December 29, 2021

The Sex Paradox

David Nabhan observes:

A pretty mathematician was talking about Russell’s set paradox when I began thinking about another Catch-22: the great dissimilarity in something admired in men and scorned in women—of course, their sexual prowess. The set of "whores” or "sluts,” morphed into male counterparts—"lothario,” "playboy,” "stud"—are thumbs-up terms. Yet a philanderer REQUIRES some set of women to succumb to his charms, thereby themselves falling into the downcast category. Bertrand have much to say on that?
I reply:

Sexual virility has always been associated with physical power. The King used to be the guy who was strongest, and he was supposed to have lots of sons to help him in war. That led to the attitude. Women, on the other hand, have to consider how many children they sire because they are ultimately the ones stuck with them and have to be able to raise them. So there has always been a prohibition against loose women and a kind of encouragement for strong males to reproduce. This goes back to the Paleolithic, and it's something largely ingrained in human nature, even if it doesn't make sense to us. Judaism and Christianity attempted to temper this thinking with moral codes, which had some success but not that much. Now of course our post-modern society attempts to resolve this by giving thumbs up to all acts of licentiousness,

rather than encouraging chastity for everyone. Of course, this means a society full of broken homes and illegitimacy and women working themselves to death trying to support the children they have.

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