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    Are we being manipulated by microbes? The idea is not so whacky. We know that a wide range of microscopic parasites have evolved the ability to manipulate their hosts, even to the point of making the host behave in strange ways. A well-known example is Toxoplasma gondii, a protozoan whose life cycle begins inside a...
  • […] – likely most of which are unknown (75% – 99% being unknown in stool samples) – may exert huge impact on human behavior. Indeed, we are learning that gut flora may play a considerable role in health, obesity, and […]

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  • @Anonymous
    You said that

    "there were significant associations with the woman masturbating or practicing cunnilingus in the past month."

    for women with vaginal yeast infections. But, you didn't mention the effect sizes. What were they? 1% higher rates? 10%? 100%?

    Just the mere fact that something is statistically significant, doesn't mean it is worth mentioning as a piece of data. It's just muddies the water to present effects that are orders of magnitude apart as if they are equally important.

    The water starts off muddied. Simple obvious correlations uncomplicated by other factors are common in theories, rare in the real world.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    You said that

    “there were significant associations with the woman masturbating or practicing cunnilingus in the past month.”

    for women with vaginal yeast infections. But, you didn’t mention the effect sizes. What were they? 1% higher rates? 10%? 100%?

    Just the mere fact that something is statistically significant, doesn’t mean it is worth mentioning as a piece of data. It’s just muddies the water to present effects that are orders of magnitude apart as if they are equally important.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    The water starts off muddied. Simple obvious correlations uncomplicated by other factors are common in theories, rare in the real world.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • Squamous cervix cells covered with rod-shaped bacteria, Gardnerella vaginalis(source) Bacterial vaginosis is a common disease among reproductive-aged women: Its incidence correlates with the number of lifetime sex partners, and this correlation holds true even when one controls for a series of socioeconomic variables: poverty, smoking, body mass index, douching frequency, education, and oral contraceptive use...
  • “Mass hormonal changes, such as lowered T levels, increased rates of premature ovarian failure in women leading to decreased sexual hunger in men, and other bizarre hormonal phenomena.”

    Isn’t one of the most effective treatments for unwanted sexual philias giving men anti-androgens? For this low T theory to be true, you would have have to a link between male obesity and sexual deviancy, as flab is the primary indicator of low testosterone (contrary to popular belief, plenty of timid, skinny nerds and homosexuals have healthy T levels).

    Certainly bombarding male brains with hard core pornography probably isn’t helping, but hormones are unlikely to be playing a major role.

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  • In comparing races, it’s interesting that more impulsive, lower IQ races tend to have relatively conventional sexual tastes, while low impulsivity, high IQ races are more likely to have a relatively high percentage of sexual deviants and eccentrics.

    For example, Germany and Japan are notable for having a relatively high percentage of sexual eccentrics but a relatively low level of promiscuity, while African countries are notable for being relatively promiscuous, but very conventional in their sexual activities.

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  • Are we being manipulated by microbes? The idea is not so whacky. We know that a wide range of microscopic parasites have evolved the ability to manipulate their hosts, even to the point of making the host behave in strange ways. A well-known example is Toxoplasma gondii, a protozoan whose life cycle begins inside a...
  • […] SSA? Absolutely, especially if the true heritability turns out to be truly low. See Peter Frost (Yes, Demons Do Exist). Perhaps the recent trend towards more women displaying SSA is due to the spread of a new […]

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  • Squamous cervix cells covered with rod-shaped bacteria, Gardnerella vaginalis(source) Bacterial vaginosis is a common disease among reproductive-aged women: Its incidence correlates with the number of lifetime sex partners, and this correlation holds true even when one controls for a series of socioeconomic variables: poverty, smoking, body mass index, douching frequency, education, and oral contraceptive use...
  • Are we being manipulated by microbes? The idea is not so whacky. We know that a wide range of microscopic parasites have evolved the ability to manipulate their hosts, even to the point of making the host behave in strange ways. A well-known example is Toxoplasma gondii, a protozoan whose life cycle begins inside a...
  • […] en personalidad, disminución paradójica de la movilidad social, la amenaza de nuevos patógenos (sí, los demonios existen), el infraestudiado problema del altruísmo patológico y un largo etcétera de limitaciones que […]

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  • […] Demons exist! […]

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  • Interesting virus that slows brain activity. Of course, according to the researcher, nothing to worry about…

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  • One might consider whether actual demons had a hand in the evolution of ‘demonic’ pathogens.

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  • You might have that correlation between the yeast infection and masturbation backwards. A woman who masturbates more likely is introducing (and perhaps reintroducing fugal infections from other parts of her body to her vagina).

    It makes sense that if a woman does not masturbate as much she’ll have less chance of contamination.

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  • @Peter Frost
    Hepp,

    STI-induced infertility has been greatly reduced through antibiotics and improved medical care. It really wasn't that long ago when population growth really began to take off in Africa. Previously, much of the continent was described as the "infertility belt."

    A hypothetical "cuckold-envy" pathogen would pass from the female host to her male partner. At that point, it would infiltrate his brain and attack the circuitry involved in sexual jealousy.

    Jayman,

    I respect Satoshi Kanazawa, but he is simply wrong. There is a very extensive ethnographic literature on homosexuality and transexuality in Amerindian groups. Just do a search for "berdache" either on Google Scholar or in the HRAF.

    It would be difficult to estimate the prevalence of cuckold fetishists in the adult male population, but it does seem to be increasingly common, see:
    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/women-who-stray/201006/kinky-cuckolding-fetish-goes-mainstream

    "You would think that increased sex drive would be easier to translate into more actual sex for women in this day and age than in the not-too-distant past"

    I humbly disagree. Virtual sex has replaced a lot of real sex. There are a lot of people out there who have no contact at all with flesh-and-blood sexual partners.

    Harold,

    I suspect you're right. If a women failed to produce children, divorce or simply abandonment was a common response in the past. Birth control may unconsciously be triggering this response.

    Tom,

    I was speaking tongue in cheek.

    Scott,

    Inuit men would lend their wives as a gesture of hospitality. But there's a big difference between that and someone who watches and masturbates while another man has sex with his wife.

    If you can point me to an example of cuckold envy in Greco-Roman literature, please do.

    I was speaking tongue in cheek.

    Given how many people think the only way for new diseases like ebola or HIV to arise is through bioweapon programs, it was perhaps understandable that some misunderstood you.

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  • “Perhaps this is an argument for intelligent design. After all, only an all-knowing designer could have made creatures that are so small and yet capable of so much”

    Hm, no. Looks like evolution through natural selection is a perfectly adequate explanation.

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  • @Tommy
    Interesting idea, that sexually transmitted pathogens can alter human behavior by directly messing with the nervous system. But I think a far more likely explanation for today's wildly shifting sexual mores is that it's the result of culture, what's considered socially acceptable now.

    I like to think that promiscuity is a sin against God and that STDs are part of the wrath of God.

    Or perhaps monogamy is the human evolutionary response to parasites.

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  • How did ‘we’ observe homosexual behavior in pre-Colombian America?

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  • Interesting idea, that sexually transmitted pathogens can alter human behavior by directly messing with the nervous system. But I think a far more likely explanation for today’s wildly shifting sexual mores is that it’s the result of culture, what’s considered socially acceptable now.

    I like to think that promiscuity is a sin against God and that STDs are part of the wrath of God.

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    • Replies: @Robinson
    Or perhaps monogamy is the human evolutionary response to parasites.
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  • Hepp,

    STI-induced infertility has been greatly reduced through antibiotics and improved medical care. It really wasn’t that long ago when population growth really began to take off in Africa. Previously, much of the continent was described as the “infertility belt.”

    A hypothetical “cuckold-envy” pathogen would pass from the female host to her male partner. At that point, it would infiltrate his brain and attack the circuitry involved in sexual jealousy.

    Jayman,

    I respect Satoshi Kanazawa, but he is simply wrong. There is a very extensive ethnographic literature on homosexuality and transexuality in Amerindian groups. Just do a search for “berdache” either on Google Scholar or in the HRAF.

    It would be difficult to estimate the prevalence of cuckold fetishists in the adult male population, but it does seem to be increasingly common, see:

    http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/women-who-stray/201006/kinky-cuckolding-fetish-goes-mainstream

    “You would think that increased sex drive would be easier to translate into more actual sex for women in this day and age than in the not-too-distant past”

    I humbly disagree. Virtual sex has replaced a lot of real sex. There are a lot of people out there who have no contact at all with flesh-and-blood sexual partners.

    Harold,

    I suspect you’re right. If a women failed to produce children, divorce or simply abandonment was a common response in the past. Birth control may unconsciously be triggering this response.

    Tom,

    I was speaking tongue in cheek.

    Scott,

    Inuit men would lend their wives as a gesture of hospitality. But there’s a big difference between that and someone who watches and masturbates while another man has sex with his wife.

    If you can point me to an example of cuckold envy in Greco-Roman literature, please do.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    I was speaking tongue in cheek.
     
    Given how many people think the only way for new diseases like ebola or HIV to arise is through bioweapon programs, it was perhaps understandable that some misunderstood you.
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  • @Harold

    Apari et al. (2011) argue that infertility causes the host and her partner to break up and seek new partners…
     
    This reminds me of my speculation that birth-control may be triggering an innate behavioural tendency to seek new partners if your current one seems infertile, i.e. if you are having sexual intercourse with them over an extended period without getting pregnant. Does anyone have any thoughts on the evolutionary plausibility of such a mechanism?

    This reminds me of my speculation that birth-control may be triggering an innate behavioural tendency to seek new partners if your current one seems infertile, i.e. if you are having sexual intercourse with them over an extended period without getting pregnant. Does anyone have any thoughts on the evolutionary plausibility of such a mechanism?

    I think it is more like partners are more likely to break up when they get tired of each other IF they don’t have any offspring. BUT if they do have offspring, then they will stay together for the sake of the offspring.

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  • Ivy [AKA "Enquiring Mind"] says:
    @Hepp

    Do we see reversal of mate guarding in humans? Yes, it’s called cuckold envy—the desire to see another man have sex with your wife—and it’s become a common fetish. Yet it seems relatively recent. Greco-Roman texts don’t mention it, despite abundant references to other forms of alternate sexual behavior, e.g., pedophilia, cunnilingus, fellatio, bestiality, etc.
     
    So imagine you have A and his wife B, with male C.

    A wants to watch C have sex with B.

    How is a pathogen doing this? I suppose that A is the one with the disease, and should want his wife to have sex with other men. But why would the pathogen expect that any disease B gets will be the same as the pathogen within A?

    Seems pretty far fetched.

    The ID version involves putting tab C into slotB.

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  • You haven’t proved causation in some of these cases; maybe there’s something in semen that makes the vagina more hospitable to Candida, or something like that.

    That said, the overall idea seems pretty credible. We know chemicals like alcohol can make us do things, and microbes can secrete chemicals, so…

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  • I’m pretty sure the Romans had their own version of “cuckoldry,” or at least swinging, which amounts to the same thing, biologically speaking. Suetonius and Petronius have examples, and Martial probably does too.
    Also: Eskimos. Off the top of my head: Marco Polo mentioned it among some tribes in his travels. And while Cassanova was later than what you mention, he seemed to enjoy the kick, bug-magnet that he was.

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  • @Hepp

    Do we see reversal of mate guarding in humans? Yes, it’s called cuckold envy—the desire to see another man have sex with your wife—and it’s become a common fetish. Yet it seems relatively recent. Greco-Roman texts don’t mention it, despite abundant references to other forms of alternate sexual behavior, e.g., pedophilia, cunnilingus, fellatio, bestiality, etc.
     
    So imagine you have A and his wife B, with male C.

    A wants to watch C have sex with B.

    How is a pathogen doing this? I suppose that A is the one with the disease, and should want his wife to have sex with other men. But why would the pathogen expect that any disease B gets will be the same as the pathogen within A?

    Seems pretty far fetched.

    Because A and B will have had frequent sexual relations, and therefore any sexually transmissible pathogen either has is likely to be shared.

    By the way, Captain Kidd is alleged to have had cuckold fetish, and that would fit with the narrative here.

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  • ‘I sleep only for Maecenas!’ and The Flying Yorkshireman inviting a storm giant home to get a pup off him, imply happy cuckolds rank social success above genetic success.

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  • Its the Demiurge, the God Architect who created this World. According to Gnostics this is a Evil God who appears in The Old Testament as the Genocidal Yahweh.

    Jesus knew the higher God.

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  • I just utterly fail to see how the phenomenon of a bacteria, virus or fungus possessing the ability to change the behavior of a host is any different in any way, shape or form from the possession of any other creatures’ abilities and thus changing, much lending any more weight (if there be any at all)—to the “intelligent design” argument. None. Show some inability for evolution through natural selection to give them that ability and you might be getting somewhere, but that is nowhere in evidence. Indeed, the very *desirability* that a bacteria, virus or fungus would want to have to change a host’s behavior seems to me to be strong evidence that indeed that ability did come about through natural selection and evolution.

    Moreover, it’s a piquant thing to see the intelligent design idea, which of course seems nearly uniquely pushed by those wanting to preserve the traditional idea of supremely human-friendly God, now being invoked as the possible explanation for giving microbes and etc. the diabolical ability to deprive humans of their free will and essentially render them into slaves, especially sexually.

    Indeed, is there any *better* way than to turn the idea of an Intelligent Designer sour in the mouths of most of those pushing same than if you could show that such bugs exist which, if one is a Believer, must therefore must have been created by an Intelligent Designer who has then made lots of sexual behavior not a matter of free will at all but instead a matter of irresistible slavery?

    Hilarious.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Hepp

    Do we see reversal of mate guarding in humans? Yes, it’s called cuckold envy—the desire to see another man have sex with your wife—and it’s become a common fetish. Yet it seems relatively recent. Greco-Roman texts don’t mention it, despite abundant references to other forms of alternate sexual behavior, e.g., pedophilia, cunnilingus, fellatio, bestiality, etc.
     
    So imagine you have A and his wife B, with male C.

    A wants to watch C have sex with B.

    How is a pathogen doing this? I suppose that A is the one with the disease, and should want his wife to have sex with other men. But why would the pathogen expect that any disease B gets will be the same as the pathogen within A?

    Seems pretty far fetched.

    I’m just speculating wildly here based on no evidence whatsoever:

    If A and B are married, they will have had sex multiple times; thus, the probability that they both will be infected with the pathogen will be much higher than the probability of any two randomly chosen people both being infected with it. The pathogen could could affect A in the manner described in the article and affect B in a slightly different manner that increases the likelihood that she’ll be into having sex with another male in the presence of her husband.

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  • Apari et al. (2011) argue that infertility causes the host and her partner to break up and seek new partners…

    This reminds me of my speculation that birth-control may be triggering an innate behavioural tendency to seek new partners if your current one seems infertile, i.e. if you are having sexual intercourse with them over an extended period without getting pregnant. Does anyone have any thoughts on the evolutionary plausibility of such a mechanism?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Jo S'more

    This reminds me of my speculation that birth-control may be triggering an innate behavioural tendency to seek new partners if your current one seems infertile, i.e. if you are having sexual intercourse with them over an extended period without getting pregnant. Does anyone have any thoughts on the evolutionary plausibility of such a mechanism?
     
    I think it is more like partners are more likely to break up when they get tired of each other IF they don't have any offspring. BUT if they do have offspring, then they will stay together for the sake of the offspring.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
  • It is a common trope in popular culture that girls with low self-esteem are easy. If this is true, then it would make sense for STIs to lower girls self-esteem. This seems to me something relatively easy for a pathogen to accomplish compared to some of the other speculations.

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  • (Just cross posting my comment from your blog for the benefit of readers here)

    exclusive male homosexuality has been observed in social environments with limited opportunities for pathogen transmission, such as small bands of hunter-gatherers across pre-Columbian North America (Callender & Kochems, 1983)

    Satoshi Kanazawa did an extensive review of the ethnographic evidence, and found no evidence of homosexuality in pre-agricultural groups.

    Do we see reversal of mate guarding in humans? Yes, it’s called cuckold envy—the desire to see another man have sex with your wife—and it’s become a common fetish.

    Is it? How common are cuckold fetishists as a fraction of all men? I’d be surprised if it’s more than 0.1%

    VVC is thus more strongly associated with increased sexual fantasizing, as indicated by masturbation rate, than with a higher frequency of vaginal intercourse. This does look like host manipulation, although one might wonder why it doesn’t translate into more sex with other men, this being presumably what the pathogen wants. Perhaps the development of masturbation as a lifestyle (through use of vibrators and pornography) is making this outcome harder to achieve.

    When you think about it, that doesn’t sound quite right. You would think that increased sex drive would be easier to translate into more actual sex for women in this day and age than in the not-too-distant past. Would this then imply that the infection is highly specific to masturbation? Perhaps sex isn’t the mode of transmission.

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  • Do we see reversal of mate guarding in humans? Yes, it’s called cuckold envy—the desire to see another man have sex with your wife—and it’s become a common fetish. Yet it seems relatively recent. Greco-Roman texts don’t mention it, despite abundant references to other forms of alternate sexual behavior, e.g., pedophilia, cunnilingus, fellatio, bestiality, etc.

    So imagine you have A and his wife B, with male C.

    A wants to watch C have sex with B.

    How is a pathogen doing this? I suppose that A is the one with the disease, and should want his wife to have sex with other men. But why would the pathogen expect that any disease B gets will be the same as the pathogen within A?

    Seems pretty far fetched.

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    • Replies: @Anonymous
    I'm just speculating wildly here based on no evidence whatsoever:

    If A and B are married, they will have had sex multiple times; thus, the probability that they both will be infected with the pathogen will be much higher than the probability of any two randomly chosen people both being infected with it. The pathogen could could affect A in the manner described in the article and affect B in a slightly different manner that increases the likelihood that she'll be into having sex with another male in the presence of her husband.
    , @David R. Merridale
    Because A and B will have had frequent sexual relations, and therefore any sexually transmissible pathogen either has is likely to be shared.

    By the way, Captain Kidd is alleged to have had cuckold fetish, and that would fit with the narrative here.
    , @Ivy
    The ID version involves putting tab C into slotB.
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  • STI-induced infertility has exceeded 40% in parts of sub-Saharan Africa (Apari et al., 2011).

    Don’t these countries still have like 7 children per woman?

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  • It’s so crazy it has to be true.

    God exists in extra dimensions at the sub-atomic level. Bacteria and microbes are the
    closest living embodiments of God. We’ve had it backwards all the time.

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  • Squamous cervix cells covered with rod-shaped bacteria, Gardnerella vaginalis(source) Bacterial vaginosis is a common disease among reproductive-aged women: Its incidence correlates with the number of lifetime sex partners, and this correlation holds true even when one controls for a series of socioeconomic variables: poverty, smoking, body mass index, douching frequency, education, and oral contraceptive use...
  • Great information. I have been suffering with BV for years and finally decided to start a blog documenting my experiences with the myriad home solutions out there. I hope it will be useful to anyone suffering from this terrible infection. Good luck :)
    http://bacterialvaginosisforum.blogspot.com

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says: • Website

    Accepting that sexuality is so diverse and people are driven not only by genetics, but experiences in childhood, adolescence, society…there are so many factors that contribute to our desires, arousal that have nothing to do with our identity…The concept of being a cuckold, for many men is the mental stimulation that goes along with it….yes biology can play a role in it for some men but not for all, and even among men that see themselves as a cuckold differ in views on what it is. I have published several articles on the topic and helped countless men and couples to explore their own ideas of play. Most of the time it is the man that initiates and is the person who wants to be cuckold even though, in their minds they would like it to be the woman's idea…a few women truly find themselves interested, if they can grasp the psychology behind their husbands desires to see them as having other men please them, and to dominate and humiliate their husbands, take over sexuality and tell their husband what to do….this is the ideal for the cuckold man…she gets pleasure and is satisfied but still loves him. The reality of this and her staying in a true cuckold relationship, she would have to not get emotionally attached to this other man, and given the time and her pleasure from him with repeated orgasm her biology will take over as she releases Oxytocin is a powerful hormone. When we hug or kiss a loved one, oxytocin levels drive up. It also acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain…wanting him more and her husband even less…this can become a dangerous game in a marriage…and turn into a poly relationship instead of a cuckold situation. As far as the theory of BV, that can also be transmitted from anal sex, oral sex, where there is bacteria in the mouth….a woman's own immune system, a woman having sex when she is not fully aroused and damaging her vagina, making it more susceptible to infections and bacterias. Cuckold may be a fetish or it may be an advanced erotic role play, it could be the idea of domination, or a man having problems with pleasing a woman because of a small penis or performance anxiety…it could be brought on by a women who cheated on him and through the pain he also felt a sense of arousal…the teen years are also a time when men are triggered by a sexual experiencing releasing large amounts of testosterone and it becoming a seed planted in the mind later triggered when testosterone levels drop a little and his mind now needs more mental stimulation to get that erection. I do how ever like the idea that people are exploring the topic, but as a clinical sexologist, I think that it takes on more of a justification of a problem rather than the idea of acceptance, and eroticism….

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "From Chapter 4, "Arms Races and Manipulation," of The Extended Phenotype, by Richard Dawkins…."

    The poster logically requested some vague mechanism demonstrating the viability of this outlandish theory. You posted a long, rambling quote from Richard Dawkins as an "answer"….even though it only offered more flighty philosophies, and nothing remotely like a mechanism.

    There are far more viable explanations for the disgusting "cuckold fetish" phenomenon. (1) The boom in internet porn and the accelerating appetite for sexual novelty it generates. (2) Mass hormonal changes, such as lowered T levels, increased rates of premature ovarian failure in women leading to decreased sexual hunger in men, and other bizarre hormonal phenomena. (3) White self-hatred as fostered by pop culture and Hollywood, and pornography, could lead to many white men believing they're not "man enough" to procreate (which, indeed, they are not, if they're cuckold fetishists).

    This article by Andrew Hamilton demonstrates that the anti-white messages in pornography (which tech savvy white males begin consuming at age 12 or younger) is created with racially degenerative intent. Thus, pornography is again a much more crisp and logical explanation for this: http://www.counter-currents.com/2013/08/erasing-the-line/

    This is the sort of wild theory totally disconnected from mechanical practice that causes many of us to just roll our eyes at evolutionary psychology.

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  • G.Cochran cites studies showing 1% of nonpaternity, and scoffs: "I can see only one way of reconciling these equally valid kinds of data. [...] I would guess that the husband usually sets up this slightly odd situation, because of the thrill he gets in cuckolding himself. Evidently that happens frequently, not just in French farces."

    Well I can think of many ways whereby it can be reconciled; women may be a lot less likely have a succesful pregnancy through sexual intercourse with a man who is not their regular partner, as Gallup suggests.

    Moreover, those children (especially sons) of nonpaternity that were born may have tended not to reproduce. There is evidence from Germany for parents enhancing the mortality of their own sons, just to keep the farm together; see here. If they had strong suspicion their heir wasn't their's the father might … correct things.

    Even in those nonpaternality sons who attained adulthood, low paternal investment could have a very negative effect on their marraige prospects.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "Black slavery outside Africa did not start to become significant until Late Antiquity, and most slaves of that "first wave" came from northeast Africa, not West Africa."

    I had another thought on this.

    If it was some kind of virus it might not need lots of slaves – just a single carrier – and maybe not even a slave at all but a slave trader – or not even a slave trader but a trader?

    Given the ease of getting slaves from Nubia south of Egypt – (and assuming the virus if it exists is/was tropical West African) – then there would be no need to get slaves from West Africa even if the Phoenicians or Carthaginians or Sea Peoples knew of a land or sea route.

    But what about gold?

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a8/SONGHAI_empire_map.PNG/250px-SONGHAI_empire_map.PNG

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Africa#Carthage

    "The Phoenicians were seamen of the Mediterranean…trade with sub-Saharan Africa…Salt and metal goods were traded for gold, slaves, beads, and ivory."

    It seems pretty far-fetched but i remember reading old Victorian history books whose explanation for the collapse of the various middle-eastern civilizations in antiquity was usually "decadence."

    I always took that as Victorians being Victorians but now i wonder – was this "decadence" real and was it originally brought to those civilizations in the form of a virus?

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Sean

    "Anon, you're getting carried away with the strategy angle,"

    That is quite possible but there is a specific reason which is the similarity in behavior between some hetero populations and homosexual men. It could be a coincidence but i wonder.

    "look at HIV, a known sexually transmitted bug. Exposure to porn not parasite manipulation causes HIV to spread in western hetrosexuals. A recent survey found a third of women admited to having had anal sex by age 24."

    But anal sex with who?

    It's true the influence of porn has spread the fetish to white people in recent years but when i was a teenager 30 years ago the only men who ever mentioned anal sex were West Indians. It was still completely taboo otherwise.

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  • Jefferson's ideas are the opposite of Cochran's. here He says bugs evolve to help their host. Interestingly it seems the CE bug is helping the original host population to colonise a new environment.

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  • Sean, thanks for the links.

    From the first-

    "We should start to consider the possibility that the microbiome and/or its composition may contribute to psychiatric problems."

    Uh, yeah, ya think? Seems some hardheads have finally seen the light. Why the hell has it taken so many so long?

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  • Anon, (too many anons BTW) Penile-vaginal intercourse is very unlikely to cause HIV infection between two otherwise healthy people, whatever their races. Some populations may be more likely to have diseases like Chlamydia which increase the chance of HIV infection.

    Johnycomelately asked for a mechanism. Males performing oral genital sex would get bugs from the vagina into their mouths. Gut microbes influence behaviour .

    To be even more specific, the mechanism for mate guarding behaviour involves testosterone. Gut bacteria have a profound influence on testosterone levels. Most circulating testosterone cycles through gut bacteria As Richard Jefferson points out Here. So once in the male, bugs have a quick and easy way to affect mate guarding.

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  • That's where a lot of the 'hetrosexual' HIV infection in otherwise healthy women comes from.

    I don't know if that's true. Except for blacks, heterosexuals generally have very low rates of HIV. Most of the transmission likely comes from blacks.

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  • This gay man learned–and learned in time! No sex outside a monogamous relationship for me.

    You probably mean serial monogamy. I don't think homosexuals have pure monogamous lifestyles. Serial monogamy wouldn't provide full protection. Only pure monogamy would.

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  • This gay man learned–and learned in time! No sex outside a monogamous relationship for me.

    But yes, I expect drug-resistant gonorrhea to hit the gay male community very hard.

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  • Anon, you're getting carried away with the strategy angle, look at HIV, a known sexually transmitted bug. Exposure to porn not parasite manipulation causes HIV to spread in western hetrosexuals. A recent survey found a third of women admited to having had anal sex by age 24. That's where a lot of the 'hetrosexual' HIV infection in otherwise healthy women comes from. CCR5-?32, which protects against HIV, among other things, is found in 5-14% of Northern Europeans, who are not vulnerable to a bug just because it's from Africa. Europeans have not had to defend themselves against sexually transmitted diseases in a polygyous mating system, but they are formidably immunocompetent against many novel pathogens nontheless.

    Having said that, it is difficult to see how cuckold envy in north Europeans could be due to cultural influences, even indirectly.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "If the gay pathogen idea is correct then it seems most likely to me it would have started out as a promiscuity bug which then mutated to cause bisexuality to increase transmission. So far so plausible.

    "Then you just need a reason why that bug or a version of that bug somehow created an exclusively gay variant – easier transmission through anal sex?"
    ________________________________

    I don't know how true this is although I've read it many places –that previous to the Stonewall episode that gay groups mark as the beginning of their "liberation," most gay men, at least those in the Western World, indulged in frottage or oral sex, not anal sex. Writers maintain that it was the rebelliousness of the post-Stonewall era that promoted that gay men do the "ultimate" as a sign of freedom and victory over the straight world. Today even, many gay males do not engage in anal sex, I'm told.

    Further, these people also posit that in the ancient world it was frottage and/or oral sex that was practiced among the military and in pederast situations.

    Thus, if true, a bug might not have been transmitted anally. Both frottage and oral sex would have led the hypothetical bug into the digestive and intestinal tracts, a common place for pathogens to reside and sometimes make side trips elsewhere.

    Of course, the strategy of a bug thousands of years doesn't have to be its strategy today. A strain(s) of it could have developed that is resistant to whatever forces might have been operating against it at one time and it might have found alternate routes of survival.

    Reminds me, gonorrhea has finally been declared resistant to our antibiotics. Great news, huh?

    BTW, the first case of that total resistance was reported a while back by a doctor in CA treating gays.

    Will they never learn?

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "Howevr i'm not seeing the bisexual wife fetish as cuckold envy though"

    Although now i think of it if a man did it for real and his wife then contracted the promiscuity bug from the other woman then he could find himself cuckolded for real later on – lol – God forcing you to be good with genetics.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "Black slavery outside Africa did not start to become significant until Late Antiquity, and most slaves of that "first wave" came from northeast Africa, not West Africa."

    Yes you're right – didn't think of that. However it should still have popped up in North Africa, Spain and Portugal earlier imo. Maybe it did?

    '''

    If the gay pathogen idea is correct then it seems most likely to me it would have started out as a promiscuity bug which then mutated to cause bisexuality to increase transmission. So far so plausible.

    Then you just need a reason why that bug or a version of that bug somehow created an exclusively gay variant – easier transmission through anal sex?

    That one or both of these bugs could cause slightly different behaviour in women – promiscuous and bisexual rather than exclusively lesbian – seems reasonable also if the aim is to maximize transmission.

    '''

    Howevr i'm not seeing the bisexual wife fetish as cuckold envy though? As she's not getting pregnant from it and i assume – maybe wrongly – that the idea is to have sex with the wife after getting aroused by watching so…it kinda seems the opposite of cuckold envy to me?

    I may be missing something here.

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  • Cuckold fetishes can be adaptive in what I call the Twat Squeegee Theory of Sperm Competition – if the damage is already done, get aroused and get rid of the competitor's sperm and get your own in there.

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  • A Cuckold Envy bug would enhance modes of transmission rather than creating them. As female-female sex, including oral-genital sex, is likely to be less selected against in a polygynous mating system (a corollary of sexual selection of males), there is no reason to think a parasite would have to do all that much manipulation to produce lesbianism in such a population.

    A CE fetish bug eliminates an obstacle to 'sexy son' genes spreading through the cuckolding of sub standard males. By reducing mate guarding by the dangerous and aggressive males, the pure 'sexy son' genes can spread without the need for genes for fighting, which interfere with attractiveness.

    IMO the selective effect of a polygynous system could be enhanced by a CE bug. So the CE bug could aid 'sexy son' genes to spread by eliminating mate guarding by unsexy but dangerous husbands.

    Cuckoldry is fatal to reproductive success of a cuckolded male, but it can be good for the reproductive success of the wife. The wife’s motivation for infidelity would be other man exerting greater sexual attraction through physical and mental traits such as good looks, symmetry masculinity and penis size which enhance the satifaction women get from cotius by triggering vaginal orgasm during penile-vaginal intercourse (‘the sexual behaviour consistently associated with indices of better physical and psychological health intimate relationship quality, and the one potentially reproductive behavior ’ Brody 2010).

    Other sexual behavior (oral sex) is ‘variously uncorrelated or negatively associated with such indices’. From what I can gather on the net cuckold envy fetishists seem to be orientated towards performing oral-genital sex rather than the activity that women find most satisfying.

    Cuckold envy fetishists are men who a woman would be better off cuckolding, especially in polygyny where a masculine man as the father of sons is the most important factor for outstanding reproductive success of a mother’s genes in the next generation. Mate guarding blocks pure selection for 'sexy son' genes

    So I think that a CE bug could alter selection in polygyny to put far more emphasis on the more 'sexy son strategy genes, rather than ones selected for attractiveness to women and use of brute force to overpower and intimidate rival males out of guarding their mates. If that is true such a 'sexy son' type would be epitomised in the most polygynous areas, ie Senegal. I would like to hear any females' reactions to this face. Is it a particularly attractive type?

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  • Anon,

    Polyandry is attested in many human populations, notably in Tibet and certain groups in India. It typically happens when a man doesn't have enough resources to support a wife and children, so he doubles up with one of his brothers. That way, he has some kinship with all of his children.

    Cuckold envy is something else altogether. It's a feeling of sexual pleasure from visual evidence of being cuckolded. It's now a common form of sexual deviancy, yet there seems to be no evidence of it in ancient times.

    Yes, there were black slaves in the Greco-Roman world, but they were only a small proportion of the total slave population. Also, most of them came from east and northeast Africa, notably Nubia, and not from West Africa. This pattern continued as the black slave trade gradually expanded during Late Antiquity and then the Islamic era. West Africa remained a secondary source of slaves for the Middle East.

    Johnycomelately,

    Most strains of vaginal bacteria seem to be harmless. Only a few have evolved sexual transmissibilty, but once that step is taken the possibilities for behavioral manipulation start to open up.

    Jayman,

    I agree. Unfortunately, most of the studies have focused on male homosexuality. And the idea of a pathogenic origin is seldom entertained.

    Anon,

    Cuckold envy is latent homosexuality? Don't follow you.

    Anon,

    See previous answer. Black slavery outside Africa did not start to become significant until Late Antiquity, and most slaves of that "first wave" came from northeast Africa, not West Africa.

    Anon,

    Pathogens typically develop in populations where the pool of infectable humans is quite large. For instance, South China is a place where chicken viruses can evolve into human viruses because large numbers of South Chinese farmers live in close contact with chickens.

    But once that initial evolutionary change is complete, the new pathogen can spread to other populations where that initial stage is impossible. The same reasoning should apply to the evolution of STDs. They seem to evolve in highly polygynous human populations and then spread to other humans.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "Not necessarily. Longer disease experience can lead to relative stability and greater relative immunity."

    Fair enough so theoretically it could have happened at other times and places but they became immune over time in which case it would need to have been written down before the immunity kicked in.

    So you'd need a population with a written language and fairly recent exposure with records that survive.

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  • You'd imagine the groups who were involved with African slavery for the longest amount of time to have the highest incidence.

    Not necessarily. Longer disease experience can lead to relative stability and greater relative immunity.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "Wouldn't this bacteria find it easier to spread by stimulating male promiscuity instead? That would be simpler."

    I suppose the idea is what if a bug that evolved among a highly promiscuous r-type population with a culture that involved a lot of short-term partners came into contact with different cultures which for example
    - were polygamous but with more exclusive and fewer partners
    - were monogamous
    - had a taboo against anal sex

    then how could it adapt?

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "Cuckold envy, however, seems relatively recent, the oldest references dating back to 17th century England"

    Slaving in Africa goes back 3500 years and some of the groups involved were involved for the entire 3 1/2 millenia and not just the few centuries the English were.

    I think the theory would be much more plausible if there were earlier examples from groups who'd been involved in black slavery for millenia e.g. Arabs, Egyptians, Phoenicians or others.

    You'd imagine the groups who were involved with African slavery for the longest amount of time to have the highest incidence.

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  • Wouldn't this bacteria find it easier to spread by stimulating male promiscuity instead? That would be simpler.

    Cuckoldry is more easily explained as latent homosexuality

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  • So it seems, interestingly, to compliment Greg Cochran's infection theory of male homosexuality, it seems female bisexuality may also result from an infection. The traits of female bisexuals seems consistent with the idea that they are trying to spread some sort of bacterium between women and to men.

    The plot thickens…

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    You got be kidding, right? What possible mechanism could such bacteria create to interfer with neural networks?

    From Chapter 4, "Arms Races and Manipulation," of The Extended Phenotype, by Richard Dawkins:

    "Those who have never been brainwashed or addicted to a drug find it hard to understand their fellow men who are driven by such compulsions. In the same naive way we cannot understand a host bird's being compelled to feed an absurdly oversized cuckoo, or worker ants wantonly murdering the only being in the whole world that is vital to their genetic success. But such subjective feelings are misleading, even where the relatively crude achievements of human pharmacology are concerned. With natural selection working on the problem, who would be so presumptions as to guess what feats of mind control might not be achieved? Do not expect to see animals always behaving in such a way as to maximize their own inclusive fitness. Losers in an arms race may behave in some very odd ways indeed. If they appear disoriented and unsure of their footing, this may be only the beginning."

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  • You got be kidding, right? What possible mechanism could such bacteria create to interfer with neural networks?

    Theres something like 42 different bacterial strains in the vagina, so are we to presume they all control the host. Lichen Sclerosus is often associated with bacterial vaginosis and children and virgins suffer from this condition.

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  • There are sources that witness cuckoldry, or polyandry way before the 17th Century amongst the Britains.

    http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/text?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.02.0001%3Abook%3D5%3Achapter%3D14

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  • So how to get rid of it?

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  • Preferential binding by Candida albicans to various types of cells in a macaque brain (Denaro et al., 1995). In my last post, I examined the relationship between sexual behavior and vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), a condition that occurs when certain strains of vaginal yeast (Candida albicans) become highly virulent. Clearly, the relationship is not a simple...
  • Hello! My name is David and I am currently enrolled in University in efforts to study Anthropology. I must say that your essays are very interesting! In Mexico, society calls men who are cuckolded "cuernudos" meaning with "horns". I had no idea that this was the equivalent to cuckold in english! This is why I am deeply passionate about learning Anthropology! Thank You! I will keep reading your blog!

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  • Sir John Hawkins (1532-1595) was instrumental in bringing England into the slave trade. Was this trade a source of new pathogens for the English population? Some vaginal strains of Candida albicans have become better at sexual transmission, such as through improved adhesion to saliva-coated surfaces and through displacement of non-vaginal strains in a new host....
  • "The dispute was over what's more likely to develop"

    I no longer engage with anonymous posters, which is why I'm not responding to this.

    "Increasing sex drive to rape can be risky though"

    That's true regardless of whether a person is infected or not.

    Presumably, your average male sex drive represents some kind of balance between the benefits of sex and the risks you describe.

    But from the point of view of a parasite, those risks are less important so one would expect the parasite to (want to) put its thumb on the scale, so to speak and increase sex drive.

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  • It seems to me that targeting the mate guarding system is needlessly complex. Biochemically, it's much simpler to just increase the sex drive.

    Increasing sex drive to rape can be risky though. It can be punished with death by the state, by revenge, by the victim's male relations going after the rapist, as has often been the case throughout history.

    Perhaps something like targeting mate guarding arose in response to pressures against rape.

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  • Preferential binding by Candida albicans to various types of cells in a macaque brain (Denaro et al., 1995). In my last post, I examined the relationship between sexual behavior and vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), a condition that occurs when certain strains of vaginal yeast (Candida albicans) become highly virulent. Clearly, the relationship is not a simple...
  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "If 17th-century England is the ground zero for cuckold envy, where was it beforehand? In some yet unknown human population?"

    I think that if you are basing the ground zero for this hypothetical parasite on written references, you are not taking into account the psychological and societal pressures that may have prevented this kind of information from being passed down previously. The ability to admit to and explore one's fetishes publicly or semi-publicly is the privilege of individuals who are not so concerned with basic survival.

    It seems to me that the more appropriate way to find out about the origins of such a parasite would be to find the parasite and then study the story in its DNA.

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  • Sir John Hawkins (1532-1595) was instrumental in bringing England into the slave trade. Was this trade a source of new pathogens for the English population? Some vaginal strains of Candida albicans have become better at sexual transmission, such as through improved adhesion to saliva-coated surfaces and through displacement of non-vaginal strains in a new host....
  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    It seems to me that targeting the mate guarding system is needlessly complex. Biochemically, it's much simpler to just increase the sex drive. In light of that, it's surprising, that we haven't ALREADY seen the evolution of an STD that changes the behavior of the host in that exact fashion.

    Interestingly rabies makes people hypersexual, and in males, likely to commit rape. Victims can become infected by the sexual contact or by neckbites that occur during the assault, and become rabid themselves (the resemblance of this to vampires may not be a coincidence, google rabies vampire explanation).

    "…"Hypersexuality may be a striking manifestation of rabies," Gomez-Alonso wrote in his article, adding that "the literature reports cases of rabid patients who practiced intercourse up to 30 times in a day…."

    But rabies is so virulent that victims are generally dead in a few days after the rage begins. Still… that's a microbe that can make someone extremely horny, at least for a few days. So it's at least hypothetically possible that someday an STD may arise, that makes people hypersexual without killing them or interfering with reproduction; such a microbe would quickly become widespread.

    Or perhaps it already happened, tens of thousands of years ago, and our infection rate has been 100% for all recorded history, so we don't have a baseline to realize what we're "supposed to" be like….

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  • Tod,

    The damage would be contained. The polygynous male would just be indifferent to cuckoldry. He would no longer be actively assisting it, and he would still derive pleasure from having sex with his own mate (s).

    In a mating environment with many sexual partners and low paternal investment, that isn't such a bad deal. It becomes a bad deal if you have only one mate and you're investing a lot in her children.

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  • Tod says:

    Peter, Thanks for the responses to my convoluted and constantly shifting line of argument. Here is yet another rejoinder.

    How could a bug increase the man's reproductive fitness while increasing the chance he will be cuckolded ? It couldn't.

    "Bug-host co-evolution could work because the pathogen's damage to the host is often incidental"

    The man gets infected and the more the bug brings about cuckold envy in that man the more it damages the reproductive fitness of that man. So in a sense the bug could be very very nasty indeed and the man would not suffer any obvious ill effects. By my way of thinking that kind of 'damage' is most certainly not incidental it is inherent to the mode of tranmission you ae hypothesizing (ie manipulation of the man for enhanced tranmission through his female partner).

    I think the issue is whether the man is 'the host' or the woman is.

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  • Tod,

    Bug-host co-evolution could work because the pathogen's damage to the host is often incidental. The pathogen is being selected for its ability to spread to other hosts. The host is being selected for its ability to contain the damage.

    The selective equilibrium is much less in the host's favor than in a situation where the pathogen cannot easily spread to another host. In that situation, the bug is both jailer and prisoner. Nevertheless, I still see the possibility for some co-evolution: the bug gets to spread and multiply and so does the host.

    Kurt,

    There are many examples of pathogens that colonize neural tissue without going ballistic. The bug is being selected for its ability to take over the control room, not for its ability to trash it.

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  • Tod says:

    "I'm leaning towards the idea (expressed by several commenters) that there was a long process of co-evolution between this hypothetical pathogen and its host population in sub-Saharan Africa. Over time, the host population would have become more insensitive to this neural manipulation".

    An alternative interpretation: it was the bug that evolved not the host population. Once in a non-promiscuous society the hypothetical pathogen evolved to cope with a new situation.

    After all, it is the capacity for extremely rapid evolution which allows parasites to evolve manipulation. Considering that yeast evolves several orders of magnitude faster than humans it is difficult to see how co-evolution could work.

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  • Jane says:

    Two of the most commonly reported side effects of chronic Candida infection are lack of libido and fatigue. I have experienced them personally during a long struggle with it. In addition, let's just say that sex during a flare-up is not that appealing. Luckily I was able to get it under control within 9 months of switching to a mostly Paleo diet. My libido gradually went from nearly non-existent to normal.

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  • Tod says:

    During WW1 lots of young men were crowded into barracks where a bug could spread easily. Lo and behold an incredibly virulent strain of flu emerged. A strain that killed young healthy people at a higher rate than oldsters.

    So, the easier it is for a bug to spread the nastier it will be. Conversely if it becomes more difficult for a bug to spread the bug will become less dangerous to health. For example cholera, Ewald's case study is the 1991 cholera epidemic in South America.

    "The dots on Saunders's graphs made it plain that cholera strains are virulent in Guatemala, where the water is bad, and mild in Chile, where water quality is good. "The Chilean data show how quickly it can become mild in response to different selective pressures,"

    In Africa a sexually transmitted bug would have a relatively easy time of it, hence it would be rather nasty.

    But what would happen if that bug found its way to a society where it could not spread so easily. presumably it would become less nasty and more manipulative.

    Now, at this point (a strain from a promiscuous society arriving in a largely monogamous society) is where I think the bug would come under strong selection for ways to increase its spread.

    The ability to rewire the brain and weaken mate guarding would have been there already. The selection pressure for bugs which took that a step further and produced cuckold envy would not exist to the same extent in a society where promiscuousness is common.

    Parasite manipulation for cuckold envy was a late adaptation, it evolved in a monogamous society.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "Hmmm, if I follow Prof. Ewald's argument correctly, a sexually transmitted pathogen in a society where there was a lot of sleeping around would evolve towards being more damaging to health. (Quite possibly lethal) Lethal yeast infections ? Not in healthy people."

    I don't know about this. I think Ewald's point is that if the strain of pathogen is so lethal it makes the victim sick enough that the host can't spread it to others, then evolution toward a degree of benignity is most likely to occur.

    If the pathogen makes people so sick it leaves them immobile and cut off from others, or dead, then it has to have some other means of transmission, a vector like a mosquito or a symptom of the illness that acts as a source of transmission, like diarrhea, that carries the bug on soiled clothes to a source that can spread the bug even further, such as an unclean water supply.

    Not all pathogens need to be lethal, after all. The common rhinoviruses seem quite happy to spread themselves among us making us a bit miserable for a week or so but allowing us to feel well enough to spread them.

    So, if the bug is lethal and gets away with being lethal, it'll remain so. However, if being lethal threatens its existence or if prospective hosts change the bug's chances of transmission it will, according to Ewald, evolve to benignity to ensure its survival.

    Remember that different strains of bugs develop. Peter has suggested a certain strain of this pathogen has develop this ability, but that doesn't mean the bug is so wide-spread it can become lethal–and even if it were omnipresent, that doesn't mean it would, by necessity, have to evolve to being deadly any more than does the common cold virus.

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  • Kurt9 says: • Website

    I would argue that meningitis is the tip of the iceberg, i.e., when the infection goes wrong.

    Since the brain itself is not protected by the immune system, it is likely that any infection of the brain by C. Albicans will result in Meningitis.

    The only way to prove this argument would be to examine apparently healthy brains for evidence of C. albicans.

    This is correct.

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  • Tod says:

    "I'm leaning towards the idea (expressed by several commenters) that there was a long process of coevolution between this hypothetical pathogen and its host population in sub-Saharan Africa."

    Hmmm, if I follow Prof. Ewald's argument correctly, a sexually transmitted pathogen in a society where there was a lot of sleeping around would evolve towards being more damaging to health. (Quite possibly lethal) Lethal yeast infections ? Not in healthy people.

    Candida albicans only kills in late AIDs sufferers (as does Toxo I believe). Nobody really knows where AIDs came from.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    As noted above, I was using the word "swinger" loosely, so my point stands. And a man doesn't need to be hugh hefner to have sex with a lot of girls.

    The dispute was over what's more likely to develop, lowering mate guarding/inducing cuckold envy or making the man have sex with many women. Probably both of these, along with other, strategies exist in nature under various circumstances. You haven't shown why the latter is more likely to arise than the former. The latter requires manipulating multiple strange women external to the host, or going against monetary and legal limits by seeking prostitutes and or raping women.

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  • Kurt,

    C. albicans infection of the brain can lead to meningitis. I would argue that meningitis is the tip of the iceberg, i.e., when the infection goes wrong. The only way to prove this argument would be to examine apparently healthy brains for evidence of C. albicans.

    Tod and others,

    I'm leaning towards the idea (expressed by several commenters) that there was a long process of coevolution between this hypothetical pathogen and its host population in sub-Saharan Africa. Over time, the host population would have become more insensitive to this neural manipulation.

    There is still controversy over the New World origin of syphilis. The strongest evidence is that syphilis was first described in 1530 by an Italian physician, only a short time after the discovery of the New World. But this was also a time when the black slave trade was taking off, and the main destinations of this trade were the plantations of southern Europe, particularly in the Kingdom of Sicily. These plantation economies were later relocated across the Atlantic with the discover of the New World.

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  • "Well then now you're not necessarily talking about turning men into swingers or playboy studs."

    As noted above, I was using the word "swinger" loosely, so my point stands. And a man doesn't need to be hugh hefner to have sex with a lot of girls.

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  • Kurt9 says: • Website

    Infection of the brain by C. Albicans is associated with meningitis. The Jong paper specifically states this. Since the guys that are being infected by C. Albicans as a result of going down on their women are not all dying of meningitis, this theory that C. Albicans infection is turning males into willing cuckolds is unlikely.

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  • If you can't chat them up, just hire a prostitute.

    Well then now you're not necessarily talking about turning men into swingers or playboy studs.

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  • "Whereas turning the host into a playboy stud ultimately requires manipulating strange women external to the host."

    It's not necessary to be a playboy stud to get sex with girls. If you can't chat them up, just hire a prostitute.

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  • This "demon within" idea sounds very much like James Bowery's idea of AIDS as "extended phenotype".

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  • Tod says:

    "Indeed, an argument can be made that sexually transmitted diseases are most likely to develop in high-polygny societies, such as exist among the ‘female-farming’ peoples of sub-Saharan Africa"

    Yes, but there would be far less need for a pathogen to alter behavior in a polygynous society as the large amount of illicit sex (described by Pierre van den Berghe) in such societies would make it really easy for the bug to spread by sexual transmission.

    However, when the bug arrived in a society where monogamy was the rule there would be a need for it to manipulate host behavior so as to produce more opportunities for sexual transmission.

    I think cuckold envy is a kink of whites, especially professionals with intellectual leanings (see Here).

    Whites have high digit ratios and the more educated whites have the highest digit ratios of all. So the pathogen tends to be responsible for cuckold envy in males with low testosteronization.

    As the less testosteronized males are found in monogamous societies, in order to spead through a monogamous society a pathogen needs to be adapted to promote cuckold envy in the least testosteronized males (i.e. those who would be expected to be in the most stable relationships). And in fact it does.

    So the bug came from a polygynous society and altered to produce cuckold envy once it found inself in the monogamous society of 16th century England.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Well in the cuckold scenario, the man is normally faithful while his wife is sleeping around. Because if both are sleeping around, then it's no longer submissive.

    It seems that it'd be easier to induce cuckoldry. You only have to manipulate the direct male host. Whereas turning the host into a playboy stud ultimately requires manipulating strange women external to the host.

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  • Preferential binding by Candida albicans to various types of cells in a macaque brain (Denaro et al., 1995). In my last post, I examined the relationship between sexual behavior and vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), a condition that occurs when certain strains of vaginal yeast (Candida albicans) become highly virulent. Clearly, the relationship is not a simple...
  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "From what I saw in my Google search, interracial porn seems to cater to Euro-Americans and, increasingly, Western Europeans. I found a few Japanese sites, so there may also be some interest in East Asia.

    I found no evidence of interracial porn designed for African Americans, i.e., African American men being turned on by images of white men having sex with black women. I came across a forum where one commenter said that interracial cuckoldry is a White American thing. Black American men are involved as "enablers" and not as "consumers."

    While this is just anecdotal evidence, I have seen cuckold-envy porn sites involving white men and black women. It generally involves American Southern men or KKK members sleeping with a black man's black wife.

    I also remember reading somewhere on the internet from a guy (who claimed to be) involved in the porn industry that most patrons of white female/black male cuckold sites were white men and most patrons of white male/black female cuckold sites were black men.

    Of course, I never bookmarked these sites/web pages, so you should probably take everything I said with a grain of salt.

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  • Sir John Hawkins (1532-1595) was instrumental in bringing England into the slave trade. Was this trade a source of new pathogens for the English population? Some vaginal strains of Candida albicans have become better at sexual transmission, such as through improved adhesion to saliva-coated surfaces and through displacement of non-vaginal strains in a new host....
  • "I'm using its general definition of partner swapping."

    Yes, I was defining it a bit more loosely . . . the idea being that the parties are cool with an open relationship.

    "Virtually all men already wish to sleep with as many women as possible."

    Well in the cuckold scenario, the man is normally faithful while his wife is sleeping around. Because if both are sleeping around, then it's no longer submissive. In a lot of these fantasies (and probably sometimes in reality), the man does stuff which would make it impossible for him to seduce other girls, such as wearing female clothing or chastity devices.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    If you're not using the conventional definition of "swinger", and instead using it to mean something like "playboy who sleeps with a lot of women", I'm not sure it would be more likely than inducing cuckold envy.

    Virtually all men already wish to sleep with as many women as possible. Assent from women is the limiting factor and a major stumbling block to this desire.

    By lowering mate guarding behavior/inducing cuckold envy, it's likely other men will be infected since it's likely the woman leaves and moves on to other men, or stays and agrees to participate in the cuckold fantasy with other men. It's less likely that the woman will stick around in a normal monogamous pair bond after the male lowers mate guarding behavior and or begs her to screw other men in front of him for his own sexual pleasure.

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  • sabril,

    How are you defining "swinging"?

    I'm using its general definition of partner swapping.

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  • "Turning the male host into a swinger requires not only manipulating the behavior of the direct male host, but also the male's mate (she has to acquiesce to the male being with another woman) and it requires other couples willing to participate in an identical arrangement."

    I disagree. Male infidelity has been a lot more accepted in the past. The biblical definition of "adultery" actually means sex between a girl who is married and a man who is not her husband.

    And it's much harder to convince a girl to stray than a man. If you don't believe me, experiment with personal ads.

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  • Tod says:

    Syphilis is hypothesised to be a New World mutation of yaws.

    Strains of Candida albicans that cause the strongly maladaptive cuckold envy may be a specifically New World mutation.

    The early slave plantations in the West Indies must have been population sinks for the slaves so the cuckold envy strain of Candida albicans may have died out everwhere but England.

    I can't see how a sexually transmitted parasite could fail to spread like wildfire in the highly polygynous society of Africa. But then the behavior caused by the parasite would be easy to spot as it would be widely reflected in the culture.

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  • Candida albicans. Some strains have adapted to sexual transmission. Have they gone so far as to manipulate host behavior? Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), commonly known as vaginal yeast infection, affects 70-75% of sexually active women at least once and 5-8% recurrently (Li et al., 2008). It is usually caused by Candida albicans, a single-celled fungus that...
  • Peter,
    C. albicans does NOT affect hormone levels. You added that in to preserve your hypothesis that yeast is causing women to have sex.

    GLUCOSE affects insulin, which affects female hormone levels (more testosterone).

    GLUCOSE also leads to more yeast infections such as C. albicans.

    Overweight women are noted to be more sexual, presumably because of poor blood sugar control and higher testosterone levels (heavier women have higher testosterone). THey also have more yeast infections.

    You are seeing a sign (more yeast infections correlating with more sex) and you are assuming the yeast is causing the sex, when it is much more likely that an underlying metabolic condition is resulting in more sex and more infections. Glucose – > insulin & testosterone & infections.

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  • Sir John Hawkins (1532-1595) was instrumental in bringing England into the slave trade. Was this trade a source of new pathogens for the English population? Some vaginal strains of Candida albicans have become better at sexual transmission, such as through improved adhesion to saliva-coated surfaces and through displacement of non-vaginal strains in a new host....
  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    it would be more effective to make the man into a swinger as opposed to a cuckold.

    I'm not sure if it would be more effective at facilitating transmission.

    It might be easier to induce cuckoldry. You only have to manipulate the direct male host. The infected male lowers his mate guarding behavior, and she moves on and thus infects other men. Or the infected male proposes to his mate that he be cuckolded, and either she leaves him in disgust to meet other men and infect them, or she agrees to participate in the cuckoldry(there's no shortage of other men willing to participate) and thus infects other men.

    Turning the male host into a swinger requires not only manipulating the behavior of the direct male host, but also the male's mate (she has to acquiesce to the male being with another woman) and it requires other couples willing to participate in an identical arrangement.

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  • I agree that it's possible, perhaps likely, that STDs affect the sex drives of their hosts, but this whole business about cuckold envy seems a bit far-fetched to me.

    For one thing, it would be more effective to make the man into a swinger as opposed to a cuckold. Although you say that this particular disease does not transmit well from men to girls, it has to do so at least somewhat effectively, otherwise what would the point be of the girl infecting other men besides her husband or boyfriend?

    For another thing, there is a better explanation of cuckold envy which is that it is simply a subset of sexual submissiveness. This explains why your typical cuckold is sitting in the corner instead of having sex with another girl while his wife is with another man.

    Anyway, as you point out, for better or for worse it's pretty much impossible to rigorously analyze the effects of STDs on sexual behavior since it's so difficult to separate out cause and effect.

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  • Tod says:

    How about the Caribs as the original source of strains of Candida albicans that cause cuckold envy?
    They had a long period of isolation and are said to have had unusual immune system characteristics – being particularly well adapted to resist parasites. (10,000 Year Explosion)

    Once it got into the African slaves on the sugar plantations of the West Indies strains of Candida albicans could have altered somewhat. Possibly because Africans are particularly vulnerable to parasitic infections.

    (Partially due to Africans greater degree of testosteronization – Manning)

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  • Preferential binding by Candida albicans to various types of cells in a macaque brain (Denaro et al., 1995). In my last post, I examined the relationship between sexual behavior and vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), a condition that occurs when certain strains of vaginal yeast (Candida albicans) become highly virulent. Clearly, the relationship is not a simple...
  • From what I saw in my Google search, interracial porn seems to cater to Euro-Americans and, increasingly, Western Europeans. I found a few Japanese sites, so there may also be some interest in East Asia.

    I found no evidence of interracial porn designed for African Americans, i.e., African American men being turned on by images of white men having sex with black women. I came across a forum where one commenter said that interracial cuckoldry is a White American thing. Black American men are involved as "enablers" and not as "consumers."

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  • There's nothing all that unusual about vicarious experiences.

    Loving to watch sports, betting on them, envying those with athletic talent (as with all other kinds of talent) are no different than enjoying fiction–vicarious thrills/experiences.

    Sure. But "cuckold envy" could also be characterized as "vicarious thrills/experiences".

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    "What about things like the contemporary sports industry, where white males expend great amounts of time, energy, money as fans on black males, ultimately paying for their huge salaries and providing them with high social and sexual status?"

    There's nothing all that unusual about vicarious experiences.

    Loving to watch sports, betting on them, envying those with athletic talent (as with all other kinds of talent) are no different than enjoying fiction–vicarious thrills/experiences.

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  • Is interracial cuckold porn really geared towards white cuckold fetishists? My guess would be that the primary market for this product would be black men who love the idea of sex with white women.

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  • Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Are you aware of the rampant betting on comtemp sports in the US among males? Esp. football.

    The players are like race horses.

    Yes I'm aware of sports betting. Though I don't think horse racing is analogous since the majority of interest in contemporary major professional sports isn't simply due to gambling. And regardless of how much gambling is a factor, the fact remains that extraordinary amounts of time, energy, money, etc. are expended by the male fans to build up the high social and sexual status of the pro athletes. The male fans don't gain any social or sexual status.

    Women also have a weird thing for horses.

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