Men, Women, Humand kind and the Gods

- or: How to cheat properly! -

Who on earth thought it a good idea to use female and male humans as the different genders of the same species. It is as if project management failed horribly when the Gods created the living things. That happens in the best of companies, right? The right hand is not entirely sure what the left is doing and Bob’s your uncle… the production line is messed up!

In the end they must have found that they were left with two species which didn’t quite match and they must have thought: Well, it did cost a lot of money to get them made, let’s just throw them together and see what happens.

After I had already commented on an article about the gender differences in nest building and seasonal decoration habits I now stumbled across another one about cheating. I always thought cheating is, well… cheating. But apparently not.

According to this article women are catching up in regard to frequency – not sure if that is a good or a bad thing – but how the aftermath is handled, that is evolving on a very different level.

Apparently the first thing a woman asks is: ‘Do you love her?’ What already implies one of the problems should she be cheating… love is her measure for the gravity of the cheat. Since a fling is not something that would tear her world apart, attention is something very nice to attract and the ravages of time are not getting any kinder on us, she even might allow herself a little slip and thus stepping onto the slippery slope that leads to love with the initial fling.

Should he be the culprit, she needs a bit of time to get reassured that he only had a fling – of course she needs to see 'the other woman' to figure out her position in this picking order and to establish the appropriate actions to stay on top for the future. That done, she might well be willing to take him back… and a guilty man is a good man!

Now, this article is suggesting that men see it very much differently when women cheat. His first question would be: Did you have sex?  In the male world performance seems to be the measure for the gravity of a cheat. The very fact that apparently quality and/or quantity was not sufficiently provided from his side as otherwise the wife would not have strayed, seems to be hitting right into the core.

So now imagine her trying to explain her fling by proclaiming: But it was just sex! Oh oh, that would be pouring oil into the fire.

How on earth is woman supposed to get out of this when the starting point of the quarrel is on such different positions. See, again the Gods didn't get it right. Even the remedy for the intricate situation lies on the different ends of the spectrum and is best depicted with the proverb: ‘A woman needs to feel good to have sex and a guy needs to have sex to feel good’.

A lot of make-up sex might put him at ease, but given that she just broke up with her lover that seems to be an unlikely option for her.

So there are only two things that come to mind to avoid the hassle.

Either: Don’t do it!

Or: Do it right and don’t get caught, for crying out loud!


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Comment by Blaise, 4th February 20101

Hi Rika, I saw the interesting article on cheating and I thought I'd chip in with the evolutionary science point of view. 

Human behaviour is a combination of our cultural experience and our genetic inheritance, and our genetic inheritance has a lot to  say about our sex lives. From the point of view of genetics, a human body (or any animal or plant body) is just an eleborate way for our genes to get copies of themselves into the next generation. As Dawkins pointed out in The Selfish Gene, males and females have very different strategies that in fact conflixt with one another. Females have a limited number of children and raising each one is vast expenditure of time and energy. Males can in principle father enormous numbers of children and sperm production is virtually free of cost. So, theoretically females should be very choosy and get the very best sperm they can, while males should be as promiscuous as possible. Females should respond by refusing to have sex unless help is given with raising the children. Males then have two attractive options: help raise their children and thus improve their survival prospects or continue being promiscuous. The value of staying with the female to raise the children disappears if she cheats, as now he may be raising another man's children. This problem never occurs for a woman, as she always knows her children are hers. So males should, according to evolutionary theory see cheating as much more threatening than females do. Of course, we are not slaves to our genes, our behaviour is not 'programmed' like a computer, but our bodies and minds have evolved over 400 million years since we came out the sea and this is determines our desires. But evolution works many orders of magnitude more slowly than cultural change and although there is now no reason to think that children are the automatic outcome of an affair our genes have perfectly equipped us to deal with a Stone Age environment. Culturally we are in the 21st century, but our emotions are still Neolithic.

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Comment by Rika, 11th February 20101

Hi Blaise, thanks for the great input. That might explain why guys take their midlife crisis with a young blonde, while ladies take up arts classes ;o) And an interesting thought about our emotions still being Neolithic - great inspiration to think about other areas where this shows... food, maybe?

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We Had It All

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Author: Rika