The Quirk: Meat and Two Veg

Sometimes something strange happens in science, and i want nothing to do with it.  Thats why we have The Quirk.

Chimpanzees enter into “deals” whereby they exchange meat for sex, according to researchers. This should come as no surprise to any male readers, and though “meat” plays a large part in sex the gift given is usually alcoholic.  This type of subtle prostitution is endemic within the animal kingdom; consider the intricate nest displays of the Satin Bower Bird (Ptilonorhynchus violaceus), perfectly constructed twig hollows are decorated with an array of blue and shiny objects.  We humans are some of the worst culprits, how else do you explain the 12 carat emerald-cut diamond ring sitting on the finger of Melania Trump, wife of Donald Trump, twenty-four years her senior.  Just this week I spent £100 on presents for my girlfriend, this may not sound a lot but I buy economy bread from Asda.  I might be able to have sex without the shoes, rings and bottles of Corona, but it’s not a risk I am willing to take.

The female of the species always has the upper hand when it comes to sexual relations; let us consider the fate of male Black Widow spider (Latrodectus mactans).  To get his many legs over he must first spin a web for a potential mate. As if this wasn’t enough, Mrs. Black earns the second half of her name by occasionally partaking in some sexual cannibalism.  That may sound appealing now but it results in death.  My hat goes off to all male Black Widows, prepared to pay the ultimate price for sex.

So if this is hardly unusual male behaviour why was the research done in the first place?  It should come as no surprise that the findings are those of a woman.  Christina Gomes and her team from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Germany studied chimpanzees in the jungles of the Ivory Coast.    Men are well aware of the lengths they must go to in order to mate but Christina seems oblivious to the truth, planning on extending her research to encompass the behaviour of humans.  The work could be done with hunter-gatherer communities in South America, though Walkabout in Croydon would yield much the same results.  The study focused on the how the donation of meat to a lady chimp would effect a male’s future chances of copulation with her.  The team found that sharing meat with a female doubled the likelihood of having sex with that female at a later date.  The evolutionary advantage to sharing meat is obvious; meat equals sex (WAHEY!) equals offspring.  Prostitution is engrained in the DNA of animals.

The conclusion I take from this all must be that Christina and her team, of unspecified sex, are either naïve or chimp sex perverts.  When postulating the theory “men have to do stuff they don’t really want to in order to get some” did they really have to watch monkeys have sex?  I think not, but I don’t think the scientific journal PLoS One would print a paper entitled “Monkey Whores Prefer Meat to Bananas”.

The Quirk


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