Men Understand: The Hidden Reasons We Feel What We Feel And Do What We Do
In Part 1, we began our exploration of the hidden reasons why men feel what we feel and do what we do. We explored the world of evolutionary science and what it can teach us about men and women. While we may think about biological differences between men and women, biology is not fate. Our genetic essence is also not fixed. Although men can have an XY pair of chromosomes and women can have an XX pair in every cell in our body, that doesn’t mean the differences are fixed. Indeed, the new science of epigenetics shows how fluid our sexuality can be.
We will continue our exploration with an open mind and an open heart as we uncover the secrets of sex and who we are as men and women.
- History and Herstory: The Development of the Family.
Cross-cultural studies show that, in the course of evolution, children must be assured of two types of care: (1) the provision of physical security and (2) the provision of emotional security. While roles can be flexible, traditionally men provide the former and women the latter. Dr. David Gutmann, Professor of Psychiatry and Education at Northwestern University offers these evolutionary insights into the division of labor:
“In terms of the species, there is always an oversupply of males that are not needed for the reproductive success of the species, as one man can inseminate many females, but women can only father one child on average every two years during their relative time for a short period of time Fertility.
“The more expendable males, armed with large muscles and a greater supply of intrinsic aggression, are generally destined to hunt big game and protect themselves from human and non-human predators, or to raid other communities for their wealth.”
“The other way round,” says Gutmann,
“The gender on which the population ultimately depends is less dispensable. The sex that has breasts, softer skin, milder nature, the sex that the baby forms in its own flesh, is generally assigned to safe areas to provide the formative experiences that give the children emotional security. “
- People evolve and roles change, but the species’ success depends on raising healthy children.
Dr. Gutmann does not say that all women have to stay at home and all men have to go out and “bring the bacon home”. He says someone has to be responsible for meeting children’s needs for physical and emotional security. The division of labor has never been rigid. Fathers have always given children a lot of emotional support, and mothers have always offered a lot of protection.
The findings of evolutionary science lead me to the following conclusions:
- Humans are adapted to a way of life that has worked well for over 99% of human history.
- As long as we are giving birth to babies, we must raise them well.
- Children need fully gender-specific fathers and mothers, not genderless parents.
- Elders are needed to help parents.
- Men and women do not have to live in a world in which the battle of the sexes determines our lives, but in a world in which differences are valued and supported.
- The way home is not to deny our differences or make us believe that men and women come from different planets, but rather to create a world where differences can be appreciated and where gender equality and real partnership become our leitmotif.
- The least appreciated fact about men can be the most important.
Think back to our male ancestors in the animal kingdom who fought each other for access to females. Think about the sperm that are competing for the precious egg. In the scheme of things, women are more valuable and men are more dispensable. In his book Is There Anything Good About Men? the social scientist Roy F. Baumeister describes things like this:
“Of all humans who ever reached adulthood, maybe 80% of women reproduced, but only 40% of men.” He continues, “This is an amazing difference. Of all humans ever born, most women became mothers, but most men did not become fathers. You wouldn’t notice that if you were walking through an American suburb with your well-groomed couple today. ”
But it’s an important fact in all of our male history. “I consider it the most underrated fact of the differences between men and women,” says Baumeister.
The reality is that over the course of human history, some men have had more sexual partners. In fact, some had many partners and some had none at all. Some women would choose to be the second wife of a successful man than the first wife of an unsuccessful one. Then as now, alpha males had more sex. But alphas also had to compete to stay at the top.
All men are afraid of being passed over by women. They fear that they will not be selected and that they will not be able to pass on their genes in the genetic lottery of life. Many men experience profound insecurity and resentment towards women because they have the power to reject them. This resentment can turn into violent anger in some men. See my article, “What we need to know about the kind of man and the kind of men who kill women.” And most men are unaware of their addiction to women and the anger that comes with it.
Even successful men today always try to have “more”. More money, more resources, more women. If men seem to be more preoccupied with sex than women, it is because men are more insecure and always worried that another man will take his wife.
Most women who want sex can find a willing partner. Most men have to work for this. Although all people are different, most men feel more insecure about finding a sex partner than most women. Understanding this imbalance can help us understand men and deal with male anger more effectively.
In Part 3 we continue our exploration. The more we learn about who we are, the more we can accept ourselves and each other. People who feel confident can be more authentic in their relationships. I describe my own relationship journey in my book The Enlightened Marriage: The 5 Transformative Stages of Relationships and Why the Best is Still to Come.
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