2008年2月22日星期五

女憑卵貴 男性屈居追求者

  多年來每逢佳人佳節,男性們都紛紛急忙搶購鮮花贈與佳人。而今年亦聽聞有女仕主動參加一些超級短期課程嘗試親手焗製蛋糕給其男友享用。這樣除了用於鮮花的開支外,男士需要面露善悅激萬分地把這些類似食物的東西吞進肚子去。亦可說是男性為了求偶而額外付出的代價。我們今天探討的問題非常簡單。為何男追女而非女追男?

傳宗接代 要靠女方

  一位著名研究進化的生物學家RICHARD DAUKINS認為所有的求偶行為都是為了傳宗接代而昨出的前奏。而製造下一代的用處是令到男女雙方各半的遺傳基因可以藉此在世上延續下去。既然男女雙方的基因都可以說中得益為何偏偏男追女?

經濟邏輯給我們一個簡單答案。女方每一粿卵只需要男方的一條精蟲便可成事。但男士則每天帶着兩袋數以億計的精蟲周街跑。明顯地這個情況可以被稱上為供過於求;還有女方一生卵子的數目是固定而男方的精子則天天新鮮運到。

  換比例維持一對一物以罕為貴這個道理雖然交使到一條精蟲的市場價值遠遠低於一粿珍貴的卵子。在這情況下,競爭者的目光當然自動集中於較為價值高的物品上。而精子的供應量因為過分豐裕,因此在市場上不會出現很多女性會為了爭取多一點精子付出代價。男追女這個普遍的現象便形成了。

  亦因為精子的價值不及卵子,在競爭下,男士必須作出補貼方可與女仕達成今年交易。再者,基因複製技術的面世將會大大減低女性對精子的需求。女性不單可以自行製造下一代(女兒),還可以令到自己百分百的基因延續下去,毋須跟男士合作而被迫五五分帳在雀鳥身上雄性追求雌性所付出的代價非常明顯。

雄性搶眼 掩護伴侶

  除了先為雌性築巢等如買樓過大禮外,還須成諾一生保護妻子安全。雄性雀鳥身上長出的羽毛,往往比雌性的更多更長而且顏色更搶眼。我們或許以為這是吸引雌性的手法。但生物學家認為這是為了吸引捕獵者,原因是雌性身上的卵子比雌性身上的精子價值高,所以,當有必要作出犧性時,從傳宗接代的角度看犧牲雄性是較為便宜的選擇雄性雀鳥身上目曜目的顏色作用見移開捕臘者的注意力,使雌性有多點機會逃跑。這通通的精子過量供應道業的含義。

2 則留言:

Kempton 說...

Hi Joe,

Thanks for an interesting and fun to read analysis that I happen to disagree with.

With the recent 裸照風波, I guess I can be more blunt and your readers will not be too shocked. Nowadays, most people dates not because they want to get married or have babies (see P.S.1), they want to have some fun and may be sex. Thats it, lots of sex. So I think your analysis might seem a bit out-dated (by a million years or two) in implying 男追女 because they want to start a family and have babies. (smile)

Now, let me use some unreliable 2006 stats that I just copied and pasted from the Wikipedia (sorry, I hope you understand it may be an overkill to do more research as I don't want to be HK's David Foot). (big smile, see P.S.2)

Excerpt from Demographics_of_Hong_Kong Wikipedia page,

Age structure: (End of 2006 est.)

0-14 years: 13.5% (male 482,500; female 452,100)
15-24 years: 13.1% (male 445,400; female 459,300)
25-34 years: 15.3% (male 462,000; female 592,000)
35-44 years: 18.1% (male 547,000; female 698,400)
45-54 years: 17.5% (male 594,200; female 613,400)
55-64 years: 10.0% (male 353,500; female 337,400)
65 and over: 12.5% (male 339,500; female 464,800)

Looking at the "over-supply" of females (in all age ranges from 15-54), shouldn't we have 女追男 instead? Note the 130,000 extra females in the ages range from 25-34 available.

Or may be the males have been misinformed and didn't realize the over-supply of females? Or are HK males still stuck in their traditional male-chauvinistic view that males are superior (so they should pay) and thus unable to take advantage of the new market information that they don't have to?

Of course, may be the HK females know that they have the "Location, Location, Location" advantage (being *in* HK) and more readily available for dates, etc that they can "price" themselves higher than what the supply-and-demand dictates?

Of course, may be the exodus of males during weekends to visit their "girl friends" in near-by Chinese cities is sending a market signal to the ladies in HK as well?

Thanks for a fun to read article even I disagree with your analysis.

Regards,
Kempton

P.S.1. Quoting the same source, "According to statistics released in 2006, Hong Kong has the world’s lowest birth rate--0.9 per woman of child-bearing age, far below the replacement rate of 2.1."

P.S.2. David Foot is a demographer and economist at U of Toronto in Canada.

hey! 說...

如果女性是物以稀為貴的話, 怎麼從前女性地位就比較低呢?