While it is true that the human nature represents a compilation of feelings, thoughts and characteristics all humans share, it is equally correct that accurately defining all of the above has been the oldest and most crucial quest of the Western philosophy. Even though thinkers have provided various answers to these fundamental questions, one thing remains constant, namely that human nature primes over the sum of norms established in different cultures and societies.
Interestingly enough, instead of going hand in hand, the social norms and our way of being are conflicting quite often. In fact, it is safe to state that at one point or another in your life you will come to agree with Alexander Woolcott’s famous quote “all the things I really like to do are either immoral, illegal or fattening”. In the following article we will explore the most common misconceptions about human nature people believe today.
1. The eternal fascination with the “Barbie look”
The appeal of the long, beautiful hair, blue eyes, a wasp waist and big breasts has not really emerged with Marilyn Monroe and in fact, it dates from approximately two millennia ago. The answer to this one is actually quite simply: women who boast these characteristics are perceived as younger, healthier and hence, they promote reproduction and the survival of the specie. However, ironically these things are not applicable in the modern society, where wigs, contact lens and the magic of cosmetic surgery is all it takes to reach the ideal female beauty.
2. We’re genetically programmed for polygamy
According to anthropologists, the simple fact that men are taller than women is a criterion that proves humans are essentially programmed for polygamy. Essentially, the male fitness factor plays a great role in finding more mating opportunities. Furthermore, a tall and strong man gives women a sense of financial and social security, sometimes to the point where women prefer to share the wealth of a single man than mate with a poor one. While in certain parts of the globe polygamy is still practiced, in Western society and industrialized countries this no longer applies because for modern man wealth is more consistent across the board, at least by comparison with their ancestors.
3. Couples who have at least one son are less likely to end up in divorce
In spite of the fact that the modern world promotes gender equality, apparently the men’s instinct to do anything in their power to ensure the continuation of the wealth, name and status is still lingering in the subconscious. While all the things a man has to offer can be inherited by his son, there is very little he can do to maintain his daughter’s beauty and youthfulness. It is true that this behavior is mostly noticeable in affluent families, but sociologists suggest that statistically couples who have sons are less likely to end up in divorce.
4. The middle-life crisis
Some call the middle-life crisis a myth and others are living it, or they think they do especially since they invested all their savings in a brand new car and a luxury home near the beach. This occurrence is linked to women reaching menopause. To put it simply, when the husband realizes that the reproduction cycle of his wife is close to an end, his anxiety levels will go through the roof and he will start spending a lot of cash in a subconscious attempt to attract younger women.
5. Male politicians are prone to risk everything for an affair
Granted, in the Western civilization monogamy reigned supreme, especially in times when the Roman Catholic Church held most of the power. On the other hand, that didn’t stop any wealthy man with a high status from having concubines, mistresses or female slaves for that matter. If you are curious as to why a male politician would risk it all, the answer might surprise you: some men strive for more power in order to expand their mating options.