It could function to reduce a young mans potential to father a child with an older mans wife, he says.
Sperm competition theory predicts that males will evolve ways to ensure that their sperm, and not another males, fertilises a females eggs.
Genital mutilation, in this view, is just another way to win the sperm war.
In some forms of mutilation, the handicap to sperm competition is obvious.
It might also be the case that selection works at a group level, so that societies that enforce mutilation are more stable because of less conflict over paternity, Wilson says.
David Barash, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, US, says that the paper makes a convincing case. Journal reference: Evolution and Human Behavior (vol 29 p 149) Evolution & Human Behaviour, May 2008, Vol 29, Issue 3, pp 149-164 Male genital mutilation: an adaptation to sexual conflict Christopher G.
So why do some societies insist on such a risky ritual for their men?
When most uncircumcised males achieve an erection it pulls the foreskin back over the glans and back down the shaft of the penis, enabling the coronal ridge to do its business and scoop rival males semen away from the womans cervix. The idea could be tested by comparing the incidence of non-paternity between circumcised and intact males.MGM rituals should facilitate access to social benefits; they should be highly public, watched mainly by men, and performed by a nonrelative.I found support for these six predictions in two cross-cultural samples.I also examined an alternative hypothesis suggesting that MGM signals group commitment for collective action, particularly inter-societal warfare.Although other forms of male scarification fit this model, the distribution of MGM is not predicted by frequency of inter-societal warfare. put forward a theory that the shape of the glans has evolved with the function of pumping a rival's sperm out of the vagina, tending to ensure that a child born after that intercourse is that of the man concerned and not an earlier one.