Phylogenesis of pedophilia

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The evolution theory is largely allowed today, though it is subject to oppositions in some countries, mainly for religious reasons. Some of the developments and implications of this theory are however rather little known. They are in particular the evolutionary history of each species, or its phylogenesis, the mechanisms that one observes there; and especially for mankind, the relation between selection and human psychology, which one regards as the product of selection and of the evolution it leads to. This is the fields of what is called evolutionary psychology or sociobiology. Those often treat topics related to sexuality, and their approach appears relevant or even fertile applied to pederasty and pedophilia.

Selection and evolution

The mechanism at the base of evolution is natural selection: the most adapted and most resistant organisms can survive while the others disappear, which with a variability and some changes of the genes which define the organisms, leads to a very slow transformation of a species and even to the appearance of a new species which separates from another. What one knows in a second time, is that the final selection does not relate solely to the criterion of resistance, but of reproduction: a plant resistant to the diseases, with the dryness, but which would make definitely less seeds being likely to germinate, than its neighbor of the same species, is not more quickly eliminate as an individual, but its lineage line will.

The selection thus retains the characters allowing a good reproduction in quantity and quality, if one understands quality as the chances that the individuals resulting from this reproduction will have to perpetuate the cycle. This selection however allows varied strategies to reach the same result: some plants produce a great quantity of seeds which will have each one little of chances to develop, while others produce larger and fewer seeds, which contain a reserve of energy which will help the first stages of their development. In the animals, this selection induces the development of an instinct of reproduction to ensure the development of their offshoot. This with still of the strategies varied, between that of the tortoises which leave behind their relatively abundant laying, and that of the animals which protect or nourish their offshoot for a more or less long period.

Psychology as a product of evolution

Beyond this aspect, to ensure the success of its offspring, an animal must find a partner of the other sex, which ensures best success for this operation to him: one will speak then about sexual selection. It is here that the bases of evolutionary psychology for the Men are. It establishes the link between the mechanisms of general and sexual selection, and the psychology which it induced among women and men, during the development of our species. This approach doesn't only explains the attraction of the ones for the others, but of several more particular points, like the jealousy, the the fact that the men have a more pronounced tendency than the women for the momentary relations: indeed, if those are fertile, the children to be born involve an “incompressible” investment for the mother, (to carry the child then to ensure at least its first months or years) while this investment will be in very light for the father, who can allow himself to frequently remake the operation. Within the mankind, even in an individual, one can in this way read in the behaviors, the strategies aiming not only the simple reproduction, but to ensure his offspring the best chances to make its place in the world, and in finally to ensure the diffusion of his genes. For example, the women are attracted by the rich men or of being able because they are best able to guarantee resources to them to raise their children, while the men are attracted by the young women because they are the most fertile.

Evolution being a slow process, it is considered that for the mankind, it was relatively unimportant during the last 10,000 or 20,000 years. This evolution was thus made essentially during the Paleolithic era, within the framework of a lifestyle prehistoric, known as “primitive” of wandering hunters-gatherers. It is thus this type of society which must be considered.

Homosexuality and pedophilia: aberrations of evolution?

Within the framework of this approach, the pedophilia and homosexuality are not easily explainable anomalies, since they do not result a priori in having a descent. How can we explain that they are maintained among the population?

Several elements were brought concerning the case of homosexuality. For example it creates bonds and alliances between of the same individuals sex, which would make it possible to support the survival of the group. In addition, the characters related to homosexuality especially a more female behavior, would make the men attractive to the women.

In this case it would not be the strict homosexuality which would be an advantage, but the characters which induce it, when they are present at weaker amount.[1] Another point, homosexuality, especially in the animals, is in general nonexclusive, the homosexual ones having often a descent.[2] These ideas are still debatable and to specify, owing to the fact that they handle categories difficult to define according to the time at the society, even of the species to which one refers, and then that the advantage suggested is rather indirect.

The case of pedophilia and pederasty is certainly specific, and deserves its own explanations.

Selection of group

Let us pass by the concept of selection of group. To consider competition and the selection at the strictly individual level is insufficient. A group whose members have a rather altruistic behavior within this group, has an important if not crucial advantage compared to the other groups, in which each member would act in an egoistic way. That was stated by Charles Darwin himself in his book, Descent off Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex.[3] It shows that the behaviors of defense of the group: to go ahead and to fight to defend its tribe involve more risks than benefit for the individual, but a group whose members have a tendency to do it will have an advantage, will develop to the detriment of on the other groups, and will propagate this feature.

The age of the trainings

Pedophilic/pederastic attraction relates to an age range which match up rather well with those for which the contemporary society decided to found schooling. In France, compulsory education apply to the 6 to 16 years old children, and one passes his Baccalaureate when he is approximately 18. One could add the nursery school on a side and the higher learning on the other. It can be seen that the French society, like many other ones, view that to be transmitted knowledge beyond the restricted family surroundings, must be the principal occupation of the youngster, at least from 6 to 16 years, or even from 3 to approximately 23 years. However if schooling is generally advanced like a progress and, for the countries where it is not generalized, an indisputable objective, the “formal” school did not exist during prehistory. School at our time is certainly only one manner (probably debatable) of meeting a need which developed quite long before.

The primitive society which made the development of our species were not rough and bestial. One can have of it a representation by supposing their lifestyle similar to that of wandering Amerindian tribes of the last centuries. The study of the people of hunters-gatherers or the historical period shows that these societies carry each one a mass of knowledge and a complex culture, which allow their adaptation to the environment where they live. They are knowledge relating to varied fields, such as technical, geographical skills, or simply the human relation, and then know-how on making shelter, ensure one's food resources all round the year, etc. But each generation must acquire this knowledge to ensure the sustainability or even the development of the tribe, and like nowadays, the quality of these acquisitions are not independent of the education which the youngster of the tribe receive.

Without claiming that strict limits are valid, the role of a mother for her child appears essential during the first two or three years of its life. That of the father is also important during this period since the pregnant mother, occupied by her baby or young child particularly needs material support of her spouse during this period. That would explain even the typical duration of a love affair which would be three years.[4]

No more than nowadays, the prehistoric parents were not frequently abandon their children when they were three or six years old. However, starting from these ages, their burden was to be substantially transferred to the group: older children, and other adults of various ages. That corresponds to the proverb “One needs a whole village to educate a child”, and was essential if these children became orphan. This burden included the basic needs food, protection and then the transmission of knowledge and many facets of education. To allow that, one needs in one side a desire to learn, imitate on behalf of these children, a propensity to admire its older of the same sex, and then the desire to transmit, to protect, show, help on behalf of the older ones. Those have many of other interests and centers of interest as the activities to which they are devoted, their relations with their peers, with the people of the other sex and their own children if they have some. Moreover, the boys and the men are potentially competitors, before the women especially. The risk is thus strong that these men are indifferent to the children and teenagers still little practiced, not very productive and weak who are neither their children nor their little brothers.

The protection of the next supports of the group

These youngsters, and especially boys, however will not only ensure a few years later the reproduction, but will contribute to the resources and the protection of the whole tribe. More immediately for a man if it has children of his own, the boys to whom he grants his attention are likely to become the spouses of his daughters, or to deal with the education of his children in return, which illustrates explicitly the Hippocratic Oath, who in his ancient version include the duty to transmit to the children of his Master the science that he received from him.

If education, the transmission near these youngster is neglected, it is the survival of all the group which is compromised. Knowledge and the experiment of the men notably relate to objects that are quite far away from the inner where the children spend their first years. In addition, these two groups are a priori rather distant physically, insofar as the representation according to which the role of the men frequently included hunting or various foraging is right. The boys who spent their first years mainly with the women thus need particularly to be detached from them in order to be nourished from the knowledge, experiment of the men of their group, and having their support in their first enterprises.

This benevolence and this desire to transmit, to foster and to protect is not to be taken for granted, and compete with other motivations and strategies. It was thus necessary that existed a particular motivation, a sufficiently strong feeling, at least in a share of the adults, and especially in the men toward the boys. For that, our species would have developed a sensual, sexual and emotional attraction among a share of the men towards the boys, as well as the reciprocal one among boys. This feature present in the genes of a group would have been maintained and diffused because of its benefit for the youngsters as well as for the whole group of this best protection and dealt with educational matters.[5] It is however not necessary that all the adults or all the men invest themselves as much in this education: the training is mainly made by impregnation, imitation, participation or listening of the discussions, but an even occasional special attention given to these youngsters, a benevolence or a deliberated teaching, be it on behalf of a limited share of the adults would multiply the effectiveness of this training.

Derived trait and polyphenism

Biologically, attraction for the boys would be on the one hand a “derived trait”, in such it reuse the heterosexual attraction for another object and another function, as the evolution for example reused the front legs of the ancestors of the birds to make wings out of them. In addition this character would be expressed by “polyphenism”,[6] i.e. a very close or identical genotype can express rather different characters: in fact strict heterosexuality, exclusive pedophilia and all nuances between these two points. One uses this concept in the case of the trouts in which, among the subjects of the same laying, a part will remain all its life close to the place of laying, another will go downstream in the more important river, and a last part will migrate until at sea, like salmons. These sea-trouts will get a very different appearance from their brothers and sisters that remained in the river, but will nevertheless return to reproduce there. (For the population overall, that means not putting all its eggs in the same basket, since the trouts having migrated at sea, can make a growth much stronger but are exposed at more risks during their migration.) There is also polyphenism in the bees, and ants, in which the working females or queens, genetically identical will have very different phenotypes and functions. This kind of polyphenism is characteristic of a population or a species rather than to consist of characters heritable at the individual level. The genotype would not determine the sexual orientation of each person, but his potential orientation, and even their frequency within a population.

A character expressed in particular cultures

One's sexual orientation is on a continuum, and willing to define types and categories is a difficult if not a vain task. One could make the assumption that the standard of pederasty is a simple sympathy toward the teenagers, a physical attraction that would be significant but less strong than for the women. In this case, those whose attraction for the boys is dominant, or who are attracted by preteen boys would be explainable accidents because it was necessary that nature leaves a margin to the determination of sexual attraction to obtain a majority share of “pure” heterosexuals and a certain share of men carried to be concerned with boys. Those being exclusively on boys would be “useless” because going beyond what is necessary. One could as well say that the standard of the pederast is the one, exclusive or almost, which will devote its whole resources and its intelligence to the education of boys successively or in the same time, which will provide them a thorough education, making it possible even in certain cases to produce an elite within a human group, men able to direct it, to carry out it exceptional enterprises like migrations or wars. One would forget then the first, the men for which the pederasty is not dominant, but however affect the efforts they will make, more significant than those of an ordinary man, for the protection and the education of the boys.

These two assumptions not being satisfactory, it is probable that each degree (or almost) of the pedophilia has its role or at least is likely to find it or not to find it according to the context, of the culture of the society depending on each situation, stories and persons. The pedophilia and the pederasties, if it probably do not bring an individual benefit for the selection, make sense on the level of the group and thus do not appear like a defect or a genetic anomaly or a development anomaly. Their expressions took very varied forms depending to the culture in which they fell under the historical period, and undoubtedly in the prehistoric societies. The pedophile and pederast sexual orientations, are undoubtedly the driving force of an essential share of the education without which the disinterest of the men for the youngsters of their group would jeopardize the future of these groups. As such, it thus appears like a product of the natural selection.