Wednesday, September 24, 2014

# in english # Psychology

What I Have Learnt About Mating

I've finished reading Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of Mind, now I'm reading another book from David Buss titled The Dangerous Passion. After reading those books about Evolutionary Psychology and discussing an academic journal which I already wrote here, I can boldly say that we are a product of evolution (no wonder actually). And all hail determinism! \m/

Honestly, every time I read about Evolutionary Psychology, particularly about mating topic, I'm annoyed. At some other time, I'm frustrated. But, I keep on reading and learning about it because Evolutionary Psychology fascinates me, just like Social Psychology does.

By the way, this afternoon while I was lying on my bed and reading The Dangerous Passion, suddenly I wanted to cry. I was reading a chapter about secrets and lies that are made between two sexes (men and women obviously). Despite knowing the reasons why humans cheat, the question "Why do people have an affair? Why do people have to fling?" still remain. 

From my previous two blog posts (if you haven't read them, you can read them here and here), we can draw conclusions that men have proclivity to have many sexual partners and women look for partners that can invest resources for them. This can lead to infidelity. 

To attract women, men use strategies. The strategies are displaying resources, commitment, physical prowess, bravado and self confidence, and fidelity. While women use strategies enhancing appearance and employing sexual signals if they're looking for men, either for a short-term mating or long-term commitment. (Buss, 2003)

Do you see the words "enhancing appearance" in paragraph above? Yes, women are so obsessed to look pretty, sexy, and young. Why is that? It's an easy question to answer. It's because men prefer young women to old women. And that got me thinking. We're led to believe that being young and beautiful are things that matter. We're surrounded with movies starring beautiful and hot women. Names like Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lawrence, or Scarlett Johansson ring a bell? And we want to be as beautiful as they are. So, opportunistic people take that chances. They created a market for that. They created beauty industry. Plastic surgery, botox, anti-aging cream, day and night cream, and God knows what else.

It saddens me every time I think about it. Really. Why do we let a big market dictates us while they're gaining big profit from us? Yes, being attractive is nice, I'm not gonna lie to you. It can boost your confidence. But, to obsess being young and pretty? Spending a lot of cash to have plastic surgeries? Age is something that you can't defy. Deal with it.

We're so busy to work hard and get a lot of money, to build physical strength, and to look young and pretty, yet we forget something that matters most from all of that: our personality. Or should I say our inner beauty and our inner strength? Because, seriously, if you want to have a long-term and commited relationship, the inner beauty and inner strength will help you to achieve that. Yes, a man wants to sleep around with many women, but he still looks for a faithful woman to be his wife. And, yes, a woman may get benefits from short-term mating, but she definitely looks for a devoted husband. 

Once I talked to Om Ayah about differences between men and women from Evolutionary Psychology point of view, specifically about differences in mating strategy. Like, it's upsetting me to know men have "privilege" to have many sexual partners because their ancestral leave them that gene. Or it's more acceptable for men than women to cheat because men can't control their penis. Or women cheat because they want to have offsprings with better gene. Oh, please, don't use argument to your partner, "Honey, I'm sorry I'm cheating on you. This is beyond my control. I inherited this gene from my ancestral." And, for women, don't reason with your partner that you have sex with other man because, "He's a lot better than you! He's rich, he has a good career, he makes me feel sexy, he makes me feel more alive!" 

Om Ayah told me, "But, humans learn." So, there are social restrictions. Even, there is a law for protecting women, right? Well, it makes me smile. At least, I know that we do not give in easily to our inherited gene from our ancestral. :)


Buss, D. M. (2003). The evolution of desire. New York: Basic Books.


  1. So double standard does exist, right?

    Kalau dipikirin terlalu dalam memang pasti kerasa rumit dan bikin pusing. Apalagi setelah baca soal laddertheory =p

    Penelitian seperti ini, seperti kimi bilang, akan membuat kita belajar untuk mengetahui perilaku manusia. Tapi biasanya juga seolah kita diarahkan pada 'dari sononya/dari nenek moyang' seolah itu menjadi alamiah. Sesuatu yang alamiah cenderung tidak bisa diubah, begitu katanya.

    Makanya, ada juga orang yang membuat ini sebagai pembenaran atas kelakuannya, seperti yang Kimi tulis, dan menurut saya orang seperti itu bodoh, alih-alih terlihat keren. Karena manusia itu bisa terus berubah, dan belajar untuk berubah (saya setuju dengan pernyataan teman Kimi soal belajar itu), bukan hanya merasa 'terbenar'kan dengan analisa sains, sebab manusia itu kan proses belajar dengan akalnya, dengan perasaannya. Kalau masih terpaku pada warisan gen masa lalu, ya apalah bedanya kita dengan hewan yang berlomba-lomba mencari partner untuk hubungan seksual agar lestari keturunan doang dan betinanya bersaing mendapatkan para pejantan. Kalau cuma itu, idealisme kebersamaan dengan orang yang kita sukai itu jadi sia-sia saja.

    Tapi penelitian sains memang tidak bisa dipungkiri sebagai salah satu fakta. Nyesek memang mengetahui fakta ini. Tapi apa yang bisa kita lakukan? Ya hanya satu, yaitu memilih dengan tepat sebab kita gak bisa mengubah orang. Masalah dan rasa sakit timbul karena kita salah pilih dalam hidup. Betul? As you once said, we cant change people. They change themselves. So, choose the right person (tentu sesuai dengan tujuan dan visi hidup kita) :D

    Well, curcol ends =p

  2. "I inherited this gene from my ancestral". Aku yakin, alasan ini nggak bakalan diterima oleh perempuan manapun :))

    Btw, sepertinya kamu punya kebencian yg mendalam terhadap perselingkuhan, ya.

  3. Suatu malam gue nongkrong berenam. Ada dua cewek pinter. Mereka ngomongin what's attractive about dumb women. Jawabannya ya bisa ditebak: big boobs, badan seksi, dll. Trus, salah satu dari dua cewek itu nyeletuk, "Well, I don't have big boobs, so I have no other choice than being smart."

    Itu bener banget, kan? Dalam konteks ini, cewek emang cuma punya dua pilihan: antara berbadan seksi atau berotak cerdas. Dan menurut gue itu fair karena cowok juga dituntut banyak hal, walaupun dalam perkembangannya, di dunia modern ini, ada banyak pergeseran terkait ekspektasi terhadap laki-laki dan perempuan.

    Intinya, looking sexy itu bukan segalanya. Personality lebih penting. Kalo pasangan kita cheating? Itu gak ada hubungannya sama kemiskinan laki-laki atau kekurangseksian perempuan. Itu perkara kurang kontrol.


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