There’s a new paper out that says evolutionary psychology might best be looked at through the lens of Chris Rock’s comedy:
…Much of Rock’s riffs on sex and marriage ring true and hence funny with his audiences because he deftly evokes their awareness of evolved sex differences in human mating strategies. Popular culture such as Rock’s comedy can provide a window into human nature. I illustrate the intersection of EP and popular culture by unpacking the evolutionary theory and empirical evidence underlying 21 verbatim bits on human mating from Rock’s five HBO comedy specials. Incorporating Rock’s outrageously funny, theoretically sound, and empirically supported perspectives on sex and marriage into discussions of the primary literature is a sure-fire way to grab young people’s attention and make memorable the myriad ways that sex differences stem from asymmetrical obligatory parental investment.
Source: “It’s Funny Because It’s True (Because It Evokes Our Evolved Psychology)” from Review of General Psychology
It’s interesting — and quite entertaining — to see Rock’s comedy translated into its scientific equivalent:
After courting each other, men and women often come into conflict over the occurrence and timing of sex (Buss, 2003). This is because the mating strategy pursued by one sex often interferes with the strategy employed by the other sex (Buss, 1989b). As a means of gaining sexual access to a variety of partners, men pursuing a short-term mating strategy look to expedite sexual intercourse after meeting a desired female (Buss & Schmitt, 1993). Rock discusses a particularly blunt method of minimizing the amount of time elapsed before seeking sex from a sought after partner…
Every man in here that’s with a woman he hasn’t fucked yet is all thinking the same thing: When do I whip it out? Do I just shove her hand down there when we start kissing good night and watch her move it like she got cerebral palsy or some shit? Do I put it on a tray like a appetizer? Sprinkle some parsley around it: “Bon appe ́- tit!” . . . And then once you whip it out, there’s always a chance that the woman goes, “Could you put that back?” . . . That never happens to women. Women never whip out a titty and hear, “Hey, put that titty back! If I’d known you was whipping out titties, I wouldn’t even have come upstairs. Put the titty back. Are we gonna watch this movie or what?” (Rock, 2008, 1:04:46–1:06:14).
Although both men and women pursue both short-term and long-term mating, the former looms larger in men’s than in women’s mating repertoire (Buss, 2003, 2012). Due to sexual asymmetries in obligatory parental investment, the ancestral reproductive benefits of short-term mating were greater and the costs lesser for men compared to women (Symons, 1979; Trivers, 1972). Modern men often struggle over which mating strategy to pursue…
Every man’s got a choice to make . . . . And you know what the choice is: commitment or new pussy. That is the question: commitment or new pussy. Ya know, commitment will give you a headache every now and then; new pussy always clears your mind (Rock, 1996, 49:00–50:30).
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