*Your Cheatin Heart?*
Why do men cheat? That's a question that's been around as long as men have. I will start this small conversation with you by saying that it is good to be with you again and that this is a serious topic.
As G.K. Chesterton once observed about Christianity, the idea of monogamy hasn't so much been tried and found wanting; rather, it has been found difficult and often left untried. Or at least, not tried for very long.
There is no question about monogamy's being natural. It isn't, and promiscuity is. But at the same time, there is no reason to conclude that adultery is unavoidable for all Hominids.
What is a Hominid? Hominids are collectively all the Ardipithecus (Ardi), Australopithecines (Lucy), Neanderthals, Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Homo Sapiens, etc, the upright walking Apes of which we are the only surviving species. Many members of this group roamed the earth at the same time, met, traded goods, sometimes mated and ate each other. All of our desires, virtues, talents and demons were constructed by their struggles.
Everything unique about Homo Sapiens brains and bodies was designed on the African Savanna during the Pleistocene Era. This savanna was a vast open grassland with large clumps of trees and bush. The Pleistocene was an epoch that coincides with the advancement and recession of the last Ice Age, from 1.8 million to 10,000 years ago when we Hominids ran amok over this planet exterminating many large animals including other species of men. Hominids are a subset of apes. Apes are a subset of primates. There are 235 species of primates, including us. And for all of our ingenuity and amazing technology we have not changed that much. To most women men still seem to be overly promiscuous....but why?
Each man produces one to three hundred million sperm per ejaculation, roughly a thousand per heartbeat. Because of their number most of the sperm are worthless. (It only takes one to fertilize the egg) And so men are free to waste them, and waste them they do because sperm are not very smart, they'll even try to impregnate a red blood cell. There are not many secret mechanisms inside a man to nurture a sperm. They get produced, fired out, and then we produce more. But they do not stay this hardy forever says Dr. James Watson, Nobel Laureate and co- discoverer of the DNA structure. In a study in many major universities and published in "Medicine Today" (3/10/09) the children of men aged 45 and older scored lower on I.Q. and other important tests than the children of younger men, *regardless* of the age of the female! It is now said that the children of a 40 year old male and a high school drop-out may score higher on these tests than the children of a 50 year old male and a PhD. So, whatever your age if you are older, don't wait! Anyway, the safe child producing years are up to 36 yrs for women and up to 44 yrs. for men.
Now consider all the work that goes into producing one egg. The human female egg is 85,000 times larger than a sperm cell, the female is born with all the eggs that she will ever have, (this is now disputed) and it takes on average 29.5 days to nurture one precious egg into position.
Virtually everything that goes into making a baby is in the egg. The sperm contributes nothing but a little genetic material. The rest of the sperm is a delivery system, with a few mitochondria carried along for nourishment.
In purely genetic terms the investment that a Homo Sapien male makes in the sex act is a small amount of "courtship" followed by a brief "robust encounter" after which he is free to try the same thing with somebody else, (or thinks he is). But all of this sexual activity does not make him happy. He is only being controlled by his chemistry (hormones) and his genetics. Here's an important point to remember: Our genes are not designed to make us happy! They *design us* to make more copies of themselves. This is one of an empirical scientist's (Chemist's/Microbiologist's) most compelling reasons for rejecting any normalcy concerning homosexuality; the lack of any life sustaining *opportunity* or natural objective.
Now think about the genetic investment the female makes in the sex act. She risks nine months of pregnancy, several years of breast feeding, and then a decade (or more) of trying to transform a rebellious child into a self sufficient adult!
What we have here my dear is two very different reproductive agenda's. Look at this difference Darwinistically: What would be the optimum breeding strategy for a creature that can produce up to 300 million sperm per ejaculation? Also consider that in this country alone there are 5 million more females born each year than men! That's 100,000 more women born in *each state* than men! (This is also representative of the rest of the world) .Also consider that in the Bible Genesis 1:28 tells all of these *extra* women to also be "fruitful and multiply"....with whom? Someone else's man? But then the 7th Commandment says "Do not commit adultery" (or fornication)....well go figure. It is also ironic that the woman of today wants to "hoard" all of a mans sperm for themselves while taking "The Pill" thus insuring that not one of the 300 million "troopers" stands a chance of being successful. Still the "natural" sexual agenda of such a creature unabated would be very liberal indeed!
What would be the optimum breeding strategy of a creature that produces one egg each month that if inseminated, requires a lifetime of labor? Choose wisely...Choose wisely indeed!
British and American survey's (Kinsey among them) have estimated that approximately 76% of men and 24% of women have extramarital affairs. I think that some of the 24% of the men who said that they had not had an affair were either lying, never had the opportunity, or had other "unmentionable" problems. In the case of the women, since there is never a question as to whom the mother is, this limits the number who venture out and try to lie about it comparatively speaking. But many ladies do "slip". Volumes have been written about female promiscuity" Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, Flaubert's Madam Bovary, Lawrence's Lady Chatterley's Lover, Hawthorne's The scarlet Letter to name but a few. But these are "dwarfed" by the sexual antics of the men. But *bright* women should understand what they are dealing with in the first place and have some compassion for this universal "condition" inherited by men and know that it is no unkind reflection on them or their comely attributes.
We are all still Wildebeest's on the Pleistocene Savanna being "picked off" one by one by the vicious, roaming, devouring prides of lions. The other Wildebeest's mill around watching our horror on the 6:00 and 11:00 news as our entrails disappear down the throats of our tormentors as they shake their heads and pass the biscuits. As I said before "nothing really has changed in the last 10,000 years". We can now watch the fetus after about four months in the womb "warming" it up for the world to come (masturbating as he swims around like a fish). This child is not "habilitated" out of this activity by nature, he must be taught restraint by his parents, (if possible). If he is not, then no woman should expect him to act any different on the "outside". Evolution has "wired" the average male with four times the sex drive than that of the female, and *unrestrained* many can imagine almost every fertile woman he encounters as a potential carrier of his child. While Psychiatry is not my discipline, I have it on good authority that this activity is sometimes known as an unconscious attempt at "self preservation" or "life after death". Should all men guilty of this moral indiscretion be forever condemned? That is still the question.
I will state this again: You cannot "rehabilitate" one that was not "habilitated" in the first place. You must start from "scratch". Herein lies the problem and it's universal. Men from all over the world of all races are "born" members of this same genetic club, e.g. Presidents, Senators, Governors, Mayors, Garbage Collectors, and those of all professions, billionaires and bums alike. Unabated, these men can behave like "wild animals" running around with "pistols" in their pants. Some societies attempt to "legitimize" this promiscuous behavior by allowing men more than one wife. Parts of Africa and some Islamic countries come to mind. The Biblical King Solomon was said to have had 700 wives, and yet he was beloved of God. Often, many monogamous men (and women) are at war with this genetic proclivity to cheat. Sometimes, on a daily basis. Proceed with extreme caution, much better yet abstain. Some of today's STD'S can kill you, (and your loved one). Compound this with the violation of your vows or pact with your loved one and the obvious dissolution of your moral character and it positively is not worth the risk.
A strong case can be made that we are never as human as when we behave contrary to our natural biological inclinations. Dr. Sigmund Freud in his controversial work "Civilization and It's Discontents" argued that civilization is founded on the repression of instincts. It now seems clear that the strongest of those leads us away from monogamy and often into a bilious pit.
Misdirected sexuality has contributed to more grief, hardship, ruined lives, and loss of life than all other social causes combined. If someone you know has this problem, they can change! Give them a copy of this article. Remember: To be wrong is unfortunate, not to make a sincere decision to change is what ought to be unforgiveable. One Man, One Woman, The "Rock of Ages". It is difficult, but possible, rewarding, and safe.
All The Best,
- Henri W. Tartt
Henri W. Tartt
Supervising Chemist &
Chief of Microbiology
City of Cleveland, Ohio (Retired)