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Man, Woman, and Biology

Man, Woman, and Biology

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Published by You-Sheng Li
It is a short article describing the author's experience and comments on the topic: man, woman, and biology.
It is a short article describing the author's experience and comments on the topic: man, woman, and biology.

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Published by: You-Sheng Li on Apr 23, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Man, Woman, and Biology
By You-Sheng Li 11/2/2000, and edited 23/10/2010A few months ago I attended a discussion at the centrallibrary of the city I live in. The topic was, “Live Alone,and Enjoy it.” About 10 people participated, and men andwomen were about equal in number. As you can imagine, allparticipants were middle-aged, and had lived alone forquite a while. What struck me was that all women talkedabout the hardship and loneliness of their spinster lifeeven with tears and sobs, and their eyes fixed on theground as if they were preparing to go to hell while allmen described their life as enjoyable with an even tone,and their eyes were gloating at the ceiling as if theirsouls were already in heaven.But the reality is just the opposite. Women do much betterthan men when they live alone. Some years ago a survey ofmore than forty thousand people in the United States waspublished, using the frequencies of certain disorders,namely stroke, heart attack, cancer, and psychosis todetermine if the life under this study was a happy one. Theresults suggested that women were happier when they weresingle and men were happier when they were married. Womenmanaged single life much better than men. But on such anoccasion as the discussion at the central library, womenwere expressive while men were reserved.When I was a child, the science at that time told me thatthe difference in behaviour between men and women wasentirely caused by culture, since our society treats boysand girls differently with different expectation since theday they are born. Now we have realized hormones influencethe development of our brains.Some years ago I read a novel in Chinese titled The Siegeof a City. The novel’s title suggests that marriage is likea besieged city: Those inside want to get out and thoseoutside want to get in. The author thinks the relationshipof a man and a woman can divide into three levels and it isimpossible to combine the three into one. The three levelsare: psychological - sharing the same spiritual experience;social - forming a functioning family, and biological - sexand have children. Therefore the hero of this novel finds agirl friend to share spiritual interest, a wife to form a
family, and a sex partner to have sex. It illustrates wellthe stress our modern civilization has put on marriage isso much that it is about to tear it into pieces.The first two levels, psychological and social levels aresubjected to cultural and social influence, like treesbending over wind and attracting sunlight. But the roots,the biological level, though covered by earth, is the basisthe first two levels are built on.We receive equal amount of genetic material from our bothparents, which warrants the roughly equal numbers of menand women in our society. But a man can produce much morechildren than a woman. From a biological view, men areabundant and subjected to the selection by women inprimitive society to ensure human evolution. Our societyhas most developed and civilized but we still see its tracein our behaviour today.In today’s patriarchal society, men still dominated in manyareas. But when it comes to the nuptial ceremony, thewoman, not the man, is the central figure. Most people areright-handed, and the right was considered to superior tothe left in Chinese culture. On occasions such as wedding,funeral, and other family rituals, Chinese women alwaystake the right side seats. I heard that ancient Greek hadthe same tradition: women on the right and men on the left.Those traditions are inherited from thousands of years agowhen all people were equal.Infant girls remember human faces better than infant boys.If you let girls and boys of three to five years old to sitin a room for five minutes, and ask them what they haveseen in the room. The girls describe the people in the roomand boys describe the environment, the furniture, thewalls, and the ceiling, and so on. Up to today, our ritualof marriage still remains that men propose to a woman whoselects and makes the final decision.Does a woman see all the men the same or she divides theminto different ranks? In a primitive society, a womandivided men into different ranks and then exercised herselection. As a result, in a primitive society, men at lowranks were to be wasted because no women would choose them.A recent study by some British scientists indicates that wecan still see some evidence to suggest what happenedmillions of years ago.

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