Sunday, September 18, 2011

Why Are We Like We Are?

I have come across a fascinating book called, "A Billion Wicked Thoughts.''

It is written by two neuroscientists who have a initiated a revolution in the scientific study of sexual attraction. They point out that very little sex research has ever been done. Kinsey interviewed only 18,000 middle class Caucasians. It was groundbreaking but not a broad sample. And people don't often tell the truth about their sexual desires. So they went to the Internet, analyzing the sexual behavior of more than one hundred million people around the world. They analyzed a billion web searches, a million websites, a million erotic videos, a million erotic stories, millions of personal ads and tens of thousands of digitized romance novels.

They point out that if you have a fetish, it is on the Internet. Nobody exists who has a desire that other people don't have. They say if you type in, "Find people that have sex with goat that are on fire'' and the computer will say, "Specify type of goat.''

They say men prefer plump women to thin ones and men often seek erotic videos featuring women in their fifties and sixties. So much for the supposed preference for thin young women.

I haven't even finished the book and will share more in the future but wanted to share one fascinating tidbit with you. In the history of mankind, only 40 per cent of men have reproduced while 80 per cent of women have.

They quote one social psychologist, Roy Baumeister, as saying what this means to us.

"If you (a male) go along with the crowd and play it safe, the odds are you won't have children. Most men who ever existed did not have descendants who are alive today. Their lines were dead ends. Hence it was necessary to take chances...Sailing off into the unknown may be risky, and you might drown or be killed, but if you stay home, you won't reproduce anyway. We're descended from men who took chances (and were lucky).
"For women throughout history, the odds of reproducing have been pretty good. Taking chances like (sailing off into the unknown) would be stupid, from the perspective of a biological organism seeking to reproduce. Women might drown or be killed by savages or catch a disease. For women, the optimal thing to do is go along with the crowd, be nice, play it safe. The odds are good that men will come along and offer sex and you'll be able to have babies. All that matters is choosing the best offer. We're descended from women who played it safe.''

I hope you find that as fascinating as I do. I recommend the book but will be sharing more of their findings.



  1. Ahh... alas... my S is again proven to be average, as he enjoys me... plump and older! LOL Guess that means I don't have to go on that diet! *giggling*

    The book sounds fascinating! For now I'll have to go with your comments on the book as a mom of 2 younger children just doesn't have time to read it myself...maybe someday ... keep us posted please! ;o)

  2. Thanks for sharing this find! I'm intrigued to know more. The part about if you have a fetish it's out there and you're not the only one reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw --- "You are absolutely unique. Just like everybody else." Looking forward to your next installment!

  3. Wow what a fascinating read! Thank you for your endeavors to keep us enlightened!

  4. FD,

    It reminds me of what King Solomon said, "There's nothing new under the sun." People throughout history have been doing the same things over and over's just that now the internet provides a record of the things they're doing, seeing, etc.

    Daddy is doing his part to make sure his genetics get passed on...he has 10 bio children and I birthed 8 of the 10:).

    As for my body type, I am concerned with having good health which translates into a healthy lifestyle (eating right, getting exercise, etc.)which means I am slim and curvy.


  5. That sounds like a fascinating book, so thanks for sharing.

    Just based on the snippet though, I have to question the conclusion. First of all, 80% of women reproducing seems like a very high number when you factor in illnesses and that some women cannot reproduce, etc. So I wouldn't necessarily say that we descended from women that played it safe, as there's a real chance that there were major impediments to the other 20% having children.

    And for the men, throughout history men have been involved in wars and maritime trade, etc. Dangerous things. The conclusion here was that those men were the ones reproducing, taking risks, and that we are descended from them. But isn't it more likely that the cobblers, the bakers, etc, the ones who were staying at home safe and sound were able to reproduce the most? And furthermore, their offspring would be the most likely to come out healthy and be raised to grown, healthy adults, as opposed to what you might assume for a pirate-type figure. So if you start from their premise, I feel like you might reach a very different conclusion - that we are descended from men who played it safe.

    Now, whether that applies to current day is another question. It seems as if most people are having much fewer children than they technically can, and some aren't having any at all, despite being in stable relationships. This is a very different dynamic from most of history, where contraception was sketchy at best, and frowned upon. Still, very interesting food for thought.

  6. That is really interesting... and comforting.

    Sex can be such a taboo topic, even in these days. And like many things its easy to play the game of, "yeah, I'm into that 'mass majority' thing too." I know, I've played along myself.

    And for those of us lucky enough to come from any form of sexual repression from our church, family, parents, social upbringing... its nice to know you're not the "black sheep freak". Especially as that is not a title so coveted as some would have us believe. ;)

    Thanks for sharing.

  7. Mikki: How nice that your S enjoys you. That makes life wonderful.

    Season: I love that bumper sticker.

    Mindset: Yes, the book is a fascinating read. I will be providing more tidbits.

    Kitty: Nice that you exercise and eat well. I am sure Daddy likes you slim and curvy.

    Amber: I know the 80 per cent figure seems high but the authors say it is based on DNA testing.

    Autumn:The book shows none of us are Black Sheep freaks. There are people out there just like us.


  8. Very interesting post. I have to wonder about that 80/40 ratio though. The math just doesn't seem to add up considering that monogamous relationships seem to be the norm, at least from the perspective of western societies. Maybe it stems from men dying in wars before having a chance to have children?

    I also wonder about that risk-taking quote. It seems like the safer conventional choice would be to settle down and have children.

    But very interesting post!