Quote of the Day 12-2-2012, The Myth of Female Coyness

“It had long been thought that females of most species were the ‘flip-side’ of males: Their yearning for cozy monogamous domesticity was supposed to be about as strong as the male tendency to mate with as many different partners as possible. Whereas males were known to gallivant and try to sow their wild oats, their ‘wives,’ it was assumed, stayed home – at the nest or den – minding the hearth, dutifully bearing young fertilized by their ‘husbands’. The males had a fondness for philandering; females supposedly did not.

This expectation of a double standard in the animal world may have been soothing to the ego and also perhaps to the unspoken anxieties of many biologists…the majority of whom have long been male. But DNA fingerprinting and associated technologies have changed all that forever, confirming that, at least in some cases, female practice less than perfect sexual fidelity.”

~David Barash & Judith Lipton, The Myth of Monogamy: Fidelity and Infidelity in Animals and People, p. 57-58


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