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April 27, 2010

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I've long thought that church congregations are, to a significant extent, marriage clubs. I haven't examined differences between more and less conservative congregations, but at least in the congregations I've observed for any length of time there was a pretty obvious emphasis on bringing young people together into 'good' marriages and then being supportive of the families that resulted.

Oh, it's obvious when you're 15 and don't know yet that you can be emancipated, and your folks send you to a religious college so you can get a mate. That was specifically my father's reason for me to go to college at all -- to get a mate of the appropriate religion.

None of the long-term poly groups that I know have children.

...it's an evolutionarily beneficial adaptation not because (or not only because) it enhances communal survival or any such lofty ideal, but because it is essentially selfish.

I sometimes try to frame everything people do as being due to the tension between co-operation to enhance the group/family/community etc. and the competition to improve ones status within the group etc. Usually it's after I've had a couple of drinks, and I'm, hmm, a few beyond that right now, so can't put my thoughts together right now. I may have something to say on this particular instance tomorrow, or I may regret posting anything and sit around nursing a hangover. Or both!

Very few people in science fiction fandom are of the conventional kind of attractiveness; there are a few hunks and fashion model types running around

Sometimes we stand still.
Sorry.
I couldn't help it.

Bill & Marilee:
Certainly there's a matchmaking element within religions; part of sustaining themselves is to get people to reproduce within the group. But that's not what the article is addressing. It's talking about a tendency towards religious belief being evolutionarily adaptive, about unconscious mating strategy being part of what makes the brain lean towards believing in a deity at all.

I do know long-term poly groups with children but can only think of one offhand where the child is an adult. There may be others whom I don't see enough to realize their children have grown up.

There's a chicken-and-egg issue here: are people using mating strategies adapted to monogamy because they have been taught by religion or just by society in general that monogamy is the desired end?

Until not so long ago, there wasn't a distinction between Society and Religion. It'd appear that Societies, no matter what their religious underpinnings were, found that monogamy usually led to more stable situations, and they passed on that knowledge.

fannish mating strategies don't require religion because (1) the competition is not very threatening and (2) you can congregate rather than compete anyway?

Am I mistaken in thinking that smarts are valued more than pecks and boobs in fandom, as far as requirements for a desirable mate are concerned?

Serge:
I'm sure plenty of fans would like to think so, but I can personally testify that the size of breasts has a direct and startling effect on the amount of male interest one gets at conventions. Reduce breast size and become invisible. It's fascinating and sort of depressing.

Susan... True, but such males are not worthy. Some of us do look at women above their shoulders, and we value what's in their heart and in their brain.

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