Roy Baumeister was on Dennis Prager’s radio show yesterday talking about his new book.
Roy: “There’s a lot of opinion that men would be best if they just ended up more like women. I’m advancing the different but equal thesis. They’re interested in different things. The differences between men and women are more about what they want than what they are capable of.”
“All over the world, it’s been a fact that men have superior status to women.”
“Explanation? We can look past oppression and see other reasons for inequality. Men are more oriented in their social impulses towards large groups and large networks of shallower relationships while women specialize more in the close intimate pair-bond. Culture tends to grow out of these large network of shallow relationships. Culture depends on economic trade, information, competition.”
“Men didn’t band together and push women down but progress emerged from the men’s sphere because of the social organization. The larger network of shallow relationships enabled literature and religion and science and politics to develop. Women stayed where they were while wealth, knowledge and power developed in the men’s sphere.”
“Why aren’t there more women scientists and mathematicians? Women can do these things just fine, but they just don’t like to. Women’s interests go more towards people and living things and relationships.”
Dennis: “Women want more intimacy. How then do you explain this generation of women? So many of whom are sexual predators? They act out masculine sexual play as it were.”
Roy: “The reports of the sexual activity tend to change more than the sexual activity itself.
“It’s clear that plasticity in a biological sense, being open to change, is higher for the female sexual drive than for the male. Female sex drive changes more across culture, age, circumstance, than men’s.
“Going back over the past century, women’s sexuality has changed in a variety of interesting ways while men’s desires have remained more constant.
“Young women in the mating phase, this is a period of high sexual interest in both genders. There is a period when they get close.
“What happens over and over again if you track couples, when they fall in love, and their sexual interests match closely and they both think I’ve found someone who’s close to me and we’ll go on having sex every day. A year or two later, after the commitment’s made and they’re married, they revert back to their separate baselines.
“If married people have conflicts over sex, more than 90% of the time the men want more sex than the women. The women seem to lose sexual interest in their partner after a couple of years and the man, and the woman, often don’t understand what’s different.
“Women are not catching up to men in the illegal stuff. Men have a higher sex drive and are more likely to do illegal or immoral things to get sex.”
Dennis: “Your point that culture has a bigger impact on female sex behavior than male sex behavior because men have a more fixed sex drive.”
Roy: “I have a friend and colleague who wanted to study gay women. She built up a sample of people to track over years, of lesbians in Salt Lake City. She said, ‘Ehh? The women will break up with their female partner and the next month she’ll date a man. It drives her crazy as a sex researcher.’
“The women will switch back and forth over time without much difficulty.”