The New York Times on January 12, 2013 published an article “Darwin was Wrong about Dating”. It says that the evolutionary biologists were wrong when they said that men were interested in spreading their genes by having casual sex whereas women were more interested in a stable relationship with a companion who will help rear their cihldren:
“Lately, however, a new cohort of scientists have been challenging the very existence of the gender differences in sexual behavior that Darwinians have spent the past 40 years trying to explain and justify on evolutionary grounds.”
If you’re a man and have had any difficulty in getting women to agree to sleep with you, reading this article would be a good way to feel worse about yourself. According to the eggheads with clipboards, it is not that women typically say “no”; they just happen to say “no” most of the time to you.
[On a more serious note, the article fails to consider changes in the incentive structure for women who have children without the continued voluntary assistance of the father. First of all, the social stigma of raising a fatherless child has been mostly removed. At lower paternal income levels, a variety of forms of government assistance will provide the single mother with roughly $45,000 per year in tax-free benefits, depending on the state (see this chart). That is more than the average American worker’s take-home pay. At higher paternal income levels, court-ordered child support payments may provide the non-working single mother with a substantially higher (tax-free) income than working at an average wage. Whereas an unplanned pregnancy would have at one time been a significant “cost” of a night of casual sex, both in terms of social stigma and financially, today in American society a pregnancy that results from casual sex may be a net benefit. After the obvious benefit that children are wonderful companions and a lot of fun (almost all the time anyway), the most notable part of this benefit is the cash component, yielding more than $1 million tax-free prior to the child reaching adulthood. There are a lot of things that Homo sapiens did not evolve to do while roaming the savanna of the East African Rift that today, for $1 million, you can get a Homo sapiens to do. So potentially there is no contradiction between the Darwinists and the scientists quoted in the New York Times article.]