The Fact About XY: The Risks and Advantages of the Male: Half 2
The evolution of sex
In Part 1, I explored what the coronavirus pandemic and the January 6, 2021 attack on the Capitol can teach us about why men are who they are and how to understand the masculine tendency to compete with others To form combat groups and search for enemies. Here we examine the evolutionary roots and causes of male aggression.
Although some would still deny it, humans are part of the animal kingdom and males are all mammals. Something good in there for men? The social psychologist Roy F. Baumeister describes how cultures thrive through the exploitation of men. “The mating season is in summer, and when the females are old enough they will soon be busy with the reproductive process. The alpha male in each herd – the most powerful adult male to have risen to the top of the hierarchy – will check them out and, if they are fertile, have sex with them. They become pregnant and have offspring. Over the years she will have a number of offspring, most of which are sired by different stallions, depending on which male won the coveted top spot that year. “
So what’s wrong with the other male horses? “As he approaches adulthood, he definitely won’t find any older women looking for him to start sex with,” says Baumeister. “He begins to wish for sex with women, whether old or young or in between, but he quickly learns that sex is forbidden for him. The females belong to the alpha male, and if he starts flirting he risks getting beaten up pretty badly by the alpha male. “
Unless you’re the alpha horse, Baumeister offers this painful reality. “Most male horses will never be the alpha male. You may not have sex at all, let alone reproduce. Most women would rather have the alpha male as a partner. After all, their own offspring will be stronger and faster if their father was the strongest and fastest and not a follower. “
Baumeister concludes with this stark analysis:
“Most men are destined to live in near complete celibacy and to be a biological dead end.”
Of course humans are not horses. Whether you are a stallion or a businessman, you’d rather be upstairs and have the opportunity to have as many attractive women as possible than be downstairs and take the risk of becoming a biological dead end.
Human men and women are just as much part of the evolutionary dance of survival and reproduction as any other species. In her book Gender Gap: The Biology of the Differences Between Men and Women, evolutionary psychologist David P. Barash, PhD. and his wife, Dr. Judith Eve Lipton, a medical doctor and psychiatrist, say, “When it comes to human nature, the differences between men and women must be recognized as real, important and downright fascinating. When it comes to understanding these differences, there is no better guide than evolution. “
Why men go to extremes
Evolution is not interested in our happiness and wellbeing. Success is judged by a single question. Did I survive long enough to find a partner and have children who survived to do the same? In answering this question, evolution favors women over men. Baumeister points out that throughout human history, most women had children while most men did not. And before the advent of modern birth control, it meant that most men didn’t have sex and most women.
Dr. Builder says:
“If we look back at all of human history and consider nature’s success criterion as passing on your life to others, we can see that most men have been failures. Most of the women were successes. “
How successful were women compared to men? “The correct answer has recently emerged from DNA studies, particularly by Jason Wilder and his colleagues,” says Baumeister. “They concluded that among the ancestors of today’s human population, women were about two to one more men than men. The ancestors of mankind were 67% female and 33% male. “
“That’s an amazing difference,” says Baumeister. “Of all people ever born, most women became mothers, but most men did not become fathers. You wouldn’t realize this if you were walking through an American suburb with its neat couples today. But it is an important fact. I consider it to be the most underrated fact in men. “
This fact helps to consider the benefits and dangers of being a man. “For thousands of years,” says Baumeister, “men and women have had very different opportunities and problems with reproduction. The psychology of men and women is based on very different perspectives. Nature made life to create more life. In this fundamental task, women had a good chance of success, while men were born to face impending failure. “
From nature’s point of view, women are the more valuable sex because they are carrying the babies. When you have a hundred women and one man, life goes on. When you have a hundred men and one woman, that is the end of the line for humanity. Women can afford to take care of themselves and play it safe. Men have to take greater risks and compete with other men in order to be chosen by a woman. “That is why we descend from women who play it safe and from men who take risks,” concludes Baumeister.
When we look at the men who stormed the Capitol through the lens of evolution, we see men who fear sexual oblivion. Our guide tells us that the other stole our choice. We must take back what is ours or die trying. From a logical point of view, it doesn’t make sense. Why kill others and risk your life in front of cameras so everyone can see? The answer from our subconscious is: I’m afraid if the other guys win, my life will be a dead end. I’d rather die than give in to defeat.
In the male evolutionary arms race, men are encouraged to obey the dictates to win and bear all the costs. As UCLA soccer coach Red Sanders said in the 1950s and repeated by Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi in the 1960s, “Winning isn’t everything; it is the only one! “
“That is what it means to be male,” says Baumeister. “Most of the men who have ever lived have been genetically removed from the human population. The men who did not care to outdo other men, who were content to take it easy and let others move on (just as many women are satisfied) – these men did not reproduce. The men who pushed forward were more likely to multiply, and today’s men are descended from them. To leave offspring, one had to surpass other men. “
The future of masculinity
Does that really mean being a man? Do we have to fight to the death to be successful? Do we all have to strive to become the dominant man or support the man at the top, no matter what he does? Are people bound by the dictates of evolution? The good thing about evolution is that we keep evolving. We cannot ignore two million years of human evolution, but we do not need to be ruled by our past. The better we understand our evolutionary past, the better we can create a more prosperous future.
As recent events show, we live between worlds. An old masculinity style based on competition, conflict and domination ends and a new masculinity style based on cooperation, care and partnership emerges. I recently wrote about this transition in an article: Living in the Frontier World of 2020: How to Navigate the Transition Between Dominion and Partnership.
In my most recent book, 12 Rules for Good Men, I offer guidance to men of the future and the women who love us. Here are the 12 rules:
- Join a men’s group.
- Get rid of the man box.
- Accept the gift of being male.
- Embrace your billion-year history of manhood.
- Recognize your anger and fear towards women.
- Learn the secrets of true, lasting love.
- Do meaningful rites of passage from adolescence to adulthood and from adulthood to super-adulthood.
- Celebrate your true warrior spirit and learn why men and women duet.
- Understand and heal your negative childhood experiences (ACEs) and male attachment disorders (MADs).
- Heal your father’s wound and become the father you should be.
- Treat Male Type Irritation Syndrome and Depression.
- Find your calling in life and do your part to save humanity.
Ultimately, men and women are connected. We need each other like never before. Humanity is in danger. We are not in equilibrium with the natural world and, in the words of my colleague Charles Eisenstein, we all have to create “the more beautiful world that our heart knows is possible”.
Sometimes it takes a woman to understand the essence of a man. I believe the feminist academic and social critic Camille Paglia caught our spirits when she said“Masculinity is aggressive, unstable, flammable. It’s also the most creative force in history. “
I am looking forward to read your comments. Please visit me at www.MenAlive.com.
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