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Author Topic: Women vs. Men
geek_luvn_princess
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Icon 5 posted January 28, 2007 12:05      Profile for geek_luvn_princess     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm just curious. What's everyone's take on the belief that men are not "programmed" to be monogamous, or that women aren't capable of having a no-strings-attached physical relationship with a man without emotion getting involved? This subject has sparked a recent debate between myself and a co-worker and I'd like to get everyone's opinion.

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*~*brittany*~*

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ScholasticSpastic
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Icon 1 posted January 28, 2007 12:24      Profile for ScholasticSpastic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh, baby! As a biology major I'm, like, totally hot to answer this question!!!

First, evolution (and instinct) does not program- it predisposes. We are born epigenetically predisposed to fear spiders and snakes, yet we do not all fear spiders and snakes. There is an element of environmental influence that can tip us one way or the other. (I, for instance, am uncomfortable around spiders due to an encounter with some black-widows, but I'm quite fond of the reptillian variety of snakes.) So, if you're arguing against the question as you've stated it, you get to throw it out on principle as a poorly-framed question and you don't actually have to worry about answering it. (In other words, you win on a technicality!)

However, even in species that were previously considered monogamous, genetic testing has revealed a surprising amount of infidelity. Also, there is no evidence that it is strictly a male predilection to cheat on a pair-bond. The girly-beasts do it, too. Therefore, it could be argued that it is advantageous to combine our genes with as many other gene-sets as possible regardless of our sex. (I am a failure- I've stopped at one recombination and, as a divorced man, I'd argue that the alleles I recombined mine with weren't even that great- but I love my son, faulty gene-sets and all...)

I feel that the portion of your question dealing with no-strings-attached physical relationships cannot be answered so readily because it's not a biology question at all- that bit's psychology. As any self-respecting science major will point out, psychology isn't a science (if you ask me, it's just barely graduated to art ).

I'd argue against the assertion that a male can have a no-strings-attached physical relationship by virtue of being male. I, for example, have failed miserably when I tried not to become emotionally attached to lovers. (That's right, plural , baby!) This is probably a question of nurture. Men are raised to believe that it's okay to partition sex from emotional bonds more frequently than women, so we see it more often in men. However, I have met and (unfortunatly) slept with women who seem to have learned very well not to bond with their lovers. So that statement is also invalid (in my oppinion). Both sexes are equally capable of learning how not to have healthy relationships.

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"As in repeating a well-known song, so in instincts, one action follows another by a sort of rhythm; if a person be interrupted in a song, or in repeating anything by rote, he is generally forced to go back to recover the habitual train of thought..." (Darwin, The Origin of Species)

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TheMoMan
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Icon 1 posted January 28, 2007 14:27      Profile for TheMoMan         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
geek_luvn_princess & ScholasticSpastic____________It appears that you are not too far removed from one another. You could arrange an eye ball meeting and test each others theorys, nope bad idea.

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Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.


Benjamin Franklin,

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ScholasticSpastic
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Icon 1 posted January 28, 2007 14:39      Profile for ScholasticSpastic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
TheMoMan said:
geek_luvn_princess & ScholasticSpastic____________It appears that you are not too far removed from one another. You could arrange an eye ball meeting and test each others theorys, nope bad idea.

I agree that it is a bad idea: geek_luvn_princess is a Fraud Analyst and knowing that a woman is skilled at spotting B.S. is enough to scare off any fellow! I haven't earned my BS yet, but it's a skill I'm working on and I'm sure she'd notice. Also, I'm one of those members of both sexes who appears to have learned how not to have healthy relationships. And as a Celebrant of the Monastic Order of Scholastic Spastics I have sworn a vow of abstinence. Further, I probably don't look at all like her father. (Freudian jokes rock!!)

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"As in repeating a well-known song, so in instincts, one action follows another by a sort of rhythm; if a person be interrupted in a song, or in repeating anything by rote, he is generally forced to go back to recover the habitual train of thought..." (Darwin, The Origin of Species)

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Metasquares
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Icon 1 posted January 28, 2007 15:17      Profile for Metasquares   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It's like one of the legendary GC punfests, but more subtle [Smile]
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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted January 28, 2007 15:23      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
geek_luvn_princess wrote:
I'm just curious. What's everyone's take on the belief that men are not "programmed" to be monogamous, or that women aren't capable of having a no-strings-attached physical relationship with a man without emotion getting involved? This subject has sparked a recent debate between myself and a co-worker and I'd like to get everyone's opinion.

My take is that it doesn't really matter. Despite how some of us may behave from time to time, we are intelligent beings capable of choosing how we behave.

It's easy to find members of both genders who find it nearly impossible to separate sex from other emotional involvements because, in our culture, it is often viewed as a morally superior viewpoint.

By the same token, you can find people for whom sex has no more emotional involvement than a handshake. Men can advertise such behavior in our society because it's almost considered normal. Women who feel this way, however, usually hide it because the majority of our f***ed up society says it's wrong and considers it okay to harass, abuse and condemn those women who are open about it.

*takes a deep breath rather than going on a real rant*

Neither viewpoint (sex is fun, but meaningless vs. sex is an intensely emotional involvement) is definitively better than the other. Endless cases to justify both can be brought up. What it really comes down to is simply this: For a relationship between two people to work, those two people must be able to agree on a viewpoint that they can both live up to.

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Worst. Celibate. Ever.

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ScholasticSpastic
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Icon 1 posted January 28, 2007 15:44      Profile for ScholasticSpastic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Steen said:
...because the majority of our f***ed up society says it's wrong and considers it okay to harass, abuse and condemn those women who are open about it.

I respect that your moral relativism is bigger than my moral relativism and admire the whopping, huge size of your relativism as such relativism is something that I have been striving for for a long time. Understand that I am sticking my tongue out so that you don't think it's in my cheek. Further, I would suspect that your relativism is founded upon more valid philosophical assumptions because I just do it to piss off the (P)ope. Seriously.

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"As in repeating a well-known song, so in instincts, one action follows another by a sort of rhythm; if a person be interrupted in a song, or in repeating anything by rote, he is generally forced to go back to recover the habitual train of thought..." (Darwin, The Origin of Species)

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted January 28, 2007 16:08      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
ScholasticSpastic wrote:
I respect that your moral relativism is bigger than my moral relativism

Don't feel bad. The size of your "moral relativism" is genetic. You didn't choose to be smaller... the pope's boss made you that way.

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Worst. Celibate. Ever.

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ScholasticSpastic
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Icon 1 posted January 28, 2007 17:29      Profile for ScholasticSpastic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ack!! [blush] ( [Applause] )

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"As in repeating a well-known song, so in instincts, one action follows another by a sort of rhythm; if a person be interrupted in a song, or in repeating anything by rote, he is generally forced to go back to recover the habitual train of thought..." (Darwin, The Origin of Species)

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dragon34
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Icon 1 posted January 28, 2007 18:07      Profile for dragon34     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by geek_luvn_princess:
I'm just curious. What's everyone's take on the belief that men are not "programmed" to be monogamous, or that women aren't capable of having a no-strings-attached physical relationship with a man without emotion getting involved? This subject has sparked a recent debate between myself and a co-worker and I'd like to get everyone's opinion.

I happen to know a couple of females who are perfectly comfortable having no strings attached sex, as well as males who are not. I think it does depend on the person, their beliefs, and what has happened in their lives. Personally, I will admit to having a purely physical relationship, which both parties found to be very therapeutic after being dumped, however it was not taken to the level of sex, as we felt that that was a risky step we were not willing to take, being young and in college. We are still friends, perhaps even better friends then we were before the fling. Take it as you will, I don't regret it, but I don't really think about it much either. I'm engaged, and hopefully will never have to "date" again [Wink]
*shrug*

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geek_luvn_princess
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Icon 1 posted January 28, 2007 21:18      Profile for geek_luvn_princess     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ScholasticSpastic:
I agree that it is a bad idea: geek_luvn_princess is a Fraud Analyst and knowing that a woman is skilled at spotting B.S. is enough to scare off any fellow! I haven't earned my BS yet, but it's a skill I'm working on and I'm sure she'd notice. Also, I'm one of those members of both sexes who appears to have learned how not to have healthy relationships. And as a Celebrant of the Monastic Order of Scholastic Spastics I have sworn a vow of abstinence. Further, I probably don't look at all like her father. (Freudian jokes rock!!)

As skilled as I should be, I still am a terrible judge of character when it comes to the opposite sex and my personal life. Perhaps that is why I, too, seem to have fallen into the unhealthy relationship abyss. Vows of abstinence are so under-rated.

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*~*brittany*~*

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ScholasticSpastic
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Icon 1 posted January 28, 2007 21:25      Profile for ScholasticSpastic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
geek_luvn_princess:
Vows of abstinence are so under-rated.

I cannot under-rate my vow of abstinence. The very definition of an abstinent man is... One who toots his own horn (sorry). [Wink]

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"As in repeating a well-known song, so in instincts, one action follows another by a sort of rhythm; if a person be interrupted in a song, or in repeating anything by rote, he is generally forced to go back to recover the habitual train of thought..." (Darwin, The Origin of Species)

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geek_luvn_princess
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Icon 1 posted January 28, 2007 21:37      Profile for geek_luvn_princess     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by ScholasticSpastic:
quote:
geek_luvn_princess:
Vows of abstinence are so under-rated.

I cannot under-rate my vow of abstinence. The very definition of an abstinent man is... One who toots his own horn (sorry). [Wink]
Horn-tooting... also under-rated. [Wink]

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*~*brittany*~*

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Alan!
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Icon 11 posted January 28, 2007 21:50      Profile for Alan!     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What is going on here? I leave for a few months, come back, and we have people who can actually write?! Good work SS!

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Alan!

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csk

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Icon 1 posted January 29, 2007 00:10      Profile for csk     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by geek_luvn_princess:
I'm just curious. What's everyone's take on the belief that men are not "programmed" to be monogamous, or that women aren't capable of having a no-strings-attached physical relationship with a man without emotion getting involved? This subject has sparked a recent debate between myself and a co-worker and I'd like to get everyone's opinion.

Well, put it this way, when I was in a "no strings attached physical relationship", my emotions engaged earlier than my now girlfriends... There's no universal rule for men and women's behaviour, but there's some useful "things that are true far more often than not"

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6 weeks to go!

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geek_luvn_princess
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Icon 1 posted January 29, 2007 03:30      Profile for geek_luvn_princess     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well I see basically most people so far are in agreement with my side of the argument! I knew I wasn't crazy.... [Smile]

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*~*brittany*~*

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fs

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Icon 1 posted January 29, 2007 03:53      Profile for fs   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by geek_luvn_princess:
Well I see basically most people so far are in agreement with my side of the argument! I knew I wasn't crazy.... [Smile]

What was your side of the argument... what was the argument, anyway?

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I'm in ur database, makin' moar recordz.

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Mel
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Icon 1 posted January 29, 2007 08:03      Profile for Mel     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In my psych class in university, we were taught that any animal that doesn't lay eggs is not required to have a mate, as the female can carry her baby around, whereas animals that lay eggs need a mate around to trade off from protecting the eggs to go search for food. The theory was that the emotion of "love" was "invented" to keep the human male around to help raise the children. "Love" in this case could also possibly mean emotional manipulation. I believe it is in our nature to be polygamous, but now our social code/tradition is to fall in love and get married.
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nerdwithnofriends
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Icon 1 posted January 29, 2007 08:37      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Mel:
In my psych class in university, we were taught that any animal that doesn't lay eggs is not required to have a mate, as the female can carry her baby around, whereas animals that lay eggs need a mate around to trade off from protecting the eggs to go search for food. The theory was that the emotion of "love" was "invented" to keep the human male around to help raise the children. "Love" in this case could also possibly mean emotional manipulation. I believe it is in our nature to be polygamous, but now our social code/tradition is to fall in love and get married.

Yeah, but it's also in our nature to kill, rape, and make war, yet that doesn't necessarily make either right (going back to the vegan thread, etc). I think that society has part of the idea right: that you should only have one partner at a time. Whether or not that partner should remain yours for the rest of your natural life is debatable.

I agree with SS: while we may be predispositioned towards a certain behaviour, the whole point of being human is that we can overcome that limitation if we so choose in order to live a happier lifestyle.


I've heard it explained this way: the evolutionary reason for male cheating is simply to spread one's genes as far and wide as possible. 'sewing the wild oats', I believe the phrase is.

The female reason is not nearly so simple, or harmless: she cheats in order to create a child from a mate she sees as more fit, while remaining attached to some poor bastard because he is more capable of providing in some way, shape, or form.

Ever hear the phrase, 'Mommy's baby, Daddy's maybe?'

However, a monogamous relationship (at least for the period of time during which the child is conceived and borne (beared?)), ensures that the genes of the father really are passed on to the child, and mother and child are provided for by the father. Otherwise, if the dad finds out that the baby is not his, he'll either abandon it and the mother, or go postal and destroy them both.

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"The Buddha, the Godhead, resides quite as comfortably in the circuits of a digital computer or the gears of a cycle transmission as he does at the top of a mountain or in the petals of a flower." - Robert M. Pirsig

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ScholasticSpastic
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Icon 1 posted January 29, 2007 08:54      Profile for ScholasticSpastic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
nerdwithnofriends:
I agree with SS: while we may be predispositioned towards a certain behaviour, the whole point of being human is that we can overcome that limitation if we so choose in order to live a happier lifestyle.

I would caution you about agreeing with me. (But thanks!) I would also disagree that monogamy is for a certainty the very best structure for human relationships. Genetically, it provides some advantage to the male while disadvantaging the female. The female genes are actually the most important because she can only pop out one or two wee ones at a time. The male, on the other hand, is tremendously expendable. One male of any species is adequate to fertillize all of the females (I'm in the process of applying for the position myself- the abstinence thing will require some creativity, though).

You have precedence in arguing that a male who is uncertain about the parentage of a female's offspring can harm them. Observations of feral cats bear this out. A returning male's first act of business is to kill (and sometimes eat- if he's hungry) all of the kittens. That way he ensures that all of the next batch of kittens are more likely to be his. It's not fun to watch, though- you don't meet a lot of people who dislike kittens. [weep]

I, myself, will reserve real judgement on the very best way to structure our relationships until psycology becomes a real science. Until then, we can't know. I agree that serial monogamy seems to work best for me, though.

Note for everyone: You know, SS has some REALLY negative connotations... Established in the 1920s as a personal guard unit for Adolf Hitler...

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"As in repeating a well-known song, so in instincts, one action follows another by a sort of rhythm; if a person be interrupted in a song, or in repeating anything by rote, he is generally forced to go back to recover the habitual train of thought..." (Darwin, The Origin of Species)

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted January 29, 2007 09:03      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well you didn't like my idea. [Razz]

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And it's one, two, three / On the wrong side of the lee / What were you meant for? / What were you meant for?
- The Decemberists

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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted January 29, 2007 10:05      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I can only provide anecdotal evidence, but I can tell you I've been in plenty of 'friends with benefits' relationships, and the girls wanted nothing more than some fun.

I can also tell you that I would never, have never, and will never cheat on my wife.

So all I'm saying is that the absolutes, "men will, given the chance", and "women can't", don't apply.

The grey area, however, I know nothing about.

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chromatic
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Icon 1 posted January 29, 2007 10:20      Profile for chromatic   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by geek_luvn_princess:
[QUOTE]Originally posted by ScholasticSpastic:
Vows of abstinence are so under-rated.

There ought to be a strong lobbying organization for celibate rights.
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drunkennewfiemidget
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Icon 1 posted January 29, 2007 10:26      Profile for drunkennewfiemidget     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
<threadjack>

Holy shit! I had no idea chromatic was a member of GC.

</threadjack>

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ScholasticSpastic
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Icon 1 posted January 29, 2007 11:05      Profile for ScholasticSpastic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Xanthine:
Well you didn't like my idea.

You mean Mr. Spastic? I didn't say I didn't like it (me writes it over and over again in my notebook and sighs...), I just expressed some concern about the honorific.

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"As in repeating a well-known song, so in instincts, one action follows another by a sort of rhythm; if a person be interrupted in a song, or in repeating anything by rote, he is generally forced to go back to recover the habitual train of thought..." (Darwin, The Origin of Species)

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