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Pepper returns to talk about how evo-psych continues to be ridiculous. News at 11.

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Oh you guys. I’ve been on sort of a brief, painful hiatus, and Paprika has done an admirable job of providing content people actually enjoy reading while I’ve been gone. But, fear not, I have come back with long wordy posts about how much I fucking hate evo psychers.

Did I mention I fucking hate evo psychers? Especially Psychology Today?. Oh I won’t link directly to them, because they are way into misogyny hate publicationville for me at this point, and also crap crap crap crap scienceville.  Odd how those neighborhoods are so close to each other huh?

So, for some background reading, click on the Jezebel article about the Psychology Today Shitshow.

Also, see another pertinent article on Jezebel about sexual dimorphism.

Oh, and another report of a study on a website that is not a shitshow that suggests that feminists have better sex .

Ok, first, for psychology today– fuck you guys, no seriously. Secondly:

Observe the pelvis, cause its important

So, psychology today whips out some bullshit about female norwegian rats and how they are supposedly sexually submissive

Consider Rattus norvegicus, the Norwegian rat. The female performs stereotyped physical actions associated with sexual interest. First is pacing: running and stopping, inducing a male to chase her. This culminates in lordosis: assuming a submissive stationary posture with arched back and raised hips. Lordosis is controlled by a specific region of the hypothalamus, a subcortical brain structure. An analogous part of the brain controls submission postures in female primates.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

You guys, I have never SEEN such a shitshow of projection, and pure ignorance of the physiological reasons for a certain behavior that has buck fucking all to do with “submission” as humans know it.

I want you to notice something in the picture up there– it is literally impossible for rats to fuck in ANY position but female on bottom male on top. There is no other for penetration to occur, and rats don’t fuck for fun, so penetration is important. Also, rats form familial social groups, and are aggressive to outsiders.

But!

They need genetic diversity, and so female rats in estrus must also find outgroup mates, to avoid incest. This means that for both male and female rats, stereotypical mating behaviors have NOTHING to do with submission and dominance, and EVERYTHING to do with “we need to fuck, lets fuck without hurting each other.” Every step of the process is about sending signals to that effect, because otherwise things can get ugly and the fitness of both parties can be decreased. Rats, unlike humans, DO NOT FUCK FOR PLEASURE. Rats, unlike most humans, WILL EAT EACH OTHER.

Spiders are like that too, and OHAI WHATS THAT I SEE STEREOTYPED MATING BEHAVIORS BUT BUT BUT spiders fuck in a variety of ways depending on species. Tarantulas fuck face to face, aaaaw how romantic and equal, except males must hold the fangs of the female in a stereotyped way to avoid BEING EATEN.

Ah, the pure romance...of surviving to fuck another day.

Reading animal sexual behavior as mirroring human sexual behavior is stupid. Just pure projection and stupidity. As I have already written about in excruciating detail– male dominance in harem groups is probably not “dominance” in the way we think of it at all. Trust, a male lion does NOT have those bitches under his thumb. He is a sperm donor, and he is replaceable, and will be replaced many many times. Same thing with primate groups where males are, uh, “dominant.”

When you are replaceable to your social group, you are not sitting pretty, you are not favored, you are, biologically speaking, at the very bottom of the heap. Sure, as long as you’re young you may be well fed and cared for, for breeding purposes, but you are essentially a gigolo. This is not a position humans equate with power.

So, fucking Lollerskates psych today. Humans are quite closely related to bonobo’s also, who exhibit female dominance but you know, inconvenient!

Let’s move on. Beyond the shitshow of bad fake science and wildly implausible justifications through projection into poor innocent rats, we get into unverified claims that woman are wired for submission.

WIRED! HA HA HA HA OH I BET YOU WISH IT WERE TRUE PSYCHOLOGY TODAY BUT IF IT WERE THEN YOU WOULDN’T BE WRITING THIS SHIT WOULD YOU?

In fact, the article starts by claiming

Twice as many women as men report trouble getting turned on. Health professionals report that low desire is the most common sexual complaint they hear from women. Though several factors specific to the design of the female brain contribute to this problem

DO YOU HEAR THAT GIRLS? OUR BRAINS ARE DEFECTIVE FOR THE SEXXORING!

Let me tell you something interesting– most women I have known, of many ages, have had no problem getting turned on, except for when they had a partner who treated them like shit, and/or were bombarded by informationa bout how hideously ugly and totally awful their bodies are. In point of fact, I am one of those women.

Oddly, I had trouble getting turned on for a whiny, terribly, patriarchal asshat of a man who was also selfish and shit in bed. WEEEEEEEIIIIIIIRD IT MUST BE MAH BROKED LADYBRAINS!

Now, they are also using a lot of nonsensical examples of old school rapey romances without controlling AT ALL for the culture of shame around female sexuality. They don’t acknowledge the huge changes that have taken place in the genre at all, and how you know, hot non rapey sex scenes have not somehow caused the downfall of the genre. In fact, romances are the only genre still selling like hotcakes. But that’s irrelevant to women’s sexuality I’m sure.

You can find more about this on figleaf’s blog, and on the smart bitches trashy books blog. They are so full of shit. That’s all I can say.

Don’t worry men!

YOU ARE NOT EXEMPT FROM THE SHIT SLINGING (they learned it from the primates). Did you know that culture doesn’t exist, and the majority of women have submission fantasies, not because our culture HATES WOMEN’S SEXUALITY (and women as a whole), or because they are conciously doing BDSM power play, but because HARD WIRED.

But!

Men are just naturally dominant. This is exhibited by much porn which re-enforces rape tropes. Oh, I don’t believe all men are natural born rapists. No feminist I know does. But these assholes sure do.

Oh and you know, nature does a strict binary. Ahem. Oh and also, they don’t even touch the huge number of women who are incredibly interested in yaoi/gay porn. Because where the fuck does that fit into their bullshit hypothesis that we all secretly live on Gor? Nowhere. And that won’t do.

Anyhow. It’s a shitshow. I’ve established that.

So, let’s talk about where they are getting the shit they are slinging, culture wise. I hope you clicked that link about sexual dimorphism, it’s important.

Women and men look more alike than they used to, in the years after the spread of christianity, but before the industrial revolution.

This means a few things–

It’s likely that women had access to less food, or food of a poorer quality than men. That’s pretty awful, but it’s a common occurence in very patriarchal cultures around the world. Access to nutrition is a huge predictor of maternal and infant mortality rates, which would help explain some of the reasons why a natural process like childbirth was more dangerous than going off to war back in ye olden tymes.

It would also help to explain perceptions of low female intelligence– consistently hungry people don’t have much brain fuel (with respect to those who suffer ED’s, and the two situations should *not* be conflated). I would add that this explains perceptions of the lower classes as unintelligent too. It’s a self sustaining shitshow! Whee!

So, you know, they starved us, and then blamed us for acting like starving people. AWESOME.

But, like I’ve been saying all along, this suggests to me that sexual dimorphism in human ethnic groups is fairly small, under ideal nutritional and cultural circumstances. Yes, a 6’5″ swedish guy is huge compared to a 5′ vietnamese woman, but that is environmental and not some eternal truth about male dominance and female submission and HARD WIRING. That swedish guy is also huge compared to an average vietnamese guy. And his sister is huge compared to that average vietnamese guy’s wife. You see where I’m going with this.

We have major cultural baggage built around our perceptions of the biological “reality” of sex and gender, and those perceptions are hugely influenced by manipulated conditions. Yeah, we have sexual dimorphism, but it’s not nearly to the degree that we are led to believe.

Basically, all sexes are more alike than we are different. Brain wise, body wise, and so on. Because we are social creatures who co-parent, and have a lot of sex, because we fuck for funsies.

We are one of only a few animals that do that, which is why I get SO ANNOYED that this huge important adaptation does not appear anywhere in any evo-psych hypothesis I’ve ever read.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Look, at some point, humans adapted to fuck because OMG orgasms are fucking sweet. In fact, this adaptation was so strong, and so important, that ovulation became cryptic, so women could get men to fuck them whenever they wanted. This is a big fucking deal (heh), because it is directly opposed to the kind of behavior you see in male animals in species that are subject to strong sexual selection– males won’t even try to fuck females that aren’t ovulating, because females don’t want to, and that shit is really dangerous.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Take Norwegian rats for instance– if a male tries to mount and “dominate” a non-ovulating female? She is quite likely to flip over on her belly and scratch his underbelly open. She does not want to fuck when she has not initiated fucking, and that’s pretty much how it is in nature. Some species have sexual selection to allow males to subvert female sexual choice, (ducks, famously) and so the genitalia and behavior of those species reflects this “arms race” of sexual selection. Some spiders are like this, too.

But humans? Oh no. Humans love to fuck.

Anytime, anyplace, it is on (with respect to asexuals, who are in no way abnormal or wrong, just part of the spectrum of the human experience). Humans like to give each other orgasms, and give ourselves orgasms. Which means that reproduction has become the product, rather than the goal of human mating behavior.

I know this probably seems like a petty semantic issue– but it’s a huge thing, biologically speaking, that we will fuck without floods of hormones and rigid “I promise not to kill you and eat your corpse” behaviors. We as a species don’t appear to be looking for much in the way of markers of fitness in our sex lives, because making babies is secondary to getting our rocks off, broadly speaking. This is why old people, infertile people, gay people, you know, normal people, continue fucking long after the possibility of reproduction is exhausted.

Evo-psychers completely ignore this key adaptation, because it directly subverts the patriarchal meme that women hate sex, women receive no pleasure from sex, women are for desiring and do not desire, sex is something men take from women, women fuck only for babies, and on, and on, and on. It also subverts the idea that men fuck to spread their seed, because men will happily fuck a variety of fertile and infertile women, and women that aren’t ovulating and women who are.  And you know, that men fuck to dominate. That just makes no goddamned sense except in the context of a culture where penetration=domination. Also, you know, gay people. Whoops, all your sciencing is garbage!

Pleasure is radically equitable.

And at the end of the day, no matter how many mate selection knots and lady submission man dominance knots they tie themselves into, they can’t get past that fact. Pleasure ensures that there will always be plenty of humans, better than any kind of sexual selection ever could, and pleasure in fucking means that men and women, queer and straight, young and old, on and off the gender presentation binary, well, we all ultimately have the same sexual goal, and that?

That is just fucking terrifying, amirite?

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About Pepper

Pepper Lee Hales is a twenty something, married, vicious feminist liberal. She likes dogs, cats, spiders, epistemics and cake.

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