Survival and Reproduction

"What is it, at this moment and in this individual, that represents the natural urge of life?" - Carl Jung

Life, in all its forms, is driven by 2 instinctual urges: to survive and reproduce. A lion hunts on a safari in an attempt to acquire energy, directly in the form of kilocalories, to prolong his existence long enough to find a lioness to mate with and pass on his genes. A corporate employee goes to work in his office in an attempt to acquire a salary (monetary energy which can then be converted into food energy and other living essentials) to prolong his existence long enough to find a wife and raise a family. A crypto bro degens in the crypto markets in an attempt to acquire capital gains (monetary energy which can then be converted into food energy and other living essentials) to prolong his existence and hopefully buy a Lambo to impress a potential mating partner so he can, you guessed it... pass on his genes. All 3 examples are different behavioral manifestations of the same underlying principles of life: to survive and reproduce.

The Evolutionary Role of Gender Differences

It can be said that any individual life form can be measured by its survival and reproductive value. However, due to differences between the genders, men and women have evolved through natural selection to place more emphasis on one component over the other. Because men are physically stronger than women and civilization has been, and continues to be, plagued with violence and danger, women place more emphasis on a man's ability to confer survival value (access to resources, social dominance, leadership, etc), especially since women are extremely vulnerable while carrying an unborn child. Conversely, men place more emphasis on a woman's ability to confer reproductive value (i.e. youthfulness, fertility, physical attractiveness), because relatively speaking, a man's physical dominance provides him with enough survival value already.

While modern society is not the harsh jungles of the past, these evolutionary preferences are certainly still ingrained in all of us. Women prefer a financially successful man in a leadership position, which in modern society represents survival value in the form of access to resources and social dominance. Men on the other hand, still prefer a woman that is young and physically attractive - all indicators of reproductive value - the ability to produce healthy offspring. Of course some traits such as intelligence and kindness are universally sought after, but that does not undermine the fact that there are indeed differences in how both genders place emphasis on certain fitness traits in relative terms.

Humorously, this can all be summed up succinctly by Chris Rock - "A woman asks `What does he do?`, a man asks 'What does she look like?'"

Understanding the biological foundation that governs our mating preferences now allows us to examine the sexual marketplace from a much better lens.

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