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Why do women mature (physically) earlier than men?

Why do women mature (physically) earlier than men?


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All sources I've read (the first page) states that the fact that women mature (in the sense of physical maturing) earlier than man is caused by the earlier selective prunning in brain. Though, this is an explanation just for the mechanism, not for the cause.

So what is the real evolutionary reason women mature earlier (though, probably slower) than men?


This is a question about Neoteny and Heterochrony.

The closest field of study which will have specialists of this kind of topic is the study of the late maturation of humans compared to other species, which has had some research: 5-7 years ago there were some papers measuring the different bone growth rates of humans compared to chimpanzees and exploring the notion of natural selection through preference of immature traits: being attracted to girls with child like faces, smaller nose, large eyes, small voice, babyish, with various causes for example allowing for later brain pruning and longer brain development.

If you research in google publications you can find some research on the topic, for example:

Heterochrony in human evolution: the case for neoteny reconsidered

Sexual selection, physical attractiveness, and facial neoteny: cross-cultural evidence and implications (1995)

The origins of sex differences in human behavior: Evolved dispositions versus social roles.

It's all about evolutionary selection due to survival fitness. A complex age dynamic is at work in human evolution due to our extended lifetime, memory and brain size, amidst heavily variable social patterns (mate selection, monogamy, tribe size, bride rights, patriarchal/matriarchal systems) in paleolithic humans.

Bonobos mature at roughly the same time: 9 years, and female bonobos have a baby at 11 to 13 years. I think that illustrates the flexibility of maturation age according to the role of the adults.

Human females can have babies in between 9 and 15 years for the most part, some of them at 7, so maturation age is an evolutionary trait rapidly changeable according to fitness of the resulting offspring, so it is entirely fine tuned by survival performance.

EDIT: I wrote this answer to be helpful, but apparently my lack of sources and "errors?" deserve a mark down. so here is an additional text:

"They found that Paleolithic girls arrived at menarche - the first occurrence of menstruation - between seven and 13 years. This is a similar age to modern girls, which suggests that this is the evolutionarily determined age of puberty in girls.

'This would have matched the degree of psychosocial maturation necessary to function as an adult in Paleolithic society based on small groups of hunter-gatherers,' they write.

Disease and poor nutrition became more common as humans settled, causing puberty to be delayed. Modern hygiene, nutrition and medicine have allowed the age of menarche to fall to its original range.

However, today there is a mismatch between sexual maturity and psychosocial maturity, with sexual maturity occurring much earlier. This mismatch is a result of society becoming vastly more complex, with psychosocial maturity therefore taking longer to reach."

Note that they are talking about female adult paleolithic maturity and tasks at that age. Females compete for mates by attractiveness and fitness, and some research suggests that males compete for females by other mechanisms, even force or threat.(ref)

There is clearly a reason for which men are available to make and care for their offspring later than females. Females prefer older males by at least a couple of years with moderate adult muscle mass(ref), and in our species males of 17 to 35 years are biologically the strongest and wisest. Nature would have it that 11 /13 year old fathers clearly are counter productive to the survival of their partner and child in an ordinary setting of hunter gatherers, because of the very long gestation and complexity of human survival tasks.

The human mental maturation range has a wide variety of deviation, and between the age of 8 and 25, we are pre-programmed to be in an intense task of learning and physical adventure. Physical coordination of the male can reach an optimal level as late as the age of 22, 3/4 years after his bones have finished growing and his muscles and reflexes have had time to increase and adapt to his new frame, which is why athletes are at their physical peak between the ages of 18-27, and the "mental pruning" article suggests that their mind continues to re-organize itself well beyond the age of 30. During that stage, a human male is programmed to learn a wide array of advanced skills: flint knapping, tool making, botanic knowledge, hunting skills, clothes making, landscape exploration, orientation, memorization of food places, wells, tree climbing, metal work, net weaving, pottery, pigments, weapons, blow darts, wild animal experience (game, lions, rhinos, birds, rodents, traps, stalking, poisons, frogs) etc… All that time based survival experience reinforces the notion that a male reaches his functional optimum as a provider and protector of his family well after his sexual maturation age.

Females have a less physically intensive role to play in human society. While they can learn all the hunting/survival skills of the male, their central role is to be nourished and provide for the child(ref). Their parenting tasks rely less on individual memory because they stay socially at home more (papua new gineans, africans, aborigines, yanomami). Their task can be less intense physically, require less physical training, and can be less intensive on memory and adventure (being nourished, childcare, craftwork, leadership of the group at home and less in exploration and precarious tasks). Both the human male and female memory has a very important role for guiding the group. A female can provide guidance up till the age of 50-90 in a natural setting.

Females are generally less expendable and adventurous than males, because a male can potentially have 3 offspring every day, he is limited by the number of females, and she can only have 1 offspring every 9 months, she is more precious to the multiplication of the group.

Add to that the function of memory, hunter gatherer fitness, and social acumen, absorption of mental and survival skills

Other great apes have gestation periods arount 8.5 months compared to our 9.

Because of the difficulty to assess the paleolithic social and environmental pressures that caused the sex age maturation difference, it's a question that theorists would be unwise to wade into to any great depth, in an academically competetive field. A good anthropologist should be able to list all the predominant selection factors.


The risks of earlier puberty

Children who hit puberty before their peers are more likely to have mental health problems, research finds. Enhancing their coping skills may help.

Shape-shifting bodies. Cracking voices. Hairs sprouting in new places. Puberty is an inherently awkward transition, and it's not all physical.

"As children develop physically, it changes how they think about themselves and how people relate to them socially," says Jane Mendle, PhD, a psychologist at Cornell University.

For young people who begin puberty earlier than their peers, the transformation appears to be particularly fraught — especially for girls. Early-maturing girls are at increased risk of a range of psychosocial problems including depression, substance use and early sexual behavior, as University of Florida psychologist Julia Graber, PhD, described in a recent review (Hormones and Behavior, 2013). The picture for early-developing boys isn't as clear, but evidence suggests that they, too, might suffer ill effects from maturing ahead of their peers.

That's worrisome, especially because the average age of puberty seems to be trending younger for children worldwide. The average age of a girl's first period in the United States and Europe was about 16 a century ago. Today, it's closer to 13, as Susan Euling, PhD, and colleagues described in a 2008 paper (Pediatrics, 2008). Far fewer studies have explored pubertal timing in boys, in part because there isn't a clear objective marker of puberty in boys comparable to a girl's first period. Still, some studies have suggested that boys, too, might be developing earlier than generations past.

Understanding the risks associated with early maturation is complicated. After all, early puberty isn't a single event — it's a process that can last four years or more. "The things happening in the first year may be very different than those in the last year," says Mendle.

Despite the complexity, however, psychologists are beginning to understand the social and environmental factors that make early puberty a risky proposition.


The Institute for Creation Research

The racism of evolution theory has been documented well and widely publicized. It is known less widely that many evolutionists, including Charles Darwin, also taught that women are biologically inferior to men. Darwin's ideas, including his view of women, have had a major impact on society. In a telling indication of his attitude about women (just before he married his cousin, Emma Wedgewood), Darwin listed the advantages of marrying, which included: ". . . constant companion, (friend in old age) who will feel interested in one, object to be beloved and played with&mdashbetter than a dog anyhow&mdashHome, and someone to take care of house . . ." (Darwin, 1958:232,233).

Darwin reasoned that as a married man he would be a "poor slave, . . . worse than a Negro," but then reminisces that, "one cannot live the solitary life, with groggy old age, friendless . and childless staring in one's face. " Darwin concludes his discussion on the philosophical note, "there is many a happy slave" and shortly thereafter, married (1958:234).

Darwin concluded that adult females of most species resembled the young of both sexes and from this and the other evidence, "reasoned that males are more evolutionarily advanced than females" (Kevles, 1986:8). Many anthropologists contemporary to Darwin concluded that "women's brains were analogous to those of animals," which had "overdeveloped" sense organs "to the detriment of the brain" (Fee, 1979:418). Carl Vogt, a University of Geneva natural history professor who accepted many of "the conclusions of England's great modern naturalist, Charles Darwin," argued that "the child, the female, and the senile white" all had the intellect and nature of the "grown up Negro" (1863:192). Many of Darwin's followers accepted this reasoning, including George Romanes, who concluded that evolution caused females to become, as Kevles postulated:

. . . increasingly less cerebral and more emotional. Romanes . . . shared Darwin's view that females were less highly evolved than males&mdashideas which he articulated in several books and many articles that influenced a generation of biologists. Romanes apparently saw himself as the guardian of evolution, vested with a responsibility to keep it on the right path. . . . University of Pennsylvania . . . paleontologist Edward Drinker Cope wrote that male animals play a "more active pan in the struggle for existence," and that all females, as mothers, have had to sacrifice growth for emotional strength . . . (Kevles, 1986:8,9).

One reason nineteenth century biologists argued for women's inferiority was because Darwin believed that "unchecked female militancy threatened to produce a perturbance of the races" and to "divert the orderly process of evolution" (Fee, 1979:415).

Darwin taught that human sex differences were due partly to sexual selection, specifically because men must prove themselves physically and intellectually superior to other men in the competition for women, whereas women must be superior primarily in sexual attraction. Darwin used examples of cultures that require the men to fight competitors to retain their wives to support this conclusion. Because "the strongest party always carries off the prize," the result is that "a weak man, unless he be a good hunter . . . is seldom permitted to keep a wife that a stronger man thinks worth his notice" (1896:562).

Other examples Darwin uses to illustrate his conclusion that evolutionary forces caused men to be superior to women included animal comparisons. Since humans evolved from animals, and "no one disputes that the bull differs in disposition from the cow, the wild-boar from the sow, the stallion from the mare, and, as is well known through the keepers of menageries, the males of the larger apes from the females," the same must be true with human females (Darwin, 1896:563). Further, some of the traits of women "are characteristic of the lower races, and anti therefore of a past and lower state of civilization" (1896:563,564). In summary, Darwin concludes that men attain,

. . . a higher eminence, in whatever he takes up, than can women&mdashwhether requiring deep thought, reason, or imagination, or merely the use of the senses and hands. If two lists were made of the most eminent men and women in poetry, painting, sculpture, music (inclusive of both composition and performance), history, science, and philosophy, with half-a-dozen names under each subject, the two lists would not bear comparison. We may also infer, from the law of the deviation from averages, so well illustrated by Mr. Galton, in his work on "Hereditary Genius" that . . . the average of mental power in man must be above that of women (Darwin, 1896:564).

Obviously, Darwin totally ignored the influence of culture, the environment, social roles, and the relatively few opportunities that existed in his day, as well as historically, for both men and women.

The conclusion that women are evolutionarily inferior to men is at the core of Darwin's major contribution to evolutionary theory: natural anti-sexual selection. Since selection in the long term prunes out the weak, all factors which facilitate saving the weak work against evolution. Males are subjected to more selection pressures than women, including the supposed tack that, in earlier times, the stronger, quicker, and more intelligent males were more apt to survive a hunt and bring back food. Consequently, natural selection would evolve males to a greater degree than females. Since women historically have focused primarily on domestic, often menial, repetitive tasks and not on hunting, they were less affected by selection pressures. Further, the long tradition of males has been to protect women: only men went to battle, and the common war norms forbade deliberately killing women. War pruned the weaker men, and only the best survived to return home and reproduce. The eminent evolutionist, Topinard, concluded that men were superior because they fought to protect both themselves and their wives and their families. Further, Topinard taught that males have

all of the responsibility and the cares of tomorrow [and are] . . . constantly active in combating the environment and human rivals, and thus need] . . . more brains than the woman whom he must protect and nourish . . . the sedentary women, lacking any interior occupations, whose role is to raise children, love, and be passive (quoted in Gould, 1981:104).

Women's inferiority&mdasha fact taken for granted by most scientists in the 1800s&mdashwas a major proof of evolution by natural selection. Gould claims that there were actually "few egalitarian scientists" at this time. Almost all believed that "Negroes and women" were intellectually inferior. These scientists were not repeating prejudices without extensive work and thought they were attempting to verify this major plank in evolutionary theory by trying to prove, scientifically, that women were inferior.

One approach which was seized upon to substantiate that females were generally inferior to males was to prove that their brain capacity was smaller. Researchers first endeavored to demonstrate empirically that female cranial capacity was smaller, and then that brain capacity was related to intelligence, a more difficult task (Van Valen, 1974:417-423).

Among the numerous researchers that used craniology to "prove" the intellectual inferiority of women, one of the most eminent was Paul Broca (1824-1880). One of Europe's "most prestigious anthropologists" and a leader in the development of physical anthropology as a science, Broca, in 1859, founded the prestigious Anthropological Society (Fee, 1979:415). A major preoccupation of the society then was measuring various human traits, including skulls to "delineate human groups and assess their relative worth" (Gould, 1981:83). Broca's conclusion was that human brains are:

. . . larger in mature adults than in the elderly, in men than in women, in eminent men than in men of mediocre talent, in superior races than in inferior races . . . other things equal, there is a remarkable relationship between the development of intelligence and the volume of the brain (Gould, 1981, p. 83).

And, as Gould notes, Broca's research was not superficial: "One cannot read Broca without gaining enormous respect for his care in generating data" (1981:85).

Broca was especially concerned about proving women's inferiority to men: "Of all his comparisons between groups, Broca collected most information on the brains of women vs. men . . ." (Gould, 1981:103). He concluded that ''the relatively small size of the female brain depends in part upon her physical inferiority and in part upon her intellectual inferiority" (Gould, 1981:104). Broca also concluded that the disparity between men's and women's brains was still becoming even greater, which he explained was the "result of differing evolutionary pressures upon dominant men and passive women" (Gould, 1981:104).

These views were expounded by many of the most prominent evolutionists of Darwin's day. The thunder of the field of social psychology and a pioneer in the collective behavior field was Gustave Le Bon (1841-1931). This scientist, whose classic study of crowd behavior (The Crowd 1895) is familiar to every social science student, wrote that even in:

. . . the most intelligent races . . . are a large number of women whose brains are closer in size to those of gorillas than to the most developed male brains. This inferiority is so obvious that no one can contest it for a moment only its degree is worth discussion. . . . Women . . . represent the most inferior forms of human evolution and . . . are closer to children and savages than to an adult, civilized man. They excel in fickleness, inconsistency, absence of thought and logic, and incapacity to reason. Without a doubt there exist some distinguished women, very superior to the average man but they are as exceptional as the birth of any monstrosity, as, for example, of a gorilla with two heads consequently, we may neglect them entirely (Gould, 1981:104,105).

Re-evaluation of the conclusion that females were less intelligent found major flaws both in the evidence that "proved" women's inferiority and in major aspects of evolution theory.

Fisher even argues that the whole theory of natural selection is questionable, quoting Chomsky's words that:

. . . the processes by which the human mind achieved its present state of complexity . . . are a total mystery. . . . It is perfectly safe to attribute this development to "natural selection," so long as we realize that there is no substance to this assertion, that it amounts to nothing more than a belief that there is some naturalistic explanation for these phenomena (1972:97).

Another method used to attack the female-inferiority conclusion of evolution was to attack the evidence of evolutionary theory itself. Fisher, for example, makes the following observation:

The difficulties of postulating theories about human origins on the actual brain organization of our presumed fossil ancestors, with only a few limestone impregnated skulls&mdashmost of them bashed, shattered, and otherwise altered by the passage of millions of years&mdashas evidence, would seem to be astronomical (1979:113).

Actually, many of the attempts to disprove the evolutionary view that women are intellectually inferior to men attacked the core of evolutionary theory because it is inexorably bound with human-group inferiority, which must exist, from which natural selection may select. The inferiority-of-women conclusion was so ingrained in biology, Morgan concludes, that thinkers in this area tended to "sheer away from the sole subject of biology and origins," hoping they could ignore it and "concentrate on ensuring that in the future things will be different" (Morgan, 1972:2). She stresses that we cannot ignore evolutionary biology, though, because believing the "jungle heritage and the evolution of man as a hunting carnivore has taken root in man's mind as firmly as Genesis ever did." She concludes that evolution must be reevaluated, and that scientists have "sometimes gone astray" because of prejudice and philosophical prescriptions. She argues that the prominent evolutionary view that women are biologically inferior to men must be challenged, and in this and scores of other works that preceded her, dozens of writers have adroitly overturned the conclusion that women are biologically inferior to men, and, by so doing, have undermined a major plank in evolutionism.

Chomsky, Noam. 1972. Language and Mind. New York: Harcourt, Brace, and World.

Darwin, Charles. 1896. The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex. New York: D. Appleton and Company.

-----. (Nora Barlow, Ed.). 1958. The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809-1882. New York: W. W. Norton & Co., Inc.

Dyer, Gwynne. 1985. War. New York: Crown Publishers, Inc.

Fee, Elizabeth. 1979. "Nineteenth-Century Craniology: The Study of the Female Skull." Bulletin of the History of Medicine, 53:415-433.

Fisher, Elizabeth. 1979. Woman's Creation: Sexual Evolution and the Shaping of Society. Garden City, NY: Anchor Press/Doubleday.

Gould, Stephen Jay. 1981. The Mismeasure of Man. New York: W. W. Norton & Company.

Kevics, Beltyann. 1986. Females of the Species: Sex and Survival in the Animal Kingdom. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Morgan, Elaine. 1972. The Descent of Woman. New York: Stein and Day.

Van Valen, Leigh. 1974. "Brain Size and Intelligence in Man." American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 40:417 423.

* Dr. Bergman is on the science faculty at Northwest State College, Ohio.

Cite this article: Bergman, J. 1994. Darwin's Teaching of Women's Inferiority. Acts & Facts. 23 (3).


Men Mature After Women — 11 Years After, To Be Exact — A British Study Reveals

A new British study reveals that men have an 11 year lag behind women when it comes to maturing. According to the study, commissioned by Nickelodeon UK, the average man doesn't reach full emotional maturity until age 43, while women mature by age 32.

The study was released Monday and conducted just in time for the results to launch with a new Nickelodeon UK comic series called Wendell & Vinnie, which features a 30-year-old bachelor who suddenly becomes the legal guardian of his mature 12-year-old nephew.

"As a man, especially one who works for a children's channel, the question if men ever reach maturity is one I am well accustomed to," Tim Patterson, Nickelodeon's programming director, said.

The study confirmed the suspicions that men mature later than women. In fact, men were almost twice as likely to describe themselves as immature than women were, and one in four men believe they are actively immature. Three out of ten women ended a relationship because they lost patience with their man's immaturity.

The male and female perceptions of themselves and each other were alarming. Eight out of ten women believe that men will "never stop being childish." Women defined the childish acts that bother them most as, passing gas, burping, eating fast food in the last hours of the night, and playing videogames.

Women were twice as likely to experience the feeling that they were the grownup one in their current relationship. Forty-six percent of the female participants studied have had a relationship in which they felt they had to mother their male counterpart. Women claimed they actually had to tell their man to, "act his age" on an average of 14 times a year, more than once a month.

Besides maturity, women yearned for communication. One quarter of women wished their partners would talk about themselves and what they felt more often. Women also felt they were the ones that made all the important decisions in their relationships.

Despite divorce rates, how do couples manage to stay together at all, considering the staggeringly distant ages of maturity? According to the study, 40 percent of people said they thought immaturity was an important component in keeping relationships fun and fresh, and 33 percent said the immaturity helped when bonding with kids.

"However as the characters show in our new program Wendell & Vinnie, a difference in maturity between two people makes for an amusing partnership," Patterson pointed out.

The study also exposed " Men's Top 30 Maturity Failings &mdash As Experienced By Women" The top ten are listed as the following:

  1. Finding their own passing of gas and burps amusing
  2. Eating fast food at 2:00 AM
  3. Playing videogames
  4. Driving too fast
  5. Finding rude words amusing
  6. Driving with loud music
  7. Playing practical jokes
  8. Trying to beat children at games and sports
  9. Staying silent during an argument
  10. Not being able to cook simple meals

These findings can be re-affirmed with previous studies conducted on the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the part of the brain just behind the forehead that is responsible for a lot of men's shortcomings. The PFC has been referred to as the, "CEO of the brain" as well as the "mother." This brain region controls cognitive analysis and abstract thought, as well as corrective behavior in social situations.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies have made it possible for scientists to watch the rate at which the PFC matures, and have discovered the male brain doesn't fully develop until age 25. Meanwhile, women experience a maturity rate of 21 years-old.

MRIs have revealed the brain has a developmental process that tends to occur from the back of the brain to the front, which explains why the prefrontal cortex develops last. With an immature PFC, even though the person can intellectualize dangerous situation or poor behavior, they may engage regardless. The slowness of a man's brain maturation can explain the list of maturity failings, and their own recognition and admittance of those failings.


Older Men Who Like Younger Women Aren’t Creeps

Half-your-age-plus-seven. This formula has somehow become the definitive rule for the youngest age of a woman a man can date.

So a 34-year old guy can date a 24-year old girl. No problem there. But if she’s 23 years old…that guy’s a pervert.

Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration. But many people in society still look down upon older men dating younger girls. They think it’s creepy and even put them the same category as pedophiles.

This taboo makes some of my clients feel shameful about their age preferences. So much so, that they don’t go after women they’re actually interested in. Instead, they settle for less or don’t even try at all.

I think that’s awful because I know many normal, great guys who just happen to like younger women. My own father is 10 years older than my mother.

I want to show you that there’s nothing wrong with age disparity in a relationship and it may even work out better for many couples.

Women’s physical attractiveness peaks earlier than men

You don’t have to look far to see most men find women to be at their most attractive in their 20’s. On the other hand, many women are most attracted to men in their 30’s, 40’s, and even 50’s.

Before I get attacked as somehow being sexist…look at the anecdotal evidence.

Most female sex icons are in their 20’s or early 30’s. Hollywood hunks are often in their 30s, 40’s, and older.

Those Hollywood actors who have options almost always choose young women. And unfortunately, if they’re leaving their wife, it’s almost always for a younger woman.

OKCupid data shows that men of all ages find women in their early to mid-20’s to be the most attractive. Women tend to find men their own age most attractive even until they’re both in their 40’s.

So why is that? It’s biology, baby.

Men are visual creatures

Men are more visually stimulated than women. Our main attraction switches are a youthful, healthy physical appearance. This goes back to our biological need to “spread our seed”.

If those words made you cringe, I’m sorry, but I’m just trying to be as direct as possible.

We want to ensure healthy offspring. Any way you want to look at it, complications such as down syndrome and miscarriages in pregnancy rise with age. So it makes perfect sense that men are driven to younger women who have the lowest risk factors.

This works out perfectly because…

Women often prefer older men

Since they were teenagers, many women have idolized older men. Brad Pitt, Jon Hamm, George Clooney, Jude Law, Johnny Depp, the list goes on. They would drop everything for an opportunity to be with one of those guys.

So I find it hilarious when I see women hate on older men for chasing younger girls when they themselves often find older men sexy. Hypocrites, hypocrites everywhere!

It’s easy to critique others for their desires but when we look at ourselves, we suddenly get a free pass.

Studies show that women mature sooner than men. And so many women are fed up dealing with “immature boys” and prefer to date older guys.

Those guys tend to earn better wages and therefore be better providers. They’re more likely to live on their own. They’re more cultured and have more world experience. And they generally have more self-confidence as they know who they are.

Combine women’s desire for a strong, mature man and men’s desire for a young, healthy woman to bear children and it all makes sense. It’s a win-win for both sides.

Blaming our biology is unrealistic

Attraction is an emotion that we can’t help but feel. Most of us don’t actively choose what we like or don’t like, our body chooses for us. It’s practically out of our control.

Think about your own preferences…

Maybe you like blondes. Maybe you like tall people. Maybe you find Asians to be irresistible.

Did you consciously choose to like those qualities throughout your life? Or do they just make you hot and tingly all over?

That’s why I think calling someone shallow for their physical preferences is ignorant. And thinking young women are sexy falls into that category — you have nothing to be ashamed of.

When it comes to this subject, older men are painted as shallow horndogs manipulating younger women. While women are seen as helpless victims.

But what about all the couples who fall into this category (including my parents) who are in love or married for decades? Are you telling me they’re secretly unhealthy? Are you saying these women are coerced and manipulated into being with these men?

These women are willingly and happily choosing these men. If you’re making excuses for them, you are calling these adult women brainless fools who are unable to make their own decisions. That in itself may be the most disempowering, anti-feminist view I can think of.

As long as both parties are legal, then there is nothing wrong with an age gap in a relationship.

Just like the gay marriage debate…

How about you shut the hell up about what two consenting adults do if it makes them happy?


10. Risk Taking

Men tend to be more likely to take risks. Women tend to be more risk averse. Men get a bigger dose of endorphins when they take risks. The bigger the risk, the larger the pleasure derived from the risky behavior. Men may be specialized to take more risks because of early human’s need to hunt down food which may be larger, stronger and more dangerous than a single man. Hunting is also inherently dangerous as some predator may be stalking you while you are stalking another prey animal.


5 Scientific Reasons Women Are Attracted to Married Men

It’s not just in your head. Single women are more attracted to you now that you’re married (and, yeah, a bit of a fat guy). That’s probably thanks to mate-choice copying, a biological process that exists across species, in which females are more attracted to males based on the endorsement of a third party. Now, this effect is less about home-wrecking and more about sharing notes, according to most studies. Regardless, there certainly seem to be biological advantages to being pre-approved. Here are a few:

Mate-Choice Copying in Humans May Be Specific to Women

While there’s plenty of evidence that mate-copying takes place in both sexes among animals, there’s preliminary evidence that the effects are more distinct in human women. One study published in PLOS One found that women considered coupled men more attractive and spent significantly more time looking at pictures of potential suitors when they were depicted as married or in a relationship. The effect did not extend to men looking at paired women — so mate-choice copying does not explain the whole MILF thing.

Not Just Some Women — Most Women

One recent study presented a photograph of a man to college women, and found that 90 percent of them were attracted to the man even after they were told that he was in a relationship. But when the women were told that he was single, only about 59 percent were interested. “The single women really, really liked the guy when he was taken,” co-author Melissa Burkley of Oklahoma State University, told the New Scientist

But They Typically Grow Out of It

Younger and presumably less experienced women are more likely to be attracted to married men, according to at least one study . The research, published in the journal Human Nature, supports the prevailing theory among evolutionary biologists that mate-choice copying has something to do with another woman cosigning a man as “safe.” Conversely, mature, experienced women may have developed more sophisticated ways of assessing potential mates. Interestingly, the same study reveals that the influence of mate-choice copying appears to have its limits, and when men were depicted as having five past relationships, even inexperienced women knew enough to tap out. A man on his first marriage is far more attractive than a man on his fifth.

It All Depends on How Good-Looking Your Spouse Is

The stock of a taken man seems to be boosted not by his own good looks, but by the appeal of his partner, research shows. The study found that, when people were coupled with a more attractive mate, the mate-choice copying effect grew stronger. So the good news is that you married out of your league. The bad news is that this makes single women wonder if they missed something when they gave you the once-over.

They Ultimately Still Respect the Ring

Unlike other experiments that assessed attractiveness based on pictures and written scenarios, one study had women interact with men who were wearing wedding rings, and then interact with men who were not. When researchers asked a series of questions afterward, women reported that men without wedding bands were more attractive than married men. And when they were asked who they’d rather have dinner with, have sex with, start a relationship with, or invite home, ringless men won out across all four domains.

Subsequent studies have bolstered the claim that women are attracted to married men in theory, but less so in practice. This is one scientifically backed reason single women may be more attracted to you, but have no interested in pursuing that attraction (besides the challenge and taboo of stealing someone else’s mate). And keep in mind — even if you were flattered into infidelity, you’d lose your evolutionary edge by being disloyal.

Perhaps that’s the ultimate irony of mate-choice copying. Being partnered makes you more attractive but, the moment you cash in on that boost, you become significantly less safe and less attractive. So take the sudden post-marital female attention for what it is — a confidence boost for your dad bod. Nothing more.


There are some men who are exactly mature enough to handle a serious commitment. It means they have to step out of the bubble they're living in and face the demons that are stopping them from finding a real connection. Older women have gone through so much already that they won't settle for mediocrity. They expect their man to look into themselves and figure out whether it's worth it all. Younger women, since they are still finding their identity, aren't as rigid in what they want from a relationship and are fine if things remain casual.

The men who have an issue with giving up control or dominance are unable to connect with a woman their age. Why? Because that woman knows how she deserves to be treated and will refuse to be treated as anything less. Their identity is established while a younger woman is still looking to find hers. So the latter may not put up as much of a fight for control.


Why Girls’ Brains Mature Faster Than Boys’ Brains

It’s always been conventional wisdom that girls reach maturity more quickly than boys, but now scientists have provided some proof.

In new research published in the journal Cerebral Cortex, an international group of researchers led by a team from Newcastle University in England found that girls’ brains march through the reorganization and pruning typical of normal brain development earlier than boys’ brains. In the study, in which 121 people between ages 4 to 40 were scanned using MRIs, the scientists documented the ebb and flow of new neural connections, and found that some brain fibers that bridged far-flung regions of the brain tended to remain stable, while shorter connections, many of which were redundant, were edited away. And the entire reorganization seemed to occur sooner in girls’ brains than in boys’ brains.

Females also tended to have more connections across the two hemispheres of the brain. The researchers believe that the earlier reorganization in girls makes the brain work more efficiently, and therefore reach a more mature state for processing the environment. What drives the gender-based difference in timing isn’t clear from the current study, but the results suggest that may be a question worth investigating.


&ldquoJuego&rdquo and Women&rsquos Sexual Desire

Now, of course, there are exceptions. Just as there are exceptions to every generalization you might make about sex and gender. There&rsquos a tremendous amount of diversity in human mating. In an article in PsychologyToday, I discussed the fact that some men have an unusually strong yearning to be desired too.

But the fact that many women&rsquos sexual desire can manifest by a wish to run away ordinarily causes a lot of mischief in heterosexual couples. So it&rsquos a crucial thing for a man to understand.

My colleague Esther Perel describes one of her Spanish-speaking clients playing a game she calls &ldquoJuego.&rdquo To play this game, the first thing is to make yourself a bit unattainable. If your partner responds by pursuing you, then you&rsquove won the game.

For many men, the hardest thing about playing &ldquoJuego&rdquo is to realize there&rsquos a game going on in the first place.

A lot of men will just greet their partner&rsquos unavailability with a shrug of the shoulders and go do something else &mdash which of course defeats the whole purpose. Then they&rsquore surprised that she&rsquos angry or frustrated.

Take home message: If you&rsquore in a committed relationship, notice when she might be pulling away from you. If that happens, keep in mind the possibility this is a manifestation of her desire &mdash and that like the female rat, she may be hoping to begin a chase.

Just keep that in mind. You can thank me later..

You&rsquoll find more actionable advice on how to make sense of men&rsquos and women&rsquos sexual desire in my book, Love Worth Making.

Stephen Snyder, MD

TeleHealth sex therapy & TeleHealth couples therapy can be the 21st Century version of the "house call." TeleHealth can enhance client privacy, eliminate geographic boundaries, empower clients in relationships, and promote collaboration & creativity.

There are at least 8 ways for men with premature ejaculation to last longer in bed, including both traditional work-arounds and sex therapy techniques. This article discusses how sex therapy plus off-label medication can be particularly effective for PE.

Finding a good sex therapist isn&rsquot easy. If you&rsquore suffering from a sexual problem, it&rsquos crucially important that you see someone who understands the difference between a sex therapist and a &ldquoregular therapist.&rdquo

When I first started out as a sex therapist thirty years ago, I was taught that difficulty ejaculating was rare, that it was very hard to treat, and that it usually suggested deep-rooted psychological problems.

Trouble Ejaculating and The Orgasmic Double Standard Men who have trouble ejaculating are a misunderstood bunch.

As a sex therapist, someone who answers sex questions for a living, it&rsquos always a pleasure to get asked questions by Cosmo. Here are some recent ones, along with the answers:


Watch the video: Why Do Girls Mature Faster Than Boys? (May 2022).