Re: Ch. 5 - Choosing mates
This chapter seems to take a totally Westernised view of partner choice influencing our gene selection, and as we are talking about evolutionary biology, this makes little sense. ‘…the parents must agree to choose each other as mates’. And ‘It’s probably fair to say that these are the two biggest decisions that we make in our lives’, Well, no, actually. In many societies even today, young people have little or no say in their choice of partner; The choice is made by the elders of the family. This was true even in Europe, where especially children of nobility would be betrothed at a very early age for political reasons.
One of the teachers at our nursery wanted to marry the father of her child, but the family disapproved and gave her the choice of three alternatives. She accepted one of these, and is now very happily married. The funny thing is, that on the day of her marriage, she was at school, as neither partner were required to be at the wedding ceremony, only the elders of both families. (But they did have a big party in the evening).
I’m also confused by his statement that ‘Monogomy is rare (except in the dog family, where it is the rule).’ Well has he ever seen the behaviour of dogs after a bitch on heat?
Again, when he talks about ‘monogamy pair-bonding characterize most human mating arrangements, even in the 80 per cent of cultures which permit or approve of monogamy) limit males to one female at a time’. Yes, they can only have one female at a time, but they can have different females on different days.
Also, I disagree with his view that ‘in successive relationships, men (but not necessarily women) should target women who are progressively younger than themselves.
Choosing a partner has as much to do with wealth as reproduction. The more wives a man has, the greater his earning power, because the wives work in the gardens, markets, etc., and so his income is increased. And when two cultures meet, as here in Gambia where Europeans mingle with the local population, it is very common for 40 – 80 year old rich European men AND women (relatively speaking) to find themselves a very young Gambian partner. http://www.topix.com/forum/world/the-ga ... 3Q11LA6O8Phttp://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/artic ... urism.html
Also, where is his evidence that female physical attractiveness is a reliable index of fertility in women? I thought physical attractiveness was not only of body ratio but of facial attractiveness as well?