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Intra-vaginal anti-cuckoldry tactics and the psychobiology of semen: An Evo Psych pop quiz

Napping: A terrible anti-cuckoldry tactic
Napping: A terribly ineffective anti-cuckoldry tactic

Today, a little Evo Psych Pop Quiz for you all!

5 of the following 6 statements are actual quotes from a 2007 article in the open access peer-reviewed journal Evolutionary Psychology. Can you spot the quote that isn’t from the article?

  1. “The section on intra-vaginal anti-cuckoldry tactics focuses on sperm competition, providing fascinating descriptions of the semen-displacement hypothesis (Gallup Jr. and Burch) and the psychobiology of semen (Burch and Gallup Jr.).”
  2. “[I]ntra-vaginal battles demand men to become aroused to situations that are actually unpleasant for them, for instance the suspicion of their partner’s infidelity.”
  3. “This section also includes discussions of the interesting notions that … women should not be motivated to have sex with their main partner right after an extra-pair copulation because of the possibility of sperm displacement (the penis appears to be shaped to do just that), [and] that a man may manipulate a woman’s mood via semen content (Rice, 1996, has experimentally shown something similar in fruit flies) … .”
  4.  “One of the mating strategies examined as an early prevention method is violence against women within partnered relationships.”
  5.  “Despite this scrutiny, a man can still gain from deliberately ejaculating in front of his partner from time to time. Choosing each occasion carefully so as to display a good ejaculation can be a powerful way to advertise his continuing good health.”
  6. “Affirmative feedback did not increase men’s likelihood to allocate resources to self-morphed images, but men were significantly less likely to allocate resources to self morphed images when told the morphed image did not resemble them … . “

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Answer: Number 5 is the ringer! But, lacking confidence in my own ability to come up with something as convincingly batty as the quotes from the real article, I cheated a little here, borrowing this quote from a real Evo Psych book — Sperm Wars, by Robin Baker, a popular title from a major publisher recommended on countless Pickup Artist and “Red Pill” reading lists. It’s a truly bizarre and often quite disturbing read. (If you have a bit of Google-fu you should be able to locate a pdf of it online with no trouble.)

And speaking of pdfs, if you want tp read the article in Evo Psych I got most of these quotes from, a book review by Kelly D. Suschinsky and Martin L. Lalumière titled The View From the Cuckold, you can find a pdf of it here. See, I really didn’t just make it up!

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eseldbosustow
8 years ago

Strangely, I guessed right. Lucky guess. I kind of assumed anything with a parenthetical citation would be from evo psych research and not PUA forums.

Yeah… evo psych is pretty much the worst thing ever.

hellkell
hellkell
8 years ago

Intra-vaginal battles? Is it Thunderdome in there?

Mongoose
Mongoose
8 years ago

This article passed peer review?

MordsithJ
8 years ago

Peer review doesn’t count for much if the whole field of study is a joke.

Andrew Johnston
8 years ago

Shit – I actually remember that article. For those of you who aren’t well-versed in academic jargon, the authors were forwarding this theory that the human penis is adapted to force another man’s semen out of a woman’s vagina (“[I]ntra-vaginal battles”), thus ensuring that she didn’t get pregnant with someone else’s child. If it’s the same study that I recall, their experiment entailed filling a bunch of Fleshlights with viscous goo and then cramming dildos of varying sizes and shapes into them to see how much goo they displaced. I’d love to have seen the budget sheet on that grant.

mildlymagnificent
8 years ago

Oh my giddy aunt.

Open access always sounds so high-minded and A Good Thing all round.

Seems this journal is a bit too much like having a mind so open your brains fall out.

drst
drst
8 years ago

In a field like evo psych, you’re being peer reviewed by people as nuts as you are, so it counts for little. Clearly. (Peer review is generally never fun, but actual legitimate disciplines do care about limiting the nuttery.)

Monster
8 years ago

I recall the ‘sperm-plunger penis’ stuff being mentioned (and laughed at) a couple of years ago in a course at uni. I didn’t dare look up the methodology at the time. 0_o

titianblue
titianblue
8 years ago

Not “nuts”, please, DRST. Stupid/stupidity?

Tam
Tam
8 years ago

titianblue,

How about just “wrong”? 🙂

pecunium
8 years ago

Funny, I just commented in an older thread (I’m catching up) to someone who put forth that idea.

I read a piece doing actual research on the theory of the glans being a tool for displacing semen (which was a piece of semi-conventional wisdom twenty five years ago), which said it was piss-poor at doing it (and worse if uncircumcised),because the flange isn’t circumpenile; liquids flow back up from underneath as they are displaced from above.

There is some evidence for minor competition in the behavior of sperm (there are “blocker” sperm which move slowly, and interfere with sperm behind them, and “attacker” sperm which act like antibodies and entangle themselves with sperm from another male, etc.).

But all in all, Homo sapiens doesn’t use a very sperm competitive mating strategy; we seem inclined to moderately persistent pair bonding, and group identification; leading to “clan” structures in which all the children are seen as “in-group” (which persisted in some ways well into the modern era; see the use of “cousin” in English to refer to any number of semi-related persons), and fairly consistent levels of exogamy.

And we like to fuck for fun.

Binjabreel
8 years ago

Okay, the sperm plunger bit is laughable (I remember my evo psych prof laughing at it, and pointing out that “women find it pleasurable” would be more than enough to explain the evolution of the head of the penis) but it is worth mentioning that this hypothesis is actually pretty solid- that as far as things like the extent of sexual dimorphism in our species (there isn’t as much as most primates) and the ratio of the size of our genitals to the rest of the body (it’s insanely high, higher than most other primates- yes, we have huge balls), are things we have in common with primates where the major source of “competition” between males is inside the females vagina.

Which would seem to indicate that, yeah, humans had a point where the dominant mating strategy was women boning the crap out of every male they could get their hands on, and the one with the most come won. It’s a mating strategy that a few other primates use, so it’s not actually that far out of left field.

In other words, evolutionary evidence of hypergamy for the ladies! In your face, scrotosphere.

Plus, totes guessed five. Psychologists wouldn’t talk about something that disturbing without plenty more euphemisms.

Tam
Tam
8 years ago

binjabreel,

…the ratio of the size of our genitals to the rest of the body (it’s insanely high, higher than most other primates- yes, we have huge balls)

Bzzzt! Our closest relatives, P. troglodytes and P. paniscus have testicles that dwarf those of H. sap. As pecunium noted above, humans do not use a very sperm-competitive mating strategy.

drst
drst
8 years ago

@titanblue – yes. Damn. Sorry that slipped through there.

Viscaria
Viscaria
8 years ago

Does anybody else see “There are no public comments available to display?” Humph, I say to that!

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

@ Viscaria

Me too. Happened just a few minutes ago.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

On the cocks being designed like a toilet plunger theory, are evo-psych guys trying to put het women off sex forever? Because everything they write about sex definitely puts me off for a while.

Xen
Xen
8 years ago

Okay, so from what I know about the misapplication of evo psych is that women and men evolved to fit certain roles and when these roles are broken it’s “bad” somehow.
But isn’t that progress? Just because we’re aware of a process doesn’t mean we have to follow it. So what if the role is broken? it just means we have freewill against our biology.

Please correct me if I’m wrong. These MRAs screwed with the meaning so much I don’t know what is going on.

CassandraSays
CassandraSays
8 years ago

Well, you see, once upon a time various species changed in interesting ways in response to their environment. Over a long enough time period these changes were known as “evolution”, and it was a good thing. When the things that change over time are gender roles, though, that is a horrible, awful thing, and it’s known as “feminazi communist fascism OMFG make it stop”.

Karalora
Karalora
8 years ago

are evo-psych guys trying to put het women off sex forever?

Yes, Yes they are. Because then they can point and go “SEE??? Teh wimminz doesn’t want teh sexytimes!! NAYCHUR!” and win valuable Argument Points which they can redeem for prizes at the Asshat Prize Counter.

Xen
Xen
8 years ago

Thanks Cassandra!

sparky
sparky
8 years ago

[and] that a man may manipulate a woman’s mood via semen content (Rice, 1996, has experimentally shown something similar in fruit flies) … .”

That’s not how that works, dude.

And what’s ze trying to say in #4? That battering women is a good way to prevent infidelity? Cause, if that’s it, my blood just started boiling.

Xen
Xen
8 years ago

Using this as justification to abuse women is weak willed. You’re human MRAs, you can control yourself. You’re embarrassing the rest of us.

Andrew Johnston
8 years ago

To be fair, you really can’t condemn Ev-Psych as a field based on the garbage you see at MRA sites and the like. Most of the research in the field tends to focus on things like group dynamics, sexual selection, pattern recognition and other things that most people here probably wouldn’t find that controversial. That’s the stuff that never makes mainstream news sources because the media believe that it wouldn’t be exciting to a lay audience. By contrast, dubious crap like “girls are biologically programmed to prefer pink” (my personal favorite bad study) is Grade A linkbait, so that’s all you ever see.

tedthefed
tedthefed
8 years ago

Xen: Pretty much. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appeal_to_nature

Every Evolutionary Psychologist (or evolutionary psychology inspired psychologist) I’ve ever talked to is very, very careful about it. Of course, they would all run screaming from an open access journal, because that shit’ll wreck your CV.

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