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MGM rituals should facilitate access to social benefits; they should be highly public, watched mainly by men, and performed by a nonrelative.
I found support for these six predictions in two cross-cultural samples.
But if a man with, say, four wives wants to ensure that any children his wives produce are his, there is pressure to make sure other men cant successfully impregnate them. If the sperm competition theory is correct, he reasoned, then male genital mutilation should be more common in societies where men tend to have multiple wives, especially those in which the wives live apart from the husband. Wilson searched anthropological databases and found that his predictions were borne out: 48% of highly polygynous societies practice some form of male genital mutilation, and in societies in which wives live in separate households that increases to 63%.
The husbands own reproductive ability is impaired, but continuous and repeated access to his wives makes up for it, while any genital mutilation is a greater handicap to an interloper trying to sneak brief occasional sex with his wives. The mutilation would also probably be carried out in a public setting, witnessed mostly by other men, and performed by a non-relative. Only 14% of the monogamous societies in the database practice male genital mutilation.
Genital mutilation, in this view, is just another way to win the sperm war.
Male genital mutilation makes it less likely that a male will manage to father a child with another mans wife, Wilson says.READERS: The latex genitalia study wasn't terribly convincing because the models were circumcised, and in real life the foreskin would interfere with the semen-displacing functions of the coronal ridge.So, does the foreskin pose a problem for the semen displacement theory?So why do some societies insist on such a risky ritual for their men?There may be an evolutionary explanation, according to Christopher Wilson, of Cornell University in New York, US.