Freitag, 18. Mai 2018

The domestic-bliss strategy

Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene:

"The simplest version of die domestic-bliss strategy is this. The female looks the males over, and tries to spot signs of fidelity and domesticity in advance. There is bound to be variation in the population of males in their predisposition to be faithful husbands. If females could recognize such qualities in advance, they could benefit themselves by choosing males possessing them. One way for a female to do this is to play hard to get for a long time, to be coy. Any male who is not patient enough to wait until the female eventually consents to copulate is not likely to be a good bet as a faithful husband. By insisting on a long engagement period, a female weeds out casual suitors, and only finally copulates with a male who has proved his qualities of fidelity and perseverance in advance. Feminine coyness is in fact very common among animals, and so are prolonged courtship or engagement periods. As we have already seen, a long engagement can also benefit a male where there is a danger of his being duped into caring for another male's child. 
Courtship rituals often include considerable pre-copulation investment by the male. The female may refuse to copulate until the male has built her a nest. Or the male may have to feed her quite substantial amounts of food. This, of course, is very good from the female's point of view, but it also suggests another possible version of the domestic-bliss strategy. Could females force males to invest so heavily in their offspring before they allow copulation that it would no longer pay the males to desert after copulation? The idea is appealing. A male who waits for a coy female eventually to copulate with him is paying a cost: he is forgoing the chance to copulate with other females, and he is spending a lot of time and energy in courting her. By the time he is finally allowed to copulate with a particular female, he will inevitably be heavily 'committed' to her. There will be little temptation for him to desert her, if he knows that any future female he approaches will also procrastinate in the same manner before she will get down to business."


William Kerrigan, A Theory of Female Coyness:

"Men in classic Hollywood cinema, which I date from the beginning to 1950, must often choose between two women, one of whom is cultured, well-bred, innocent, while the other is maybe a half-breed, maybe from the wrong side of the tracks, works in a dance hall or a chorus line, maybe smokes and drinks, and has perhaps known other men sexually."

"Marriage is a test, a measure of heterosexual maturity."

"In love poetry the word "coy" refers specifically to the behavior of a woman being courted, whether the end of the courtship be marriage or sexual consummation. It sometimes means "disdainful," implying a haughty and deliberately wounding rejection of the male's suit. But "coy" often appears in the more neutral sense of "delaying" or "refusing to accept or reject." This appears to be the sense implied in Marvell's "To His Coy Mistress." After a long history devoted to the adoration of her beauties, "the last age should show your heart": a coy mistress prolongs the courtship by keeping her feelings undivulged; French coi means "silent" or "reserved". ... Both Randolph and Marvell, then, term "coy" the behavior of a courted woman who will accept the suit but delays this revelation until the courtship has met certain standards, become itself a completed act rather than a wasted time to be gotten through as quickly as possible. It seems to me that such behavior would have to involve the sending of contrary signals: I accept your suit, I do not yet accept your suit; I am sexually interested, I am above sexual interest. ... The woman in Michael Drayton's "To His Coy Love" torments him with "half kisses". "

"By entering into flirtatious games, women are symbolically prolonging and savoring a function the female often performs in the animal kingdom - the role of chooser."

"the gradual overcoming of resistance, the long drawn out victory of "yes," is a strategy for fanning the flames."

"The victory over resistance makes sexuality, for the male, into a conquest, but a conquest that ensures the value of the woman: "Easie riches is notreasure." We must take care, given our sensitivity to words like "conquered," not to suppose that the woman in this game is utterly passive. Being coy is center-stage behavior, a way of continually exhibiting one's libidinal temperature as well as one's moral fiber. Being conquered in this sexual setting is, for the coy woman, a ritual victory."

"For some of our ancestors, at least, female coyness was a therapeutic adaptation to the potential fragility of male love."


The Evolution of Female Coyness, Trading Time for Information - Wachtmeister and Enquist:

"That a female, when courted by a male, is unwilling or unable to start reproduction immediately is referred to as female coyness."

"A classical explanation for coy behaviour is the need for the male and the female to synchronize their reproductive physiology. ... Nevertheless it may be advantageous for females to wait activating the reproductive physiology until meeting a male since it might be costly to always be physiologically prepared for reproduction."

"the longer the female stays coy, the more certain she may become of the male's intentions."


The optimal coyness game, McNamara et al.:

"In many animal species, females will benefit if they can secure their mate’s help in raising their young. It has been suggested that they can achieve this by being coy (i.e. reluctant to mate) when courted, because this gives them time to assess a prospective mate’s helpfulness and hence allows them to reject non-helpful males.

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