In keeping with Sibaji Da’s mentioning of the male phallus and why that might lead to…well…seemingly disastrous consequences, I did a little study on my own about…er…the penis! I found this interesting extract from a scientific journal on why is the penis shaped the way it is shaped. Evolutionary psychologists say that here too came the contention of SEXUAL JEALOUSY- a state of being that we now know very well!! 😉 Well to put it bluntly, the longer one’s dick is, the better are the chances of paternity after mating with the female of the species— sexual jealousy, male chauvinism, sado-masochism, the desire to sow one’s seeds– political ambitions, leadership, possessiveness…all traits so associated with men have one thing in common– the penis. Well, its all down there ain’t it? Your EGO, your pleasure and the cause for GENOCIDE???!!!
If one were to examine the penis objectively—please don’t do this in a public place or without the other person’s permission—and compare the shape of this organ to the same organ in other species, they’d notice the following uniquely human characteristics. First, despite variation in size between individuals, the erect human penis is especially large compared to that of other primates, measuring on average between five and six inches in length and averaging about five inches in circumference. (Often in this column I’ll relate the science at hand to my own experiences, but perhaps this particular piece is best written without my normally generous use of anecdotes.) Even the most well-endowed chimpanzee, the species that is our closest living relative, doesn’t come anywhere near this. Rather, even after correcting for overall mass and body size, their penises are about half the size of human penises in both length and circumference. I’m afraid that I’m a more reliable source on this than most. Having spent the first five years of my academic life studying great ape social cognition, I’ve seen more simian penises than I care to mention. I once spent a summer with a 450-pound silverback gorilla that was hung like a wasp (great guy, though) and baby-sat a lascivious young orangutan that liked to insert his penis in just about anything with a hole, which unfortunately one day included my ear.
Now, the irony doesn’t escape me. But in spite of the fact that this particular evolutionary psychologist (yours truly) is gay, for the purposes of research we must consider the evolution of the human penis in relation to the human vagina. Magnetic imaging studies of heterosexual couples having sex reveal that, during coitus, the typical penis completely expands and occupies the vaginal tract, and with full penetration can even reach the woman’s cervix and lift her uterus. This combined with the fact that human ejaculate is expelled with great force and considerable distance (up to two feet if not contained), suggests that men are designed to release sperm into the uppermost portion of the vagina possible. Thus, in a theoretical paper published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology in 2004, Gallup and coauthor, Rebecca Burch, conjecture that, “A longer penis would not only have been an advantage for leaving semen in a less accessible part of the vagina, but by filling and expanding the vagina it also would aid and abet the displacement of semen left by other males as a means of maximizing the likelihood of paternity.”
This “semen displacement theory” is the most intriguing part of Gallup’s story. We may prefer to regard our species as being blissfully monogamous, but the truth is that, historically, at least some degree of fooling around has been our modus operandi for at least as long we’ve been on two legs. Since sperm cells can survive in a woman’s cervical mucus for up to several days, this means that if she has more than one male sexual partner over this period of time, say within 48 hours, then the sperm of these two men are competing for reproductive access to her ovum. According to Gallup and Burch, “examples include, group sex, gang rape, promiscuity, prostitution, and resident male insistence on sex in response to suspected infidelity.” The authors also cite the well-documented cases of human heteroparity, where “fraternal twins” are in fact sired by two different fathers who had sex with the mother within close succession to each other, as evidence of such sexual inclinations.
So how did natural selection equip men to solve the adaptive problem of other men impregnating their sexual partners? The answer, according to Gallup, is their penises were sculpted in such a way that the organ would effectively displace the
semen of competitors from their partner’s vagina, a well-synchronized effect facilitated by the “upsuck” of thrusting during intercourse. Specifically, the coronal ridge offers a special removal service by expunging foreign sperm. According to this analysis, the effect of thrusting would be to draw other men’s sperm away from the cervix and back around the glans, thus “scooping out” the semen deposited by a sexual rival.
Jesus who would have thoughtof that!!