Wednesday 18 February, 2004 Home > News > News > Top Stories
Darwin made me do it
By: JAMES SMART
OF ALL THINGS
A psychology journal published an article by an evolutionary psychologist, reporting that men all around the world, of whatever race, religion, culture, sexual orientation, marital status or Zip code, want more sexual partners than women do.
The global study, conducted by 118 psychologists, found the same results among people in 52 nations on six continents, plus 13 islands. This makes evolutionary psychologists happy, because they are intent on proving that human behavior is predisposed by the process of natural selection. They believe that the survey indicates that cultural influences are not what cause men to pursue a variety of ladies. Therefore, the reasoning goes, the impetus for such behavior (or misbehavior) must be evolutionary, and perhaps can be traced all the way back to some ancient promiscuous amoebae. It's survival of the lustiest. But, hold on. The study surveyed only 16,288 people. Last I heard, the population of the world is six billion and counting. That doesn't seem like much of a sample. I wonder what the other 5,999,983,712 citizens would say? The chosen few in the study were asked how many partners they would like to have in the next month. About 25 percent of the heterosexual men, and only about four percent of the women, said they would want more than one partner. Don't you have to be a bit suspicious about those guys who said they would like to have more than one partner? Sure they would. Will they all? Want to bet? Ask the same guys if they would like Jennifer Lopez to tiptoe into their bedroom next month and say she wants to stay a while. They would answer yes again, but that isn't going to happen, either. The question should have been, how many did they have last month? Also, the conclusions are based on 25 percent of the response. Whoa. Were those scientists formerly election supervisors in Florida? The other 75 percent of the men must not have said they wanted more than one partner next month. The scientists find evidence in their statistics for the evolutionary origins of sexual impulses. There also seems to be evidence that the majority leans toward resisting the impulse. If the evolutionists could ask a male rabbit how many partners he would like next month, you can be sure the number would be high. We also know what a crocodile would answer if asked how many tasty antelopes he would like to wander into his swamp next month. Animals may be slaves of evolution. Both secular and religious ethicists might agree that a difference between human beings and lesser beasts is that we have the ability, and one hopes, the aspiration, to resist behavior that is generally considered unacceptable. (To some folks, the word sin still comes to mind.) Philandering husbands among the 25 percent might use the survey results to explain to their wives, "Darwin made me do it." I'm old fashioned enough to be glad the 75 percent of one-mate guys are on record.