Thursday, January 31, 2008

Playing doctor

Yesterday, Sarah pointed out how our beloved Dr. Neave felt women chose mates based on their income and that all women were inherently gold-diggers who as he put it, "couldn't survive alone."

Yet while he may have been discrediting women' s motives in the dating and mating world, he didn't exactly make men seem all that glamorous either:

"A man's natural instinct may be to have sex with a different woman every day, but to safeguard his relationship (and secure his progeny), he has been forced into a pattern of monogamy. don't even realize what's happening. When couples meet at speed-dating evenings, typically a man will judge a woman on her looks and youth. His priorities are whether she's healthy, interested in sex and can give him children one day. He doesn't care how much she earns or her social status."

So while women want money, men want booty.

But, what's worse, to base your relationship on the hopes of dating a doctor?

Or to base it on playing doctor instead?


Jared said...

I don't think either is "bad" necessarily, maybe tragic in a way since they are both blindly following instinct like any other animal.

It's all an internal struggle, because the purpose of dating on an intellectual level is to find someone who makes you happy to fall in love with, but on an instinctual level it is to find someone who can best help you perpetuate your genetic bloodline.

These two interests are not always in tune, which explains the woman who keeps going back to the boyfriend who can never make her happy, or the husband who has a perfect family life but still cheats on his wife and ends up miserable. These people lose the struggle, because they follow their instincts at the cost of their own happiness.

Anonymous said...

i can see why you would be immediately offended by neave's article -- the title alone is a pretty insulting to women, with the whole "sorry to have to tell you this" and the "don't worry, it's just nature" patronizing tone.

but despite neave's somewhat degoratory spin, the underpinning theory is hardly provocative. it's pretty widely accepted by most evolutionary theorists (most of whom are less interested in condescendingly sensationalizing it for the sound bite).

women instinctually want protection for their offspring; men instinctually want to produce as many offspring as possible (well, so do women, but women are more likely than their mate to have to care for the offspring, so a woman's desire to breed is tempered by how many children she can raise successfully (and then there is that whole 9 month gestation period which also slows her down)).

and both men and women want to breed with the best genes out there. on an instinctual level, a man's good genes are evidenced by his strength; a woman's good genes are evidenced by her beauty.

like jared said, this isn't a "bad" thing. although instinct may in the end cost you your happiness.

but, of course, "happiness" and how we perceive it is an entirely different subject.

Sarah said...

Hey anon, I saw that episode about Meerkats on Animal Planet too!

Oh wait, you're talking about humans. For a second there, well, never mind...

Anonymous said...

meerkats have genes, too. and genes are genes are genes.

in fact, the best way to study subconscious instinct is to study the behavior of more primitive species -- species that lack the neocortical capacity for conscious thought, prediction, pondering, reflection, and emotion that serves to complicate a human's decisions and behavior.

we humans are not so different from meerkats, fundamentally. we just think about things more, and our neocortex is strong enough to allow that thinking to affect our motor control (i.e. our behavior). but subconsciously, the "old brain" still behaves as instinctually as a meerkat's.

i've been reading a lot on human evolution recently. can you tell? you've piqued my interest.

Gman said...

Those neocorticals really cause a lot of problems.

First they get us stuck in Iraq, then they get folks all tizzied up about booty calls.

Darned necorticals.

Chrissie said...

it's funny that one can say "were not that different from meerkats" in one sentence, and in the previous sentence point out all the ways that we differ...

"conscious thought, prediction, pondering, reflection, and emotion that serves to complicate a human's decisions and behavior."

aren't these things enough to throw out the "instinct" argument???

Anonymous said...

well, you left out the "fundamentally" part and the "subconsciously the 'old brain' still behaves as instinctually as a meerkat's" part, both of which give context to the "we're not that different from meerkats" statement.

and no, conscious decision making does not preclude instinct, and it shouldn't be considered something so overpowering as to allow us to "throw out" the instinct argument altogether.

and while it was more likely the urging of our old brain that got is into iraq, it was certainly our neocortex that got us stuck there.

that darn neocortex... and the curse of being able to think.

Mario said...

I don't understand what is the problem with what either Jared or anonymous has said. What fundamental assumption are we going by? Did humans evolve over millions of years from lower-order animals, or did we spring from the dust of the earth and a spare rib?

Since I think it's pretty safe to assume everyone involved with this thread is on the side of evolution, what's the problem with acknowledging that nature has geared us towards certain inclinations, and that these inclinations may be different for men and women? The field of evolutionary psychology has been discussing this for years.

We may have come a long way from running the plains of the Serengeti in our day-to-day lives, but how much have we evolved physically -- and more important, mentally -- from who we were back then?

Our environment is different, and so our inclinations may not manifest themselves in the same exact way as they did 50,000 years ago, but I think it's a safe bet that the same inclinations have survived largely unchanged.

Potential moms no longer fear saber-tooth tigers -- only foreclosure. Most expect to take the daily procurement of meat and vegetables for granted, but still worry about financing a car with side-impact airbags. And so they are inclined look for men they believe are not likely to lie around the cave all day, leaving wife and children exposed to the vicissitudes of this cruel world.

At root, it's the same inclination: security for the brood.

Anonymous said...

I Like what Chrissy said hear...

(it's funny that one can say "were not that different from meerkats" in one sentence, and in the previous sentence point out all the ways that we differ...

"conscious thought, prediction, pondering, reflection, and emotion that serves to complicate a human's decisions and behavior."

aren't these things enough to throw out the "instinct" argument???)

All this evelotionary instinct stuff is digging to deep in the pst 60,000 plus years we've evolved differently than most animals it's mostly our brains which have evolved has our bodies no longer need to adapt to the environment...

Sure sex we all want sex... an the Dr. probably catches alot of gold diggas cause hes got it like that... but they dont want him for sex they want the relationship (for the $)...

once again its the Relationship Person vs the Sex Person...

Everyone want different things from their Relationship Person I like a unique, strong woman, who's fun and a bunch other crap including hot...

The Sex Woman just has to be hot and maybe low comitment...

I'm tired of this crap... oh an i bet just somehow proved one of you ... genius's philosophies right... comment on my spelling or grammar and your Moms tak'n it 12" deep in a donkey show tonight! Peace

Anonymous said...

well, actually you have a point with the "relationship" person vs the "sex" person, but i doubt you realize the point you made, because it has to do with evolutionary instinct.

this isn't about "catching gold diggas" (not that gold diggers don't exist).

this is about the existence of underlying, subconscious urges that shape and govern our conscious behavior. these urges are called "instincts". we all have them. we have not "evolved" them out of our system.

we may think they don't matter anymore, but this is only because we don't "think" with our instincts. instinctual urges are processed completely by the subconscious; they never reach our conscious mind.

but this does not mean they don't affect our conscious mind and our conscious decisions.

there's a reason why "we all want sex", and it's not simply because "it feels good". because there's a reason why it feels good...

the reason is called, evolutionary instinct. and it has a lot more control over you, your decisions, and your opinion than you realize.

and i won't disparage your grammar if you have something meaningful to say. but leave the "donkey show" comments for whatever circle of friends you have that actually appreciates sophomoric wit.