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2 minutes reading

Evolutionary history shows us that men are more likely than women to be tempted by casual sex.

Evolutionary history shows us that men are more likely than women to be tempted by casual sex. Evolutionary history shows us that men are more likely than women to be tempted by casual sex.
Source: Vladimir Semenskiy via Behance
The Red Queen
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The Red Queen
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(...) Throughout our evolutionary history, men and women have faced different sexual opportunities and constraints. For a man casual sex with a stranger carried only a small risk – infection, discovery by the wife – and a potentially enormous reward: a cheap addition of an extra child to his genetic legacy. Men who seized such opportunities certainly left behind more descendants than men who did not. Therefore, since we are by definition descended from prolific ancestors rather than barren ones, it is a fair bet that modern men possess a streak of sexual opportunism (...)

Women are likely to be different. Having sex with a stranger not only encumbered a Pleistocene [ed. geological epoch that lasted from about 2,580,000 to 11,700 years ago] woman with a possible pregnancy before she had won the man’s commitment to help rear the child, but it also exposed her to probable revenge from her husband if she had one, and to possible spinsterhood if she did not. These enormous risks were offset by no great reward. Her chances of conceiving were just as great if she remained faithful to one partner and her chances of losing the child without a husband’s help were greater. Therefore women who accepted casual sex left fewer rather than more descendants, and modern women are likely to be equipped with suspicion of casual sex.

Without this evolutionary history in mind, it is impossible to explain the different sexual mentalities of men and women. It is fashionable to deny such differences and to maintain that only social repression prevents women from buying explicit pornography about men, or that only socially paranoid machismo drives men to promiscuity. Yet this is to ignore the enormous social pressures now placed on men and women to forget or minimize differences between them. A modern woman is exposed to pressure from men to be sexually uninihibited, but she is also exposed to the same pressure from other women. Likewise, men are under constant pressure to be more ‘responsible’, sensitive and faithful – from other men as well as from women. Perhaps more out of envy than morality, men are just as censorious of philanderers as women are; often more so. If men are sexual predators it is despite centuries of social pressure not to be. In the words of one psychologist, "Our repressed impulses are every bit as human as the forces that repress them."

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