Archive for July 10th, 2010

July 10, 2010

“A more flexible approach to sexual fidelity can increase marital stability”

by Vince

So says the argument in Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá new book on the evolution of sexuality. They see monogamy as unnatural. Here are some excerpts from an author Q&A and the Daily Dish:

Biologists distinguish sexual monogamy from social monogamy. As DNA testing has grown cheaper in recent years, we’ve learned that most species formerly classified as “monogamous” (primarily birds) are socially monogamous, but notsexually so. In other words, they form pairs that cooperatively care for that season’s brood of young, but the male may well not be the biological father. Applied to humans, we argue that a more flexible approach to sexual fidelity can increase marital stability and thus lead to greater social and family stability.

According to Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá, the authors of the new book “Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality,” the state of the American marriage is awfully grim. We have a stratospheric divorce rate and a surge of single parents. Couples who stay together are often trapped in sexless, passionless unions. An entire industry — from couples therapy to sex supplements — has emerged to help people “rekindle the spark” without straying from the confines of monogamy.

But Ryan and Jethá also have a theory for what’s causing this misery: From a biological perspective, men and women simply aren’t meant to be in lifelong monogamous unions. In “Sex at Dawn,” which uses evidence gathered from human physiology, archaeology, primate biology and anthropological studies of pre-agricultural tribes from around the world, they argue that monogamy and the nuclear family are more recent inventions than most of us would expect — and far less natural than we’ve come to believe.

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July 10, 2010

Creepy

by Vince
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July 10, 2010

Pink Elephants on Parade

by Vince

Hat Tip: The Daily Dish

July 10, 2010

The Briar Patch

by Vince

Andrew Sullivan describes the after-effects still living themselves out after America invaded Iraq and Afghanistan:

What has neoconservatism achieved? In Afghanistan, the best possible option is a country dominated by an increasingly Islamist and nuclear-armed Pakistan. In Iraq, the best possible option is a country dominated by Shiites far more aligned with Iran than many Sunni Arab states. And so the upshot of the Bush-Cheney years is an empowerment of both Iran and Pakistan, the two Muslim countries either with or close to nuclear capacity. That is the end result of a policy designed above all to prevent WMDs getting into the hands of terrorists. I mean: you couldn’t make this up.
And still they want more war. In fact, they are now angling for American support for Sunni Arab states (and Israel) to launch a war against the Shiite power of Iran. Not content with enmeshing the US in two intractable wars, they actually want America to take sides in the ancient intra-Muslim feud between Shiite and Sunni. Yes, that sounds like something brilliant doesn’t it? No unintended consequences could come from diving into that briar patch.
July 10, 2010

Various Analyses of Same Sex Marriage

by Vince

In light of the recent rulings below, you will see things churning in both the commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Presbyterian USA church:

DBT offers an intriguing take on a recent ruling within the PC-USA:

For those of us who believe that sexual orientation is a gift of God, it is sad and frustrating to see the church refuse to even consider the measure. That the G.A. apparently did so in part because of a clever procedural maneuver is all the more disappointing.  (I acknowledge that “disappointing” does not begin to describe the deep sense of heartbreak and alienation that many persons feel over this and other forms of judgment by the church). Almost simultaneously the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts ruled that the Defense of [Straight] Marriage Act is unconstitutional.  In other words, the court has done–roughly speaking–what the church opted to avoid altogether. This juxtaposition of the church and the court may seem strange and leave us feeling further distanced from the church that fails not only to live up to its high calling but merely to keep up with culture.

Andrew Sullivan reiterates his conservative view on same sex marriage while also offering various reactions to the DoMa case:

That case is as follows: it is conservative not to eject people from the fabric and tradition of their own families; it is conservative to support emotional and financial stability which the daily discipline of marriage fosters; it is conservative not to balkanize citizens into groups based on identity; it is conservative to discourage gay men and women from marrying straight men and women on false pretenses and then ending up in divorce; it is conservative to include everyone into the social institutions that stabilize society; it is conservative to promote mutual responsibility and care-giving to avoid too much dependence on government; it is conservative not to trample states rights and amend the federal constitution when such things are grotesquely unnecessary; it is conservative to adjust to social change by adapting existing institutions, like civil marriage, than inventing totally new and untested ones, like civil unions.