Sex, Power, and Partisanship: How Evolutionary Science Makes Sense of Our Political Divide - Hector A. Garcia 2019
The Politics of Sexual Control
We humans sometimes think of our morals as reflecting a higher order of being, something that sets us apart from the other animals of the earth. But our most consecrated moral convictions are often the ones most leavened with primal instinct. Accordingly, sexual behavior, among the most ancient instinctual endeavors, is often a cardinal focus of what we regard as morally right or wrong. And it's fair to say that across cultures, religions, and political systems, women's sexuality commands a greater share of our moral scrutiny. But why women's sexuality, and men's only to a lesser degree? Females hold a crucial resource—their precious half of the genetic coupling required for reproduction. The scarcity of women's reproductive output triggers male mate competition, and men in power have made managing that scarcity a focal point of our politics, broadly manifesting as sexual control. A deeper look into the politics of sexual control uncovers specific primate male reproductive imperatives—avoiding cuckoldry, and competing with rival male groups for greater representation in the gene pool. This chapter will explain why these efforts are concentrated in political conservatism and how they can create societal instability and violence.