Sexual Jealousy

From: Lee liz (
Date: Wed Nov 29 1995 - 09:09:31 GMT

sh> Evolution is a process of "blind" variation and selection. "Blind"
sh> because no one steers the variation in any direction, it's just
sh> random. And the selection is blind too: It's just "nothing succeeds
sh> like success." Whatever chance variations help the organism survive and
sh> reproduce will be passed on. That's where wings and fins came from.
sh> It may also explain where our fondness for food and for mates come
sh> from.

Reading this has made me think of the sexual jealousy/territorial
behaviour puzzle (no, I'm not really obsessed with sex, but it is
fascinating isn't it?). Is it just simply that animals displaying
this behaviour have passed on this characteristic which has become
more concentrated with the passage of time? In making sure your
partner only has you as a mate, the only genes passed on will be
yours as a couple, therefore this trait will continue - please tell
me I'm right Stevan!!

But what I don't understand is - why did this behaviour win and keep a
mate in the first place? And why was it valued by the mate - could
the mate not have just left and found another if jealousy is a turn
off? So it must have been seen as, at least, a reasonable piece of
behaviour if not one to be admired? Or is this just another random
characteristic which is sort of "by the way"?

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