We are what we were then. This is the apparent philosophy of “Evolutionary Psychology.” It was also the premise that the brains of men and women are wired differently because of the different roles men and women had from the time when human beings began their evolutionary cycle. The speaker at the Pattaya City Expats Club’s November 17 meeting, Ren Lexander, spoke on the topic: “The Ape in Your Bedroom…How Evolutionary Psychology sheds light on the battle of the sexes.”
Ren devoted his talk to the differences between the sexes and how this has been influenced by evolution. Ren acknowledged that this can sometimes be perceived as a sensitive topic. He emphasised that he was talking about how things are, and not passing judgment on whether the differences are good or bad.
PCEC’s meeting on September 17th began with Helle Rantsen, president of the Pattaya International Ladies Club, inviting PCEC members and guests to attend the PILCs’ Christmas Bazaar next door at the Holiday Inn.
He mentioned that Germaine Greer published the landmark book “The Female Eunuch” in 1970, an important text in the mantra of the feminist movement in the 1970s; that men and women were intrinsically the same and that the differences between them were the result of having been brought up differently. However, Ren’s message was that the differences are evolutionary.
Ren described early humans; noting that humans are the only species where males and females obtain their food differently. From the early days of humans on Earth, Ren said men were the hunters and women were the gatherers. Each job required different skills. The men were focused on their prey (the protein); they did not talk much because talking would alert the prey. The women were gathering plants and grains (the carbohydrates). To do that job, the women needed to multi-task and they needed peripheral vision, Ren explained; thus these actions of the gatherers were environmentally conducive to talking. At the end of the day, the men would come back from the hunt and there was a joining of the species. Compare this to the modern-day barbecue, Ren said. The guys gather around the barbecue (the protein) while the women are inside (preparing the carbs).
Ren then brought up the issue of monogamy in certain species. He mentioned a study in England that concluded that women check out men as much as men check out women. The only difference is that while men do so in a way that is obvious (as in making direct eye contact or turning their head); the women used their peripheral vision, thus their interest is not as obvious.
Ren said that male chimpanzees, which mate with many different females, find all females attractive regardless of age. Why are male humans different? Ren said he believes it is because of the importance humans place on the family unit and raising children. Further, it takes a massive commitment for two parents to raise a child; it requires about 15 years. Consequently, his opinion was that human males are attracted to young females because their instinct is to find someone whose remaining lifespan will allow them to spend 15 years or more in raising the children.
Rens spoke of the ‘balance’ between the sexes – otherwise known as the ‘battle of the sexes’.
Birds mate for life, Ren said. Raising chicks is hard work; it takes both parents to do it and it appears they have a monogamous relationship. Yet, studies show that female birds do have sex with males other than their mates. Many of the male birds were cuckolds, Ren said – raising children that they did not sire. Likewise, Ren cited a recent study in a housing estate in England that used DNA sampling and found that 20% of the offspring in the families surveyed had DNA that did not match their father’s DNA; a case of humans imitating birds.
He also mentioned that the traits human males and females are looking for in the opposite sex, is not the same. Ren cited a study in Australia that found that men are looking for only one thing – the right chemistry – when they pursue women. However, women tend to have a long list of things they are looking for in a man (such as what kind of work does he do? and who are his parents?) – looking with the brain rather than the libido.
Ren said that he has concluded that the natural state for humans is “pretend monogamy” or “pseudo-monogamy.” Acceptance of this state is culturally determined, he said. For example, when a cabinet minister in Britain is discovered having an affair, it is a major scandal – whereas, in France, nobody blinked an eye when President François Mitterrand’s mistress and her daughter (by him) showed up at the president’s funeral.
Ren Lexander is the author of seven books, including “Seduction by the Stars, An Astrological Guide to Love, Lust and Intimate Relationships” (co-written with a professional astrologer). The book Ren mentioned in his talk, “The Red Queen,” is available on www.amazon. com and from the iBooks store (among other places).
After Ren answered several questions from the audience, Master of Ceremonies Richard Silverberg brought everyone up to date on upcoming events and called on Roy Albiston to conduct the Open Forum, where questions are asked and answered about Expat living in Thailand, especially Pattaya.
Find out more about the activities of the PCEC by visiting www.pattayacityexpatsclub.com.
PCECs’ topic for the day was a presentation by member Ren Lexander titled ‘The Ape in the Bedroom’ – a provocative look at new research into human (and other primate) sexuality.
MC Richard Silverberg presents Ren with a Certificate of Appreciation as thanks for his interesting and controversial presentation.