The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Random thoughts...

Here's the link to yesterday's interview, which was a ton of fun.  Thanks to you guys who chimed in!


You know, I've wondered for years why  lesbianism is more accepted than male homosexuality--either in society as a whole, or in the cinematic images of "Girls making out.  Well, I've recently come across some excellent, serious research about this, relating to primate research on conflict resolution.  Research into bonobos (often considered extremely similar to humans in many behavioral characteristics) reveals that in this Matriarchal primate society, sex is used instead of violence for much resolution of differences.  More specifically, at meal time, males get erections, and females will present themselves sexually to both males and females.  This gets more pertinent when you grasp that, as in most human societies, males are more likely to remain in the groups in which they are born, while females transfer from one group to another.  This is analogous to a woman leaving her city to marry her husband in another town.  Anthropologically, this is explained by the fact that the males need to thoroughly understand the unique characteristics of their hunting territory.  If they transfer to another area, they must learn the new territory from scratch.
Now, this is where it gets interesting.  Males, raised within an heirarchical structure from childhood, struggle for position from childhood--and by the time they are adolescents or mature males, they are "ranked" and more or less stay in that rank for the rest of their lives, moving up slowly as the elders age.  A male who transfers to a new group must fight for position, and among older males, the fights are more damaging than fights among children.  So transferring to new groups isn't as common--and as guys know, forming new friendships gets very difficult as you get older.
Females, then, who transfer to new groups, need a strategy to allow them to transfer with minimal stress.  The answer among bonobos is an overall strategy of "deliciousness"--presenting themselves sexually, grooming, flirting with both males and females.  They are not only no threat, they are delectable and pleasurable.  Males, then, butt heads for power, females damn near compete for "who is the softest and most yielding."
Transferring these behaviors to the human world, it becomes pretty obvious why women can hug, kiss, hold hands, or even sleep together with less stigma than males.  And males, bless us, love watching it.  Kinda interesting....
On another sexual matter, an arrest has been made on the Jon Benet Ramsey case, thank goodness.  Apparently a pederastic grade school teacher.  That sort of lets the Ramsey's off the hook.  Except...that I will never forget those highly sexualized photos of that little girl.  Parents who sexualize pre-teen girls in beauty pageants really, really worry me.  I wonder if that little girl would be alive now, enjoying High School and boy friends and all the wonder of life, if only her parents hadn't tried to rush her into adulthood.  I don't know.  But I know I would never, ever have done that with my daughter.

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