Namir ArgilagosIntro to AnthropologyProfessor Mckenna15 November, 2017What’s Love Got to Do With ItResponse1) MeredithSmith provides numerous examples of how cultural opinions and our biology canclash with each other. On page 20, she explains how Western women wereinfluenced by male Victorian ethic, which stated that women didn’t enjoy sex asmuch as their male counterparts. And it wasn’t until the 1970s where womendiscovered what female sexuality actually is. Due to society’s opinion on sexprior to the 1970s, women tended to only have sex when their husband wanted toperform the act or to get pregnant. Women weren’t allowed to satisfy theirthemselves when they became sexually aroused, ignoring their biologicalimpulses to fit in with society.
2) Marriage isthe acknowledged form of human mating. Mating is having sex with someone withthe intent of passing along your genes to further generations. Marriage impliesthat the two people will be having sex, which means children are likely to beproduced.
Although marriage is used for mating purposes and to show that twopeople are committed to each other sexually and emotionally, it is alsoperformed for a number of reasons. For example, in some countries, there arearranged marriages where the two people are married for wealth, religion, andsocial reasons. Typically in these types of marriages, the two people arrangeddon’t love each other. The husband and bride usually have affairs with someonethey actually connect with emotionally. Also, while many people believe humansare naturally monogamous, historical data shows otherwise. On pages 42-44,Smith talks about how their are usually distinctions between the two sexes andin the case of primates sized is used.
The size differences in primates stemfrom males competing for a chance to mate with females in the group, but ifprimates were monogamous, then there wouldn’t be a competition to mate and thetwo sexes would be closer in size. With this knowledge and with past fossils,it is suggested that the ancestors of humans, Australopithecus afarensis, were not monogamous as the females were64 percent of their male counterparts. However, as time goes on, there is lessvariance in the sizes of each sex. According to Smith, women are currently 80percent of the size of men. The data suggests that humans have developed tobecome a more monogamous society. In addition to the fossils, Small tells of astudy that was done by two British biologists, which took men in a monogamousrelationship and studied their semen by making the men wear a condom when theyhad sex.
The data reported that even when the men spent any time away fromtheir spouse, their sperm count significantly increased. The study showed thatpolygamy is in our biology. The increased sperm count is due to the bodywanting to increases its chance of reproducing by increasing the amount ofsperm released to beat any competition trying to mate. 3) Today,homosexuality is still a mystery, even though people have been trying to figureout how homosexuality developed for decades. Many people have formulatedtheories on the origins of homosexuality. The psychological origin ofhomosexuality started with Freud, which Small explains on pages 198-199.
Shebegins with Freud’s view on homosexuality, which states that all people areborn bisexual and once people mature, they stop being childish and become moreinterested in the opposite sex. Small continues with how psychoanalysts tookFreud’s view on homosexuality and combined it with the Oedipal conflict toconclude that a male becomes homosexual if their mother is overbearing and thefather is distant. The psychological theory was later disproven by thepsychiatrist Evelyn Hooker.
Hooker’s study, which looked at the psychologicalhistory of sixty men, thirty homosexual and thirty heterosexual, showed that aperson’s upbringing isn’t the ultimate determining factor in sexuality, but itcan contribute to it. (Small) In addition to a psycholoigcal origin theory ofhomosexualty, there is also a genetic origin theory. Smalls begin to tell ofthe studies that led to theory on page 203, in which Dean Hamer looked at thechromosomal topography and inheritance patterns of gay men. She continues withthe telling of how Hamer discovered that the men has a significantly highnumber of homosexual brothers and that the distribution of homosexual males inthe family were evenly distributed along the maternal side of the family tree,suggesting that homosexuality is genetic.
Accompanying the genetic theory,Smalls notifies us of a fetal theory that scientists have. On the pages of206-207, she mentions the study by Michael Bailey and Richard Pillard, thatincluded one hundred and fifteen twin sets, containing identical twins,fraternal twins and some gay men with adoptive brothers. She goes on tocontinue with their findings, which shows that each category had higherpercentages of homosexualuality than the national average leading them tobelieve that fetal environment and genes play a role in sexual development.Going along with the feral explanation, there is a neuronal theory abouthomosexuality. Smalls introduces the neuroanatomist who laid the groundwork tobuild the theory, Roger Gorski, on page 213. She elaborates on the researchthat he performed with the brain, which involved him looking at the fourinterstitial nuclei of the anterior hypothalamus (INAH) to determine if sex waslinked to the size of one of the INAH. While Gorski wasn’t successful infinding a connection, Simon Levay was able to.
Smalls details on page 104 and105 how Levay used the size of the INAH helped him formulate a theory. Levaybased his work off of the fact that INAH-2 and -3 were larger in males than infemales, but when he looked at them for homosexual males, the INAH-3 werepractically the same size as it is in females, leading him to conclude thatsexual orientation is linked to the INAH (Smalls). Although the theories aren’tone hundred percent correct, homosexuality is shown to formulate a lot frombirth, making it not a choice.
While some of the studies show that there aredifferences between homosexual males and heterosexual males, there aren’t any,for the most part. Homo- and heterosexual males’ brains have no true differenceas of right now. There are some cases where homosexual males will have smallerparts of the brain (INAH-3) than heterosexual males, but there are also somecases where they are the same size. Both of the males also can have similarbody structure or polar opposite body structure. As stated by Smalls on page212, “In any case, most homosexuals, both men and women, have perfectly normalhormones. They have normal genitalia, a normal sex drive, produce sperm andeggs, and can conceive children. Homosexual men are not men caught in anestrogen storm, nor are lesbians women who have too much testosterone.
” Showingthat homosexual males also don’t differ from heterosexual males in hormonal ways.4) When lookingfor a potential mate, males and females have completely different standards.Smalls said on page 178 that males believe that female attractiveness isextremely important to them, and they usually want a woman is younger thanthem. Smalls then continues to talk about how females want a man who has goodfinancial prospects, as well as a good personality, someone who is emotionallyinvolved. These perspectives that Smalls bring up make due to their biologicalhistory. Males were supposed to spread their semen as much as they can to carryon their genes down to further generations, so they look for younger women, whoare more fertile, to have sex with. Females, on the other hand, wantsassistance in raising their children, so they look for men with financial andemotional security.
While men and women both have standards for a full-timerelationship, men will quickly and severely lower their standards for a onenight stand. Once again tracing back to the fact that men biologically want tospread their sperm around. Women don’t do lower their standards because if theywere to get pregnant off of a one night stand, they wouldn’t have someone thatcould assist in taking care of the baby.5) I believethat Smalls makes the dedication because Tim inspired her to write the book. Ithink that Meredith and Tim would have conversations about some of the topicsthat were mentioned in the book, and neither one of them were well versed inthe area. Smalls even mentions on page 264 that Tim always supported her andwas intrigued in what she was writing. Also on page 264, Smalls tell how Tim allowed her to use one of hisprivate stories in chapter four of the book.