Courtship Rituals, Gift Giving and Prostitution

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posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 01:51 PM
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"Nuptial gift giving" is when males give gifts to females before mating - it's a common courtship ritual in many species. One hypothesis is that "nuptial gifts" assure the female that her suitor will be a good provider for their children. In contrast, certain human sub-species view the ritual as a purely economic exchange, aka prostitution, and thus characterize all females as natural whores. This narrow view of life as a purely economic endeavor, sans any other factor, is becoming commonplace. Sad, methinks.



Using a present, or "nuptial gift", to ensure a sexual engagement is a practice found throughout the animal kingdom



In many species of insects, birds and mammals, males acquire and donate food to females either before, during, or after copulation (termed mate provisioning, courtship feeding, nuptial gift giving, or meat-for-sex). …Courtship feeding is particularly common among many bird species.[11]



Gift Giving: Many birds perform a ritual known as courtship feeding or gift giving. Usually the female will spread her wings and open her beak, behaving like a young bird begging for food. This ritual not only allows her to build up her strength for the demanding job of laying and incubating the eggs, but it also assures her that the male will be a good provider for the chicks. Instead of food, some species of bird present their partners with nesting material. Herons give their mates large twigs which are offered up with ceremonial bowing. Gift giving is probably a symbolic show of the males nest building abilities.



Nuptial gifts are food items or inedible tokens that are transferred to females during courtship or copulation 1, 2 and 3. Tokens are of no direct value to females, and it is unknown why females require such worthless gifts as a precondition of mating. One hypothesis is that token giving arose in species that gave nutritious gifts and males exploited female preferences for nutritional gifts by substituting more easily obtainable but worthless items [4]. An invasion of such behavior would require that females accept the substitute gift and copulate for a period of time similar to that with genuine gifts. We show that both these prerequisites are met in the dance fly Rhamphomyia sulcata, in which females normally accept a nutritious gift. We removed the gift from copulating pairs and replaced it with either a large or small prey item or inedible token. We found that although pairs copulated longest with a large genuine gift, the tokens resulted in copula durations equivalent to those with a small genuine gift. We also observed that males that returned to the lek with tokens re-paired successfully. These findings suggest that female behavior in genuine gift-giving species is susceptible to the invasion of male cheating on reproductive investment.



Courtship rituals in insect mating include serenades, dances, nuptial gifts, physical touch, and even aphrodisiacs.



"Males with gifts increase the chances to be accepted by females and also prolong copulation duration, males without gifts are normally rejected or obtain short copulations."



Of interest:



Systematic research into courtship processes inside the workplace[9][10] as well two 10-year studies examining norms in different international settings[11][12] continue to support a view that courtship is a social process that socialises both sexes into accepting forms of relationship that maximise the chances of successfully raising children.



QUESTIONS

1. Is it prostitution when a female accepts a nuptial gift?

2. Does it matter if the female holds out after taking a gift?

3. Virtually every "analysis" and hypothesis about nuptial gift giving assumes that the male wants sex more than the female. Do you think that's always true? Sometimes? Maybe not that often?

4. If the female likes and wants sex as much as the male, and also accepts nuptial gifts, is it still prostitution?

5. If females tend to like and want sex as much as males, why is nuptial gift giving so common throughout the animal kingdom? What purpose might it serve?




posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 01:55 PM
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Can't a gift be given just for the sake of kindness? Sex doesn't always have to be attached to the reasoning, even for the rest of the animal kingdom. Do we not think that a bird or some other animal may present it's mate with something that is wanted or needed just because it cares about it and it's well-being?



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 02:24 PM
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reply to post by isyeye
 


Of course, in my opinion, but huge investments have been made for research to prove altruism does NOT exist. However, that's a different controversy. "Nuptial gifts" are definitely linked to courtship and mating - the controversy (and questions) have to do with interpreting and understanding the link.


...If you're suggesting that sometimes the gift results from a pre-established caring relationship, while the sex is about friends with benefits and only coincidentally relates to the gift-giving - I can buy that. But the explanation doesn't seem to apply across the board.



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 02:50 PM
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1. Is it prostitution when a female accepts a nuptial gift?

No, I will tell you why. The provider is usually the male or for at least a while, whilst the kids are young , and sometimes beyond. So therefore the male is showing the woman that he can provide by doing so.
Its only prostitution if she has sex because hes provided these gifts.But if she likes him anyway, then he gives her the gifts then why not.

2. Does it matter if the female holds out after taking a gift?

Everyone has sex at their own pace, it doesnt matter.

3. Virtually every "analysis" and hypothesis about nuptial gift giving assumes that the male wants sex more than the female. Do you think that's always true? Sometimes? Maybe not that often?

Yeah sometimes true. I mean why would a man bother to take a woman out etc if he wasnt interested in her sexually .

4. If the female likes and wants sex as much as the male, and also accepts nuptial gifts, is it still prostitution?

No.

5. If females tend to like and want sex as much as males, why is nuptial gift giving so common throughout the animal kingdom? What purpose might it serve?

Its again the dominance of saying I can or will take care of you. Its also another way of showing someone that you have feelings for them. The purpose is to take care of each other , so these are just mating dances.



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 03:41 PM
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reply to post by soficrow
 


With the exception of some primates, most creatures do not have sex for sex sake and I think that we should be cautionary about transplanting human perceptions of sex onto other species. For most, the purpose is procreational, not recreational, and therefore, if we are going to ascribe anything to these behaviours, the males giving of gifts is closer to paying for a surrogate for their genes, than for prostitution.

Besides, in most of the examples cited in the article, the 'gifts' seem to be laced with pheromones and other scent markers aimed at stimulating the females 'desire'. So perhaps what we are looking at is a predominance of deceptive behaviour in males in order to acquire sex or rather, exclusive mating rights.



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 03:47 PM
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I had to add this...as I found it funny...


Courtship does not always run smoothly for the brightly coloured birds. Mr Hamilton James notes that impatient males only wait around 10 minutes before giving up and eating the fish themselves.

"Sometimes the female will beg for fish and the male will ignore her and eat them in front of her," he adds.




They obviously don't want sex that much...or perhaps patience is a universal and wholly necessary virtue, and something that is part of the whole survival of the fittest thang.



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 04:07 PM
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reply to post by KilgoreTrout
 



…in most of the examples cited in the article, the 'gifts' seem to be laced with pheromones and other scent markers aimed at stimulating the females 'desire'. So perhaps what we are looking at is a predominance of deceptive behaviour in males in order to acquire sex or rather, exclusive mating rights.


Uh huh. Like the spiders who wrap up trash just to get a little. And like men who truly believe that all women really are whores - and proudly describe their approach to every relationship (exchange) as bargaining with the intent to pay the least amount possible to get what they want.

These findings suggest that female behavior in genuine gift-giving species is susceptible to the invasion of male cheating on reproductive investment.

Helluvan attitude - but totally consistent with a purely economic analysis of life.



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 04:12 PM
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reply to post by soficrow
 


How romantic, and timely, with Valentine's Day just around the corner. Kind of makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, don't it?




posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 04:19 PM
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well as the saying goes...

"men dont pay prostitutes for sex...they pay them to leave"

In the case arranged marriages the "gift" doesn't even go to the woman.



posted on Feb, 7 2013 @ 04:21 PM
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reply to post by KilgoreTrout
 


I didn't even think of Valentine's Day!






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