Before I take this matter any further I should first state my involvement – I am an older man. Not that this, in itself, should greatly affect the quality of my comments, but it does get this particular question out of the way.
Over recent years the question of “what is a man?”, and everything that goes with it, has been discussed around the dinner table and in the media. I guess, when one addresses this subject, it is necessary to ask the question, men are just different – but different from what? Different from women, of course! There are two main reasons for this, the very DNA of each and every male, and then an additional layer is added, that particular persons upbringing (nurture) . Put the two together and your end up with a male human being.
I am not about to discuss the physical differences between a male and a female, but more the differences in the way each thinks and acts. It is this aspect that most of us think of when we compare the two. There is no doubt however, that the physical differences does affect why and how males are just different from their female counterparts. It is just the nature of the beast that is the basic building blocks of any man, or any woman for that matter. When I say the “nature of the beast”, I am referring to the end result of hundreds of thousands of evolutionary years, because that is where it all starts.
For some reason or other, us humans usually forget that we are basically an animal, just like every other animal. We have a bigger brain and have evolved to be able to use it, but that does not change the fact that other than that, all animals are fundamentally the same. We have the same basic instincts and drives that every other animal has. The most important consists of the basic need to continue living, because without that all the others cannot exist, then the need to procreate, because without that man as a species would become extinct. The basic need to eat enough food, have enough sleep, have sufficient shelter, stay healthy, love, protect ourselves and our families are other less important basic needs. Every thought and action us humans do stems from these basics. How we actually think and act in any particular situation depends on how strong those instincts and drives are in that particular person has on one hand, and the actual strength and the type of the conditioning that that person has accepted on the other. The balance dictates who that person really is. In other words, a combination of nature and nurture.
Now that I have got that out of the way, and probably shocked a few in the bargain, I will address the actual question, “are men just different?”. Some of you may have come to a conclusion as to where I am heading with this matter, and you could just be right. Firstly, I believe that nature rules this world of ours and regardless of how smart us human beings believe we are, we will eventually pay the penalty for ignoring those basic laws. Every other animal has to live within nature and the very species existence will depend on how well they adapt to their environment. If the environment changes, they have to adapt accordingly. Owing to our brainpower, we have not only the ability to work out the answers we need, but we complicate it by all of our wants.
Thinking about animals in general, other than us humans, virtually every male and female of a particular species is noticeably different. They often look different, they usually act differently and we can only assume, they think differently. This difference, while it varies considerably, depending on the species, it is the basic difference between male and female in all animals, including us humans. In most animal species the male is dominate, although there are variations of this between the different species. In some, although not many, the female is dominate.
You would have gathered by now that I believe that there are basic differences between males and females of most animal species, and that includes us human beings. If one looks at our closest non-human cousins, the chimpanzee, a primate just like us, its DNA is very close to ours. The Smithsonian Institute, in its article entitled “What does it mean to be human – DNA, October 27, 2020”, it states in part, “DNA is thus especially important in the study of evolution, The amount of difference in DNA is a test of the difference between one species and another – and thus how closely or distantly related they are. While the genetic differences between individual humans today is minuscule – about 0.1%, on average – study of the same aspects of the chimpanzee indicates a difference of about 1.2%.” The same article goes on to say that the differences between humans and other apes, other than the chimpanzee, is nearly three times that of the chimpanzee.
I am using the above DNA closeness to illustrate just how close us humans are to other animals, and that can be translated to both thought and behavior. Have you ever watched a group of chimpanzees and how they interact with one another in their cages? There similarities to us humans can be, at times, un-nerving. This is because we can see ourselves in their actions. It is a pity they cannot speak as well as we can, because that would make their behavior even more uncanny. How the males interact with their counterparts is nature at is rawest, just as it was with us humans tens of thousands of years ago. The question is, how far have we, as a species, evolved since then?
The trend in today’s society is for the male/female differences to be merged as though there are no real differences. I contend that what is really happening, is the natural differences are being masked by the un-natural philosophy of inclusiveness when applied to who and what men and women are. They are both human beings, but they are quite different. Men often do not think like women, and many women cannot fully understand that fact. The men and women of this world do not need to be blended into one, they each just has to understand the differences. Respecting those differences and a measure of compromise will solve many perceived difficulties between the parties. Understanding why your partner does what he or she does will help the whole process.
Some of those differences I have been referring to include the following:
- Men generally NEED more sex than most women. It is all about the urges that nature gives most men to procreate. That is how nature ensures the continuation of the species, just as it does for every other animal. That drive, other than the fact it is modified in modern humans, is exactly the same as what you find in most other animals. Generally speaking men want sex and women want love.
- Men’s interest in sex does not diminish as much as most women as they get older. Most women’s sex drive lessons after they have gone through menopause, but that is to be expected, there role as a new mother is then over. Nature rules once again.
- When it comes to solving family problems most men will try and think of a logical solution. Most women will think far more about the personal relationships involved and how they feel about the individuals concerned. Men and women often come up with completely different solutions to the same problem.
- Most men try and hold their emotions in check and it is important to them to not show too much emotion when amongst other men. It is a all about pride on one side and showing strength on the other. Women, on the other hand, have no difficulty in showing their emotions at any time.
- During early times men were the hunters of the necessary food and they learnt to track, find, kill and bring the food home. This required strength, and other skills, which have continued within the male of the species to this day. Men are larger and stronger than women, and generally have a better sense of direction. All these abilities were necessary to hunt, kill game and bring it home to the family successfully.
- The fact that most men do not have the strong maternal instinct that most women have, explains why a man’s attitude towards his family is just plain different. They generally feel more protective to both their partner and children in a different way from women, who feel more loving. Women provide a softer approach to their families. It is the same instinct that you can witness most animals doing, mainly between pups, kittens etc. and their mothers.
- Most men have only a fleeting sense of fashion, and unless there is a big hole in their favorite piece of clothing they will continue to wear it, that is, until their partner throws it away without their knowledge. If a man wants to buy a piece of clothing he will just go into one shop and buy it, usually without trying it on. Women, on the other hand, will spend a whole day shopping for one piece, and then trying on a number of them before making the purchase decision.
- A few other differences that are obvious include women’s use of rest-rooms (toilets) in a social environment. Men use these facilities for one reason only. Women, on the other hand, also use them as a social contact point. Men do not speak much in such environments.
- Men also have difficulty in finding something in a cupboard, as their ability to pick out a certain item amongst many others is limited. Women have the ability to scan far better than men and they can usually find what they are looking for. Men are inclined to focus more closely on whatever they are doing and do not like being interrupted. On the other hand, women can multi-task far better than most men.
- I could go on and on about the specific differences between men and women, but I do not think it would add anything more to the point I have already made.
So, are most men different than most women? The answer is obviously, yes! The differences commenced hundreds of thousands of years ago and, while things have evolved somewhat over that time, there still are major differences in how men think and act. It is essential that everyone understands and accepts the differences if the two sexes are to successfully interact in our society. That, in conjunction with a reasonable measure of respect for others, will help us all get amicably through the day.
To assist readers to understand where I am coming from, I suggest they read the book untitled “Why men don’t listen and women can’t read maps” by Allan Pease, 1998. The title itself is self explanatory
Recent trends within the developed world have been moving towards blending, not only of the two different sexes, but are suggesting that the differences are not that relevant. Some would say that everything should become somewhat asexual, and that calling a young female or a young male a girl or a boy confuses their sexuality. I contend that, regardless what some may want, men and women are just different. Where this will end up is anyone’s guess. It appears to me to be that this trend is somewhat contrary to nature, and there is always long term penalties to pay when any society ignores that fact.
One thought on “Men are just different!”
In response to traditional roles for women, my father observed, “It costs more to raise a girl than it does to raise a boy.”
Warmest regards, Ed