Monday, September 06, 2010

Battle of the Sexes - vii

The stereotype has been confirmed. Women turn men corrupt. But it's unclear whether men from the corrupted generation then pass their corrupt outlook to the next generation or they reset themselves to their 'true man self' and teach altruism.

They found that because, historically, women moved about more than men, and so are less related to their neighbours, our paternal and maternal genes are in conflict over how we should behave -- with our paternal genes encouraging us to be altruistic whilst our maternal genes encourage us to be selfish.
'This leads to conflicts over social behaviour: the genes you receive from your father are telling you to be kind to your neighbours, whereas the genes you receive from your mother, like a demon sat on your shoulder, try to make you act selfishly.'
Via Science Daily 

I just remembered that there was a study that concluded mothers influence only their daughters and have no influence on their sons. That means selfishness is passed from mother to daughter but sons are immune or purely altruistic. So, even if we consider absent fathers where did all the selfish males come from?


milieu said...

Can't this also mean that men turn women nepotistic?

manju said...

I guess once women get political identity that could be true...

Woman has always been faceless person taking up indirect identity of the patriarch which again isn't constant throughout her life. Before marriage, she would be part of her father's tribe and after marriage husband's tribe. So, the only constant identity is her true self.

Maju said...

I can't access the whole paper but it's clear only in the abstract that the SD release is not what they say:

"We predict that, in hominids and birds, parental care will be expressed by maternally-inherited genes. In non-hominid mammals we predict more diversity, with some mammals showing the same pattern and other showing the reverse".

By hominid they probably mean just humans, because other hominids like common chimps may be patrilocal. Bonobos instead are matrilocal and hence should be in the "motherly care" side of the equation, together with lions, hyenas, etc. Not many mammals, chimp apart, keep societies based on male groups, so I don't know what the press release is ranting about really.

In our hominid branch of the evolutionary tree anyhow, the diversity of social and particular behaviors is ample enough to guarantee that had only limited if any influence on gender-related kinship issues. As said Pan sp. have both systems, and so do humans (within a single species that spread only in the last 100,000 years or so).

Maju said...

I have to correct myself, because I just learned that bonobos are in fact "male-philopatric", i.e. the males remain in their birth community even if females are the highest ranking ones (link: interesting article that says bonobo males' are sexier and higher ranked the most powerful their mother is).

manju said...

, in hominids and birds, parental care will be expressed by maternally-inherited genes.

I wonder whether it's expressed both in males and females. I believe it should be only females considering an older study (post updated).