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January 25, 2006 9:35 AM   Subscribe

Monogamists have bigger brains. More precisely, female monogamy in bats makes their male partner's brains bigger and their balls smaller, while female promiscuity in another bat species caused males to have huge balls and teeny brains. Can trusting your partner not to cheat lead to greater intellectual greatness? Via.
posted by onlyconnect (57 comments total)

 
Oh dear. "Greater intellectual greatness"? Sorry. (If it's relevant, my balls are so small as to be nonexistant.)
posted by onlyconnect at 9:44 AM on January 25, 2006


and promiscuous females have bigger gashes - no news yet on brain size.
posted by wumpus at 9:45 AM on January 25, 2006


...

Or is it simply that it's easier for female bats to cheat on dumb guys?
posted by Foosnark at 9:46 AM on January 25, 2006


In the interest of the "Batman and Robin" controversy, I humbly submit incontrovertible evidence that gay men have larger genitalia than heterosexual men.
posted by Rothko at 9:50 AM on January 25, 2006


I see this as a logical evolutionary result of less mass copulating amongst a species. Think about it: why would the monogamous species develop larger testes if the males will mate for life?
posted by NationalKato at 9:52 AM on January 25, 2006


I humbly submit incontrovertible evidence that gay men have larger genitalia than heterosexual men.

Studies have shown that gay men with small penises don't participate in studies.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:54 AM on January 25, 2006


"Bats invest an enormous amount in testis, and the investment has to come from somewhere. There are no free lunches," said Hoskens...

Did I seriously just read that?
posted by Peter H at 9:56 AM on January 25, 2006


The investment has to literally 'come' from somewhere. Is there an index fund for investing in testis? Can get on that gravy train through my Ameritrade account?
posted by spicynuts at 10:03 AM on January 25, 2006


or...could it be the other way around in terms of the cause/effect?? we're making some assumptions here, aren't we?
posted by HuronBob at 10:08 AM on January 25, 2006


The Spicynuts Fund! (may contain traces of nuts or bat testis)
posted by shoepal at 10:09 AM on January 25, 2006


Can trusting your partner not to cheat lead to greater intellectual greatness?

I think it's far more likely that not trusting your partner to cheat leads to bigger brains. Only monogamous males can be cuckolded.

Everyone wants their genes to pass to the next generation. Big balls are the shotgun -- they try to hit every available target, with enough volume to overwhelm everyone else's efforts. Big brains are the sniper rifle -- single, well-placed shots, into selected targets which are then carefully guarded against rivals.
posted by bjrubble at 10:11 AM on January 25, 2006


Metafilter: Big balls are the shotgun
posted by Peter H at 10:14 AM on January 25, 2006


What i don't understand is how you can hit the smaller balls with the bigger bat.
posted by storybored at 10:17 AM on January 25, 2006


free market, supply and demand. female promiscuity increases competition. on the other hand, if nobody's getting any anyway, who cares if it's microscopic?
posted by quonsar at 10:19 AM on January 25, 2006


oh, and...


posted by quonsar at 10:26 AM on January 25, 2006


MY EYES.

MY. EYES.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 10:29 AM on January 25, 2006


oh, and...

What a DUMB FUCKING BAT!
posted by Peter H at 10:30 AM on January 25, 2006


Batse!
posted by spicynuts at 10:30 AM on January 25, 2006


Armitage Shanks : "Studies have shown that gay men with small penises don't participate in studies."

Actually, what the studies you quote show is that gay man with small penises don't participate in the kind of movie the other studies based their conclusions on.
posted by nkyad at 10:32 AM on January 25, 2006


Brain size and intelligence aren't directly related. So it's possible that those big-balled bats are the real winners. If their brains are well-wrinkled or wired, they could be just as smart, or smarter, than their big-brained relatives.Foosnark also makes a great point... we don't know which direction the causation lies in. Could be promiscuous she-bats are more likely to get away with it when their mates are small-brained... or that she-bats which are prone to being promiscuous are more attracted to big-balled he-bats. Or that the sexy she-bats are both more promiscuous and more likely to attract big-balled he-bats... the possibilities are both endless and extremely entertaining. :: shrug ::
posted by kyld at 10:32 AM on January 25, 2006


but why can't i have a big brain AND big balls?
posted by Doorstop at 10:36 AM on January 25, 2006


Is there evidence that slightly larger brains translate into higher intelligence?
posted by OmieWise at 10:37 AM on January 25, 2006


On preview, it appears that kyld answered my question while I was called away from my desk.
posted by OmieWise at 10:38 AM on January 25, 2006


* flap flap flap *
posted by squirrel at 10:39 AM on January 25, 2006


MY BRAIN.

MY. TINY. BRAIN.
posted by speedo at 10:39 AM on January 25, 2006


Is there evidence that slightly larger brains translate into higher intelligence?

This is a complicated question and should probably be addressed by someone with much smaller balls than I.
posted by spicynuts at 10:40 AM on January 25, 2006


Doesn't equipment like that disrupt in-flight aerodynamics?
posted by sourwookie at 10:42 AM on January 25, 2006


Doesn't the fact that males think with their genitalia disprove this whole study?
posted by Pollomacho at 10:45 AM on January 25, 2006


Oh and quonsar, that's hot!
posted by Pollomacho at 10:46 AM on January 25, 2006


The human penis as a semen displacement device.

When It Comes To Sperm Competition, Size Can Matter.

Big Penises or Big Brains? Is it all just showing off?
posted by biffa at 10:47 AM on January 25, 2006


I love how willing people are to take any research on any animal and apply it to their own lives. "Honey, it says here that the blue-tufted willowsnipe builds a new nest every five years! Maybe we SHOULD look at a second mortgage!"
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 10:49 AM on January 25, 2006


Jesus Christ, Quonsar, where in the hell did you find that?

On second thought, I don't think I want to know...
posted by kgasmart at 11:00 AM on January 25, 2006


Some studies do suggest that there's a correlation between brain size and intelligence, but I'm not sure I want to believe them.
posted by onlyconnect at 11:01 AM on January 25, 2006


quonsar,
What the hell does inlining that picture of naked Tony Danza have to do with ball size and brains? Flagged offtopic! You should know better.
posted by Divine_Wino at 11:14 AM on January 25, 2006


quonsar: I humbly bow to you, and your incredible collection of animal genitalia.
posted by I Love Tacos at 11:15 AM on January 25, 2006


This may explain some of my dating issues.
posted by Red58 at 11:19 AM on January 25, 2006


Random notes to myself: I couldn't bet my underwear on this morning and I need to have a talk with the wife.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:20 AM on January 25, 2006


oops.

Random notes to myself: I couldn't get my underwear on this morning and I need to have a talk with the wife.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:21 AM on January 25, 2006


And here you can see a few specimens of Homo Metafiltericus, a subset (very much sub) of Homo Sapiens Sapiens, displaying each other pictures of horny bats in order to provoke laughter, envy and amazement in others.

You can see the species praising an individuhal named quonsar (which in ancient language proabably ment ghayer then your have neighbor) yet at the same time laugh at his presumed necessary closeted zoophilia.
posted by elpapacito at 11:24 AM on January 25, 2006


(which in ancient language proabably ment ghayer then your have neighbor)

Your balls must be yooooge.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:48 AM on January 25, 2006


I just shat my pants. thanks, q!
posted by mr.marx at 12:01 PM on January 25, 2006


The problem is in getting the bats to hold still.
posted by JWright at 12:03 PM on January 25, 2006


Some balls are held for charity
And some for fancy dress
But when they're held for pleasure
They're the balls that I like best
My balls are always bouncing
To the left and to the right
It's my belief that my big balls
Should be held every night

I've got big balls
I've got big balls
And they're such big balls
Dirty big balls
And he's got big balls
And she's got big balls
But we've got the biggest balls of them all
posted by Mr Bluesky at 12:10 PM on January 25, 2006


squirrel writes "* flap flap flap *"

wins!
posted by moonbird at 12:43 PM on January 25, 2006


"Can trusting your partner not to cheat lead to greater intellectual greatness?"

Ummm. No.

It takes far more brainpower to form solid, lasting relationships while still being non-monogamous. Trust me on this one... the amount and quality of communication required to maintain a polyamorous household is absolutely daunting.
posted by insomnia_lj at 12:51 PM on January 25, 2006


In species with monogamous females, males had testes starting at 0.11 percent of their body weight and ranging up to 1.4 percent. But in species where the females had a large number of mates, Pitnick found testes ranged from 0.6 percent to 8.5 percent of the males' mass.

OK, cool. So what's the ratio for human males? Are we a monogamous species or not?
posted by Nelson at 3:08 PM on January 25, 2006


Jesus Christ, Quonsar, where in the hell did you find that?

Digital Nature Photography and Wildlife Photographs by Mark B. Bartosik
posted by quonsar at 3:26 PM on January 25, 2006


Trust me on this one... the amount and quality of communication required to maintain a polyamorous household is absolutely daunting.

Is that why they so commonly fall apart in gigantic emotional conflagrations?
posted by beth at 4:08 PM on January 25, 2006


Is that why they so commonly fall apart in gigantic emotional conflagrations?

You know, I came for the bat penis, but I stayed for the argument.
posted by 235w103 at 4:16 PM on January 25, 2006


Oh, I'm sorry, this is abuse. Try door 12A down the hall.
posted by zoogleplex at 5:58 PM on January 25, 2006


quonsar, I think I've found a good match, for your, apparently very small-brained, friend there. Warning: batse
posted by dgaicun at 6:27 PM on January 25, 2006


All I have in this world is my balls and my word and I don't break them for no one.
In this cave, you gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the balls. Then when you get the balls, then you get the women. Then they cheat on you.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:23 PM on January 25, 2006


I think the way it works is if you have the money, you don't need the balls. Seems that way here in LA...
posted by zoogleplex at 7:30 PM on January 25, 2006


"Is that why they so commonly fall apart in gigantic emotional conflagrations?"

Yes, that is why. If you don't have good communication, inevitably everyone isn't on the same page, people's needs aren't met or addressed, trust is lost, and secrets and deception often follow... which, of course, leads to gigantic emotional conflagrations when the ugly truth finally bursts forth like a fetid sore.

Fortunately, monogamous relationships never suffer from these kind of issues.
posted by insomnia_lj at 8:14 PM on January 25, 2006


In all honesty though, most polyamorous relationships don't work out, but most of the polyamorous relationships that I have seen fail have been relatively amicable, considering.

Usually one or two people choose to leave the household, divorces, if applicable, are pretty straightforward, custody of any kids is usually shared, and all partners involved are usually given the kind of rights you'd generally expect parents to have, whether they are biological parents or not.

Established polyamorous relationships are a lot different than far less experienced "threesome killed the friendship" scenarios. If you think that established poly relationships all end in "gigantic emotional conflagrations", then perhaps you've seen too many episodes of Rikki Lake.
posted by insomnia_lj at 8:26 PM on January 25, 2006


Is it true that you guys have to wear that weird underwear?
posted by dgaicun at 8:59 PM on January 25, 2006


No, but when my girlfriend explained to her mother that she was moving in with me... and my wife... well, she thought I was a Mormon.
posted by insomnia_lj at 2:10 AM on January 26, 2006


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