LJ 2008-09-08 14:28:00
Now in theory, monogamy is in a woman’s best interests, but not a man’s. The man’s best shot at long term genetic viability is to impregnate as many women as possible, thus there must logically exist some drive that compels a man to do just that. A successful man could, in theory, father a child every day of the year. Of course, the evolutionary environment in which man evolved didn’t include sufficient group sizes for that to be viable at a group selection level, so some moderation would obviously be required. Nevertheless, the man benefits from “sowing his wild oats”, so to speak.
And that argument is often used to justify why men do stupid things – it’s in their nature, and therefore those poor males can be excused all manner of indescretions. So let’s consider the woman for a second.
Human infants are demanding little animals, requiring a lot of care and attention from the mother. Therefore, in her own mate selection process, she would seek out a partner who could provide for the child. The optimal strategy there would be to find a monogamous man, since the resources that he would be able to gather could be spent exclusively on the mother’s offspring, as opposed to being spent on any other secondary family units.
In similar fashion, a male would look more favourably upon a female whose sole responsibility was for his own children. He would be disadvantaged if she already had other children to look after, since these would use resources, detract from the maternal attention his own children received, etc..
So, with all those things in place, I’ve come to the following conclusion:
If a man cheats on a woman, it is in her best interests to devour her existing young, and immediately locate a new male. She cannot risk her existing children receiving sub-standard support from their errant father, nor can she expect another male to take them on at the detriment of his own future offspring. The least wasteful solution is therefore to consume the children, and approach new men-folk as an available woman, with proven fertility, but no current responsibilities.
So, gentlemen, you ought to go about your business forewarned – should you stray from your women, do not be at all surprised to come home to find baby leftovers in tupperware containers in the fridge, and your (soon to be former-) wife attempting to conceive a substitute child with your replacement. And when you try to claim that your nature compelled you to behave in that way, bear in mind that your fully-fed wife will be able to claim likewise.