Frost’s Note: You guys should have seen this Zdeno kid after the response to his post on the gym. Tears, again – “I swear Frost, it’s raining outside!” – What a kid! Definitely has a few rough edges as a writer, but he’s got heart, and I’m starting to go all Mr. Miyagi on him. First things first though, he needs to ditch the pseudonym. What the hell is a Zdeno?
In any case, today’s post will unfortunately be his last. Kid made a big deal out of our goodbye, saying it was an honour to meet me, he had to go back to his life, but he’s sure now that he wants to be a writer. Blah blah blah. Really long hug. All right man, thanks for the guest posts. Good luck and stuff. I told him to write his last post about women and he obliged. Decent stuff. A little stuffy and pompous, but at least the whippersnapper’s got an interesting theory.
No machine that exists on this planet can rival man in sheer elegance and complexity. As sublime as the human form is though, we were created by a process that knew nothing of the environment in which we now find ourselves. Man evolved, slowly, in a world without many of the tools we are now surrounded by. More often than not, the major physical, social and spiritual problems we encounter are the result of a divergence between our environment of evolutionary adaptation, and the present state of the world.
Consider for a moment the contemporary state of dating and relationships among youths in America and her satellites. Youth in our culture encompasses the ages 12-30 (a discussion in itself) and in the long, often eternal stretch between sexual maturity and permanent pair bonding, chaos reigns. Boys and girls ricochet off each other, guided by hormones like greyhounds chasing mechanical rabbits. In the upper classes, at least most have the sense to take necessary precautions against early pregnancy and the worst of the sexually transmitted diseases. The damage to them is psychological, and cultural. While teen pregnancy and AIDS ravage the poor, cynicism and alienation reduce the rich to a spiritual poverty almost as severe.
In the environment our ancestors evolved in, and thus that which our minds still assume themselves in, contraception did not exist. The natural result of sex was pregnancy, if not always immediately following copulation, soon thereafter. Occasionally though, a pair bond would find itself spending months going at it daily, and yet no pregnancy would ensue. In such a scenario, what might a Paleolithic mind think? It would suppose: “For some reason, sex with this partner is not resulting in offspring. Either I am infertile, or my mate is. Either way, it is in my best interest to terminate this bond and start anew with someone else.” The same thought is fermenting in our caveman’s mate as well.
Somewhere around 90% of healthy women in their twenties, copulating regularly, will find themselves pregnant within a few months. Thus it does not take long for a couple’s subconscious thoughts to manifest doubt in a relationship of sex without children.
This logic was sound in a world without The pill, IUD’s and condoms. But today! A healthy, fertile couple can copulate for years, to no result. What is amazing is not that many relationships fail, but rather that some succeed. Six months into a sexual relationship, two subconsci are already screaming, “Out! Out! On to greener pastures!” Only inertia, comfort, and (yes) the love of a kind that transcends genes, binds them together.
One theory of PMS (Pre-menstrual syndrome, the tendency of women to become ornery and argumentative in their luteal phase) is that it is a reaction of the woman’s body to the disappointment in her lover’s failure to impregnate her. A fitness maximizing set of genes would, following a barren ovulation, entice their host to leave, to pick fights, and to act in such a way as to stress-test her relationship. Only if the man – who’s estimated genetic fitness she has just downgraded – redoubles his provider efforts, as measured in backrubs, kind words, and tolerance of her petty assaults on his character, only then will she consent to providing him with one or more additional attempts to give her a child.
The end result of this dynamic: Relationships form, then slowly degrade as each participant’s increases (again, on a level far below conscious thought) the likelihood of the other being infertile. In reality, neither is, but this information is not available to a brain operating well beyond its design envelope. Affection dissipates. Infidelity and abandonment become more likely every day. If after (say) five years, birth control is ceased and a pregnancy does occur, what will the man calculate to be the probability that he is in fact infertile and thus that the child is not his? Much higher than if pregnancy ensued shortly after he and his wife’s first copulation.
Would returning to a set of social and legal norms that prohibits birth control and premarital sex result in more loving marriages, less intrafamily conflict, and greater spiritual fulfillment? Darwin and his dangerous idea suggest it’s plausible, and the observed effects of the sexual revolution on he state of the family certainly don’t contradict the theory.