Darwin was wrong about dating
They were the way things had always been. Perhaps these phenomena exist. One of the earliest critics of this kind of thinking was Stephen Jay Gould. But when participants believed that lies about their sexual history would be revealed by the fake lie detector, gender differences in reported sexual partners vanished.
Think Kennedy, Clinton, Spitzer, Letterman and so forth. If you ask people what they would do in a specific situation, that's a far more accurate way of getting responses.
Everyone has always assumed - and early research had shown - that women desired fewer sexual partners over a lifetime than men.
The most common explanation is the effect of cultural norms. Promiscuity, the researchers hypothesized, would have been more damaging to the female reputation than to the male reputation. If a man mated with a promiscuous woman, he would never be able to ensure his paternity. But women were much less likely to agree to go to the confederate's apartment. Over the past decade, sociocultural explanations have gained steam.
When asked about actual sexual partners, rather than just theoretical desires, the participants who were not attached to the fake lie detector displayed typical gender differences. Men reported having had more sexual partners than women.
Take the question of promiscuity. Perhaps men do, overall, pursue more short-term mating. Of course, no fossilized record can really tell us how people behaved or thought back then, much less why they behaved or thought as they did. This wouldn't be the first time we've pushed these theories too far.
Nothing new here, it's all evolution. Recently, another pillar appeared to fall.
Those results seemed definitive - until a few years ago, when Terri D. It was an elegant, powerful application of evolutionary theory to the mating game.
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