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Spreading the Seed and the Male Sex Drive

Justice44

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I have heard multiple times that men are more polygamous by nature because they can spread their seed. It may partially explain why men want more sexual partners, but it fails to explain the theory that most men are naturally polygamous. Has anyone bothered to examine the ratio of men to women? From what I have read, there are approximately 1% more women than men in the world's population. Therefore, when one applies this theory logically, men should be only 1% more promiscuous than women. Secondly, 99% of men and 100% of women should be monogamous. Based on my perception, the spread the seed theory is used to prove that most men (probably over 90%) will screw any woman who gives him the time of day. Some people have even tried to contend that men's nature is to kill other men so they can sleep with multiple women. This makes no sense because there have been no studies that show men’s primary fantasy is about killing other men so they can get laid by more women. Secondly, when there are enough resources to spread around, most men are not prone to kill one another. I simply do not understand why this theory is so popular in our society.

IN order to encourage discussion please answer any of the following questions:
1. Do you believe men are more promiscuous because of the spread the seed theory?

2. How do you explain the spread the seed theory when it pertains to men who are monogamous but desire to have more sex with their partner? NOTE: These same men do not want to have sex with other women in reality or fantasy.

3. Should men’s promiscuity be directly related to the male/female population ratio? If this is so, should women be more promiscuous in communities where men outnumber women?

4. Do you think sex drives could be related to a partners’ desire for a big family? If that is the case, do you believe every woman who wants a large family has a high sex drive?

5. Do you think men are prone to kill other men when there are adequate vital resources such as food and water?

6. Why do people insist that all men are so in love with the fantasy of sleeping with other women when there are male run Islamic countries that predominantly enforce monogamy for most men and kill men and women for casual sex or adultery
 
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Hoplite

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I have heard multiple times that men are more polygamous by nature because they can spread their seed. It may partially explain why men want more sexual partners, but it fails to explain the theory that most men are naturally polygamous.
Now, are we talking polygamy in every sense of the word or are you talking about just sex?

Has anyone bothered to examine the ratio of men to women? From what I have read, there are approximately 1% more women than men in the world's population. Therefore, when one applies this theory logically, men should be only 1% more promiscuous than women. Secondly, 99% of men and 100% of women should be monogamous. Based on my perception, the spread the seed theory is used to prove that most men (probably over 90%) will screw any woman who gives him the time of day. Some people have even tried to contend that men's nature is to kill other men so they can sleep with multiple women. This makes no sense because there have been no studies that show men’s primary fantasy is about killing other men so they can get laid by more women. Secondly, when there are enough resources to spread around, most men are not prone to kill one another. I simply do not understand why this theory is so popular in our society.
Because it's based on biology. We are, at the heart of everything, still driven by the same urges our ancestors were.

Men seek many sexual partners because they are driven by instinct to seek them out. The more partners a man has, the more children will be born with his genes. With more men, you have competition. This competition serves as a "sink or swim" trial for the men. The men who are stronger, faster, smarter, and better adapted to survive will generally live longer and be able to fight off weaker males and pass on his genes to more offspring and improve the species.

Conversely, women seek to have as many children with the single strongest male that she can find because, again, it means stronger offspring with better genes. Females who select weaker males or males less capable of protecting them die off and leave females behind with stronger genes.

We can find support for this by looking at our closest living relatives, certain members of the primate family who exhibit these kinds of behaviors with these aims in mind. Thus you have the genetic dynamic that makes up modern relationships. That's not to say it ALWAYS works that way, but these are instincts that are hardwired into our brains right alongside food, water, and air.

1. Do you believe men are more promiscuous because of the spread the seed theory?
Yes, I do.

2. How do you explain the spread the seed theory when it pertains to men who are monogamous but desire to have more sex with their partner? NOTE: These same men do not want to have sex with other women in reality or fantasy.
Our instinctual makeup doesnt preclude us making other choices for social reasons. We are social creatures and if we are in a society that doesn't support promiscuous behavior, its a strong force in a person's mind against it. I would say that it's extremely rare that man be completely mentally monogamous.

3. Should men’s promiscuity be directly related to the male/female population ratio? If this is so, should women be more promiscuous in communities where men outnumber women?
Not sure what you mean by this.

4. Do you think sex drives could be related to a partners’ desire for a big family? If that is the case, do you believe every woman who wants a large family has a high sex drive?
Not necessarily. Most people only need to have sex once to get pregnant (provided there are no other health implications) so if you wanted a family of 20, you'd only need to have sex 20 times or so to do it.

5. Do you think men are prone to kill other men when there are adequate vital resources such as food and water?
Yes. Conflict and competition are hardwired into the male brain, if not for resources then for social status and the attention of females.

6. Why do people insist that all men are so in love with the fantasy of sleeping with other women when there are male run Islamic countries that predominantly enforce monogamy for most men and kill men and women for casual sex or adultery
Humans are capable of distracting themselves from their instinctual drives. The prescience of a theocratic system of government that prescribes often beatings or the death penalty for breaking taboo helps greatly. Also, it's worth noting that if people want something bad enough, regardless of who or where you are, there are probably ways to get it. I wouldnt say sex or access to sex is less available in such countries, simply less open and on display.
 

Justice44

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Now, are we talking polygamy in every sense of the word or are you talking about just sex?
I would say both. I am referring to casual sex and romantic love.

Because it's based on biology. We are, at the heart of everything, still driven by the same urges our ancestors were.

Men seek many sexual partners because they are driven by instinct to seek them out. The more partners a man has, the more children will be born with his genes.
Thus, we should expect that men would want bigger families or the very least hundreds of children. Have you seen any research that supports this? Do men fantasize about being the father to hundreds of children? Your theory implies that men want to be the parent of more children than women. I have heard of men and women with low sex drives who want big families. I have also seen people of both genders with high sex drives but they want only one child.

With more men, you have competition. This competition serves as a "sink or swim" trial for the men. The men who are stronger, faster, smarter, and better adapted to survive will generally live longer and be able to fight off weaker males and pass on his genes to more offspring and improve the species.
I disagree that the volume of men inevitably breeds competition which would result in killing “weaker” males. I contend the degree of resources for survival in the environment breeds the competition that you are referring to. Just to get off the topic a little bit, I am curious on whether you think that scientific, mathematical and technical intelligence is also innately male as strength is innately male. After all, men are overwhelmingly stronger and faster than women. If we applied your theory to its logical conclusion, it would make no biological sense for women to pursue intelligence just like it would make no biological sense for women to seek multiple sexual partners.
Conversely, women seek to have as many children with the single strongest male that she can find because, again, it means stronger offspring with better genes. Females who select weaker males or males less capable of protecting them die off and leave females behind with stronger genes.
We can find support for this by looking at our closest living relatives, certain members of the primate family who exhibit these kinds of behaviors with these aims in mind. Thus you have the genetic dynamic that makes up modern relationships. That's not to say it ALWAYS works that way, but these are instincts that are hardwired into our brains right alongside food, water, and air.[/QUOTE]


How do they determine who are our closest ancestors? I thought that apes and humans share 90% of the same genes. I do not see how apes are like humans in any compacity. Nevertheless, there are some articles that discuss female promiscuity in females including primates:
Observations of a Nerd: There's always a biological excuse...
Spotlighting News - Male Chimps Are Both Promiscuous and Mature-Oriented
Promiscuous primates play a seminal role in sex | The Japan Times Online


Although these articles do not compare the average amount of parnters both genders select, it does show that polyandry does have biological advantages for females.
Our instinctual makeup doesn’t preclude us making other choices for social reasons. We are social creatures and if we are in a society that doesn't support promiscuous behavior, its a strong force in a person's mind against it. I would say that it's extremely rare that man be completely mentally monogamous.
How do you separate social reasons from instinctual makeup? It could easily be argued that these social reasons are also driven by instinct.

Not sure what you mean by this.
From my understanding, the sex ratio of male to female is virtually equal. In the world, women outnumber men by 1 percent. Therefore, if we use your theory, 99% of men should desire to be monogamous. How can it make any sense for most men to want to sleep with thousands of women when the disparity between the sexes is very small? Thus, there should be only 1% of the male population who is polygamous.

Not necessarily. Most people only need to have sex once to get pregnant (provided there are no other health implications) so if you wanted a family of 20, you'd only need to have sex 20 times or so to do it.
My point is that men who have higher sex drives should want bigger families than women with lower sex drives. After all, the theory of spreading ones seed is for men to have as many children as possible.

Yes. Conflict and competition are hardwired into the male brain, if not for resources then for social status and the attention of females.
However, conflict and competition is usually practiced when there are scarce resources. Many countries do not have limited resources. Therefore, conflict and completion is not needed in these countries. Case in point, peaceful tribal societies have indefinite resources while violent tribal societies often have limited resources. Secondly, if competition is so hardwired in the male brain, why do women participate in high school and college sports? From my perception, these women are as competitive as men.
Note: When I use the word competition in the bold sentence, I am referring to men engaging in the sport of killing other men. The resources I am referring to are the basics: food, shelter and water.

[QUOTE} Humans are capable of distracting themselves from their instinctual drives.
I think that there is also an instinctual drive to be monogamous. Thus, the creation of a theocratic system is only the reinforcement of this instinctual drive. This does not mean there is not also an instinctual drive to have multiple partners. What it means is that there is a greater instinctual drive to be monogamous which is reinforced by lawmaking. In these theocratic states, men were not forced by women to create monogamous laws. They decided to create these laws based upon their society’s vision of sexuality. This includes men and women. The more severe the orthodox Islamic punishment towards non-monogamy for most men and all women is, the less numbers of people are tempted to have instincts toward non-monogamy. Think about it. In our country you receive a speeding ticket if you speed over 20 miles over the speed limit. Do you think congress would create a law that imprisoned individuals for speeding over 20 miles beyond the limit? Of course not, because there is a greater temptation and frequency rate for people to have speeding violations. It would be seen as too harsh because people are more tempted and prone to commit such violations. On the other hand, in Iran where men and women are executed for adultery, I would say virtually 99% of men are not tempted to have extramarital affairs. The severity of the punishment represents how revolting they find adultery.
It could be argued that these laws were created by many individuals who desired monogamy and had a society that predominantly supported monogamy. I guess I question the assumption that laws are created only by people who are fighting the instinctual drive to break those laws. It ignores people who create laws such as monogamous marriages who have no instinct for multiple partners.


The prescience of a theocratic system of government that prescribes often beatings or the death penalty for breaking taboo helps greatly. Also, it's worth noting that if people want something bad enough, regardless of who or where you are, there are probably ways to get it.

I wouldn’t say sex or access to sex is less available in such countries, simply less open and on display.
I think a society’s severe punishment towards non-monogamy is reflective of that society’s instinct. It is very hard for someone who is not monogamous to understand that others find multiple partners absolutely gross. This what Jean Piaget defines as being egocentric. I have met many men who find the idea of multiple partners disgusting. I am not one of those men and have the same wiring as you. However, I cannot ignore the possibility of many men who create these harsh sexual laws are wired to be monogamous.
 

Hoplite

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I would say both. I am referring to casual sex and romantic love.
Ok because polygamy is one man with many wives, it's not just about sex (at least it isnt SUPPOSED to be)

How do they determine who are our closest ancestors? I thought that apes and humans share 90% of the same genes. I do not see how apes are like humans in any compacity.
The more genetically related you are, the more recent a species is in it's ancestry. IE: We share much of the same genetic information with some primates. We do also share some genetic information with rats, however it's much less yet we know that apes, rats, and ourselves all stem from a common ancestor. The rat simply branched off of our line much earlier than the apes did.

Nevertheless, there are some articles that discuss female promiscuity in females including primates:
Observations of a Nerd: There's always a biological excuse...
Spotlighting News - Male Chimps Are Both Promiscuous and Mature-Oriented
Promiscuous primates play a seminal role in sex | The Japan Times Online

Although these articles do not compare the average amount of parnters both genders select, it does show that polyandry does have biological advantages for females.
That does make sense, it encourages genetic diversity which is a bonus if you're working with the system of sexual reproduction.

How do you separate social reasons from instinctual makeup? It could easily be argued that these social reasons are also driven by instinct.
The funny thing is that our society IS driven by instinct. however it's not quite that simple. Take something that we consider socially acceptable and desirable such as wearing a tie. There's no survival reason to wear a tie, in fact it's actually a hinderance and a waste of resources so if we are concerned about our resources, ties are a bad idea. However human beings are social creatures and as such, we have psychological mechanisms in place to make us want to be a part of a group and act the way the group does. Being a part of a group is valuable because it means we have protection, companionship, mates, and help if we need it.

At the base of every single societal quirk that we have, there is an instinctual drive. For people who want to avoid promiscuity, they want to do so because the group tells them that it's bad for whatever reason and even if the group wont cast you out for it, they'll think less of you and thats where your sense of shame kicks in. Shame is a sort of built in device to make sure you follow the rules of a group and stay with that group because your chances of survival go up as a member of a group.

From my understanding, the sex ratio of male to female is virtually equal. In the world, women outnumber men by 1 percent. Therefore, if we use your theory, 99% of men should desire to be monogamous. How can it make any sense for most men to want to sleep with thousands of women when the disparity between the sexes is very small? Thus, there should be only 1% of the male population who is polygamous.
Because, again, males have an instinctual drive to have as many of the best partners as possible in order to perpetuate the species. Monogamy is simply not what males are wired for and even if there is no need for competition in terms of numbers, there is a need to prove one's worthiness to potential mates. The stronger you show yourself to be, the more mates you get because women are looking for that. Thus men create artificial competitions such as sports to show that they are strong and attract mates.

It sounds rather simplistic but a lot of what men do is to attract a mate

Yes. Conflict and competition are hardwired into the male brain, if not for resources then for social status and the attention of females.
However, conflict and competition is usually practiced when there are scarce resources. Many countries do not have limited resources. Therefore, conflict and completion is not needed in these countries. Case in point, peaceful tribal societies have indefinite resources while violent tribal societies often have limited resources. Secondly, if competition is so hardwired in the male brain, why do women participate in high school and college sports? From my perception, these women are as competitive as men.
Note: When I use the word competition in the bold sentence, I am referring to men engaging in the sport of killing other men. The resources I am referring to are the basics: food, shelter and water.
Couple things. First, there is no such thing as a peaceful tribal society. ALL tribal societies that we have evidence of today practiced SOME form of warfare. Now there are varying degrees of this, some actively seek out opponents and try to conquer while others usually fight more defensively, but they ALL fight.

Conflict may not strictly be NECESSARY as a device for weeding out the less capable, but it IS necessary from a psychological standpoint because we feel it to be necessary for the aforementioned purpose of selecting out the biggest and strongest. Humans are, by nature, highly competitive because we want to select out the best.

Women competing in sports serves a societal function, it's recreation, it's exercise. There is a small selection factor to it, but it's not NEARLY to the degree that men carry it to. Note that the overwhelming majority of competitive sports in the world are male-centric.

I think that there is also an instinctual drive to be monogamous.
The problem is monogamy is a massive stone around your neck from an evolutionary standpoint. It simply doesnt bring you the kind of flexibility and versatility that a polygamous way of life does and you'll have a lower population that is less able to bounce back from disaster.

Thus, the creation of a theocratic system is only the reinforcement of this instinctual drive. This does not mean there is not also an instinctual drive to have multiple partners. What it means is that there is a greater instinctual drive to be monogamous which is reinforced by lawmaking. In these theocratic states, men were not forced by women to create monogamous laws. They decided to create these laws based upon their society’s vision of sexuality. This includes men and women. The more severe the orthodox Islamic punishment towards non-monogamy for most men and all women is, the less numbers of people are tempted to have instincts toward non-monogamy. Think about it. In our country you receive a speeding ticket if you speed over 20 miles over the speed limit. Do you think congress would create a law that imprisoned individuals for speeding over 20 miles beyond the limit? Of course not, because there is a greater temptation and frequency rate for people to have speeding violations. It would be seen as too harsh because people are more tempted and prone to commit such violations. On the other hand, in Iran where men and women are executed for adultery, I would say virtually 99% of men are not tempted to have extramarital affairs. The severity of the punishment represents how revolting they find adultery.
It could be argued that these laws were created by many individuals who desired monogamy and had a society that predominantly supported monogamy. I guess I question the assumption that laws are created only by people who are fighting the instinctual drive to break those laws. It ignores people who create laws such as monogamous marriages who have no instinct for multiple partners.
When you bring religion into it, you change the game somewhat.

Religion provides a stabilizing influence in new societies because it provides something that humans want: an absolute. It gives us definite answers to questions without having to spend time to think about it and it acts as an automated punishment system to keep people on the straight and narrow. It's also a back-handed way of enforcing societal rules. One reason the major religions push monogamy is because in a society that is more structured and more ordered, having literal bastards running around all over the place is incredibly chaotic and confusing. That's fine for a tribal society where it doesnt matter as much but when you get into a system where there are questions of inheritance, bloodlines, power, and wealth then you need a more orderly system and that is helped by a monogamous society. Monogamy also helps maintain power among those who have it because now they dont have to worry about the common folk out-breeding them and just sweeping them aside with pure numbers.

Talking about Islam, Islam permits polygamy (technically polygyny) among it's members and it sees marriage as an outlet for sexual desires. It places a strong emphasis on sexual fidelity, but that doesnt mean you can simply erase one's evolutionary hard-wiring.

I think a society’s severe punishment towards non-monogamy is reflective of that society’s instinct. It is very hard for someone who is not monogamous to understand that others find multiple partners absolutely gross. This what Jean Piaget defines as being egocentric. I have met many men who find the idea of multiple partners disgusting. I am not one of those men and have the same wiring as you. However, I cannot ignore the possibility of many men who create these harsh sexual laws are wired to be monogamous.
Except that evolutionarily speaking, monogamy makes no sense. Monogamy is not practiced by any member of the ape family, to which we are closely related, and is exceptionally rare in our history until fairly recently. I have no doubts that there are people who have been able to sort of short circuit this programming through societal means, but I find extremely difficult to believe that we are no hard-wired to be polygamous.

This goes, of course, with the understanding that there are certain people (such as people who are transgender or asexual in our modern society) who are born hardwired to be monogamous, but this is not the norm by any measure.
 

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Men can stop being polygamous now. The world is already populated enough, and each man spreading as many seeds as he possibly can is not longer useful.
 

DarkWizard12

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Men can stop being polygamous now. The world is already populated enough, and each man spreading as many seeds as he possibly can is not longer useful.
That's quite a malthus-like attitude you got there...
 

Mell

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That's quite a malthus-like attitude you got there...
No, Malthus has a Mell-like attitude.

Just kidding!, but it is about time things like 'I have to spread my seed far and wide, for the sake of human kind' stops being used as an excuse for adulty, polygamy...
 

DarkWizard12

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No, Malthus has a Mell-like attitude.

Just kidding!, but it is about time things like 'I have to spread my seed far and wide, for the sake of human kind' stops being used as an excuse for adulty, polygamy...
I don't think it ever was, that's a sorry excuse.
 

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I IN order to encourage discussion please answer any of the following questions:
1. Do you believe men are more promiscuous because of the spread the seed theory?

2. How do you explain the spread the seed theory when it pertains to men who are monogamous but desire to have more sex with their partner? NOTE: These same men do not want to have sex with other women in reality or fantasy.

3. Should men’s promiscuity be directly related to the male/female population ratio? If this is so, should women be more promiscuous in communities where men outnumber women?

4. Do you think sex drives could be related to a partners’ desire for a big family? If that is the case, do you believe every woman who wants a large family has a high sex drive?

5. Do you think men are prone to kill other men when there are adequate vital resources such as food and water?

6. Why do people insist that all men are so in love with the fantasy of sleeping with other women when there are male run Islamic countries that predominantly enforce monogamy for most men and kill men and women for casual sex or adultery
I personally think it’s pre-human instincts for preservation of the species. The subconscious goal of sex in many animals is to impregnate as many females as possible. The male who is dominant enough to impregnate many females is passing on the best genetics for dominance and strength, thus the best genetics for survival.
 

Orion

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You can compare the male and female sex drives in that they both have non-reproductive, social functions. The claim that men just have sex because they are spreading seed is erroneous because human sexuality is not solely about that. Women ovulate roughly 2-3 days out of the month in a very small window of opportunity for fertilization, yet are capable of both seeking and engaging in sexual intercourse 365 days a year.

Clearly sex is about bonding just as much as it is about "spreading seed", and this explains why a lot of men end up in monogamous relationships. If it were just about reproduction, then females would go into estrous as it occurs in other species wherein intense sexual arousal ALWAYS corresponds to the fertility window, and that is the same period when men become aroused and seek intercourse. In those species, practically all other times of the year they don't pursue sex. Humans are not like that at all.

Growing up I found that there was a lot of societal and peer pressure placed on me as a male to be craving of sex 24/7 even though that wasn't how I felt. This leads me to believe that it is mostly enforcement of social roles - such as men are the go-getters while women are simply the passive receptacles of male sexual aggression - and less to do with the reality of reproductive biology and sociology.
 
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samsmart

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I have heard multiple times that men are more polygamous by nature because they can spread their seed. It may partially explain why men want more sexual partners, but it fails to explain the theory that most men are naturally polygamous. Has anyone bothered to examine the ratio of men to women? From what I have read, there are approximately 1% more women than men in the world's population. Therefore, when one applies this theory logically, men should be only 1% more promiscuous than women. Secondly, 99% of men and 100% of women should be monogamous. Based on my perception, the spread the seed theory is used to prove that most men (probably over 90%) will screw any woman who gives him the time of day. Some people have even tried to contend that men's nature is to kill other men so they can sleep with multiple women. This makes no sense because there have been no studies that show men’s primary fantasy is about killing other men so they can get laid by more women. Secondly, when there are enough resources to spread around, most men are not prone to kill one another. I simply do not understand why this theory is so popular in our society.

IN order to encourage discussion please answer any of the following questions:
1. Do you believe men are more promiscuous because of the spread the seed theory?

2. How do you explain the spread the seed theory when it pertains to men who are monogamous but desire to have more sex with their partner? NOTE: These same men do not want to have sex with other women in reality or fantasy.

3. Should men’s promiscuity be directly related to the male/female population ratio? If this is so, should women be more promiscuous in communities where men outnumber women?

4. Do you think sex drives could be related to a partners’ desire for a big family? If that is the case, do you believe every woman who wants a large family has a high sex drive?

5. Do you think men are prone to kill other men when there are adequate vital resources such as food and water?

6. Why do people insist that all men are so in love with the fantasy of sleeping with other women when there are male run Islamic countries that predominantly enforce monogamy for most men and kill men and women for casual sex or adultery
If I may, I'd like to take an alternate take on this theory.

Personally, I don't think "spreading the seed" has to do with gender but rather with age.

After all, women can be just as promiscuous as men can be. So if we're going to contend that men are promiscuous to spread their seed as much as possible, women are promiscuous in order to receive as much seed as possible in order to perpetuate the human race.

But remember the time when males and females are at their most fertile - from their teenage years up to their early 30's. I don't have the statistics for this, but anecdotal evidence makes me aware that these are the years in which males and females are at their most promiscuous. Both genders tend to be attracted to others basic on physical attraction, and long-lasting relationships, especially monogamous ones, happen only amongst a few; short relationships among a large group of candidates is much more likely to be the case.

However, as people get older, this slows down. Rather than factor in only physical attraction, males and females start to consider other variables: Can I talk to and relate to this person? Can I feel comfortable with this person? Will this person provide peace and security for me? Will this person look out for my well-being? Will this person be supportive of my goals? Thus, while sexual attraction is still a factor, it becomes much less of one over time.

This is true amongst males and well as females, if you ask me. When men and women both are younger, they want to discover and explore their sexuality. Later in life, after they've become comfortable in their sexuality, they have other needs to consider, such as comfort and stability - instead of seeking more sexual partners, they'll have developed partnerships that may be less sexual but are rewarding by providing mental and social comfort and stability. Sexual needs are still a powerful force, but it is lessened by other needs and desires.

That's the flaw in that theory - it tries to separate promiscuity along gender lines. If it was separated along age groups, I think the data would be much more in tune with reality.

So that's my belief on the biological aspect of the theory. When it comes to other variables, such as the impact of religion, such as Islam, well, that's equivalent to the debate of nature vs. nurture. Such social engineering tends to go against nature and instincts rather than nurture them.

(I'm not invalidating the effects or importance of religion - I'm just saying that religion isn't based on nature, and I'm saying this without making a judgment concerning religion.)
 

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My view:

Human-nature doesn't just center around propagating or improving the species.
It also VERY much involves some type of 'family-unit' when it comes to those offspring OR ensuring that the offspring is taken care of by some means (such as a grandparent/mother unit rather than a mother/father unit)

Various species function in different ways when it comes to the role and importance of mating habits:

Some species tend to have fluctuating partner-mating . . . such as all females mating with the herd-leader . . . having his offspring . . . and then mating with the usurper, having his offspring, etc.
Other species have fluctuating mating patterns that give little heed to a hierarchy - they strive to attract a mate, and mate . . . propagate . . . mate with another. . . etc.
Yet there are some species mate for life - always and only always mating with their one partner - and some even share 'parental' responsibilities like Penguins who both care for the egg while the other goes to feed.

Humans seem to cross over and be sufficient at doing both. . .this either means that one or more of these are *all* human nature . . . and who gets what preference is the luck of the draw - OR that humans are equally influenced by social and other norms, not just natural instinct.
 

Justice44

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I personally think it’s pre-human instincts for preservation of the species. The subconscious goal of sex in many animals is to impregnate as many females as possible. The male who is dominant enough to impregnate many females is passing on the best genetics for dominance and strength, thus the best genetics for survival.
Can you provide some real life examples this in humanity?
 

Justice44

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(I'm not invalidating the effects or importance of religion - I'm just saying that religion isn't based on nature, and I'm saying this without making a judgment concerning religion.)
Of course religion is based in nature. It may be only human nature, but it is clearly an instinct of humans to revere something higher than them.
 

Kali

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Of course religion is based in nature. It may be only human nature, but it is clearly an instinct of humans to revere something higher than them.
Which religion? Sure a lot of religions are based on nature but others are based on other things. I would say if we were talking about the X-tian Religion? Then even though hard core fundies will deny it? It is based in nature. What did God do in the first days.
 

Hoplite

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Men can stop being polygamous now. The world is already populated enough, and each man spreading as many seeds as he possibly can is not longer useful.
Our physiological makeup has not caught up with our species' development.

You can compare the male and female sex drives in that they both have non-reproductive, social functions. The claim that men just have sex because they are spreading seed is erroneous because human sexuality is not solely about that. Women ovulate roughly 2-3 days out of the month in a very small window of opportunity for fertilization, yet are capable of both seeking and engaging in sexual intercourse 365 days a year.
I dont think you can make sound "if, then" statements about an organism's biological development when it comes to what the ideal design for X is. No, an organism may not do something the most efficient or best way possible but if it's doing or not doing something then there's probably a good reason for it.

Ovulation is a bit of a strain on the body's resources and to constantly be ovulating I would think would mean a female's body would require more resources than could reasonably be provided and still maintain the formula that made humanity successful.

Also, with a constant male sex drive and a short female ovulation period, you can have the double effect of more intense competition for the female's time because the males know that go time is so short as well as serving to help bolster the population. Males dont require a lot of caloric energy to be randy and it takes us very little time and effort to "reload". The more mates a male has, the better his chances of finding a mate who is in season and producing more offspring and a bigger mating pool for the next generation.

As an aside, the fact that males ARE able to very quickly provide a repeat performance, possibly to another mate, so soon after an orgasm suggests that males are MEANT to be highly sexual; you dont give a sniper a fully automatic weapon.

Clearly sex is about bonding just as much as it is about "spreading seed", and this explains why a lot of men end up in monogamous relationships. If it were just about reproduction, then females would go into estrous as it occurs in other species wherein intense sexual arousal ALWAYS corresponds to the fertility window, and that is the same period when men become aroused and seek intercourse. In those species, practically all other times of the year they don't pursue sex. Humans are not like that at all.
I would agree that bonding is an important aspect of sexuality however I would disagree that it is the top goal or driving force. I would also wonder why we've never been particularly driven to be more non-productively sexual (sex for fun rather than sex for reproduction) with members of our own families or same genders.

Growing up I found that there was a lot of societal and peer pressure placed on me as a male to be craving of sex 24/7 even though that wasn't how I felt. This leads me to believe that it is mostly enforcement of social roles - such as men are the go-getters while women are simply the passive receptacles of male sexual aggression - and less to do with the reality of reproductive biology and sociology.
I would ask where these social roles are ultimately rooted. Societal norms and ideas generally arent pulled out of thin air and have an ultimate root in a biological drive.
 
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Orion

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Our physiological makeup has not caught up with our species' development.
I'm not sure what you mean by this.

an organism may not do something the most efficient or best way possible but if it's doing or not doing something then there's probably a good reason for it.
This in of itself is a generalization and I think you should be careful. There are imperfections in our biological makeup but largely nature does not do very much by accident. If there are other mammalian species that rely on estrous and periods of going into heat, then there must be some clear reason why humans are capable of sexual interaction at all times. It's because we are a highly social species. Most primates travel in large groups and have complicated social functions, of which sex is a part.

Ovulation is a bit of a strain on the body's resources and to constantly be ovulating I would think would mean a female's body would require more resources than could reasonably be provided and still maintain the formula that made humanity successful.
You are honing in too much on biological reproduction and ignoring the role of parenting. Children with two stable parents have a higher chance of reaching successful (definition: healthy and able to function independently) adulthood than those in single parent situations. There is clearly a role that monogamy plays in human development and the fact that social institutions like marriage are globally part of our species' civilization demonstrates that.

Also, with a constant male sex drive and a short female ovulation period, you can have the double effect of more intense competition for the female's time because the males know that go time is so short as well as serving to help bolster the population. Males dont require a lot of caloric energy to be randy and it takes us very little time and effort to "reload". The more mates a male has, the better his chances of finding a mate who is in season and producing more offspring and a bigger mating pool for the next generation.
From a purely biological standpoint your argument has credit, but again it ignores the function of long term parenting. Why do humans fall in love and engage in long-term relationships if the ultimately goal is simply sperm and egg meeting? Why do humans not live an independent existence like some other mammals who only interact for mating purposes? We form long term bonds and family units for a reason, and that reason is increased success for the next generation.

As an aside, the fact that males ARE able to very quickly provide a repeat performance, possibly to another mate, so soon after an orgasm suggests that males are MEANT to be highly sexual; you dont give a sniper a fully automatic weapon.
From what I know of male reproductive biology, sperm count decreases with frequent ejaculation. If you don't ejaculate for a few days, your sperm count is significantly higher than if you are having sex often. Sperm take about 40 days to fully mature and so frequent expenditure actually decreases reproductive effectiveness. This would mean that if you are involved with one partner and they are the only recipient of your sperm, you would have higher reproductive success than if your sperm were distributed to many partners.

Again, I think you are understating the social function of sex. Also, pleasure is the main incentive for sex and humans have the intelligence to pursue it more cunningly than other species while enhancing the experience through various methods.

I would agree that bonding is an important aspect of sexuality however I would disagree that it is the top goal or driving force. I would also wonder why we've never been particularly driven to be more non-productively sexual (sex for fun rather than sex for reproduction) with members of our own families or same genders.
You bring up a good point, which is: why do humans engage in non-reproductive sexual behaviors? Oral sex and manual stimulation ("foreplay") can be the mainstays of sex in many relationships. You can't just write those practices off as a universal prelude to reproductive sex.

And last time I checked, a significant number of people, including myself, are homosexual, and are clearly driven to same-sex relationships and activities.

I would ask where these social roles are ultimately rooted. Societal norms and ideas generally aren't pulled out of thin air and have an ultimate root in a biological drive.
The idea of men being driven to have multiple partners, I think, is a fantasy of the modern world. In practically all traditional societies - which includes ours before the modern era - couples had monogamous relationships and nuclear family structures. This is rooted in survival tactics for children. Marriage itself as an institution is a product of that. I'm not denying that infidelity and the tendency to multiple partners is not a theme in human history, but I don't necessarily agree that it has to do with reproductive success so much as it has to do with having sexual outlets.

Illegitimate children, historically, have had the some of the worst success rates for survival. So even though some men may try to "spread the seed" to as many people as possible, it does not ensure a higher success rate for children.

It is more fair to say that sex has both a social/recreational and reproductive purpose. It doesn't have to be one or the other. Distinguishing the two is important but can be difficult. Reproductive sex has the highest success rate in monogamous situations. The fact that children are a consequence of recreational sex does not mean recreational sex is meant to facilitate reproduction per se, and we know this because humans engage in non-reproductive sexual activities. Rather, it's more objective to say that we have one set of sexual organs that perform several different roles in our lives, and sometimes they can be overlapping.
 

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I have heard multiple times that men are more polygamous by nature because they can spread their seed. It may partially explain why men want more sexual partners, but it fails to explain the theory that most men are naturally polygamous.
You need to start by definitively proving this point, utilizing actual research versus conjecture.
 

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You need to start by definitively proving this point, utilizing actual research versus conjecture.
I have a lot of thirty year old data I'd be happy to share.

That summer of 74 was particularly rich in research.
 

American

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I personally think it’s pre-human instincts for preservation of the species. The subconscious goal of sex in many animals is to impregnate as many females as possible. The male who is dominant enough to impregnate many females is passing on the best genetics for dominance and strength, thus the best genetics for survival.
I don't think man was ever that altruistic. We were never trying to preserve the species. We were trying to preserve our own selves. Of course God did say go forth and multiply, is that what you are eluding to?
 

Hoplite

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I don't think man was ever that altruistic. We were never trying to preserve the species. We were trying to preserve our own selves. Of course God did say go forth and multiply, is that what you are eluding to?
It's not a question of altruism, it's a question of evolutionary selection of genetic traits. Organisms with a high urge to procreate are more likely to survive because of a high population thus the instinct to procreate becomes a way to preserve the species.
 
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