By looking at “simpler” animals, we gain insights into ourselves.
Some naturalists in the 80s spent a decade watching trends in populations of Darwin’s finches on a single tiny island.
They discovered that mating preferences were almost mechanically pragmatic based on the circumstances of the times.
During a drought, female finches were only interested in super specialists of their own species because only specialists in a niche stand a chance as food grows scarce.
During a wet season female finches often prefer “men” of other species. They want hybrid offspring that can best take advantage of abundance by being able to eat marginally well from multiple food sources.
If preference for finches is this malleable and pragmatic, what are the implications for humans?
The finches obviously aren’t thinking things through as they go, probably, they mainly look at courtship displays and “wealth” in the form of health and surplus body fat.
Whatever is “successful” she wants to mate with. And to a lesser extent, vice versa.
So if ruthless sociopaths are the most successful humans able to put on the most impressive plumage and courtship displays, they by definition become the desirable mating stock.
Presumably once a social bubble collapses from being over-exploited by defector parasites, more cooperative men are those that prosper. i.e. Christians during the decline of the Roman Empire.(Mormons during the present decline?)
Biologically speaking, all that matters to man or woman is:
b. the offspring succeed in having offspring
It would seem our instincts impel us in this direction as surely as if we were clockwork toys.
Human “reason” is far overrated.
The Beak of the Finch, Johnathan Weiner