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Being ‘Cucked’ Actually Isn’t All That Weird in the Wild

I turn 39 years old later this year. Admittedly I may just be reaching the point in my life where I’m “behind the times,” I suppose. It seems to me, though, that over the course of the last three or four years people have become super-duper obsessed with whether their wife or girlfriend is boning someone else.

At least if the number of times I’ve been exposed to the word “cuck” is any indication of that phenomenon. In fact, I saw it so much during the 2016 election — usually when I was being sent antisemitic memes with my head in an oven on Twitter (the garbage platform that kicked me off for cussing at Ann Coulter and Don Jr.), that I wrote one of my favorite satirical pieces ever, New Study Reveals Inverse Relationship Between Penis Size And Times Word “Cuck” Is Used, as a way of noting with a comedic touch how much it was being used as a pointless insult.

I’ve seen that term — the abbreviated form of “cuckold” that was sprouted on the Internet — all over the place, but mostly as an insult thrown by people on the right, particularly the alt-right, at anyone they think is a wimply, “beta male” type. To be cuckolded, you see, is to have your wife or girlfriend get into bed with another man, make a baby with that man, and then you have to raise that other man’s baby.

It’s certainly a pretty insulting proposition. Then again, for someone like me it just sounds like more socially conservative slut-shaming than it has to do with the guy who is being “cucked,” since presumably the man doing the cucking might not even know the woman he’s having sex with is involved with another man…but I digress.

As embarrassing as it might be for a human male to be a cuck, it turns out new research supports the notion that it’s not that big a deal in other parts of the animal kingdom.

A study published Wednesday in BMC Biology outlines an unusual species where cuckoldry happens at “extremely high” rates and, oddly, happens among related males. (Inverse)

Yes, that’s right, not only do animals get cucked, a lot of times they get cucked by their brother or a cousin.While it sounds like something out of a soap opera, the BMC study identified an African monogamous species of fish named Variabilichromis moorii that regularly has its females’ eggs fertilized by one of the male partner’s relatives.

…females pair up with a male, lay their eggs, then wait for their male partner to fertilize them. But very often there’s scandal, and a relative of the male partner swoops in and fertilizes the eggs, producing a cuckold in the process.

The BMC study did genetic mapping on baby fish from 70 different families of the species and found that a massive number of them had been cucked.

But even more amazing was the fact that the cuckolds were “more related to their cuckolders than expected by chance,” as the team writes.

Basically, this species of fish seems to treat procreation as a team sport. The teams are essentially based on their families, so to these fish, they’re only being cuckolded if a different family fertilizes their ladies’ eggs. But within the family itself, it’s a free-for-all.

“This ‘banding together’ of related males makes sense, however, when spawning events involve many males, including lots of unrelated males,” said Sefc. “Then, the male relatives essentially work together to compete against the host of unrelated males.”

It makes you wonder if when they get mad at and insult each other if they say stuff like, “Oh yeah?! I bet you’re the only one who mates with your wife, you non-cuck!” But I’m weird like that.

Cover image: “The celebration [fête] of the Order of Cuckoldry before the throne of her majesty, Infidelity”. A satirical print, that parodies knightly orders (such as the English order of the Garter, etc. etc.), which traditionally held annual feasts on the day of the patron-Saint of the order.  via Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)


Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook and Instagram, but not Twitter because he has a potty mouth.

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