Evolutionary Psychology

Pornography’s Effect on the Brain, Part 1 of 2

NEMO REPENTE FUIT TURPISSIMUS
“No one became extremely wicked all at once.” — Juvenal, Satires

The aim of this essay is a controversial one: to provide evidence in support of the thesis that porn addiction, especially when accompanied by compulsive masturbation over a long period, alters brain chemistry and can eventually produce brain damage. This is not a conspiracy theory. It is an intellectually defensible thesis for which there is now a growing body of scientific evidence.

Perhaps the quickest way to tame and tranquilize an unruly nation is to turn its citizens into sex addicts: for just as children are easily taken in by predators who tempt them with candy, most people are only too pleased to live under governments that offer them the seductive pleasures of porn: that is to say, cheap and easy orgasms as substitutes for happiness.

Sex addiction, especially when fueled by internet pornography, has been likened to crack cocaine or heroin addiction, only much worse. It allows its victims no respite. It is a sickness of the soul that drives many to suicide, transforming its worst sufferers, like Ted Bundy and Gary Bishop, into serial killers. (See here and here). Read more

On the Moral Code: An Exchange among Lasha Darkmoon, E. Michael Jones, and Kevin MacDonald

This is an online discussion between E. Michael Jones and Lasha Darkmoon on the moral code, arising out of a brief exchange of ideas on the same subject between E. Michael Jones and Kevin MacDonald in Culture Wars magazine. Following the original discussion as it appeared in Culture Wars (reprinted with permission), MacDonald appends a comment.

E. MICHAEL JONES: It was kind of Professor MacDonald to respond to my critique of his writing in Jewish Nazis, but I don’t feel that he has made me want to change what I said. His claim that “My moral sense certainly does not come from Catholicism but is intimately tied up with evolutionary thinking” is preposterous.

It is impossible to derive the moral order from biology much less evolution, which is an ideology which attempts to use biology to justify capitalism. From an evolutionary point of view, KMac should be a philosemite. Haven’t the Jews won out in the struggle for existence in the United States, and therefore, the world? His evolution undermines his morality and vice versa. He reminds me of Adam Smith, whose insights into economics were vitiated by his ideological commitment to moral Newtonianism, the English ideology of his day.

According to Georg Ratzinger, the Jews succeeded in getting the economy of states like Austria and Hungary under their control, not because they were more intelligent (or had “higher IQs than Caucasians,” as Professor MacDonald claims) but because their internalization of Talmudic culture had allowed them to become “skilled in the deceptions of economic warfare”. Read more

Research on Pornography and the Sexualization of Culture

Lasha Darkmoon’s current TOO article provides case studies illustrating the sexual deviance of some of the main promoters of pornography. The question here is whether the availability of pornography is bad for Whites or, indeed, for any group.

Historically, explicit sexuality was a taboo in all Western societies. Growing up Catholic in the 1950s, one was aware that sexually explicit material was far underground and that it was eminently disreputable. Implicitly and perhaps explicitly in some circles, pornography was seen as incompatible with the social utility of creating social supports for marriage based on love and affection between partners; marriage thus conceived encourages fertility and provides an ideal environment for children.

Implicitly at least, there was a recognition that sex is a strong biological urge, an attitude that no evolutionary psychologist would question. The basic findings of research on pornography fit well with the evolutionary theory of sex: males are naturally more attracted to pornography than females because males benefit from relatively indiscriminate mating, multiple mates, and depersonalized and even coercive sexual encounters.

Females, on the other hand, are expected to place a greater value on relationships of intimacy and love as signals of male investment in them and their children. Females generally suffer huge costs from indiscriminate mating and from sexual coercion (no paternal investment; bad genes). Because of the demands of pregnancy and lactation, they do not benefit from multiple mates with the result that polyandry is vanishingly rare in human societies. Read more

Robert Trivers Continues the Tradition of Moral Critique

There was a time when evolutionary thinking was widely considered to be the key to racial self-defense.  Although it didn’t play a role in the Congressional debates (itself an indication of the rapidly changing intellectual context), evolutionary thinking was prominent among some of the elite intellectual  proponents of immigration restriction in the 1920s. This was the heyday of eugenics—motivated by concern about deterioration of the gene pool because modern civilization had increased the moral and intellectual burdens of life at the same time that natural selection had been relaxed. Lothrop Stoddard’s The Revolt against Civilization: The Menace of the Under-Man exemplifies these trends.

Even by the mid-20s the Boasian onslaught against the idea of race and against Western culture generally had become ensconced in elite universities. It continued that way for the next 50 years, when E. O. Wilson included a chapter on humans in his Sociobiology: A New Synthesis. This set off a storm of outrage by the usual academic suspects (see here), but all of their outrage could not prevent the establishment of evolutionary outposts, especially in psychology and anthropology, and academic societies such as The Human Behavior and Evolution Society.

What is remarkable about these developments is that they have completely failed to challenge the dominance of elite consensus on all things related to immigration and multiculturalism. Evolutionary psychology is a paradigm, loudly proclaiming the idea that evolution did indeed sculpt the mind, but that all humans were alike because we all evolved in the same environment. This takes issues like race differences completely off the table. It also avoids discussing IQ, a measure that is strongly heritable, shows rather large race differences, and is linked to success in life in contemporary societies. IQ is the one measure that is most feared by the anti-White coalition. Read more

Altruism’s Bloody Roots: Cultural and Genetic Selection for Altruism in Humans

Altruism and the question of group selection continue to generate heated debate among biologists. Because there are so many misunderstandings of these issues, it’s worthwhile discussing how they relate to my writing on group evolutionary strategies. A recent paper, by Sam Bowles, “Altruism’s Bloody Roots“, argues that group selection could have evolved among humans as a result of between-group competition. Bowle’s paper is based on data showing high rates of violence and genetic variation in Stone Age groups. A computer simulation showed that selfless groups eventually predominated over groups composed of selfish individuals. (Another recent paper, co-authored by E. O. Wilson, rejects the now traditional idea that kin selection is the root of eusociality—social forms in which animals like bees and humans have division of labor and altruism [see here]. This is compatible with Bowles’ results, but goes quite a bit further in its rejection of kin selection and is not necessary for the following discussion.)

Bowles’ model is explicitly compatible with cultural group selection. The theory of group competition presented in the first chapter of A People That Shall Dwell Alone: Judaism as a Group Evolutionary Strategy is phrased in terms of cultural group selection. That is, the theory does not depend on genetic tendencies toward altruism, but rather on the ability of humans to monitor and punish free-riders and defectors. This is not merely theoretical. For example, traditional Jewish groups had strong internal controls that enforced group-oriented economic behavior (e.g., not competing with monopolies controlled by other Jews; Ch. 6 of PTSDA) and punished “informers”—the practice of Mesirah which  prohibited informing on other Jews to the non-Jewish authorities. Mesirah continues to operate in the contemporary world, particularly among Orthodox and Haredi groups—a recurrent theme on TOO. Read more

Fraud in Psychological Research

A NYTimes article (“Fraud seen as a red flag for psychology research“) discusses the case of scientific fraud involving a Dutch social psychologist, Diederik Stapel. This is an amazingly egregious example of fraud by a psychologist well-known for his leftist views. Stapel got his Ph.D. in 1997 but managed to crank out 150 research papers and 24 book chapters in that short period. A recent paper of his, published in the very prestigious Science, Coping with Chaos: How Disordered Contexts Promote Stereotyping and Discrimination” included two lab studies and three field studies. This study had a wonderfully liberal conclusion—that racial discrimination would be increased in chaotic environments because people have a tendency to simplify their cognitive processing in such environments.

The NYTimes article notes,

In recent years, psychologists have reported a raft of findings on race biases, brain imaging and even extrasensory perception that have not stood up to scrutiny. Outright fraud may be rare, these experts say, but they contend that Dr. Stapel took advantage of a system that allows researchers to operate in near secrecy and massage data to find what they want to find, without much fear of being challenged.

“The big problem is that the culture is such that researchers spin their work in a way that tells a prettier story than what they really found,” said Jonathan Schooler, a psychologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara. “It’s almost like everyone is on steroids, and to compete you have to take steroids as well.” Read more

“The Evolution of Prejudice”: Less than advertised

A recent article in Scientific American (“The Evolution of Prejudice: Scientists see the beginnings of racism in monkeys“) is less than advertised. The study shows that monkeys are sensitive to group boundaries–they are especially concerned with monkeys from outgroups even if they are former ingroup members with whom they are familiar. But even if true it would not provide a firm evolutionary basis for negative attitudes toward other races because the negative attitudes on occur if those other races are in different groups. The monkeys are keying on the group status of the other monkeys, not on genetic differences.

In fact, evolutionary psychologists have been busy showing that if one sets up two very very clearly marked racially integrated groups (i.e., with different colored uniforms–exactly the situation in most sports), people have negative views toward the outgroup that are independent of race (Cosmides, L., J., Tooby,  & R. Kurzban. (2003). Perceptions of race. Trends in Cognitive Science 7:173–179).  Read more