NATURE OR NURTURE?

Which is the most powerful force in shaping our culture and our lives? Well, I think it’s nature because the way we nurture seems to be a reflection of our nature. But let's look a little deeper.

The postmodernist thought process would have us believe that the entirety of our world is socially constructed. That the reason there are so few women in the fire service is that men have refused to invent easier ways of getting water to the fire, they have made the hoses and ladders heavy and difficult to handle (Yes this is a Feminist argument!). But she is ignoring an important component in the difference between men and women. Nature!

Humans are a Sexually Dimorphic species. This means that between the two sexes there is a large degree of variance. We are not as dimorphic as the silverback gorilla where the male is more than twice as big as the female but we are more dimorphic than gibbons who are roughly the same size. Human males are, on average 10% taller than females and we have, on average, 41% more lean muscle mass. These and other physical differences are not socially constructed, they are a biological reality and they go a long way toward shaping the social reality in which we find ourselves.

Another biological reality ignored by many social constructivists is birthing and feeding the younglings. It isn’t a devious patriarchal ploy to subjugate women which leaves them looking after the young, it’s the fact of us males simply not having the organs to do it. In other words Nature. Men have had other things to do, such as build and hunt and fight. Feminists might like to join in with building, hunting and fighting, and now she can, but men will never give birth or breastfeed.

There are behavioural differences that we find in nature too. Looking at other sexually dimorphic species we see that where the males are larger than the females, the males tend to be more aggressive, more sexually active and will seek multiple partners more often. Males will also develop strategies to ‘see off’ other males, even if these ‘battles’ end up shortening his life. If he is more successful at mating his shorter lifespan will not matter. It’s not all battles though, at least not fighting battles. Many birds compete for females with dances and displays of colour. This model is called the ‘Males Compete Females Choose’ (MCFC) model of sexual selection. It is the model for sexually dimorphic species.

The other model is called ‘Mutual Mate Choice’ (MMC) and this seems to occur in species where pair bonding is for life and both parents play an equal role in the raising of the offspring. The mute swan is a good example. The differences between males and females are small, males are very slightly larger and have a small bulge on the beak. Males do not compete for females, they dance together, bond, and mate. For life!

When I view human life through an integral lens I see both MCFC and MMC in operation and the difference is at what level of development the couple are operating. MCFC is the fact of men showing off wealth and status to impress women. And women are impressed, although not just by wealth and strength, according to clinical psychologist Dr Jordan Peterson what impresses a woman the most is, potential. The poor but hardworking and useful man is more attractive than the rich lazy idiot. She gauges one, more likely to be successful in raising children than the other and chooses accordingly. This is one reason I don’t buy the feminist ‘male domination’ theories. If women chose non-dominant men then dominance would have died out years ago. But women chose for success in raising children and dominance is a factor in their choice.

Mutual Mate Choice might be an integral ideal for humanity to aim toward. Two enlightened humans choosing to mate and produce a life, and raise it in a committed and secure ‘pair bond for life’ relationship. Rather than the heated and unconscious ways so many of our children are conceived. Unwanted and unplanned children are less well off from the beginning than planned and asked for ones. Remember, life starts in the attraction between a man and a woman. Life is electrical in nature as is the charge and force between sexually active males and females. That is nature. Nurture is how we take care of it.