Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04
Welcome home! Please contact lincoln@newbuddhist.com if you have any difficulty logging in or using the site. New registrations must be manually approved which may take up to 48 hours. Can't log in? Try clearing your browser's cookies.

The link between sex and peacefulness

KeromeKerome Love, love is mysteryThe Continent Veteran

So are human beings like Bonobos? Fascinating article on Psychology Today...

https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/out-the-darkness/202002/making-love-instead-war?eml

Comments

  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited February 14

    It says that in bonobos and some human groups, having sex often, including with different partners, curbs aggression. That doesn't seem to work in Western culture, though, where having multiple partners, i.e. not pairing off in committed relationships seems to be the cause of a fair amount of aggression. I don't know; I don't think it's all as simple as the article makes it out to be.

    The other thing to keep in mind, is that trading partners around tends to spread STD's. The article didn't say if the rate of STD's among bonobos and Pacific Islanders had been studied. I suspect, that "marriage", or some form of long-term commitment to one partner, was invented in part to curb the spread of STD's.

    Harappan culture, one of the earliest civilizations known, was exceptional in being a peaceful culture according to the archaeological record so far), and as far as we know, was made up of family units headed by monogamous adults. No info on divorce rates, and the like, though. But it seems, that "free sex" isn't necessary to have a peaceful society. Harappan culture is also believed to be the origin of yoga. Research into this somewhat enigmatic early civilization is ongoing. Rumor has it, the it had a matriarchal structure. Stay tuned for further developments. :)

    SuraShinepersonFoibleFull
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Historically, compared to more restrictive times, there is a lot less violence around now in western society. So I’d say the authors were on to something.

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Dakini said: I suspect, that "marriage", or some form of long-term commitment to one partner, was invented in part to curb the spread of STD's.

    No. If you're talking about the original invention of marriage, it was a predominantly financial arrangement that would prove advantageous and beneficial to both parties concerned, with, of course, the importance of the bride, and her role, being of minor significance as part of the transaction. Very often, the brides were still children and the husbands adequately mature to take mistresses until the bride was ready for coupling, then her role became one of providing a legitimate heir.
    Marriage was also a means of ensuring legitimate inheritance, so that the possible numerous bastards produced by the husband, could not lay claim to any right, and dilute and/or divert the properties wealth and rights of relatives.

    STD's were just a side issue. An occupational hazard, if you will.
    A spanner in the works, certainly.

    But nothing to do with the creation of marriage.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    Interesting. I think I'd caution against drawing to strong of a causal role though as importantly correlation isn't necessarily causation. It could be that more egalitarian cultures are more open sexually, especially in regards to women, or some other third factor leading to both, rather than just coming to the conclusion if we only had more sex society would be more peaceful.

    Also, regarding the societies of Pacific islanders. I have to wonder if the protective boundary of living on an island allowed them to let go more easily of protective tribal instincts that aid in preserving and protecting one's tribe against threatening outsiders such as purity, loyalty, and respect for authority.

  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited February 14

    @person said:
    Interesting. I think I'd caution against drawing to strong of a causal role though as importantly correlation isn't necessarily causation. It could be that more egalitarian cultures are more open sexually, especially in regards to women, or some other third factor leading to both, rather than just coming to the conclusion if we only had more sex society would be more peaceful.

    Also, regarding the societies of Pacific islanders. I have to wonder if the protective boundary of living on an island allowed them to let go more easily of protective tribal instincts that aid in preserving and protecting one's tribe against threatening outsiders such as purity, loyalty, and respect for authority.

    Didn't the islanders, or some of the island nations, have warrior societies, though?

    I think more study is needed on all aspects of the issues the article presents. Also, I thought Margaret Meade's take on "Coming Of Age In Samoa" and other South Sea cultures, had been debunked. She'd written about what seemed like free sexual experimentation among teens there, but later researchers said she was wrong, and that in fact there were taboos governing that area of life. I haven't read the book refuting her. Has anyone here read it?

    person
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited February 14

    @federica said:

    @Dakini said: I suspect, that "marriage", or some form of long-term commitment to one partner, was invented in part to curb the spread of STD's.

    No. If you're talking about the original invention of marriage, it was a predominantly financial arrangement that would prove advantageous and beneficial to both parties concerned, with, of course, the importance of the bride, and her role, being of minor significance as part of the transaction. Very often, the brides were still children and the husbands adequately mature to take mistresses until the bride was ready for coupling, then her role became one of providing a legitimate heir.
    Marriage was also a means of ensuring legitimate inheritance, so that the possible numerous bastards produced by the husband, could not lay claim to any right, and dilute and/or divert the properties wealth and rights of relatives.

    STD's were just a side issue. An occupational hazard, if you will.
    A spanner in the works, certainly.

    But nothing to do with the creation of marriage.

    Good points. (Thank you for the reminder.) But there are legends of Harappans traveling to other parts of the world after their civilization either collapsed or had to relocate due to climate changes. In the Andean region where some of them ended up, they introduced the practice of monogamy, it's said. It's my guess, that this was regarded as a "better way", possibly to limit STD's. But all of this is controversial, including those legends of foreigners appearing among the Andean peoples with new ideas.

    There's so much to prehistory that we still don't know! Many mysteries yet to be uncovered (or disproven), and explained. The Journey of Man fascinates, as the picture continues to be revealed, bit by bit.

    federica
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    I keep reading the name of this thread and thinking that there is no link between sex and peacefulness!

    lobsterSuraShine
  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited February 15

    I just remembered reading, that South Sea Island culture is one of the few cultures worldwide that includes the practice of polyandry: multiple male partners per each woman. Others are: Himalayan Buddhist culture (Tibetan, eastern Bhutanese), certain Siberian Native cultures around the periphery of the Asian continent (near the Arctic Ocean, and also in the Russian Far East, though only up to the 60's, when the Soviet regime banned the practice), and some tribes in the Amazon. Could this have something to do with the peaceful nature of some of those cultures?

  • @Bunks said:
    I keep reading the name of this thread and thinking that there is no link between sex and peacefulness!

    That is certainly true for Martian men. Venusian women are more civilised ...
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men_Are_from_Mars,_Women_Are_from_Venus

    Buddhas are from the Pureelands 🤪

    Bunks
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    The whole argument that the monogamous, patriarchal culture came from the idea of property rights and the need to secure a succession of ownership seems quite logical. It’s interesting how these earlier cultures seem to have had such different attitudes.

  • @Kerome said:
    The whole argument that the monogamous, patriarchal culture came from the idea of property rights and the need to secure a succession of ownership seems quite logical. It’s interesting how these earlier cultures seem to have had such different attitudes.

    The Tibetans are also concerned with property rights, but they strive to keep family property from being split up over generations among too many heirs by having brothers marry and share the same wife.

    Interesting how different cultures come up with different solutions to similar problems.

  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited February 24

    @Kerome said:
    So are human beings like Bonobos? Fascinating article on Psychology Today...

    https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/out-the-darkness/202002/making-love-instead-war?eml

    From the article:

    Prescott found that societies characterised by “permissive premarital sexual behaviors” had a low level of adult physical violence,

    We can find examples of groups with a high level of sexual freedom and openness among the world’s indigenous tribal peoples. In 1971, the anthropologist Donald S. Marshall published a study of a tribe called the Mangaia of the Cook Islands (close to New Zealand). He found that the Mangaia put special emphasis on the sexual needs of women

    I just finished reading Donald Mashall's book on one of the islands in the Cook Islands. While some of what the article says about sexual freedom for adolescents being the norm is true (though Christianization has had a negative influence on this), it's a warrior society, or used to be, prior to Christianization. Also, rape is not uncommon, even gang rape, in certain circumstances that deem it acceptable.

    This is why Margaret Mead's book, "Coming of Age In Samoa" was criticized, too; she left out the fact that rape was part of the culture. Maybe Psychology Today and one of its info sources, Dr. Prescott, don't consider rape to be a form of violence...?

    The Psychology Today article has done a handy job of cherry-picking facts and anthropology studies (and selective quotes from anthropology studies) to make its case. A bit of fact-checking, and source-checking, reveals a completely different picture.

    Don't believe everything you read. If a story seems too good to be true, check out its sources.

    federicaBunkslobster
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    My father used to say to me:

    "Don't believe anything you read and only half of what you see...."

    I often wondered how to know which half of what I see to believe?

    federicalobster
  • @Bunks said:
    My father used to say to me:

    "Don't believe anything you read and only half of what you see...."

    I often wondered how to know which half of what I see to believe?

    That's a very interesting statement. Maybe he was referring to the fact that our brain filters and interprets what we see, so that our experience is very dependent on our mental and emotional state.

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    @Dakini said:

    @Bunks said:
    My father used to say to me:

    "Don't believe anything you read and only half of what you see...."

    I often wondered how to know which half of what I see to believe?

    That's a very interesting statement. Maybe he was referring to the fact that our brain filters and interprets what we see, so that our experience is very dependent on our mental and emotional state.

    Na, I think he just said it to sound clever... :)

    federica
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I bet he thought the earth was flat, and the moon, Gorgonzola....

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Dakini said:
    Don't believe everything you read. If a story seems too good to be true, check out its sources.

    I find it interesting that you’d say “too good to be true”... the article may not be 100% credible, but it seems to make a certain sense. There is some material around about matriarchal societies between 10,000 and 20,000 years ago which is interesting too.

    Perhaps these kinds of theories don’t have to be 100% true to fuel a better, kinder view on human nature and the type of society that could exist.

  • DakiniDakini Veteran
    edited February 24

    Would love to read that material on matriarchal societies. I wonder if Tibet had such a brutal form of feudalism before Buddhism came, back when their traditions were more matriarchal. Though I think they did still had kings.

    Theories that aren't 100% true generally fall into the realm of mythology, which certainly has provided guiding principles to human societies throughout the world, in the past. The point here is, though, that Psychology Today claims to be a purveyor of scientific information, not mythological. But I don't think it's the first time they printed an article by an "expert", that lead readers astray. IIRC, they published an article on some kind of racial theory, by an author who had been discredited in his field.

    I'm not so sure the goal of the author or the magazine was to inspire a better, kinder view on human nature. I suspect it was to publish an article that would be popular and sell magazines, based on a "Make Love, Not War" message. That info on the bonobos is trotted out by one or another media outlet periodically, in part because sex sells. This time, it was packaged with a broader anthropological study.

    lobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    Well, there is some room between a mythology and an article which highlights some aspects of truth. Mythology is generally made up of dream-stuff and is largely unreliable, while articles which present a view on not-quite-solid evidence can still show a truthful perspective.

    This is certainly the first time that I’ve come across the genetic links between bonobo’s and humans and that we are so closely related. I understand that humans would be interested by bonobo’s social structure and sexual habits, and that some media outlets might exploit this but there are still interesting coincidences.

  • VimalajātiVimalajāti Whitby, Ontario Veteran

    It's kind of like the issue of magic mushrooms and mindfulness.

    If I'm mindful while I take my mushrooms, is that mushroom mindfulness? If I'm mindful while I copulate, is that mating mindfulness? If I'm mindful while smoking a cigarette, is that Marlboro mindfulness?

    There's lines with everything. "What causes you to go out of control," IMO, is a good limit for what you can apply meditation to.

    lobsteradamcrossley
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    “Whilst Man, however well-behaved,
    At best is but a monkey shaved!”

    The Origin of Species
    ~Charles Darwin~

    Ren_in_blacklobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Dakini said:
    Would love to read that material on matriarchal societies.

    I believe the book I read it in was The Chalice and the Blade by Riane Eisler, but I’m not a hundred percent sure, it was a while ago.

  • adamcrossleyadamcrossley Veteran UK Veteran

    Having a bad relationship with your sexuality is certainly a detriment to peacefulness. I suspect that how you relate to sex is more important than how much or how little you do it.

    BunksKeromelobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @Kerome said:

    @Dakini said:
    Would love to read that material on matriarchal societies.

    I believe the book I read it in was The Chalice and the Blade by Riane Eisler, but I’m not a hundred percent sure, it was a while ago.

    And you might find this interesting...

    https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/gallery/2020/feb/26/where-women-rule-the-last-matriarchy-in-europe-in-pictures-anne-helene-gjelstad

  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    @adamcrossley said:
    Having a bad relationship with your sexuality is certainly a detriment to peacefulness. I suspect that how you relate to sex is more important than how much or how little you do it.

    That’s definitely true... repressing sexuality causes a lot of problems, issues with desire and an overactive imagination, often subversion of different kinds. The sex drive goes awry in the head, if you don’t allow it a healthy exit.

    adamcrossley
Sign In or Register to comment.