Lifetime Reproductive Success

A popular misconception of evolution is that it is about individual survival. On the contrary, it is about lifetime reproductive success. An animal that lives for x years and has y children is a bigger success than an animal of the same species that lives for 3x years and has y/3 children. This is with the reservation that the survival of the children is unrelated to parental longevity. In some species that is the case, since the parents do not protect and educate the young; in other species, it is the case for the father and not for the mother. In such species the female’s lifetime reproductive success requires that she stay alive to ensure that her children reach reproductive age, while the father’s lifetime reproductive success requires only that he be very good at impregnating the females. In the latter case, it is better to live fast and die young than live cautiously to a great age without getting laid. And the genetic success of this strategy will encode it more and more firmly into the behaviour of the males of such a species, unless it is opposed by culture.

Among human beings, it is culture that determines whether a man helps bring up the young, or leaves the woman holding the baby while he impregnates a whole lot more women; and it is also culture that determines whether, under such conditions, her young will survive or not. A culture that supports single mothers, while at the same time failing to encourage and compel males to pull their weight as fathers, is not only creating a perverse incentive structure – as critics of welfare have long been pointing out – it is also likely to change the genetic profile of future generations in the direction of physical attractiveness, seductive patter, propensity to violence or whatever other qualities made the fathers such effective sperm donors. The drug kingpin who is gunned down at 35 after fathering ten illegitimate children is a bigger biological success than the history professor who dies at 95 leaving two children. Of the drug dealer’s ten children, some may die in childhood, and most of the rest will follow in his footsteps; but if they inherit his genes for pulling the women, the deceased dealer will also have more grandchildren than the professor. If this happens, the cultural bias towards intense male assertion, display and risk-taking – that is, gang culture — can only accelerate.

The reason why a Lothario can be so irresistible to women, and also the reason why pointing out that he has a girl on every street and is a lousy provider is so utterly ineffective in cooling their enthusiasm for extramarital impregnation, have the same explanation: a single Lothario Junior can do more for their great-grandchildren score than a whole brood of milquetoasts.

Posted on September 9, 2012 at 09:00 by Hugo Grinebiter · Permalink
In: WHAT WOMEN WANT, All The Nice Girls Love An Arsehole

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