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Physical Anthropology essay - need feedback


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Hello,

Could you please read my Physical Anthropology essay and give me some feedback?

The prompt is:

If you learned something about evolution that you had never thought about before and it surprised you or if you are still thinking about this idea, tell me what this is and tell me why it is profound to you

Thank you in advance.
Frederic


Since the onset of the physical anthropology course, I have been reflecting over a quite singular question: since the primary primates' objective is to survive, why do they search to procreate, what overweighs the pressure over food sources, and thus reduces their chances of survival? As a consequence, I have initiated a long rumination about that issue. First, Darwin's evolutionary theory emphasizes that advantageous characteristics accumulate in a population because natural selection sects for those traits. Consequently, the reproductive process is likely to provide primates with indubitable advantages since it is still in use. However, what are those benefits? In what ways are offspring helpful for their parents? Finding viable explanations proves to be no easy task, but it seems that the different examples can be classified into four categories. The reproductive process may be a favorable trait because it enhances the social status, offspring helps tighten social bonds and primates seem to experience sexual pleasure.

The reproductive process is beneficial because it allows primates to affirm their dominant status in a group. First, a male primate who mounts a female is terminating a process of ascendancy in the dominance hierarchy of his group. Indeed, to reach this stage he has had to demonstrate his physical power over other males. He has had to subdue them as soon as the female had proved to be fertile, for example through the estrous swelling of genital tissues in female chimpanzees. Moreover, during the preliminary period of mating, he has had to be previously strong enough to outsmart or defeat other individuals. To succeed in it, he had had to be fitter and more powerful than his congeners while intimidating or fighting them to obtain food and water resources. That was also partly due to beneficial traits he had inherited from his parents trough their genes. In addition, since he is still alive at the moment of mating, it is because he has had been successful in prevailing over aggressive interactions with other individuals on a daily basis, over intruders from other groups or over predators. The female, in addition to meet the same requirements to survive, has had to display as many intense signs as possible indicating she is in estrus, such as visual or olfactory stimuli. She has had to be fit enough to be fertile and to exhibit her sexual receptiveness, for example female chimpanzees must have her genital area clearly swollen and brightly colored.

Consequently, such two individuals show other members of their group they belong to the dominant class. That is an advantage because they can benefit from a kind of deference from lower-level individuals who let them in peace for some time and therefore facilitate the copulation. However, there is a drawback to this process. Indeed, in case of emergence of a lethal sexually transmitted disease in one of the upper-level individuals, they communicate that infection within the dominant class. Therefore, the group reduces and is only made up of lower-level individuals who impair the future of the group because they cannot be powerful enough to survive, and if they can, they do not transmit advantageous traits to their offspring. As a consequence, although the reproductive process is valuable because it permits an individual to affirm his dominant status in his group, it may seriously threaten his life, the survival of his class and even the continuation of his species.

The reproductive success is valuable because it reinforces the social bonds in a group. The social behavior of primates is quite complex and incompletely understood, even now. However, the reproductive success has indubitably an influential and profitable impact on the social interactions between primates. For example, the fact of succeeding in mating with several partners may arouse a kind of affective emotions in the partners and thus create a feeling of attachment within a group. That phenomenon stresses what seem to be the crossed effects of endogamy associated with polygamy or polyandry. Moreover, the reproductive success increases and ameliorates the social ties because it permits the individuals to valorize affiliative behaviors, such as the reconciliation or the consolation, and alleviates aggressive interactions thanks to the offspring. Indeed, if a male mates with a female and the latter mate with another male, she will be empowered by the two males as a kind negotiator to relieve tensions in case of conflict. Moreover, most primates favor the reproductive known as K-selected. In the particular case of the bonobos, a female who is in charge of her own baby can also care babies from other females. Consequently, if problems arise between those females, they will be less inclined to fight because they previously experienced amicable relations.

Accordingly, the reproductive success proves its value in promoting group cohesion, weaving lasting relations between fit reproducers and maintaining order. Thus the copulation is eased. However, the more social interactions the more conflicts may break out. The most striking example is epitomized by infanticide. Indeed, scientists explain that infanticidal males do not eradicate their own offspring and that, subsequently, he procreates a new baby with the female. Therefore, that behavior inevitably arouses jealousy between males and abrades the social fabric within a group. That is all the more acute in species that support K-selected reproductive strategies.

The reproductive success is advantageous because it offers primates the possibility to experience sexual pleasure. Sexual intercourse provides the primates with satisfaction. For instance, bonobos rub their genitals together with partners, males or females, when they feel affection for them. When they experience sexual pleasure, their bodies produce endorphins. Those biochemical compounds supply a sense of well-being and are so powerful that they act as natural pain-killers. Therefore, individuals who come across that feeling are more able to quietly respond to the other individuals in their group and stimulate benevolent behaviors, for instance to barter for food, and boost their chances of gaining much food to eat during the exchange. As they are more serene, they can proceed to engage in courtships. They greatly augment their probability to mate since agitated individuals frighten their partners. Finally, tranquil individuals are more focused when they fight against intruders or predators that allow them to mastermind counterattacks or escape dangers.

Therefore, those who feel sexual pleasure significantly expand their life-span. The primate species known as bonobo epitomize that phenomenon. However, sexual pleasure causes inconvenience to the individuals who experience it. Indeed, neglected individuals may suffer from resentment and behave aggressively with their partners. Rejected suitors may sense jealousy towards more lucky individuals. Swindled individuals during an exchange of food supplies may be offended and show antipathy towards the crook. All those behaviors exemplify the fact that sexual pleasure is not necessarily the best way to a better world. That strategy has reached high level of intense hatred within some groups. That has even been partly one of the reasons that have motivated a primate species to create intricate systems to settle those disputes. That species is known as Homo Sapiens and the individuals settle their differences in courtroom thanks to attorneys.

Notwithstanding the advantageous characteristics that the reproductive process may provide, the disadvantages still remain substantial. Furthermore, those conclusions do not completely satisfy my curiosity and I keep bombarding my mind with other questions. Indeed, to the best of my knowledge, scientists have discovered how cells divide and replicate but not why they behave in this way. Cells do not have any interest in doing that. They do not enhance any social status, weave any social bonds, or experience any pleasure. Consequently, I wonder if our lack of knowledge about cells prevents us from seeing a kind of social fabric between cells or if there is a kind of life continuum that could be inscribed in undiscovered infinitesimal parts of cells. As I am Cartesian and certainly an all too often acerbic French, I cannot refrain myself from thinking than answers must come from science and not from religious or philosophical considerations.Anthropology essay
Greetings, Frederic!

As is your habit, you have written an informative and educational essay! I always learn not only about the subject matter from you, but also several new words in English (valorize and congeners, this time). :-)

Here are a few editing suggestions:

advantageous characteristics accumulate in a population because natural selection sects [did you mean to say "selects"?] for those traits.

offspring help tighten social bonds

beneficial traits he had inherited from his parents through their genes.

The female, in addition to meeting the same requirements to survive

She has had to be fit enough to be fertile and to exhibit her sexual receptiveness; [substitute semicolon for comma] for example, [add comma] female chimpanzees must have her genital area clearly swollen and brightly colored.

a kind of deference from lower-level individuals who leave them in peace for some time

if a male mates with a female and the latter mates with another male,

Moreover, most primates favor the reproductive [you need a noun here..."strategy"?] known as K-selected.

In the particular case of the bonobos, a female who is in charge of her own baby can also care for babies from other females.

Homo Sapiens and the individuals settle their differences in courtrooms, [add comma] thanks to attorneys. [an interesting point!]

Super! Good job!

Merci,

Sarah, EssayForum.com



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