The idea of sex and parentage in a hunter-gatherer society was one of community; in an agricultural society, it became one of strict possession. Women – and potential children – became possessions, with sexual access becoming something to be strictly controlled and regulated.
Everything about humans from the size of our testicles to the shape of our pensises to the noises we make during sex is evolutionary testament to the fact that sexual exclusivity is attributed to nature.
Evolutionary psychology is frequently used to justify certain behaviors in men and women, insisting that certain behaviors are not only natural but inevitable and thus are the way that things are supposed to be.
Such is the case of the worship of the alpha male: an attempt by people to justify what they to be true via an appeal to nature through misunderstandings of evolution, psychology and sociological development.
Even amongst modern stone-age tribes, such as the ones in the Amazon and South-East Asia, parential lineage isn’t a strict binary; most believe in the concept of multiple fathers contributing to the creation of a child.
Sexual exclusivity and the obsession with genetic lineage didn’t come about until the development of agriculture – and with it, the idea of private ownership.
The first belief is the modern narrative of sexual behavior in men and women.
It’s an appealing idea in many ways; it provides the gloss of an appeal to nature- it nicely coincides with the macro perception of human sexual interaction and provides justification for promiscuous male behavior and an explanation for hypergamous females. The narrative that men are naturally promiscuous (the better to ensure the survival of their genetic line) while women are naturally monogamous is the result of a cultural fallacy dating back as far as Charles Darwin; scientists and anthropologists of the time tended to use Western cultural morality as the prism through which they viewed natural discoveries – a problem that occasionally crops up today, as a matter of fact.
In fact, the idea of sexual exclusivity – of humans being concerned with genetic lineage and trying to avoid raising another man’s child – is a relatively recent development, evolutionarily speaking.
Unfortunately once again: this is an an intellectual fallacy, an attempt to use nature and evolution as a way to justify the way one things to be.
The idea breaks down as soon as you take the most cursory look at actual evolution.
When women decide to hook up with a beta – so the theory goes – it’s a matter of convenience and materialism; she’s trading sex for material support when secretly in her heart of hearts, she learns for a big hairy-chested manly man to come and bang the ever-loving shit out of her…