Why Men and Women Do What They Do
Why do men and women seem to have such different goals, interests, and behaviors?
Both men and women often get mad or frustrated because they don’t get what they want from the other. They also get mad or frustrated with themselves for making choices that do not get them what they want.
The anger, frustration, and stupid choices men and women make are the source of most of our comedy and drama because, after thousands of years of recorded history, we still don’t seem to understand why men and women behave the way they do.
The reason men and women behave the way they do is really simple. It is evolution.
We are not the product of everyone before us. We are the product of only those before us who’s genes caused the most copies of themselves to make it into our generation. We are thus the product of those whose genes caused them to employ the most effective reproductive strategy, and the most successful reproductive strategy for men is different than for women because:
A woman can have about 10 kids, and a man can have about a hundred kids. The genetically programmed male strategy thus focuses on quantity, and the genetically programmed female strategy thus focuses on quality. Quality in this context means “most successful at reproduction”. This is the root all of the interesting differences between men and women.
The men who had the most kids in future generations were those who were able to impregnate as many women as possible – regardless of how or why they were able to impregnate more women. The women who had the most kids in future generations were therefore those who tried to reproduce with those men who were best at impregnating as many women as possible – regardless of how or why those women tried. We are thus the offspring of those men and women, and have the same impulses that got more of their genes into future generations.
It is true that a man’s offspring were more likely to survive and reproduce themselves if he stuck around and helped raise them, but some men also impregnated additional women and thereby tricked other men into raising their offspring, so they had far more offspring in future generations than the men they had tricked. We are thus not only the offspring of those men who tricked (cuckolded) other men, but we are also the offspring of women who favored those men – regardless of their reasons – and thereby got more of their offspring into future generations too.
It gets even more interesting than that. A woman needed a man to provide food and protection for her and her kids, but not every woman could have the biggest, strongest, smartest man. So the best reproductive strategy for a woman was to be as loyal, helpful, and sexually available as possible for her husband, and then once per month, she would try to put herself into a situation where an alpha male could impregnate her. Therefore, we are the offspring of those women who loved their husbands but still tried to get impregnated by an alpha male. Therefore, women today have the same genetically programmed impulses as those women.
Just as the female reproductive strategy was shaped by the male strategy, the male strategy adapted to the female strategy by optimizing for both the husband role and the alpha male role.
Both the husband role and the alpha male role had reproductive advantages. We are thus the offspring of those women who tried to have some children by men who excel at the husband role as well as some children by men who excel at the alpha male role.
This is a self reinforcing cycle that would only get stronger as we evolved.
Let’s look at some specific consequences.
A husband who let his woman be impregnated by an alpha male or a better husband would get fewer of his genes into future generations than a man who took measures to prevent his woman from being impregnated by other men. Therefore, we are the offspring of those men who took measures to prevent their woman from being impregnated by other men. Therefore, men today have the same genetically programmed impulses as those men.
Being a husband might seem like a good strategy because a prehistoric husband had 24/7 access to his woman, but evolution can be pretty sneaky. For example, an anti-husband mutation caused women to be more likely to get pregnant if they have an orgasm, which obviously was an advantage for alpha males who got fewer opportunities to impregnate any given woman but whose one try was more likely to induce an orgasm than any of the husbands’ multiple tries.
Another anti-husband mutation has enabled men to produce sperm that would form a rear guard and thus block other men’s sperm from reaching the egg. Therefore, when a woman became fertile each month, if she let the alpha male try first, then his sperm might successfully block the husband’s sperm for the period in which the woman was fertile that month.
Although some men are alpha males and some are husbands, both have the same strategy. The difference is that alpha males are more successful at implementing the male strategy, which is why we are the offspring alpha males and of those women who were most successful at being impregnated by an alpha male instead of their husbands.
Clearly, a woman must be one heck of an actor to pull off the female strategy. Therefore, the descendants of those women are good actors, but the women before us were more than just great actors. The most successful women would have been those who really did love their husbands but who still tried to be impregnated by an alpha male. Therefore, the descendants of those women really do love their husbands – and – they are good actors.
The dual nature of the genetically programmed female strategy is one of the reasons men think that women send mixed signals and play games, and why women will often agree and not be able to explain their behavior, but it is not a game or mixed signals. It makes perfect sense once you understand its evolutionary underpinnings.
Another reason men think that women send mixed signals and play games is actually a real game.
Consider that in prehistoric times, if a man was able to chase a woman, catch her, and impregnate her without letting her injure him with her feeble blows, and without injuring her, then that man must have had good genes, and good genes was exactly what she wanted. It would have been a good reproductive strategy for women to put themselves into a situation where a man she was certain had good genes would attempt to prove himself in this manor. Obviously, when the game went as planned by both parties, it was quite mutual in spite of the woman running and fighting. Women today are thus the offspring of women who employed such a strategy and thus feel the impulse to engage in this strategy themselves.
Now the game would have been great fun for both the alpha male and the woman, but what if the woman was wrong and the man was weaker than she thought and he failed to block some of her feeble blows. The woman might then suddenly decide that the game was over because she could do better in this menstruation cycle, although she would have reserved the right to change her mind later that day – just in case there were no better males available. Therefore, given that a woman can only have a few kids, and so every one must count, a mutation would thus have succeeded in pre-historic women so that when they were already trying to get pregnant by a given man, they might suddenly think that being impregnated by that man was horrible based on any one of many possible ques.
Hence, a woman today might really change her mind at the last minute for any one of many reasons that may be mostly subconscious, but which are real from a previously evolutionarily optimum perspective. Of course, this would seem really insulting to a man as well as making him think the woman was shallow and irrational, but if both parties understood the evolutionary forces at work, then they would be more likely to enjoy themselves as well as being more likely to part amicably if evolution throws them a curve ball at the last minute – and more likely to try again later.
The political elite use our genetic programming to manipulate us all the time. Just one of those manipulations relies on the fact that evolution has caused women to feel like they need a husband more than just about anything else. For many women, a priest has subconsciously served as a surrogate husband, and now politicians like Obama are also subconsciously seen as a surrogate husband by many women. Now that women are in the workforce, their boss and/or company can serve as a surrogate husband. Of course, government itself can serve as a surrogate husband too.
Religious and political surrogates, in addition to trying increase their own competitiveness with real husbands by playing a role or sometimes actually giving stuff to women, also try to reduce the competitiveness of real husbands. One way priests and politicians manipulate women is by raising women’s expectations for real husbands, so that women will be perpetually disappointed. Another way they manipulate women is by reducing the effectiveness of real husbands – consider how many black men are in jail.
Never forget that we each have a brain, which can override any genetic programming – especially if we are aware of that programming. Also, remember there is certainly no reason to get mad about our genetic programming.