That's the Average Male Brain?

By David Swanson

According to USA Today here is “A snapshot of the goings-on in the average male brain as it matures:”

Fetal stage. Brain development starts eight weeks after conception.

Boyhood. High testosterone from 1 to 12 months; lower testosterone from 1 to 11 years. Major interest in winning, movement, chasing objects, exploratory play.

Puberty. A 20-fold increase in testosterone. Major interest in turf, social interaction, girls’ bodies, male hierarchy.

Single male. Visual circuits change to spot fertile women. Focus on career, money.

Fatherhood. Circuits for sex drive suppress, auditory circuits enhance to hear baby cries. Focus on protecting mother/baby.

Midlife. Continued focus on sex, turf and attractive women. Testosterone slowly decreases.

Andropause. Ratio of estrogen to testosterone increases. Interest in staying healthy, marriage, sex life, legacy. Closest men come to being like women.

And there you have it? Boys have a “major interest in winning, movement, chasing objects, exploratory play.” Anything else is presumably a “minor interest.” But it’s not as though we never care about anything else. After all, by puberty we develop a “major interest in turf, social interaction, girls’ bodies, male hierarchy.” And if we stay single, our visual circuits change to spot fertile women, but our focus is on “career, money.” You didn’t know money was in your brain? Shut up! This is science!

If we become fathers, then our focus is on “protecting mother/baby.” But when we get old we turn into women and take an interest in staying healthy. Why? Because the essence of manliness in the USA Today is predatory and stupid. We want to stay healthy when — too late — we figure out that we’re dying. Up until then, we mostly want to acquire money and get laid.

The good scientists over at Gannett, and Mary Brophy Marcus who is credited with writing this piece of journalism, will no doubt tell you that their description of the average male brain is selective and incomplete. But, then, what article ever published by Gannett wasn’t? The question is why these bits were selected for inclusion.

Why is there not the slightest mention of young male humans giving a good goddamn about anyone other than themselves? Do male humans develop the capacity to care for their wives and children or is “protecting” them just an excuse to kick somebody’s ass?

Missing from this portrait enitrely are: friendship, learning, creating, cooperating, community, love, nature, and altruism. We are left to assume that such things are either unscientific or unreal, or else they show up in the average female brain and are then imposed artificially on the male.

Printing this sort of crap in people’s Sunday newspapers is like injecting people with Ayn Rand novels even if they can’t bring themselves to read one. It demeans our entire existence. As – of course – do the rest of the articles in these Sunday newspaper magazines. But most of them are quite open about that intention. Wrapping men-are-morons jokes in pseudo-science is a dangerous exercise when paired with men-are-assholes dogma. There’s nothing that makes cruelty easier than spreading the belief that it can’t be helped.

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