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August 14th, 2003

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09:53 am - rough garden
I know very little about Joan Roughgarden, but I like what I read in this article from the Guardian today, about her subversion of sociobiology.

Two points in particular appeal to me:

Firstly that sexuality is a social rather than a primarily reproductive activity among complex and sociable animals like us.

According to this, much of the sexual behaviour observed in (those kinds of) animals is not designed to propagate genes, at least not directly.

Once you have conceded this point, much of the oppressive infrastructure of bioological determinism of human sexuality falls away.

The second part of her theory is that females do not choose males for their genes, as Darwin taught, but to avoid "deadbeat dads". She says females manage male power by selecting for good fathers rather than good sperm. This, she believes, creates a marketplace for reproductive opportunity.

And this I think is also very true. Are there any women anywhere who are actually attracted to the kind of men we are told by scientists we are supposed to find sexy? (What a convoluted sentence that is).

I think it's about time we developed a scientific discourse on sexuality which reflected what we actually feel and want, rather than the boring narrow paradigms that are presented to us as 'options'.

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