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Is Sex Primitive?


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#1 NavajoEverclear

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Posted 17 September 2004 - 05:11 AM

Well i got the puzzlement that drove me to start this thread from something YT said in a thread also concerning sex. While that thread was concerning the more questionable subject of carnal and lustfulness---- and yes i do think there is a scientific difference, my question is about sex in general of all types. Again there ARE different types because different emotions will be tied to different experiences. Physically of coarse, the same things happen, but i want to talk more about the brain.

Anyway, YT said primitive urges come from the basal ganglia, implying that sex is a primitive urge, but is it really? We will always have it, the only other option really is cloning, which reduces diversity to nothing except occasional mutations. That wont work. So if we will always be needing sex through evolution, then can you really consider it a primitive drive?

Also, how do you think sexual behavior will evolve in the future. In the long run. Obviously right now its being practiced like crazy and spreading STDs all over the place, but i don't think this will survive. It seems to go along with the theory of evolution that as we progress, our sexual behavior will become cleaner and less carnal. Spiritually, emotionally, mentally (yes i know all of those are centered in the brain, but they sorta are different factors), connectiveness make us more careful in the execution of sex? Will it also increase the enjoyability of sex? Where is the balance where optimum pleasure is enough to cause addiction, that then screws the balance and has negative effects by overuse? Is there a way sex could be enjoyable without being addicting?

Just in case you are wondering, i'm not saying sex is a bad thing, i'm just pointing out the obvious that lots of our social problems come from people who cant control their sex drive. Then asking how you think evolution will eventually find us a way out of this problem.
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#2 Glider

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Posted 17 September 2004 - 07:16 AM

Specifically, it is the hypothalamus that is responsible for the basic survival drives, known as the three F's (Feeding, Fighting and Reproduction).

The drives produced by the hypothalamus are very basic, very powerful and necessary for the survival of the individual and the species. It is unlikely that evolution will 'phase out' the hypothalamus, or the products of its function. With a bit of luck, the species may mature enough to be able to control these drives more effectively though.
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#3 YT2095

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Posted 17 September 2004 - 10:08 AM

the reason I suggest the basal ganglia was that Insects are "doing the wild thing" all the time, and I`m fairly sure they have no Hypothalamus.

the Limbic system is also partly responsible for our feeling, making us beleive it`s more than just something primative. Love etc...
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#4 john5746

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Posted 17 September 2004 - 10:40 AM

Sex is as primitive as eating and drinking. I would think all areas of the brain are involved. This is vital to survival. Just as we can control the quality and quantity of eating and drinking, we can control the sex drive. We all do it everyday. (Control, not sex ha ha)
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#5 MandrakeRoot

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Posted 17 September 2004 - 12:01 PM

I think sex was always practices like crazy, why do you think we are 6 miljard now :)
I think most healthy people can pretty much control their sex drive. The sex drive doesnt seem to be at the same level as eating or drinking i would say ?
Why would the sexual pattern evolve over time when it seems to work for what it is for : reproduce ?

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#6 Glider

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Posted 18 September 2004 - 06:42 AM

the reason I suggest the basal ganglia was that Insects are "doing the wild thing" all the time, and I`m fairly sure they have no Hypothalamus.

True, but we're not insects, nor did we evolve from them. So you must expect some differences.



As for 'controlling the sex drive', the drive to have sex we can largely control (although not as completely as perhaps people think we can). The drive to reproduce is less easy to control. There are over 6bn humans on the planet. The population growth is exponential. this species is at no risk of extinction through dwindling population growth, and all logic suggests that to put the brakes on overall population growth would not be a bad idea about now.

Nonetheless, look at the priority given to reproduction by humans. Even those barely able to feed themselves will reproduce. Consider the advances in IVF and fertility treatments; the money and resources used on fertility research. There are still no cures for HIV, hep C, cancers, etc., yet the amount of money thrown at fertility research and treatment is HUGE.

Consider also what people are prepared to undergo in order to reproduce. Fertility treatment is quite horrible, and has nasty effects on the person undergoing it. It is neither life-saving, nor curative, yet those who can afford it will willingy tolerate it, often on repeated occasions (it's success rate is still quite poor). There is also a black market in babies. Those with the financial resources and who are not eligable for fertility treatments are turning to buying babies from Eastern European countries (yes, this is still going on).

Consider the efforts and medical resources the go towards making those neonates born with profound congenital disabilities survive. We would rather commit a team of clinical professionals to an individual for the life of that individual (such as it is), than accept the possibility that perhaps a person with such crippling physical and mental disabilities is not going to have a life to speak of, no matter how long they live.

All this is a function of the human psychology of reproduction. A drive so basic and powerful that any rational argument against it will be trashed out of hand. We simply cannot see any other perspective.
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"The strongest knowledge (that of the total unfreedom of the human will) is nonetheless the poorest in success, for it always has the strongest opponent: Human vanity" (Nietzsche, 1879).

#7 coquina

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Posted 18 September 2004 - 06:43 PM

I read (and remember, LOL) :D that the sex hormones are at their highest when humans are about 17 years old. In this society, that's deemed too young. People haven't completed their formal education and few of them have the financial assets necessary to marry and start a family.

However - it wasn't so long ago that most people didn't live much beyond 35, and since humans require parental care for a much longer period of time, it makes sense that the children of the youngest parents were most likely to survive long enough to reproduce.

I have also read that the onset of puberty, especially in girls, is happening at younger and younger ages - sometimes as young as 8. I've read that it may be associated with the hormones that are fed to livestock to bring them to maturity earlier.

So what's the answer to that? Bring back the chastity belt :eek: or start kids in school at age 2 so they complete their education in sync with their hormones? ;) Or - cringe - perhaps research methods to reset the puberty clock to a later age. :confused:
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Sandi

#8 MishMish

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 05:04 AM

Somewhat off topic but brought in by Coquina's comments on early puberty, most seem to assume that sexual behaviour begins there, but do not mention the adrenal androgens and not sure why. Did a bit of a search a bit back but did not find much
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#9 Kedas

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 09:04 AM

It's integrated in the drive for survival at the moment that that powerfull tool is recognized.
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#10 MishMish

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 11:01 AM

Kedas, whose post is your comment in response to (and what do you mean)
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#11 Kedas

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 01:28 PM

Kedas, whose post is your comment in response to (and what do you mean)

not really to one post, just my opinion.
Sex isn't 'primitive' but an 'advanced' tool to make your DNA survive.
That you don't have to be very smart to use it is maybe an other discussion.
Only god knows why nature also want the stupid ones to survive. (just kidding)
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In the period that Einstein was active as a professor, one of his students came to him and said:
"The questions of this year's exam are the same as last years!"
"True," Einstein said, "but this year all answers are different."
[Albert Einstein]

#12 MishMish

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 02:35 PM

Thanks for the clarification
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#13 Frostrunner

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Posted 24 September 2004 - 01:21 AM

In the jungle early humans would develop slower due to the fact that they had more hardships than people today. However, that pressure is easied and is virtually gone in developed countries. Since people eat extravagently in comparison to not to long ago. This has caused the kids genes to basically turn on when they are younger. It is like a genetics saying "Hey.. WoW... we have a bunch of nutrients and fat, We genes are great lets spread ASAP" That is basically it is a nut shell. As long as the diet is there in young children it will happen. The diet in females is the key. The poor male has this but his fat works against him since it has been shown that a "gut" will release hormones that are similar to female hormones thus possibly delaying puberty. Or on the other had since males and females have the same gene pool, the female can drag the male genes into an earlier puberty situation.
It is all similar to the Pigmies, take them off the island and feed them when they are young and they will be normal height. We have been taken off the island so to speak.
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#14 coquina

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Posted 29 September 2004 - 09:40 AM

It is all similar to the Pigmies, take them off the island and feed them when they are young and they will be normal height. We have been taken off the island so to speak.



Are you sure about that statement? I thought the pygmies height was genetic, just as is the Watusis. I would think that there may have been a natural selection for people with shorter bodies when food it in short supply, and that stunted growth can occur when there is not enough food to promote growth, especially of the long bones.

I'm not saying your wrong - just asking you where you got that info.
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#15 Quixix

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Posted 29 September 2004 - 11:27 AM

Are you sure about that statement? I thought the pygmies height was genetic, just as is the Watusis. I would think that there may have been a natural selection for people with shorter bodies when food it in short supply, and that stunted growth can occur when there is not enough food to promote growth, especially of the long bones.

I'm not saying your wrong - just asking you where you got that info.

Yes, I am also surprised by the statement. I would think that lack of food would create other deformities and sicknesses, not just small bones.
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#16 Edisonian

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Posted 29 September 2004 - 12:11 PM

Yes, I think sex is primitive. However, I think that it is evolving into something different than what it what it was intended.
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#17 rakuenso

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Posted 7 October 2004 - 02:34 AM

If you about this from the stand point of natural selection, only those who have mutated genes encouraging lots and lots of sex have survived to pass down their genes. Therefore, to go against having sex is like going against a few hundred thousands of years of evolution =) So i would imagine it is quite primitive by our standards and encoded in our genes.

Also, I read that if we had prolonged having sex by about 25-35% (so meaning we mate when we're about 35-45) our (great great great great great)^10 grand children can live about to maybe about 300 =D (Given that our telomerase genes evolve correctly, and given that we even survive that long)
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#18 Kedas

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Posted 7 October 2004 - 04:22 PM

how is primitive defined?
-something simple
or
-since long ago

If you answer this then the answer if it's primitive or not is also simple.
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In the period that Einstein was active as a professor, one of his students came to him and said:
"The questions of this year's exam are the same as last years!"
"True," Einstein said, "but this year all answers are different."
[Albert Einstein]

#19 KagakuOtaku

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 04:30 PM

Sex is, in fact, a primal instinct. All humans are equipped with instincts, such as the urge to be around other humans. One of these instincts is the need to reproduce. Actually, all organisms have this instinct. Now, say this instinct didn't exist. Then nothing and nobody would have the urge to have sex and continue the population of life forms on Earth. And thus, everything would cease to exist. Also, it might be possible that this instinct is the cause of the natural urge in women to protect children. Without that instinct, children would die in their early years of life.

So, that being said, obviously sex is a primal urge. If not, then why are we even here, today?
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#20 Moontanman

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Posted 11 July 2010 - 07:26 PM

I never have primitive sex, I only do advanced techniques :doh:
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