To expand on yesterdays Nature or Nurture piece.

Obviously, in such a short piece it is impossible to detail a great deal. In fact, books are written about such subjects and still the debates roll on. As one reader has pointed out to me not all women get to choose who they have babies with. And of course, she is correct. In some societies, women don’t have a choice. So who does choose? And at what stage of development is that choice happening?

At the Magical stage of development, choice is an unknown concept. In fact, the link between sex and childbirth is not yet firmly established. Sex is an activity that goes on between many different members of the group. Shocking for us westerners it even occurs between older people and those deemed by us to be too young. In other cultures, ALL the men who have sex with a pregnant woman are seen as fathers and they take an active role in raising the child. Magical dating is a primitive but friendly affair.

In the Tribal worldview, we see more of a ‘males compete and females look on and await the results’ style of mating. In the animal world, the female silverback has no choice in her mate but neither is she brutalised by him. This pleasure is reserved for the other males with whom he will compete. The days of clubbing a woman over the head and dragging her back to a cave are long behind the average male of today but still, a primitive competition goes on. One tribe, in particular, the Wodaabe of Werner Hertzog’s film ‘Herdsmen of the Sun’ exemplify the Males Compete Females Choose model of sexual selection. The tradition for them is an annual beauty pageant where the men make themselves up and perform dances to attract a mate. The women look on and choose! Tribal mating is a them and us, men versus women, event. It’s the conquering and dominating of women by men.

Mythical mating is God’s work. Adam and Eve were made by God to reproduce and to make God happy by populating the land with human life. This is possibly the biggest reason why homosexuality is frowned upon by traditional cultures, no children. Not the patriarchal oppression seen by postmodernists. Traditional/Mythical cultures, however, don’t leave it up to God to choose who a woman mates with. That honour goes to the next best thing to God, Parents. The arranged marriage is the Mythical stage’s mating ritual. But instead of Males Compete Females Choose its more like Male Compete Families Choose. The family unit is paramount and the arrangement of a union to forward the lines of two families is much debated. As matches which benefit both parties are sought. Sagas are written about this and will continue until humanity draws it last. Of course postmodernists who see oppression in everything will argue that the Men are the ones who arrange the marriages at the expense of the women and I’d be a fool to deny this completely but next to every man is his wife, and to think her influence is negligible as they lay together in bed, is also foolhardy.

Modern dating is more about choice and is where we see the Males Compete Females Choose model come into more dominance. Dating and mating are much discussed but one thing stands out for me. Women choose men who are at the same stage or slightly higher than themselves, developmentally speaking. Women don’t choose mates who are lower than themselves, educationally, economically or socially. Males compete for wealth and resources to provide for a wife and children. Women and children benefit from this competition. Also, it is worth dissecting "choice" a little here. We humans like to think we are free to choose, and in some ways we are but in many, we are not. A pauper cannot choose a princess and neither can she choose beneath her station. The arts are full of tales of woe when this happens. Choice in this instance means to be less inhibited by outside influences (arranged marriages and parental involvement) in order to follow one's own inner sense of what is right.

Postmodern mate selection is sadly a mess. This is the one night stand, accidental and unplanned pregnancy I spoke of yesterday. Postmodern, 3rd wave feminists, who view all history as oppression and all males as toxic misogynists, dismiss any notion of hierarchy. The idea that they might select a man for anything other than his sperm is anathema, certainly, the notion of selecting a man who is her equal or higher would not be welcome, remember, no hierarchy! The turkey baster is the postmodern mating tool of choice, that and the surrogate mum. These tools are perfectly valid if that's what you choose but the absence of fathers is proving to be a disaster for individual children as well as for society as a whole. And to be clear here I am sure there are many loving and kind women successfully raising children conceived in these ways for a whole host of reasons other than the dislike of men.

Integral mating holds all the previous stages in its view and allows playful movement between them all. The ideal for a childbearing relationship is two fully conscious and aware adult humans coming together to create life. We know through scientific evidence that children with both parents, fully involved in their upbringing have by far the best outcome. They are better off emotionally as well as on many other lines of development. Integral relationships are not without challenges but simply having an understanding of where we are coming from helps to work through them. How many of us can really say we are truly in our authentic adult selves when with our significant life partners? No sulking? No inadvertent anger or passivity? Very few us to be sure but we continue to do our best.

Evolution is at hand in everything I see. We humans are part of nature but we are different. We are so much more than our biological selves. We have an emotional and spiritual nature too but it all rests on our biology. The opposite of social constructivism is biological determinism and neither holds the whole truth. So look to the middle ground for better answers.

A Man in a Skirt