Wissa wrote:Postmenopausal women as most attractive? I have a hard time believing this.
Yup, it was because at that point women were no longer fertile, and thus were more "sexually free" to have lots of no-consequence sex. Also, if they weren't married, they often had assets of their own from husbands who had passed on.
Wissa wrote:Yes, it varies from culture to culture, but there are some things that have been found to be universal, such as the hip ratio, symmetry, and youth.
The waist to hip ratio is definitely a thing. Youth... Not so much. Not so say it's not common, but it varies from culture to culture, and thus can't really be claimed to be universal.
Wissa wrote:Yes, a lot of guesses are being made, but the scientific community is more than just making guesses. Unfortunately, a lot of feminist criticism mirrors creationists' criticism concerning evolutionary theory and how it relates to humans, it being "just a theory, not a fact." Well, yes, there are a lot of guesses and assumptions and hypotheses, but there is a lot of studies and evidence out there as well, and a lot of them are widely accepted by the folks who are in the field. Also, the culture vs biology is a false dichotomy in a lot of cases. Culture did not arise out of a vacuum, you need to ask yourself how our culture is the way it is in the first place.
Alrighty there, a theory is different than a guess because it actually has evidence behind it. I'm not attacking science-- I'm a scientist. Criticizing "guesses" that aren't as well supported as actual theories is part of what keeps the scientific community strong, and honest. Much of the stuff you're claiming? Not actually widely accepted. Some of it, but some of it is just popular opinion mixed in.
In addition, the culture argument is not that certain things *aren't* based in part on biological reality, but rather the degree to which it is biology is overemphasized. In other words, yes, it is biological, but it's our culture that treats those biological differences as if they are more important/more widespread/more powerful than they are. It's not a rejection of science, it's cautioning folks not to let their own personal paradigms influence what should be objective, clean, and testable research.
For example, "feminine hysteria," "wandering uterus syndrome," the fallacy that women have much smaller brains than men... Or for a non-gender related issue take a simple experiment about the temperature of water as it freezes. Many people don't know, but water actually gets hotter right before it freezes-- when our chemistry teacher wanted to show us how our beliefs affected our results, he had our entire class measure water temperature as it froze. Every single group in class, with the exception of me and my partner, had omitted the higher temperature reading. Because it didn't fit into what they knew-- that things freeze when they are cold.
It is that kind of simplistic thinking that we have to try to avoid when doing experiments, and when making arguments about evolution and gender. For instance, on average, human women are larger than men. However, much of that extra mass is fat. Most men and most women fit the same height ranges-- however, there are more very tall men and very short women who skew the average. Also, men and women sexually select so that the male of a pair is taller than the female and vise versa, giving the false appearance that men are taller than women in general. Really, there's a lot of overlap.
And when people get into "physical superiority" of men, they seem to only take into account feats of strength. Women live longer, on average, and are more likely to survive many dangerous situations, such as freezing or starving to death, because their bodies are, on average, more survivable and sturdy. There is a lot of other research that has been done on how womens' bones and muscles are structured differently than men, for different things, but many people just like to ignore these biological realities because it doesn't fit into their world view, where men are just physically better than women.
Wissa wrote:It's not brainwashing by the media. There is a perfectly sound evolutionary explanation about why men needed to display strength and aggression. Male hierarchies and competition were around loooong before culture ever appeared on the scene.
One could argue that culture has existed since the dawn of mankind. Even cavemen had cultures. Not sure what you think culture is?
Wissa wrote:The fact is that women, by and large, are not attracted to men who they perceive as being weaker or of lesser status than they are.
Actually, women show differing levels of attraction to different "types" of men at different times in their fertility cycles. When a woman is ovulating, she is more likely to be attracted to more "alpha" aggressive men, and when she is not ovulating she is more likely to be attracted to "weaker, or lesser status" men. Unlike your statement, I have actual research to go with mine.
http://newsroom.ucla.edu/portal/ucla/wh ... rss=249813
Wissa wrote:If women suddenly started desiring guys with no sexual experience and less money and status, the patriarchy would die in an instant.
I mean, I’m sure it would help if men and women stopped desiring different things in mates, but there is a lot more to it than that. I’m also not sure that desiring different things is bad in and of itself. *Telling people* that certain people are more “worthy” of love than others (ie. Virgin women) is harmful. Natural inclinations are natural inclinations. But it’s nearly impossible to (ethically) separate culture from biology to test how far one or the other goes, so it really boils down to personal opinions on this one until better research comes out.
(For example, there’s a lot of historical precedence that shows things were different in the past, but not a more scientifically framed meta-analysis pulling it all together. I’d love to see one!)
The rest of your text was pretty long, so I'll just sum up and address your points.
1. Women are the choosers when it comes to reproductive rights. Men, thus, must compete against one another to pass on their genes.
Although, more often in the media you see guys hitting on girls rather than the other way around. Because men must be the "aggressors" in relationships. If biology favors the other way around, I would think this adds to my point rather than yours.
2. Women want strong men because they are vulnerable during pregnancy.
The above study I linked proposed that women want more "dominant" men during ovulation because then their kids get the better genes, but wanted less dominant men all other times because those men provided better for her and her kid. (The idea is the second type of men was more sensitive to their needs, and less likely to flake out and leave her to spread his seed. Think of it as "one night stand guy" versus "marriage material guy.")
3. Women choose a mate based on resources he can provide her and her child. This is why men with abundant resources have traditionally had multiple wives.
Aaand in some cultures, where land was given out to sons, two brothers shared a wife so that the land didn't get split up further. (A big problem in early America when unclaimed land became scarce-- all sons got a part of the land until pieces were too small to subsist off of.) More examples of how culture affects mating practice? I believe so.
Gotta address this one directly:
Wissa wrote:So in this case, culture does have a role in this dynamic, but not one that is divorced from the biological needs behind it.
Literally no one in this thread ever said that it was *completely* divorced from biology. Only that the biological does not hold as much sway as many would claim, and thus should not be used as an excuse to continue harmful practices. "Women are weaker than men, therefore we shouldn't allow them into the military," for example. Continuing on:
4. Men want fidelity because historically it was the only way they could ensure they were reproducing.
5. Subconsciously, the idea that a man may be caring for another man's kid (may) cause more disgust with her if she has been sexually active with other people.
There had also been a lot of talk about the "abusive stepfather" stereotype and how men would kill off or abuse kids from previous relationships. However... A study at least five years back showed that to not be the case. In fact, guys were more likely to get in good with her other kids because it got him in good with the mother. Currently, and in a historical context.
Plus, there's the idea of altruism being an evolutionary benefit, especially in small communities where more folks share your same genes. (Some Native American tribes, for example, allowed divorce/polyamory and raised children communally. When westerners asked how they could raise a kid that could have been from another man they replied “all of the tribes children are our own.”)
6. Most women who have ever lived have reproduced while most men have not.
I think you just made that up?
Another quote I gotta address:
Wissa wrote:The truth is that it is easy for women to get sex whenever they want, but if a man fails to get sex, he is a loser, as seen by both men and women in this society. All these factors drive the need for men to succeed and dominate, sexually, financially, whatever.
That's true *now* (or at least, it's a generalized trend in the same way slut shaming women is a trend) in some cultures, but is not a universal fact that spans human history, and cross culturally.
Wissa wrote: A lot of feminist act like the patriarchy exists only because of men, like men put themselves at the top and subjected women who were weaker. This really isn't the whole story. Both men and women created the patriarchy. Men are acting upon the desire to win over women, and women want men to be strong. Women are competitive, too, and we each want a good catch, and for millions of years (billions I guess), that meant a guy who could beat other men and rise to the top.
So, I'm guessing this is the reason you were being pretty uncivil earlier in your post and insinuating I was uneducated and anti-science.
"The patriarchy" is not the fault of one person, or one group of people. It's a thing because we perpetuate it across groups. And you really have feminism pegged wrong, because it is widely accepted that "the patriarchy" hurts men as well as women. Sure, men benefit from it, because they can more easily get respect, high paying jobs, and other things, but they are also hurt by it because they are not allowed to have emotions, or act outside of their gender roles for fear of rejection. (Men who don't have sex are losers, remember?)
Sure, some feminists think men are evil and are trying to keep women under their boot heel or whatever. Because some feminists are assholes. Just like some people of any group are assholes. I certainly don't judge all men based on my father-in-law who told me to my face that he wished women were not allowed to vote or work outside the home. So don't just equate me with a bunch of assholes who also happen to identify as feminist. Seriously. Conversation was pretty civil until that last post.