Spitzer: Just an average bear?


spit.pngEvolutionary biologist David Barash weighs in on the Spitzer sitch in an editorial entitled “Monogamy unnatural for men” where he argues that in science class terms, the ousted New York governor’s brand of power-promiscuity is just par for the course in the animal kingdom. [In case you live under a rock, or in the intestine of a fish, Governor Spitzer resigned his office after being exposed as a frequent customer of really expensive callgirls.]

There’s only one species, Barash says, that’s truly sexually monogamous, and it’s the Diplozoon paradoxum, a parasitic worm that inhabits the intestines of fish. Otherwise, across the board, powerful male mammals (regardless of their own attractiveness) tend to rack up the chicks.

People, most of us like to think, have the unique capacity to act contrary to their biologically given inclinations. Maybe, in fact, it is what makes us human.

But even a smidgen of evolutionary insight suggests that maleness plus money plus political power isn’t likely to add up to the kind of sexual restraint that the public expects. A concluding word, therefore, to the outraged voters of New York state: You want monogamy? Elect a swan. Or better yet, a “Diplozoon paradoxum.”

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