My Brush with Reproductive Success

Sadly I am a big fan of the traditional approach to these matters so I never followed up with them.  Since this blog could use a touch of humor, …..

invitation to donate sperm

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28 Responses to My Brush with Reproductive Success

  1. Ron Pavellas says:

    What’s a Harpending by another name? No telling…

  2. gcochran9 says:

    Well, it’s always nice to be asked. Once upon a time, when I was working at Hughes Aircraft, I was approached in a similar but somewhat less formal way. At lunch, a friend of a friend made a similar request. It seems that a female friend of his, after a divorce, despaired of ever being able to make marriage work, but wanted a kid. I was surprised, I guess – but after all, you have to check these things out. I had the impression that this might mean never seeing a child of mine, which did not sound at all good (I think that bothered several of the donors Plotz talked to), but the go-between told me that she’d prefer that the father maintained contact. I was assured that the lady in question was young, attractive, and lived just a few blocks from me. Hmmmm. I asked what she did for a living. Hearing that she was a child psychologist, I laughed so hard that I fell off my chair. It’s possible that queered the deal.

    Back then, I was suave and debonair.

  3. anthon says:

    The interesting thing is that the demand was so low for the semen of intelligent men. But, from what I’ve read, the demand for the semen of top rock stars was extremely high. Just shows that females have an unerring intuition for the currency of reproductive success. And it suggests that sexual selection is not racing after intelligence, at least not today, and probably not in the Neolithic or the Paleolithic.

    • Sean says:

      “I’ve read, the demand for the semen of top rock stars was extremely high. Just shows that females have an unerring intuition for the currency of reproductive success. And it suggests that sexual selection is not racing after intelligence, at least not today, and probably not in the Neolithic or the Paleolithic.”

      When women can take their pick the demand for gallous, extrovert and showy males is high. Which makes me think I know why a certain human group makes good singers and dancers. And why, according to Satoshi Kanazawa, the women are rated as less attractive.

      If men could choose what would they go for? Looks I think. Which human group has the most distinctive looks

      • billswift says:

        That depends on the “looks” you are looking for. “Sthenic”, healthy looking, strong, and active, is the peak of beauty to many.

      • Bob Arctor says:

        “Which human group has the most distinctive looks”

        “Distinctive” as in most distinct from other human groups? Then it would be African San bushmen, most probably.

  4. Kiwiguy says:

    ***demand for the semen of top rock stars was extremely high. Just shows that females have an unerring intuition for the currency of reproductive success. And it suggests that sexual selection is not racing after intelligence ***

    I read recently that a growing number of women in the UK were seeking Danish sperm donors (some kind of viking appeal I guess). The celebrity ones I’ve read of always note they want someone intelligent (I particularly remember Sharon Stone had a certain IQ requirement).

    I can think of quite a few smart rock stars. Brian May from Queen has a Phd in astrophysics, before he suspended his studies in the 1970’s he wrote two scientific research papers, “Mgl Emission in the Night-Sky Spectrum” and “An Investigation of th Motion of Zodiacal Dust Particles.”

    Mick Jagger studied economics at LSE, the original members of Pink Floyd met in an architectural college.

  5. Kiwiguy says:

    ***despaired of ever being able to make marriage work, but wanted a kid***

    A divorced friend of mine was in this situation. Apparently she found a potential donor over the internet, but after meeting him decided he was unsuitable. I suggested she could try emailing some professors at the local University, but I don’t think she ever followed up on that.

  6. dave chamberlin says:

    Here’s a mad scientist idea. Let’s figure out how to raise infertility amoung males so that more women seek outside donors(they seem to be far smarter than average). Maybe we can overcome the idiocracy trends discussed in previous threads and save the world from Donald Trump type presidents. It might be as simple as a few more trace elements in plastic bottles. I can dream can’t I?

  7. Sean says:

    The babies looked like the fertility doctor. Cecil Jacobson (who had genuine achivements to his name, he introduced amniocentesis to diagnosis defects in the unborn.)

    Personality is mainly from the mother, looks from the father. So Jacobson’s kids got to weigh 300lbs while clever and OK personality wise as the mothers weren’t in on it. What kind of personality would a child inherit from the kind of mother mother who chose to get pregnant by a sperm donor selected by IQ?

    Kiwiguy,Those sperm donors in Denmark were highly selected ones, not typical of the country, Denmark has the lowest quality sperm in the world. It also has the highest digit ratio.

  8. gcochran says:

    “Personality is mainly from the mother, looks from the father”

    Untrue. Cut this out.

  9. Sean says:

    I think it’s a common observation that people tend to resemble their father in looks, about personality, OK I had it wrong. But about IQ Christoper Badcock (his latest blog post may be of interest, it’s about schiz and infection) says “genes on the X being implicated in intelligence and related cognitive skills, you could say that you inherit your IQ from your mother.” Here

    So the majority of women liking gallous men makes sense. And the women going for IQ over all other qualities in a sperm donor have it wrong.

    • Bob Arctor says:

      No, children don’t “get their IQ from their mother.” According to one of Linda Godfredson’s studies, for biological families the mother-child IQ correlation was 0.41 and the father-child correlation was 0.40. Other data show the same pattern, a very slightly higher mother-child correlation than father-child, but not by much.

      http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/intelligence.html

      Is it that difficult to look this up? It took me less than a minute.

      • Sean says:

        The X-chromosome of a male child must necessarily come from the mother. The mother-son correlation must be quite a bit higher I think. And really high (and low) IQ is more common in men.
        Those women going for a high IQ donor are not going to get the X-chromosome effect in their sons, so there will be a noticeable shortfall of super high IQs (which are always overwhelmingly male) in the children of super-high IQ sperm donors.

        • gcochran9 says:

          Judging from the fraction of all genes on the X chromosome (about 10%), you’d expect the mother-son correlation to be a bit higher than the father-son correlation – but not a lot higher.

      • Sean says:

        Not a lot higher, but about 87% of all super high IQs are found in males. That is surely because of the X-chromosome effect in those males lucky enough to have a brainy mother and a brainy father. (eg Galton’s smarter cousin. His mother was the daughter of Josiah Wedgwood, father the son of Erasmus Darwin.) In the children of mothers impregnated through a high IQ sperm donor program the IQ distribution may be altered because there would not be normal assortative mating for IQ . So super high IQs might be quite a bit less than predictions in a donor program if the predictions are based on correlations from children conceived through normal mate choice.

  10. gcochran says:

    It’s what you would expect, a priori. Men get slightly more genes from their mother than from their father (the X chromosome), while women get equal amounts from mother and father.

  11. j says:

    My respects to Prof. Harpending for keeping this historical document. When the news appeared about the “Genius Bank” I asked a female friend to send an enquiry, to learn what was all about and if it was a neo-Nazi enterprise as the papers insinuated. We arrived to the point of sending liquid nitrogen containers (I stopped there). I found out that it was what they said it was, a legitimate effort that had not one “racist” angle. Later I learned that many of the donors were California Jews. But the times were not mature to grant success to this enterprise.

    Neither are today. Today’s edition of the Hebrew paper HaAretz has a first page article on the “scandal” of Israeli sperm banks, that discriminate against those rejected by the Army. Contrary to its image, Israeli Army is like the French Foreign Legion, it will accept anyone ambulant and capable of learning the language and to shoot, no questions asked. Our Left demands that morons should be given equal rights to pass on their genes.

  12. j says:

    Prof. Harpending: By titling the post “My brush with reproductive success” are you insinuating that you consider yourself to be a reproductive failure?

  13. Dingo says:

    Sean, the rock stars I have studied seem to possess extraordinary intelligence. They were not the best example to use in your argument.

    • Sean says:

      Elvis, the Beatles, Rolling Stones? The father of Jagger was a PE teacher (Jagger is the cousin of Roger Daltrey by the way). I don’t see anything beyond the ordinary range of successful people. Paul Allen is a big Hendrix fan , ( see Digit ratio and celebrity worship).

      • Sean says:

        Paul Allen is quite a good example of the kind of high IQ donor who women would worry about getting. Maybe that explains a demand for rock stars .

  14. Justthisguy says:

    Here’s a funny post on the subject by The Autistic Bitch from Hell on her old blog:

    http://autisticbfh.blogspot.com/2006/02/08/guerilla-sperm-donor.html

  15. Sean says:

    Odd hair colours, Why is a sperm bank banning redheads? Because red hair (and the significantly lighter skin that goes with it) is sex linked and those men are perceived as less masculine perhaps?

  16. Anonymous says:

    Serious question: why didn’t you do it?

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