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," our intelligence-boosting feature in which we enlist real live scientific experts to answer humanity's most interesting/ idiotic scientific questions.
Today: Is there an evolutionary or biological reason for preferring to have sex with people of a certain race?
The question, from reader M.: "Is some humans' sexual preference or sexual propensity for certain other humans of a particular 'race' a biologically determined orientation or a culturally constructed desire or a combination of both? This is a much more complicated question than it seems.
" That is, can evolutionary biology tell us the reason why you're only "into" a certain race of person, for boning? The best I can do is to suggest a few things to think about.
First, during the vast majority of human evolutionary history our ancestors wouldn't have traveled far from their birthplace and therefore would rarely have encountered individuals who looked very different from themselves or other members of their group—i.e., people of different "races." Thus, it's very unlikely that we evolved any psychological (brain) adaptations, sexual or otherwise, that have to do with "race." That's not to say, of course, that our ancestors didn't detect and act on in-group/out-group differences, just that these weren't "racial" differences.
Second, mate choice was an important adaptive problem facing our ancestors, so we should expect natural selection to have produced specialized psychological mechanisms designed to solve this problem.
Mate choice actually comprises many different problems, so we should expect the evolution of many different mechanisms to solve them.
Some problems might be solved by mechanisms that requires little input from the environment, and therefore develop in the same way in every environment.
E.g., what's the ideal amount of acne or other visible skin diseases in a potential mate? So a psychological mechanism that follows the "rule": "prefer unblemished skin, all else equal," would have been adaptive everywhere, and would develop in a relatively "innate" manner. Ancestral human populations lived in a wide variety of environments and consequently evolved very different skin colors to cope with those environments.
And there was always some gene flow throughout the range humans lived in, which is why we remained a single species.
So one would not expect selection to have favored an "innate" preference for any specific skin color.Tags: Adult Dating, affair dating, sex dating