sort of country we already live in. The US is no longer a nation of institutionalized monogamy. It is a nation of serial monogamy. And serial monogamy in some ways amounts to polygyny. Johnny Carson, like many wealthy, high-status males, spent his career monopolizing long stretches of the reproductive years of a series of young women. Somewhere out there is a man who wanted a family and a beautiful wife and, if it hadn't been for Johnny Carson, would have married one of these women. And if this man has managed to find another woman, she was similarly snatched from the jaws of some other man. And so on - a domino effect: a scarcity of fertile females trickles down the social scale.

As abstractly theoretical as this sounds, it really can't help but happen. There are only about twenty-five years of fertility per woman. When some men dominate more than twenty-five years' of worth of fertility, some man, somewhere, must do with less. And when, on top of all the serial husbands, you add the young men who live with a woman for five years before deciding not to marry her, and then do it again (perhaps finally, at age thirty-five, marrying a twenty-eight-year-old), the net effect could be significant. Whereas in 1960 the fraction of the population age forty or older that had never married was about the same for men and women, by 1990 the fraction was markedly larger for men than for women."

"If polygyny would indeed have pernicious effects on society's less fortunate men, and indirectly on the rest of us, then it isn't enough to just oppose legalized polygyny. (Legalized polygyny wasn't a looming political threat last time I checked, anyway). We have to worry about the de facto polygyny that already exists. We have to ask not whether monogamy can be saved, but whether it can be restored."

Anonymous said...

Crisis in Sociology: The Need for Darwin by Joseph Lopreato, Timothy Crippen

pg. 233

http://books.google.com/books?id=KF-pXXmxmr4C&lpg=PP1&pg=PA233#v=onepage&q&f=false

"Moreover, while polygyny, the oldest and most direct effect of sexual selection, is de jure absent in the majority of today's national societies, de facto polygyny is amply attested to by serial monogamy (e.g., Lockard and Adams 1981; Smith 1984), among other mating patterns previously noted. We have seen, for instance, that divorce, the principle mechanism of serial monogamy, is less likely to be followed by female remarriage than by the remarriage of males, often to much younger, never-married women."

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

This conversation went off the rails so long ago I forgot what we're even arguing about. It seems that Q is arguing the legal/cultural definition of polygamy while "Anonymous" is thinking in terms of evolution/biology.

From a legal-cultural standpoint, polygamy is more than one wife at the same time. OK. That's easy enough. It's the definition with which we're all familiar.

But you could argue for a new definition of polygamy, a biological one, that says it's not about the sexual access and the chronology, but the reproductive results. A man who has had children with more than one woman is, in a biological sense, a polygamist. He has tied up the reproductive resources of multiple women, who are then less likely to have children with other men as a result of having had children with the "polygamist."

Whether you want to consider the latter case genuine polygamy is up for debate. It's potential evolutionary consequences, though, cannot be denied, and its consequences for less marriageable men may be as significant as legally recognized polygamy.

Anonymous said...

Q,
your 'Bil Gates' point is just so uttrely pathetic, yet you cite it as some sort of truimph.
The point is in the 'polite' society that Gates moves in, multiple impregnation is just 'not the done thing' - but this doesn't of course mean that Gates does't have the instinct to do such a thing.Even the august Mr. Gates, I assume, genereates spermatozoa at an awful rate every second of his mature life.Like most healthy men, I assume Mr. Gates is lustfully drawn to many other women apart from his wife (why is the porn industry the biggest thing on the internet?), but unlike most men Gates is actually in a position to satisfy the urge - but - socialization has kept him down (literally).
It is the veneer of socialization and conforming to 'societal norms' and not real, true and basic instincts that's stopping Gates and his ilk.
I dare say if Gates could rest assured that he 'could get away with it' and absolutely no one whatsoever would ever know, he would 'indulge',

Anonymous said...

anonymous 5:24am - we had that term across the pond as well.

What was this thread about, again?

Q said...

From a legal-cultural standpoint, polygamy is more than one wife at the same time. OK. That's easy enough


That's the dictionary definition of the word. It's the definition of the word. It's what the word means.

Some of you people display an almost leftist desire to twist words around to mean what you want them to mean.


A man who has had children with more than one woman is, in a biological sense, a polygamist.


There is no such thing as being a polygamist "in a biological sense".


He has tied up the reproductive resources of multiple women, who are then less likely to have children with other men as a result of having had children with the "polygamist."


What's missing here is any sense of perspective. How many men actually do this, and how many men are left unmarried as a result? I've already given you some data on that - 90% of women and 84% of men can expect to be married at some point in their lives.

In other words the thing you described does happen, but rarely. And it probably happens a lot less now than it did in the past. It used to be common for women to die in childbirth while their husbands were still young, at which point the husbands would remarry and nave more children with the second wife.

So all this whinging about some "minority of men" who "centralize" marriage strikes me as being oddly disconnected from reality. And nobody has offered a single hard fact to make me believe otherwise.

Q said...

Johnny Carson, like many wealthy, high-status males, spent his career monopolizing long stretches of the reproductive years of a series of young women.


Hardy har har.

Johnny Carson had four wives. Zsa Zsa Gabor had nine husbands. Christie Brinkley has had four husbands. Elizabeth Taylor had seven husbands.

Why, o why, are these high status women allowed to monopolize long stretches of the best years of a series of men?

Q said...

How many children did the "polygamist" Johny Carson, who "practiced legalized de facto polygyny by divorcing and remarrying a series of highly fertile women over time" actually have?


Three. As in 3.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

"What's missing here is any sense of perspective. How many men actually do this, and how many men are left unmarried as a result? I've already given you some data on that - 90% of women and 84% of men can expect to be married at some point in their lives."

Actually lots of men have children with more than one woman. Men who impregnate more than one wife or girlfirend, or men who lay cuckoo's eggs. Justin Bieber seems to be off to an impressive start.

So 84% of men eventually get married? Wahoo. Marriage != childbearing.

I am not demanding that we redefine the definition of polygamy. I am pointing out that nature doesn't give a shit about our cultural practices. What nature cares about is who does and does not have children. And often, if one man has children with a woman, it's quite likely that woman will not be having children with anyone else. From a biological perspective that is "polygamy" in the only sense that matters.

You can argue that a man is more likely to have 5 children by remaining faithful to one wife than by having them with 2-5 women, and that is absolutely true, and if anyone wants to have 5 children that is the path which for so many reasons I would favor. But what's also true is that the guy having children by more than one womb has tied up the reproductive resources of multiple wombs, and potentially denied them to other men.

But this conversation is starting to bore me. "Anonymous," despite lacking a better handle, has posted some very interesting material you don't really address, and so all it does is go round and round in circles. Ciao.

Anonymous said...

There's nothing leftist about sociobiology. You're being leftist by trying to ignore the sociobiological implications that you don't like from words.

You also don't seem to understand what "de facto" means.

The phenomenon of high status women divorcing and remarrying a series of men does not monopolize male fertility like the converse monopolizes female fertility. Many of these marriages are sterile relationships as they happen after the woman is into her 40s. They tend to marry older or oldish men. Female fertilitiy is more scarce and more of a limiting factor. High status men tend to divorce and remarry attractive women i.e. women who are in their limited fertile window.

You don't seem to have any mathematical sense or intuition so only big, round integers mean anything to you.

If the subject is differential rates, a number like "3" only has meaning in context.

White TFR in the US average below 2.75 from about 100 years ago to about 1948. Since about 1948 it has been below 2. Since the 70s it has been about below 1.7.

Anonymous said...

Arguning with 'Q' is just like smashing your head against a brick-wall - it gets so wearying and taxing after a while that you just to have give up in total exasperation.
Not that 'Q' has 'won' the debate or anything wearying your opponent by quoting masses of irrelevant verbiage and then pointing a finger and saying 'ha, ha ,ha ..I've disproved you' (no you haven't), hardly constitutes a rational debate on the basis of actual evidence.
Call it the toddler syndrome.
Anyway, I throw in the towel, I simply cannot be bothered any more.
The braying of a thousand donkeys does not constitute wisdom.

Q said...

The phenomenon of high status women divorcing and remarrying a series of men does not monopolize male fertility like the converse monopolizes female fertility. Many of these marriages are sterile relationships as they happen after the woman is into her 40s. They tend to marry older or oldish men. Female fertilitiy is more scarce and more of a limiting factor. High status men tend to divorce and remarry attractive women i.e. women who are in their limited fertile window blah blah yada yada yada etc etc


Talk about your masses of irrelevant verbiage!

To repeat a point I've made already and which you have ignored, if your theory is true there ought to be a fair number of wealthy men out there with very large numbers of children. Where are they? Johnny Carson? A lousy three children.

From the standpoint of children your theory has no basis whatsoever. This fails to deter you because children are just a smokescreen - you're interested in having non-procreative sex with hot women and you imagine that the Johnny Carson's of the world are the reason you're not getting it.

Anonymous said...

Do you not understand the difference between old sterile women divorcing and remarrying old men, and wealthy high status fertile men divorcing and remarrying fertile women?

I don't have a "theory".

And there isn't much theoretical about the claim that serial monogamy is de facto polygyny.

If differential rates are what you're looking at, a value by itself doesn't really tell you anything. You have to look at the context.

The context is a white TFR in the US that averaged below 2.75 from about 100 years ago to about 1948, below 2 from about 1948 to the 70s, and below 1.7 since the 70s.

3 is significant in this context. It's 76% higher than 1.7. 3 is not lousy at all. Not many white men have 3 kids these days. The Hispanic TFR in the US peaked at 3 in 2007.

"Very large numbers of children" is relative of course. Having 5 kids is not a big deal if the average is 5 kids. But it is very large in the context of the white TFR in the US. There are a fair number of wealthy men with lots of kids. Donald Trump and Larry King have 5 kids each.

And I don't see how saying that serial monogamy is de facto polygyny suggests that I'm motivated to make this claim by the desire to have non-procreative sex with hot women. If I'm mad at Johnny Carson and believe that he's taking the hot women through serial monogamy, and that serial monogamy is de facto polygyny, then I'd have to be against serial monogamy and other expressions of polygyny. That leaves monogamy. But monogamous environments generally don't allow lots of non-procreative sex with lots of women.

Anonymous said...

This is getting burdened by "emotional logic" as if the topic were abortion or breast cancer or AIDS. Is Johnny Carson statistically representative of anything? Carson, Larry King, + all male Fortune 500 CEOs + TIME's "Most Influential People" list--do you think those guys matter for polygamy qua polygamy, on a pure math basis? Seen any of the "news" from Wall St. campgrounds last month?

Look at the cover of Atlantic Monthly which featured somebody named Kate Bolick. She's sort of bragging at length about how modern men aren't up to her standards (IMO she's got a good case there). There is a culture-wide deprecation of family life. That doesn't mean progressive child-free organic yuppies are going to inherit the earth. It's a serious arithmetic problem down the line.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

"Do you not understand the difference between old sterile women divorcing and remarrying old men, and wealthy high status fertile men divorcing and remarrying fertile women?"

Here you're wrong. You mention Larry King. King has been married a grand total of...36 years. His current wife is 52 and probably hit menopause ~7 years ago, so make that 29 years. Granted he dated his wives before marrying them, and he also had other relationships in between or even during his marriages that didn't result in matrimony, so that ups the number of years a bit. Nevertheless he has probably consumed the fertile years of 2.5 women (~50 years) at the very most.

So it's not about the women these serial monogamists are dating or married to, unless you think that the Alphas are ruining them for the Betas. A man can be in a relationship with a different woman for a year, every year, for 40 years, but upon leaving them he frees them up for other men.

But once a man has had children with a woman he's diminished the likelihood they'll have children with anyone else, because in so many cases they may not want more.

It's not about the length of sexual access. It's about reproduction. If the 20-year-old woman filing the paternity suit against Justin Bieber is telling the truth, then the Bieb only had sexual access to her for all of 30 seconds, but that was enough time to leave her with a son, and that may be the only child she ever has.

In biological terms, reproduction is all that matters.

Anonymous said...

I was talking about old wealthy women like Zsa Zsa Gabor and Elizabeth Taylor that Q brought up that divorce and remarry many times as they get old.

The point was that this behavior does not tend to consume male fertility like wealthy, elite men divorcing and remarrying younger men tends to consume female fertility.

Anonymous said...

It's not about the length of sexual access. It's about reproduction. If the 20-year-old woman filing the paternity suit against Justin Bieber is telling the truth, then the Bieb only had sexual access to her for all of 30 seconds, but that was enough time to leave her with a son, and that may be the only child she ever has.

In biological terms, reproduction is all that matters.


This is true, but reproduction is mediated through sexual access. At any given point, there is a set amount of female fertility, and maximizing access to this fertility and excluding other males from access in the process will affect reproduction.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

elite men divorcing and remarrying younger men tends to consume female fertility.

Female fertility gets consumed not by men, but by time. A woman can remain celibate until she's 45, but her fertility has been consumed no less than that of another 45-year-old woman who's continually been in a relationship since puberty.

Outside of polygamist societies the vast majority of men, even most so-called "Alphas," have an exclusive sexual relationship with (at most) only one woman at a time. This means that even rich and powerful men will never spend more than about 40 years of their lives with a fertile woman. Contra popular belief, there aren't a whole lot of 60-year-old men marrying or dating 32-year-old women.

What keeps Beta men from dating or marrying isn't a scarcity of available women. It's that they don't want to date Beta women. A fat low-IQ male slob can easily find a wife if he's willing to marry a fat low-IQ female slob.

Captain Jack Aubrey said...

"but reproduction is mediated through sexual access. At any given point, there is a set amount of female fertility, and maximizing access to this fertility and excluding other males from access in the process will affect reproduction."

Through 30 seconds of sexual access? Postulate 3 women, A, B and C. If a man has exclusive access to Woman A then he probably doesn't have it to B or C. Even if he's seeing Women B & C on the side, they may well be in other relationships.

What matters is reproduction, and the number of children a woman is willing to have. Most women in our society want no more than 2-3 children. If a woman has one of those children with Justin Bieber then that is one child she will not be having with any other man. It doesn't matter that Bieber's (alleged) sexual access lasted only 30 seconds. His bearing issue with her is what's had consequences, not his brief (alleged) sexual access.

Anonymous said...

If you want women, being in female saturated, high female-to-male ratio environments helps enormously.

There's a reason trendy nightclubs in major cities let in attractive young women easily, but make it hard for non-elite or connected guys to get in unless they're accompanied by more young women.

In some species, sexual competition is as direct as it can get. Multiple males mate with a female and their sperm literally battle it out in the female's reproductive tract.

In humans, the competition is more indirect and is largely about sexual access to and control of women than directly mating with them. The competition for supermodels among men will largely be determined indirectly by the competition for wealth or celebrity that allows sexual access to the supermodels.

Anonymous said...

"Sexual access" in humans is not exclusive to length of time of copulation like it is in primitive species where the only interaction might be copulation.

George Clooney has much greater sexual access to numbers and quality of women than a low status male even if he might last much shorter in bed.

sabril said...

Steve, I am trying to coin a term.

For the situation where people support a particular policy because they assume they will benefit without considering that the policy will similarly affect their competitors.

You can see this at work with polygamy as well as student loans. When people support student loans, they envision themselves borrowing money to finance their education. They do not consider that other students will have access to the same money and use it to bid up tuition.

Anyway, I propose calling it the "Take-Home Exam Syndrome."