Dr. David Brin discusses how sexual selection may have played a role in evolution. Both links show the same article but the sites differ in format: The copy paste worked differently than i expected it to. I think it worked.
Dr. Brin explains that it makes sense to consider the nature of how sexual selection played a role in the evolution of the species and how that conflicts with the feminist held view that attraction only contributes to survival. I think he means that the explanation of the role attraction played is influenced by morality rather than reasoning.
“Although evolutionary biology has lately been defended from a feminist perspective by Patricia Adair Gowaty (1992) and others, caution remains essential when stepping into this arena,”
The article contains these passages.
“Rather than discussing the general neotenization of our species over the last few million years, I wish to concentrate on how neoteny may have become enmeshed as part of a powerful selective cycle, going far beyond its original causes.”
“[T]here is a predictable and tragic consequence to the development of neoteny as an emblem of adult female attractiveness.”
Was there ever any doubt that attraction plays a role in evolution? Evolution is all about natural selection. Genetic traits viewed as beneficial are passed onto our offspring while all the “losers” die off without successfully passing on their genes. Attraction to certain traits ensures those traits get passed on. If neotenous female partners are viewed as desirable, then our species shall evolve with the females inheriting the neoteny gene.
One could argue that the desirability of neotenous features indeed has several potentially negative consequences. The infantilization of women, an attraction to younger and younger partners (leading to the hypersexualization of youths), etc. This is just how natural selection works. Consequences both intended and unintended, positive and negative. Evolution never plans these things out in advance, it all just sort of… happens.
I’m not speaking on the morality of these things, only the science behind it. Plenty of other animal species have evolved certain behaviors that would be viewed as downright immoral if it were humans performing these same actions.
Dolphins are considered of a similar intelligence to humans, and dolphins are naturally curious and friendly towards humans (no matter how badly we treat them). But dolphins also engage in questionable activity. Eg., male dolphins will find a potential mate who isn’t interested because she already has offspring. The male won’t take no for an answer, and so shall hunt down and kill her offspring so she’ll have no choice but to have babies with him to make up for the loss. Such is the brutality of nature. Man, too, was born and bred in nature…
I admit, I’m not exactly a scientist. If I’m misunderstanding or outright incorrect about something, I implore you to correct me.
If you search with the word “runaway,” you’ll find interesting information.
Partly what Dr. Brin discusses is how sexual selection that may have been beneficial to a species can become an issue. He mentions how a species of elk went extinct because sexual selection had the females mating with the males with the largest antlers. Of course, antlers are useful until they become too large to manage.