Learn About Sexuality

Male role models and personality stereotypes

The precedent from Nature is clear. The male is motivated to mate and he has to persuade or otherwise subdue the female into accepting intercourse. Male mammals fight for breeding rights and they lose the opportunity to mate if they cannot beat rivals. The female has little choice in the matter. One might interpret her ‘choice’ as being a logical one since the dominant male is likely to have more virile offspring. She may also accept the victor simply because he presents himself having chased off the opposition.

Men are to be admired for their tenacity and their perseverance. And women admire them for these character traits. The male role involves providing the resources for a family possibly by defending territory. It involves protecting a family and a mate until the children are grown-up and for longer sometimes. Male mammals are much less involved in the daily care of young. But the father role is significant for children especially boys.

Men and women also usually want to enjoy companionship with a lover, through sharing interests, a sense of humour and common life goals. Some men (more than others) consider social aspects when choosing a lover. Certainly when they marry, men want a wife to be a suitable social companion (and possibly mother) as well as a lover. Girls also have more confidence in their relationships with men when they have a positive relationship with their father.

Young boys are often much more physically active in their playtime activities. Boys focus on physical activities such as sport and usually are less interested in discussions. Young men receive the message from society that men succeed through the use of power, force, or wealth. Men are motivated to display their status so that women will admire them.

Women have not evolved the need that men have to be physically active because they must be willing to put aside their individual pursuits and care for their children. Men play much more sport than women do. From an early age a boys make weapons out of a stick if that’s all that is available. Mothers often feel uncomfortable allowing their sons to play with toy guns. But a weapon is the natural parallel of girls wanting to dress a doll or push a pram. Boys emulate the male role models in society but testosterone is the driver. Some boys do not have this same aggressive or active nature.

Humans have typically lived in hunter-gatherer communities. The men hunted for food (often involving considerable danger or physical endurance) while the women remained close to the settlement (fetching water, maintaining the home and raising children). These lifestyles call for two quite different personality types. Men need to be adventurous, out-going and willing to face danger and take risk. Men focus on doing. In order to hunt, men need to co-ordinate their activities, co-operate as a team and create strategies for overcoming dangers or opponents. Women need a more passive, docile personality that is willing to restrict their mobility and be motivated by a support role in the family. Women focus on communicating. For family life, women need to obtain the support of others, including understanding relationships within the wider family.

Boys grow up with the implied superiority of men. Men’s achievements and status are everywhere in society. So boys initially are disparaging towards girls until their sex drive comes into play during adolescence. Then boys think that girls are wonderful but as sexual beings. A man’s masculinity (and his status with his male peers) is enhanced when he has an attractive woman on his arm. A man likes to assume that a woman’s affection indicates that she is pleased with his sexual performance.

When a man is in love with a woman he may be motivated to support her financially. Women seldom do this for a man. Men also protect women they love to the point of losing their own lives. Women rarely do this for men. During the war men who deserted (because they couldn’t face the daily risk of dying or killing any more) were shot. They didn’t have a choice. Most women would not be very happy about dying for their country or for anyone else. In cultures like the Japanese during WWII a man faced death willingly because he knew that he would not be welcomed home without military victory. Men do not want to be trapped in a woman’s romantic fantasy of platonic family life. Men want to roam free and make their own choices. Men’s status is vital to the respect they need as men.

Throughout history men have fought to protect their women from other men. Men are bigger and stronger than women but this does not make men bad. Men are more active in every field especially the judiciary, law enforcement, rescue services and the military. Although women are typically identified with passivity, men are also passive in situations where they face an aggressive threat. Soldiers under Napoleon and later Hitler, froze to death in the Russian winter rather than challenge authority.

To a husband, sex is about right up there on the list with eating and breathing. Can he survive without it? Yes, but it’s not fun at all. Sex is to the man, what talking/communication is to the woman. (Gerad Harris 2012)

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