Surprisingly little evolutionarily informed research has been done on our species’ strange love affair with sports. Why do we care so much about such arbitrary and ostensibly functionless displays of physical and mental prowess?
Like many people, I ask myself continuously about some of life’s biggest mysteries. Why are we here? What is the meaning of life? Why do we have those strangely sparse, wiry little hairs growing around our genitals—hair that is singularly different from all the other hair on our bodies?
There is a man—a very well-known man, a legend of sorts—whom I’ve been privileged enough to have seen on occasion through the years at various venues and events.
Now that I’ve written at some length about the curious evolution of the male reproductive system in our species, I thought it only right to devote a column to the natural origins of a biological mechanism that doesn’t involve the Y chromosome.
Earlier this year, I wrote a column about evolutionary psychologist Gordon Gallup’s “semen displacement hypothesis,” a convincing hypothesis presenting a very plausible, empirically supported account of the evolution of the peculiarly shaped human penis.
My mother used to say, “there’s somebody out there for everybody.” It sounds sweet, I know, but when you realize she would say this only in jaw-dropping astonishment at seeing a loving couple out in public in which both partners were, shall we say, aesthetically shortchanged in some eye-catching way, my dearly departed mother somehow doesn’t sound like such a Polyanna anymore.
Gay people are often asked by the curious: When did you first realize you were gay?” In my case, I remember undressing my Superman doll--and being terribly disappointed at the result--as well as being motivated to befriend the more attractive boys in third grade.
At some point over the course of this human life of yours, you may have noticed that wherever there is a trail of woe, God is curiously afoot. At least, since God is often seen both as the cause and the cure of misfortune, the belief in God seems especially likely to be stirred up in the wake of some personal or naturalistic calamity.
Buon giorno from Florence, where I’m presently under the Tuscan sun—sizzling like bacon, I should add—as a hive of awestruck, pale-legged American tourists wearing Nikes, cargo shorts and Polo shirts descend with digital cameras at the ready on the Renaissance city’s signature Duomo in the Piazza Della Signoria.
It’s my impression that many straight people believe that there are two types of gay men in this world: those who like to give, and those who like to receive.
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