Are women still a limiting resource?

Discussion in 'Women's Issues' started by Jovial, Aug 23, 2008.

  1. Jovial

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    ...and if so, how limiting are they?

    Bateman's principle basically says the sex which invests the most in producing offspring becomes a limiting resource over which the other sex will compete. For most animals the female invests the most into reproduction, so males compete for them. The males are the unlimited resource. There are exceptions though. For example, in some species of birds (like the 3 species of Phalarope) the males spend the time incubating the eggs and the females compete for nesting territory and pursue the males.

    If you accept this so far, then you would also accept that men and women must have developed traits that give them the highest probability of passing on their genes. Men developed the trait of being sexually aggressive to compete against other men for (the limited) women. Women have the luxury of being passive and choosy because they have traditionally been the limited resource. Women will choose aggressive males (along with other desirable traits) since their male offspring will be more likely to share the same traits as the father and pass on their genes to the next generation.

    Since sex is less about reproduction and more about pleasure now (with birth control and such), it would seem women are less of a limiting resource than in the past. Women do still invest more into reproduction though. For example, there are still single mothers that spend more time caring for the kids and are somewhat "off the market," but the father is free to look for new sexual partners. But overall, women are less of a limited sexual resource now than ever before.

    So it seems as though the sexual revolution has confused a lot of people. We don't know what is right or wrong and what is expected of us anymore. Our sex drives tell us one thing but the dynamics of sex in our current society expect something else. Men's instincts drive them to be sexually assertive, but society tells us that men and women are equal so men shouldn't be as aggressive. Some women have become more sexually assertive and other women feel like they are left behind if they don't put out.

    Do you think the modern role of sex in our society and our genetic makeup are now in conflict? Are men's and women's sexual instincts at odds with the current sexual expectations?

    How do you fit into all this? Do you feel like you are a limited, valuable resource or an unlimited resource so you must compete for sexual partners?

    Discuss :smile:
     
  2. Runco

    Runco New Member

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    Despite all the new sexual freedoms, contraception and society's acceptance of single parenthood, I think, if anything women are more of a limiting resource than ever. Things that need to be factored in (from my pov) include:

    • the impact of having a career on a woman's ability to find a mate and produce children - can we be superwomen?
    • the fact that women tend to start families later than ever - into their thirties - and fertility declines with age
    • some women never have children and this reduces the number of women available to breed with even further
    • the advent of contraception and availability of abortion means that women have a lot more control over when - if ever - they have children even if they become pregnant
    • the fact that women are wising up and more women are choosing to get an education instead of reproducing from a young age
    What goes some way towards balancing some of this is modern society's acceptance of homosexuality; there are fewer men needing (or wanting) to breed with women. This reduces the number of available men to women (even taking into account the fact that some women will be in lesbian relationships too). That said, pushing it up again is the desire on the part of some gay men to have children and also the fact that some women will have fertility problems and will need women who are willing to donate eggs or even act as surrogates for them.

    For all these reasons I tend to think women are more of a limiting resource than ever in some parts of the world.

    Are men's and women's sexual instincts at odds with the current sexual expectations?

    I don't know if I would go that far. I would say that there is a mismatch between what women want vs what men think we want and the reasons for the conflict are that for some reason, some men are not evolving as society changes. For example, the sexual revolution meant that rather than being passive receivers of a man's seed, women now feel able to demand what they want. Women are less likely to put up with some aspects of male dominant behaviour that may have been previously accepted/tolerated - for example, domestic abuse, being spoken down to, being expected to do everything around a home while holding down a job, pushing out countless kids, etc. In addition, women feel more able to make demands in the bedroom - we want to enjoy sex too - and generally (in terms of a man working, needing to groom himself, help out around the house, etc). All of this said, I don't know if I would say the confusion is about gender roles, sexual assertiveness or women feeling pressure to put out. I tend to think the real problem is there has been a major breakdown in communication between the genders.

    Do you think the modern role of sex in our society and our genetic makeup are now in conflict?

    Yes but only because there has been an inexplicable breakdown in communication between the sexes. This communication issue has led to confusion about the relative importance that men and women place on penis size. This is important because as you say, some men honestly believe that having a bigger penis will solve everything (or at least bring the women flocking). It won't.

    I have noticed that a lot of men tend to focus on penis size because they believe that this would be a deciding factor in attracting women. This may have been true in the past (i.e. when we were more like animals) but is less true now purely because most men are better in bed regardless of penis size and the focus, as you say, is more on sexual enjoyment. Most women know, for example, that men are better in bed now. We also know that the size of the penis has no bearing on a man's fertility; which is why the majority of women are not that focused on penis size. Indeed, only 15% of women are likely to put penis size near the top of their shopping list when it comes to the things that would attract them to a man, which would no doubt lead to resentment on the part of some men. What women tend to focus on are the male attributes that would enable the building of a successful relationship and home. We are looking for marriage material and not just a big penis. By marriage material, I am talking about traits like honesty, shared values, an ability to communicate, a modicum of intellect, ambition - and so on. And here is the rub. A man who is too focused on the size of his dick stands little or no chance of finding someone to settle down with. That is my view.

    Where do I stand on this? I am most definitely a limiting resource. True, I have been married once and I do have a child (so some would say perhaps that I am not that limiting!) but from that marriage I learned what I will and won't accept in a relationship, particularly in a relationship into which children might be brought.

    I think I have said enough! I just hope it all makes sense.
     
  3. Principessa

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    *BUMP*
     
  4. transformer_99

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    Unfortunately, there are those that will neither have sex nor reproduce. And that goes for both genders. So the system in and of itself is self-limiting.
     
  5. Jovial

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    Thanks for the well-reasoned response. You brought up many interesting things, so I can't address them all now.

    I didn't consider that women could actually be less available than ever, but you may be right. If this were true then it would mean men need to compete more for mates than our natural inclinations would suggest.
    This is also interesting. I thought about this a few weeks ago, that perhaps homosexuality developed as a way to reduce male-male competition (and thus violence). So it makes human society more stable and increases the survival rate of a given population.
     
  6. D_Kay_Sarah_Sarah

    D_Kay_Sarah_Sarah Account Disabled

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    Its female nature to want to reproduce and, so we are on the hunt for a perspective partner just as much as me are. There many statistically be less of us but we will never be a limited or unwilling source in sex/relationships for that reason.
     
  7. Runco

    Runco New Member

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    The thing I forgot to mention was that women are now hunters as well as nurturers and gatherers and we perform this role on our own as well as with a man (as part of a couple). Doing it as part of a couple is, of course, easier. But (and this is where men are a bit behind), some men do not want to nurture. They still see that as 'women's work' despite the fact that the role of women in society has changed so much (i.e. we have had to become hunters in order to ensure our survival and the survival of our kids). Some men want to carry on focusing on the penis and on hunting. This is okay while they are young. Hell, there are women out there who will not be interested in nurturing while they are young. That is fine too. The problems start when we all get older and want to settle down.

    Men frequently complain that women want it all. In other words, we want men to be all things (hunter, gatherer, nurturer, romantic, communicator, etc). What some don't realise is women have to do it all in modern society so why can't men? I am not saying they can't but it would be a rare man who would nurture the kids, communicate, be faithful, honest, do stuff around the house etc AND hunt for the bacon day in and day out. A rare man. But this is what many women do every day and when they are thinking about the future, they will want a man who can share the load and be depended on. Frequently men will find themselves cut loose when they thought a relationship was going well for this reason. They may not understand at the time but usually it will be because the woman senses that the man will not be able to help provide a stable home for her and any children they may have. Obviously some women only realise this once the kids are born (ditto men).

    The reason for the shift in emphasis from procreation to stabilisation really is about survival - women must work in order to provide the kind of environment within which children can not only survive but can also thrive and grow up to be well rounded, intelligent and capable adults. This means we need men to nurture while we are working to earn our share of the bacon. If a man wants to compete, if he really wants to increase his chance of settling down and breeding, his priorities need to shift as he gets older. A man who can hunt and nurture and communicate (and share other values that a woman views as important) will win out over a man who can only hunt - regardless of the size of the hunter's penis.
     
  8. Jovial

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    I agree, but a small difference in the number of available men and women can have a dramatic effect. Just like a housing shortage can inflate rental rates or a shortage of workers can increase salaries in a particular field. But what you may be saying is if there are less available women, then some of them will have to take on multiple partners to even things out. :wink:
     
  9. Jovial

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    I agree, but I don't see women actually pursuing men that can provide everything. I'm saying I still think most women will wait for the men to pursue them, then choose from among those men. That's either instinct or upbringing. And that's what I was getting at when I said things should be more equal now. We have these modern expected roles of men and women but dating (finding, pursuing) potential mates is still traditional. The roles of men and women in dating haven't changed with the changing roles. (Or have they?) The dynamics of dating still favor the lesser quality men that pursue women over the higher quality men that aren't as assertive in pursuing women.
     
  10. D_Kay_Sarah_Sarah

    D_Kay_Sarah_Sarah Account Disabled

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    True. And also there is the fact that the extra % of men to women could be gay. And there are the people who choose to stay single.
     
  11. Mr. Snakey

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    When something goes arye in our society why is the burden of it thrown on the womans back? Is it possible than we as men need to take a hard look at who we are and how we treat women? We are very much a big part of the problem. It may be that we simply arent worthy of their company anymore because of our never ending treatment of them as inferior.
     
  12. transformer_99

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    I think women do pursue that one male that can provide it all. But like the men have found, there isn't that one person that provides it all, but rather the one's that have the most important qualities they are looking for. Women have always been hunters, so I don't necessarily buy into the gatherer/nurturer theory and that now, all of a sudden women that have entered the workforce, they do it all and are now this new breed of super woman that are hunters as well as gatherers and nurturers too. Hunting is "prey" dependent. So the technique fits the prey. Women who are after the guys that are hunters and constantly looking for better have to hunt that way as well proactively. But it only makes sense, even for the female hunter to sit back and "bait & trap", because those hunter males will eventually come around. And the same holds for the males that aren't as active and aggressive, eventually they'll come around too and the hunter in the woman will evaluate that male at that time for the criteria required to be spouse & mate.

    It's like the job market, some jobs you post for anyone to apply, others are recruited for. It's not a perfect system, but it is what it is, there are no guarantees for success, but a systematic approach does reduce the possibility of failure. If either gender is becoming more selective, that's a good thing. Each person owes it to themselves and society to do the best for themselves, otherwise we wind up with a bunch of bastard children running around and who knows where their father's are.
     
  13. JustAsking

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    In species where only the alpha male is allowed to mate, it is thought that homosexuality among the non-alpha males brings stability to the pack.
     
  14. Principessa

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  15. Jovial

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    I can act like a traditional male, but times are a-changin'. Maybe being traditional is unexpected by women now.
    I agree, but can't I say the same thing about women?
     
  16. Principessa

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  17. Jovial

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    I'm trying to understand what you mean by this. Are you saying that there aren't many women that can or will work for what or who they want in life? If I don't want to be alone I have to settle for a woman that doesn't work for what she wants?
     
  18. D_Drew Peacock

    D_Drew Peacock New Member

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    In my experience yes female willingness is the limiting factor in my sex life. I have it when she is willing and not when she is not. I find that rather limiting but I get it more than I would were I alone, so I work within the limits of the possible. I can only speak for myself so YMMV.
     
  19. W/In 1 Stand Dev

    W/In 1 Stand Dev Active Member

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    This could quite possibly be the mother of all men versus women threads.

    I would really like to sit here and read all of this thread, but I have to run out and get laid.

    Hmm... yummy... Pink fleshey goodness awaits me...

    :wink:
     
  20. Wyldgusechaz

    Wyldgusechaz New Member

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    I have posted this b/4. Women are kicking the crap out of men in terms of accomplishment. Men want an extended childhood while women want to get down to the business of growing up quick. A college degree ration of 59 W/41 M is horribly skewed.

    It is a rare female that can completely separate sex from emotion. 50000 years ago a female who got pregnant without forming a pair bond with a male likely died right after childbirth.
     
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