The Backlash! - April 1996

Where promiscuity and prudery have congress

Both the sexual revolution and the counter sexual revolution ignore humanity's evolved psychology

by Aaron Mitchner

Copyright 1996 by Aaron Mitchner

In August 1994 TIME magazine printed a major article on Evolutionary Psychology entitled "Infidelity: It May be in our Genes." The article basically stated what biologists have been conceptualizing for years: that the reason why men and women can behave so differently is because they are programmed by evolution to do so. I would personally prefer that men and women thought the same but this article had many interesting things to say which could be true.

For instance the article says that a woman is more likely than a man to be 'sexually choosy' and sexually "moral" than a man because she is looking subconsciously or consciously to be impregnated by only one male who must meet strict criteria because she would have to invest an enormous amount of time in bringing up the children resulting from her having had sex with a man. So evolutionary psychology can help explain why women are so much more afraid of rejection than men are: a man is expected to stick around and help raise any offspring which may result from a brief sexual union.

The article says that it is in a man's nature (subconsciously at least) to want to impregnate a variety of biologically attractive members of the opposite sex, that these potential female mates will usually be those in their biologically prime child bearing years (and not necessarily at their most mature mentally) and that the men are generally not the least afraid of being rejected when they try to mate with women because it is their evolutionary imperitive to try (nothing ventured nothing gained).

The article is very depressing in that it states that human beings are "designed to fall in love but not necessarily stay that way". I personally disagree with that last concept.

I think evolutionary psychology can explain how both the Sexual Revolution of the 1960's and 1970's and the Sexual Counterrevolution of the 1980's and 1990's didn't really work that well as far as harmonizing relations between the genders on a macro (societal) level.

"Free" love?

The "free love" and communal living espoused by the first wave of modern feminism in the 1960's ran against the evolutionary nature of many women to find just one mate and have sex and babies with just that one mate. That the sexual revolution lasted as long as it did might even be explained by noting that, in evolutionary terms, many women in history have ensured the survival of their offspring by having sex with many men and then making one or more of the more nurturing of those men help raise any resulting children (whether he believes they could be his children or not).

Many believe that the Sexual Revolution made things too easy for males and too hard for females as far as their evolutionary programming. The second wave of modern feminism which originated in the 1980's and is sometimes referred to as the "New Victorianism" or "Sexual Counterrevolution" appears to be equally non- workable on a societal level as it demonizes normal male behaviour and tells men that they should sacrifice their genetically programmed wants, not for the sake of love for an aging partner but for the sake of "Political Correctness."

Thus a 42 year old man I know was rejected by a 25 year old girlfriend because when she asked him why he didn't date women his own age he answered far too honestly "because they are usually going through menopause and I want to have a baby with someone." Whether the man was being fair or not (he wasn't rejecting a particular woman his age whom he loved) is irrelevant to the conclusion that life in a politically (sexually) correct society can make life very difficult for men as far as their evolutionary programming.

Whether the theories of evolutionary psychology (originating with Darwin himself) are right or wrong, the press, government and anyone with influence on society need to consider (at least conceptually) the effect evolutionary psychology might have in any new or old social movement.

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