Friday, January 05, 2001

Pair Bonding

I have read before that low-testosterone men are more prone to outbursts than high-testosterone men, and the thinking behind it is that testosterone helps men remain more clear-headed in an emergency situation. In this way, it is the low testosterone man that, in the face of say a fist fight with another man, would flail about uselessly, letting his emotions inefficiently drive his actions – whereas a high testosterone man, in the face of danger, would be able to think more clearly, enabling him to either defuse the situation before violence, or, even if his emotions do get the better of him, to still enable him to “think” while behaving in a violent manner – like a fighter that can still think clearly enough to land effective and decisive blows. Here is an interesting article on testosterone: Testosterone: Hormone of the Gods?

I don’t know if I agree with your anti-pair bonding thesis, and further, as I said before, humans are not monkeys. All I should have to do to prove this to you is ask you if you personally acknowledge a strong bond with your children? Male primates typically play no real role in parenting their offspring, however, human males definitely form strong bonds with their children.

This article shows that the belief in humans forming a pair-bond between males and females, is what moved us away from being monkeys, and allowed us to recognize our kinship:

The finding corroborates an influential new view of early human origins advanced by Bernard Chapais, a primatologist at the University of Montreal, in his book “Primeval Kinship” (2008). Dr. Chapais showed how a simple development, the emergence of a pair bond between male and female, would have allowed people to recognize their relatives, something chimps can do only to a limited extent. When family members dispersed to other bands, they would be recognized and neighboring bands would cooperate instead of fighting to the death as chimp groups do.

Humans are not monkeys.

Also, keep in mind that human children take a looooong time to develop – especially to develop our most important “tool,” our minds. In fact, this is one of the underlying beneficial factors of “Patriarchy,” in that while females are usually only able to raise children effectively during pre-puberty, it is the role of fatherhood that extends childhood and allows our minds to develop even further. But, even without Patriarchy, a mother would be fairly hard pressed to raise a child alone.

I believe there is something to Rotating Polyandry, where humans mate and pair-bond for short periods of time – around 4 years, based upon female prerogative – in order that she meets a male, pair-bonds with him, gets pregnant and gives birth while relying on his protection, and then during the child’s most vulnerable stages in infancy, the pair-bond stays strong enough that the male sticks around and provides for both mother and infant during their most vulnerable. Once the child is more or less self sufficient at around 2 or 3 years old – when it can walk, talk, and feed itself – the female loses her pair-bond with the male, and wanders off to find new sperm to impregnate her, and she starts the whole pair-bond off again with a new male. In this way she gets genetic diversity for her offspring. The male, however, does not lose his pair-bond to the female, because there is no advantage in nature for this to occur. The most efficient way for nature to operate would be for the male to maintain a strong bond to the female until she is “finished with him.” The same principle works with children and their parents. The parents maintain a strong bond to the children, while the children lose their bond to the parents so that they may “leave the nest.”

Males are not “less emotional” than women. Males have fewer emotions, but their emotions run deeper. Women have more kinds of emotions than men that sway them, but they do not run as deeply. One of the reasons for women to have this many emotions is because infants communicate mostly through emotion alone, and so women are more tuned in emotionally so as to be able to care for children. However, men’s deeper emotions are what solidly pair-bond him to the mother and child, and motivate him to fight to the death to protect them.

Again, it is Patriarchal marriage that pair-bonds humans for probably longer than is natural – so that human children have more of a timeframe for their minds to be developed. Females have a very hard time maintaining control over children once they reach puberty, and this would coincide with how most other species operate as well – as soon as sexual maturity is reached, the mother and child separate. This also accounts for why the teenager is so rebellious to their parents. They are sexually mature by that stage, and patriarchy creates the artificial construct that lengthens childhood and allows our brains to mature even more than naturally.

I would say that serial monogamy is probably more natural for humans than no pair-bonding at all.

By the way, “one-itis” in game is another word for pair-bonding, and all game practitioners would acknowledge it exists, which is why they take measures to ensure that pair-bonding does not occur. I believe that females pair-bond as well, but as with the bond between child and parent where the parents bonds are stronger than the child’s, between men and women it is also the man’s bonds that are stronger than the females, and it is this way for natural, reproductive/survival purposes.