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Are women monogamous by nature?


Joshua Chasseur
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Hard-wired, as with any other organism.

Well, if it was hard wired then all women would be monogamous.

They aren't so it isn't so they are not.

the answer to "Are women monogamous by nature?" falls straight out of your definition and even a cursory examination of the data.

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Well, if it was hard wired then all women would be monogamous.

They aren't so it isn't so they are not.

the answer to "Are women monogamous by nature?" falls straight out of your definition and even a cursory examination of the data.

 

I answered your question in the general sense:' by nature' is generally a hard-wired attribute. Humans aren't special; they just have another layer of filters to put their urges through whether act on them or not. I don't know, but doubt, that women are monogamous by nature..

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Regardless of animal, there are a wide range of behaviours that are not entirely hard-wired. The latter often (unless the science has moved on) refers to fixed action patterns, i.e. a set of innate behaviour that are at best minimally modulated once a trigger stimulus is applied. However, many animals are also able to perform much more nuanced behaviours which generally are the result of some level of learning. They may happen early in life and sometimes be hard to distinguish from innate behaviour but are characterized by the need of the interaction before a particular behaviour is expressed in a certain way.

 

Which is a bit convoluted way to say what John said.

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Regardless of animal, there are a wide range of behaviours that are not entirely hard-wired. The latter often (unless the science has moved on) refers to fixed action patterns, i.e. a set of innate behaviour that are at best minimally modulated once a trigger stimulus is applied. However, many animals are also able to perform much more nuanced behaviours which generally are the result of some level of learning. They may happen early in life and sometimes be hard to distinguish from innate behaviour but are characterized by the need of the interaction before a particular behaviour is expressed in a certain way.

 

Which is a bit convoluted way to say what John said.

The 'filtering' I mentioned is the modulating.

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I answered your question in the general sense:' by nature' is generally a hard-wired attribute. Humans aren't special; they just have another layer of filters to put their urges through whether act on them or not. I don't know, but doubt, that women are monogamous by nature..

I asked "What does 'by nature' mean in the context of human behaviour"?

You dismissed it in 7 words.

I think my reply shows that, at best, your answer was too simplistic to be helpful.

So, once again,

What does "by nature" mean in the context of human behaviour?

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I asked "What does 'by nature' mean in the context of human behaviour"?

You dismissed it in 7 words.

I think my reply shows that, at best, your answer was too simplistic to be helpful.

So, once again,

What does "by nature" mean in the context of human behaviour?

 

If I may, inborn, innate, instinctive behavior. Seven, right? Although I think monogamy is none of those for humans.

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In that case why would one characterize it as hard-wired if the response can be variable? Also, it is not unique to humans either.

Did I say it was? The problem here seems to be what I mean and what you mean by response. I mean the initial thought or emotion that precedes the action. the latter maybe be modulated.

I asked "What does 'by nature' mean in the context of human behaviour"?

You dismissed it in 7 words.

I think my reply shows that, at best, your answer was too simplistic to be helpful.

So, once again,

What does "by nature" mean in the context of human behaviour?

I never "dismissed" it with just seven words. Verbosity is not my thing when seven words will do;.that's all that was required. I think you have a problem with comprehending what I said there. Try reading it again.

Edited by StringJunky
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In that case why would one characterize it as hard-wired if the response can be variable?

 

It seems as if some people think that if something is hard-wired then everyone must experience some sort of drive or desire, or all feel it in the same way, or whatever. Merriam-Webster gives as a meaning for "hard-wired" that it is "genetically or innately predisposed <a human being who is hardwired to be sociable — Forbe"

 

So, yes, we can look at the behavior of infants and gather enough information to suggest that things such as social smiles, biologically bonding with the mother moments after birth and continuing in various ways for months, propensity to play, the brains ability to readily absorb languages in order to communicate, etc. In that sense, we can say that humans are hard-wired to be sociable, but that doesn't mean that every human likes hanging out with others all the time, and indeed, we get a whole range of behaviors in the range from introversion-extroversion.

 

SInce neither evolutionary psychology nor neuropsychology claim to produce have incontrovertible facts on such issues as human sexual behavior, one can only gather evidence to determine propensities and tendencies and predispositions.

 

If anything, my guess is that one has a better chance of finding evidence to support the claim that (men and) women are predisposed towards polygamy, or perhaps serial monogamy. For example, studies have been conducted to determine whether women biologically respond to a casual relationship when in a steady one, with results indicating that women are more receptive to the sperm of the casual encounter. Am trying to keep this short, but heaps of data has been collected and much written to support the notion that women, though they may have monogamous tendencies, also have tendencies towards polygamy/promiscuity (cf David Buss, David Schmidt, Louan Brizendene, etc.).

 

Indeed, the sexual responses of men and women in this regards is ultimately (once social pressure is controlled for) not that much different. Typically, for example, women tend to pursue monogamous relations with someone who seems like he would be a good father/provider and long term mate. However, around ovulation, studies indicate that women look for the more rugged type and are more open to casual sex.

 

Perhaps a rather scientific approach is the one in which women and men are connected to machines that test their responses. A common result of such studies is that women claim that they are just attracted to one guy, or one guy at a time, but the tests tend to show that women have even a wider sexual range of responses than men, e.g.:

Meredith Chivers, a psychologist at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada conducted one of these "original studies". Chivers examined the genital reactions of women whilst she played them erotic audiotapes of two subtly different sexual liaisons – one with a handsome male stranger, the other with a hunky male friend. By and large, the stranger got the tick.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/thinking-man/are-men-hardwired-to-be-less-monogamous-than-women/

Such studies suggest that women tend to give what they think are politically correct answers when asked in surveys about the range of their sexual interests (e.g., in casual affairs). But their claims that they aren't interested in casual affairs (as well as a number of other things that show a strong interest in experimentation) are contradicted by their own body's physical responses.

Edited by disarray
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Did I say it was? The problem here seems to be what I mean and what you mean by response. I mean the initial thought or emotion that precedes the action. the latter maybe be modulated.

I never "dismissed" it with just seven words. Verbosity is not my thing when seven words will do;.that's all that was required. I think you have a problem with comprehending what I said there. Try reading it again.

OK, if those 7 words answered my question then, as I explained the answer to the thread title is simply "no".

And yet, people are still discussing it.

So those 7 words didn't cover the whole story, did they?

So, once again

What does "by nature" mean in the context of human behaviour?

If it means "hard wired" then the thread's over.

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It seems as if some people think that if something is hard-wired then everyone must experience some sort of drive or desire, or all feel it in the same way, or whatever. Merriam-Webster gives as a meaning for "hard-wired" that it is "genetically or innately predisposed <a human being who is hardwired to be sociable — Forbe"

 

So, yes, we can look at the behavior of infants and gather enough information to suggest that things such as social smiles, biologically bonding with the mother moments after birth and continuing in various ways for months, propensity to play, the brains ability to readily absorb languages in order to communicate, etc. In that sense, we can say that humans are hard-wired to be sociable, but that doesn't mean that every human likes hanging out with others all the time, and indeed, we get a whole range of behaviors in the range from introversion-extroversion.

 

 

 

From a biological viewpoint the definition would be far too broad to be useful as it would encompass virtually every single measurable behaviour if we dig deep enough into the mechanism. I guess in that case it is a matter of common usage vs precise definitions. To be precise, in behavioural sciences it is usually less about experience (after all, if you use non-human models you really do not know what they experience) but about the expressed behaviour. I.e. in biological lit hard-wired is generally used to describe behaviours that are distinctly fixed in some ways. To be fair, it is not very commonly used, either and often in the context of physiological circuits. It should be noted that e.g. hard-wired neuronal circuits can also exhibit plasticity in dependence on their input. Though the idea is that given a specific input a predictable behaviour would occur. But again, outside of biology and especially when applied to humans I assume that the common usage can be much fuzzier (and as a consequence, less useful for categorization).

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Hmm I always thought women are by nature monogamous because of the hardship of pregnancy. During the time that they are pregnant, they need someone they can rely on to provide for them. And later on, someone who will help with raising children. So they need someone who will stick to them in the long run and this is also a reason why women are pickier when choosing a mate. Men on the other side, their main concern is spreading their seeds. But of course, humans have evolved and we are now smart enough to know that we have free will and we don't have to act by instinct.

 

And since some women today don't even want children, have financial independence, and want to just focus in their career, women who are cheating or who practice polygamy have risen.

Edited by ModernArtist25
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Hmm I always thought women are by nature monogamous because of the hardship of pregnancy. During the time that they are pregnant, they need someone they can rely on to provide for them. And later on, someone who will help with raising children. So they need someone who will stick to them in the long run and this is also a reason why women are pickier when choosing a mate. Men on the other side, their main concern is spreading their seeds. But of course, humans have evolved and we are now smart enough to know that we have free will and we don't have to act by instinct.

 

And since some women today don't even want children, have financial independence, and want to just focus in their career, women who are cheating or who practice polygamy have risen.

Well, yes, there are a lot of so-called explanations for the alleged greater monogamous nature and/or weaker sex drive of women in comparison with men, and many of them seem logical enough on the surface.

 

My contention (widely held nowadays) is that there is not a significant difference between men and women in this regard. (For one thing, from a physiological standpoint, the sex organs are homologous.)

 

Thus, when it comes to forming (monogamous) relationships and/or having children, men two seem to be able to down shift gears (from a more hyper and polygamous state when not in the mindset of settling down:

 

"Results revealed that men in committed, romantic relationships had 21% lower testosterone levels than men not involved in such relationships."

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/13129483

"Although testosterone naturally decreases with age, men who became fathers showed much greater declines, more than double that of the childless men." http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/13/health/research/13testosterone.html?_r=0

It would appear that throughout history, men have a vested interest in claiming that women are and should be monogamous.

Part of this claim is based on the idea that, unlike men, women have a weaker sex drive, and are more focused on the loving aspect of a relationship (e.g., loving their children and their husband...something that, unlike physical attraction, is supposed to last a lifetime). On the other hand, it is presumed that it is only natural that men are far more interested in spreading their seed, having as many children as possible, etc. Indeed, even evolutionary psychologists tend to argue along these lines. However, actual physiological studies suggest that both men and women seen to be into serial monogamy (as a general statement), both have similar/equal sex drives, and both seem to have moods/cycles/contexts in which they take a rather polygamous approach to relationships (aka, play the field, have casual affairs) and moods/cycles/contexts in which they take a more monogamous approach (aka, settle down).

Edited by disarray
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