Are you in the right place?

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This is my personal blog. This is the place where I rant and witter inanely about all sorts of things that take my interest from opposition to odious far right groups to personal learning projects such as my intermittent studies on evolutionary psychology.

If you’ve arrived here looking for information on my mental health and social care training and consultancy services you might want to click this link instead. That’ll take you to my commercial website: The Care Guy

You might also enjoy taking a look at Care To Share Magazine while you’re about it. That’s not affiliated with my business at all (or indeed anyone’s business). It’s a community of people who are interested in sharing ideas and insights into social care without any distractions from political ideologies, corporate agenda or media ‘fashion’.

‘Britain First’ – The last thing Britain needs

Look familiar?

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Britain First would have you think that UK Muslims (less than 5% of the UK population) are attacking the British way of life. Of course, they tend not to define that ‘way of life’ because to do so would mean acknowleging the long British traditions of tolerance, fairness and mutual acceptance.

So they borrow tactics from the Nazis instead….

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They isolate and scapegoat a minority group. Sometimes they dress up and pretend to be soldiers while they’re at it.

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They dehumanise and over simplify the characteristics of that group.

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They denounce all who stand up to their lies.

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And they make fools of anyone who doesn’t know any better.
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If you really want to know the truth about Britain First follow @ExposingBF on twitter and search for ‘Exposing Britain First’ on Facebook.

These people are hardly ‘Master race’ material, are they?

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Priceless! At a price, of course.

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A fool and his money are easily parted. And there are few so foolish as rabid, ideologically driven racists vying with each other to prove their misguided loyalty.

Of course, it’s no surprise to the rest of us that Jim Dowson’s neoNazi group, ‘Britain First’ is really just a way to make money from gullible bigots. It’s about merchandising far more than it ever was about nationalism.

Still, I can’t get too worked up about it. For one thing, I’m far too busy laughing. For another – this sort of con job couldn’t happen to a more deserving group of far right arseholes.

I’d love to write about this on Britain First’s facebook page but unfortunately I can’t. You see they banned me when I had the audacity to counter one of their divisive claims with actual evidence. Truth is bad for Britain First’s profit margins, it seems.

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If you’re not banned by Britain First and have a moment to spare though I’d be really grateful if you’d post it on their facebook page on my behalf. Even Britain First’s neoNazi followers have a right to know that they’re being scammed.

And don’t forget to follow @ExposingBF on twitter or search for ‘Exposing Britain First’ on facebook to stay up to date with the outrageously funny antics of these nasty neoNazi numpties.

That’s all folks!

Do you remember ‘Mork and Mindy’?
I do. It was brilliantly funny back in the day. An unassuming little comedy series that launched (so far as I know) one of the most versatile and talented comic actors of a generation.

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And now that actor is dead – by his own hand.

I’ve no idea why Robin Williams killed himself. In truth, I don’t think any of us ever will have – not really. Without thinking the thoughts he thought and feeling the emotions he felt the best anyone could ever manage would be a superficial approximation of the truth.

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But that doesn’t stop the media from going wild (with the frenzied instincts of a pack of wolves who smell blood) at the thought of the money their printed speculations will bring. And it stinks.

Leave the poor guy alone.
Leave his memory alone.

Just stop it!

That’s all folks!

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Hard-wired 30: Some criticisms and some rebuttals

Well – I asked for it. I knew the last few posts would be controversial and so I invited comment and challenge in the hope that doing so would raise respectful challenge rather than the insulting onslaughts I’ve occasionally received on social media whenever I’ve discussed any topic that may be of interest to feminists. And it worked.

I’ve had a few comments challenging recent posts but none that were abusive in any way. I have to say that this surprised me. It’s not been my usual experience. So – in the spirit of attempting to answer those challenges and hopefully stimulate more informative discussion (remember this has always been a learning project for me) I’ve tried to answer the main points of a particular comment that appears to represent the majority of other responses I’ve had either on social media or via Email.

Please feel free to continue to comment (and to disagree or agree as you see fit) but please – don’t assume hostility where none exists and please don’t become hostile yourself. I’m really not invested in any particular theory and if I say something that you disagree with, that doesn’t make me the spawn of Satan – it merely means that my investigations of the evidence over the last 18 months or so have brought me to a conclusion that differs from your own. I’d welcome your constructive debate. I have no interest in trading insults though. If that’s your preference please go and express yourself elsewhere.

Some might interpret my rebuttals as evidence that I’m not really interested in others’ views. I understand how that could be the impression but that’s not the intention here. I’ll always put my own case but that doesn’t mean I’m not listening to others too. In particular I’d be interested to know which cross-cultural studies weaken these arguments

The comment I’m replying to – which I found particularly pleasant and reasonable – can be found at the bottom of this post. In it I talked about the Madonna/Whore dichotomy and not altogether surprisingly have courted a bit of controversy as a result. I’ve divided the three part comment into headings in an attempt to do justice to the poster. I’m posting it as a separate post rather than as a comment because I think it’s helpful to recap some of the basics from the earlier parts of the series anyway and this will be better achieved in a separate post.

Weak, untestable theory

The accusation that evolutionary psychology is a pseudoscience full of weak untestable theories isn’t new. In fact it has been levelled at evolutionary psychology ever since its dawn which I have taken as the publication of EO Wilson’s ‘Sociobiology’ in 1975. To make sense of this accusation and the reason it is so incorrect I need to talk a little about the nature of science itself.

There are several different definitions of scientific method and indeed methods vary considerably between the ‘hard sciences’ such as physics which relies predominantly upon easily controlled lab experiments (among other things) and softer sciences such as anthropology, sociology and psychology (including evolutionary psychology) which often lack the luxury of tightly controlled laboratory experiments enjoyed by the hard sciences.

One of the most important criteria for good science is falsifiability. This is the idea put forward most famously by Karl Popper which I blogged about earlier in this series, here.

Regarding the particular post (part 27) I have added a number of links (supplemented by more links in part 29) that demonstrate truly falsifiable and genuinely evidential research projects that support the points made.

The specific accusation I’m responding to here is that the ideas put forward represent nothing more than Post-hoc (AKA ‘Just so stories’) explanations that cannot be tested. Yet evolutionary science and evolutionary psychology has produced and then supported (or from time to time failed to support and discarded) many falsifiable hypotheses. Some of those research projects are linked in the posts mentioned above. Of course there have been those who failed spectacularly to follow the rules of science and did indeed rely heavily upon Post-hoc explanations such as Desmond Morris in his book ‘The naked ape’. However the field has moved on significantly since the 1970s and Morris’ views (especially upon female sexual strategy as a rather improbable mechanism for group evolution) have been largely discredited. Interestingly ideas such as this have been falsified not by the feminist movement but by good, solid scientific research. It’s falsifiability that moves any science forward and evolutionary psychology is no exception.

Denies the fact that men and women have the ability to make choices

This series is long and sporadic. It has taken around 18 months so far as I’ve taken time to learn the material before I write it. So it’s not surprising that people are reading isolated posts without really understanding the context in which they are meant. As the series becomes more complete I’ll put more and more of it into PDF format as I did with Part 1. In that way it will be easier to maintain an overall perspective.

Several of the earlier posts made the exact point that strategies are flexible and that culture and social circumstances also play a part in mediating evolved strategies. It’s not so much a hard-wired behaviour as a hard-wired continuum of behaviours that respond to particular situations in humans just as they do in other primates. To argue against evolutionary psychology because it claims inflexibility is to miss the point entirely. Evolutionary psychology says no such thing. Neither, as it happens, do I. In fact I’ve made that precise point about flexibility in earlier posts in this series here, here, here and here – and they’re only the recent examples.

I don’t make these points to stifle challenge but I do ask that challengers take the time to follow the links I’ve included in posts before making straw man arguments. The last two of the four links above are to posts 27 and 29 themselves, In both of those posts I’ve mentioned flexibility and the fact that these strategies aren’t rigid. In truth they are mediated by circumstance, culture and opportunity.

Gender conflated with sex

This is fair comment. I haven’t particularly bothered with the variations of sexuality and gender we know in the modern world. There are two reasons for that…

I suspect that it’s impossible to come up with falsifiable hypotheses relating to Pleistocene era notions of gender as we understand it in the 21st century. Indeed, if evolutionary psychologists did get into those issues I suspect they’d be accused of Ad-hoc (Just so) explanations – the very thing that I was accused of in the comments to part 27. Actually the implications of criticising the blog for failing to include unfalsifiable stuff suggest a fairly classic double bind that I’m happy to avoid.

I have no way of knowing how early hominids and their early human descendants thought about gender. So I’m happy not to witter on about it. That really would constitute pseudoscience in my opinion. I’m pretty sure I’d be (quite rightly) attacked for doing so too – not least by those interested in gender politics.

Heteronormative definitions

See above

Recommendation to read Alice Eagly

I’ve never heard of this lady before. I note that she’s a social psychologist and that she describes herself as a feminist psychologist. I must say that strikes me as odd. To my mind any scientist who prefaces their scientific field with a statement of ideology runs the risk of being biased by that ideology. It seems no more reliable that ‘creation science’ or ‘marxist biologist’. In the most extreme cases it could even be the same as ‘Aryan anthropologist’.

However I was heartened to read this:

Eagly’s work does not fit within either of the typical feminist research programs on gender differences. Generally, these research programs have either minimized or maximized these differences: “So there’s the minimizing and liberal feminism – [the position] that we’re all the same and we all have the same opportunities, and we’re all equal. But the maximizing [position] is to say that women have special gifts, they have special skills, and women are different and that should be celebrated… And I’m for neither one of those. I’m for accuracy”. By this, Eagly means that she believes neither position to be inherently good for equality, feminism, or science: “I think that’s the point of science, to provide answers that are less polemical”. In other words, science can contribute directly to social and political issues, but practicing scientists should aim to minimize the influence of ideology on their work. This is not to say, however, that feminist psychologists should simply research and report the ‘facts’. These findings should always be placed within a theoretical framework. Without that, there is no way to understand and interpret the results. To carry out her research program in such a way, Eagly relies heavily on meta-analytic tools and other quantitative methods, believing each to have their own strengths and weaknesses. She integrates her results within her continually developing social role theory.

The quote from Eagly (below) reassures me in spite of the fact that she blends an ideology with a scientific discipline (a blatant oxymoron in my opinion):

“So that’s the effort, to understand that, and not to deny that there would be direct genetic influences on psychological dispositions or [that they could be] hormonally mediated. No doubt there is some [influence], but to bring in another set of causal influences, and then to try to understand how they all work together. So not to be just a nurture psychologist, but a nature-nurture psychologist”

On the strength of that passage I’ll have a look at her stuff. However I will say that previous readings of feminist writers have brought me to descriptions both of my society and my motivations that seem fundamentally opposed to everything I actually know about myself, my male friends and my society. So I’ll have a look – but I’ll be wary.

Remember that feminism is the ideology that brought us the nonsensical notion of a man’s ‘female side’ and the oft-quoted assumptions that all men wish to control and rape all women. Speaking as a man I absolutely know that to be false. That’s the problem when ideology contaminates science. So I’ll read some of her stuff and see what I find but I’m sceptical.

Argument weakened by cross-cultural variation

I’d be really interested to know of examples of cross-cultural variation that weakens this stuff. I’m aware of now discredited assumptions from earlier anthropologists (and even from Darwin himself) who misunderstood the sexual and hierarchical natures of many less developed societies. However I’m not aware of a single society that falsifies (or even weakens) the basic notions discussed in part 27 or indeed anywhere in the series.

Naturalistic fallacy

One objection was that by accepting the idea of evolved sexual strategies we need to embrace the strategy itself. But this is not the case. It’s a common assumption and one that is often levelled at evolutionary psychologists. It’s an assumption known as The Naturalistic Fallacy and I blogged about it in part 4 of hard-wired precisely because I do not believe that we need to be slaves to evolution – but if we are to overcome our less than pleasant natures we need to know the enemy. Interestingly I made that point in part 13. There is no benefit in pretending that evolutionary processes that evolved in a very different environment from our own don’t exist just because we don’t like their implications. Arguably that just makes us more vulnerable to our instinctive drives.

In my view knowledge is power and if we truly wish to improve human behaviour we need to understand where we’re starting from. Self-knowledge is vital in that regard. That’s why I invite challenge here (it’ll help me learn) but not out of hand dismissal.

What fuels men’s wish for whores in the bedroom in the context of marriage?

To make sense of that in a way that may satisfy I need to refer you to ‘The Moral Animal’ by Robert Wright. It’s a fascinating book and the chapters on sex and sexuality are way too long and involved for me to reproduce it properly here.

Hard wired 29: Female strategies

A recent post outlined the appallingly callous, evolved male strategy for determining who to reproduce with and in what circumstances. It described the sexual double standard for males and females and the awful, unfair and dismissive ‘Madonna/whore’ dichotomy. In doing so I focussed predominantly on the unfairness of men and male reproductive strategies and their impact upon women. In today’s post I want to concentrate upon the other side of the coin – the evolved strategies of females to take advantage of males. As before there is no more need for any particular woman to be aware of her deception (and many are not) than there is for men to understand theirs. Natural selection doesn’t need us to understand our manoeuvres – simply to employ them. And women, as we saw with men in the last post, are also driven to do so by emotion, not reason. Emotion simultaneously drives humans of both sexes to act unfairly towards each other and yet prevents them from recognising their own deviousness.

Male parental investmentFemale strategies vary, as indeed do male strategies in relation to reproductive prospects. In the case of women the evolved trait is greatly influenced by the availability and reliability of male parental investment (MPI). Where MPI is likely to be sustained it makes reproductive sense for the female to find a male to reproduce with and stick with him. Where MPI is likely to be low an altogether different strategy may be called for – involving selecting the male with the most robust physique (genetic fitness) to reproduce with as his hereditary physical fitness (in the evolutionary sense of the word) is all that really matters.

As with the male strategies previously mentioned the real world for females is also more complex than this simple black and white dichotomy and prospects for MPI should be considered as part of a continuum rather than a strict ‘either/or’ scenario. It may be for example that the most robust (fittest) genes really do hail from the most reliable men. In that case the woman can have the best of both worlds – providing that she can persuade him to stick with her and not her neighbour (who is also likely to be invested in finding the best reproductive deal she can).

Equally likely, the most robust genes for physical health may not reside in the most reliable father. In this case it may make evolutionary sense for the woman to let her ova be fertilised by the fittest male but form a lasting pair bond with a different male who will provide high MPI. This is known as ‘The best of both worlds strategy’ (Geary 2006). In fact, given the amount of cuckoldry within seemingly stable human pair bonds the strategy seems to be far more common than many might like to acknowledge.

Of course, in evolutionary terms this isn’t quite so difficult to understand. Indeed, it would be surprising if a mental module that prompted females to make the best of the available resources hadn’t evolved in a species such as our own with such variable MPI rates. There is, of course a major question to be answered concerning just why those MPI rates are so varied but we’ll get to that. It’s evidence of the flexibility of evolved mental modules and is as much influenced by social culture as by genetic determinism. Indeed both men and women are remarkably flexible in their ability to adapt to circumstance – another unsurprising trait given the diversity of conditions, climate and opportunities for interaction that have existed between the Pleistocene and today.

In part 27 we talked about male anti-cuckoldry strategies. Of course in an ideal world where neither males nor females deceive each other and significant Male Parental Investment was available to all females there would be no need for either sex to evolve strategies for deception and counter-deception. But the world isn’t ideal and so such strategies did evolve – or so it seems. But they’re flexible. The potential for cuckoldry depends upon several factors from availability of MPI and robust genetic material to the efficacy of anti-cuckoldry strategies themselves. It’s another example of the oft-quoted evolutionary arms race in which strategies and counter-strategies evolve in tandem. It’s a perpetual competition that covers a range of traits in the struggle to increase and/or maintain survival and reproductive fitness.

Hunter gatherer childcareWe have become accustomed in the developed West to think of monogamy as the norm for our species and yet that seems to be far from representative. Evolutionary biologist Allen MacNeill believes that our species would be better described as ‘serial monogamists’ but even then with significant variation around the theme. One variation is yet another example of the way that evolution drives us all, male and female to play the odds. A good provider is one thing but in the absence of that half the resources of a wealthy mate may be more beneficial than all the wealth of a poor man. The rationale and sociological evidence for this strategy (together with revealing and frank admissions from a number of hunter-gatherer women) is described in ‘The Moral Animal’ by Robert Wright. The relevance of modern hunter-gatherer communities in this context is that they mirror so far as is possible the societies of humans in the Environment of Evolutionary Adaptation (EEA).

The upshot of this particular assumption is two distinct strategies:

  1. Polygamy;
  2. Cuckoldry.

In the case of cuckoldry there is a particularly heavy evolutionary price to pay for the cuckold who may well find himself expending his precious parental investment on someone else’s genetic material. Of course – the notion of step children isn’t so terrible for many men – indeed I have two stepsons myself. But in evolutionary terms, from the perspective of the genes it is very definitely a waste. It isn’t surprising then that levels of infanticide and child neglect/abuse are significantly raised in the modern world for step children than for those children whose fathers are secure in their paternity. This phenomenon is known as ‘The Cinderella Effect’. This phenomena is not without its critics which is why the particular link chosen notes both sides of the argument – a dispute which centres around research methodology and could indeed demonstrate weaknesses in the Cinderella effect assumption. Significantly, recent research suggests that the need to avoid infanticide actually drove our species’ move toward monogamy, serial or otherwise.

But monogamy only protects so long as it is upheld. And as we have seen monogamy with a poor provider may not be the ideal strategy. So the flexible mother continues to play the odds – albeit in secret. There is evidence that the physiological adaptations of both males and females evolved precisely because of the evolutionary arms race of cuckoldry and anti-cuckoldry defences. See here, here, here and here. The last of these four links discusses not only concealed estrus but also the physical, emotional and behavioural changes that make both men and women more likely to want to have sex around ovulation whilst still not being totally aware of the imminent likelihood of pregnancy. It’s this hidden estrus (rare among primates) that allows the cuckoldry strategy to work at all. It’s a strategy that has its risks but in the harsh conditions of the EEA it may well have been a particularly viable option in imperfect circumstances – at least for women.

In writing this I’m very well aware of the criticism that this post may attract. That’s why I’ve included so many links to back up the points I have made. However that isn’t intended to stifle challenge – as I’ve repeatedly stated I really want to hear peoples’ challenges. I’m writing this series so that I can learn and in the absence of a tutor this is the best way I can think of to get feedback to keep me ‘on track’.

So please feel free to challenge and criticise, although I’d prefer it if you did so politely, of course. I genuinely need your comments and especially pointers for further research.

criticism

Hard wired 28: Where am I going wrong?

criticismHad a bit of criticism for my last post in this series. That’s not surprising – I anticipated it. However I’m not dismissive of criticism. In fact the reason I’m writing this blog series at all is (as I made clear from the beginning) to get feedback from others to keep me on track.

I’m trying to learn the topic of evolutionary psychology and to do so without a tutor or defined curriculum to keep me on track is risky. It’s easy to be led astray.

So please – if you feel strongly that I’ve got stuff wrong – comment. Let me know your criticism so that I can refine my self-education project. It’d be nice if you did so politely, of course.

Hard wired 27: The Madonna/whore dichotomy

In a previous post I made the point that…..

the two sexes exploit and deceive each other leading to mutual misery and societal unrest”.

Not everyone agrees with that statement. I have had more than one offline conversation since with people very opposed to that statement. Interestingly all  of those people were women who seemed more than happy to accept that men tend to deceive women but weren’t quite so keen to accept that the reverse might be true – that women deceive men.

In fairness, whilst I disagree with them I can sympathise with their perspective. Everyday experience does seem to suggest that men are more likely to deceive women then women are to deceive men – at least in terms of philandering. Nevertheless I do believe that women are more than capable of deceit in their own particular ways when the occasion calls for it. But we’ll get to female deception strategies shortly. For now I want to focus on the male side of the equation – the evolutionary forces underpinning male sexual strategy and its impact on the happiness (and unhappiness) of both sexes.

It’s worth restating that evolutionary imperatives are in no way intended to ensure the happiness either of the species in general nor of individuals in particular. In truth evolution isn’t ‘intended’ to do anything at all – there is no intention behind it, no plan and no benevolent (or otherwise) planner overseeing it. Evolutions is actually just a natural process that both maintains and is maintained by reproductive fitness.

Successful reproductive strategies allow species to thrive and increase. Unsuccessful strategies condemn species to oblivion. That’s it.

Consequently, when reading these next few posts please be aware that there is no reason to assume that the processes described here are particularly nice or indeed helpful for any individual. The strategies seem to work rather well overall in ensuring the survival of the species as a whole but their net effect is at least as likely to cause widespread misery as it is to cause romantic bliss. There’s nothing pretty about natural selection and especially not when it comes to the conniving nature of sexual selection strategies.

Male sexual strategies

Men seem to have two distinct strategies for ‘sowing their wild oats’. Briefly put they are:

  1. Fertilise as many eggs as possible inside as many fertile women as possible (even though not all the children will survive);
  2. Find one reliable women (or a succession of reliable women) to reproduce with and provide parental investment to ensure that your shared offspring survive.

Of course the real world isn’t quite so black and white as all that and there are many variations surrounding these two key strategies but it seems likely that both traits survive in human males just as they do among most primates, including our closest cousins the chimpanzees and bonobos.

The strategy creates for men an obvious problem – how to tell which women are good for sharing parental investment with and which (in the callous parlance of natural selection) are good for fertilisation only. It is well understood that male parental investment rates fall sharply when paternity is uncertain and one effective anti-cuckoldry strategy is to ‘play the odds’ when choosing a potential mate. Welcome to The sexual double standard and The Madonna/whore dichotomy.

Earlier in this series I introduced the notion of evolved mental modules. One such module is the ‘Madonna:whore dichotomy’ which encourages men to categorise women (broadly speaking) into one of two main groups. Obviously there is some ‘wiggle room’ within this mental module and in truth the ‘dichotomy’ is much more of a continuum than an ‘either/or’ categorisation but none the less the module exists.

WhoreThis is the module that prompts men to talk about ‘sluts’ and ‘slags’, allowing themselves to denigrate women with whom they merely have sex and so avoid commitment ‘guilt-free’. It’s the same module that for much of human history (and even today in some societies) prompted a culture of virginity testing before wedding ceremonies and that relegates sexually active women to inferior and even ‘dirty’ status the world over.

The Madonna/whore dichotomy evolved in the male mind because it is a way to ensure that men can sow their wild oats (reproductive strategy number 1) without risking cuckoldry and the waste of their own parental investment on someone else’s genetic material via a woman who is too easily tempted into bed. The harder it is to persuade a woman to reproduce with him the further along the scale she is toward Madonna status and so the less likely she will be to cuckold him if he forms a pair bond with her (reproductive strategy number 2).

So how does the man tell whether a woman is a Madonna or a whore? Easy – he tries to get her into bed. If she is very eager to let him sow his wild oats – she’s relegated to the status of the whore. Whores are good for fertilising according to this particular evolutionary module so he does just that. He enjoys her and then he leaves her (hopefully with a freshly fertilised egg). And he does so guilt free because his evolved mental module persuades him that she’s not worthy of his parental investment anyway.

Angelic womanOn the contrary, Madonnas – those women who exercise restraint in their sexual activities seem more worthy. If it takes time for the man to woo her into bed it is likely she won’t be tempted to go off with other males when his back is turned. So he’s less likely to be conned into wasting his precious resources on rearing some other man’s child – a double whammy in evolutionary terms as not only has he not passed on his own genetic material he also aids a rival genetic line in the process. ‘Madonnas’ then are sought after (so long as they ‘give up the goods’ eventually) but ‘whores’ are merely played with.

One of the cruellest twists in the execution of this strategy is that men employ their most persuasive efforts to try to tempt women into bed. And they have evolved a huge arsenal of tactics to do so from swearing (and believing in) their own undying devotion to providing gifts in expensive displays (our version of the peacock’s tail) and becoming so pre-occupied with the woman in question that she cannot fail to notice his infatuation and be persuaded of his enduring devotion.

Unfortunately, if she concedes too quickly to these deceptive strategies she will in fact prove herself to be far from Madonna-like and so will be relegated to the unworthy, ‘whore’ category. The unfairness of this strategy may be easily explained and understood in evolutionary terms but it is far from desirable in a society that thinks of itself as ‘moral’. Indeed if ever evidence was needed to demonstrate the inherent hypocrisy of evolved human ‘morality’ the ‘Madonna/whore’ dichotomy is it. It drives men to philander without censure and censures those women who are taken in by their wiles.

Yet it’s not premeditated deception on the part of the man – at least not always. Evolution by natural selection hasn’t equipped our species (or any species so far as we know) with the cognitive insight needed to calculate genetic variances and reproductive tactics consciously. Rather natural selection wins out through a numbers game. It plays the odds by driving all of us to behave in ways most likely to succeed. And it drives us not through thought but through emotion.

DevotionSo the ardent young man who swears undying devotion does so because he really means it – he really feels it. Humans are driven by emotion and they rationalise their behaviours with thoughts after the fact. Both the emotion and the thought that justifies it are sincere and therein lies the rub. It makes it almost impossible to know whether the man is going to stick around because he doesn’t actually know himself. He’ll follow his emotional drives and when his emotions tell him that his Madonna is really a whore he’ll leave her just as quickly and justify that abandonment just as sincerely.

It’s not that men are particularly deceitful – well, not entirely and certainly no more than women. It’s just that the male evolutionary imperative means that, as Darwin put it….

“Males are very eager”

As I’ve said before this series is chiefly about my own education. I have no tutor to help me learn this stuff so I’m blogging about the topic in the hope that others with more knowledge will help me to correct any errors. I don’t have any other means of getting such feedback. So please feel free to comment and put me right.

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