I finished reading David M. Buss’s Evolution of Desire a while back and it was honestly the longest book I read in 2019 going into 2020. The read was quite cliché but I expected that even before picking it up and I think for me that’s what made it a truly valuable read, there isn’t much that’s new under the sun when it comes to attraction, it’s a field that has been widely researched and the knowledge is out there for us to make informed decisions as well as be aware of how we function as one gender and vice versa.
I loved that the book was authentic; it gave me facts and statistics without trying to impose any ideas on any gender that would not acknowledge any outliers. It gave me a solid foundation for the ideas I have always had about both men and women in terms of reputable facts that would allow me to be confident in my words whenever posed with an argument in a matter that cuts across both genders.
So here are some of the takeaways I got from the book:
I think from the word go that the book sort of contradicts the whole idea of feminism.
“To assume that men and women are psychologically the same, as was generally done in traditional social science and still is in some out-of-date scientific circles, goes against what we now know about our evolved sexual psychology.”
It’s not easy to change subconscious ideas that are embedded into our genes and that have evolved over the years, no one ever told me to be attracted to tall women or curvaceous women but it’s genuinely how I feel and if there are other ideas however abstract within the same line of thinking, then it proves how hard a task achieving equality is if at all possible.
The things that men and women are attracted to are as a result of subconscious ideas that have evolved over the years. Men desire women because they want to propagate their genes and for that to happen, they need a female to have sex with and for that female to submit to said demand, they must be convinced, and for them to be convinced, their needs must be considered since everyone is here to fulfill their own interests. Women on the other hand want a protector and a provider and as a result, out of the large pool of men out there, by law of natural selection, only the physically fittest will rise up.
The symbols of attractiveness that most men desire in women like wide hips and a big bosom are a representation of their ability to have and raise children who can survive. The symbols of attractiveness that women desire in men like well toned muscles and height are a representation of their ability to protect and to provide food and it doesn’t require any science to see how all these are related. All this makes me feel like all the other preferences I have in women all have an underlying purpose, I don’t just like girls who are younger than I am, or one with high self-esteem or even one of my stupidest preferences which is girls with short nails, I have these preferences because they represent something (maybe even those outside of attraction), but am not sure how this knowledge exactly translates to beneficial terms, maybe you will.
I think this was an interesting idea that women could use to their advantage:
“Getting a man to express himself emotionally represents one tactic that women use to gain access to the important information they need to discern a man’s degree of commitment.”
“Men apparently are sexually aroused when exposed to sexual scenes, whether or not consent is involved.”
I could have picked any other quote in the book to illustrate the point am about to make, but I think this one has a profoundness that gives it oomph. Men and women have different levels of sexual drive and that same sex drive is structured differently and I think many people are naïve of this when it comes to tackling issues that revolve around issues that scream gender difference and this statement makes that pretty clear, it leads me to take you back to why women want sex and why men want sex. The statement however is by no means a justification for rape under whatsoever circumstances, but I think it helps us delve more into the question, Why this particular gender? And the other ideas on the differences between these two genders remind me that men are driven by their interest to propagate their genes and rape gives them that opportunity without having to commit their resources, and women on the other hand are not interested in raping men because men are readily willing to have sex since it increases their chance of having their genes propagated.
The woman wants resources and so both have to find a middle ground which in the 21st century appears to me to be the agreement of marriage, that they will both be faithful to one another, they will share resources, and the woman will give birth and continue fulfill the man’s desire to continue his generation.
There are so many ideas I have left out, so if you’d like more extensive insight, fell free to pick up the book.
In conclusion, I think women have gained an upper hand in the recent years, there is a lot of awareness on the bargaining power women have and they are continually using it to get a bigger cut from the deal.
*all quotes are from “The Evolution of desire” by David M. Buss.
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