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January 14, 1962 - Image 10

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1962-01-14
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By MARSTON BATES

OOD AND SEX are different-almost
any adult can tell them apart. But
they are curiously parallel in many ways,
and they may even sometimes blend. In
a few species of insects and spiders, the
female eats the male-after copulation-
and food exchange of some sort isa
part of courtship behavior in many
groups of animals. In human behavior,
the parallels are shown in the use and
meanings of a whole list of words that
can pass back and forth between the
contexts of food and sex: appetite, hun-
ger, satiated, starved.
It is hardly extraordinary -that there
should be parallels because food and sex
-nutrition and reproduction-are two
basic needs or drives of all organisms.
In the special case of human behavior,
these biological needs have come under
strong cultural control, and the cultural
control has often modified them, re-
stricted them, twisted them, in com-
parable ways.
* * *
BEFORE LOOKING at human behavior,
we might briefly consider the biolog-
ical roles of food and sex. From this
point of view, we have to deal with three
levels of organization-the individual, the
population and the community. It is only
when we look at individual behavior
that we find parallels. Populations, as
the biologist sees them, are defined in
terms of sex, of reproductive behavior;
communities, in terms of food. One could
say that in studying the community, the
biologist is concerned w'ith who eats
whom; in studying a population, with
who sleeps with whom.
A biological species is defined as a
population of individuals that form, ac-
tually or potentially, an interbreeding
aggregation, separated from other similar
populations by barriers to breeding, either
behavioral or physiological. Mankind
forms a single biological species because,
as we all know, individuals form the
most diverse subgroups of the total popu-
lation and are capable of interbreeding
and, producing fertile offspring: such
breeding barriers as exist are geographical
or cultural, not biological, and are easily
transcended. In one way, then, the prob-
lem of the origin of species becomes the
problem of the origin of breeding barriers
within populations-the problem of the
ways in which an interbreeding aggre-
gation may become subdivided into two
or more reproductively isolated popula-
tions, no longer capable of exchanging
gene material, and hence subject tp in-
dependent evolutionary developments.
The biological community-a quite dif-
Contents
MAN, FOOD AND SEX..... Page Two
By Marston Bates
A VIEW OF THE ESSENCE
OF CHARISMA ...........Page Four
By Fred Russell Kramer

'AN, FOOD

'HAIL' TO '98-99
St udents 63 Year's A go Where Like Today's, Y

A n Eminent 'U' Biologist Explores

ferent concept from that of the social
community-is most easily described in
terms of food chains or food webs. A
forest, a pond, a coral reef, any biological
community, is composed of the green
plants that store up energy from the
sun, of the key industry animals that live
directly off the plants, of the secondary
consumers that live off the key industry
animals, and so ad infinitum, to the
molds and bacteria that reduce the
animals corpses to dust again. Food is
thus the cement of the biological com-
munity, sex the cement of the species
population.
Every individual animal, then, must
deal with sex in relation to his species
or population, and with food in relation
to his biotic community; and there must
be satisfactory adjustments of both food
and sex relations if the species is to
survive. Man is an animal and thus, in
theory at least, subject to biological
laws. But he is unique in being a cultured
animal, and this culture does odd things
to bioligical regularities. This is nowhere
more apparent than when we try to
interpret human sex habits or food
habits in biological terms.
IN GENERAL, throughout nature, sexual
behavior can be studied in terms of
reproduction. Mating occurs, for instance,
only when the eggs of the female are
ready for fertilization, and there are
elaborate mechanisms to insure the pro-
per timing of events in the two sexes
of a particular species. But in cultured
man, reproduction seems to be an in-
cidental or even accidental consequence
of sex. Food behavior, similarly, can
generally be studied in terms of nutrition,
and food still serves man for nutrition.
But it would be difficult to explain salad
dressings, wine sauces or souffles purely
in terms of either protein or vitamin
needs.
It is a commonplace comment on
Freudian psychology that its emphasis
on sex comes from its basis in Western
culture where sex is scarce-or at least
strictly controlled-while food is reason-
ably abundant and generally available.
British anthropologist Audrey Richards,
in rebellion against this, set out some
years ago to study human relations in an
African tribe where sex was abundant
and food restricted. She found, as ex-
pected, that in that society food dom-
inated the subconscious as well as the
conscious life of the people. In her book
Hunger and Work in a Savage Tribe, she
maintains that food behavior in man is
far more. basically and extensively gov-
erned by cultural or traditional considera-
tions than is sexual behavior, and she is
probably right. In our own society, food
behavior is subject to all sorts of taboos
and controls, which provide endless op-
portuhity for psychological exploration.
I think one could safely say that there
is no human society that deals rationally
with the food in its enviornment, that
eats according to the availability, edibility
and nutritional value of the possible food
materials within its reach. Very primitive,
-food-gathering cultures, like those of the
Australian aborigines, probably come
closest since they have to eat almost
everything available and edible in order
to survive; but even in such cultures we
find special restrictions in regard to
things like totem animals.
Our own food habits are certainly under
strong cultural control, which may be
inconvenient even though it does not
involve the strong conscious and sub-
conscious frustrations of sexual controls.
Some patterns of food behavior are
shared by all Western peoples, some are
national, and some are more narrowly
restricted. None of us, however, can af-
ford to look down our noses at other
people because of their food habits.
I became acutely conscious of this
some years ago when asking a Hindu
houseguest about his food requirements.
He explained that he did not really
have any deep religious convictions about
food, but that he rather not be expected
to eat cow-that he supposed he felt

"about eating cows the way I would about
eating dogs. The Hindu attitude toward
cows is clearly uneconomical; but so is
our attitude toward dogs. Maybe we can
afford the prejudice better than they,
but I suspect this is irrelevant. After
all, dogs are specifically raised as food
,in some cultures, and eaten as opportunity
affords in many others; they are said to
be quite tasty. I still have not eaten dog,
but I think-I have a better understanding
of the Hindu problem from this explana-
tion.
A dog taboo appears to be universal in
European civilization. A similar horse
prejudice is much- more local, but still
powerful. The Harvard Faculty Club
started serving horse 'steaks during the
last war, and as far as I know still serves
them on certain days. My wife, eating a
horse steak, thought this was a fine
idea, and when she got home tried to buy
horse meat from our butcher. But she
discovered that in our community horse
meat could not be bought through the
regular channels; it was sold only as a
preparation for dog and cat food. We
made one experiment with the stuff sold
as dog food, only to discover that dog
requirements in tenderness apparently
differed from ours.
Even though repugnance to a par-
ticular food may have a cultural rather
than physiological basis, it can be very.
strong. The big lizards called iguanas
are a highly prized article of food in all
parts of tropical America where they oc-
cur; the meat has a delicate, chicken-
like flavor. But in Europe and North
America, lizards are not eaten for some
reason, probably because we do not have
any suitable species. I remember serving
iguana at a dinner party in South Amer-
ica. The subject had been thoroughly
discussed, and we thought everyone un-
derstood what they were eating; cer-
tainly they all ate with gusto. But as the
conversation continued during the meal,
a French lady who was present suddenly
realized from the talk that the iguana she
had been eating was etait un lazard and
became violently nauseated, although a
few minutes before she had considered
the meat delicious.
I remember once, in the llanos of Co-
lombia, sharing a dish of toasted ants at
a remote farmhouse. This was my first
voluntary experience with ants-I had
eaten lots of them involuntarily, raw,.
when they tasted sour-and soon we were
talking about the general question of
what people eat and do not eat. I re-

marked that in my country people ate
the legs of frogs, the very thought of
which horrified my ant-eating friends.
It was rather as though we had been
talking about repulsive sexual habits.
THE QUESTION of what is repulsive
and-what is accepted or gratifying is
certainly under strong cultural control
with both food and sex. Look at the vary-
ing attitudes toward kissing, for instance.
What would a Micronesian think of the
display near a girls' dormitory at an
American university just before check-in
time? Or, how could one explain to a
Micronesian the attitude of the American
male toward the breasts of the female,
of the species?
The anthropologists have explained'
that the kinds of sexual behavior re-
garded as "perverse" vary greatly from
culture to culture, but neither they nor
the psychologists have bothered much
about food perversions. Maybe we are
surrounded by food perverts, undetected
and unclassified, undermining the fiber
of our civilization, infiltrating our dip-
lomatic service, influencing our mass
media, corrupting our youth. We need
a Havelock Ellis to survey the field and
a Kinsey to quantify it. Who knows how
many people in this country put sugar in
their salad dressings, make strawberry
shortcake with sweet biscuit, use rice
for dessert, or engage in similar abomin-
able and unwholesome practices?
But one must not be culture-bound.
Rice pudding is no crime against nature;
it is merely a crime against the culture
of people who believe that rice should
be the basic starch of a meal rather than
the dessert. If we tried to deal with such
traitsas perverse we would get into end-
less trouble. We would be better off, I
think, to define food perversion as food
behavior not directed toward nutrition.
The alleged custom of some ancient
Romans taking an emetic so that they
could feast again on the tongues of larks
would thus truly be perverse.
Dirt-eating, since it seems often to be
related to a mineral deficiency in the
ordinary diet, would not be perverse by
this definition. But the whole catalogue
of substances that man takes for stimu-
lation or hallucination or relaxation
would represent perverse behavior. There
substances may serve a greatly felt need,
but the need can hardly be called nu-
tritional. In many cases, the substances
are clearly anti-nutritional: the chronic
alcoholic suffers, it appears, mostly from

By RICHARD OSTLING
A LOT OF THINGS don't change at the
University., Some years back, the pres-
ident of this institution, speaking to state
legislators, said:
"Nowhere else can there be found so
cosmopolitan a university as here. Stu-
dents flock here from all corners of the
earth.
"The question is often asked why stu-
dents outside of Michigan are not charged
higher fees. Asa matter of fact, they are
required to pay 38 per cent more. Besides,
the University must be at least hospitable
to the students of the United States, for
the endowment received from the nation.
"Michigan is particularly favored in
that breadth of thought which comes from
association with students from all over the
world." He concluded:
"It is your University and not ours. We
don't ask for anything for it as ours. We
only ask what is essential to its prosper-
ity."
In the same year J-Hop seemed to be
on its last legs, and the student news-
paper, published six days a week, re-
ported a new plan by the president of
Harvard University to compress under-
graduate work into three years.
BUT, LIKE ALL school years, 1898-99
was also distinguished from the others
by unique events.
For instance, the president speaking
was James B. Angell, and he managed to
get the state to pay for buildings at the
University for the first time, even though
40 per cent of the 3,000 students were
from outside Michigan.
And Nov. 27, Detroiter Frederick K.
Stearns presented the University with
more than 1,000 historical musical instru-
ments-the biggest collection of its type,
then and now.
The "Detroit Evening News" caused
quite a scare that year by pushing edi-
torially to have the University moved back
to Detroit, and a few strong voices in the
University's literary department supported
the change.
In March, plans were made by the
pharmacy department to thrust into the
wilderness at the north end of Ann Arbor
and plant a botanical tree garden, or
"arboretum." The objective: Provide the
University with "as many different kinds
of trees growing on the University campus
as will thrive in this latitude. Special
attention, however, will be given toethe
securing trees of medicinal or economic
importance."
What the Arb would be uses for was not
specified.

One of the earliest Michigan Bands to play "The Victors

"The greatest event of the college year,"
according to an editorial in "The U of M
Daily," was the visit of New York's fire-
brand governor, Theodore Roosevelt, who
told a University audience:
"I have small respect for the man who
wants to get through life with little trou-
ble-that wants to have things made soft
and easy for him." T.R. also advocated
honesty and energy in office, to no one's
particular surprise.
On May 27, 1899, the University Hos-
pital was the scene of rare cancer surgery
in which more than half a patient's stom-
ach was removed. The Daily reported:
"It takes the most skillful 'kinfe' to
perform the difficult operation."
The cultural calendar included a few
vocal soloists and orchestras and the May
Festival, but the spotlight was reserved
for the great professional concert bands-
The Chicago Marines, British Guards and
those headed by Brook, Innes and Sousa.
* * *
ABOUT ONE-THIRD of the front page-
page space in The Daily went to ath-

ALUMNI INFLUENCE
GROWS. .........
By Caroline Dow
PREVIEWS
AND REVIEWS.......

.Page Six
Page Seven

letics, and football was king. President
Angell and Charles W.-Elliot of Harvard
had recently given qualified support to
the growing game, and Michigan's 22nd
season was its most successful up until
then.
One game overshadowed them all-a
stunning defeat of The University of Chi-
cago-and The Daily celebrated by print-
ing the following with blue on yellow
paper:
"The greatest game of football ever
played on a western gridiron was played
on Marshall Field Thanksgiving Day, and
Michigan won it, and with it the undis-
puted title to the Western Championship.
"She won it because she had the best
team and played-the best game. By hard
consistent team work she wrung the prize
of victory from Stagg's veteran, victory-
flushed giants."
Feeling had run high against Amos
Alonzo Stagg, Chicago coach, who used
the fame of his football powerhouse to
force all opponents to play at Chicago and
take a minority of the gate receipts.
After the 1898 season, the universities
of Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois boy-
cotted Chicago, so the Michigan-Chicago
game of that year was the last for quite a
while.
It was an exciting end for an exciting
series, for the game was bitterly fought
before Michigan pulled it out of the fire
by a 12 to 11 score.
A special student train had accom-
panied the team as well as the University
Band, making its first appearance in uni-
form, and those students who had cut
their Friday classes to make the trip
spilled out into the streets of Chicago in
wild jubilation.
The excitement had not worn down
by the next Monday, when hundreds of
students braved a snowstorm to cheer at
a season's-end rally.
THE BOLD HEADLINE' in The Daily
boasted "Champions of the West"-
the same words which ran through the
mind of a junior at the University on the
trip back from the Windy City. This stu-
dent was handy at writing songs, and he
proceeded to put down his sentiments on
the game in musical form.
His name was Louis Elbel.
The number, dedicated to the '98 foot-

ball I
April
finale
ductio
A r
that
appre
after
as th
strel
But
was b;
tertai
band
always
and,
marc
progn
tion.
Sou
later
song,
ever
Marc
So
like a
uniqu
est o:
the g
hims
ago,
lyrics
"H

GALLERY
OF WOODCUTS...... . ....Page Eight
By Barbara Cohen
STUDENTS AFOOT:
A Daily Special Section
SEEK THEATRE FOR
STUDENT COMMUNITY. . . Page Ten
By Richard Burke
POLITICAL CLUBS
SEEN SUPERFICIAL......Page Eleven
By Judith Bleier
PEACE CORPS
N TANGANYIKA......Page Twelve
By David Giltrow
RELIGION ON
A SECULAR CAMPUS.. .Page Fourteen
By Malinda Berry
'HAIL' TO '98-99...... Page Fifteen
By Richard Ostling -
Editor: Peter Stuart
PHOTO CREDITS: Cover: David Giltrow;
Pages Two and Three: Daily; Page
Four: Daily; Page Five: Paolo Gas-
parini; Page Six: Daily; Page-Severn:
Larry Jacobs; Pages Eight and Nine:
James Keson; Page Ten: Courtesy of
Robert C. Schnitzer; Page Eleven:
Daily; Pages Twelve and Thirteen:
David Giltrow; Page Fourteen: Daily;
Page Fifteen: top, Michiganension,

r

Eating is often a group activ

American society

Elbel conducts "The Victors" for the last time, 1958
C IInrAV IA k.II IA Fv 1d A ICI

RICHARD OSTLING, associate
editorial director of The Daily, is a
senior majoring in journalism.

_....

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