Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Do Monkeys Pay for Sex?

That is the title of a Time Magazine article which you can read here. The male monkeys pay for sex by grooming the female monkeys. The article discusses how this behavior conforms to our ideas about supply & demand and scarcity. "The study also showed that the number of minutes that males spent grooming hinged on the number of females available at the time: The better a male's odds of getting lucky, the less nit-picking time the females received."

Adam Smith, in The Wealth of Nations, talked about the human race's "propensity to truck, barter, and exchange one thing for another." Maybe evolution has built this into us. For more on how our attitudes, especially in relation to economics, might come from other primates, read Why people believe weird things about money. (I saw this latter link at the Freakonomics blog)

Update: To any of my new students checking this out for the first time, I hope to generate some discussion on these issues so feel free to leave comments. You can do so anonymously if you want. I usually post something about 3 times a week, like Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. Sometimes I am a day late.

1 comment:

M.R. said...

Everything we see in nature is the desire to receive pleasure and its fulfillment. The behaviour of the Macaque monkeys is an expression of that desire at the animate level. The males have a desire for sex and use their mind to carry out the necessary actions to fulfill that desire. Humans run on the same operating principle: maximum pleasure for least amount of work. We do this for the purpose of receiving pleasure for ourselves. Ultimately, this program of receiving for oneself leaves us unfulfilled and chasing one desire after another. By changing our inner programming to receive for the sake of others, we can rise to a higher degree where we feel our existence as eternal and experience true fulfillment and unbounded pleasure. For more information see here: http://www.laitman.com/2008/03/love-and-hunger-rule-the-world/