Good news, everyone: the scientific community, having tired of clarifying for us that we are assholes, has now broken ground in an exciting new territory: clarifying for us that we are horny. If not for such clarifications, I don’t know how I’d get up in the morning.
Anyway, I base this claim on a recent LiveScience article, entitled “Romantic Rivalries Stir Religious Feelings.” The upshot of this piece is that, when exposed to potential sexual competitors who are quite frankly hotter than your bug-ugly self, you will suddenly develop deeply pious feelings in order to compensate for the fact that you will not be “getting any” anytime soon, or within your current lifetime.
Ah-heh, whoops, did I say that out loud? I, uh, actually meant to quote the article:
Rivals on the dating scene could make one feel closer to God, according to new research that suggests one's religiousness may be more closely related to mating strategies than previously known.
In experiments with 269 college students, researchers found that both men and women apparently felt more religious when they saw attractive potential competitors.
Social psychologists had volunteers view dating profiles of either attractive men or women and told them these were fellow students participating at an online dating site. They were then asked to rate, on a 10-point scale, the extent to which they agreed with statements like, "I believe in God," "We'd be better off if religion played a bigger role in people's lives," and "Religious beliefs are important to me in my everyday decisions."
The volunteers appeared more religious when exposed to attractive members of their own sex. … "It's our belief that … one plausible function of religious sanctions on sexuality is to maintain and defend a low-promiscuity, monogamous lifestyle," said researcher Douglas Kenrick at Arizona State University. "For that lifestyle, an abundance of attractive competitors is a threat."
Okey-doke. Next, I should like to share my views. Let me begin by blowing the Great Horn of Bullshit. Stand back:
Thank you. Now, don’t get me wrong: I believe that if any given subject is sincerely religious to begin with, he will remain sincerely religious whether or not he sees a potential romantic rival. However, beyond that, it so happens I have an alternative theory, based on a highly scientific principle which goes something like this: take a sentient, reasonable human being and plunge him into the first stages of sexual jealousy, and he will become, instantaneously, a raving Whonko McNutbucket Loony-Ass. And, as we all know, Whonko McNutbucket Looney-Asses – you may have been one yourself at one time – will say pretty much anything, as evidenced by the personal anecdote in this footnote.*
In other words: this has nothing to do with religion. Why not leave God out of it? Substitute something else. Anything else. Say mustard, on account of it is the first thing that pops into my mind.** If we are feeling great extreme ferocious feelings about our sexy-pants rival, and someone asks us if we have great extreme ferocious feelings about mustard, we are only naturally going to say YES WE DO GRRRRRR YOU WANNA PIECE OF ME? DON’T MAKE ME COME OVER THERE.***
Notice I am referring solely to the initial stages of sexual jealousy here. Eventually the edge will wear off, at which point we will no longer actively want to kill our rival; rather, we will passively want to kill her, while really half-concentrating on whatever is on the E! Network at the time. Initial extremes fade. A good analogy lies in our attraction to the object of our affection. If this person proclaims a great undying devotion to mustard, and we personally have frankly never thought of mustard before, even in church, but we have a great undying devotion to storming the pants of the object of our affection, we will quite frankly feel fiercely devoted to mustard. That’s how it works. Don’t blame me.****
Take heart, though, because these feelings too will fade. Chances are, if you stay with the object of your affection long enough, you will begin to realize not only that you are not that much into mustard after all, but also that the object of your affection is a great freaking waste of space whom you would very much like to whomp repeatedly over the head with a giant mallet, Whac-a-Mole-style, for existing. Then you will feel all better.
Of course, far be it from me to suggest that you should ever falsify yourself for another person. That way lies ruin, and the very real risk that you will have a Teen Novel written about you. Do NOT let this happen; you will never forgive yourself, nor will you be asked to prom until you learn to love your curves.***** Thus I close with this statement from the bottom of my heart: remain true to who you are. Unless, of course, you are an asshole, in which case, falsify away.
And happy dating!
* Like hell.
** And how can I top that?
*** In the interest of full disclosure, I really want some mustard now.
**** Blame my romantic rival. Heh heh. (Sound of hands rubbing together.)
***** DISCLAIMER: The Snark has never read any Teen Novels. Despite appearances, she does not know what she is talking about. Pay no attention.
©2009 Nicola McEldowney
The Snark Ascending