Sexual Monogamy & Violence Against Woman

Posted Wed, 07/14/2010 by James Prescott
Part 1 A Betrayal of Human Sexual Evolution

James W. Prescott, Ph.D.
Institute of Humanistic Science

The Washington Post listed 3 new books about sex that illuminates rather than titillates at

The Washington Post July 11, 2010

This refers the reader to the Psychology Today Interview on the book which provides a source for the book reviewed.

The subject of this Post is the book "Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality," by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá (Harper, $25.99).

Stephen Lowman of The Washington Post commented that: “Humans weren't wired to be monogamous, contend the authors, and until about 10,000 years ago most had multiple sexual partners. The agricultural revolution and the concept of private property placed new pressures on the roving eye, but our innate biology has not changed with our social institutions.”

I would add "and social institutions has not changed our innate biology" as sexual violence against women and children continue as the worst epidemics that afflict modern homo sapiens. Diamond (1982) in The Third Chimpanzee states: "Throughout human history, adultery has had few rivals as a cause of murder and human misery”. (p.87); and "The role of sexual jealousy as one of the commonest causes of homicide emerges from studies in many American cities and in many other countries. (p.96).

Every newborn offers a new hope for a different future for humanity.

The Bonobo Chimpanzee, which is the least violent primate on this planet and shares 99%of its DNA with the human primate homo sapiens—the most pathologically violent primate on this planet –manifests a culture of sexual pluralism that is the opposite of a culture of sexual puritanism that characterizes homo sapiens.

The Canela is a matrilocal human culture studied by Dr. William Crocker, which he has documented as non-violent and adheres to an ethic of “sexual generosity” of multiple sexual relationships and has been described in a previous blog. The Canela attests to the validity of the thesis advanced by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá and the larger sample of tribal cultural studies reported by Prescott (1975; 1977).

Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá are to be commended for their contribution to the “biological imperative” of multiple sexual partners in the history of human sexual behavior and provide the opportunity to reassess modern human sexual relationships.

When will we have the courage to face our ultimate failures as a "civilization"?

1. The affirmation that the feminine is unequal to the masculine deserving to be held as "property" by the male; and the female being morally inferior to the male";

2. Affirming that Sexual Monogamy is our "Innate Biology" that leads to sexual property rights by the male (a neocortical brain function) that contravenes the "Innate Biology" of sexual pluralism (a subcortical limbic sexual-emotional-social brain function).

We have culturally evolved a deranged brain of modern homo sapiens that defies all therapies and interventions for change. Our neocortical brain has corrupted our subcortical limbic sexual-emotional-social brain, which holds little promise of transformation.

“Deep conflicts rage at the heart of modern sexuality. Our cultivated ignorance is devastating. The campaign to obscure the true nature of our species’ sexuality leaves half our marriages collapsing under an unstoppable tide of swirling sexual frustration. libido-killing boredom, impulsive betrayal, dysfunction, confusion, and shame.” (p.2)…

“We are at war with our eroticism. We battle our hungers, expectations, and disappointments. Religion, politics and even science square off against biology and millions of years of evolved appetites. How to defuse this intractable struggle? “(p.6).

Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha (2010) Sex At Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins Of Modern Sexuality. HarperCollins Publishers. New York.

This book charts the course of human hope and despair in the wars that have grown between the sexes and whose future is filled with peril. I'm currently reading Sex at Dawn--an extraordinary book and should be read by all those concerned with the future of humanity. The authors review the relevance of my work to their thesis on p. 284. A must read for those concerned with the future of humanity.

Love must be spontaneous to be a spiritual bond in the beginning, and it must remain spontaneous if it is to remain spiritual...and those of us who do not believe in the possibility of free love ought to declare frankly that we do not, at bottom, believe in the possibility of freedom.
--George Santayana
Winds of Doctrine (1913)

Sexual Monogamy & Violence Against Women Part 2

Posted Sat, 07/24/2010 by James Prescott

James W. Prescott, Ph.D.
Institute of Humanistic Science

In Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality," by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jethá, an examination of prehistoric sex (pre-agriculture where earliest evidence of agriculture dated to about 8000 BCE) where hunter gatherers/foragers dominated this planet revealed a pattern of sharing and egalitarianism that included multiple sexual relationships. For perspective, the authors observed, “the amount of time our species has spent living in settled agricultural societies represents just 5 percent of our collective experience, at most”. They cited Jared Diamond: “The shift to agriculture is a ‘catastrophe from which we have never recovered’ ”.

It is the intent of this Blog to summarize the statistical cross-cultural data on pre-industrial, tribal cultures that support the theses of Sex At Dawn that sexual monogamy (premarital and extramarital sexuality are punished) is destructive to humanity and that multiple sexual relationships are highly associated with peaceful, non-violent and egalitarian behaviors (which have their roots in high infant/child affectional bonding that begins in the mother-infant child relationship), are necessary for the survival of homo sapiens.

The statistical data source is derived from R.B. Textor (1967), A Cross-Cultural Summary, which describes a 400-culture sample taken from the Ethnographic Atlas of George P Murdoch and other sources, published by the Human Relations Area Files. These data have been reported more extensively in Prescott (1975,1977,1990).

In an attempt to provide more substantive data that would link deprivation of parental physical affection to adult physical violence and impaired sexuality, cross-cultural studies were conducted on preindustrial cultures. I am indebted to Professor John Whiting for bringing my attention to the resources of the Hunan Relations Area Files and to R.B. Textor (1967) A Cross-Cultural Summary, which was the principal source for the cross-cultural studies. From Textor the relationships among the following coded scales were examined: 1. Infant physical affection provided by Barry et al. (1967); 2. Repressive sexuality provided by John T. Westbrooke (1963) and Ford and Beach (1951); and 3. Adult physical violence provided by Philip E. Slater (1964).

Prescott (1990) provides a summary of statistically significant social and behavioral characteristics of cultures that are punitive toward premarital coitus. These cultures are characterized as violent, criminal, sexually dysfunctional, dehumanizing (slavery), narcissistic, "pornographic" (exhibitionistic dancing) with a religious belief structure that has a High God involved in human morality.

Significantly, these cultures are patrilineal and not matrilineal cultures. When premarital coitus is punished, sex disability is present; castration anxiety is high and sex anxiety is high. This sexually dysfunctional profile is linked to high personal crime, where 71% of the cultures are correctly classified (high sexual dysfunction with high personal crime and low sexual dysfunction with low personal crime; high theft: 68% of cultures correctly classified; extreme bellicosity: 68% of cultures correctly classified; killing, torture and mutilation of enemy captured in warfare: 69% of cultures correctly classified. Sample size of cultures examined range from 25-176 cultures.

Prescott (1990) provides a summary of social and behavioral characteristics of cultures that are punitive toward extramarital sexuality. The statistical relationships are much stronger than for repression of premarital sexuality and reflect stronger associations with violence, criminality, sexuality, militarism, exploitation of women and children and dehumanization (slavery) with strong punishment of premarital sexuality.

It should also be noted that in these violent, sexually repressive cultures their supernatural deities are aggressive rather than benevolent and are patrilineal rather than matrilineal. Given the linkage of patrilineal cultures with strong punishment of premarital and extramarital sexuality, a summary of the social-behavioral characteristics of patrilineal and matrilineal cultures seemed indicated. These follow below:

Prescott (1980) lists the nineteen exclusive matrilineal cultures (N-55) that permit premarital coitus with their religious belief structure and extramarital behaviors.

Sixteen of the nineteen cultures had coded information available on their High God. Ten of the sixteen cultures or 63% had no High God present in their culture. Three of the remaining six cultures had a High God that was "inactive"; and the three remaining cultures with "active" High Gods were not involved in affairs of human morality. Nine of the nineteen exclusive matrilineal cultures had coded information available on extramarital sexuality where 7 of the 9 or 78% of these cultures permitted extramarital coitus.

It should be noted that 100% of the nineteen exclusive matrilineal cultures where information was available on pre-marital sex permitted premarital coitus; whereas 67% of the 84 exclusively patrilineal cultures punished premarital coitus. Further, 59% of 37 exclusively matrilineal cultures had no High God in their cultures; whereas, 71% of 99 exclusively patrilineal cultures had a High God in their cultures. Similarly, 80% of 15 exclusive matrilineal cultures that had a High God were coded as "inactive," whereas, 64% of 70 exclusive patrilineal cultures had a High God who was coded as "active."

Prescott (1990) presents selected statistically significant social-behavioral characteristics of exclusive patrilineal cultures (Textor Code 186, N = 150); and patrilineal cultures whose kin group is exclusively patrilineal or double-descent rather than matrilineal (Textor Code 190, N = 186), vs. all other kin group cultures.

The primary social-behavioral characteristics of these patrilineal cultures are human inequality (caste system and slavery present; high bride price; polygyny common); affectional deprivation and exploitation of children (low child indulgence and high childhood responsibility; high desire for children with abortion punished are linked because children serve utilitarian purposes, e.g. proof of virility in the male; fertility in the female; and economic security in old age); sexual violence and repression (male genital mutilation rituals, premarital and extramarital coitus strongly punished but homosexuality permitted); belief in a High God that is active and involved in human morality; and drunkenness.

These data fully support the central thesis of Sex At Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality   by Christopher Ryan and Cacilda Jetha with more current empirical statistical data that modern human cultures with their dominant emphasis on sexual monogamy and the destructive violence that follows imperils the future of humanity.

There can be no substitute for sexual honesty in human sexual relationships despite the perilous future that this entails for many sexual relationships.

The authors of Sex At Dawn reflect: “Religion, politics, and even science square off against biology and millions of years of evolved appetites. How to defuse this intractable struggle?” (p.6) and

“We are not advocating any particular response to the information we’ve put together. Frankly, we’re not sure what to do with it ourselves” (p.24).

My response:

1. First, human cultures must support mothers being nurturing mothers by supporting breastfeeding bonding for “two years and beyond”, as recommended by WHO/UNICEF 1990 Innocenti Declaration
and baby-carrying throughout the first year of life

2. Second, human cultures must support mutual youth sexual affectional relationships (sexual generosity) and not sexual exploitation (sexual puritanism and sexual violence.

3.   Recognize the primary importance of pleasure in human relationships and that pain, suffering and deprivation does not lead to salvation (happiness)

4. Ending the intentional infliction of Pain (Physical & Emotional) upon infants, children and youth. Pain (Physical & Emotional) destroys Pleasure, Happiness and the Joy of Living.

The complete statistical analysis and paper Chapter 6 Affectional Bonding for the Prevention of Violent Behaviors: Neurobiological, Psychological and Religious/Spiritual Determinants with References can be found at

Prescott, J.W. (1975) Body Pleasure and the Origins of Violence. The Futurist April.  Reprinted: The Bulletin Of The Atomic Scientists  (1975) November.

Prescott, J.W. (1976). Violence, pleasure and religion. The Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists

Prescott, J.W. (1977). Phylogenetic and ontogenetic aspects of human affectional  development. In: Progress In Sexology. Proceedings of the 1976 International  Congress of Sexology. (R. Gemme & C.C. Wheeler, Eds.) Plenum Press, New York.

Prescott, J.W. (1989c). Genital Pain vs. Genital Pleasure: Why The One and Not The Other?
 The Truth Seeker July/August pp.14-21.

Prescott, J.W. (l990): Affectional bonding for the prevention of violent behaviors: Neuro- biological, Psychological and Religious/Spiritual Determinants. In. Violent Behavior Vol. I:  Assessment and Intervention. (L.J. Hertzberg, et. al., Eds). PMA Publ.  NY pp. 110-142.

Prescott, J.W. (1995). Violence Against Women: Philosophical and Religious Foundations of  Gender Morality. New Perspectives. (March/April). Hemet, CA.

Prescott (2003). Our Two Cultural Brains.

WHO/UNICEF (1990). Innocenti Declaration. On the Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding. Florence, Italy--1 August

Textor, R.B. (l967): A Cross-Cultural Summary.  HRAF Press. New Haven.