Okay so I’m not too good on my time periods. But from a lot of what I’ve read about and watched (Docu’s) on TV, ancient women were sluts.
I remember reading an amateur level psychology textbook that “explained” the “male” urge to spread our (I speak on behalf of my penile-affiliated brothers) seeds all over the place - in short, to “get out and chase those sexy mama’s”. Males were (as it described) instinctively promiscous - increasing the chances that thier genes would spread into the next generation and beyond.
Women, for different reasons, were instinctively monogomous. They wanted to nest, in order to provide for thier young and ensure that thier genes were safeguarded. Hence the “happy homemaker” kebbable.
But another textbook (and several non-related TV programmes) say that this male-promiscous/female-monogomous model is wrong. Apparently, in order to ensure that they could obtain the best sample of genes possible, women slept around. Possibly a hell of a lot. Remember, paternity is difficult to know (without DNA information - and ancient man wasn’t really as adept at exploiting this as he is today). Maternity, on the other hand, well… we all know who the mother is. A potential father wouldn’t risk killing the unborn child in case it was his - but he never really knew. So the mothers got off the hook (or so the story goes).
So anyone wanna take a guess at how often it happened? Obviously we are not talking about the kind of structured-family system that is in place today (husband;wife;mother;father etc.). So how often was it a case that paternity was concealed by a woman in ancient times?
So for example:
Ancient Kathy is sleeping with two men - Kevin and Kulio. Officially (because Kevin is a higher order chieftain and has more resources), she says that it is Kevin’s. But realistically, it is more likely to be Kulio’s. However, Kevin does not know of Kathy and Kulio’s many trysts under the midnight moon.
How often did this happen?
And (the real backburner question), what implications (biological, sociological etc.) does this have for modern man and woman? For example, does it change the way we view or percieve our relationships?
To illustrate this last point, something I remember from the Docu popped in my head (it was also dismissively discussed in American Scientist). It goes that male jeolousy is far more physical (i.e. male show a greater response to an imagined sexual infidelity) whereas for women it is more emotional (women show a greater response to emotional infidelity - her man becoming very close friends with a female collegue at work, for example). This is because whereas the man is attempting to keep other males away from his female vis-a-vis copulative opportunities, a woman doesn’t want her male to invest in any other female’s children. A woman’s priority is her own children.