From the latest Journal of Personality & Social Psychology: In Study 1, the scent of women near peak levels of fertility heightened the men’s implicit accessibility to sexual concepts. Study 2 demonstrated that, among men who reported being particularly sensitive to odors, scent cues of fertility triggered heightened perceptions of women’s sexual arousal. Study 3 revealed that in a face-to-face interaction, cues of fertility increased men’s tendency to make risky decisions and to behaviorally mimic a female partner. …
Everything depends on the cost of rearing children.
If mothers can rear them alone (with or without State help), cads will be selected and pass their genes onto the next generation (as attractiveness will be more important than resources in the mating market).
If children cannot be supported by a lone parent, dads will keep the upper hand, as the choice for women will be choosing resources vs not having surviving children at all.
So the idea is, contra the first quoted article, women are not actually trying to suppress all indicators of fertility? And this is because they are in competition with other women to attract the interests of "cads"? But that puts them in conflict with the goal of concealing estrus from "dads". Why would only some men be able to "see through this illusion"? I have no training in this area, but is being to detect the smells associated with certain hormones really so costly in energy terms that it is only optimal for a subset of the male population to be able to do it? Wouldn't "dads" want to have that skill as well, so as to know when to invest more resources in mate-guarding?
BTW, I’m one of those males who’s super-sensitive to when a female’s ovulating, especially scent, and there’s nothing unconscious about it! Rather, these males hide their ability to violate norms by not bringing it up with other people — it would sound very weird.
Maybe some other men who are also able to detect these differences don't know what it is they're noticing? (Some girls just "mysteriously" smell sexy some of the time?)
A propos the eternal arms-race, heard a nice trick: buy a used Ferrari. 80% depreciation at 15k miles, you lose none of the come-hitherness.
Well all of the really heavy shit is rare, but that doesn't mean it hasn't strongly shaped human nature through natural selection.
Even the most violent hunter-gatherer / horticulturalist societies don't experience hourly warfare or intra-group violence. It could "only" be several times a year, sometimes with cooling off periods between inter-group raids (like Chagnon says the Yanamamo practiced).
But real life is about frequency times magnitude of an event, and kill-or-be-killed is a large-impact event. So is cheating on your partner -- it could result in cuckoldry for the male, or gradual withdrawal of resources and even abandonment for the female if the male grows more attached to his mistress.
BTW, I'm one of those males who's super-sensitive to when a female's ovulating, especially scent, and there's nothing unconscious about it! Rather, these males hide their ability to violate norms by not bringing it up with other people -- it would sound very weird.
Plus they probably doubt their own abilities, since most other guys seem completely oblivious to all the clear signs of female ovulation. "Can I really be smelling something they aren't?" So they're conscious but doubting and reserved about their norm-evading perceptual skills.
the relevant link: http://www.amazon.com/revie...
It is illuminating that the authors of the quoted book, quite explicitly seem to disagree.
The authors believe that EPC (extra-pair copulation - gunning for "cads") is rare and may not be an important evolutionary driver:
"We never suggest, however, that EPC is or has been rampant in human history (his pts. 2, 4), and our views don't imply it (pp. 239-241, 293-295). Indeed, we explicitly discuss evidence that it's rare (pp. 311-314), which leads us to question Prof. Dixson's statement that he read our book "carefully." "
"These capacities seem far older than farming . . . ." A very plausible guess, but what hard evidence is there?