#1081 - Bret Weinstein & Heather Heying

Feb 20, 2018

Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying are former professors of Evolutionary Biology at Evergreen State College. Watch more of Bret’s work at and read Heather’s writing at .

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hey you ladies and gentlemen how's everybody doing I've got some comedy dates coming up to the next ones are in March March 15th 16th and 17th March 15th I'm in New Orleans the 16th in Miami and then the 17th I'm in Orlando Florida then March 30th I'm in Nashville and 31st I'm in Charlotte then I can't say that one yet okay all these Joe Rogan.com that's my new website Joe Rogan.com forward slash tool or okay okay this episode of the podcast is brought to you by Blue Apron Blue Apron is an awesome meal delivery service well not meal delivery milk it they allow you to make the meal they send you all the ingredients all portion correctly along with photographic step-by-step instructions that will allow you

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you go to stamps.com click on the microphone at the top of the homepage and type in JRE and they will hook you up with a fantastic deal a four-week trial plus Postage and a digital scale you take that digital scale you weighed your packages you buy and print official US postage online put it on the package hand it to the mail person and you'll Diggity Diggity done any letter any package any class of mail again using your own computer and your own printer so go to stamps.com click on the microphone at the top of the homepage and type in JRE that's stamps.com and enter J --r E all right my guests today are 222 super-smart married people my good friend Brett Weinstein he has been on the podcast many times before and his lovely and Brilliant wife Heather

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sighing and the two of them together we discussed all sorts of fascinating issues pertaining to evolutionary biology and human sexuality and I just love the way their minds work was a fun conversation and I hope you enjoy it so please give it up for Heather heying and Brett Weinstein

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The Joe Rogan Experience Train by day Joe Rogan podcast by now

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and we're live thank you gentlemen Heather hi Brett Weinstein then screwed up this time nope you got it right gotta get that Steen Stein thing messed up with you gotta get apologize bad time to get those messed up it is so thanks for having us thank you for being here both of you I'm very excited about this conversation really excited about it too little bit nervous in one way but but pretty pretty Jazz well I think it's good to be nervous about it you know I mean what we're talking about folks what we would like to talk about is why don't you explain it well I think Heather and I have been on an interesting Adventure we are evolutionary biologists we trained with some of the finest evolutionary biologists of the 20th century and we have been teaching we taught for Habitat for 15 years I taught for 14 years at Evergreen and we spent a lot of time dealing with students and trying to help them see how clarifying and evolutionary view point is with respect to understanding what a human being is and

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we function and how we interact and that was very enjoyable to us and it was very empowering to students to discover that there was actually a way of removing a lot of the confusion of being a person and we're now watching the conversation out in Civilization about sex and gender devolve into an absurdity and on the one hand that's kind of frightening I mean for for for us it's not directly an issue we're happily married and so we're not having to navigate romance out in the world these days and our kids are too young to be navigating it yet maybe this will all be clarified by the time they're involved in dating but we also have a tremendous number of millennial friends former students who are trying to navigate this stuff and finding it difficult and bewildering to hear a conversation that frankly there's a much better alternative if one can

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stand to think in evolutionary terms if we can really look at ourselves as we are as we came to be through evolutionary forces then actually we can improve the landscape for romance and dating a great deal but we can't do it if we're committed to very simple truisms that actually aren't right what is disturbing both of you most about what's going on right now

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well I think we'd love to see a third way so there the pretty moderns as it were a very traditionalist conservatives that sucker up close to us are there that it works yeah perfect the pre-modern to have a very traditional conservative approach to gender roles to sex to relationship and there are a lot of us in the modern world who would reject a lot of that and then there are the postmoderns who want to throw out everything want to throw out everything that Evolution handed us and in the meantime pretend that it didn't happen right pretend of this not even based on reality and there is a there's a third way and you know maybe we need to call it modern as opposed to pre or post modern but there's a third way to navigate what evolutionary is what evolution has given us what we can change what we can't change and how to actually recover some of the sexiness and sex in the love and love and the romance and romance and you know understand that human beings are

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what we are from not just a hundred years back but a thousand and ten thousand a hundred million years back we've had sex since you both taught at a university level you you've been around these students and you've seen this sort of post modernist movement

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gain steam what what do you think is the cause of it like what what is the reason why people are projecting the sort of distorted idea that there's no differences between men and women and that all the differences in the genders are all it's all propaganda or cultural or so I think it actually arises from a relatively simple cause that we all detect there's something not right about what we've been taught we detect there's something not right about the way civilization is structured we can tell that there's nobody really at the helm and you have a lot of people who are faced with some issue that to them is incredibly glaring something that just absolutely needs to be solved and so what they do is they look at that issue and they say what would we have to what would we have to say in order for that issue to be fully addressed and the problem is that we're dealing with a complex system and if you optimize for any one solution

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to you cause a catastrophe across all of the other things that it's connected to and if you're not focused on those unintended consequences you tend not to understand why people are resistant to your solution so for example let's deal with the transgender issue for the transgender community and I don't you know this is not a monolith the community I actually know quite a number of people within it who have a heterodox position but in general there is a sense that it is disrespectful not to Simply recognize anybody who has decided to transition as a full-fledged member of the Sexes to which they have moved that seems right and if you are focused on the humanitarian side of the question maybe it even is right but the problem is if you say a person who identifies as a particular sex is that sex suddenly you've actually caused a whole

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have consequences that you weren't thinking of over in a biology class over in the prison system I mean is it true that somebody who says that they are female gets to go to a women's prison do we want to put violent sex offenders in a women's prison because they declare themselves to be female so not tracking the consequences that were not in your view when you decided on a particular solution is the reason that so many people have signed up for these really absurd Notions and part of what I hope we will get to today is that there is a principle at the core of understanding all complex adaptive systems and it is diminishing returns and diminishing returns sounds kind of Arcane it has to close in association with economics where it was first outlined but the message of diminishing returns is that you

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very often get 90% of a solution that you want and not disrupt other things unduly but if you say I want a hundred percent of the solution to this problem you'll cause a catastrophe so getting people to realize don't shoot for the Utopia in which the problem here talking about is 100% solved if you can accept a 90 percent solution then you can have a whole bunch of other things that you don't even realize you're using in defense of people that would try to go for a hundred percent though isn't it one of those things where like you if you would negotiate you would if you want $100 you ask for a hundred and fifty unfortunately I mean I think you're identifying something correct that in part the positions that we here being deployed are not an honest reflection of the beliefs of many of the people who are espousing and they are a negotiating tactic but we can't do that with Biology you can't negotiate with Biology biology is what it is and then

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can talk about which parts of it are amenable to being changed and as Heather pointed out we're not advocating for a return to some traditional way of interacting between the Sexes we're advocating for an enlightened way that takes advantage of the freedoms we have that our ancestors didn't and tries to navigate the hazards that were stuck with so you can't you can't negotiate with Biology you're really ought to listen to what it is that nature is telling you and then say all right what does that leave open where can we shift things but if you're going to require that we lie about what's true biologically in order to navigate to a solution I guarantee you it will be unstable in the end was the Zeitgeist has begun to include such nonsense as chromosomes exist on a Continuum there X chromosomes in their Y chromosome haven't heard that one one of our children just heard that at his school what did they mean by on a continuum

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who even knows I don't think they meant anything I think what they intended to do was carve-out freedom from a biological truth so if you say things are on a Continuum then it's very hard to disagree with that because it doesn't mean anything that we can write on top so it's actually really easy to disagree with it and say you know you know gametes aren't on a Continuum sperm is sperm and eggs are eggs sorry discreet two of them right chromosomes also not on a Continuum at least in mammals sex yeah a Continuum there intersex is real but it's strongly bimodal right there's there are males and there are females and there are a few people it's rare but real that there are intermediate phenotypes and gender is even more of a Continuum but still strongly bimodal have you folks heard about that new crayfish that they're battling in Europe there's a giant crayfish in Europe that's female and female only and essentially is a clone they reproduce by cloning so they don't need a male partner

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and they're going crazy and there's a lot of them create first two sentences there it sounded like there was a giant crazy standing on Europe it was a female she's mad all these lobster dinner and that's going to work for a while right and like asexuality is actually evolved in a few lineages a few vertebrate lineage that there are some lizards that are asexual and it's all females and it goes great until the environment changes whereas if your cloning yourself you are your children are going to experience exactly are going to be exactly the same thing that you are so if you were a good fit for your environment the next environment better be the same or else your kids aren't going to be a good fit so all right my feeling is that crayfish I haven't followed this story a lot but that crayfish is going to do terrifically moving into exactly the Landscapes that it first mutated into existence and and if you change the landscape a bit it's going to stop doing so I think they just Farm it for food if it's tasty yeah don't worry about them breeding

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get a ton of home together crayfish are delicious they are delicious this is a good-tasting variety it's free food yeah you know I mean it's kind of crazy that's right so Heather and I were talking before the podcast started about a very I think a very important point when it comes to a lot of these either Progressive or right-wing issues is that people tend to be extremely tribal and what they're really concerned with is winning the it becomes a competition of Us Versus Them it becomes our side versus their side and they tend to exploit weaknesses and then attacked a score points and all ideas of being honest intellectually or looking at things objectively kind of go out the window you ignore facts that diminish your position or your team's position and highlight things even if they're not real that would diminish the other side's position this is a real problem that humans have with arguments with with with being tribal

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with being on different sides when we see it we forget about tribes we see with people where when there's a certain time when you see people arguing there's a certain point where the argument has deteriorated to a competition and it's no longer about what you're actually discussing it's about who can win so what science is for yes yeah well this is science ought to be indifferent when it's done well it is indifferent to who's the stronger team it should really just tell you what's true and in fact the reason to use science is to correct for biases but so Eric and Heather and I have a phrase that is just shorthand for something which is bad faith changes everything there's a lot you can do in discussion with people with whom you disagree as long as you are on the same page to a large extent yes and what you're describing is what happens when that system breaks down and people perceive themselves as needing to win against the

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enemy rather than on a team that is trying to navigate to what is true or what is the most desirable outcome with respect to values that we all share or something like that so what you're describing is a very common state it is a lower less capable State than a good-faith environment where people who may disagree intensely agree on the basic rules and the desirability of figuring out what's true and so maybe that's part of what we can do here is try to point to where the good faith conversation can get to that the bad faith conversation is incapable of getting to the value really yeah I think that's that's a giant point I really is and it's a I mean it's really something that I would hope more people would adopt going into the future stop connecting yourself to these ideas and just let these ideas exist on their own and examine them objectively and rely on science rely on actual science to

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formulate your when you're talking about biological issues a lot when I say science is the answer to this it's not necessarily that we should accept no one should accept the findings of science just at face value but a scientific approach is I've got this idea what would have to be true if that were true and how can I possibly prove it wrong and you work harder and harder and harder to prove it wrong and if you can't then you have greater and greater and greater confidence that maybe it's right and so this this is what we don't see in bad faith arguments is no one is trying to prove themselves wrong and it's mean that sounds backwards the first time you hear it but if you try to actually demonstrate that your own cherished beliefs are wrong and you can't do it you have pretty good confidence at the end of that and there is no actual end but the longer you've gone if pretty good confidence that actually I'm probably seeing something real here I've asked myself I've asked my friends I've asked my enemies is this thing right and you know in an actual formal scientific setting you do an experiment

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you run the data and you do the analysis but is it right or is it not let's see if I can prove it's not even though I really think it is so you also get test you get something there's a bonus that comes with it which is I don't know what else to say it's super awesome which is if you've tried to take your cherished idea some hypothesis that you've come up with and you've tried 16 different ways to show that it's wrong and you keep failing well every one of those things you did to see whether what you thought was true is actually false now prepares you when somebody now challenges you and they say oh but you haven't thought of this well you have you've been through at 16 different ways and that gives you the ability to navigate almost anything that's thrown at you because you have taken on the role of being your own harshest critic in order to make sure that what's left at the end of that process is really robust the other thing that I want to insert here

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is that I think hey I don't want to be put in the position of Defending everything that's been published in the scientific literature as true because it looks like science a lot of it isn't a lot of what's published in the scientific literature is not valid the methodology does not establish what people claim it does and that's a big Hazard for people like Heather in myself because you have to sort the wheat from the chaff in order to figure out what to defend and what to be agnostic about but I do think those of us who more or less get the story of what let's say human sexuality is about at a scientific level and there's still a lot of mystery but there's an awful lot that those of us who have studied it are in agreement about and civilization is not yet on the same page with those of us who have looked at it scientifically one thing we have failed to do I think is to articulate what you will get in exchange for signing up for a scientific worldview on this topic people do not realize

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the scientific worldview is actually the thing that empowers you to navigate your own love life in an intelligent way it will let you know it's more fun than it sounds when you say it that way yeah it's well you know they're all of these famous arguments about unweaving the rainbow or you know somebody challenged Fineman that he was the kind of guy who would take apart a flower and Destroy its beauty in order to figure out how it worked and finally the trip science will destroy Beauty right and it's not true no it's not true you will get a lot of value you will waste less of your time on people that you shouldn't be interested in if you understand what game they're playing even if they don't understand what do you think that arguments coming from the argument that science would destroy Beauty

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well I think there's a way in which the hate the borrower chemical analogy here but there's something called the activation energy of a chemical reaction which is the energy necessary to get it to happen and the activation energy for understanding your own self your sexual self even as a product of evolution that is wired in a particular way for particular objectives that may not be relevant to your conscious persons objective that that takes a little bit it doesn't take forever but you know if we were teaching a class it might take three or four weeks full time with one set of students before people who would walk through the door not thinking in those terms at all about their own love life could begin to spot how this actually maps onto what they've experienced and what it suggests they might do

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differently so I think the answer to your question is it's not cheap to get through the door in the end it's an absolute bargain What it buys you is so valuable compared to what it costs you to to learn it but it doesn't come immediately it's not like you know an aphorism that you can adopt and suddenly your life functions so in a sari good but it begins to do as people start to realize the power of an evolutionary take on sex and gender or whatever it is we're talking about is it opens up doors to inquiry and it makes it allows people to make sense of their lives and then it becomes more beautiful and more powerful and once people have seen how you can use these evolutionary tools and and the knowledge that Evolution the study of evolution has given us like male and female are universals like male and female have existed for over a hundred million years and everywhere it shows up it looks really similar and yes there are

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all over the place there's amazing ways that you know like this crayfish that you have you know sexually reproducing ancestor that's gone asexual or you have sexual reversal in some species you have hyenas which have a you know a very strange system going on lots and lots of these exceptions but the the truth underlying them is always the same and that's freeing so actually that's beautiful can we try it with the crayfish here sure so

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looking at this system you've got a creature that is capable of going asexual and then spreading very rapidly we have lots of examples of creatures that do that right like so for example dandelions dandelions look like a regular old flower but they're not dandelions are what's called a polemic an apple make tick means that they go through mitosis instead of meiosis and they produce a seed that isn't the product of sex and that seed disperses as if it was the product of sex and so this does something for dandelions it allows them to take over a landscape from one individual because it can just spread and spread and spread without having to find mates It's very effective but what we see in systems like who Heather mentioned whiptail lizards whiptail lizards some populations are asexual and it's a really cool system actually enough Jamie wants to bring up a picture of whiptail lizards but in the asexual populations females can I believe they

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themselves right it's it's more or less yeah so they sort of the reason we're talking about that is they're two different ways they could go about it they could make two gametes and fuse them or they can clone themselves they're effectively humble but the you look at that system and you say well how can a population abandoned sex and be able to tolerate change well it has to do one thing which is it has to have some place to borrow genetic variation from so we see some very curious behaviors in these whiptail's females Mount each other so they basically you have you have females who stimulate each other to produce eggs that are not the product of sex right so they retain sexual behavior and so then is pseudo copulation and whether they're playing the female role or the male role in the pseudo copulation depends on their status in the ovulatory cycle whoa but the kicker is

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no Heather and I were actually teaching from this and trying to figure out how the system could possibly be stable long-term and what we predicted actually was that they had to be borrowing genetic variation periodically and the it turns out that this is true they how do they borrow genetic variation well the populations at the edge of these clonal populations are sexual and so well oh yes and so how trust in the future that's what everyone's hoping for some people are hoping for that but okay so that's that's one way but then we've got another one I mean I'm sure your audience isn't thrilled to be talking about lizards necessarily but okay aphids aphids are asexual well how do they get away with being asexual that seems like it would everything we know about sex being so valuable because of its role in producing genetic variation what are the aphids doing oh the aphids are sexual once a season right so they're asexual within the season and at the end of the season

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they breed sexually and so the point is all of these exceptions are exceptions that prove the rule that the the universality of sex in complex animals is broken in certain cases but each case that it's broken has a way of recovering the value of sex thing go back to lizards referred yeah one more lizard example Komodo dragons which are the biggest monitor lizards there is evidence from I think it's just zoos that occasionally there's virgin birth right occasionally females can produce young without sex so occasionally individuals will go asexual which right wow it's something that big that's crazy that is it's very rare in vertebrates at all and where it does happen it tends to be lizards and it's still pretty rare as far as we know but really for the most part it would only be in zoos that we would know for the most part but the hypothesis is that this is an adaptation for then these two these are big swimming

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swords that are living on these islands they're relatively close together they can swim between these islands that having arrived at an island where there's none of none else that looks like you it probably makes sense to clone yourself at that point and actually think they're not clonal their parthenogenetic but doesn't matter they don't if if it requires two individuals to make that swim successfully in order to populate a new island the chances are much lower than if it just takes one and so you can get sex switched on and off even in Komodo dragons that's crazy well but it isn't think about how many times one of these animals must have crossed one of these water barriers and been alone and where it had an island that it was perfectly ecologically capable of exploiting it had no way of making Offspring right that's a terrible price to pay in darwinian terms if the solution is well let's suspend the requirement of sex for a generation producing Offspring and then we can reinstate it so really

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more than likely this happens a lot more than we think and because we assume that sex is the explanation for vertebrates when we see them when we encounter them in the wild we don't think is this individual the result of a clonal event or is this individual the result of sex we assume sex and it's only when somebody puts them in a zoo in isolation that we can be 100% certain there is no way this animal got fertilized by another animal and that's when we start asking the question but now that we've started to spot these things we're going to see them more and more frequently because so many animals over evolutionary history have been caught in a situation that was Paradise except for the fact that there wasn't a second one that is incredibly fascinating though they can just switch on and off like that well and if you think about it I mean monitor lizards are interesting because they are the the

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people say they are most they are the most mammal-like of lizards that people report people who work a monitor lizard so you can look into their eyes and it's a little bit like looking into a dog's eyes so even paying attention to much to lizards could be all those things up dead I do not well most lizards too but these animals give you a different impression but but here's the thing yeah but I don't know more than geckos more than whiptail's more right that's right maybe that's bigger well they yeah and they're well they're big and long living more information out of that big eyeball they press there's a little monitor lizards don't people say the same thing about the little ones but if you think about it what ought to trigger this switch

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profound loneliness right profound loneliness which would cause it so I don't know it's impossible to say whether any lizards including monitors have something like loneliness although in other cases you know we when we look at elephants we see clear evidence of grief and we know that elephants didn't get grief from a shared ancestor with us that had grief they separately evolved grief because their complex social structures required for the same reason that ours do so it's not impossible that loneliness might not feel exactly the same to monitor lizard but if it had a value to detect how lonely you were and then to trigger a physiological response that they're than kick-started the ability to be evolutionarily successful that we would see we would see that kind of thing so I would love to see somebody try to figure out whether there was a cognitive trigger that looked like loneliness in monitor lizards that actually cause the switch and if you could then maybe trigger it

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wow so like some something that you could actually map and an fmri or something on the brain like you could look at their little brain and see loneliness sure I mean in hits a certain frequency and then eggs starts forming something like I mean you know there would be some brass skate but yeah there'd be some perception that I haven't seen another one like me in a very long time and then it would cause some sort of a shift in Behavior maybe it would cause searching behavior and searching wouldn't not any evidence there's no evidence you know you don't necessarily have to see another individual to know that they're around but anyway there'd be some Cascade of things and then maybe some neurotransmitter would trigger the release of a hormone that would call it would clearly be limited to females in general although I don't got because the egg can it has all the cytoplasmic material and necessary to make another cell and sperm doesn't right so you know sperm sperm and egg are just different and eggs can't move and so they're stuck with

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are they have to be found and but they have all the cytoplasm and sperm really fast but doesn't have any of the material necessary to make a sale so sperm can't mature into a zygote unfertilized because it doesn't have mitochondria and Applause work reticulum and all the other stuff of a cell so just they're doing different things just like male and female are different strategies against permit different strategies but there are certain animals certain things that can switch Sexes yes absolutely which also which organisms can do that well there's lots of reef fish would be that the big cluster of them I've heard about ocean fish are their land creatures that do that there's one frog where there's a little bit of evidence but it seems it may be an artifact of of a zoo setting effectively which might mean that it can happen in the wild we just haven't seen it but it's well known in reef fish like there are a lot of species of reef fish that and it goes both ways so this it's called sequential hermaphrodite is mmm we're in some

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pieces there everyone's born female and then some transition into males and in some it's the other way around you transition from male to female there's some species where you can go both ways and it depends on the sex ratio around you and sort of what strategies there aren't enough of so male and female are strategies and if you are the most dominant female in a landscape and the mail just died it makes sense to turn into a male so that you can now fertilize all those females yeah but they're also so that's the sequential you know where one individual will transition between Sexes but there are also cases like turtles where there's no chromosomal sex determination and the sex is effectively chosen by the environmental conditions by temperature in the nest and so one individual lives its entire life within a sex but that sex was not dictated when the egg was laid it was dictated by the environment the egg matured in it's not the case with crocodiles as well crocodiles and in fact most most every vertebra that we know

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except for mammals and birds and mammals and birds the different evolution of genetic sex determination so most lizards snakes frogs crocodiles Turtles teleost fish have some kind of environmental sex determination and actually as long as we're going down this road I promise you there's someplace cool to go with you to school already okay good I never know I never know how interested people are in the animal science but so in human beings and mammals and not all mammals the monotremes are exceptional in this regard but some kid doesn't platypus yeah they're only three species left on Earth that's a remnant of an early early branch on the mammal tree but in most mammals like us we have chromosomal sex determination and males are XY and females are XX in Birds the situation is exactly reversed as it is in butterflies so what that tells you is that the extended by reverse what Brett means is

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just use different letters just so as not to be confused males are so-called homogamy Decor w/w whereas in mammals females are Homo comedic xx and in Birds males are Homo comedic w w and females rwz which means that female Birds can't clone themselves as the way that say a Komodo dragon could hmm but the reason I raise it is because we have a sense of male and female that I think it's just wrong that male and female are actually akin to a niche that these are roles that the Universe discovers periodically because they make sense right so

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it's a convergence on a set of behaviors that fit well together once you have a small mobile gamut you tend to acquire the traits that go along with maleness and this is true when an animal switches sex in the middle of its life the behavior switches along with the gametes this is true between birds and mammals so the which one has two different sex chromosomes does not predict the behavior but which one lays the egg does predict the behavior and it gets even weirder than that so Jamie do you have that image of the flower

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the imagery I'm in for help for those of you lives never seen a fully-funded look at this flower on the YouTube version or what kind of flower is it it's actually just a diagram of a flower I just standard flowers that woman who makes those flower paintings at all look like vaginas George okay yes that's your jokey so this is not her work she was a little obsessed this is like to talk to her no doubt it's gonna be tough at this hey lady do you paint other stuff so here's what I want to show you about this and I must say I love this point even though I'm less jazzed about plants and I am about animals if you look at the thing there is labeled stigma right the stigma is connected to the style which leads to the ovules so the ovules are the eggs essentially and the anthers are the place to produce as pollen so this flower is a hermaphrodite it has both male and female parts but here's the really interesting

► 00:41:22

interesting thing the female parts are kind of reluctant about sex with strangers the male parts are really enthusiastic about it right really yes so those pollen grains will try to fertilize anything they land on but that long style is basically a test that the female part of the plant exposes any pollen grain to the pollen grain has to grow a pollen tube down that long style in order to get to the eggs in other words that flower the female parts are coli and the male parts are a bit Randy

► 00:42:01

now this is one point this is one flower that does not agree with itself about how enthusiastic to be about sex with strangers You can predict this just on the numbers to right it's going to produce I don't know what orders of magnitude more pollen than it has ovules to be fertilized right so that's only got a few chances at picking the right pollen to be fertilized but the pollen can be broadcast and go anywhere and if it's successful and it's not that successful it's still OK it's still kind of a win so the payoff for putting up with talking about plants here is if you realize there's something in the universe that even when it's building a plant which is really not like an animal even when it's building a plant and we look at and we saw these are the boy parts and those are the girl parts they actually have some analogy to males and females amongst animals where we can spot the behavior easily and that that is mind blowing because you correct me if I'm wrong

► 00:43:01

here but the common ancestor between these plants these land plants that have pollen and ovules like this and animals that have eggs and sperm the common ancestor is a single-celled photosynthetic ocean creature single-celled creature it's not like so it's not a common it's not it's not a complex creature so what that means is that two totally different clades that are built around totally different rules at the point they get around to spitting out something that looks like two Sexes it recovers some of the things that we as human beings are familiar with from Shakespeare write the point about male and female is so General that it even covers plants and then okay that's true and then we have fun G

► 00:43:56

which break every single rule they don't look anything like this they do have stuff that we would regard as different Sexes but they can have like 50 I think they're even hundreds of mating types in some species of fun G so it's not that the Universe says this is the only way to organize a creature but it does say this is the way a creature will be organized if certain things are true like there's something I'd like and something sperm like so that's very powerful when we're reaching into biology and we're saying male and female are patterns of behavior that tend to be associated with certain types of gametes when you have to gamut types my called anisogamy you will have two Sexes and those Sexes will follow rules that we see over and over and over again repeated plants animals one of the things that we discussed in the green room before the show started was that what we are is some weird animal that can communicate in very very complex ways and one of the things that we do when we can communicate in such

► 00:44:56

Swayze is explain all these things that we've learned about science but another thing that we do is we distort reality to fit what we would desire it to be rather than what it is how much of that is what's going on today

► 00:45:12

a huge amount and

► 00:45:16

unpacking that learning not to impose your expectations on nature is key to understanding it and it really is a skill you have to learn and you know that way when Nature does tell you something about what males and females are like and you know that you're not talking about something that you've learned by being human you're talking about something you've learned by looking at other creatures then there's a lot of power in understanding what those patterns are especially when you get to humans because of all the creatures I think this is fair to say of all the creatures that I've spent any time thinking about humans are maybe sexually the weirdest are striated ducts oh yeah

► 00:46:03

conducts time for the most part well on average on average but human beings are partially sex-role reversed okay that's sex role reversal is not unheard of in an animal's it happens but our sex role reversal is so weird and it is not complete so there's stuff going on in human beings that is absolutely novel I mean in in fact here's a mind-blowing fact that really you could start here and just follow back to the implications of this there are how many species of mammals you think there are

► 00:46:45


► 00:46:49

half a million no no no no I graph 30 there are 30 and then a few months there are about 4,000 that we think really well I still think it's worth that okay well this is gonna mess me up because I don't know how to work back from 5,000 I don't know which clade has grown but yeah we've got about 5,000 species The Vicious the racers are pretty consistent still pretty good half of them are rodents a quarter of them are bats that when I studied Batson in graduate school that was my thing people never expected a quarter of all mammal species are bats that's pretty crazy anyway we got the nerve in Austin for four to five thousand species of these things human beings are the only one of those mammal species in which breasts remain enlarged when not lactating

► 00:47:41

I find that fact absolutely remarkable you hang you have four to five thousand species of lactating animals and in human beings breasts have been made persistent when not lactating and in sexual interactions they've obviously become a signal and we know more or less what they are a signal of they are signal of having the resources to produce a baby which doesn't it doesn't register with us as important as it it should it's much more important to our ancestors it was a vital characteristic because most of the time females were either pregnant they were feeding a baby and therefore not fertile they were starving and therefore not fertile and so a fertile female who is essentially advertising that she has the resources to produce a viable offspring

► 00:48:41

is a rare commodity I mean I hate to talk in those terms I'd I mean nothing normative buy it I'm just simply describing it in sort of as if I was an alien looking down on people in their evolutionary history but the fact that that signal finds itself utilized in the way that it does on the internet tells us where we are you know what I'm saying so one of the other things that is unique about humans at least with regard to our most recent ancestor the other primates is that we have concealed ovulation so you can't tell when a woman is fertile whereas you can tell when a baboon is fertile favorite monkey or a chimp you've got sexual swellings and other indicators of fertility how do those lizards find out

► 00:49:31

because if they determine like which female plays the stimulation role in the ovulation cycle it's probably going to be chemical so some kind of smell pheromone scent thing bummer on nasal some large and so you see reptiles putting out their tongue but they're doing is they're picking up large molecules that don't volatilize and then they are touching an organ that they have that's connected to their brains to detect a kind of chemical signal that weirdly enough I don't know how true the story is going to end up being probably true but I have a little trepidation about it there's a an organ that detects these large molecules the foamer no nasal organ and it's like having another sense of smell that we just don't we can Intuit what it would be like because we don't have it but we actually do have remnants of the organ is just not plugged in the story as humans have it but it's not it's not connected up yeah I will not have her eyes looked it up it is is something that we're not yeah confident of I won't be surprised if it turns

► 00:50:31

to be important in some way we didn't know the way tonsils or the appendix of turned out to have values that we should have guessed but so humans have these persistent constant sexual signals in the form of breast among other things and then also have obscured when we are and are not fertile and so more than any other primates humans have basically constant sexual availability constant sexual interest and yes their abs and flows and such but but female humans more than female chimps or baboons or any other primates are interested in sex more reliably across there obviously recycle than than any of these other primates yes let's unpack that a little bit so in human beings ovulation is concealed so that it is not clear when a female is fertile it is concealed from the female herself now that always gets pushed back if you say that in a room full of students because always I know I know but the truth is women do not know reliably you

► 00:51:31

and do things like monitor temperature and you can get a much better sense but it is novel tools right that no one had until 50 years ago at the most can any woman feel it in our body is that may be but some women claim to be able to and and there may be some self-knowledge possible there's some people also claimed to be able to pick lottery tickets I can pick him just not winning ones you know I'm not prepared to say that that never happens okay right but the interesting fact is that this when a woman is fertile does not have to be obscured to the woman at all Evolution appears to have taken that piece of information away a baboon would know when it was fertile and it would alter Its Behavior a female it's know what all the baboon boys right she was fertile do you think that's because over time people have discerned I mean over the course of evolution people have discerned that having a child also

► 00:52:25

is partially a burden and so maybe more intelligent creatures as humans got more and more intelligent this what seems like a little inconvenient to have a child whereas a baboon would not think that way and not contemplate the future so there was some sort of evolutionary Advantage for it to be concealed in humans and for outright displays of sexuality to be prominent throughout their entire life I suspect the answer is a whole lot more horrible than that really yeah respect yeah absolutely horrible which is that to the extent that a woman knows when she is fertile she actually may be vulnerable

► 00:53:10

in other words to the extent that several to coerce of sex yeah oh so vulnerable to rape so that if a woman was outright signaling that she was ovulating that she would be more likely to be raped by other humans oh I think there's no question about that so in a sense hiding this information from everybody appears to be an evolutionary solution to a problem I don't think we can name it exactly because so much is obscure about our recent ancestors you know we only have bones nothing else fossilizes and that doesn't know the behavior doesn't fossilize so there's a lot we can't say but it is interesting arriving at the present we have modern women and we can say it is interesting that Evolution has robbed women themselves of a piece of information that one would initially think would be so valuable that it would be prominent

► 00:54:07

for it to be obscure at all is fascinating so the other thing that Heather mentioned which I think belongs front and center in this conversation is having sex for pleasure rather than reproductive purposes so we're not the only ones to do that there are no buzz Dolphins others there are a few units rare it's very rare there are a few other species that appear to do this and they don't appear to do it the way humans Dogma is a dolphin example is it year-round do you know I don't remember so anyway the idea that sex in human beings has taken on these other important roles in pair bonding for example is very special and the fact that it continues after menopause I mean menopause itself is special menopause the idea that that's not your reproductive apparatus failing due to age that is your reproductive apparatus deciding to shut down because

► 00:55:07

you've moved into a new phase basically you've moved into the grandma phase and the grandma phases essential in humans where it is not essential in almost any other creature I think elephants occasionally and orcas I believe orcas also have that pattern but but anyway all of these things are so different about humans and they have so much to do with sex that having a mind-numbing conversation about sexual signals in modern times is it's actually just kind of painful to listen to it because you want all of these pieces of information on the table so that at the point we get to the discussion about what do we do about modernity that we are not you know playing with toys we're actually talking about the real stuff

► 00:55:53

mmm this modernity I mean the way human beings represent sexuality or the way sexuality is represented what's wrong with it like what are the what are the key things that stand out as an evolutionary biologist well let me try an experiment with you this okay this is a I'm concerned this isn't going to work but I hope it does even if it doesn't work it'll work okay I would like to try and experiment with you as a red-blooded male okay I would like you to conjure the image in your mind of a woman who is not beautiful but is hot

► 00:56:37

okay can you do it sure okay can you conjure the image of a woman who is beautiful but not hot yes no problem no problem me either this I think actually is a window into much that is wrong with what we think about human sexuality

► 00:56:58

I think most people if you ask them without doing that little experiment to confer or to Define what what it is for somebody to be hot you would get answers and people would tell you that hot was sort of like the height of beauty right which is very frightening if that's true because hotness wanes with age it deteriorates just can't help it the discovery that beauty actually is a different parameter tells a whole different story about what's going on with us people with men and with women and I think both men and women are confused by this so if it is true and I mean I know it is true I can look inside my own mind and I can say that at least for some men it is true that beauty and hotness are almost uncorrelated there are people who have both traits but I have no trouble seeing that image of a woman

► 00:57:58

who is hot but not the least bit beautiful and I know lots of women who were beautiful and not hot and I also if I take the category of women who are beautiful but not hot

► 00:58:12

there are a lot of older women in it right I know women in their 60s and 70s who have poised have aged gracefully they're gray as can be they may be wrinkled but if you talk to them one does have the sense I'm talking to a beautiful person right and I'm not I'm not being Maudlin here if it was just a simple fact that both Beauty and hotness waned with age I would say so but it is not the case so what's going on why do we have these two categories and why do we assume I mean if you look at advertising you will get the message that hotness is where it's at right hotness is the thing it's the only standard possible it's the only standard and so women are aspiring to it and then they're fighting it as it wanes and all of this and here's what I suspect is up

► 00:59:06

because males are males they have

► 00:59:11

I want to say they have to reproductive strategies really they have three reproductive strategies and one of them is so awful that it's really just unpleasant even entered into the discussion but you don't Marie yep ma'am so the first reproductive strategy that men have the one that would generally have succeeded I'm not by the way we can talk about monogamy versus polyamory and all of that at some point but I'm not saying anything that is inherent it's not inherently about monogamy

► 00:59:42

the way males have typically reproduced is they have invested in their offspring and the mothers of their offspring that's the go-to mechanism for reproducing as a human why because human babies are so needy that one person trying to raise them on their own is hobbled by just the sheer difficulty of trying to manage an infant and a toddler while trying to accomplish the other things of being a person so let me just add here that the idea that monogamy has been ubiquitous throughout human history is not completely accepted but that there is good evidence for it on a lot of fronts and one of the points against it is that we remain somewhat sexually dimorphic that men are on average a bit taller a bit more must IAM much more muscular but that we are so much less sexually dimorphic than even our ancestors before in more recent times than when we were shooting the most recent common ancestor with chimps

► 01:00:42

that we are moving towards a more monogamous situation so just I think I think you said something that was unclear at the beginning there has been a lot of politian e where one male has multiple females in human history probably the majority of human cultures have been politicized yes majority of people on Earth today belong to cultures that are at least nominally monogamous and we should talk about what that shift is and what it means to us and what is desirable and all of that but the basic point that human babies are so expensive and difficult to raise that you need a team to do it and you know in part this is a chicken and egg question is not a good term because it's quite clear which came first but the this is a situation where the when you have a team you can also afford to have a baby that's more needy and there are there's nothing good about a needy baby but there is something good about what you can get if you can tolerate and needy baby you can get a baby that's a lot more nuanced when it grows up

► 01:01:42

so males have traditionally invested in Offspring but a male who is investing in their offspring should they happen on an opportunity in which a female who is fertile and capable of producing an offspring does not require commitment from them in order to have sex that's an evolutionary bargain a male who can either convince a female or finds a female who's willing to produce a baby but not expect any support in return that such a power it's like winning the lottery evolutionarily so it would have almost never happened in history because women because babies are so expensive are wired to avoid this like the plague you don't want to get stuck raising a baby on your own if you could through committing to somebody get a partner in raising an offspring so how does birth control factor into that well we'll get there in a second but let's just get the to strategize on the table males in general have succeeded reproductively

► 01:02:42

by investing in their offspring and their offsprings mothers when they have the opportunity to produce Offspring with no commitment they have a hard time resisting that opportunity because it's such an evolutionary win but that doesn't mean it would have been very common in history because females would have avoided so Maya can't look away from hot is about that second strategy right so hot is this channel that men can they they are wired in such a way that they actually

► 01:03:14

we've been robbed of every useful term they are triggered by the sight of a woman who is broadcasting hotness all right and so anyway the thing that I think is most important about this is we now live in a culture where we have advertisers essentially creating a kind of insecurity because insecurities causes people to spend money they otherwise wouldn't that insecurity has women trying to capture male attention by broadcasting hotness which of course works because men have a hard time ignoring hotness but what I think women often don't understand is that getting a man's attention by broadcasting hotness has him in the frame of mind of the second reproductive strategy and it is actually counterproductive to getting his attention for the first reproductive strategy because men have

► 01:04:14

historically this is by the way this is where I'm gonna get in huge trouble with people because this is going to sound like an accusation really I'm just trying to describe what has been and then we can talk about what we should do about it but a woman who values herself highly in reproductive terms will not leap on a sexual opportunity just because it's available because what's at stake is so great historically for women this is not true anymore because of birth control but historically it would be true that a sexual interaction is basically baby roulette and baby roulette is a dangerous game to play so and so we get at some of what's true underneath the stereotype of the Madonna whore

► 01:05:02

dichotomy and that neither of those words is quite right because no one wants a Madonna no one wants a virgin is a life partner all right you want to have a vibrant sexual relationship with your life partner but the are you triggering the hotness can I get a baby out of you and never see it strategy and Men or are you triggering the oh my God you're gorgeous and I feel like we could do this together I hate to interrupt you but you got to pull this thing close to you so I just just move that sucker around so it's so it's comfortable where you're sitting how about that it's very different it sounds okay in our ears but it's very different than the audio sorry perfect now good so um so so anyway the Madonna whore complex which is this famous thing isn't the Paradox that we are led to believe men are interested in you know as Heather points out Madonna and whore the wrong terms they're very charged but right men

► 01:06:01

are interested in both of these reproductive strategies but they are not interested they are not paradoxically searching for them in the same individual well isn't there an issue also that today human beings males in particular are not looking at women purely in terms of someone to reproduce with they're looking in terms of what is sexually pleasurable what did they find attractive and when they see a person it is almost it's very rare that they look at a woman and say this is a woman who I would like to breed with they say I would like to practice breeding with her but here's where our language gets in the way right like we're telling ourselves stories based on I mean got birth control changed everything yeah actually everybody so knew exactly right it's so new I mean there's there are not very reliable forms of birth control and lots of cultures around the world but actually fully reliable birth control is decades old

► 01:07:00

so we shouldn't expect the stories we tell ourselves about what we're looking for to be a match for what we're actually looking for yet because we just we haven't had time to update our software even right so the software is still wired the same way to look at a woman who you believe would be a good carrier of babies someone who would be very maternal someone who's attractive they have good features this would be someone who'd want to breed with whereas the second option would be someone who you could sneak it in on well I would say with regard to the first strategy it's more than that more it so that the first strategy as you just described it sounds very traditional female role right and mostly especially when populations were moving across Frontiers and actually like expanding the scope of where humans were what you needed in a partner both male and female was someone with whom you could share all of life's challenges right it

► 01:08:00

not just about taking care of baby because your dad was a also doing parental care but mothers and fathers were in it together and it was their division of labor of course and was their specialization of course that the specialization always look the same no it didn't in fact cross-culturally this is It's fascinating like some tasks and up highly gendered across cultures but which gender does it is different like weaving turns out to be a pretty highly gendered tasks and different cultures but sometimes it's only women who do it and sometimes it's only men and that you know there are some things that really only men do in most cultures on this is this is great review an anthropology paper from the early 70s so this is mostly pre-industrial cultures they're looking at but the jobs that across cultures where it happens only men do include the hunting of large marine mammals and iron smelting those two things there's do then there's a few hours but those are the top of the heart and marine mammals never be them at the same time it's whale hunting

► 01:09:00

and smelting of oars wow you definitely don't do no it doesn't burn a hole through your boat yeah you keep quenching The Thing by accident yeah so I think you know the answer to the question you asked is that the whole system has been hijacked by the novelty of our current circumstances and what I was trying to get at before is that the

► 01:09:27

size of the wind of an ancestral male who reproduced with a female that didn't require investment from them the size of that win is so great that it causes men to default to thinking about that when it appears to be available and so in a world where there's birth control and therefore the stakes for women for having sex have been greatly reduced and therefore more women are interested in having sex without commitment the problem is men don't really know what they're looking for because there is this this level of triggering that they cannot overcome and so the other point I want to make on this front is yes men are interested in sexual pleasure as our women men and women are

► 01:10:16

overlapping but distinct in what that means but I think if we were to say hey sexual pleasure is awesome and you should live your life so as to maybe not maximize it but come close to maximizing it that sexual pleasure is so desirable that you should live your life in a way that you get as much of that thing as you can that would not necessarily say that the way to do it was to go around banging strangers right because they're this is a multi-faceted phenomenon and there is one thing that gets left out of this discussion almost every time I hear people talk about it which is that the sex that one has when the stakes are really high right when you're really into somebody that's

► 01:11:07

that's a very pleasurable kind of sex that is not reproduced by low-stakes situation and so we are comparing things and it sounds like well sexual pleasure is what you're after then more sex is certainly the way to get there but you know it doesn't look like the argument tends to be more sex with more people more varied sex partners is the obvious way to optimize sexual pleasure and actually that assumption hasn't been investigated and wasn't a difficult to accomplish what is that why it's not it's has really been investigated I mean how many people are having sex with multiple partners and taking notes and being studied well I don't know I mean college students you know right but they really anything for 50 bucks so there are lots of these studies that you know do involve asking a lot of college students which is not you know it's not a very broad sample but but again this is a fairly new phenomenon of the last you know five six decades where you could do it and not worry about reproducing well so the question really is if

► 01:12:07

we step back from our own lives and we say what would the rules be if I wanted to maximize this set of things if I wanted to get these values out of my life how would I alter my behavior I don't think you would come up with hey sex with strangers is the answer to all of this in fact I think sex with strangers is it's pretty low grade in terms of what it delivers so so there are some cultures that encourage a lot of early fooling around between between individuals and it's considered low stakes and it stops at some point and that's that's one thing that what's going on in modern American culture is there's no end point it's just considered a good that more sex with More Strangers is inherently going to result in more pleasure and therefore if we're actually interested in sexual pleasure that's what we should be doing

► 01:13:07

and if you look at cultures that have taken sexual pleasure seriously if you look at like tantric sex right it isn't about sex with strangers it's about cultivating a sexual relationship that increases sexual pleasure to an extreme height that you won't reach if you aren't careful in architecting it so in other words it's about delayed gratification I mean really that's the missing idea here is that delayed gratification is actually a strong contributor to sexual pleasure isn't this sex with strangers thing attractive because it's difficult to accomplish is that part of it well is that it's first of all men but not very difficult to accomplish women right and not that attractive to women not nearly as attractive to women as it is to men for women to being told that should be attractive to us right in the city very much so yeah and it's good because it's imagined that symmetry is a quality okay right and that's and that's

► 01:14:08

I mean I think that's maybe one of the main things were pushing back against here is that we are not making the claim that one sex is better than the other but the idea that we are identical is absurd on its face well in our culture today one of the things that is a big stand out as being very novel is social media this is a completely new thing and this social media also being used to attract sex partners is a very new thing I mean I had a whole bit in my last act my the last Netflix special about some girl who lives in Florida who has not she probably has nine billion people on her Instagram now Chad 9 million followers and all she does is take pictures of her ass and I was saying science needs to study her because this is a new type of human being we don't know anything about her what she it has nothing to do it what she says it has nothing to do with what she's accomplished in life it literally is about people focusing on her ass

► 01:15:07

so this is why is why is she doing this is there's an attention but she's getting attention I'm sure there's an economic benefit to it too but that came later the attention came first she didn't embark on this journey like going I know what I'll do I'm going to figure out how to make money off my ass she decided pretty girl comes of age and discovers that that's an asset we wanted to be I'm not but now I'm being looked at how am I going to play it right but some number of people play it well and but but again it so

► 01:15:39

there is what I would call a two-way failure of empathy so if you'll give me a little a little leash here we empathize with another individual by using our own minds and whatever it is that we have is the content of our minds and then we run the data of somebody else's situation through our minds and we say how would I feel in that situation and in general this works really well if you share circuitry with somebody and it works not so well where your circuitry is different so there are lots of places where males and females who grew up Heather and I both grew up in La there's a certain amount of stuff that we can Intuit about what the other would think about something just based on the fact that we grew up in the same period in the same place but males and females there there's a place where we top out and we can't understand what the other is is experiencing because it is very unlike what we would experience

► 01:16:38

so for example if if you were walking down the street let's say before you were a well-known guy okay you're an anonymous guy walking down the street and imagine that there's a group of women talking somewhere and you walk by and they're like look at that that's one fine hunk of man

► 01:17:01

how do you feel

► 01:17:04

yeah whoo you feel pretty good I don't feel threatened does the certainly don't feel the difference between a man experiencing that with women is I'm not going to get gang-raped yeah but do you feel good yeah yeah sure of course you would write course you feel supplemented right but the it's very different with the opposite sex because there's no threat it's very different for the with the opposite sex not only because it lets neutralize the threat part of it which is I mean it's huge it's for sure but there's other stuff going on but here's the part that I think men don't into it until somebody points it out to him because men have two different reproductive strategies and one of them is about long-term investment and the other one is about have sex with them impregnate them and never see them again when a man whistles at a woman right and he compliments essentially how hot she looks he is essentially offering to stick her with a child that will then be her responsibility for

► 01:18:02

the better part of two decades that's not a very nice compliment right well that's a weird way of looking at it I said I believe I agree with you but I see exactly where you're going with that but man I never thought about it that way before and I don't think most people have either well this is my point though it's right in front of us hmm another thing to that so you've just identified you know a single guy kept calling may be right but a woman walking past a construction site and getting five six seven guys whistling who are those calls for

► 01:18:34

not necessarily for her it's communication between the man yeah it's they're signaling the not gay there's seven to each other hey did you see that I saw that I'm into that and I mean that's it's a yes it's a total objectification and it renders the woman involved who was receiving this thing as almost a nonentity but it feels totally personal and yet it's not necessarily about the woman and so you know all the discussion of oh my God these cat calls are awful and it's a pain in the ass to walk down the street and have to deal with it for a young woman it's true but it's also ignoring the fact of it being communication between men and you know should they stop probably but but it's not just about male-female communication it's male-male competition as well very well type of communication though only occurs if you've been raised poorly you don't have any sisters or you don't have any daughters and if you if you have all those things you're some kind of a monster like if you have a mother that you love and

► 01:19:34

sister that you love and if you have daughters and you still can't call it some woman walking down the street there's something really wrong with you oh but so when I was day oh I think it's very very wrong but it doesn't work it is also so common I mean it must can't were must work a case it works to let the other guys know you're not gay right so that's it that's part of why I don't even do that now exactly let's mean this is interesting because I think this is something actually Heather probably won't into it either but I'm wondering if you'll spot it when I when I mention it which is there is a part of being a male that because I mean the thing is most males in history are losers who didn't reproduce right reproduction was not that easy to accomplish in human history was way easier to starve or die on a battlefield or a lot of other things so the

► 01:20:34

there is a way in which there's a part of the male psyche that plays very remote possibilities right and you know it's weird if you're talking about being in a city and construction workers sitting on a girder whistling at somebody walking by if we calculate the chances that any one of them end up actually in a conversation with her the chances are pretty low but if you imagine that those guys are actually acting from a mind that evolved in much smaller circumstances small town where everybody knew everybody and so whatever it is in their mind that causes them to have these interactions would have been much more likely there would be later interactions with the same person and so I think that a male that is not thinking carefully about what they are doing ends up you know flirting with and basically building a rapport that is about some future potential

► 01:21:33

almost certain never to be realized but it makes sense to cultivate because you know if you cultivate a thousand tiny little potentials and almost all of them go bust but occasionally one works out that's a win so the point is the cost is small and you know you never know the woman who gets cat called might I can't even imagine a circumstance but I did that whole you never know it's like just dig a hole in the middle of the street you might find gold I mean it seems like a Hail Mary but yeah sometimes he'll Mary's work yeah happen some time in history but if you had to look at the numbers it's probably pretty staggering yeah but okay so I mean as long as we're in this territory yes it must have happened in history but so many things that were very remote contingencies in history have apparently produced Offspring like you know the

► 01:22:33

parent tendency of people being hung to orgasm right what is that that is likely to be the body taking one last shot there's no point there's no the way I went on me you think Ian so we talking about well actually I wasn't talking about that but it's a better example it shows you that there's some Park hyung what do you mean then I mean be talking about actual execution think grammatically I mean being hanged right being hanged yeah absolutely so confused so that'll be able to orgasm when they die I'm working from anecdote here I have read that I but I don't know of any people checking the underwear people just got hung but my point would be what has to be true in order for such a pattern to evolve so let's take auto-erotic asphyxiation the line strategy I mean is what you're arguing basically this is dandelions who go to seed as after you pick them and spread their seeds right

► 01:23:33

is that going to work last-ditch efforts last Stitch counterproductive Hail Marys and so the point is I think this is probably not obvious unless you're used to thinking evolutionarily but in order for a pattern to occur where some entity releases sexual propagules on death in order for that to evolve it has to have worked enough times for that pattern to have accumulated and so if auto-erotic asphyxiation is the result of people tapping into that thing and you know traversing a landscape near death in order to increase sexual pleasure what that suggests is that that landscape near death has actually had a certain amount of reproduction happen in it that has resulted in this circuitry being present can you imagine a scenario and can you imagine a scenario where that trait would be passed down to The Offspring I can imagine that I mean let's just do it the other way

► 01:24:32

people have had a lot of sex over evolutionary history a lot of bad things have happened to people over evolutionary history every so often those two things intersect right in other words every so often the catastrophe the enemy spills over the wall whatever it is and so I don't know I don't know what the pattern would be it may simply be that Jeopardy is the key factor and actually Jeopardy would be expected to happen an awful lot so for example to the extent that that in fact we see a lot of the stuff in primates where there's a question about how public the sexual interaction between two individuals amongst chimps is for example so when two chimps are having sex if the MailChimp is not the dominant male he has everything to lose in being discovered

► 01:25:33

right they hide and so then the question is is the female advertising that they are having sex by making noises that make it visible and which case that creates Jeopardy so there's a whole landscape of stuff that has happened in evolutionary history both with humans with pre humans with Apes other non-human I've heard that argued as well about women with very loud moaning of pleasure that they're really trying to attract other males I think that that was in sex at dawn well I was Ryan's I would be super cautious about sex at dawn as a book that particular finding I think is probably right

► 01:26:15

why would you be cautious about sex at dawn as a book because the the book is I believe quite cherry-picked in order to produce a particular what I regard as they fall sophistication about human sexual behavior it makes us out to be wantonly promiscuous across time in a way that doesn't seem to actually fit with a more careful reading of what we are how dare you Chris Ryan how dare you well I don't know I don't know I don't know who's right let's put it this way that book is a pretty good strategy for getting people to go to bed with you and feel sophisticated about who will leave that there

► 01:27:00

so The Chimps hiding in the bushes the beta chimps as it were the male's would have to hide their sexuality from the alphas because the bigger stronger males would probably take the mate from them and then their likelihood of reproducing whoops would be greatly diminished oh yeah they would be punished for their going to get cuffed to you're gonna get cuffed or more cuffed that's an interesting what is cuffed yeah that's a funny way of describing it cuffed

► 01:27:34

Larry are yeah we're stuck there yes Tom cuffed sorry sorry my apologies I mean I should know what that means I've heard it before but it's now what out of all this can we unpack about the way we're interpreting what's acceptable and not acceptable about male and female interaction in 2018 yeah well I mean where does it seems to be getting redefined right yeah and it's a hot mess yeah what's wrong with that as a like has a biologist is a person who understands humans yeah let's go to me too all right let me to movement looks

► 01:28:20

looks like an honorable

► 01:28:23

thing at first because most men are not nasty human beings and don't behave towards women in a way that most women have been behaved towards by men almost every woman who all fits their the norms for their culture has been harassed in some way when they were young woman that is just that is true most men don't do that that's also true so imagining that most men are behaving in some kind of a toxic way and I just don't like that word but imagining that because most women have experienced harrasment most men are there for harassing is in error of logic of statistics of humanity so we go from this place of where were there some monsters out there wow was it a good moment to reveal some of the monstrosity that was happening and are there some bright lines like I'm prepared to draw a couple of bright lines

► 01:29:23

one deserves not to be touched if they don't want to be touched and everyone deserves to exist in a situation where there are no quid pro quos for instance of their employment if you want to stay employed or if you want to be advanced in your employment then you need going to need to do the sexual thing with me quid pro quos don't don't be touched when you want to be touched those things seem honorable and true and for God's sake can't we all agree to those but then it went too far and women are arguing some some women are arguing that it doesn't matter if innocent man go down and because many women have experienced this it must be all men I mean we were actually hearing from people that any boy that you are raising is potentially a rapist no

► 01:30:13

sorry most men I know Couldn't Write actually it's just it's not what men are so me to went off the rails and it had an opportunity to actually really wake a lot of good men up to how ubiquitous the experience of walking around on the streets and being catcalled of being harassed and sometimes being groped and sometimes worse than that is for a woman and it took it to this this absurd point where now most I think increasingly reasonable people are looking at it going well then if you're claiming that what else that you're saying isn't true

► 01:30:51

and that puts the that puts the early stages of the movement at risk

► 01:30:56

now when you see the monsters and they are real right the mail monster yeah the mail monsters are real and you you see that now when they're getting exposed like Harvey Weinstein is a perfect one he's the classic example right when a guy or Bill Cosby when these monsters get exposed first of all it's a good thing but second of all don't you think that the reason why they got away with it in the first place is because they were able to victimize these people and secret and that they either had enablers or in Cosby's case everyone was unconscious I mean there's there's some great good to exposing these things but in doing so the overzealous approach of accusing all men of being potential rapist isn't it just just an over reaction and won't balance itself out do you or do you think that it's more complicated than that it's going to be

► 01:31:56

in a backfire yes it looks like a power grab but won't the backfiring balance itself out of me and people reasonable people like you or myself or we're always going to recognize the difference that there are monsters yes right and we're not going to deny monsters because someone goes too far in the accused Garrison Keillor being a monster when we know that that's not true it doesn't make sense the story doesn't make sense so because most people who I've talked to about the Garrison Keillor story which he was consoling a woman and he touched her back and then she pulled back and he apologized and I didn't mean to do that and then he sent her an email apologize she said no big deal don't worry about it they were good for a while and then years later when all this me two things she just decides I remember something that was wrong and let's let's take this guy down like which didn't make any sense that first of all well let's leave it alone didn't make any sense but where is Garrison Keillor now right we're like yeah he hasn't been resurrected he has been resurrected they took his shows off the air it doesn't

► 01:32:56

so decide you know whether or not you like him as an artist or right Creator just like they actually destroyed not just him and his legacy for a hug for something that at the time both parties agreed was no big deal yeah I just thought I understand it I don't it's completely unacceptable and it's the death of Justice what was that just getting caught up in the hysteria of just like trying to find tar there's one put that fire out immediately so we have a couple of problems and one of the problems is that the folks who are advancing this movement and the other parallel I wish they hadn't taken the term social justice because we need a replacement term for that that is not overzealous but those movements have engaged in a kind of naive conclusion making that makes them

► 01:33:57

inevitably hijack they get inevitably hijacked by Bad actors so if you you are essentially looking at a situation if you say we must believe all victims that's like putting out a neon sign for Bad actors that wish to utilize this structure right so and there will be bad actors yes every population male is a population females a population there are monstrous males who have been behaving Predator Ali there will be women who will take advantage of this and accuse people without reason I mean we I don't know whether the numbers are robust or not that I have heard numbers that somewhere between 1% to 4% of the population are sociopathic if you set up a system in which we are obligated to believe every victim then those people will come out of the woodwork

► 01:34:56

they will use this to level their enemies and so at the very least what that tells you is rule number one you cannot make the rule you must believe all victims or you will have lots of people piling into the category of victim that don't deserve to be there and who is hurt most by that not only the people who are going to be Sabotage by Bad actors but the people who have suffered the worst cases of you know rape they are effectively having the terrible things that have happened to them diluted by stories that are either fictional or minor that are being lumped in so it's further victimization of them it is it's a transfer of well-being from the people who have been most harmed to people who have been less harmed or are cynically using these structure so if the idea of me to of the Reckoning that has finally come for these really terrible

► 01:35:56

double guys who were getting away with all of this awful stuff if that is close to your heart then what you should want is a set of rules that is careful enough and robust enough that we can keep holding those kinds of people to account what will happen if we don't do that and I promise you this from a game theoretic perspective if we decide you must believe all victims and all transgressions are equally bad we're going to turn the thing to 11 for everything from how to happen I would you but how did that happen if you're if you're cynical it's the type of nuance in part yeah it is it is a the death of nuance because if you're wielding this thing as a weapon right if you what you want to do is turn the tables on all men if you want to take power and say you listen well this is a frightening weapon so in order to make that weapon maximally dangerous you you equate your with catcall yeah you say it's all one there's nothing a woman could ever do

► 01:36:56

that would increase her likelihood of facing any of this and you know we should cover that in a second because that's one of the that's another one of these booby traps where you can very easily say the wrong thing and suddenly you're on the defensive even though what you said is very rational but also it denies the reality of what male-female relationships look like when they're at all healthy there's going to be risk there is risk as you get to know people and I don't know we're just meeting say instead of having met in high school so many years ago

► 01:37:33

I don't know if I like you yet you don't know if you like me yet we're going to take some chances and maybe you're going to say something wrong and I'm not going to be thrilled with it

► 01:37:42

are you at fault do I do I blame you do I cry harrasment because you said something that didn't quite fall right on my ears or did it sound right and I kind of liked you anyway and so I go like it's it's fine you know we're good well it really depends on you know how it how I receive that depends a lot on how I feel about you otherwise you could say exactly the same words and you know you could say it on someone else could say it and from that guy might feel like I kind of wish you hadn't said that but that has to mean that that isn't big deep problem that he said it because we're engaged something we're trying to discover do we like each other are we into each other like what's going on here so the process of discovery is going to involve mistake and risk and and even some sort of its game playing you know you're involved in the social game in which you're trying to figure out who each other are and after the fact saying that guy is kind of gross so the thing that he said was

► 01:38:41

harrasment sorry no not not acceptable it's changing the rules of the game based on whether or not you like the particular individual and that's not a legit move so we got to be super careful here yeah one thing that is true is we are facing a landscape in which

► 01:39:03

we are I think effectively rewriting the rules of male-female interaction in order to make sex with strangers perfectly safe now sex with strangers can't be perfectly safe in a world in which you're dealing with let's say it's 1 percent sociopaths you can't make a world in which it's safe to take a sociopath home and have sex with them right that that's not going to happen but in order to try to make it safe we're going to turn up all of these protections so for example

► 01:39:39

we've got the issue of affirmative consent now affirmative consent is a great failsafe in a circumstance where you are dealing with a stranger it seems like it would be absolutely essential because the danger of a miscommunication is so great that you have to be perfectly explicit and there can be there's no room for any coyness or subtlety about it in other words it has to effectively be transactional but I know courtship that's going to make it into the history books or literature is going to involve affirmative consent at every stage you into it yes how about now yeah just remember that video that they released there was a video that boy I don't remember who did it but is essentially showing how consent could be sexy and so it shows this

► 01:40:38

any old couple making out and like every few seconds the guy has to ask the girl if it's okay if he kisses her if it's is it okay if I touch you here is it okay if I take your shirt off and she says not yet and then they keep going and going and going and then the girls asking the guy which is hilarious is it okay if I do this like what because this is Imagine symmetry exactly exactly it's not symmetric just a prosperous right well that was also an issue with the sort of abandon this but a few years ago there was this thing where if you had sex with someone and alcohol was involved you rape them because they could not consent but unlike well that means I've been raped a lot of times that's ridiculous like it did but it never worked that way it does if you want symmetry you would have to say that if the man has consumed alcohol in the woman hasn't then the woman is raping the man well I don't want to freak you out but Heather and I have been assuming each other's consent for 30

► 01:41:38

years I mean we have inferred it from cues that were not verbal you guys didn't discuss what about Reading Writing things down you have a chalkboard or no I mean and the thing is the only thing that keeps the waivers safe from being arrested for this right we've both done it right oh it's like equally culpable right you're both criminals right that's right yeah but that's this these changing these shifting of the rules it seems like it's almost like you were talking about Game Theory it does it really does seem like a type of game it is life but it is a thing where people are looking to call people out you're looking to score you looking to like score you're finding someone who's done something inappropriate or finding someone is doing something that used to be appropriate but is no longer and we're looking to establish this new parameter and this new way of existing and that there's this the takes on this competition element which I'm very familiar with I understand competition so I see when I see it clearly

► 01:42:38

see like teen behavior I'm like why see what's going on here this is not rational thinking this is someone who's trying to score points you're trying to get one on the board yes it's absolutely competitive and its most competitive at the moment it looks like sort of within women and it's going to destroy its actively making male-female relationships impossible to navigate but I understand it it for as a man I get the motivation I think that women overwhelmingly I've been victimized as opposed to like men being victimized by women in that regard in terms of being sexually harassed son even close I mean is it is one of the most unbalanced things in our culture ever completely right but it's called it in our culture right this is what we're talking right what do we want out of this now that we've now that it's but right do you want a hundred percent safety right do you want to maximize safety at the cost of we have to kill sociopath so in do that yeah the point is if you want if you want absolute safety I mean we're getting to the point where this is just robbing okay if the point of

► 01:43:38

this is to make sex safe because it's pleasurable this is going to Rob all of the pleasure from sex I mean it's getting to the point where you'd be crazy to have sex without Witnesses you know what I'm saying yeah but but anyway the point is now that the stuff is on the table right now that we know that there are monsters we know that there are economic forces that actually protect these monsters which frankly is a big part of this story hmm right is that the economic structure of something like Hollywood causes this to continue with it being effectively an Open Secret that these people are abusing women and then silencing them and contractually obligated them not to do anything about it that that that cancer on the social system is now open for discussion and we all of us decent folk know that we have to get rid of it if you get rid of it though on false

► 01:44:38

pretenses I promise you the very same game theory that caused it to happen in the first place will cause it to re-emerge the only the reason it will be this harder to address the next time don't you think that this the over reaction though has pretty much calm down post Garrison Keillor and Al Franken it's like and with Al Franken obviously there's some pretty obvious political ramifications to it I don't think I don't know what state it's in I haven't seen the nuanced conversation break out I haven't seen the description of what the so let me back up we have seen is a doubling down on there are no differences between men and women it's all a social construct who's doubling down but where is this happening and the universities like where universities and it's spreading I mean this is this is what the replies to the Google memo were about I mean this is this is it isn't Google in a sense of extension of the universities and that regard it is and it's everywhere

► 01:45:38

but it's also a de facto governance structure right so it's very frightening and you know what happens I was thinking this morning about how a jury of your peers that phrase is now increasingly Erie which peers are they peers that it's believed some false some false story about what human beings are or are these people who are going to be able to hear a story that has some nuance and some gray area in it and and take it in and the fact is people if you look at what advertisers are using to access people if you look at the narratives that exist in movies people are capable of understanding the subtlety of human interactions but they are either pretending or convincing themselves in the public space that things are way simpler than they actually are and what I don't want to see and what I mean again

► 01:46:38

I have a dog in this fight I'm happily married I'm not looking for anything else let's guys know but I do want to see this solved in time for our children to face a landscape that makes sense and I would like are many students who have talked to us about the confusion of trying to navigate romance in the current circumstance I would like them to what's going on Jamie came out yesterday said you guys are talking about it I don't know if how it affects what you're talking about currently but how an ALT right bought Network took down Al Franken this is a Newsweek they found it started actually in Japan and they trace the whole thing of like the day before Roger Stone tweeted something about Al Franken even starting to be taken down and they trace the whole interaction of bots on Twitter doing doing this all for a couple weeks oh it was actual women that said he grabbed their butt

► 01:47:32

maybe I decide this thing maybe for that's how it's hot and he didn't respond you because this was just within the last 24 hours I don't know I don't know what we should do with the Franken story because the Franken story it's not empty the way the Garrison Keillor story appears to be totally empty on the other hand and I mean I think this is probably why Jamie put it up we have to think carefully when you're talking about a senator being brought down on the basis of these

► 01:48:06

claims that are tied up in a movement which does not appear nuanced about the degree of harm done and things like that there's something at stake just you know when there is an assassination you have to ask yourself who benefits from the absence of this person right that the political assassination is not a normal murder it is a political act it shifts the balance of something this is not an assassination but it functions like one it takes a political actor who stood for certain things and against other things and represented certain constituencies and fought others it takes them off the map and so when that happens it's really it's actually an extension of what we were talking about the bad actor problem before a bad actor can be a sociopath that wants to advance their own cause or take out an enemy or something like that it can also be a political apparatus or a corporate entity that wishes to shift the balance

► 01:49:06

allanson a political body like the US Senate so we have to be mindful of it is yet another reason that we can't build naively but right yeah it is a very good point because we don't know the motivation of the people who came out we don't know if it's accurate he says it's not accurate we don't know we have no idea and what's the price point for a botnet that can cause the internet to turn on you yeah and maybe it doesn't matter but the entry point to that story was he took a picture a comedic picture protecting the final someone's breasts right pretending yeah yeah was it in Good Taste now was it colonel no no but there was a little more to that she actually said that he kissed her like they were doing some sort of a sketch together and he insisted on because we're picture yeah and he wanted to he wanted to practice the kiss yeah he found an appropriate yeah that's why I you know I don't I don't love the Franken story as an example here because it's it's murky yes I agree

► 01:50:06

very very careful to make sure not to accept your damned if you do and damned if you don't yeah really are like Garrison Keillor is the only one that seems completely clean but I can basically guarantee you statistically that there are good men who are being taken down well so the last time I was on we talked about Matt Taibbi and yes yeah I don't know one way or the other I don't know Matt Taibbi but that story also looked to me like one in which the portrayal was manufactured and he has now just won a settlement from the nation on the basis of this so anyway that one appears to have gone in what I imagine is the right direction so that's positive but I want to return to an earlier point we are talking about what the rules of interaction should be it is good that we are talking about and it is good that we are

► 01:51:06

finally addressing the issue of monsters why this didn't get set Loose by Bill Cosby I don't know because that one appeared crystal clear to that one built that when it started off well you know I can say as a person who worked as an actor for a while I heard about that story in the 90s but it was one of those weird ones where you didn't know if it was like the Richard Gere gerbil story yeah because that real you know you know what I mean it's like I had heard that Bill Cosby does this to women like okay I don't know it's so beyond the pale that it feels like and you don't and then but then you know when it's 50 women that come out and say he drugged them right okay because something's going on comes clear and it in the problem is it becomes in a case like that what would have to be true for the stories to be false is pretty extreme yep that's right so it's also him there's evidence of him mocking drugging people I mean he did an episode of The Cosby Show

► 01:52:06

where he drugged people right he did he would talk about it on talk shows about drugging girls I mean he most likely was guilty oh I think there's my question and you don't need to you don't need the due process would be crazy if it was the most complicated conspiracy of all time of all these gals got together and said I know we should do it makes money and make some noise right let's all make up the same story started decades ago right that there was a dude there would be some sort of evidence of that so so in this case and in Harvey Weinstein's case and I think in Matt Lauer's case the evidence is so overwhelming that it overrides our need as members of the public to see to withhold judgment until due process hasn't folded but the point is there's a place at which that stops right at which things are murky enough that you have to wait for due process and the idea that this movement is actually not really interested in due process and in fact it challenges due process and says

► 01:53:06

you have to believe victims right asking for evidence has augmenting the problem is victim blaming or whatever this is a terrible error and so if we are to get to a state that makes sense it has to be one in which monsters are held to account in which there's nuance and degrees of guilt and that we don't throw everybody out peace some people can't I can't imagine the Bill Cosby can be rehabilitated but could Al Franken be rehabilitated if that's the story maybe he could be yeah there's a thing where we get to a certain age where we no longer think people can grow

► 01:53:46

right and like if he was 20 eval Frank and took that picture when he was 20 we'd be like that silly kid what is he doing that's not something that's appropriate what if that was your mom's or and then you learn you grow but for those of us who value Liberty

► 01:54:05

a situation in which we reorganize the entire landscape to make sex with strangers as safe as it can possibly be that is not a landscape that is good for everybody we need to make a landscape in which people who want to do that are free to do it but not everybody is compelled to play that game in other words people who want to engage in some kind of courtship that is more nuanced and frankly fun and deeper and more subtle are free to engage in that and that won't be perfectly safe either but what we should want is a landscape in which we generate safety for people at the level that doesn't cost us spectacularly in terms of how civilization functions and then we need to actually say also

► 01:54:59

and this is and this is another tough point where I'm worried that people will hear it in that monolithic way but

► 01:55:07

the following thing is true I believe a woman if civilization functioned well a woman should be able to put on the minimum close that the law will allow to cover herself in oil to walk through town in the middle of the night saying things that indicate that she's hot to trot if she can find the right guy and she should be safe to do it but I woman would have to be insane to do that it's not a good thing to do so we should want a civilization issued a legal protection for her to do it right no sane person should choose to do it because because people because it's no sane person would choose to flip BMX bikes on the X Games and no sane person would choose to jump out of planes but we should allow them the right to do so I'm going for that thrill I'm going to push back on that a little bit and say risk-taking when you're putting yourself

► 01:56:06

at risk and you aren't involving someone else who is going to see your signals and maybe act on them and then is going to have acted on signals that you shouldn't have been sending in the first place it's different so BMX bike jumping out of a plane risk-taking is more common in men than women on average across cultures not to say that a lot of women don't take risks and have fun doing it physical risks but absolutely is risk-taking adaptive and enjoyable and interesting and if your risk-taking results in you dying and no one else getting hurt go for it how was the man getting her if the woman is taking these risks walking down the street oiled up with a bikini on yelling out that she's Randy if there's a chance that later he is held accountable for the kid that results or she changed her mind or whatever it is that the claim is especially in this current climate of believe all women that is potentially a problem I see what you're saying I

► 01:57:06

see where it would be more complicated than just jumping out of a plane and parachuting but it's still voluntary risk-taking you know you are involving other person who's also voluntarily getting involved in that well unfortunately there's no

► 01:57:23

there is going to be no

► 01:57:27

set rule that we can establish that neutralizes these things you know you go to Disneyland we've been to Disneyland in two decades but you should go okay it's nice right now is fun place but if you go to Disneyland everything has been rendered perfectly safe right people have been through it with a fine-tooth comb so that nothing bad can happen to you and you can have all of this excitement on the rides but nothing bad is going to happen to you we cannot turn civilization into that kind of landscape the price of turning it into a landscape in which you can be a moron and walk through life and nothing bad is going to happen to you that price is way too high this is it actually so I mean this this thing this moment in time in 2018 is a natural outgrowth of things like helicopter parenting where you press you keep your children from all possible danger all possible physical risk and you then end up with children who find a fence at and feel unsafe in all manners that

► 01:58:26

actions it is impossible to be an adult if you don't do trial and error and it's impossible to become a sexual adult if you don't engage in some trial and error that involves a little bit of risk and I don't know I don't want physical risk in sexual play but there is going to be some experimenting well there's always going to be some even meeting friends exactly exactly and so I mean I think the totally non fraud version of this is so we took our kids and 30 undergraduates to the Amazon because that's it's one of the most biodiverse places on earth and its extraordinary for evolutionary biologists why wouldn't you go if you could and a lot of our friends thought you're taking this little boys how would it was on the first time we took them they were 10 and 8 Jesus and we waited I wanted I wanted to take them sooner so I was leading the study abroad trips earlier and Brett said they're too young but you know basically they're too young for us to give them the shots that Western Civilization has afforded us to give

► 01:59:26

them to to keep them safe for things like yellow fever and to too young to deal with the instructions that you need right to actually remain safe from Jaguars Jaguars are not the issue it's been like three Falls and it's trees falling on you it's water that rises quickly at the point we took them right you know we talked to them a lot in advance as we talked to her students in advance and then we trusted them and you know our younger son found a gigantic coral snake at one point I was walking ahead of us on the trail along with the guide that we happen to have with us and he ran back and the guide ran forward and actually you know pinned the snake so we could see it this you know that was a danger that that was and God forbid something had happened it would be very hard for us to live with ourselves had that gone differently well but you expose your children to risk so that they can then know what to do when risk happens to them you expose yourself to sexual situations that

► 02:00:26

aren't stranger sex so that you can know how to build courtship and romance and love and sex later on - like friends his trial and error well so there's a how do we learn what we learn in order to manage the world are developmental environments have to give us model situations that are close enough to the situations that we run into as adults that we have the tools to navigate them and so one of the I think very difficult things to accept as a parent is that if your child is going to be able to manage risk as an adult they cannot be made perfectly safe as a child which means that you are running the risk that something disastrous will happen and that you'll have to live with it if you make your child perfectly safe in childhood they will be terrible at managing risk as adults and then something terrible is going to happen to them so what

► 02:01:27

what I operate on or maybe I'm reverse engineering what the way I think I've learned how to behave is something I call the theory of close calls which is that you don't want to have disaster strike and in fact we've told our children we've said look we don't want you to break your arm or your leg but that you met until you may end up doing it and you're allowed to here are the things you're not allowed to do you're not allowed to damage your skull you're not allowed to damage your eyes you're not allowed to damage your back right you protect those things protect those things at all costs and actually when we took the students to to Ecuador we had it wasn't really the Only Rule but we called it the one rule and it was really the central guiding principle of the trip which was an 11 week trip through all these ecosystems and Ecuador it's a pretty long extended trip with students that we knew well we had been with them all year and we had

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cultivated community so we knew him well and what we said is look lots of things are going to happen you're going to have to navigate on the Fly nobody comes home in a Box nobody comes home in a box and we actually had three close calls on this trip and people told us actually that when they experienced serious danger this thing actually occurred to them nobody comes home in a box and it was like it's sobered them up but to go back to the theory of close calls you can't learn how not to get run over by a car by getting somewhat run over by a car right but you can learn from your close call so I had a good friend actually somebody that so Heather and I were not dating in high school but we were friends we went to the same High School somebody we knew in high school happened to go to the same college that I started on it pain and we were walking down the street one day and she stepped

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into the street thinking it was clear and this car whizzed by her at 40 miles an hour didn't touch her and so the question is what do you think about something like that she was unscratched but had she been one second ahead of where she was she would have probably been dead and so you could think well I must be doing something right because I got away with it or you could be thinking the difference between my death and not being scratched in this case wasn't something that I did with any sort of intent it was pure luck that saved my life right there therefore I need to figure out how it is that I stepped off that curb without noticing that that car was coming there's something wrong in my model of how to live that that I could have gotten that close so as you experience close calls they tell you something about where your model is broken and you can fix it and so I think what Heather's getting at is learning how to interact with other people especially when you're talking about high stakes stuff like

► 02:04:26

that's and sex you need to have some room to figure out how these relationships are negotiated and if the point is these rules are going to be negotiated by some people who are going to lay down the law and say you must seek affirmative consent every 37 seconds that's not going to work it's not going to teach anybody how you actually manage with another human being

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makes sense and I don't know how you teach that to a child to manage risk versus reward in relationships I mean how do you how do you know I mean one of the things that we hope is that they gain some sort of an understanding of human interaction when they're in their teen years when they're still at home then they're protected somewhat when they go to college and then as they go out into the world yeah it's tough how much information of the accumulated you have to let them let them do it and yeah I'll that allow them to judge for God sake rise this don't judge thing going on you they will be no no exclusion of anyone at any time on the schoolyard and don't judge anyone no matter what they say well that's bad for the kid that gets judged that's because there's some behavior that sucks and they need to know that it's very uncomfortable for other people to be around you when you like that and that's how you understand social interaction and this is a big part of how kids

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into adults this is how humans become humans it's not just top down from parents and from teachers it's largely from peers I love what you said about helicopter parenting because I think you're totally right I think that is part of what's going on here I think part of what's going on here also is this newfound ability to complain and communicate it's beautiful in the fact that you can exchange information at an incredible Pace me never had anything remotely like this in human history but it's terrible in the fact that it's hard to figure out what's noise there's so much chatter going on and if you're a dummy you could find other dummies that think just like you and you organize a very volatile group and you reinforce yes that's right constellation bias you all get together you interact on a forum there's a few forms that are frequent that are just filled with their just Echo Chambers and they're they're confusing and like I don't know anybody that thinks like this but they're here they are all collected convinced that there is no biological difference in the Sexes and that a trans woman is a woman if you don't date trans women that you're a bigot you know even if

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heterosexual male and she has a penis it's there's a lot of squirrelly thinking going on and it's reinforced by others and you start thinking you're right and then you are the future and all these people out there that are living in this archaic ancient way they there are there are artifacts of the past and they will soon be relegated to history well there's a summary was it good yeah there there is a a property of our current lives that people just need to be more aware of we arrived at the present we are partially updated by various features like school for modern circumstances but we are also partially Throwbacks and we aren't Throwbacks you know evolutionary psychology in my opinion has aired in imagining that we are Simply Stone Age hunter gatherers wandering around civilization but we are Throwbacks to various places in our past some of them recent some of them much more remote

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and what we face is an epidemic of novelty so novelty is all of the stuff that we don't have programming on board to navigate all of the stuff that you are instincts don't tell you what to do the foods you know the refined sugar the corporation that wants to advertise the cereal to your child so that they eat more of it than they should or they different stuff than they would novelty makes us sick and Novelty can make you physically sick it can make you psychologically sick it can make you socially sick and we can also be the source of great change Evolution can deal with novelty but not at the rate of change that is happening now write the rate of change is so high that our evolutionary capacity to deal with novelty is outstripped and so I do want to I you know I there is a way in which you know if you just listen to Little sound bites from what we're getting at you

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get the wrong idea that we're very traditional and in fact our relationship isn't traditional at all but I asked him to carry the second baby but he wouldn't do it I would after it was born that's quite a lot but we have not thought carefully about the fact that porn is effectively functioning like sexuality school for kids right you don't learn about sex in school sex ed is kind of a joke people don't take it seriously but where do they learn about sex well they learn about it from what they encounter on the internet and here's the problem with that that is not an honest report of anything what that is is the result of competition economic competition between porn producers to capture your attention right so what that means is that it pushes in the direction of all sorts of stuff that people might not be that interested in because this

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do sir wants to take your attention away from that producer and so they make something more extreme or certainly triggers that second male strategy yeah that's how I was going to say it's the second male strategy of the No Strings Attached person who you could just hook up with that on a whim you're delivering a pizza and she grabs you by your shirt and pulls you in it's like what huh that's the norm then when we're done yeah Bingo and so what we've effectively done is accidentally economically we've announced two children that this is what sex looks like and maybe they even get proficient at that kind of sex but it's mechanical uninteresting and has very little to do with the most rewarding stuff in in what it is to be a human being which has to do with deeper long lasting relationships so it shouldn't surprise us at all that we've arrived at a dysfunctional moment where people are shouting at each other about what the rules have to be because what we've

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installed as a mechanism for learning about these things is not it does not have our interests at heart it is an economic entity that is not under anyone's control and it's quite dangerous now before the inevitable backlash oh my God he said porn was bad I really do think porn is bad right I don't think erotica is bad if somebody wants to make sexual content with some purpose other than trying to grab your attention and take your money then that's valid and it doesn't mean everybody's got to be interested in it and it doesn't mean that everybody's got to produce it but don't want to see us prevent people from making valid sexual statements that are interesting in whatever form they take I don't necessarily want to see children exposed to it willy-nilly but my real point is you know just as there is a distinction between the really good stuff that you

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sometimes see on your television screen because somebody's put together a you know and a well-thought-out series and broadcast television which is often pretty garbagey there's a big difference between the sort of garbage view of sex that people are getting because the economics are driving us in that direction and some more interesting nuanced adventurous version that we might see if the landscape wasn't saturated with the the porn version well and it's just just defend porn I think there's got to be a spectrum of porn I'm not a porn investigator but I would imagine that there's some romantic couple porn that makes sense where it is a husband and wife or a boyfriend and girlfriend in the video or boy and boy or whatever the fuck you want but what what it is is natural and healthy there's got to be a market for that I can't all be extreme crazy stuff that's just

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designed to get your attention I mean it must I think there is but I think it's not I think it's Miss categorized so I mean first of all I'm not really interested in porn so I don't know what's out there but my understanding is that actually there are many people who are producing amateur stuff and maybe they have an exhibitionist streak or something but that there is you know human beings are naturally fascinated by human human sex yeah that's a big category I believe is couples like a mature couples some people actually prefer that because it seems like real people who are attracted to each other actually having sex because it might actually have some information in it and it might be you know frankly it might be more exciting because yeah it has some reality to it right but my point is you know there's a gray area I would say the distinction between porn and erotic is actually pretty easy to draw and it has to do with whether the motivation that caused it to be produced is economic right if the motivation that caused it to be produced if it would not have been produced absent

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economic motivation it's porn and I'm suspicious of it so 50 Shades of Grey is porn then I haven't seen it good for you neither have I otherwise all right let's just it's ironic left none of the female let's talk about it yeah let's definitely cast judgment yeah yeah I see what you're saying and I definitely agree that it's cool set its sex School for Children and there's a giant issue in that because it is an unrealistic depiction of

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actual sexual interaction for the most part like the most sexual encounter is are not going to go the way they are in porn and just like setting your kid in front of a screen when he or she is really young does not teach that kid how to interact with real human beings right if porn is your exposure to sex it's going to create a kind of sex autism like you're not going to know how to engage with actual real human beings who can give you feedback that's an interesting way to describe it yeah I like that I mean it's a little it's a little dangerous obviously because well for various reasons but but just from the point of view that it denies you a sense of what the feedbacks would look like because feedbacks between two people don't look like what happens when somebody writes a script it's not Universal it's not generalizable don't you know the very nature of human interaction is that it's one off do you think it's something along the lines I mean obviously see here's a problem with Purim one of the problems with porn

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is because the accessibility is so high it's not like x-rated violent movies or used to be these to be some movies were x-rated for violence remember that or NC-17 right but you could be 13 with a cell phone and you have access to all the poor in the world and I just think yeah so many of these issues I think we need to be nuanced and and very careful once we're talking about adults and right will become adults as a question but when we're talking about clearly still kids you know should children be exposed to porn no they are still developing they're still figuring out how to be adults yeah should should children be given sex hormones of the sex that they are not born to even if they might end up transitioning and becoming translator on almost certainly not because the vast number of people

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who end up realizing oh actually I was experimenting this is what this is what childhood is I was trying on something else and now I've made it permanent by virtue of medicalizing the thing yeah well your that's another subject entirely but I completely agree you're essentially making a permanent decision for a child as early as I mean I've heard it argued three years old which is insane it just doesn't seem to it doesn't seem to suit it doesn't seem to fit any logic the only thing that seems to fit is this agenda that this is a natural normal part of our society and we should reinforce it as early as possible well I want to push back on that a little bit I think it's very clear there's so much gender confusion that sorts itself out through the natural process of development that the idea that we should intervene medically

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when we have no idea who is going to

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grow out of it and runs going to transition if and I don't think we will ever be there because of the nature of human development but if it were possible to know who actually was committed to this road and going to transition then there is an argument to be made that the earlier that they transition the more completely they are able to jump the Gap and

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the precautionary principle has to apply here but there is no trans trans is a real condition and some people have it and should be allowed to transition but allowing children to make that decision for themselves when more than more often than not they end up not transitioning is frankly it looks criminal toe I think in the modern situation with how little we understand about why it is that some people end up gender dysphoria kick for life and all of that there's no way that we should be interfering early you have to let children sort this stuff out I'm just saying in the abstract it's not that there's no argument for doing it early it's at the argument for doing it early doesn't come anywhere near the strength to the argument for not doing it early which is that these things sort themselves out and actually if you really have been born into the wrong body yeah as is the phrase that is used by by people some of whom we

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known who are actually legitimately trans the earlier the hormonal inputs came in the more fully they would be able to transition Yeah the more they drink the risk is too high at the risk it it's unconscionable Now isn't that it it's so we're into some strange blind territory when you start saying legitimately trans like who's illegitimately trans if you decide to be trans you're legitimately trans like what everyone there are a lot of people who are wearing it as a fashion statement How Could You discuss how can anyone make that distinction if they're not that person I don't know if that's AI don't know if that's true I bet you're right I'm not disagreeing with you but how would we know I've I think you know because the cost of being Trans in a society that views trans the way ours does is so high that there is a very it's the barrier to

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telling the world that this is how you feel is substantial enough to prevent people from flirting with it casually I would push back on that because there's people that get face tattoos and they do weird body modifications it's looked down upon consoling people do a lot of things for self-hate purposes they do a lot of things to shock people they do a lot of things because they just want to get a reaction out of people I don't necessarily agree with that I think you might you might be right that there are people that wear it as a fashion statement but who are people who have assumed traditional or semi traditional gender roles to make that distinction well if we believe in real freed I think we have to let people choose I think we can't be sure children choose I really can't let we certainly can't let parents leap to it so Heather has said a number of times so people don't know how they should know that she is a dyed-in-the-wool tomboy and has

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for her whole life she ever since that was destroying the frilly dresses my mother was putting me on destroying the frilly dresses and resenting the pink color that your room was painted but so you essentially model yourself after your dad your dad was a computer scientist one of the early Pioneers in operating system authorship and anyway Heather Heather had a very strong relationship with her dad and she played like a boy and there has asked things he said to me on several occasions was I will not raise a weak girl I will not raise a hopeless or helpless child and so you know when I when I'd have my nose buried in the book and he'd be out back building a fence so you're going to come out and help me dig postholes and pour the cement and put put in the post and you're going to do this not because I expect you're going to go into fence building but

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you need to know how to work with your hands and do physical work in the universe and see what the ramifications are not that he didn't want you reading the book oh of course not yeah I mean he he another weekends he was taking a math competition so you know there's a lot of abstraction and play with numbers and science as well and Sport but it was specifically about not assuming what I was going to be capable of because I was born a girl that's a giant problem with this category of men and women obviously there's this giant Spectrum inside each category and that should be okay it should be alright and there to be okay it has to be it has and this is one of the problems with assuming traditional gender roles or assuming types of behavior and what some people like sexually other people would hate and vice verse and some people I mean some people can get away with things because women find it attractive whereas another man could do

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exact same thing and women would think it's disgusting and that's okay too well we have two are in the direction of keeping people safe but we can't turn the dial on safety to 11 because will destroy everything else right will kill all the fun yeah what is it can't imagine that these categories are invariant right that male looks one way and feminist exactly what right but it's you know they they many of the people who are arguing against the biology of sex and gender say things like gender isn't binary and they're right it's not but it's it's bimodal these are these are population distributions with a lot of variation in them and they're widely overlapping but that doesn't mean that the same right not identical but they are broadly overlapping they certainly do right and there's been some interesting pushback from these older European women particularly French women oh yeah who are like what the fuck are you guys doing you're ruining sex you winning your pants and courtship and exactly they have a different attitude about it and they think that there's certain amount of aggressive behavior

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a viewer from man that they enjoy and they don't want to douse that well so somehow this I'm glad we're getting to this part of the conversation one thing to say is I didn't finish the thing about Heather is that Heather has vocalized that if she grew up in the modern era she worries that somebody her parents wouldn't have they would have fought back but that some people would have been thinking oh you're trans we need to we need to take care of you and we need to give you hormones and things like that because the fact that she played like a boy would have been taken as an indication that she was born in the wrong body or something and so that can't happen we have to protect people so that they can sort out their own stuff and so I mean we have to expand and I'm going to really feel like we had already kind of gotten here but I've talked to people who identify as trans who say things like I'm trans because I don't fit into my father's mold of a macho man

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and I prefer to read poetry and to which I say that's terrific you're okay be that man that that if if that is the extent of why you were calling yourself trans I don't think that makes you trans isn't there an issue and this is not I'm not anti any of this but isn't there an issue with saying that who you really truly are is dependent upon you getting injections of hormones that are not native to your body isn't that very odd that we've taken synthetic hormones and made them an integral part of who a person is now again I'm not saying you shouldn't be able to do it you certainly should be able to do it but it's oddly almost a biologically essentialist pushed perspective coming from people who are denying biology but here's the thing I'm saying if you are who you are why is no one willing to accept who they are

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in this situation and instead wants to I'm not I shouldn't say no one it's bad way of phrasing it why is it assumed that if you are do feel like you were born in the wrong body the only way to change that is to inject hormones that are not native to your body to have surgery to alter yourself to assume traditional gender dress and look of the opposite sex like there's all like well first there's a lot of people that push back against women sexualizing themselves but celebrate transwomen sexualizing themselves to look more like women because they think this is a feeling of empowerment for these women to look how beautiful they are you go girl look at those legs like there's this thing about it where it's like it's celebrated as this emerging of the you're the true self this this is one of these places where I believe we have at least a one-way failure and maybe a two way

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failure of empathy hmm right so I've spent you know we have lots of history with trans students who you know at first you know I must say there's a lot of trans Folks at Evergreen and at first when we first arrived it was odd to me like what percentage well that is a hard question because when you ask people to self report the number is absurdly high but I don't certainly high like it's so high that it's really cute is reported as 40% at Evergreen which which doesn't really make any 48 404042 so which can't really can't be the case which is part of why I say some people are trying it on trying it on as an identity as opposed to and you know that that includes LGB but it's too high when they gravitate towards a school like that that's over minded they would but you know we have an intuitive sense by you know just the population when people are Faking It Well

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I'm not saying that at all but I'm saying that there's like a desire to affirm folks in this category and so placing yourself and say I like I'd rather than faking it I would say people who don't agree with gender Norms associated with that the gender they're born to calling themselves trans and to me that doesn't look like tramps that's that's a that's a misrepresentation of what trans is because we've also known many students who are really legitimately trans and have done surgery or hormones or both and our and are better off in their bodies and more at peace with themselves having done so

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so I think it is very hard to appreciate a we are all in some sense not well by virtue of the fact that we live in a civilization that is not a good match for for what we bring to the table even are the environments we grew up in his children did not match our adult environments and so we don't into it them well and that causes all kinds of health issues psychological and otherwise when people find themselves in this predicament that we are calling trans

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they have access to a remedy I mean imagine it's just put yourself in the mindset of somebody who feels like they should have been a woman and you know mind you I'm now learning that some trans people actually don't feel this way that feeling like you're born in the wrong body is not a universal it's very commonly said but it is not Universal but imagine that they that that is how you felt you felt like you were being addressed as a man you were being understood as a man but that's not how you internally felt and there was access to something some set of things that would cause the world to finally register you as you felt you were right it would be very tempting to Avail yourself of that stuff and I think it's hard for those of us who feel at home enough in the bodies that were in to appreciate what the pressure must be like if there is something available to you to go for it and to cross that Gap

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and I also think it's creating a problem as we're trying to discuss issues like sexual signaling and makeup and high heels and things as people have been discussing this causes a special problem for Trans folks for trans women because in many cases may be almost all cases they are using these signs that are and I don't want to get in trouble here these makeup is well understood to amplify sexual signaling and is not the only role it is playing it is not inherently conscious it is not inherently intended to be triggering everybody broadly but nonetheless make up high heels these

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mechanisms for amplifying a certain set of signals are being used by trans folks as a mechanism for amplifying their sex in other words if somebody puts on a whole bunch of makeup in order to send a signal that they are looking for a mate let's say I'm not saying everybody who puts on makeup is doing that but somebody might put on makeup in order to attract male attention that's one kind of signal but if you're trans you may put on that makeup in order to send a signal I am female right so you're sending a signal that is of a very different nature and so I think there is a way in which trans people are feeling backed against the wall by a discussion that is now very clumsily happening about these mechanisms of sexual signaling because it puts them in a particular predicament where they're feeling like they're about to be robbed of the very stuff that allows them to

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you accentuate their femininity does very well put yeah I think that's a very important distinction to especially in talking about someone who's trying to self a firm yeah right now one of the things that came up real recently was this Jordan Pederson interview with Vice which in my opinion especially when you look at the sound clip they were talking about women in the workplace and women wearing makeup and high heels and things in the workplace and I know Jordan very well I love him he's a great guy he came off aggressive there and I don't know why I don't think I don't know if he's tired of it or if he's digging his heels in I mean he's apparently part of a two-hour interview yeah she's kind of felt like he was on the ropes the whole time yes and he also was coming off of that big Kathy Newman interview in the UK which was like an assault from the whole thing was just crazy but he came out ahead on that and I think there's there's

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it's much easier to make the argument that he didn't come out ahead in the Vise thing especially in the way that they framed it but he was talking about women in the workplace and maybe women shouldn't wear makeup in the workplace and maybe they shouldn't wear high heels or dresses so he did say maybe maybe yes he did he didn't say women shouldn't do this the interviewer cameras named Kang Kang Jae King may be said so do you think women shouldn't wear makeup in high heels then and he said maybe yeah and it was you know he's he's thinking he's considering options here he's not prepared upon first being asked a question to say yes absolutely or no absolutely this is you know this is a sign of a nuanced thinking person yes brain in action in real time the problem with the reaction is the exact problem that you're trying to avoid here though we saying I don't wanna get in trouble here you preface that and you slowly move forward

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whereas Jordans like maybe well why are they wearing makeup but what are they doing I'm but I would say that you know the generous interpretation and The evolutionary interpretation of what he said was

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look the me to movement is arguing that there should be that there can be no sexual signals in the workplace at all.

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That's not going to be possible because look at how many other sexual signals there are right makeup heels now the response has been those aren't sexual signals I wear heels and I'm not sexually signaling and you know to which the evolutionary response is what heals do is augment sexual signals that you were born with whether or not you are conscious of the fact that is why you were doing it that doesn't make it any less of a sexual signal right and so what Peterson was saying was if we really are going to accept the argument that all signals of this type need to be abandoned from you need to be gotten rid of from the workplace then maybe we actually need to investigate all of the other things that are sexual signals that aren't being talked about right now so there's a couple things first of all have you seen the clip filmed from the audience of him talking about what happened with that vice interview no it's well worth your time I think it's seven or eight minutes

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um of him talking about what happened I do think Peterson who I also know I don't think any of the cliff notes of what yeah I mean the cliff notes are he said look this is how one engages in thought one advances an idea it doesn't mean something's going to happen right I think he literally says I didn't say women shouldn't wear makeup in the workplace I said maybe and this is what we do and then he describes he says let's

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let's agree that I'm going to put forward 10 things that might happen and then let's agree that none of them are going to happen so now we can discuss the possibilities so I don't think we know what the actual interview with with Jay King looked like because there was two hours of it and I've seen 15 minutes yeah why won't they release more of it I think they should release the whole thing I do think what I saw so we don't know the context right which my guess is Peterson's pretty careful in what he says my guess is the context would be revealing I think based on the part that we know that he said because it is in the clips that we've seen we know something's funny because the editing juxtaposes him seeming to contradict himself and he's actually pretty careful not to do that but what he did actually say contains what I regard as at least one significant error

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so he says I do think that in response to the question of our women Hypocrites for wearing makeup to work and then I want to put words in his mouth but something like demanding not to be harassed harassed or something like that so he's forgetting that many of these signals aren't conscious in not only doing that not conscious but you know I saw somebody online discussing this they made a very good point when it's actually pretty hard to field if these are signals even unconscious ones they are sexual signals why am I wearing one to go to a family reunions why am I wearing high heels to go to family reunions am I secretly trying to get lucky at my own family reunions and the answer is no this is not a matter what Peterson said when you know Peterson has done so many interviews the fact that he says a clumsy thing here doesn't strike me one way or the other but I don't

► 02:37:39

be put in the position of Defending that women are hypocritical for wearing makeup and high heels there are lots of reasons that you have to wear them including social pressure including the fact that you are in a landscape of other people wearing them and if you stand out as being plane in a world of other women who are amplifying these things it may actually have implications for your ability to earn so there's lots of reasons that you might do it that have nothing to do with you as an individual trying to signal for sexual attention it doesn't mean that those things didn't evolve as sexual signals right sexual signals to us evolutionary biologist this is no news I mean if you're a woman and you've got breasts and you're walking around in the world you're broadcasting a sexual signal and that was completely unconscious and involuntary its physiological right so the idea that these signals are out there and common should be should become something we become comfortable with the fact that males are involved in all kinds of

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signaling all the time that you know that the corner office the mahogany desk and you know it's not that a woman can't have a corner office in the mahogany desk but traditionally speaking those Hallmarks of stones researchers acquisition yes those things have implication in the sexual landscape that's very powerful as does frankly humor the way humor is used as powerful implications in terms of sexual signaling as does who laughs at your jokes I mean if the boss makes a joke everybody laughs whether or not it's funny why is that he's got power they're trying to get ahead so we can't get rid of all of this we can't get rid of it get rid of if we look at something like an engagement ring right if you were to analyze an engagement ring anthropologically right so there are these Stones actually the truth of it is there these stones that aren't really that rare but they've been made artificially scarce and

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a man will get one of these stones and he will put it on a thing that can be put on a woman's finger and the size of the stone and the quality of the stone even though the stone is not actually useful for very much it is symbolically important and it is evidence of the Woman's Worth in some sense in other words the larger the stone indicates that the man values her at a greater level this is an absurd an absurd set of signals and we treat it as if it's just nothing you know woman gets an engagement ring maybe if she's traditional our friends will you know look at it and say oh that's marvelous I mean so we're engaged in all of this archaic signaling anyway and when you tune into it it is very jarring but it does not make sense to isolate one set of these signals and say oh look they're signaling right because those signals are embedded in a landscape of signals that we go through our entire life not

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realizing that we are making the last point I would make is that we also need to recognize that we have a mismatch between personal signaling and broadcast signaling so it may be that a woman wears something in order to catch a particular males attention but the fact that she's wearing it may catch other males attention and that fact May confuse the landscape because men in general may take it as a sign that she's interested in something when in fact she's not interested in something she's interested in someone who happens to be in this landscape so what I hope is that we will recognize that the thing that we should all agree on is that it is desirable to have the freedom to engage life as you would engage it so long as you're not harming others you should be you know I do not

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think polyamorous folks are on the right track I think that what they're up to is I mean I know from the ones who are serious about it and talk about it that even within the polyamorous Community there's a recognition about just how difficult it is to make it work but I don't really want to interfere with their right to do it I would like to be able to talk about whether it's a good idea whether it has societal implications that we should be aware of but body feel like they're not on the right track and isn't everyone's track I mean if we can accept trans folk and we can accept women to subscribe to cultural norms and wearing high heels and makeup in the worst place why can't we accept polyamorous behavior and what's so that's what I'm telling you is that fork although I personally would counsel somebody if you know and I have had this conversation with many students for example I would counsel them away from it because I think it actually prioritize has one thing which is desirable but at the cost of it is very very high

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was it prioritize it prioritises not locking yourself into a single sexual relationship and I think there's a way in which there is a terror that surrounds locking yourself into a single sexual relationship and part of the terror goes back to what we were talking about at the beginning of the conversation if you think that Beauty Max is maxed out at 20 and then it wanes over live then as a woman you're trapped in this terrible situation where you've got this power long before you know what to do with it and it's going to evaporate so you better capitalize that and if you're a man you're very frightened that you're going to get into a relationship and then you're going to watch this person that you love fall apart in front of your eyes and you're going to be you know you're going to be caught in that situation and I don't think this is the reality of a pair bond I think the reality of a pair bond

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way better than we fear but that because we've got this overly simplistic mythology surrounding it a lot of people are trying to solve that problem how do I not get locked into that relationship that's going to trap me with somebody who's how do I not get bored and decaying in front of me right now I don't think it's a decaying thing I would push back against that I would say people just want more variety they just want their attracted to other people they want to act on that and if they find a partner who's also willing to do that and they stay together I don't see what would be the issue of they wanted to do it well I'm telling you specifically that I don't want to stop them from doing it but I do want people to think very carefully about the issues I mean

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I'm just speaking as one guy who's lived One Life the value that I get out of having as close to perfect security at home as I can have in a relationship I mean Heather and I have been all over the world we've taken our kids into parts of the Amazon that are four hours by boat from the nearest road right this is not a boring relationship this relationship has been a Non-Stop Adventure but no one's trying to push polyamory on you write it well hey I wouldn't say that that's true I would say that the people are not as an individual but what I would say is They are promoting an idea that this is the sophisticated way to live it's the wave of the future if they were yeah and that a common is this is this well I mean you mentioned sex at dawn yourself and so the idea is it but Chris is my friend and he's crazy

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there you go but what I would say leaves it he might be right he does believe it and I you know I appreciate it is right I have been convinced by a friend you know who I had a long-standing argument with on this topic and what he convinced me is that a friend who is polyamorous yes a friend who is polyamorous and this friend has convinced me that it can be accomplished that there's some work to get but he acknowledges that it actually in the case that he points to took several Generations literally several generations to arrive at a stable situation well you guys have a wonderful relationship though I know many people who have terrible terrible relationships and for them the the notion of monogamy seems absurd it seems like a trap you get stuck in you grow to resent each other you and then you get sick of each other and then you fight in court until you figure out who gets all the money told I would say you know those people shouldn't be together I think you're right yeah but then there's a conflation between polyamory and promiscuity right that just a

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for all the sex with strangers free-for-all is different from the kind of careful approach to polyamory that this friend takes which still looks extraordinarily difficult to pull off given what human beings are from a jealousy perspective isn't monogamy extraordinary difficult to pull off mean isn't the rate of divorce in this country alone is somewhere around 50% and Chris Rock famously said that's just fifty percent who had the courage to leave how many cowards down but here but this is this is part of the point about novelty

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we are living in a situation where our narratives sell us a false picture of our opportunities are narratives are partially driven by an economy that wants us to be insecure enough to spend money like crazy and so I'm not telling people that they should live one way or the other I'm telling them that they should understand what their real options are and polyamory as an experiment is all well and good but what happens when you introduce children into the mix right that's very very different it's very different because children are so costly to raise and because human males are wired to fear raising offspring that they themselves did not produce genetically now I don't think it makes sense to actually care very much about your jeans and advancing their interests I think this is something evolution is stuck us with that is not

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able it's actually destructive it's but now we can actually move past but we are wired for it and so what I'm expecting to happen is if you have a large-scale experiment in polyamory what it's going to do is it is going to break down into polygyny and just going to break down into single motherhood as men leave these relationships in order to engage in perhaps more polyamory with younger women and it's going to be yet one more thing that is unevenly distributed between the Sexes so choose your mate wisely well choose your mate wisely but we don't even realize that we are interfering with your ability to do that in ways that we don't we don't into it we have a landscape in which nobody is paying attention to the way we are interfering in the normal processes that would cause you to find a mate with whom you might have a very rewarding

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what lifelong process is he referring to a let me take an absurd one okay we have no idea what effect deodorant is having on us choosing the right mate we do know that it's studies that there are molecules that you can't consciously tell you're detecting that do affect mate choice and we know that we're interfering with that stuff well we know that birth control fix that as well as well women's ability to control yeah specifically woman's ability to smell whether or not she's even genetically compatible with the man absolutely and which is really freaky it's like those lizards how do they know right well I know rubbing up against each other so that's so I think I think what to wear deodorant I try not to at the moment I'm wearing it because sweat stains would be socially oh you're wearing you're wearing anti purse I guess I am yeah I guess I do important distinction there yeah dangerous well but here this locking up your pores this is a great this is a great example because I

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we did spend I don't know if it's a year as an experiment not wearing deodorant how'd that go well he was already married so a couple of interesting facts one it did Drive some people crazy I'm sure not me though not you didn't drive you didn't bother you at all I mean we've all been around people we love who at some point you're like dude take a shower right but ya know but as long as you took a shower well actually the thing though is I did a shave the armpits thing like if you shave your armpits do you mean it's the one spot right we're now putting deodorant anywhere else on our body we're just putting it on the armpits like is it the Shaving thing I'll give you shave your armpits if you shave your armpits you decrease the rate at which Millie diffuses into the environment so should make a judgment call well but in some sense look I don't know which it is maybe we're being wusses right and we're being you know we've got an industry of I don't know how much they make per

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you're selling us these things because we're afraid of our own human smell right right but there's a huge difference between the way somebody smells if they don't have good hygiene and somebody who has the luxury of daily showers and doesn't wear shoulder and frankly I don't find somebody who is taking daily showers and isn't wearing deodorant I don't find it that off-putting and in Europe it's considered much much different smell you smell them supposed to smelling Right Guard or whatever it is exactly and so anyway I have no idea whether if we backed our deodorant and antiperspirant stuff off whether it would change who ended up with him and whether or not marriage might have a small degree of change right but how many other things are there on the list that we wouldn't think to name what about makeup and what if women stop wearing makeup how much would that change who hooks up with who how much would it and you know if we how much would it change if we actually learn

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that there's a difference between hotness and beauty and we actually allowed little girls to recognize that maybe they weren't so interested in being hot because although it gets you a lot of attention to kind of attention that's a dead end right how much would that change who ends up with whom I mean a lot of who ends up with whom at the moment is presumably dictated by people having had their attention captured through hotness and then there's a question of whether there's anything there to back it up so what I want to see for my own kids sake is I want to see a world in which the noise of the way the market influences how we interact with each other and the Notions that get promoted a sophisticated where that noise is reduced so that people can really begin to detect the patterns in their life actually this worked for me I dated in this way and this worked for me I dated in that way and it didn't work for me it

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and rewarding that begins to tell you something and all I'm saying about my own situation if I'm incredibly lucky to have a relationship that's really rewarding and you know it's a lifelong Bond on the other hand it may say something we got together early I felt weird about that for a long time I felt like it suggested something you know you hear about people getting together in high school it's like oh that's cute but you know how well could you have chosen in high school right well I met Heather in high school we were friends we knew each other pretty well by the time we got together and you know I was I was a dumb kid in my early 20s at the point that the relationship began but it had an advantage that I didn't necessarily know to think about which is Heather and I have spent all of that time adventuring together and that means that instead of looking for the perfect partner who's exactly the right fit for you to people who had the right starting material

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sort of grew together into a partnership the growing together for up together yeah that's a that's a big part and there's a lot of people that don't spend a lot of time with their mates you know and you know people grow apart to you guys get lucky yeah that's true yeah I have a lot of friends during living in hell yeah that's terrible yeah it's unfortunately really common it's is more common than not you guys are the outliers right well the scientist taking your kids to the Jungle well not the most common thing but but okay here's the thing I don't know because I've only lived one life but I think there is a lesson because I think that what we did actually was fairly simple which was we played it by ear and the stuff that didn't work we chucked it and the stuff that did work we augmented and so there were no hard and fast rules yeah you're also exceptional people you're both very unusually smart and open-minded well thank each other we found each other and I think I think

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in mind it is more important than Smart in this case right like being able to look at each other with compassion you know this is true for any interaction right let's look at you and see you as a human being with real emotions and feelings and reality to your experiences as well even if I feel like we disagree completely so even you know even when we're at our angriest with each other

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if we can see each other's Humanity through it and you get through yeah that that is a lesson for every human being in all walks of life in any situation when you disagree with someone not just your lover not just a friend but people that you don't even know it's very easy to dehumanize someone who disagrees with you and I think to bring this all back around this is a part of the problem with male-female interaction today is this dehumanization on both sides that the men are demons that the women are this and the men are that and it's all this you know it's these rash generalizations in this extreme tribalism well yes there is kind of a secret weapon and I it's not that secret out the secret is Heather and I have a whole second channel on which to navigate which is that we both know the same

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evolutionary story yeah so there's a way you know there's a an idea that's important you can very often understand more about a given human interaction especially a contentious one if you turn down the sound right so you can't hear what's being said and that sounds wrong right sounds like well maybe the most important piece of information you could have is what these people are saying to each other as they're arguing but no that's not how human beings work sometimes the important information is on that vocal Channel and sometimes the vocal channel is actually almost purely noise right and so if both literally and metaphorically yeah but if Heather and I both know that then there's a part of us that's sort of always outside if we I mean we don't fight that much it's really pretty rare but when we do there's also a part of us that's watching the interaction and knows that a certain pattern may have to unfold in

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for us to get to the other part of it you know sometimes Heather knowing that we're engaging in theater at some level even though neither of us wants to be that's a great way to put it engaging in couples theater it is and it is yeah it is it's the perfect example of this thing like you know you're talking about Peterson and going to work and wearing makeup and you think am I sending sexual signals will gosh were all involved in weird stuff sure right yeah the idea that you and your mate could both be aware that your argument is in some in some way theater and that even you know you might think well if it's theater we can just skip it you can't know there are things that have to happen in order for you to get to the next ACT mmm and so you know like I hope I'm not saying something I shouldn't but there's a there's a thing I'm not the easiest guy to live with I think I'm a very decent person but I'm also fine thank you but there's a part of me that's not good at certain stuff

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that makes Heather's life hard right and that stuff she's good at putting up with it to a certain extent and then there are things that will cause it to get even to get bad I need to know that that's happened in order for us to get past it and she needs to tell me hey this isn't the normal level of you know I'm not really frustrated considering exploding right right so but it doesn't sound that cool the the necessity of us being able to exchange that information is there and the fact you know it's it's so much less charged if we both know that sort of that process has to unfold and that is not an infinite process and we will be on the other side of it once you know she's conveyed which needs to convey and I've let her know that I've heard and again the more times you've done this the more likely you are confident you know what this is going to end up okay this feels awful right now like we are fighting in this feels awful and right we've done this before and actually this proves to be

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necessary because it resets some things that you know just every relationship no matter if it's romantic or not needs resets on a regular basis and so this is this is one way that you consider theatrically reset some important points this is a great lesson for reasonable people and everybody should aspire to be reasonable people isn't this ended at that all right just did three hours I just flew right by right wow awesome crazy yeah I think you're both this is really funky really enjoyed fun

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thank you everybody thanks everybody for tuning in to the podcast I hope you enjoyed it thanks to our sponsors thanks to stamps.com go to stamps.com click on the microphone at the top of the homepage and type in JRE and they will hook you up with a four-week trial plus Postage and a digital scale that stamps.com and enter JRE thank you also to Blue Apron yummy delicious food sent to your door that you can cook up yourself all yummy recipes with step-by-step photographic instructions and all the food portioned in the correct sizes and so easy to do like a moron like me to make fantastic food you can do it go do it short rib burgers with a Hopi cheddar sauce on a pretzel bun hmm

► 03:00:40

go to Blue Apron ladies and gentlemen Blue Apron.com forward slash Rogan and Blue Apron is treating listeners this podcast with $30 off your first order so that's Blue Apron.com forward slash Rogan for $30 off Blue Apron a better way to cook cooking baby and last but not least we are brought to you once again by square cash if you go to the app store or Google Play download the free square cash app use the code Joe Rogan one word and a cash app will give you five dollars and five dollars will go to Justin runs fight for the Forgotten charity to build Wells for the pygmies in the Congo and we did it tomorrow the Great and Powerful Greg Fitzsimmons will be here Thursday da my rare will be here come on can't go wrong

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lots of fun lots of excitement and that's it for now see you soon bye bye