The first of our ancestors who was recognizably human was Homo habilis, at the beginning of our genus (about 2 million years ago). Here lies the potential origin of the human experience. They are believed to be the first tool makers, taking advantage of their superior intellect. However, our current cultural form of adaptation did not appear until at least 200,000 years ago. As I understand it anyway.
This leads me to an intriguing conclusion. Both forms of adaptation (biological & cultural) are involved with the modern human experience. Is it possible they both have had a significant impact on the development of human society, and thus human sexuality? Let us explore the possible interactions here. Perhaps this could form a new approach to human sexuality:
Origin of Sexuality
1.) Biological Adaptation Era — May enhance subsistence by contributing to it’s fundamental ingredients
2.) Cultural Adaptation Era– May enhance social structure by contributing to it’s cultural institutions
To be more specific, we are hypothesizing plausible stages human sexuality might have experienced over the course of it’s own development. We shall do this by exploring what contribution human sexuality could have made to the survival of our species. Let us see if we can be any more specific by utilizing the three roots of our Tree of Sexuality (I am referencing my own post; The Sexuality Triangle).
1.) Biological Adaption Era
Psychological Portion — may enhance mental health by reducing stress levels and increasing opportunities for self-expression, may enhance creative spirit (creates a safe environment for expressive experimentation), may enhance physical awareness
Sociological Portion — may enhance interpersonal relationships, communicative abilities, & social dynamics (think of all the gossip)
Sexual Portion — may enhance physical fitness (sex is a work out), sexual skills (oolala!), may reduce occurrences of specific forms of cancer and other illnesses, procreation
2.) Cultural Adaptation
Psychological Portion — bridges the gap between the identity chosen by an individual for the individual and the identity chosen by society for the individual, i.e. sexual orientations carry connotations that can be meaningful to both the individual and that individual’s society
Sociological Portion — provides a potential social medium for the individual, which all members of that individual’s social structure will recognize and understand (regardless of size of the society in question)
Sexual Portion — most human societies take strong stances on the issue of sex, whether those stances are openly discussed or not; this points toward a potentially significant interaction between the sexual habits of an individual and that individual’s society (i.e. different sexual habits can be labeled and given connotations meaningful to both the individual and the individual’s society, regardless of that society’s size)
It looks like human sexuality, in the context of a biological adaptation, would have been more focused on sex and interpersonal relationships. This contrasts with a cultural adaptation where the relationship between the individual and the society that individual lives within becomes much more important. It seems clear to me that sexuality has made a significant contribution to how our species accomplishes subsistence [or more].
I personally believe that human sexuality can be utilized to maintain a healthy mentality. On top of that, I believe sexuality was one of the ways our ancestors understood and related to the world, similar to the concept of empathy. Actually, what if empathy was the precursor to human sexuality? What if underlying human sexuality is the drive to survive? What if it was through human sexuality that our species managed to advance from a biological form of adaptation to a cultural form?
I believe there is a significant relationship between human sexuality and our species as a whole. I started this blog to explore that idea. Even if I am wrong, exploring the development of human sexuality still is a great way to discover more about the human experience. For example, the concept of splitting our genus into biological and cultural adaptative eras is a product of this exploration of human sexuality. Woot!
A Frolicker of Sexual Fluidity