Re: Human faithfullness [was Re: Fwd: Lanier essay of 2001.12.04]

From: Amara Graps (
Date: Mon Dec 10 2001 - 09:46:19 MST

From: Damien Broderick (

>Oh dear. That might work for you, my good Mr Spock (but wait! that
>can't be right--Robert is a wildly emotional seeming dude, and the
>better for it), but it has no bearing on how the genes+culture bias
>toward feeling jealous *actually works*. When I had my first fit of
>numbed, almost vomitous jealousy, I had been vasectomized for nearly a
>decade and the woman I was involved had gotten her tubes tied in her
>20s. The possibility of `sneaky fucker' reproduction therefore had
>*zero* impact on our feelings... except via ancient biases
>inaccessible to rationality. On top of those, of course, was a complex
>web of higher-level structures--one's fragile sense of self-worth,
terror of loss of love and the prospect of loneliness, all the rest of
>the rich process that makes us human in a social setting.

I agree, but I'm not sure that 'jealously' is the appropriate term.
Consider all those folks that consciously build in nonmonogamy into
their relationships (for example, those that practice polyamory): They
are honest and rational regarding their wants and needs, yet often they
still must go through a long physical-desensitizing period so that
their stomach doesn't perform flipflops when thinking of their partner
close to someone else.

Because the visceral stomach response is so strong, I wonder where, in
human's evolutionary development, it comes from?

(presently in Northern Calif.)


************************************************************************ Amara Graps, PhD | Max-Planck-Institut fuer Kernphysik Heidelberg Cosmic Dust Group | Saupfercheckweg 1 +49-6221-516-543 | 69117 Heidelberg, GERMANY * ************************************************************************ "Never fight an inanimate object." - P. J. O'Rourke

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