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There is subincision, for example, where cuts are made to the base of the penis.
This causes sperm to be ejaculated from the base rather than the end, and is performed in several Aboriginal Australian societies, says Wilson.
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.
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.
I found support for these six predictions in two cross-cultural samples.
Men who display this signal of sexual obedience may gain social benefits if married men are selected to offer social trust and investment preferentially to peers who are less threatening to their paternity.
Clitoridectomy and vaginal infibulation serve a parallel signaling function in women, increasing a husband's paternity certainty and garnering his increased investment.
Wilson Abstract Male genital mutilation (MGM) takes several forms and occurs in about 25% of societies.
This behavior has puzzled anthropologists, doctors and theologians for centuries, and presents an evolutionary challenge since it involves dangerous and costly surgery.