The Origins of Human Sexuality Essay

The Origins of Human Sexuality Essay

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The Origins of Human Sexuality

In their book Homicide, Martin Daly and Margo Wilson put forth a theory that challenges human societies common notion of human sexuality. They do this in an attempt to bring about a better understanding of homicide and male aggressiveness. According to Daly and Wilson, males instigate the overwhelming majority of "dangerous altercations" and they contend that this is due to "status competition." Status competition is the idea that males must aggressively compete for sexual access to females in order to pass on their genes.
Daily and Wilson cite the work of Charles Darwin, who in 1859 published a famous work on the theory of natural selection. The concepts presented in his book were later elaborated in his second work, which dealt with the concept of "sexual selection." Sexual selection according to Darwin's theory, was based on the observation that not all evolutionary adaptations serve a survival function; that in many cases, "a trait might be penalized by 'natural' selection and yet win out by 'sexual' selection." Darwin argued that surviving and living a long life did not ensure reproductive success and therefore an animal's goal of longevity is secondary to its goal of passing on its genes through procreation. These ideas form the foundation for Martin Daly and Margo Wilson's theory.
Daly and Wilson also refer to the research done by a British geneticist named A.J. Bateman to strengthen their arguments for the idea of status competition. Bateman's research focused on lab experiments done on Drosophila or fruit flies. The experiments consisted of taking fruit flies with "distinct genetic markers" and placing them in jars. It was made sure that each jar contained an equal number o...

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...evidence seems to suggest that men and women have evolved unconscious desires that do not change with sexual preference. Men and women tend to exhibit their expected sexual behavior regardless of their sexual preference.

The two books examined in this paper, Martin Daly and Margo Wilson's Homicide and David M. Buss's The Evolution of Desire, suggest that human mating strategies have an evolutionary basis. The book written by Martin Daly and Margo Wilson supplies the theoretical groundwork and the book written by David M. Buss gives validity and empirical support for the theory. The two books make a strong scientific argument for evolutionary adaptations as the most crucial element to understanding human sexuality and desire. According to this argument, the key to understanding human sexuality lies in the evolutionary origin of our species.

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