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Every year, millions of people around the world are being told they have a non-existent disorder and being sold medication that benefits pharmaceutical companies in the billions of dollars.

Background History:

In my previous post (Monogamy Violates the Laws of Nature), you were presented with the research showing that not only does monogamy (one man-one woman, forever) violate the laws of nature, but humans are predisposed genetically to having multiple partners. While there are some social benefits to monogamy, biologically and genetically it is not natural. In spite of the pressure from socially imposed rules and customs, it is nearly impossible for people to continue to be sexually stimulated by the same person forever. Genetically, humans are wired biologically to become more sexually aroused by different partners throughout their life. We all know this intellectually and intuitively. If in doubt, consider this:

The Seven Year Itch:   The phrase was first used to describe an inclination to become unfaithful after seven years of marriage Divorce rates show a trend in couples that, on average, divorce around seven years. Statistics show that there is a low risk of separation during the first months of marriage. After the “honeymoon” months, divorce rates start to increase. Most married couples experience a gradual decline in the quality of their marriage around the fourth year. Around the seventh year, tensions rise to a point that couples either divorce or adapt to their partner.[3] In samples taken from the National Center for Health Statistics, there proves to be an average median duration of marriage across time. In 1922 the median duration of marriage that ended in divorce was 6.6.[4] In 1974 the median duration was 7.5. In 1990 the median duration was 7.2. While these can fluctuate from year to year, the averages stay relatively close to the seven year mark.[5]

After the first kiss, the second one is never the same.   The connection between the emotional and physiological aspects of love have been heavily studied. The parts of the brain[6] responsible for the effects of love are the ventral tegmental area,[7] hypothalamus,[8] the nucleus accumbens,[9] and numerous other parts of the brain. These parts of the brain create the side categories of love: sex, romance, and attachment.

Familiarity breeds contempt:   Sexual lust for a partner comes from the hypothalamus. This controls the hormones in the body, which then create the physical responses (rapid breathing, accelerated heart rate) that are characteristic of a person in love. All of this is part of what you are born with genetically. The BRAIN and GENETICS will determine when you are sexually stimulated, and the evidence shows that it is normal for humans to lose sexual interest in their partner in a short period of time, while still retaining the ability to become sexually aroused by a new partner.

Other interesting Statistics:

In the USA, 50% of marriages end in divorce. Of those who remain married, 25% of men and 20% of women admit to having cheated. This means that nearly 75% have found other sexual partners.

The divorce rate for a third marriage is 73%–When it comes to marriage, practice doesn’t make perfect. In fact, it only seems to make you worse.

In China, over 5,000 couples a DAY get divorced.

Nearly every movie made involves some aspect of sexual lust or infidelity.

Computer porn sites are thriving all over the world, in spite of herculean efforts by some countries to shut them down.

Even politicians, who are under the watchful eye of the public 24/7, are more apt to be booted out of office for sexual indiscretions than being voted out.

Hollywood stars, married to the most desirable partners, have higher divorce rates than the average population… (more opportunity?)

SO NOW, THE SCENE IS SET:   Biologically, genetically, humans are wired to normally be sexually aroused to their partners for a short period of time, after which they are more sexually aroused by the presence of another potential partner.

If you are a pharmaceutical company, your dream is to find a medicine that treats or cures a common disease. But, your GOAL is to make money, clear and simple. It is NOT to save humanity from some dreaded disease or reduce pain and suffering. If that we so, the pharmaceutical companies would be selling drugs at reasonable prices so everyone that needed them could benefit. And yes, it is true that making new drugs can be costly and finding new diseases to treat takes time. So, wouldn’t it be easier to INVENT a disease, then sell an already existing drug at an inflated price, to treat the invented disease! You only need to convince most of the population that they have this ‘disease’ then offer a treatment. Profits would be in the billions. And, that is exactly what happened.

In 1998, a pharmaceutical company got a drug approved called Sildenafil to treat angina (chest pain). The drug was not very effective but one of the side effects patients reported was having an occasional erection after taking the drug. The drug company then decided to market the drug for people suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED) and charge a higher price than the original drug. The problem is that REAL erectile dysfunction is not a common disorder and is limited to a small percent of the population.

Erectile Dysfunction is also called Impotence, but let’s be honest, it sounds better for the drug companies to say you have ED than you are Impotent. ED is a “disorder” that anyone or everyone can fess up to, but being Impotent is reserved for the really sick!

According to the medical experts (Merck Manual), Erectile Dysfunction can come from five causes:

1. Endocrine Diseases

The body’s endocrine system produces hormones that regulate metabolism, sexual function, reproduction, mood, and much more.

2. Neurological and Nerve Disorders

Several neurologic conditions can increase the risk for impotence. Nerve conditions affect the brain’s ability to communicate with the reproductive system. This can prevent a man from achieving an erection.

Alzheimer’s disease

brain or spinal tumors

multiple sclerosis


temporal lobe epilepsy

Men who’ve had prostate gland surgery can also experience nerve damage that causes impotence.
3. Taking Medications

Taking certain medications can affect blood flow, which can lead to ED. A man should never stop taking a medicine without his doctor’s permission, even if it’s known to cause impotence.

4. Cardiac-Related Conditions

Conditions that affect the heart and its ability to pump blood well can cause impotence. Without enough blood flow to the penis, a man can’t achieve an erection.

Atherosclerosis, a condition that causes the blood vessels to become clogged, can cause impotence. High cholesterol and high blood pressure (hypertension) are also associated with increased risks for impotence.

5. Lifestyle Factors and Emotional Disorders

To achieve an erection, a man must first go through the excitement phase. This phase can be an emotional response. If a man has an emotional disorder, this affects his ability to become sexually excited.


Interesting that the five reasons for erectile dysfunction does not include normal biological lack of interest due to the natural genetic makeup of humans. This essentially opens the door to say basically EVERYONE HAS OR WILL HAVE ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION in their life. The drug companies have a happy future, at our expense.


The money is not in selling drugs to those that absolutely need it, but in selling drugs to those that don’t need it, but think they do.

HOW EFFECTIVE IS VIAGRA? I think the real question is: “how effective is Viagra in treating those with REAL erectile dysfunction, as compared to how effective is Viagra in treating men and women who have NORMAL reduced sexual desire for their current partner?” If Viagra was treating a genuine disorder, you would expect a high percent of positive comments. However, if not achieving an erection and a lack of sexual interest with a long-term partner is a normal biological genetic event, then you would expect to see large numbers of people saying, “ït didn’t work for me” And, from what I could find on line, this is exactly what I found. Viagra works for some and does not work for others.

And, just when you thought it could not get better they now have a Viagra equivalent for women!

ENTER VIAGRA FOR WOMEN, called Flibanserin
The Viagra equivalent for women (Filbanserin) was rejected by the FDA several times, stating that the effects were not strong enough to warrant approval. Studies with women taking the drug only had a .5 to 1 more sexually satisfying event a month! (obviously, having .5 or ½ of a sexually satisfying experience a month can only be described as statistical… I wouldn’t know how else to describe it without laughing). The side effects are fatigue, low blood pressure, fainting, etc.

But, I will bet that 99% of the women in the study would have no trouble having a “sexually satisfying experience” more frequently if Brad Pitt or George Clooney were under the sheets. So, is it justifiable to say these women have a “disorder” that prevents them from having a “satisfying sexual experience” with their partner. It seems that calling something a “disorder” allows physicians to “prescribe” the drug, and allows the drug companies to set a “whatever the market will bear” price.

I recently interviewed a sex therapist (MD) who treats patients for what they think is ED (erectile dysfunction). Many say they are not capable of achieving an erection or sexual excitement with their partner and therefore, must have a treatable physical disorder. However, when presented with a NEW sexual partner, or a pornographic movie, they can magically achieve an erection and sexual excitement again. The same is true for both males and females.


IT IS NOT NICE TO FOOL MOTHER NATURE, unless you are a drug company wanting to make billions.

As of 2013, the manufacturer of Viagra has made 2 billion US dollars!!


Submitted by: Evgenia Ioannou

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Pluto’s Moon Kerberos Gets Into the Picture

Thank you, your article was very interesting and insightful!


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Pluto’s Moon Kerberos Gets Into the Picture

Source: Pluto’s Moon Kerberos Gets Into the Picture

Ancient DNA from two 11,500 year old burials in Alaska

Thank you, your article was very interesting and insightful! I read and shared it with my network.

Violent metaphors

Today I and my collaborators have a new paper published in PNAS!  Justin Tackney, the lead author of the paper, was kind enough to write up a summary of the findings to publish here on Violent Metaphors. Here is his take:

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Ancient DNA from two 11,500 year old burials in Alaska

Source: Ancient DNA from two 11,500 year old burials in Alaska

This Asteroid Will Come Eerily Close to Earth on Halloween

Thank you, your article was very interesting and insightful!

Lights in the Dark

Concept image of a large asteroid passing by Earth and the MoonA recently-discovered asteroid named 2015 TB145 will come within 1.3 lunar distances of Earth on Oct. 31, 2015. (Illustration by J. Major.)

Yes, it’s true: a rather not-so-tiny near-Earth asteroid 2015 TB145 will make a relatively close pass by our dear planet Earth on October 31, aka Halloween — the day when certain beliefs profess that the veil separating the worlds of the living and the dead is at its thinnest, allowing spiritual and even physical interaction to occur between both.

Of course there is no scientific evidence that the latter is at all true but it makes for good scary stories around the light of a campfire. And as the first-world campfires of today are the stark lights of computer monitors and smartphone screens, some are trying to weave scary stories about the passing of this asteroid as well. Should you be afraid? Certainly not. (But there is a cautionary tale to be told.)

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This Asteroid Will Come Eerily Close to Earth on Halloween

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Of course men cheat. It is built into their nature and part of their genetic order to have more than one partner and spread their genetic seed. I have always believed that if you want to know what is NATURAL in the world, all you have to do is open your eyes and look around. If what you are seeing happens a lot, then it’s natural. It may not be what we expect or want from life, but it damn sure is a natural part of it! And although a lot of women may not want to admit this openly, or see this fact so blatantly printed, they understand it to be true. You only need to ask a thousand women, “what are men really like” and the majority will say “men are pigs and they all cheat.” So, if nearly a total majority know and understand this to be true, why the reluctance to put it in print? So, let me summarize here what I have found in the latest Google search.

Is monogamy a natural order in the animal kingdom?

According to the animal kingdom, and research with creatures from insects and fish to birds, apes, lions, tigers and bears, monogamy is exceedingly uncommon in the natural world. In fact, with advances in the technology of genetic testing, many of the species previously lauded as being lifelong monogamous, are now known to actually have many sexual encounters outside their seemingly monogamous partnerships. While they may maintain long-term pair bonds with a single partner, they do not maintain sexual fidelity. Swans, geese, and eagles, species long romantically described as monogamous, have now been revealed to have engaged in non-monogamous sexual activity in as many as one out of four births. In fact, according to some researchers, it’s more newsworthy when evidence of monogamy and sexual fidelity is actually supported in the animal kingdom.

Among mammals, only a very few species live in seemingly monogamous arrangements, and fewer still maintain sexual fidelity within those relationships. Man certainly does not seem to be one of them. There is increasing evidence that many men are not biologically or psychologically disposed to sexual monogamy.
When one considers the seeming universality of the expectation of monogamy in today’s world (or at least the world presented by Western media), it is perhaps surprising that has not always been the expected state for man. Despite the vehemence with which many Christians defend monogamy, many men in the Bible, including David and Solomon, were far from monogamous. In fact, whenever conservative marriage advocates espouse “traditional marriage,” I always have to laugh – even in Christianity, traditional marriage included polygyny (a marriage arrangement with one man and multiple wives), and was not explicitly limited to a monogamous arrangement between “one man and one woman.”

Throughout the history of man, most societies practiced a range of relationships, with monogamy and polygyny the most common and only rare societies that mandated monogamy. Historically, polygyny has been one of the most common and prevalent forms of marriage, worldwide, with evidence that the acceptability of marriage of a single male to multiple females has been present in all human cultures through history. (Polyandry, a single woman with multiple male husbands has been very rare, and typically tied to unique economic circumstances.) Currently, less than 20 percent of world cultures require monogamy, the overwhelming majority allowing polygamous marriages. Less common were societies that practiced polyandry, where one woman has multiple husbands (which reportedly were found in less than 1 percent of worldwide societies).
Throughout history, many powerful men have eschewed monogamy for the privilege of having multiple female partners, typically through having multiple wives, concubines and mistresses. It was not all men who could support multiple wives, but usually only the wealthiest, most powerful men who could attract, protect, and provide for multiple wives and their children. But, in modern Western culture, men with multiple wives are seen as sinners and lawbreakers – in America, bigamy and polygyny is illegal, and was deemed a danger to society by the US Supreme court when it was outlawed in Utah in the 19th century.

Monogamy is enforced by law in the United States with criminal adultery statutes, laws against bigamy and in child custody laws. Infidelity is punishable by law in twenty-five states, and is subject to civil lawsuit in eight. While violations of such laws are rarely prosecuted, statutory penalties against these crimes range from two years’ imprisonment to commitment for treatment of insanity.

Even when partners do not sexually violate marriage expectations, with divorce rates as high as 60 percent in some cases, monogamy has less meaning than it once did. Serial monogamy is now the truer term, where individuals are monogamous as long as they are in a given relationship, but move on to other relationships, sexual and otherwise, once that relationship ends. Why then is monogamy the expected, required, and enforced marital ideal? Marriage laws, according to most experts, have more to do with contract and property law. Monogamy offers important assurances regarding parentage that support and clarify inheritance laws and precedents. Some writers and historians suggest that monogamy represents a political and economic compromise, between the needs of the powerful and the need to have a self-sufficient, satisfied, and motivated workforce.

Regardless, monogamy works, or at least the idea of monogamous marriage works. A commitment and bond between two partners meets needs for social, emotional, and physical intimacy, as well as financial, familial, and pragmatic needs in ways that no other relationship strategy has as effectively satisfied in current society. But, despite the effectiveness of a seemingly monogamous relationship, history shows that the ideal of monogamy, with the expectation of sexual and emotional fidelity, is not apparently suited for everyone.

Currently, debates over gay marriage have raised the specter of polygyny, with arguments that legalizing gay marriage could open the door to polygyny, with the fear of significant social consequences. Reality shows like Sister Wives, and HBO’s Big Love have elevated public dialogue and legal issues around the practice of polygyny. In my home state of New Mexico, an 85 year-old man in a rural town was recently arrested for bigamy, after he apparently became lonely during a very long separation from his wife, and married another woman – I don’t know the details of the case, but wonder how this marriage came to lead to criminal charges in the first place – where is the harm and threat to community here? Why does society fear polygyny, and believe that it poses a risk to the structure of our culture and society?

I’m not arguing here as to whether polygyny is healthy or not, nor am I discussing or denying the negative effects that polygyny has on women, including young girls. I am interested in discussing the question of why, if there truly is a patriarchal control of society, why did these men supposedly in charge give up the historical sexual privilege of polygyny?

A piece of the answer, and evidence for the cultural “cost-benefit” explanation of monogamy is revealed in recently published anthropological research. In “The puzzle of monogamous marriage” by Henrich, Boyd and Richerson, the authors present evidence that monogamy actually has significant social benefits. In polygyny, powerful men gather the most desirable women for themselves. And less powerful men “go hungry,” wifeless. In fact, throughout human history, while 80% of women have reproduced, only 40% of men have (this is a fascinating statistic, that I really invite you to think about. Imagine the downstream implications of this, as it affects which men in history reproduced, and how their characteristics were passed down to us today). Those men who couldn’t compete, didn’t get to have even a single wife, and thus didn’t have children. So, what did those men do with their time? According to Henrich, Boyd and Richerson, it appears they got into lots of trouble. Societies where polygyny has been (and still is) practiced, have higher rates of crimes involving males, especially violent crime. Apparently, if you can’t get a wife, what’s the point of following society’s rules?

But just because the men ostensibly in charge of modern societies “decided” to give up the right to have multiple wives, they clearly didn’t give up their interest in having sex with multiple women. The sex lives of leaders like Mao Zedong, Jack Kennedy, and Newt Gingrich, show that while these men may have imposed monogamy on other men (under Mao, infidelity was a punishable crime, and Gingrich vociferously attacked Clinton’s sexual infidelity), they haven’t been all that interested in following these rules themselves. It sounds like a case of “Do as I say, not as I do.” Famed psychoanalyst Carl Jung once wrote to Sigmund Freud that “The prerequisite for a good marriage, it seems to me, is the license to be unfaithful.”

As it was throughout history, the rule of monogamy was for the common man in society, not the leaders, who still got the privilege of having mistresses, with tacit social approval. Interestingly, this arrangement has even benefited the men in power, who are now no longer obligated to marry and support these other women, in order to pursue sexual variety. Nowadays, as I describe in The Myth of Sex Addiction, many of these men simply claim to be sex addicts and retreat into pseudo-treatment. Their mistresses are then merely the by-products of an uncontrollable illness, rather than people for whom these men are responsible.

Through a (probably unconscious) social process, modern Western societies have gravitated towards emphasis and requirement of monogamous marriages, because it smoothes out some significant social problems. By preventing powerful men from having multiple wives, and allowing all men a democratic chance to get married, men spend more time worrying about looking like good potential mates, and have less time and energy to break the rules and get in trouble. Modern society’s moral emphasis upon monogamy is based upon historical, pragmatic evidence of the social benefit of requiring monogamy for (most) men.

If monogamy is not the natural order of things, where did it originate? There are several, well documented, reasons:

Religion….. Christianity promoted monogamy, even though most of the world tended towards polygamy… (one husband, multiple wives). In fact, the Christian church did not prohibit polygamy as much as church leaders. In truth, there are NO passages in the bible that specifically mention monogamy! In fact, several central Old Testament figures are polygynists. Abraham, for instance, had two wives simultaneously, and Solomon had 700 (plus 300 concubines).

Socially imposed monogamy was first established in ancient Greece and Rome, centuries before Christianity even existed. But even though Christianity did not introduce socially imposed monogamy to the West, it did fully embrace this institution, and as noted above, it was this embracement that ultimately led to monogamy’s spread throughout the Western world. So, why did monogamy spread throughout the Western World. It spread because historically, monogamous groups were advantaged militarily over polygynous groups (Alexander, 1987). The ancient Greco-Roman and medieval European leaders who embraced anti-polygyny laws were heavily invested in the business of war, and their own social status and indeed survival often depended on their ability to maintain large, well-funded armies. And the imposition of monogamy produced bigger, better armies, because monogamous groups can grow larger than polygynous ones.

Clovis converting to Christianity
Why can monogamous groups grow larger? Because men want wives, and if you need a lot of men on your team, you must offer them something that they want. In monogamous groups, unlike polygynous ones, high status males cannot hoard large numbers of women for themselves. The more equal distribution of women in monogamous groups means that more men can acquire wives, and fewer men have to leave the group to search for wives elsewhere. And the larger the group, the more men there are to fight in battles and to pay taxes for the funding of wars. Socially imposed monogamy, therefore, emerged in the West as a reciprocal arrangement in which elite males allowed lower-ranking males to marry, in exchange for their military service and tax contributions.

After socially imposed monogamy was established, Westerners became so accustomed to it that many began to see it as the normal state of human mating, and to see the formerly universal practice of polygyny as foreign and strange

News of politicians’ extramarital affairs seems to be in no short supply lately, but if humans were cut from exactly the same cloth as other mammals, a faithful spouse would be an unusual phenomenon.

Only 3 percent to 5 percent of the roughly 5,000 species of mammals (including humans) are known to form lifelong, monogamous bonds , with the loyal superstars including beavers, wolves and some bats.

Social monogamy is a term referring to creatures that pair up to mate and raise offspring but still have flings. Sexually monogamous pairs mate with only with one partner. So a cheating husband who detours for a romantic romp yet returns home in time to tuck in the kids at night would be considered socially monogamous.

Evolutionary psychologists have suggested that men are more likely to have extramarital sex, partially due to the male urge to “spread genes” by broadcasting sperm. Both males and females, these scientists say, try to up their evolutionary progress by seeking out high-quality mates, albeit in different ways.

The committed partnership between a man and a woman evolved, some say, for the well-being of children.

“The human species has evolved to make commitments between males and females in regards to raising their offspring, so this is a bond,” said Jane Lancaster, an evolutionary anthropologist at the University of New Mexico. “However that bond can fit into all kinds of marriage patterns – polygyny, single parenthood, monogamy.”
The human species is somewhat unique amongst mammals in that fathers do invest in raising children .

“We do know that in humans we do have this pretty strong pair bond, and there’s more paternal investment than in most other primates,” said Daniel Kruger, a social and evolutionary psychologist at the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. “We’re special in this regard, but at the same time like most mammals, we are a polygynous species.” Kruger said humans are considered “mildly polygynous,” in which a male mates with more than one female.

Whether or not the married or otherwise committed individuals stray for sex depends on the costs and benefits.

“There is plenty of evidence that males have less to lose than females by having extramarital sex,” Lancaster said. “Having less to lose, it’s easier for them to do it.”

Women, however, could lose “dad’s” resources when it comes to raising their kids. “For women, the well-being of their children is not improved by promiscuity,” Lancaster told LiveScience.
Some scientists view both social and sexual monogamy in humans as a societal structure rather than a natural state.

“I don’t think we are a monogamous animal,” said Pepper Schwartz, a professor of sociology at the University of Washington in Seattle. “A really monogamous animal is a goose – which never mates again even if its mate is killed.”

She added, “Monogamy is invented for order and investment – but not necessarily because it’s ‘natural.'”

Many are quick to label a person who strays from his or her marriage or relationship as a “cheater,” but it’s really not that simple. It’s time for our culture to wake up and smell the sex pheromones: monogamy is not natural for many, or probably even most, humans.

With people living longer than ever before, a greater tolerance toward the human impulse to experience sexual variety is needed. Whether a person succeeds at being sexually monogamous depends as much on biology as environment.

The rise of the love marriage

Marrying for love is a relatively new concept. Beginning with Enlightenment — the cultural movement of the 18th and 19th centuries — when the pursuit of happiness became a legitimate human pursuit, marrying for love slowly but surely became an aspiration in the Western world.

But for most of human history, marriage was primarily a socioeconomic transaction. Spending the rest of your life with someone was more about the protection of property and the sharing of labor than it was about romance.

The side effect of the rise of marriage as a romantic proposition was that sexual jealousy became a more prevalent ingredient in marriage than it had been previously. Over time, sexual fidelity has come to be regarded as the barometer of a successful marriage — regardless of what science tells us about natural human inclinations.
Lovebirds cheat

Biologically, we humans are animals. So it makes sense to look to the animal kingdom for clues as to what we are built for. Let’s start with birds. For some time, bird species such as lovebirds and penguins were celebrated among humans for their seemingly monogamous ways. About 90% of birds were thought to be strictly monogamous.
But DNA fingerprinting knocked birds off the monogamy perch. Analysis of avian DNA indicates that many nestlings’ fathers are not their biological fathers. This led experts to distinguish between unions that are sexually exclusive and those that are socially monogamous — meaning a pair that raises a family together but indulges in what are called “extra pair copulations.”
“Faithless pairing” is the norm
The evidence shows that monogamy is a rarity among mammals. Only 3% to 5% of all the mammal species on Earth “practice any form of monogamy.” In fact, no mammal species has been proven to be truly monogamous.

One species, the prairie vole was subjected to scrutiny by biologists because it appeared to be truly monogamous. But it turns out that as a species, it just has a very high rate of sexual monogamy. Not every prairie vole resists straying. Studies of prairie voles helped scientists understand that from a chemical and biological standpoint, sexual monogamy depends not just on particular hormones that are released in the brain, but on receptors for these hormones.

Among humans, here’s the rub: we have the chemicals and the receptors, but it varies from person to person how much we have. Based on brain wiring alone, inclination toward fidelity can vary dramatically from one individual to another. In other words, “once a cheater, always a cheater,” might have as much to do with brain wiring as with a person’s moral compass, upbringing or culture.
The bottom line is that flings are far from folly, at least in the animal kingdom. Even swans — symbols of fidelity — are not monogamous.

One partner for 50 years?
It’s also important to look at human longevity with respect to cultural expectations of monogamy. As recent as over 100 years ago, it was far more likely that an individual would lose his or her spouse at a young age. Remarriage by widows and widowers — also known as serial monogamy — was one way for humans to fulfill the need for sexual variety.

Today, the median age for first marriages is 28 for men and 26 for women. Disease is far less likely to kill someone in their prime and life expectancy hovers in the late 70s. Because fidelity is considered the barometer of a successful marriage, this means that a person is theoretically expected to have one sexual partner for about 50 years.
This seems like a lot to expect of any human being — even the most honorable, ethical and moral. Those who are able to stay with one partner for a long haul are sometimes looked upon with awe. Certainly, a lasting and happy marriage tends to be far better for the children.

It has long been assumed that men struggle more with monogamy than women. Some experts have started to question this theory. With the development of a drug that promises to boost female libido, one can argue that sexual boredom and the temptation to stray is as big of an issue for women as it is for men, if not more so.

Human monogamy is influenced by many factors. Instead of pointing fingers or acting morally superior toward those who stray from marriages, we should recognize that strict sexual fidelity is a lofty but perhaps fundamentally doomed aspiration. No two individuals, and no two couples are alike, and we should respect that. When it comes to being faithful and monogamous, there isn’t a difference in the sexes, one psychology expert believes.

Another interesting perspective from the animal kingdom, of which we are a part!

While it’s often thought that men are more promiscuous than women, Christopher Ryan, a PhD of psychology and co-author of the book Sex at Dawn, told a TED conference this week that in terms of evolution, there’s no reason why this should be the case.
‘We need to move beyond ‘men are from Mars and women are from Venus,’ he said. ‘The truth is that men are from Africa and women are from Africa.’

Ryan said humans are the most genetically related to chimps and bonobos than they are to any other primate – and as a result our sexual natures are also similar. He pointed out that bonobos are famous for their sexual promiscuity. Like humans, they are among the only animals that have sex face-to-face and the males have external testicles.

Evolution: Humans are genetically very similar to the Bonobo
Ryan said it is this that means the males are promiscuous: ‘External testicles are like having an extra fridge in the garage for beer. If you’re the kind of guy that has a beer fridge, you expect a party to happen at any moment,’ he joked. He said that female bonobos are just as equipped to have sex at any given moment because they are capable of engaging in sex for 90 per cent of their menstrual cycle.

Another similarity is that humans, chimps and bonobos don’t just use sex for reproductive purposes – but as a form of bonding. But chimps and bonobos don’t restrict their bonding to just one partner for life as many humans have been encouraged to do. Thus Ryan believes monogamy is not hardwired in either men or women. He said sexual exclusivity came later with monogamy in many societies becoming the ideal way in which to raise a family. Ryan said this was particularly reinforced in the ‘prudish’ Victorian era.

Ryan notes that while monogamy has now become an accepted and ‘right’ way of life in many societies today where we are conditioned to believe that being faithful is natural, in fact, our primal urges are to be promiscuous. Or as Ryan phrases it: ‘Just because you have chosen to be a vegetarian, doesn’t mean that bacon stops smelling good.’

And finally, a divergent perspective that may leave the real answer UP IN THE AIR.

In this time of year for heart-shaped boxes of chocolate, I hope it won’t seem too cynical to ask an objective scientific question: Are we humans actually monogamous by nature?

Our cultural landscape doesn’t help much in answering that. We praise stable, devoted relationships, yet we are titillated and tempted by alternatives. A large percentage of marriages end in divorce, yet a far smaller percentage of married people get divorced—that is, our high divorce rate results disproportionately from serial divorcers.
Anthropology doesn’t give a clear answer either. Historically, most cultures have allowed polygamy. But within such cultures, most people are monogamous. In the numerous cultures where polygamy is a function of wealth, there are no doubt many monogamous men who would be polygamous if they could buy more wives. And then, of course, there are the rare polyandrous cultures where one woman may have multiple husbands.

Other primates offer some insights into our human nature. Among the hundreds of primate species, some are polygamous (including our close relatives, chimps and baboons), and others monogamous (such as gibbons and marmosets). Each group has a different cluster of biological and behavioral traits.

Among polygamous primates, males typically spend much of their time competing for high rank in dominance hierarchies and for mating access to females. Males are far more aggressive, bigger, heavier and more muscular than females and have bigger canines—the better to slash an opponent with. Male baboons, for example, have twice the body weight and canine length of females. Such primates are often called, for good reason, “tournament” species. Males in these species have higher metabolic rates and shorter life spans than females, and they basically put zero effort into caring for kids. In other words, all a female gets from a mate are his genes, and females select for males with good genes. This has led to the evolution of conspicuous, costly displays in males that advertise good genes. These features—flamboyant facial coloration, big capes of hair, silver backs—are the primate equivalents of the peacockery of peacocks (a classic polygamous species).

Because fertile females will mate with multiple males, male-male competition extends to sperm competition. By primate standards, polygamous male primates have large testes (as a percentage of body weight) and high rates of sperm production. And they happily mate with anyone in the county who is ovulating.

Things are quite different among monogamous “pair bonding” primates. Critically, males do much of the infant care. Thus, you don’t see a male indiscriminately mating left and right (or fighting for the chance to do so), since he’ll be doing a lot of work if there’s a child. In these primates there isn’t a high degree of “sexual dimorphism”—sex differences in body size, musculature, metabolism and life span—and males don’t have those garish secondary sexual characteristics of males of polygamous species. Testes are small, sperm count low, mating infrequent. These profiles are consistent. If 10 seconds into watching a newly discovered type of primate you see that males are twice the size of females and have flashing neon noses, the issue is settled: it’s a polygamous species. If you spend forever trying to tell the sexes apart, they’re monogamous.

So by these various biological measures, are humans a pair-bonding or a tournament species? Neither. Across populations, men are roughly 10% taller and 20% heavier than women, need 20% more calories and live 6% shorter—more sexually dimorphic than monogamous species, less than polygamous species. Moreover, compared with, say, monogamous gibbons, human males have bigger testes and higher sperm counts…but pale in comparison to polygamous chimps. Measure after measure, it’s the same.

It turns out that we aren’t monogamous or polygamous by nature. As everyone from poets to divorce attorneys can attest, we are by nature a profoundly confused species—somewhere in between.

Submitted by: Evgenia Ioannou

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I am a Greek Cypriot, living and loving my retired life on the island of Cyprus. At age 67, I have learned a lot and have a passion to share this with other people. I am a realist who observes all things in life with a healthy bit of skepticism. Things in print are not always true, the world is not always what it seems, and the characters of people in the world run from Beowulf to Virginia Wolfe. What you get from me in my blogs is the world and universe, as I see it, where the rose colored glasses have been removed. My favorite pastimes are keeping up with scientific discoveries; reading everything from astronomy, biology, genetics, particle physics, and philosophy. My favorite quote is:

A man said to the Universe: “sir, I exist!”
“However,” replied the Universe, “fact has not created in me a sense of obligation.”

I try to watch at least one new movie every day and my favorite authors are Franz Kafka, Albert Camus, and Friedrich Nietzsche.
I am retired from married life with two children, somewhere.Evgenia 2 in Limossol

Submitted by: Evgenia Ioannou

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Things you should know about possible ALIENS on star KIC 8462852

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Things you should know about possible ALIENS on star KIC 8462852

The star in question is KIC 8462852, an old star about 1.5 times larger than our Sun. Using the Kepler space telescope, a team of astronomers found that its light dipped by up to 20% on several occasions due to the orbit of a vast object, going around the star, that would have to be almost half the star’s size. What’s more, these huge dips occurred at random across the 1,600 days the star was observed.
Owing to the age of the star, the object must be relatively new, or it would have been consumed by the star’s gravity. The object cannot be a star, as it is not emitting light nor is it circular. It is also unlikely to be a planet, owing to its irregular orbit. So, what is it?
In the paper, the leading suggestion is that it is debris left from comets breaking up around the star. This would be expected to produce large amounts of infrared radiation, though, owing to the scattering of dust around the star, something that was not observed. This led a leading scientist to suggest the other, more outlandish theory – that an alien civilization could be the cause, or more specifically, a Dyson sphere.
A Dyson sphere is a structure that harnesses a star’s energy for use by a civilization, sort of like solar power but on a massive scale. It would be composed of hundreds or thousands of spacecraft, often referred to as a Dyson swarm that would theoretically be large enough to block out a significant portion of a star’s light. We have considered this a possibility here on Earth, to harness the sun’s energy.
Scientists are in the process now (this week) of using the VLA (Very Large Array) or ATA Allen radio telescopes to see if they can detect any type of radio signals. HOWEVER, we must keep in mind that the star in question is 1,500 light years from Earth. So, we must consider the following scientific facts:
Radio waves travel at the speed of light through space. This is fast (300,000 kilometers per second), but certainly not instantaneous.
Nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.
This means that any signals we detect from this star system left there 1,500 years ago! Even if we were inclined to send them a message of GREETINGS from earth, and they were able to detect our message and respond immediately, the simple exchange of messages would take 3,000 years!
Three thousand years… that would be just about the time necessary for religious conservatives to emotionally deal with the discovery and decide on how to best convert alien heathens to the right faith. The politicians will still be debating who will best represent the Earth, and Burger King will already be planning a fast food restaurant. Or, for our own sake, we can hope that the Aliens are vegetarians!

Submitted by: Evgenia Ioannou

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