Table of contents:
- It is beneficial for the female that the male cannot determine at all whether conception is possible at the moment
- As a result, our ancestors formed a society with a reduced level of intragroup aggression and an increased level of emotional attachment of marriage partners
Video: How Love Appeared In The World - Relations
Accepting the anthropologist Owen Lovejoy's hypothesis that bipedality developed in connection with the custom of providing food to females, we are talking in essence about a change in the principles of selection. Agree, this is logical: if males began to systematically carry food to females, this should have changed the relationship of individuals and their priorities. This is the fourth article in a series of stories about love by biologist Alexander Markov. You can read the first material here, the second here, the third here.
The female was now interested so that the male would not abandon her, the male - so that the female would not cheat on him. Both of them were hindered by the manner adopted in primate females to "advertise" ovulation, that is, the time when the female is capable of conceiving. In female chimpanzees, you can simply determine by appearance whether the female is now capable of conceiving. Such advertising is beneficial if the society is organized like a chimpanzee. But in a society with a predominance of stable paired relationships, the female is not interested in arranging long periods of abstinence for her male. Dangerous: suddenly he stops feeding or runs away to another.
It is beneficial for the female that the male cannot determine at all whether conception is possible at the moment
Many mammals detect this by smell, but in early hominids, selection contributed to the reduction of many olfactory receptors. Males with impaired sense of smell fed their families better - and became more desirable mating partners.
The male, for his part, is also not interested in the fact that his female advertises her readiness to conceive and creates unnecessary excitement among other males, especially if he himself is “on the hunt” at this time. Females hiding ovulation became preferred mates because they had fewer reasons for adultery.
As pair bonds strengthened, the preferences of females should have shifted from the most aggressive and dominant males to the most caring. In those animals for which males do not care for the family, choosing the strongest male is often the female's best strategy. Paternal care for offspring is fundamentally changing the situation. Now it is much more important for the female that the male is a reliable provider. External signs of aggressiveness (for example, large canines) begin not to attract, but to repel females.
A male with large fangs will try to increase his reproductive success by forceful methods, by fighting with other males. Such husbands go out of fashion when a diligent and reliable husband-breadwinner is necessary for the survival of offspring. Females who choose brawler husbands raise fewer pups than those who choose non-aggressive hard workers. As a result, females begin to prefer males with small canines - and under the influence of sexual selection, canines become smaller.
As a result, our ancestors formed a society with a reduced level of intragroup aggression and an increased level of emotional attachment of marriage partners
Let me remind you that in mammals, behavior is regulated by emotions, it is on emotions that selection acts, and therefore if we say that the bonds between the male and the female have become more stable, this means that they began to receive emotional satisfaction from this connection, that it became pleasant for them to be together. that love began to arise in them.
The decrease in intragroup aggression has created the preconditions for the development of effective cooperation. From this it is not difficult to deduce the subsequent development of completely new types of resources by the descendants of the Ardipithecus - the transition to feeding on carrion in the savannah. This was a risky business requiring a high level of male cooperation. Then they moved on to collective hunting for large prey.
The subsequent enlargement of the brain and the development of the stone industry in Lovejoy's model appears as a by-product of the direction of specialization that the early hominids took. The ancestors of chimpanzees and gorillas had the same initial capabilities, but they were "led" along a different evolutionary route. They relied on the forceful solution of matrimonial problems, and in the end they never became reasonable. The early hominids "chose" an unconventional solution - monogamy, a rather rare strategy among mammals - and this ultimately led them to the development of intelligence.
Adultery, of course, has always been. It is still beneficial for the male to seduce other people's wives and leave illegitimate children. Well, it is beneficial for females to cheat on their caring husbands with skillful seducers of other people's wives, because their sons will inherit the abilities of their fathers, they will successfully seduce other people's wives, and the female will eventually have more grandchildren.
Psychological and behavioral adaptations were to be developed to prevent cheating (feelings of jealousy), as well as adaptations for successfully and safely committing these cheating. Hence - all the dramas, love triangles, tangled tangles of relationships, an inexhaustible source of inspiration for poets and writers … And this, by the way, could be one of the important stimuli for the development of reason.