6.1.06

My very first readers' poll

A discussion I've been having over at Little Miss Drinkalot has got me wondering about the attitudes and mores of my readers. So here's a random poll:

1) Can men fuck around?

2) Can women fuck around?

3) Can women fuck around as much as men do?

By "fuck around", I'm referring to sex in general. This is not a poll on whether people should be cheating on their significant others.

Additional thoughts and insights are welcome.

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54 Comments:

At 1/06/2006 3:24 pm , Anonymous YO said...

(bringing the discussion here..)

Dear Tym:

Biological facts: testosterone vs estrogen/prolactin/etc are very different chemical molecules and exist in very different levels in men & women & have been proven in animal studies & reports on human cases to elicit very different sexual behaviors & different behavioural characteristics like aggression & territorial instincts (think male animals veying to mate a female in estrus), attachment & protective behavior (think female animals with newborns), etc. Male hormones injected into female animals elicit male 'behavioristics' (my coinage :) & vice versa... In human subjects, 'hermaphrodites' who are born female in external sexual appearance & therefore brought up as females, but who have male gonads (ie, testicles buried internally), begin to exhibit decidedly male 'behavioristics' & preferences upon puberty, when the gonads kick-start & put out testosterone in large amounts. [For an arresting story on this real-life oddity, read 'Middlesex' by Jeffrey Eugenides]. Sorry--too lazy to hunt down the supporting studies but I think most students of biomedical science will largely agree that biological differences betw the sexes can & do lead to different behavioral propensities.

I'm not going to quote you any 'figures' to support my point :< Sounds too much like work... [btw it's a very civil-servant thing to do, don't you think: having to quote figures in replies to every parent/customer/public feedback... ].

Let me make it clear that YOU'VE MADE SOME VERY IMPORTANT POINTS TOO in LMD's blog, & what you've said is what should be taught to every little boy & girl in every society & social strata. (Yes, teacher :}

I agree: as a 'civilised' culture & as higher-beings (ie, humans with a conscience & moral choices) we should not 'surrender' or 'capitulate' to biological propensities.
But we can't say humanity has arrived & not everyone we meet (even in cosmopolitan Singapore) subscribe to the same exalted views. We must be realistic, & deal--realistically too.

(Qn 1: why is the female-prostitute trade flourishing, & is reputedly the 'oldest profession' in the world, while 'stud-farms' are far & few betw?)
(Qn 2: why is the news almost exclusively about men raping women/girls whilest the reverse remains an oddity even in 'liberated' times? ).

We can see that many humans are still prowling creatures operating at a level not what we would want for humanity [& i'm not only referring to men; women can be veritable 'prowlers' too... think 'honey-traps', anna-nicole-smiths or what the chinese call hu2 li2 jing1. Difference is in that the men-'animals' attack with force for sex, whilest the women-'animals' seduce with guile for money or other perceived social advantages.. There are also men who employ seduction for social goals, but not so commonly encountered].

[caveat: some animals are paragons of virtue for all humans to emulate: think swans who mate for life]

Though being 'gentle as doves' we must also be 'wise as serpents'.
In this world there are wolves & there are sheep. i.e., know that there are wolves in sheepskin out there, just as if we are sheep we might do well to put on wolves' skin at times.. [a man or a woman can be either a wolf or a sheep--it's not gender specific; nor does a person neccessarily remain a wolf or a sheep the whole of his life]

Looks like it's a zoo out here.. Had enough of the animal metaphors? :))

In short: we must expect ourselves, & the next generation whom we've influence on, to strive for higher ideals. But when it comes to people we let into our lives or the lives of our children, we must be brutally realistic about whether they have the same ideals as ours. Or else we can be letting ourselves in for an unwanted roller-coaster ride. .

btw, i really like the way you write in your blog .. . It's like what someone has said: literary flair in large doses!

 
At 1/06/2006 7:02 pm , Blogger ejl said...

'can' seems to imply an either/or situation regarding ability.

in my opinion, which is totally anecdotal and unsupported by any shred of hard evidence, men and women CAN fuck around.

stripped down to basics, we are all programmed for sexual intercourse and reproduction. men are more 'predatory' because they need to impregnate as many as possible in order further the bloodline/human race. women are more 'nurturing' because apart from the ability to conceive and gestate etc, women are also the primary source of food and nutrients for infants - however, this does not preclude females from having sex with as many men as possible so as to ensure impregnation (note the female ability to have multiple orgasms).

religion and society have a lot to answer for when it comes to 'natural sexual behaviour'. were a man/woman pagan or animist, their sexual behaviour would be very different from one who has been brought up in a protestant or muslim environment. it is because most developed/developing-world environments cultivate and propagate certain 'moralities' that we regard certain sexual behaviour as illicit or unacceptable, especially if such behaviour is witnessed in females.

on the other hand, and i'm not saying that Africa has different moral codes than any other continent, in a report on AIDS in Africa, it was noted that females in many African nations have many sexual partners only because so many of their previous and present partners are poor/sick/dead. they are compelled to move from partner to partner in order to survive in a below-subsistence-level society, and their 'fucking around' is thus literally a matter of life and death (especially since AIDS is involved, but i won't go into it since it's not part of this discussion)

the more pertinent questions thus ought to be,
1) Why do men fuck around?
2) Why do women fuck around?
3) Why does it SEEM to be that men fuck around more than women?

in Shakespeare's own words, 'what seems may not be'.

 
At 1/06/2006 7:13 pm , Blogger The Legal Janitor said...

Firstly I would like to say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and YO has demonstrated that quite clearly.

Let us engage in a little thought experiment. First, the experiment relies on the following assumptions (note that YO relies on the same assumptions even though he does not say so).

1. There is a biological reason for human behaviour.

2. These behaviours are a result of millenia of human evolution.

2. All individuals would seek to propagate their genes when they have the opportunity to.

3. All individuals will expend resources (time, energy, money, etc) in order to fulfil their goal of propagating their genes.

The conventional view is that men have an incentive to sleep as many women as possible to spread their genes as much as possible, while women are supposed to be monogamous and attached.

Now, think of a hypothetical couple, a male nameded 'X', and a female named 'Y'. X and Y are in a sexual relationship. X becomes pregnant.

The question is, how would Y know that the child carried his genes? For a man, there simply is no sure way to tell. Which is why evidence from history shows us that men treated women like chattel: the only sure way for a man to protect his 'investment' in his offspring is to guard 'his' woman jealously, like chattel.

A woman has no such problems. A child in her belly is hers, no doubt about it. She has no need of fearing that she may inadvertantly be expending resources on someone else's child: as long as she gave birth to the baby, the baby is hers.

This fact underlies a very important point that is only revealed through recent evolutionary psychology research. The idea that women are monogamous is a myth, a logical fallacy.

Women have as much incentive as men to sleep around, with some slight modifications. Men can spread their seed indiscriminately as they do not bear the costs of child-bearing and child-raising. But women have as much incentive to sleep around as well, as more sperm means higher chance of conception. But because women do bear the cost of child-bearing and child-rearing, this means that the benefits have to outweigh the costs. This means selecting on the basis of superior genes i.e. physical attractiveness and symmetry, intelligence, etc.

The key difference between the 'promiscuity' of men and women is that the incentive for women is to sleep around with genetically superior men in order to conceive genetically preferred offspring, and then con other men, especially those who are genetically inferior but have the resources, to raise the children. I call this the 'Gabrielle Solis effect', in honour of the Desperate Housewife.

Thus the conventional view of women suggested by YO has to be amended, in light of new research in evolutionary psychology.


Secondly, with regards to the issue of prostitution. The asymmetry between male and female prostitution can be easily explained based on the reasoning above.

If we assume that desirability follows a normal distribution (Bell Curve), and that women are more selective than men, then you can account for the asymmetry in male/female prostitution rates.

Men from the bottom end of the scale to the top end of the scale will have a relatively large variance in selectivity, whereas women along the entire curve will tend to go for men near the top of the scale.

On the issue of rape, studies show that it has nothing to do with sex, but everything to do with power. More than anything else, it illustrates a need for domination rather than procreation.

 
At 1/06/2006 7:14 pm , Blogger The Legal Janitor said...

oh, and the answers to your questions:

1. yes

2. yes

3. yes, and please do!

 
At 1/06/2006 7:41 pm , Anonymous Chandler said...

Whoa.

Since when did this discussion turn into a scientific treatise? :)

I'm gonna make it simple since the technical and ethical bits have already been extensively covered.

Of course can!

PS: This only serves to further reinforce the theory that men are natural predators. But I guess it would make me lesser of a person in the eyes of some. Well at least I'm honest about it!

 
At 1/06/2006 8:01 pm , Anonymous Chandler said...

I've decided that I should be a little more long-winded after going through LMD's blog entry as well as the scores of comments left in response to that.

Bear with me.

First of all, I don't expect sex after every date. That's just plain ridiculous. Besides, a 'date' represents an opportunity for a potential relationship, not free sex! And I'm sure there're many guys who'll nod their heads at this.

On the other hand, I wouldn't pass up on a fling if the opportunity presents itself. Unless of course the opprtunity has warts on her face and a crooked nose and flies around on a broomstick.

And if the opportunity turns up during a date? Nope. Which brings me to my next point. The delineation between love and sex, which some people can draw, and others can't.

More of my long-winded views later. I need to grab dinner first!

A Hungry Man = A Man Who Cannot Think! :)

 
At 1/06/2006 9:38 pm , Anonymous YO said...

Dear Shianux,

"Firstly I would like to say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and YO has demonstrated that quite clearly."

(1) Can you please explain the above statement as it can come across as somewhat insulting...

(2) Have you read ALL my postings in LMD's blog over the previous week before coming to your pronouncements on my 'assertions & assumptions', legal janitor?

(3) I've used only the bio-physiological model to explain male-female differences as this was what Tym asked me for--evidence for my assertion that men & women have 'biological' reasons for different sexual agendas. [and, OF COURSE, rape is about domination, not sex per-se].

Anyway, not keen to engage in prolonged contention with a 'legal janitor'. Don't think i have the professional training to keep up with lawyers when it comes to teasing out an argument point-by-point.

All I wanted was to give LMD some heartfelt advice, based on what has been observed to be predominant-trends in male-female
dynamics. When one's lived enough, things actually get simpler--many of the things we've been told as children turn out to be oddly true.. It's just that we want to find out for ourselves rather than take them at face value.

 
At 1/06/2006 10:42 pm , Anonymous Chandler said...

Now, where was I?

I am not ashamed to say that I basically fall into the category of someone who's able to draw that proverbial distinction between love and sex. Well, most times anyway. A date's a date. A fling's a fling. There are rules to observe for each individual scenario, and both parties are expected to know and play by the rules. Failure to distinguish between the two always leads to disastrous outcomes. And it is not always the good womenfolk who start throwing emotion into the fray. Us boys develop feelings during flings too, as I will testify.

I was with a petite cutie-pie nympho before some years ago and though it started out purely as a fling, yours truly started falling for her at some point in time, with disastrous results, of course. Turns out, she was already engaged to some other poor bloke, but had wanted some excitement on the sidelines. That threw me off, naturally, since my #1 rule is that I never mess around with womenfolk who were already spoken for.

Strangely though, I was also involved in a serious relationship with someone with a rather torrid sexual past (not unlike Chasing Amy haha) which I had come to know early on when I got to know her. And believe me, I liked her for what she was, and not because she'd be an easy lay, considering her past. It wasn't easy but I managed to overlook her past and attempted to build a meaningful and lasting relationship with her. We didn't work out, and it wasn't because of her past, though the last I heard, she went back to her old ways after we split.

I brought both instances up as a long way of saying that:

1) 'tis true, women can (and do) fuck around, particularly in this day and age; and

2) 'tis also true that some women fuck around as much, and sometimes even more than men do.

3) Like the good womenfolk, us boys are just as vulnerable to mixing emotion with sex. We're human beings after all, and it's unfair to generalize by neatly pigeonholing men as bastards who sleep around for fun and women as a gender which exercise better control over their libidos.

I think the crux of the matter lies with the individual and whether he/she is able to distinguish between love and sex.

You don't fuck the person you're dating and you certainly don't date the person you're fucking.

Thank you for your kind attention. :D

PS: My first time using so many 'F' words in an online post!

 
At 1/06/2006 11:54 pm , Anonymous YO said...

Answers to Tym's poll:

(first off: does the word 'can' connote 'should' or 'would' or 'physically-&-psychologically capable' of ?)

1) Men: many would & are capable of, but all shouldn't.

2) Women: some would & are capable of, but all shouldn't.

3) Women vs Men: there are more men than women that fuck around. But for the women that do fuck around, chances are, it'll be easier for them to find fuck-buddies than for men to find fuck-buddies (referring to heteros here)[It's also a simple mathematical deduction leading on from the premise that more men than women fuck around]. Hence, there ARE women who fuck-around more than men.

 
At 1/07/2006 12:42 am , Blogger tscd said...

I think men and women are both equally capable of casual sex. There is no difference between the sexes. I don't think there ever was.

It does seem to appear that women have less casual sex than men. Maybe women have more to lose - they can get pregnant - this is why perhaps women are (hopefully) more cautious. Or maybe women don't boast about it as much. There's still alot of stigma surrounding the 'slut' image.

I don't agree with casual sex on the whole. It's risky, physically and emotionally. I don't believe that people can have a 'sexual fling' which is meaningless...there must be a reason why people prefer to achieve orgasm with the help of another person.

So I guess what I'm saying is that there is no such thing as sex without consequences.

 
At 1/07/2006 1:54 am , Blogger NARDAC said...

Quite an interesting debate, not the least because it reveals that feminism is still pertinent even in this day and age, and that there are some very conservative lazy "researchers" still running around thinking they are responsible commenters (and who need to get their own blog).

For me, the fact that this question still needs to be posed is terribly troubling. These vague ideas of what is "normal" from men and women... whatever...

Even if men had low sex drives and women had high sex drives, I would never imagine that the rules should change... and here are my rules:

1. Sex is sex; it's not love.
2. Sex between consenting adults is the only sex allowed.
3. Being sexy and dressing in a sexy manner does not constitute consent.

As for your poll, Tym, you know what I'd say.

 
At 1/07/2006 2:02 am , Blogger NARDAC said...

It struck me after I wrote that that I said "adults." Of course, I never defined what that was. Nor do I want to avoid the idea that children are sexual at a young age. But, what I'm trying to say is that one should always exercise caution in discerning who is and is not emotionally prepared for sexual relations, even with full grown adults.

 
At 1/07/2006 5:15 am , Anonymous KC said...

It's a chicken and the egg problem.

How can men fuck around when women don't fuck around?

 
At 1/07/2006 6:11 am , Blogger ivan said...

1. yes
2. yes
3. by all means, a resounding yes

haha....

oops.. out of hiding liao..

 
At 1/07/2006 8:22 am , Anonymous YO said...

Nardac,

Your jibes are not really fair.. You can try judging the heart rather than the delivery. Foolishness can be couched in brilliant dissertation, and that which appears artless may be the distillation of wisdom. Life experiences are by nature anecdotal--but this does not keep one from cautioning those one cares about.

 
At 1/07/2006 8:38 am , Blogger Tym said...

Woo, responses! But I'm dashing off to not one, but two weddings today, so I won't respond in detail as yet.

However, I just wanted to apologise for the poor wording of the question --- torn between trying to keep it as simple as possible and making it mean what I wanted it to mean, I niggled over "can" and "should", neither of which seemed to fully carry the implications I wanted, and then just went with "can". But you get the gist of it.

 
At 1/07/2006 1:46 pm , Blogger Olorin said...

I just want to point out before typing my answers that the answers to questions one and two are given the way they are because

i) your choice of modal here is 'can' and not 'should', and
ii) because you asked question 3.

Answers:
1) Yes, but they should not.

2) Yes, but they should not.

3) I actually think they CAN fuck around MORE than men do because of the Women's Charter.

I'll just leave my answer as that for the moment, except to say the distinction I make between 'can' and 'should' is not merely a distinction between physical/biological possibility and moral imperatives.

I leave it as that because I think this gives you my attitude and, er... (what is the singular form of mores?) moral outlook; and I'm not yet ready to work through clearly the complexities underlying my position.

 
At 1/07/2006 1:50 pm , Blogger Olorin said...

Whoops, I wasn't aware there were so many posts prior to my posting and at LMD's. Somehow, they didn't show up until after I had posted.

But like I said, if your interest is merely where I stand, then the previous post suffices.

 
At 1/07/2006 2:15 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it is not whether they can or should. It is whether they understand the social contract behind the congugation. People get hurt when they thrust into the relationship with different expectations. Whether people can or should doesn't negate the fact that people do. I guess we just got to deal with the shit life put in our way.

 
At 1/07/2006 8:10 pm , Blogger NARDAC said...

I think people should have sex if they want to, and not worry about moral judgement. I don't think a woman who has a high sex should be labelled a "nympho" the same way a man who has a low sex drive should be labelled... gosh, they don't have a label for that do they? Anyways, there shouldn't be proscriptions regarding how many times a person wants sex because sex drives are as different as snow flakes (I'm killing myself here).

As for YO... your wordy aphorism made me shudder... with laughter. SFW? Suddenly we're not talking about swans and doves? Your 'personal' anecdotes are couched as scientific truth. Therefore, I'm glad I don't need your kind of protection.

 
At 1/07/2006 10:50 pm , Anonymous YO said...

Nardac: agree that the aphorisms were spewed in a decidedly corny mood :) [they were for Tym to laugh over, since I had been sooo serious previously]

No, the paragraph containing the scientific arguments was not anecdotal. Are you a student of science or a scientist? (btw, hermaphroditism is a condition I studied years ago as part of the curricula. It's not anecdotal. I mentioned the novel because it's one way lay readers can acquaint themselves with this interesting oddity).

And hey, this is a BLOG. I don't give it the same kind of rigorous scrutiny as I do my real work-life out there that calls for making serious decisions based on strictly evidence-based guidelines. You may disdain the mentality of others (eg myself) but it really doesn't call for being snide about it or making quick character judgments.

 
At 1/08/2006 1:21 pm , Blogger 7-8 said...

I've read all those arguments about guys being the ones who want to spread their seed to as many women as possible, and women wanting long term monogamous relationships. All these arguments are logical, and make a lot of sense on paper.

But I think that the assumption that people are logical and make a lot of sense on paper is in general a very poor one.

Who are all those people who write all these books? Are they the ones who play the field a lot, or the ones who observe things from far, in their ivory towers? They are bookworms, not Casanovas. And you'd believe them when you see them face to face?

Or think about this way: what would happen to them if they didn't write a story that people want to read? Why wouldn't you spice up your story a little, so that more people would read it, so long as you have some scientific evidence on your side? You ought to. Because if you don't, your research funding goes out the window.

And even if these theories were true, theories about people are seldom true for all people. You have not allowed for people to rise above their biological imperatives.

What I believe is that men are slightly more inclined towards fooling around, women are slightly more inclined towards monogamy, but the difference is not that large as to be meaningful.

You think it's fun, even for a guy, to go through a whole succession of short, one night stand relationships? You think he won't get sick of it? It doesn't make sense.

 
At 1/08/2006 1:25 pm , Blogger 7-8 said...

Oh, one more thing. I've read evolutionary psychology. Hardly a word about love. You read literature, they'll tell you, love is the most powerful force.

wtf is this? What are the scientists doing? Do they really know what they're talking about? Are they not biased, then?

 
At 1/08/2006 4:03 pm , Blogger Agagooga said...

If all scientific research were stories that people want to read, it'd be a lot more interesting.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. Positing false motives does not do anything to discredit the veracity of research findings, and claiming that all people differ does not mean that in the aggregate, some groups do not exhibit certain tendencies more than others.

The difference is not so large as to be meaningful? You don't need scientific research to tell you that men want sex a lot more than women. Despite what social scientists love to proclaim about socialization, individual differences and the like, humans do not start out with a tabula rasa. Denying human nature because we don't want it to be true not only commits us to the naturalistic fallacy but is an insult to rationality.

Hardly a word about love? Care to elaborate?

 
At 1/08/2006 4:50 pm , Anonymous YO said...

7-8

Good points, & I concur with most of what you said.

Science deals with establishing principles/theorems that are consistently replicable & as such, must be measurable & quantifiable.

How to measure or quantify love? Even for psychiatrists, psychological states are measured in terms of the symptoms produced, not the intensity of the feelings. For instance, to arrive at the diagnosis of depression a patient must manifest a certain number of symptoms on a list of criterias.

Btw, 'love' is also not a terminology found in the psychiatry textbooks--perhaps because it isn't a disease! Even for non-religious marriage counselors, too much emphasis on love sounds too preachy. They call it 'conflict-resolution', 'anger-management', etc.

btw, one can explain love in evolutionary terms--loving homes are more likely to beget happy children who are keen to perpetuate their happiness in the next generation & thus procreate. Those who grow up in unloving/unhappy homes must have a high degree of hope to want to do so. So, hope (or, a positive outlook, gungho-ness, defiance in the face of odds) can also be an evolutionary product.

Love is further confounded by it's indistinct meaning in the English language: I love my job, I love this apple, I love to fuck, I love my child, I'd love to screw this asshole. I don't believe 'love' is even a word oft used by serious philosophers..

On the other hand, much of literature is about anecdotes, experiences.. The more people that can identify with the particular anecdote, the more popular the book becomes--which is often a poor correlation with it's true literary value.

I'm sure there are other explanations as to why 'love' is not discussed in serious academia. Any offers?

 
At 1/08/2006 9:32 pm , Blogger NARDAC said...

Agagooga - Ideals are often created with the extreme in mind, not the average. The ideal is also something greater than the sum wants and needs of the aggregate. That is mediocrity.

But, I don't believe for a second this idea about the aggregate of men needing more sex than women. For heaven's sakes! Such an antiquated notion that's disproved by almost all of my girlfriends. Maybe you guys are lurking around some sort of strange cult of frigid women, or, dare I say it, maybe Singaporean men are antiquated.

 
At 1/08/2006 11:01 pm , Anonymous YO said...

Nardac: hmmm.... interesting, PROVOCATIVE comments..

French/North-American mores may not reflect that of the majority of humanity :)

Think the world's most populous nations: China (1.3 bill) & India (1.1 bill). Notwithstanding China's increasingly liberated urban youths [& the ANECDOTAL observation of the growing preponderance of China-girls in Singapore's sex-trade], the larger rural population is still very conservative--i.e., harboring the view that 'virtuous' women should not like sex too much except in the context of procreation. (anyone disagrees?)

And India: my Indian classmate (who's probably a 3rd or 4th generation emigrant) was MATCH-MADE (husband & wife are both professionals). Match-making is even more de rigeur in the homeland, I was told, amongst all social classes. And it's a country whose rural population is still associated with tales of child-brides.

My impression is that Singapore is somewhere in between China/India & North-America/France, with quite a bit of variation between individuals.

Try evangelising to the rest of the world, freedom fighter.. :)

And may I take the liberty to rephrase & complete a comment you made earlier:--
"I don't think a woman who has a high sex-drive should be labelled a 'nympho' the same way a "... woman who has a low sex drive should be labelled 'frigid'.

 
At 1/09/2006 2:55 am , Blogger NARDAC said...

I'm sure you'd like it if the world emulated China... with it's marvelous record of human rights... it's exactly where I want to look for morals. And hey, don't the Indians have something called the Kama Sutra. That's a lovely book...

anyways, we're supposed to be discussing ideals, not statistics.

The way this conversation is descending, I'm sure to hear something as moronic as this soon: "well, so there's an equal number of men and women... and there's all these 'frigid' women who want sex less than men... so all these men have to do something with their raging unsatisfied libidos... Hence, homosexuality, masturbation, hockey and chicken fries."

But seriously? Are men really that dissatisfied? Are they more dissatisfied than women sexually? Are they running around jerking off in public because it's some kind of biological run-off?

Fuck... I'm done with this armchair theorizing. Tym... come here and bring us another dog to bone.

 
At 1/09/2006 2:58 am , Blogger NARDAC said...

And the Kama Sutra line is meant to be positive! Though I've never read the thing... I've perused some illustrated copies before... right... that's all I have left in the old empty barrel.

 
At 1/09/2006 3:13 am , Blogger ejl said...

YO: i don't think population rates have anything to do with whether or not 'virtuous' females abstain from sex until marriage.

as i mentioned before, society and religion have a lot to do with how one views sex between consenting persons within or without marriage.

the female's roles in indian and chinese societies are generally subjugated and subservient. the 'virtue' of these women are imposed upon them by the patriarchal environment, not because it occurs naturally. perhaps it is precisely because it would not occur naturally that such a patriarchal and male-dominated environment must be imposed.

and of course, we are all generalising about our social and sexual stereotypes, but i don't think the morals of asians are much different from those in europe or america. especially when it comes to the issue of 'fucking around'.

the biggest difference would come from the perception of the rights and wrongs of premarital sex, and also how much it affects a female's reputation.

many europeans and americans that i have come to know are as concerned over loyalty, faithfulness and promiscuity as any other singaporean person, but they are not so quick to make judgment as singaporeans are.

in singapore, it is common to hear completely off the cuff statements about persons one barely knows relating to their morality and their sexual promiscuity, and then completely dismissing them as having no value at all except maybe a one night stand. and this applies equally to males and females.

perhaps if we got off our moral high horses, and come to face the reality that the frequency and presence of sex in one's life doesn't make a difference to one's character, more singaporeans would be better sexually adjusted.

 
At 1/09/2006 8:04 am , Anonymous YO said...

Nardac: muahaha... your quick wit never fails to astonish me.. (not being snarky here)

I wonder why some of the most 'repressed' modern societies actually have their ancient equivalent of the kama sutra... The chinese have the Jin1 Ping2 Mei2 (literally "The Plum in the Golden Vase", also translated as "The Golden Lotus") & the Middle-East, the Arabian Nights.
Any historians/sociologist care to expound on what happened to these societies to be so repressed in modern times?

Nardac & ejl:--
If I didn't make myself clear earlier:- I was NOT saying more (as in China & India) is better. I was merely showing that Nardac's comment below only applies to the comparatively small enclave of humanity that she encounters (ie, in North America & France) & is therefore a poor representation of the predominant mores of humanity in GENERAL. "" But, I don't believe for a second this idea about the aggregate of men needing more sex than women. For heaven's sakes! Such an antiquated notion that's disproved by almost all of my girlfriends. "" Nardac & her friends must be burning the torch of liberty for the human race..

Put another way, if an extraterrestrial were to come & take a RANDOM sample of humans, unlike what Hollywood would lead us to believe, most of the specimens aren't going to be from the more forward-looking cultures.

 
At 1/09/2006 2:31 pm , Anonymous imp said...

not going into discussions of the finer issues the questions raised.

on a factual note, my answers go:

1) can.

2) can.

3) can. but most won't because of social structure/fabric/blah blah blah...points all discussed above.

 
At 1/09/2006 11:33 pm , Blogger 7-8 said...

Agagooga: You say that men like to fuck a lot more than women. But how much is a lot? And why don't you, since you like to quantify so much, quantify that?

I don't deny that there is human nature, why should I, since I am after all commenting about it? Isn't it more like we're positing different opinions about what human nature is?

In the aggregate, the difference might be there, but my point is precisely that we are not talking about aggregates here. We are positing the behaviour of 1 man, and 1 woman. You base your judgement purely on aggregates, it's misleading.

The data is there, you apply rigour to all the data. But how do you interpret the data? You see a man go for a woman, and you posit reasons, do your statistic analysis and all that shit. But the meaningful part here is the interpretation.

Are guys "choosing" sex over love because that's what they said, in response to what you asked them? Or is it simply an image that it's more profitable for them to upkeep? Are women simply more coy about saying how much they like it? Their role is to be gatekeepers, because after all they are the gate.

Is it that women love to love, and men like to fuck? Or is it that women love men who like to fuck, and men like women who love to love, which is why men always say they like to fuck, and women always say they love to love?

How evolutionarily profitable is it for a guy to pump his sperm into any hole he can find, without being personally there to make sure that the child grows up well?

How would merely counting numbers account for all this complexity? Often, part of the whole story is worse than a lie.

This is what I don't really like about science. Too reductionist. Hypothesis, test hypothesis. When it comes to something that you can't measure (and I know this because my work involves statistics) or can't handle, you gloss it over and discount it. The bias is inherent, and systematised. Maybe even institutionalised. YO mentioned why it's so difficult to talk about love. You can't measure love. Much harder than strapping a barometer to somebody's dick. Why you'd even love a person's flaws, it makes little evolutionary sense.

Science can only check the veracity of simple, uncomplicated stories. eg, Do girls like men with large body parts? You ask a question like: take a girl from this family. She has been raised this way. She likes drinking - shall we say, a lot? She did this. Or so she says. He did that, or so she says. What's going to happen next?

How is a scientist going to answer this, on the basis of accepted scientific wisdom? Science wasn't designed to answer questions like this.

Science is primarily the work of people with a narrow spectrum of personalities. As much as I like reading it to increase my knowledge I will never accept that it is the whole story. Biases are inherent in all reporting, that is the lesson of history, and lessons of history apply to everything that is written down on pieces of paper.

I find it very easy to accept theories. But I find it very difficult to apply them.

My take on the poll? Try to concentrate on the similarities between men and women, rather than their differences. It makes life better for all.

 
At 1/09/2006 11:44 pm , Blogger 7-8 said...

YO: One very plausible reason why love is not discussed much in social sciences is that there's too much macho shit going on there, owing to the social structure of academia itself.

"I'm right, you're wrong". Or "let's talk about something 'respectable'." Or "Publish or perish". Or "I'm refereeing your paper, and I'm wincing at how soppy it is". Or "For f---'s sake stop talking about stuff you cannot put a real number to, stuff that can be shot down. Talk about stuff that's harder to shoot down."

To turn Godel's theorem on its head: the truth is out there, whether you can prove it or not.

 
At 1/10/2006 11:59 am , Anonymous YO said...

7-8: Your posts make a good read.

"gate-keepers"... muahahahah... Perhaps many women do not mind maintaining the appearance that they're less hardup for sex than men so as to maintain some kind of social leverage.

Many accounts of marriage-counselors (& those that I've come across are mostly from North America) reveal that when it comes to sexual incompatibility betw the spouses, it's much more the case that the husband wants sex more frequently than the wife (not INVARIABLY the case, of course, I qualify, and these are for those conjugations in which incompatibilites exist). I'm not sure if this information has been proven to be statistically significant.

The 'reductionist' nature of science, ie, the repeated testing of hypotheses, really does come in handy for say--when you are traveling in an aircraft--when you'd hope that all the science happens as it should .. :)

The best approach is perhaps a balanced one betw idealism & realism: ie, focus & work on the similarities (betw the sexes), but be aware of the differences & work around them.

 
At 1/10/2006 4:48 pm , Blogger Agagooga said...

Science can deal with love actually. Perhaps not as well as you'd like, but it does not claim it doesn't exist.

Love is seen in Evolutionary Psychology as a way of ensuring pair bonding - not so much for happy children as for bringing them up with both parents around in the first place.

Ideals? Huh? You mean archetypes? Stereotypes persist and endure because they are often true. Anyhow it's unfair to diss or even deny scientific findings or what we observe because we fear that they will be taken as ideals. This is falling prey to the naturalistic fallacy. Life may be solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short, but this does not mean that life *should* be so.

It is a curious confusion to move from the proposition that some women can be as horny or hornier than men to the proposition that men are not hornier than women as a whole. Btw, women reach their sexual peak in their late 20s/early 30s so this partially accounts for your observation. Read: http://gssq.blogspot.com/2005/09/therere-lots-of-interesting-bits-in-my.html

 
At 1/10/2006 4:57 pm , Blogger Agagooga said...

7-8: For some data on human nature, you can see: http://gssq.blogspot.com/2005/09/therere-lots-of-interesting-bits-in-my.html

Perhaps you were talking about ideals. I was not talking about ideals or making judgments - I was talking about reality since some people seem to dispute it. What is and what ought to be are not the same. I believe that consenting and informed adults can do anything they jolly well please to each other.

The left wing and the social scientists have been trying to uncover holes in this sort of thing for a long time, but so far all they've managed to do is find exceptions rather than disprove the rule.

How evolutionarily profitable is it for a guy to pump his sperm into any hole he can find, without being personally there to make sure that the child grows up well? - If you have 200 illegitimate children, pretty profitable actually, especially if you have one wife/some wives you stay faithful too.

Often, part of the whole story is worse than a lie. - Aiyoh. Then let's all tell lies then. Women are as horny as men. Hurrah!

Science may be reductionist, but little elements build on each other, and the scientific method never proclaims infallibility. Is it not better to try to understand something then declare: "Ah, it is too complicated. We cannot understand it!" and claim we cannot conclude anything? Just because we can never have absolute certainty does not mean that we cannot know anything. Do you know if you're a brain in a vat? If not, why don't you throw yourself off the 13th storey?

Claiming that everything is biased so we cannot conclude anything is similar disingenuous - that's why we have debate and review and discussion, to uncover flaws and weaknesses, rather than dumping everything away and pretending we're doomed.

If hypotheses work in the aggregate, we can generally agree with them, while remembering that exceptions exist. In daily life we work the exact same way. If 999/1000 men rushing at your with parangs want to kill you, it makes sense to act as if all 1000 are.

 
At 1/10/2006 5:02 pm , Blogger Agagooga said...

YO: One very plausible reason why love is not discussed much in social sciences is that there's too much macho shit going on there, owing to the social structure of academia itself.

Macho shit? You must be mad. Try looking at the Arts and Social Sciences department of any faculty. Literature and Sociology will be a good place to start.

 
At 1/11/2006 2:33 am , Anonymous french affair said...

1. yes
2. yes
3. yes

 
At 1/11/2006 4:16 am , Blogger ivan said...

i think the can/should divide will make for good analysis... if the answers differ at all...

 
At 1/11/2006 11:41 pm , Blogger NARDAC said...

I believe Tym's asking a question about ideals, not reality. But, it also seems as if Tym should probably restate the question in an unambiguous way.

I'm not really interested in debating "reality" with people because I'm not about to go out and do something I don't believe in, just because everybody else is.

Ideally, we should all get raging naked and do the shimmy shammy on the palace gates.

 
At 1/12/2006 1:38 am , Anonymous YO said...

What's most obvious to me is that sex grabs people's attention like nothing else (another evolutionary trait perhaps?). Just look at the number of comments on this post vs the others.

Nardac: when you write your best-selling book you know what it's got to be about.. shimmying & shammying on the palace gates..

 
At 1/12/2006 2:33 pm , Blogger 7-8 said...

When judging whether something is macho shit, you don't look at external appearances. Somebody like Stephen Hawking, he looks frail, but his attitude is macho shit.

The commonly accepted wisdom is that women hit their peak (in horniness) ard 30 or so. There have been some recent challenges to this, and now some people believe that women hit their peak at 18, but only at 30 do they gain the maturity to be fully comfortable with expressing their sexuality, since it's always easier for a guy to express his sexuality than the girls.

I don't like ideals in science also and that's why I don't agree with the standard alpha male vs faithful woman theories because they tend to play too much to gender stereotypes.

Even if you have theories from evolutionary psychology about whether women don't f*** around the rules of the game have changed and in large part this was what the 60s were about: the pill / condom / etc etc. Where women used to be inhibited about sex because of the pregnancy risk, that has been removed and women have almost as much liberty as before.

Men and women are obviously not the same but I still think that their differences are exaggerated. Like how YO was talking to LMD about "beware of guys looking for casual sex" when LMD has extensively documented her encounters, it doesn't make sense.

It's not that you can't learn anything from science, but everything with a pinch of salt. Science can tell you how to handle your data, but it can't tell you how to frame your questions. I can trust Newtonian mechanics 100% but when it comes to people then you got to start asking questions. Once there are competing explanations - for example, how much of this difference in attitudes is due to biological programming, and to what extent women are saying what they say just because this is a male dominated society - you have to start being skeptical.

Taking your parang example, if out of 1000 people running at you with parangs, 100 of them want to kill you, you'd still run away, so the issue here is not the aggregate, but rather the risk of death.

 
At 1/12/2006 3:32 pm , Anonymous YO said...

If we're taking about 'strategies' for 'landing' a mate here, I guess a good strategy for girls is to observe those girls whom many guys fall for, and learn what is it about them. And the reverse is true for guys.

Anyone care to bring up some examples? For the guys: what are the attractions of those girls whom many guys 'fall' for, & vice versa for the girls?

 
At 1/12/2006 9:07 pm , Blogger Agagooga said...

Nardac: Make love, not war!

7-8: Stereotypes persist and endure because they are often true. Where does culture come from? Surely innate human attributes and attitudes contribute much to the formation of culture and cultural attitudes.

The rules of the game have changed, yet humans are still wired the same way. Thus not everyone plays according to the same rules - we still have the brains of hunter-gatherers.

The social sciences differ from the hard sciences in that more than one paradigm can prevail at a time (quantum mechanics and relativity being an exception in the latter). So just because one theory is true does not mean another isn't also true, or that both are rubbish.

If out of 1,000,000,000,000,000 people running at you with a parang, only 1 wanted to kill you, would you run away? Weighted probabilities and expected return, really, not fear of death. There's a higher chance of drowning in a swimming pool than being shot (?), so do we abjure swimming?

Guys go for beautiful girls with good bodies. As for what women want, to quote the master:

"The great question that has never been answered, and which I have not yet been able to answer, despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, is 'What does a woman want?'" - Sigmund Freud

 
At 1/12/2006 11:35 pm , Anonymous YO said...

I've a few theories about what women look for in men.

One is related to the Elektra complex. The way I'd put it is thus:-
If the father has largely made the girl feel good about herself or has given her a happy childhood, she'll be looking for a man with traits like his.
If the father has largely made the girl feel bad about herself or has given her a lousy childhood, she'll be looking for a man very much unlike him.
There are women with abusive/neglectful fathers who repeatedly end up with abusive/neglectful men, and it may be because these women are comfortable with the roles they used to play as girls. They're so depleted of the ability to experience or expect something better that they merely look for that which they're accustomed to.

What about the guys who are consistently popular with many different 'types' of women?
My observation is that these guys either:--
(a) exude self-assuredness, possessing widely acknowledged prowess in popular measures of 'manhood' (eg, wealth, giftedness or accomplishments), and/or
(b) have a 'way with women'. These men are very at ease amongst women, and are able to speak 'womanese' ie. thinking on the same wavelength & talking the same language; they're able to do & say the things the women want. I've noticed this trait in guys who grow up surrounded by women & have been close to one or a few of them.

Any other theories?

 
At 1/13/2006 12:38 am , Blogger Agagooga said...

"The absence of a father while growing up has been reliably linked with the pursuit of a short-term mating strategy. Among the Mayan of Belize and the Ache of Paraguay, for example... Other studies of both women and men have found that those growing in father-absent homes are more likely to reach puberty sooner, to engage in sexual intercourse earlier, and to pursue a short-term mating strategy (e.g., Ellis, McFadyen-Ketchum, Dodge, Pettis, & Bates, 1999; Surbey, 1998). Intriguingly, one study found that stepfather presence, even more than biological father absence, may be the critical factor promoting early sexual maturation in girls - a likely precursor to the pursuit of a short-term mating strategy (Ellis & Garber, 2000)... Finally, poor attachment to one's parents was linked to a higher likelihood of reading pornography among women, and predicted sexual promiscuity for both sexes (Walsh, 1995, 1999)." (pp. 183-184)


Okay. Good to know if I ever go bar-trawling.



How Girls Waste Time

44. Drawing up elaborate lists detailing their "ideal" man, including in them qualities such as "sensitive", "thoughtful", "caring" and "good listener" (ie They want a "nice guy") and exchanging them with other similarly emotionally disturbed girls, then falling head over heels in love with the first jerk, alpha male or lying bastard (ie The antithesis) who comes along

44. a) Describing their ideal man to their Intellectual Whore, not realising they're describing him to a tee, then going for jerks anyway.

44. b) Swearing to hate all guys forevermore after the latest jerk has cheated on them, then going for another jerk on their rebound anyway.

44. c) Confusing the hell out of all the men interested in them - what women want, what women say they want and what women think they want aren't always the same.

 
At 1/13/2006 12:43 am , Blogger Tym said...

What do women want?

Here's one Hollywood version, from one of my favourite movies Beautiful Girls, and which for once isn't too far from the truth:

TOMMY: He makes you happy?
ANDERA: Yeah. I look for that in a man. The ones who make me miserable never last.

For a less glib response, I'll offer up the following:

Love.
Reassurance --- not of the pandering kind, just what comes of being around people whom you know love and support you, and aren't tearing you down behind your back.
Emotional security.
Kindness.
Consideration.
Support.
Honesty --- the kind that tells you when you're screwing up bigtime, but also reminds you when you need to keep doing what you're doing, even though it doesn't seem to be getting anywhere at the time.
The ability to laugh at yourself, as well as to laugh, in general.
The moments of "Eureka!"
The moments when you say or think exactly the same thing, and then both your instincts is to say, "Let's not do that ever again" --- even though you know you will, and you don't mind it, really, deep down.
Friendship.
Hope.
Love.

 
At 1/13/2006 12:46 am , Blogger Tym said...

Forgot to add that I believe that guys want similar things --- at least, those guys that I'd consider worth my while.

Agagooga > Thank you for perpetuating stereotypes. It seems I'm not a girl, then, since I've never done anything remotely resembling #44 on your list.

 
At 1/13/2006 2:11 am , Blogger 7-8 said...

Allow me to pay you a backhanded compliment in saying that I seldom witness such a fertile profusion of fallacious arguments.

It could well be that the stereotypes that persist and endure are true. But how do you know which stereotypes these are? You study history and you'd be amazed - their stereotypes are very different from yours.

But you're a pro science guy, are you not? Not content to just take stereotypes at face value. At least I hope not. But unfortunately a lot of science is like that: frame the question according to stereotype and accepted "wisdom", and then tack on the data. Kuhn's name for it is "paradigm", after he read some "scientific" papers written 1000 years back and started wondering "how the hell did they believe all this shit?"

Males weren't the most dominant sex. Most of the idols in the day and age before writing have been female. Rather than believe guys are hornier than girls, I believe that it's the dominant sex which is more upfront about things that are up their fronts. Maybe they really are hornier, but not by much.

The parang thing, it's the weighted average of the fear of death. At 10% risk of death, on aggregate you won't die, but you'd still run away.

I choose to believe what Tym has written. Obviously, guys being guys, you'd add "a hot ass and nice boobs" to the list, but the rest are important. So if some Jessica Alba lookalike threw herself at me, but I knew she had a dodgy character I'd still think twice.

 
At 1/14/2006 1:07 am , Anonymous YO said...

7-8:

hmm.. Am curious: in your opinion, what is it about a girl that would make her character 'dodgy'?

 
At 1/14/2006 7:24 pm , Blogger Agagooga said...

"How Girls Waste Time" is not titled "How ALL Girls Waste Time; a list of activities, ALL of which must be partaked in for one to qualify as a girl".

Only the most irrational would argue that stereotypes ALWAYS apply. And only the most irrational would argue that you either operate SOLELY according to stereotypes or NEVER at all.

How do you know which stereotypes are true? Through experience and observation. And a big reason why their stereotypes are different is that what they are stereotyping may not be the same as what we're stereotyping. Look at Ephesians and women, for example.

Prevailing paradigms are chosen according to the evidence. Old ones are discarded when a new paradigm fits the evidence better (and probably as the old fogeys die). That does not mean that we don't have any paradigms (or assumptions) at all; we always need epistemological frameworks to operate in, and to interface with the world. The problem is to choose the best one(s), and to bear in mind their limitations.

Fertility idols are female. Why? Because fertility was important to our ancestors. What does that have to do with the dominant sex?!

If there is cross-cultural evidence that guys are hornier, we can't blithely ascribe the difference to "culture", now, can we? And where might culture come from too?

Fear of death is one thing, but what about other situations? Everyone unconsciously uses existing knowledge in order to deal with new situations.

Those factors are important for males too, yes, but they prioritise them differently, especially for short-term liaisons.



It is all well and fine to make assumptions, as long as they are reasonable ones, and as long as one bears in mind the limitations of said assumptions.

However, assuming that one can make no assumptions is an assumption in and of itself, and can be even more misleading and damaging than the assumptions one fears making in the first place.

In any case, no one manages to live life without making assumptions. Not without going insane, at any rate.

 
At 1/17/2006 12:31 pm , Blogger 7-8 said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At 1/17/2006 12:33 pm , Blogger 7-8 said...

There are stereotypes you trust or don't trust, but that doesn't mean that you're taking an extreme position.

Cross cultural comparisons do not represent the whole spectrum of possible human behaviour. Male dominance takes place in more developed societies, but some anthropologists have discovered female dominated societies (among them the Amazonians), most of which are primitive and pre- literate. Apparently the universality of male dominance has to do with the invention of writing.

In fact most of the idols in the pre-literacy era were female, something that could not have happened in a male dominated society. I'm not sure what the sexual mores of those days were like, but it's probably different. In some of those matriachal tribes they found the guys had to dress up and put on make up.

We are actually living in a special, male dominated part of human history, and part of the perceived horniness of man is their dominant position. Maybe it could still be the same when you discount that but who knows? And in the world we live today male dominance is being eroded away so it will be interesting to see what happens.

Studying humans through observation is subscribing to behaviourism, an extremely useful, but ultimately limited methodology. Limited by its unwillingness to ascribe motives to that behaviour.

Parang example - of course there are other factors involved in the decision, but then it's up to you to come up with another example to illustrate a point which is after all yours and not mine.

What is it about a girl that would make her dodgy? You might want to look at this . (first time I posted link din work).

 

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