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Tuesday, August 05, 2003

Sex Part III

I heard about this study which suggests that regardless of sexual orientation, women are aroused by both male and female visual stimuli, whereas men are more exclusively attracted to their preferred gender. Granting the validity of the experiment for the moment, I wonder what the biological function of this difference would be. Assuming that heterosexual men are naturally polygamous (which seems likely given its frequency both in ancient history and among other pack animals), perhaps it would reduce sexual frustration and interpersonal conflict among a man's harem if they were sexually attracted to one another as well as to their mate. If caveman Jones is sleeping with wife Alice for the time being, then his other wives Betty and Clarissa could sleep with each other, obviating conflict with Alice and relieving their cravings. If Betty and Clarissa were exclusively heterosexual they would need to commit adultery with other men, undesirable from the Darwinian viewpoint since Jones would then risk expending energy on raising children with another man's genetic code. Interesting that, as I mentioned before, Anais Nin and Frida Kahlo turned to female lovers after discovering their male partners' womanizing.


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