Rotating Polyandry and NAWALT

Kathy and Flavia have both pointed out in the comments section of the last post that the description of women in Devlin’s article doesn’t apply to all women. Flavia put it quite well when she wrote:

Further, the nightmare stories you hear are only but a subset of women. Many women are able to lead very loving and stable marriages (as long as they don’t pay attention to the debased culture). I do not think that men are incapable of love because some cheat on and hit their wives.

NAWALT (Not All Women Are Like That) is a bit of a lightning rod in the manosphere because it is often perceived as an attempt to shut down discussion of some very real issues.  However, I don’t think either Kathy or Flavia were trying to deny the fundamental issue or stop the discussion.  Flavia was actually the first person to recommend the Devlin article to me.

I don’t know what percentage of women fit into the description of the article.  I doubt it is even 50%.  I especially doubt the part about women being naturally programmed to leave after 4 years:

Biochemical research points to a natural four-year sexual cycle for the human female. This apparently allows enough time after childbirth for the average mother in a state of savagery to regain her ability to survive with­out male provisioning. In the absence of any system of marriage, a woman’s natural tendency is to “liberate” herself from her mate after that point. When her hormones prompt her to reproduce again, she simply takes a new mate.

To clarify, it may well be that there is something biochemical in women that has been observed.  But I don’t see this as a particularly strong force.  Given that our culture is steeped in a pro divorce message for women complete with cheer-leading movies, websites, newspapers, and magazines, a church which looks the other way, as well as financial incentives, divorce rates should be far higher than they are if this is a universal and strong force.  On the other hand, if this is all true, then I would say marriage is simply done for as an institution (which it may well be anyway).  As a (cautious) proponent of marriage, I am admittedly less likely to want to accept such a position.

The biggest problem I have with the four year attachment theory is that it makes no sense from an evolutionary point of view.  A stepfather is a greater risk to her children than the biological father.  Also, women can have children more than once every four years, so one would expect another child to be in the works before the first four year term has expired.  Lastly, there is no logical reason to expect that a woman who is older and has had children can attract a better man than she was able to when she was younger and hotter.  Pick up a National Geographic if you want proof that women in primitive cultures/conditions don’t age well.  Plus the man she attracted in the past is most likely a better catch now than when she first landed him four years ago.

But at the same time something clearly is going on.  Devlin’s article accurately describes the way a very large percentage of western women are behaving.  Much of it is straight out of your standard movie or TV script (not even including chick flicks).

Last week I shared the Should I Divorce Him website.  On that site there is a quiz for women to take to decide if they should throw away their marriage.  After answering each question it shows you what the answers of other women were for that question.  The questions about infidelity were telling, and in line with what is being discussed in Devlin’s article.  Keep in mind that the quiz isn’t a scientific survey but it does come up as the top result to a google search of “should I divorce” (for me at least, try it here).  Here is what the women who took the quiz answered regarding infidelity:

Question: Do you trust your husband around other women?

Just under 20% of women thinking about divorce thought their husband had cheated on them.  Here is how they answered the question about their own infidelity:

Question: What are your thoughts on cheating?

A quarter of the women taking the quiz admitted to cheating on their husband.  Another 31% have considered it.  Only 43% of the women considering divorce answered that it wasn’t something they would do.  Given the known tendency for people to be hesitant to admit moral failings even on an anonymous survey, if anything these figures understate the magnitude of the problem.

So while I don’t have a solid estimate on how many women are acting as described in Devlin’s article, it is at the very least an accurate description of a very large number of divorcées.  And as Devlin pointed out, the false but near universal assumption in our culture that women are naturally monogamous makes the problem far worse:

Women, says Langley, enter marriage assuming they are naturally mo­nogamous. “Trying to be faithful doesn’t seem natural to them.” They recite the wedding vow in much the same spirit as they wear “something borrowed, something blue”—it is simply what one does at a wedding. Of course, a vow is no very serious undertaking to one who assumes she will never feel any temptation to break it.

Accordingly, over time, most women begin to rationalize their extramarital erotic interests. If women simply want to be married and are not naturally inclined to be attracted to other men, “any unhappiness or infidelity on the part of the women is assumed to be due to the men they married.” This seems to me a critically important and easily overlooked finding: the widely propa­gated notion that women are naturally monogamous is helping to nourish the contemporary “blame the man for everything” mentality. Hence, odd as this sounds, in order to reestablish the actual practice of monogamy, it may be necessary to discredit the notion that woman are naturally inclined to it.

My main takeaway from all of this is a reinforcement of the fact that we have a very real problem, and those of us who want to save marriage as an institution have an obligation to acknowledge the reality and help others do the same.  If not, we will be the generation that history records as having fiddled while marriage burned.

This entry was posted in Choice Addiction, Church Apathy About Divorce, Divorce, F. Roger Devlin, Finding a Spouse, Marriage. Bookmark the permalink.

88 Responses to Rotating Polyandry and NAWALT

  1. The Truth says:

    Who cares? The feminist genie is out of the bottle and there’s no going back. It’s in men’s best interest to avoid marriage, cohabitation and kids. Let women have their freedom and do whatever they want.

  2. uncleFred says:

    I took the test. I was struck by the inherent bias in many of the questions. Here is the result:
    “Your Marriage is Worth Fighting For
    Okay, so your marriage is not perfect. And you and your spouse have your share of problems. What keeps your relationship steadfast is that when the going gets tough, you continue to iron things out. Maybe it’s more you than him. This is one thing you should ask yourself. Is he still trying? …”

    “Is he still trying?”

    Sort of says it all doesn’t it? Not one of my answers reflected anything other than a supportive, understanding, caring, loving husband, who shared monetary decisions while “paying the bills”. All this despite the fact that she felt like having sex once a month or so.

    You have to ask yourself what is required for this “quiz” to respond with “Wake up girl, you have a keeper!” Assuming of course that there is a response remotely like that available.

    In effect this is a push poll. Pushing women to disregard what they have.

    Sad.

    [D: Good point. Just more whispers.]

  3. After reading Uncle Fred’s comment, I’m struck by how terribly destructive this site is. And a sadness that there are women who fall into the trap of letting these people encourage them to ditch their men.

  4. My Name Is Jim says:

    uncleFred, I got the same result. I think maybe we got messed up by having separate accounts, and by saying when we fight there’s lots of yelling. Some people really look down on separate accounts, but I think it’s less argument for us. I balance the checkbook to the penny and hate fees, while she may incur fees but gets a lot less flustered over the details. As for the yelling, yeah guilty as charged, but that’s why there’s make-up sex. We never claimed to be perfect.

  5. jules says:

    Great article as always. I’ve been arguing with a friend who believes that polygamy was a viable and working institution in eastern societies and that western monotheism destroyed polytheistic and polygamist socieites.
    Anyone have any links/evidence to refute this? Why did Mormons give up polygamy, beyond the usual political reasons?

  6. Dex says:

    56% of women taking this test report having sex with their husbands “maybe once a month” or “it’s been years.” (43% and 13% respectively).

    Sad.

  7. Dex says:

    @ Jules, you mean evidence beyond the fact that polygamy still exists in some eastern societies, particularly in Africa and the middle east?

    There’s a theory out there that cultures advance in direct correlation to their level of paternal investment in the children. For a man with a lot of wives and kids, there’s little investment per kid unless the guy is very rich and a full time dad. Which doesn’t happen in places where polygamy is practiced.

    As far as monotheism vs polytheism, a book I recently I read (Discovering God, Rodney Stark) found that polytheism comes about as belief in one god erodes. So monotheistic societies may simply be younger and have more vigor and that’s why they win when cultures clash.

    I don’t know enough about the LDS to speak to your last question.

  8. J says:

    Biochemical research points to a natural four-year sexual cycle for the human female.

    Doesn’t Fisher’s theory say that the cycle applies to both men and women? Does she say that women produce dopamine for four years while men prouce it indefinitly?

    This apparently allows enough time after childbirth for the average mother in a state of savagery to regain her ability to survive with­out male provisioning.

    In truth, it does. In nature, toddlers wean between two and three.

    The biggest problem I have with the four year attachment theory is that it makes no sense from an evolutionary point of view. A stepfather is a greater risk to her children than the biological father.

    I share your reservation.

    Also, women can have children more than once every four years, so one would expect another child to be in the works before the first four year term has expired.

    Lactation supresses ovulation. Good modern maternal nutrition and bottle-feeding make a smaller gap between children possible.

  9. Keoni Galt says:

    Jim & UncleFred – I took the quiz making the answers what I thought would get the “keeper” result…in other words I chose answers that were moderate and according the myth of feminist “Equality as the perfect relationship” standard…in other words, I didn’t try to answer with the obvious “perfect” answers, but what is considered “normal.” A few minor squabbles resolved with calm respectful discussion, as well as making sure to follow the “what’s mine is mine and what’s his is ours” mindset of the modern, entitled feminist. I.e. – “a joint checking account” and “what does your husband do with his money?” “Pay the bills.” How often do you argue? “Once in a while” “How does your husband view your job?” “He respects it very much” Blah balh. It was easy to throw this test.

    Here was there result:

    You’re Together Through Thick And Thin
    Congratulations! You have a loving marriage that’s managed to survive the good and bad times. One of the reasons your relationship is so strong is that you and your partner have respect for each other. There is also a great deal of trust between the two of you. While you have your share of disagreements, it’s perfectly normal. It’s how you handle your problems that sets you apart from the couples that fail. You deal with your problems head-on and keep open lines of communication. You both pull your own weight and contribute equally. Your marriage is a true partnership. Keep up the good work.
    —–

  10. J says:

    A stepfather is a greater risk to her children than the biological father.

    Interestingly, in matriarchal societies, from tribal medieval Ireland to lower class America, it’s mom’s brother or father, not new “daddy,” who takes responsibility for the child. That minimizes the risk, I suppose.

    Lastly, there is no logical reason to expect that a woman who is older and has had children can attract a better man than she was able to when she was younger and hotter. Pick up a National Geographic if you want proof that women in primitive cultures/conditions don’t age well. Plus the man she attracted in the past is most likely a better catch now than when she first landed him four years ago.

    Everyone over 12 looks like crap in Nat Geo. I think availability, not attraction, is the deciding factor. Think of it as a square dance where every four years the caller says, “Do-si-do and change partners.” The 50% of couples who have moved from dopamine attraction to oxytocin/vasopressin attachment leave the dance floor to canoodle. The 50% who have “fallen out of love” stay on the floor for another go ’round. What’s left on the floor isn’t necessarily better than what they had before, it’s just different, available and a fresh choice. At the end of four years, another 50-60% who have failed to get to the attachment phase, change partners again. Rinse and repeat until most people have found a permanent mate or are too tired to try again to find someone in an ever shrinking pool of partners.

  11. J says:

    56% of women taking this test report having sex with their husbands “maybe once a month” or “it’s been years.” (43% and 13% respectively).

    Yikes! Did it say why?

  12. Jennifer says:

    I appreciate your wisdom here, Dalrock.

    [D: Thank you.]

  13. Herbie says:

    I get a kick out of studies that point to chemical reactions in the body to describe why we do certain things or how our behavior is affected, as if stimulating us a certain way will initiate a specific response with no control on our part as we might see in a simple organism. People have something that is unique in all the world, and that is a free will. Crudely paraphrasing Aquinas, when our “lesser natures” are allowed to govern our “greater natures”(those that seek the Creator), we get ourselves into a situation that is akin to a child ruling over its father. This is obviously not normal and at the societal level it is disastrous.

    This is the situation we now find ourselves in(and has been a long time coming). Through weak male leadership at all levels(and an arrogant and narcissistic female class), we have created a civilization that caters to our base instincts and where anything goes. Up is down, left is right, right is wrong, morality is subjective(unless you’re a feminist, then you get to decide). In the history of the world, this has never produced a positive outcome…and never will.

    In the comfort of their patriarchy-built society, the feminists(Christian and secular) are systematically destroying that which has provided them the opportunity to live freely and with reasonable peace. They are essentially biting the hand that feeds them. When wives display a brazen lack of respect(in whatever form that may take) for the husband and his authority within the family, chaos is pretty much ensured. The process going on cannot be ascribed to chemical reactions, it is solely a degenerate nature which lacks charity towards those who have and are making sacrifices for their families.

  14. Dex says:

    @J – no, it just shows you the results for each question of the quiz.

  15. Very well said, Herbie. I agree wholeheartedly.

  16. javert says:

    “Lastly, there is no logical reason to expect that a woman who is older and has had children can attract a better man than she was able to when she was younger and hotter.”

    You are subconciously carrying the “marry at older ages” issue here. The four year cycle is completely reasonable if a woman starts having kids as soon as biologically possible. Having the first kid at 16 years old, it’s not unconceivable for her to find a mate even at the third of the fourth kid. Of course, what happens to her after that is probably unresolved because in the old state of nature, I doubt both men and women were supposed to survive much more years after that.

    [D: Are you arguing that a woman living in primitive conditions is more sexually attractive when she is in her 20s after having multiple children than she was at 16? I just don’t buy it.]

  17. anonymous says:

    NAWALT is irrelevant. If a man enters signs a marriage contract with a woman, the woman gains control of his excess labor (money / property), and in exchange he owns her sexuality, including children. If she cheats, the husband should be able to either fault-divorce, or sue the seducer for theft of property.

    Women hate to be “owned”, or “controlled”, and since modern marriage law reflects this preference, we can only assume that they voted themselves the exact system that they prefer. Such is democracy. Two wolves and a sheep voting whats for dinner. See Devlin’s Sexual Utopia in Power. The title says it all.

  18. A Lady says:

    When women have enough food, even with breastfeeding children are about 18 months apart on average. As for life expectancy, it was similar to now, but a lot of deaths under age 5 and c-sections killed the mother as a rule even if the society was able to do them, which also does a number on life expectancy. Plus, you know, frequent wars. Women are supposed to live long enough to support grandchildren– this is one of the theories as to why the uterus/ovaries stick around after menopause– permits cross-nursing to aid a new mother more readily, among other chemical and biological bonding bonuses. Post-fertile women retain the ability to do infant care and nursing, which help stave off postpartum depression and sleep deprivation from an infant’s frequent nursing needs.

  19. Stephenie Rowling says:

    “The biggest problem I have with the four year attachment theory is that it makes no sense from an evolutionary point of view. A stepfather is a greater risk to her children than the biological father. ”

    I agree, if anything every pregnancy should renew the bond, a man that fathers many kids with the same woman has more reasons to commit. I would guess that the 4 years wears off is to prevent a widow for not pairing up, thus my guess is that if the woman doesn’t get pregnant regularly from the guy the body assumes he is sterile or dead and makes her start to look for a new suitable men. The pill and condoms screwed the system IMO.

    Another thing that I disagree with Langley is the fact that she says that women confuse sexual feelings and love out of societal pressures, any man that has given the speech of “I love you but I’m not in love with you” knows very well that a woman needs to feel both to love any man at any given point and this is not a construct. What I think she is missing is the fact that woman usually assume that if the sexual feelings left they should move on instead of trying to rekindle the relationship or transform themselves to accept the change within the relationship and not to search for a new one. The part that women don’t know is not that they are naturally non-monogamous is that they don’t accept that marriage is a changing entity and that is possible to change and adapt in order to stay together and be happy, YMMV.

  20. Lily says:

    Has anyone ever come across anything on relationships back in caveman days? I’d be quite interested in reading. My guess is that it’s more about the tribe than man/woman marriage type pairings?

    The 4 year thing doesn’t make any sense to me. FWIW I’ve never ‘felt’ it at that particular time either. Perhaps it makes evolutionary sense to try and have children by different fathers, for their genes and also in an environment where the men aren’t necessarily around for a long time. Presumably cavewoman lived longer than cavemen (who supposedly lived to what, 30?) But perhaps it would make more sense to have a multiple mating strategy at the same time than have a 4 year thing.

    “And as Devlin pointed out, the false but near universal assumption in our culture that women are naturally monogamous makes the problem far worse”
    This was the thing that really stood out to me. I think it’s huge.

  21. Lily says:

    Maybe the 4 year thing (if it exists) isn’t in place for the woman to start looking for another man but to stop her changing her loyalties until at least her child is a certain age. The child reaching a certain stage is more important than either the man or the woman, let alone their relationship.
    Maybe it isn’t possible for the bonding mechanism to be in place permanently. And maybe it’s not the best thing from an evolutionary perspective for the species to have it in place permanently.

  22. Brendan says:

    Clearly the best take-away from Langley is that women (and men) need to be more conscious of the sexuality of women, and how it ebbs and flows, rather than seeing women as naturally monogamous, and thereby almost automatically concluding that any ebb in attraction for hub means “he’s just not the *one*” and that therefore she owes it to herself to chuck the fish back in the water and get back to fishing. That’s very true, and it’s a huge problem.

    As for the rest, it pays to bear in mind (and Devlin doesn’t really get into this, but it’s obvious if you’ve actually read her “book”) that Langley is mostly about (1) justifying her own promiscuity and size queen behaviors and (2) sticking a needle in the eyes of men. I do agree that not all women think the way that Langley portrays, but *Langley* does, and that’s why it comes out in her writing. Langley is very, very, very angry and resentful at men in total. She thinks most men are unattractive, small-dicked losers, and that women should simply band together, share information on cock sizes, and reward the biggest with sex — in part because she’s a size queen herself, but also in part because she wants to wreak vengeance on men for choosing women based on physical assets by turning the tables on men and choosing them based mostly on physical assets. One wonders whether Langley was unattractive in her younger years (teens), or whether she was slutty in her younger years (more likely) and therefore marginalized by quite a few people — that would make sense in light of the seething anger that percolates throughout her book. Make no mistake — while Langley purports to want to make men and women more aware of female attractions and so on ostensibly to make marriages work better, this is really a cover for a book that justifies female adultery in hundreds of ways, and does so almost out of a motive to exact vengeance on men as a class, to vindicate the anger she feels and that she thinks most women feel (and that, in reality, most feminist women *do* feel) towards men as a class.

    [D: Thanks Brendan. Good insight.]

  23. dannyfrom504 says:

    i’ve never been married, and i’m reluctant to. i posted this on my blog a few days ago, and it very much resonated with me. i have cited in my own posting that you, athol, badger, and keoni are prime examples of the institition being able to work, but i’m just not sure it’s for me. here’s the link:

    dontmarry.wordpress.com

  24. detinennui32 says:

    I’m glad Brendan can’t stay away.

    Dalrock is right that “something is clearly going on”. What is going on, as Herbie points out, is that our culture encourages our debasement. It started with liberalism, then feminism, which has encouraged women to divorce husbands on the flimsiest of pretexts. The Roissysphere has been pretty clear that the seduction community and players/PUAs were merely a reaction and response to the feminist movement. “They want studs and players? Fine. We’ll give them what they want! And we’ll teach betas how to do it too so they can get a piece of the action.” And the Roissysphere is clear that this is not best for Western civilization, and in fact will protably hasten its demise.

    What is happening is a debasement of our culture at the most fundamental levels. It was and is a natural result of feminism. No on should be surprised by any of it.

  25. Lise says:

    Given the known tendency for people to be hesitant to admit moral failings even on an anonymous survey, if anything these figures understate the magnitude of the problem.

    While I agree with your take away points, the math major in me cringes with the conclusions drawn from these “statistics.” For a lot of reasons you probably understand well online tests/surveys are pretty much bunk. They cannot be considered a truely random sample, or even a good sample at all. What these results tell us (assuming the site does not tinker with the results to promote their agenda which is another problem) is that x% of the readers of a feminist, prodivorce (who may be married women, 13 year old boys, schizophrenic or whatever else) answered this way.

    I like your posts, agree with that classic Devlin, and appreciate the overall message and I appologize for my pendantic tangent, but I don’t think using these bogus stats will help support your point.

    [D: Fair criticism. I’ve reworked the sentence which introduces the quiz to point out that it isn’t a scientific survey. I still do think it is an interesting data set, and it fits with what other sources are telling us.]

  26. My Name Is Jim says:

    If Langley is mad, it’s not likely because she’s a victim, and yes I’ve read her books and know her arguments. I’m thinking she’s overentitled and it has gradually twisted her thinking into the way it is now. And we in the manosphere know what the cure for that is. It is not accepting her thinking, it is taming the shrew. A shrew needs a man who can stand up to her, more humility is the only thing that will make the shrew happy. It would take a real iron will, maybe Roissy could do it but probably most of us couldn’t. She’s a nightmare case.

  27. Stephenie Rowling says:

    “But perhaps it would make more sense to have a multiple mating strategy at the same time than have a 4 year thing.”

    My personal theory is that there is an spectrum. Some women more likely to try and trade partners every four years or so, some other women trying to mate with Alphas while cockholding a beta and some other women pairing up forever. The amount of women exhibit them, depending in what a particular culture promotes and shames. With only a few being so ingrained that they are willing to risk their social status (and sometimes lives) to fulfill their particular biological imperative. I mean given all the changes we have had in our history in the last 50,000 years it will make no sense to have just one per gender. All this strategies are effective depending in many circumstances, YMMV.

    [D: This is in line with my own thinking. Via some combination of nature & nurture some women are good candidates for marriage, while others aren’t. We have dialed the culture to be extremely unfavorable towards marriage. If we dialed it back more women would be good candidates for marriage.]

  28. mjay says:

    I get the sense that only men’s sites such as this one are concerned that marriage is in crisis and needs to be “rescued” (good luck with that).

    Are there similar women’s sites with similar leanings, and if you took a poll is it men who prefer to save marriage or do more women have this sentiment?

    For what it’s worth, if you look at some of the legislation wending its way through state legislatures, marriage looks like it was over decades ago. Family law is a cesspool.

  29. Höllenhund says:

    “The biggest problem I have with the four year attachment theory is…”

    Your problem seems to be partially based on the assumption that cavemen in hunter-gatherer societies had a reason to impose lifelong monogamy on their female mates. Was there actually such a reason? They probably didn’t even understand human reproduction (that a child only has one father etc.) and didn’t invest much in there children because there wasn’t much stuff to invest to begin with. There were hardly any penalties for a man whom his mate and her child abandoned. There weren’t any asshole judges and cops forcing him to pay child support or alimony.

    Such pair-bondings were probably mutually dissolved after 4-5 years. Both the man and the woman moved on, maybe joining other packs or whatever, and that was it.

  30. J says:

    @Dex

    I wonder then what is casue and what is effect. Is lack of sex in the marriage what’s causing the marriage to be unhappy or is it the consequence of the marriage being unhappy? I can see it happening both ways.

  31. J says:

    Are you arguing that a woman living in primitive conditions is more sexually attractive when she is in her 20s after having multiple children than she was at 16? I just don’t buy it.]

    How attractive do people have to be in a small band of hunter/gathers? She doesn’t have to be glamorous. She just has to be there.

    A number of years ago, I read an article in on of the science mags by Sarah Hrdy, who does the same sort of research as Helen Fisher does. She focused on a small band of Pygmies. One woman had many children by many different fathers and ALSO lovers on the side. Hrdy’s theory was basically that sluthood was a female strategy for gathering a maximum amount of resources from a maximum number of providers as each of the dads and cads contributed something to the survival of the woman and her kids. The woman not only got to pass on her genes, but by having a variety of fathers insured she that MORE of her kids would survive as they, as a group, had inherited a variety of genetic stregths form a variety of men.

    Pictures of the entire extended family where included. The woman was no beauty. In fact I was single at the time I read the article, and I felt something similar to male beta resentment at this “slut’s” success. OTOH, I at least had all my teeth.

    The men OTOH were not gorgeous either–even adjusting for the fact that Pygmies aren’t my type. 😉

    The point is that even the ugly and worn-out can find a partner where noptions are limited.

  32. J says:

    @Hollenhund

    I think you are right. “Til death do us part” monogamy is historically concomittant with agriculture and inheritence of land. I doubt it was part of hunter/gatherer expectations.

  33. J says:

    @Lily

    Has anyone ever come across anything on relationships back in caveman days? I’d be quite interested in reading.

    Try Jean Auel.😉 Seriously, as far as I know, no one has written anything cogent because there is no hard evidence. What is more common is looking at the few hunter/gatherer populations that remain and trying to extrapolate backwards. Check out Sarah Hrdy.

    The 4 year thing doesn’t make any sense to me. FWIW I’ve never ‘felt’ it at that particular time either.

    Me neither. You and I must carry genes for monogamy. OTOH, modern divorce stats do bear it out.

    Perhaps it makes evolutionary sense to try and have children by different fathers, for their genes and also in an environment where the men aren’t necessarily around for a long time.

    Spot on!

    People probably evolved a mix of strategies to maximize tribal/species survival. There are conditions in which promiscuity for both sexes is adaptive. Players get to spread their seed far and wide with little or no investment. Sluts get to guarantee diverse genetic strengths and a larger number of providers for their kids. It’s R-selection. Monogamous men and women produce fewer kids, but I’d guess those K-selected kids were higher status kids even then.

  34. Legion says:

    Great article.

    RE: Biochemical research points to a natural four-year sexual cycle for the human female (and male?).

    Old love fades
    This is a fact of our brain chemistry and is observable and measurable. We can speculate evolutionary precursors all the live-long day but lets not ignore the fact that the same chemistry that led us to fall madly in love with our partner wanes after 3-4 years. Testosterone , Oxytocin, Vasopressin and Dopamine – the chemicals responsible for Love lust passion and loyalty – fade.

    New love reignites
    Predictably, a new love interest will send those same chemicals rushing in. The old love is powerless to compete. The most he can offer is comfort, familiarity and stability.

    Humans are not monogamous by nature
    Neither are mammals in general. only 5% of mammals are monogamous – 95% are not. And many of those mammals that were once considered monogamous have been found to be polyandrous through DNA testing of their offspring.

    Chemistry is not the end all be all
    While chemistry is a powerful and undeniable factor it’s not the only one. Historically, women are resource receivers, whereas men are resource takers, producers and/or hoarders. As such women must walk a finer line lest they be cut off. Community prosperity, welfare systems, Familial support and social acceptance are factors she must consider before ditching a mate or risking an affair.

    When her mate is responsible for the majority of her support structure she is more inclined to remain loyal. When there is an alternative support option that inclination diminishes.
    For example: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2010/08/31/amid-downturn-divorce-and-infidelity-decrease/?mod=e2tw/

  35. Eric says:

    Dalrock:
    What needs to be recognized and admitted is that neither sexual attraction nor love is motivating modern women in these kinds of choices. You’re right, though, in exposing that the problem is rooted in culture and not biology.

    The problem stems from a culture that warps women’s psychology against men from the time they are children. Most of them today grow up in fatherless homes; with no male role models other than the bums her ‘liberated’ mother sluts around with in front of her or the spineless mangina posing as a father. The media and schools feed her on a steady diet of male-bashing and absurd maxims like ‘women are superior to men’; ‘women move the world’,’ women have all the power in relationships’, ‘no real woman really needs a man’ &c.

    They are taught that they are both ‘sexually liberated’ and have a monopoly on sex at the same time. They express this ‘liberation’ by screwing thugs and shun monogamy because it’s ‘restraining’. They are taught that they ‘own’ reproduction as well; that abortion is a right, but motherhood a burdensome responsibility and also ‘restricting’ to their independence; unless supported financially by an absentee father and physically by a daycare center.

    I agree that the nuclear family is the basis of a civilization; but if it is to be saved, it can’t be saved with one gender utterly unwilling to cooperate in its salvation. It’s up to men–alone– to find a way through this crisis.

  36. Anonymous Reader says:

    Brenden
    Clearly the best take-away from Langley is that women (and men) need to be more conscious of the sexuality of women, and how it ebbs and flows, rather than seeing women as naturally monogamous, and thereby almost automatically concluding that any ebb in attraction for hub means “he’s just not the *one*” and that therefore she owes it to herself to chuck the fish back in the water and get back to fishing. That’s very true, and it’s a huge problem.

    This is a concise statement of a major hurdle that must be crossed. The first thing that I noted upon “putting on the glasses” was that I’d been sold an idea that was clearly, utterly false: the notion that women are naturally monogamous. It’s a remnant of the past, I personally blame the Victorians, that has to be utterly smashed. There are a number of groups that still promulgate this notion, starting with feminists and traditional conservatives. It is a dangerous myth that may lead to all manner of trouble. See the posting by Traveller in the other rotating polyandry thread, it’s the kind of story that Devlin is referring to. Not all women are like Traveller’s ex, but he’s not likely to ever take a chance again, from what I can tell.

    Looking at women as they are, rather than as fairy tales tell us they are, makes a big difference in a lot of ways. It means that she needs to be a great deal more selective about her friends, and her pastimes, specifically the TV shows and movies she views, and the magazines & fiction she reads. It means that men need to learn at the gut level there are Some Women Are Like That, and they must be avoided as much as possible – not just for marriage, not just socially, but in the workplace as well. Because some women simply are going to be capricious, self centered, and apt to act out their anger on anyone around them. We can go on about why this is indefinitely, but it should not be debated that SWALT.

    We cannot expect feminists to give up their female supremacy ideology. After 30-40 years of second stage, third stage, feminism it is obvious that they don’t even regard men as human beings, although from time to time one will make an exception for someone they are related to. I write them off completely, they are not worth any effort to even talk to. Debating, arguing, etc. with them is worth it, because there are always onlookers who can be swayed. Traditional conservatives, with their romantic delusions, can be shown the truth eventually, although it appears to take much repeating to get the point across (not quit like being Roddy Piper in an alley in “They Live” but close).

    Ordinary men, all of them, need to put on the glasses. Those women who are capable of facing the truth about themselves, also. I have no idea what percentage of the culture can deal with the truth about women and men, frankly, but I hope it is at least a substantial plurality. Because an industrial civilization requires a degree of social stability and trainable men who have a stake in the culture, and both those things are clearly undermined by the divorce industry.

  37. Brendan says:

    I think you are right. “Til death do us part” monogamy is historically concomittant with agriculture and inheritence of land. I doubt it was part of hunter/gatherer expectations.

    But, in effect, this means that men are better off not having kids, because while monogamy mauy not be expected long-term, their support is expected long-term. That’s a mismatch.

  38. Anonymous says:

    He leaves toilet seat up [check]. Dump him! You go, girl!

  39. dannyfrom504 says:

    i’ll just leave this here Darlock.

    http://dontmarry.wordpress.com

    i SHAN’T be walking down the aisle. EVER.

  40. Anonymous Reader says:

    Dalrock, I think that in addition to the “shutting down debate” aspects of NAWALT, there often is an air of “Well, NAWALT, so you just messed up and found the wrong woman, stinks to be you” to these declarations. It’s like being in a rented boat on a lake that is leaking, and rowing for shore like crazy while other boaters laugh, and point, and say “NABALT, you just got a leaky one”. It’s a true observation on the face of it, but not much use when the water is coming in to the boat faster than it can be bailed out. It would be more useful for some of the other boaters to come along side, and offer some constructive help to get me to shore, and it would be helpful if they would offer me some ways to spot leaky boats, rather than just squawk NABALT! NABALT! while I’m sinking.

    And maybe it’s just me, but there’s a certain irony in being told NAWALT by feminists, who adhere to an ideology that has flatly stated All Men Are (insert bad thing here) for nigh on two generations. My patience for that is pretty much gone with NAWALT and NAFALT from women who at least passively profited from the legal regime that makes marriage a minefield for many men.

    It would perhaps be useful for men criticizing women to include the caveat that indeed NAWALT, and it would perhaps also be useful if women leaping to point out NAWALT would also include the caveat that, indeed, Some Women Are Like That. The question before us is where the percentage lines can be drawn. In some parts of the country, such as Southern California, I suspect that a majority of women between 20 and 65 Are Like That. In other places, they may well be a minority. But there are some everywhere, even in flyover country. And it’s past time for the NAWALT’s to admit it, from time to time.

  41. Legion says:

    dannyfrom504 says:
    June 29, 2011 at 8:34 am

    I would say you need to keep up on your blog as well. Commenters are dying for more content over there.

    Remember: Thomas Ball’s immolation, he gave his life for your children.

  42. khwarezmid says:

    One of the big problems I have with a lot of these arguments about what is “natural” or “evolutionary” w/r/t marriage is that they are almost never informed by any anthropological or sociological literature. For instance, I often see people stating quite confidently that in hunter-gatherer societies, the vast majority of men did not reproduce, and that one “alpha male” would monopolize access to women. But when we look at the anthropological literature, this seems unfounded. Take the Kung, for example.
    “The majority of !Kung marriages are monogamous. Lee (1984) reports the results of a study that was conducted in 1968: in a sample of 131 married men, 122 (93%) were living monogamously, 7 (5%) were living polygamously (6 with 2 wives and 1 with 3), and 2 men (2 %) were living in a polyandrous union:sharing one woman (Lee 1984:79).

    Although polygamy is allowed and men desire it, it is the wives who in general oppose this form of union. Polyandry is even less common and is considered an irregular union. When it occurs, it is usually between older people past childbearing age. Interestingly, all 7 polygynous men (reported in the study) are healers and 5 of the 7 have reputations as being among the strongest and most effective healers in the Dobe area. The ability to heal seems to be a sign of power among the !kung and therefore taking more than one wife may be one of the few status symbols associated with it (Lee 1984: 80).

    Against the express desire of men to take a second wife stands the overwhelming objections of their first wives. Many men have abandoned their plans to take a second wife whne the first wife threatens to leave them. The reason for these objections is purely sexual jealousy. The fact that in most cases the husband’s plans to take on a new wife are dropped illustrates that women are a force to be reckoned with in !Kung society (Lee 1984:81). ”
    http://korea.gnu.org/people/chsong/cb/homesteading/kung_marriages.html

    We see similar descriptions of other hunter-gatherer societies. In actuality, it is near impossible to find descriptions of large scale polygamy outside the context of agricultural society. Although polygamy existed in hunter-gatherer societies, it was generally rare, and polygamists could usually only acquire one or two extra wives, as we see in the case of the Kung. So although “marriage” as is defined by traditional European culture is certainly not part of our evolutionary history, something relatively similar appears to be the natural state of human beings. On the whole, I think the sociobiological approach is not nearly so damning of marriage as some of its proponents contend.

  43. Bb says:

    “Clearly the best take-away from Langley is that women (and men) need to be more conscious of the sexuality of women, and how it ebbs and flows, rather than seeing women as naturally monogamous, and thereby almost automatically concluding that any ebb in attraction for hub means “he’s just not the *one*” and that therefore she owes it to herself to chuck the fish back in the water and get back to fishing. That’s very true, and it’s a huge problem.”

    Having just finished the book last night, I thought another big take away was that Langley was letting women know that marriage isn’t the cause or answer to their problems. It should not be the pinnacle of what they achieve. I really felt the whole book was a cautionary tale to woman about contemplating marriage—it isn’t what they think it will be, it will cut out their sexual options, and they’ll be surprised by that because they want more sex as they get older (as compared to men). I got the feeling she wanted to smash the fantasy marriage ideal and have women face the truth of what marriage is: hard work, fidelity, etc. She had failed at it herself, and wanted to others to know the pitfalls.

    She clearly understood that women did not know what they wanted either; she was trying to tell them why.

  44. A Lady says:

    Yeah, I was reading about Pygmies being monogamous, in the context of child-rearing on a paleo blog just this morning. There is less evidence than has been claimed for polygamy or ‘sluttitude’ and more for monogamy. Basically, on a spectrum, humans seem to end up monogamous and make their peace with it in a variety of ways, with forays based on resource access into non-monogamous or polygamous unions.

  45. Flavia says:

    Here you go Lily http://www.kevinmacdonald.net/West-TOQ.htm

    It delves more into general westerness, but does touch upon why we are geared for monogamy.

  46. Doug1 says:

    [D: [@Stephanie] This is in line with my own thinking. Via some combination of nature & nurture some women are good candidates for marriage, while others aren’t. We have dialed the culture to be extremely unfavorable towards marriage. If we dialed it back more women would be good candidates for marriage.]

    Yeah, in line with my thinking to. Well put.

  47. Anonymous Reader says:

    Well, here we go again, with the “women are naturally monogamous” fairy tale. I suppose it is true, if serial monogamy aka rotating polyandry is included in the definition of “monogamy”.

    If the !Kung women could get food and other resources for themselves and any children without having to put up with any one, particular, man, I bet they would engage in serial monogamy / rotating polyandry, too. If they were constantly told how bad and foolish men are, and how if they are not happy it is All His Fault, I wager that would spur them on to serial monogamy / rotating polyandry as well.

    I’ve never been impressed by the Noble Savage myth.

  48. Anonymous says:

    NAWALT? AWALT.

  49. Robert says:

    Anonymous Reader feminists don’t believe in monogamy. They believe in open relationships, infidelity, adultery, frivilous for no-reason divorce, polygamy, abortion, hedonism, promiscuity and sexual liberation. You seem to not understand that liberals restrict everything EXCEPT sexual and moral matters where all of the sudden they go barking libertarian. Plus you seem to not get it that if feminists are “off” to a couple of men it’s because they are not the “desirable sexy male alphas” whereas to an asexual or chaste chick both betas and alphas provide little sexual attraction. You keeping talking about “Victorian morality” but it makes no sense because I hardly hear about Victorianism on conservatives blogs. Reminds me of liberals going crazy over the “1950’s!” when few conservatives in the blogsphere dwell on the time-era unless they are baby-boomer American or something. I’ve never seen conservative bloggers write women as perfect. To them only God can be perfect. I mean who writes about women being perfect little angels? Just today my mother whom married my father as a virgin and is pretty religious told me about all of the sluts (back in the 1970’s) whom had sex partners in triple digits but settled for good men whom bought into the lies they espoused and told me how all of these whores and gold-diggers put up an act to lure good unsuspecting men into their webs. She told me to be careful about women these days and to stay away from all of the “alphas” (desirable dudes) they chase too. She also told me about all of the fake and heretical Christians in the Church. That doesn’t sound like “women as perfect” to me. Nevertheless I think that some women can be monogamous like my mother.

  50. krakonos says:

    @khwarezmid
    “The majority of !Kung marriages are monogamous. Lee (1984) reports the results of a study that was conducted in 1968: in a sample of 131 married men, 122 (93%) were living monogamously, 7 (5%) were living polygamously (6 with 2 wives and 1 with 3), and 2 men (2 %) were living in a polyandrous union:sharing one woman (Lee 1984:79).”
    Those (relative) numbers, except polyandry, remind me of a typical muslim society (excluding Sub-Saharan Western Africa). And a potential husband has to be able to gather resources to prove he will be able to feed a wife and offspring.

  51. Lavazza says:

    SR: “This is in line with my own thinking. Via some combination of nature & nurture some women are good candidates for marriage, while others aren’t. We have dialed the culture to be extremely unfavorable towards marriage. If we dialed it back more women would be good candidates for marriage.”

    If the soil is bad enough and you are not allowed to prepare and tend it, no amount of expertise in picking the right seed is enough to assure success.

  52. khwarezmid says:

    @krakanos
    Right, it is similar. I don’t think muslim societies, outside the more theocratic ones, have as many problems with gender relations as many people seem to think. The vast unmarried masses in the muslim world today are not the result of polygamy, but the result of explosive population growth. Birth rates are so high there that young men of unmarriageable age make up almost the majority of the male population. In the context of more sustainable population growth, I do not think this would be a problem. My goal in providing those statistics was to demonstrate that the oft-repeated maxim that hunter-gatherer societies were heavily polygamous was unfounded. I am not claiming that women are “naturally monogamous”; I am simply claiming that most women in pre-agricultural societies are in monogamous relationships, and thus it would be foolish to believe that these kind of relationships are inherently unnatural, or against the programming of evolution.

  53. PT Barnum says:

    4 years might be around the time it takes the man to become “comfortable” in marriage, be beta-ized, and then BOOM!

    Many modern American women have been taught that only alpha exist, and will often have difficulty understanding that a beta should ever be listened to, over anything. Meanwhile, they will listen in awe to any “alpha” babbling anything.

    Once such a woman “decides” her husband is beta, countdown to detonation has begun.

  54. Dalrock says:

    @Anonymous Reader

    Looking at women as they are, rather than as fairy tales tell us they are, makes a big difference in a lot of ways.

    I would say the problem is the fairy tales have been corrupted. The Brothers Grimm tales have a much more healthy view of women than the bastardizations from Disney, etc.

  55. slwerner says:

    Khwarezmid – ” For instance, I often see people stating quite confidently that in hunter-gatherer societies, the vast majority of men did not reproduce, and that one “alpha male” would monopolize access to women.”

    I think you misstate this. The idea that a few alpha males dominated access to a number of women is only one part of the reasoning. The other part you missed is that due to harsh conditions and more frequent warfare, many men simply did not live long enough to produce enough children to ensure that some would survive to also reproduce. It’s not that 60% of men NEVER reproduced, but rather that, even though a majority of that 60% may have father at least one child (during their short lifetimes), they did not produce enough children (or, alternatively, children of sufficient robustness) to ensure that their genetic line would be extended into modern times (when DNA studies start to reveal the long-term reproductive success/failure ratios).

    The Dobe !Kung are not a particularly good example (from a historical standpoint) in that their relative isolation from other peoples has mean that the male-depopulating effects of warfare have not been so great a factor for them as would have been the case for many other people groups through history.

    It’s quite possible that the emergence of genetic hardwiring for a shorter-term female attachment (that 4-year thing) has arisen due to the frequency in which young mothers found themselves widowed. The woman who pined away for her lost lover/husband was less able to secure on-going provision (via another man) for herself or children (or future children) than was the woman who could over-come her grief relatively quickly, and form a new attachment to another man.

    ” In actuality, it is near impossible to find descriptions of large scale polygamy outside the context of agricultural society.”

    Saudi Arabia (and Arabic Culture) never popped up for consideration here? Most of the continuing polygamy therein is now “oil-based”. It’s more a matter of ability to provide for many wives, combined with the ability to restrict “poaching” (as in, having the financial ability to hire guards for the Harem). In those Mormon Sects that still practice it, they routinely kick out most of the boys when they reach their early teenage years, and the “alpha males” are often found to be relying as much on state welfare as on their own ability to provide.

    It’s not that your points aren’t valid, especially when it comes to more primitive hunter-gathers like the !Kung, but I just cannot understand what larger point you are trying to make here?

  56. imnobody says:

    khwarezmid and A Lady nailed it.

    I was about to point out that pop evolutionary psychology is often the modern version of myth-making: creating stories that FIT and EXPLAIN modern facts but without providing proof or that.

    Each fact can have lots of explanations. For example, Fact 1: Women are more interested in partners with higher status than men.

    Explanation 1 (Ev. Psych): In hunter-gatherer societies, women cannot hunt so they are dependent. They need a man to provide for them.
    Explanation 2 (Feminism): Since women earn less than men, they have to be careful who they marry. Best salaries for women will entail that they are not so obsessed about status.
    Explanation 3 (Biblical literalism): When Adam and Eve were expelled from paradise, the Lord ordered Eve to have children and Adam to work”.
    Explanation 3 (Ev. Psych 2): Men with more testosterone have higher status.

    Even facts are discussed,

    Fact+Explanation A: Women are monogamous because they need a man who is present to raise their children. Slutting is a good reproductive strategy.
    Fact+Explanation B: Women are not monogamous because having the genes of different partners increase the chances of survival of their offspring. Slutting is a good reproductive strategy.

    We can talk and talk about explanations and rationalization, but we won’t be in the area of science until there is some proof. You can make up explanations of things until you are blue in the face but this does not proof anything.

  57. J says:

    4 years might be around the time it takes the man to become “comfortable” in marriage, be beta-ized, and then BOOM!

    Four years is about the maximum time a human brain, male or female, can produce large amounts of dopamine. After that, infatuaton dies and the attachment phase of love either begins or not. The institution of life-long marriage artificially forces (or at least used to force) those who did not develop attachment to stay together. It was probably still a crap shoot though. Half of the world’s long-term married couples have probably always been happily attached. The rest just waited for death to part them–and odds were good it would sooner rather than later until average lifespans increased in modern times.

    I think it’s important to realize the brain reseach applies equally to both sexes and that, in hunter-gathrers societies, you don’t have the modern phenomenon of women initiating divorce. I think that one (or even both) of the partners in an h-g society just takes his or her share of whatever meager property there is and walks away from the another. There’s no trumping up grounds, building up rationalizations, going to court or dragging out the drama over months/years. Oned day, it’s over and people quickly move on.

  58. J says:

    Dalrock, have you ever read Bruno Bettleheim’s The Uses of Enchantment? I think you’d like it.

    From Wikipedia:

    In this book he analyzed fairy tales in terms of Freudian psychology. The book won the U.S. Critic's Choice Prize for criticism in 1976 and the National Book Award in the category of Contemporary Thought in 1977. Bettelheim discussed the emotional and symbolic importance of fairy tales for children, including traditional tales at one time considered too dark, such as those collected and published by the Brothers Grimm. Bettelheim suggested that traditional fairy tales, with the darkness of abandonment, death, witches, and injuries, allowed children to grapple with their fears in remote, symbolic terms. If they could read and interpret these fairy tales in their own way, he believed, they would get a greater sense of meaning and purpose. Bettelheim thought that by engaging with these socially-evolved stories, children would go through emotional growth that would better prepare them for their own futures.

    [D: Interesting. The last sentence especially makes sense to me. It gets back to the larger theme of cruelty and kindness. In trying to be overly kind we often inadvertently end up being cruel.]

  59. jack says:

    Dalrock:

    I would argue that it is true that not all women are like that. But think of it in other terms. Most people are not thieves. Most houses are not in foreclosure. Essentially, you only need a notable percentage of people or events to be problems before the problem is systemic. The problem need not be anywhere near a majority for it to be a real problem.

    If MOST women were like that, we would already be living in grass huts and killing wild animals for dinner. Just like if most men fit the feminist narrative, we would be equally damaged as a society.

    On to the point of which women ARE like that:

    On youtube, there are some illuminating videos of the Beatles 1965 Shea Stadium concert. As the cameras pan the crowd, I noticed that most of the young women fell into roughly three groups, 1) the watchers, 2) the dancers/clappers, and 3) the screamers/criers.

    The watchers were there to see a musical performance. The dancers/clappers were there to hop up and down and have a good time, apparently unaware that they were in the presence of the alpha males of the decade.

    The criers and screamers – well, they were there to worship. If you saw pictures of those women without the context of the musical performance, you would think that they were at the funeral of their firstborn. The concert for them is not about entertainment or enjoyment – it is a strange form of self-torture, where they subject themselves to a live viewing of an unattainable object of desire.

    Moral of the story:
    One must learn to identify and avoid the crier/screamers. AT ALL COSTS. They have a heart that is unwinnable by an average male. They live for the chemical thrill of lusting after high status men.

    The emotional/sexual pathology of these women could be described as “excessive sexual ambition”. Most overly ambitious young women will not experience this sort of dating/mating triumph. Just like most young guys will not grow up to be a rock star. And the crying at concerts and staring at boy-band posters is nothing more than wallowing in their own butthurt pain. I guess women are so viscerally oriented that even self-inflicted humiliation is preferable to the grinding ennui of dating that nice boy down the street.

    This is why social standards and shaming are so useful to preserve society. And why shaming and standards are used to keep BOTH MEN AND WOMEN in line. In past times, women would not be given a pass for indulging such tawdry displays of girl-boners (which is all that it really is).

    People are happiest when there are limitations on them. And instead of indulging the callow fantasies of women, we should – as a society – be gently guiding the criers/screamers back into the world of comfortable (if somewhat boring) reality.

    This also applies to putting shaming constraints on the high status guys who take advantage of the current paradigm. But only women can do that. And so far, they would rather validate these men sexually, while only giving scant lip-service to criticizing them.

  60. imnobody says:

    I use a different comment (please read my previous comment to understand this one).

    However, there are things that don’t fit with these monogamous scenario that khwarezmid and A Lady have depicted.

    – DNA studies have proved that every human being has twice as many foremothers as forefathers. This implies the number of women that reproduced is the double of men that reproduced.

    – The preference of women for high-status men and the preference of men for sexual variety remain to be explained. (Maybe cuckoldry was prevalent in these monogamous societies)

    – As far as I know, we are not sure that today’s hunter-gatherers are similar to our ancestors. Hunter-gatherers societies could have evolved for hundreds of thousands of years. Kung people could be as modern as the NY urbanite (but in a different way).

    – As far as I know, we don’t know for sure if humans evolved significantly after the invention of agriculture. When I was young, Desmond Morris said that ten thousands years are a very short period for an organism to evolve. But today the Red Queen Hypothesis says that organisms are evolving constantly and evolution is much quicker than we thought.

    Certainly, some things don’t match. This is good because it is a common stage in science. All of the scientific theories you know were created to explain things that do not match.

    We have not come up with the right theory yet. Evolutionary psychology is in its infancy but there is something very deep and insightful in it. But even if it were an exact science like maths, it would only explain the biology. And we have to take into account the culture too. For example:

    [We have dialed the culture to be extremely unfavorable towards marriage. If we dialed it back more women would be good candidates for marriage.]

    Ditto.

  61. imnobody says:

    I have forgot that, between the facts that don’t fit with the monogamous explanation, there is an important one:

    Infatuation ends after several years. Brain chemistry proves that.

    This also remains to be explained (with proof).

  62. imnobody says:

    I am I forgot to quote this book about a Red Queen Hypothesis explanation of human evolution

    http://the10000yearexplosion.com/population-models/

  63. J says:

    A sincere query:

    The OP and many of the responses seem to be analyzing Helen Fisher’s research on the four year cyle and other researh on dopamine/oxytoxin/vasopressin production in predominantly terms of female behavior. I am under the impression that both threads of research are equally applicable to both sexes and to couples’ behavior as opposed to individual behavior. Even Athol Kay talks about men moving (or not) from dopamine to vasopressin. Can anyone supply a link that says otherwise?

    A puzzle:

    If relationships break up primarily because women lose attraction t6o a partner after four years, why are lesbian relationships more stable in duration than heterosexual relationships? Shouldn’t two women be more fickle than one. Why are gay male relationships the least stable?

  64. Dalrock says:

    @J

    Half of the world’s long-term married couples have probably always been happily attached. The rest just waited for death to part them–and odds were good it would sooner rather than later until average lifespans increased in modern times.

    I don’t know about arranged marriages, but I have read that they were often able to generate romantic love/attraction/bonding because the women didn’t have the same sexualization/exposure as we have today. Leaving arranged marriages aside, the study in the recent post I did on divorce not making people happier would seem to negate your premise. Being forced to stay together appears to actually create happy marriages.

  65. jack says:

    Brendan-

    Are you the Novaseeker Brendan? If so, I am glad to see that you’re still posting somewhere; I’ve always enjoyed your insights.

    In fact, I think my own writing could be described as “Think of Novaseeker, but then take away reason and accountability”.

  66. slwerner says:

    J – “why are lesbian relationships more stable in duration than heterosexual relationships?”

    Where you come up with this idea? Any references you can point out?

    As I understand it, and have personally observed, lesbian relationships are often the most violent (know higher incidence of DV), and don’t seem to be particularly stable nor long-lasting.

    Perhaps if one looks only at the lesbian relationships which form between older women (a significant portion of such relationships, to be sure) it might be that they do have more stable relationships. But, I doubt that it holds true from younger ones.

  67. Dalrock says:

    @Anonymous Reader

    Dalrock, I think that in addition to the “shutting down debate” aspects of NAWALT, there often is an air of “Well, NAWALT, so you just messed up and found the wrong woman, stinks to be you” to these declarations. It’s like being in a rented boat on a lake that is leaking, and rowing for shore like crazy while other boaters laugh, and point, and say “NABALT, you just got a leaky one”.

    Good point. I share your distaste for those who would take this approach. This isn’t like someone who neglected to insure is car, etc. Society is willfully misinforming men of the real risks involved, not to mention creating many of those very risks in the first place.

    Well, here we go again, with the “women are naturally monogamous” fairy tale. I suppose it is true, if serial monogamy aka rotating polyandry is included in the definition of “monogamy”.

    I don’t think anyone is making that argument here. I see two schools of thought. One school seems to be arguing that monogamy is wholly unnatural for humans and therefore we can’t blame women who don’t keep their vows. This is what I understand the author of the book Devlin was discussing was asserting and J seems to be making this argument at least in part. The other argument I see being made to varying degrees is that monogamy isn’t unnatural for humans but that it needs an appropriate social and legal framework to function; no one (here) appears to be arguing that the myth that women are naturally monogomous is true. As I have said I am in the second camp. If I was convinced to move to the first camp I don’t see how I could continue to believe in marriage as a workable social institution, although if I’m reading J’s comments (in total) she does appear to still believe in it.

  68. imnobody says:

    “Why are gay male relationships the least stable?”

    Men love sexual variety more than women. This is why gay male relationship are the most unstable, followed by straight ones, followed by lesbian ones.

    As Jack, I am also glad to see Brendan/Novaseeker again. His insights are priceless.

  69. J says:

    D–I gotta run, but I wanted to comment on arranged marriages. When I was a kid I actually knew a lot older women who had arranged marriages back in the old country before they arrived in the US. Those who grew to love their husbands seemed to have skipped the dopamine phase and moved on quickly to attachment, usually because they respected their husbands as men of good character. When the husband was not a good man, they were miserable wives and happy widows. I’m not sure being forced to stay builds love, but I do agree that most marital problems will improve with time. I agree a common problem with marriage today is that people don’t realize that romance waxes and wanes due to various pressures on a marriage and that, if there was a strong base of attachment and compatibility to begin with, love will come around again. That’s why people in a good marriage can go away for a weekend and “honeymoon” after years together.

    The key though seems to be character and not sexual attraction (not that I eschew sexual attraction). It argues really for Haley’s point a while back. She seemed to be saying that a woman can learn to love a good guy (settle for beta) because long term love is attachment based. (I understand your point as well; no one wants to be trapped in a loveless marriage.)

  70. J says:

    One school seems to be arguing that monogamy is wholly unnatural for humans and therefore we can’t blame women who don’t keep their vows. This is what I understand the author of the book Devlin was discussing was asserting and J seems to be making this argument at least in part. …I could continue to believe in marriage as a workable social institution, although if I’m reading J’s comments (in total) she does appear to still believe in it.

    I think monogamy comes naturally for sme of us and hard for others. There are no doubt social factors that come into play as well as just the dumb luck sometimes of finding the right person. But I do think that on an evolutionary scale it plays for humans to carry genes for both monogamy and promiscuity so as to be prepared in a variety of environments. Evolution works to the advantage of populations, not individuals. Nature doesn’t care if you are happily married. It cares that enough offspring survive to continue the species. Sometimes that means the K-selected kids of monogamous couples have the advantage. Other times, nature favors R-selection–quantity over quality–so the offspring of sluts and alphas thrive.

    Unlike Mother Nature, I personally believe in monogamy.

  71. J says:

    slwerner–

    I have no time to look for stats right now, but my personal obvervation is that lesbian relationships are more stable in duration as I said. I do agree that lesbians are more liable to be emotionally excessive in general and have personally known of cases where the more mannish one in a couple was more abuisive than most men.

  72. krakonos says:

    – DNA studies have proved that every human being has twice as many foremothers as forefathers. This implies the number of women that reproduced is the double of men that reproduced.
    The problem with such studies is that you do not konw the method they used. How long period they are measuring (if you measure for 1M years, I bet you get very different result than for 100k years).
    I vaguely remember that some scientist claimed about 40% to 80% ratio, it was a “static” measurement – it means that it could be a gradational process with smaller actual ratio but running each generation or some kind of a sudden short term bottleneck.
    I am writing it just to illustrate that we throw here some numbers we have little (and sometimes twisted) knowledge about. Well, to be honest, this is valid for both paragraphs I wrote above🙂

  73. imnobody says:

    Agreed, krakonos. The fact that this field is rather young and lots of areas have not been thought through. There are lots of studies (which we often only know the slogans) and some half-baked theories. It is too early to draw conclusions for the

    I envy J. I also believe in monogamy but I find it really difficult to do it🙂. I envy monogamous people: their life is better, more simple and more ethical (and without so much drama and pain)

  74. J says:

    [D: Interesting. The last sentence especially makes sense to me. It gets back to the larger theme of cruelty and kindness. In trying to be overly kind we often inadvertently end up being cruel.]

    That’s for sure! Especially with kids. You don’t help them by trying to shelter them IMHO. Struggle breeds competence and competence breeds confidence and a sense of security and well-being. They have to be prepared to live without you or they can’t grow up.

  75. Stephenie Rowling says:

    @jack
    I really like this analogy of The Beatles and the 3 different types of fans.
    It reminds me a bit to the debate about emotional porn. As an avid Romance reader/writer and how shares this passion with many girlfriends. This hobbies has never been a problem for their romantic relationships, in fact after reading your favorite couple having to go through hell and back in order to be together dealing you are thankful that your only problems is to have your husband to take out the trash. But it seems that probably some cultures breed the crazy more than others. Latin American women that are usually regarded as better than USA women has a proud tradition of Telenovelas filled with this emotional porn that you start watching since you are very young. I would go in a limb and say that maybe the culture is more at fault at how emotional porn affects women than the Romance Genre itself? I mean were this crazy beatlefans raised in an environment that make them act this way? And Angloworld is manufacturing the same conditions at greater scale? Interesting things to ponder for sure.

  76. Dex says:

    @J – I don’t think it really matters which came first at the point a woman is considering divorce. It’s all part of the vicious downward spiral.

    Related: In regards to your comment about lesbian relationships, sociologist Pepper Schwartz found that about 40% of lesbian couples have sexual relations once a month or less and coined the term “lesbian bed death”. This is generally attributed to too much intimacy in too short a time. I don’t have anything on gay or lesbian relationship stability, but what I have seen is plenty of arguments from team gay marriage that marriage would help these relationships last as long as hetero ones.

    Also, unrelated to gay stuff, I found this article over at Alpha Status blog. Lot of talk about men’s evolving role in culture: http://www.psy.fsu.edu/~baumeistertice/goodaboutmen.htm

  77. imnobody says:

    40% of lesbian couples have sexual relations once a month or less and coined the term “lesbian bed death”.

    That’s because they are composed by women! This is about the frequency straight wives want to have sex. They do it more often because they want to please their husbands. LOL

  78. uncleFred says:

    @J
    “If relationships break up primarily because women lose attraction t6o a partner after four years, why are lesbian relationships more stable in duration than heterosexual relationships? Shouldn’t two women be more fickle than one. Why are gay male relationships the least stable?”

    On balance they well may not be, but I can offer some observations made by a lesbian friend who ended what she and her partner thought was a permanent relationship of 15 years. They mutually owned a house and a vacation property. One was more controlling, my friend was the more “compliant” partner. Eventually she found her partner to be overly controlling and after a long period of trying to sort out their issues decided to leave the relationship. Her partner adopted a bitter attitude and made the division of property as hostile as possible.

    At one point my friend told me that she had been very unhappy for a number of years. I asked her why she had not decided to leave earlier. Here is a summary of her answer.

    She and her partner lived in a mutually supportive lesbian community. I don’t mean that they lived in a commune, rather that they knew many other lesbian couples in the area. They socialized far more with members of the community than outside it. The community placed heavy social pressure on couples to stay that way. Poaching was strongly discouraged. When one mentioned that their relationship was having problems, members would rush in to offer support, not to end the relationship, rather to look for ways to compromise. Unlike when a woman complains to her friend about her husband and they commiserate about how lousy men are, the friend would defend the other woman. One reason that I heard all about her break up was that she felt utterly unsupported by other friends that she had known for many years, and turn to me for objective advice. At the conclusion of her separation, she was ostracized from the entire group.

    I can’t speak to other lesbian couples, but if this is common and lesbian couple are more stable it may well be simply because there is heavy social pressure to stay together. Exactly the opposite of heterosexual marriages today.

  79. J says:

    @imnobody

    I envy J. I also believe in monogamy but I find it really difficult to do it . I envy monogamous people: their life is better, more simple and more ethical (and without so much drama and pain)

    Don’t envy me. I think it’s hard too. Not to be sexually faithful, but to have to deal with the flaws of another person, to have to constantly negotiate to get what you need from the relationship and to deal with the disappointment of realizing that your partner may simply not have to offer what you need all the time. I’m sure that is equally hard for my husband. Eventually, you just learn to be happy for what you do have together and to be more accepting of the other person’s flaws, but it IS hard.

  80. J says:

    @Dex, Fred and imnobody

    I really can’t speak personally to lesbian relationships. I’ve read about lesbian death death. Some researchers believe in it; others say it’s a myth. I have no idea.

    Dex: I’m a little confused by this: “I don’t think it really matters which came first at the point a woman is considering divorce. It’s all part of the vicious downward spiral.” Which whatcame first? I’ve lost track of which post of mine you are responding too.

    @imnobody–It could well be that lesbians have lower sex drives, but I wouldn’t say that married women have sex solely to please their husbands. While I personally will do that even if I’m not in the mood, that occurs far less frequently than our both being interested. Other’s mileage may vary.

    Fred, that’s a heck of a story. Certainly community pressure, especially in the sense of lesbians seeing themselves as a minority that needs to stick together, can help to maintain relationships. I think there may be other factors at work as well. You know the joke–What does a lesbian bring on a secind date? A U-Haul van. They seem to want to bond in a way to another woman in a way that most men don’t. Emotions really seem to run higher with them, and they throw caution to the wind in a way that straight women don’t do with men.

  81. Dex says:

    J- I was responding to:
    @Dex

    I wonder then what is casue and what is effect. Is lack of sex in the marriage what’s causing the marriage to be unhappy or is it the consequence of the marriage being unhappy? I can see it happening both ways.

    It’s way up there. I shoulda quoted it in response.

  82. Buck says:

    I’ve always considered this push for gay marriage as just a get-rich-quick scheme by divorce lawyers and that nasty divorce/counseling industry. Gay’s change partners like most people change underwear. By making this look like a civil rights issue, many gays will “make a statement” and marry, only to find themselves really having anal sex for the first time in the divorce courts. I admit, there is a part of me that snickers a bit at this prospect, but conversely, I hate to see lawyers and their bedfellows…liberal politicians… using people as pawns while cloaking it as patriotism/civil rights/empowerment.

  83. Stephenie Rowling says:

    @Buck
    Well the only men feminist care about are the gays, so maybe after a few of them getting raped in court some of them will find out how awful and unfair the system is and legislate to change it. so maybe is a good thing for it to happen,YMMV.

  84. push for gay marriage as just a get-rich-quick scheme

    I get the weird suspicion that some singles may use it to extend their healthcare and other fringe benefits to close friends, especially single moms.

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  87. betaman86 says:

    “Biochemical research points to a natural four-year sexual cycle for the human female.”

    Source?

  88. JKL says:

    We fiddled while the state marriage contract burned. Good riddence to that evil. The elite thought they could change the contract so that those most easily controlled by the state would be given headship and men wouldn’t react but just accept emasculation, their place as serfs and living ATMs. It’s not working out as wished and personally, a flying fuck, not being given.

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