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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Poly will save the world!

Surprising as it may be, I'm a bit of a sci-fi movie fan. I love aliens, other worlds, space exploration, all that yummy stuff. Even more, I'm a huge End Of The World (EOTW) scenario nut. Something about EOTW movies and books that entrances me. I love digesting them, then dissecting them. Exploring all the "what if's?" and even extrapolating from the books and movies what will happen even further down the road.

Being such a big EOTW fan I watch just about every movie even remotely related to the subject that I can find. And I have also noticed a trend.

In a lot of EOTW books and movies after the decimation of most of the global population where groups of people come together there are almost always physical unions made rather quickly. I say "unions" because in some instances there are actual marriages, many instances the unions are a product of love, and in others they are simply out of convenience. Most of the time these unions are incidental to the plot with the exception of romances which are sometimes integral.

More daring EOTW films and books will touch on the subject of repopulation. The way to rebuild is to repopulate right? They may even suggest that people should make unions to begin repopulating the world. Even casual unions are acceptable.

The most adventurous of the EOTW scenarios however are much more direct. They not only recommend repopulation, but strongly encourage it. They are open about the idea that repopulation is necessary and the more partners a woman has the better the probability of pregnancy. Multiple partners are generally accepted. Small groups with skewed gender proportions often stimulate multiple partner activity even more when there is a large proportion of males to females.

It also helps that in most EOTW scenarios the surviving population would resort to martial law, bartering, and in general survival of the fittest. Males quickly become dominant and women often become prey. It makes sense that a woman would partner with the strongest available male, trading up frequently, until she felt protected. Partnering would be a means to survival.

Which leads me to the question; Is everyone Poly after the world population is decimated? After watching a few hundred films and reading a dozen books, most fiction of course, it sure looks that way. To me, it even makes some sense. But accepting that concept leads me to another question; Does how we expect to act after an EOTW event possibly indicate how we have acted in the past? Does it support theories that humans, or maybe I should say our caveman ancestors, were polyamorous? That we, humans, have suppressed our natural instinct for polyamory because of social and moral evolution?

Or is it simply that we are now intelligent enough and so dependent on a populated world, on other people to be around us and help us, that we know repopulation after the EOTW is necessary by any means including multiple-partner relationships?

What do you think? After the EOTW when you find yourself among the ten percent that survive will you do whatever you must to help repopulate the world?


  1. Great questions.

    "Males quickly become dominant and women often become prey."

    I'm having a hard time thinking of an EOTW novel/movie/tv show/comic book that doesn't make this assumption. I do wonder, though, how accurate it would be if it were to happen in real life. Some people would fall into those roles. Would everyone, though?

    "Does how we expect to act after an EOTW event possibly indicate how we have acted in the past?"

    This is a tough question. I think people's basic personalities would remain the same. Extreme events can bring out extreme behaviour in people, though, for better or for worse. I could see some previously docile people becoming much more militaristic. I could also see formerly self-centered people becoming much more community oriented.

    "After the EOTW when you find yourself among the ten percent that survive will you do whatever you must to help repopulate the world?"

    I have absolutely no interest in ever being pregnant or giving birth, so not biologically, no.

    I could see myself looking after kids who had been orphaned/abandoned or being a non-biological mom if there were two or three (or more?) other parents to share the work with, though.

  2. The Preacher's Kid, Thanks for the comments!

    I got a chuckle from you saying "I have absolutely no interest in ever being pregnant or giving birth. . ." I'm surprised by how many women I hear saying that these days.

    Since I'm a male I don't, at least currently, have the concern about becoming physically pregnant myself. That said, I do struggle with an EOTW scenario knowing that repopulation would be necessary but not wanting to bring a child into what I assume would be a barbaric post-apocalyptic world. I guess I won't know for sure until I'm in the situation what I would do.

    Thanks again!

  3. Many of my friends have the same opinion, too, to be honest.

    I wonder if it's more of a case of similar people finding one another or if more women overall are losing interest in having babies? Or maybe it's a little of both? :)

  4. The Preacher's Kid,

    I think it is, for lack of a better term, evolution. It seems that a generation or two ago a lot of people realized they no longer needed a dozen kids to help work the farm, or because of high child mortality rates. Instead people began having a couple of children.
    Now here we are a generation or two later and I think women are realizing they don't *have* to mate with a male and bear children to survive. The men don't require it anymore, nor does society. A woman can live her life happily, and more importantly successfully, without children if she chooses.
    That's just my guess anyway. You would probably know better than I would what factors a woman considers when deciding not to have children.