Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Advice for mums of boys

Advice for mums of boys

If you handle human life easily then you don't need to analyse. Still it is helpful for mums of boys to understand.

The first thing to understand about male behaviour is that we are optimized for primitive societies in which being a male is quite dangerous. In extreme examples of such societies, the sex ratio is 2:1, with the missing males victims of male-male violence.

The second thing is that girls don't evaluate boys in isolation. They evaluate them in the context of how they interact with other males. And boys are conscious of this. We concentrate on competing and cooperating with other boys. But we put our head up to see if the girls are noticing. Of course we compete and cooperate even when the girls aren't there, but too much of that is going to be unsatisfying.

Bridge was ideal for me. You have a partner you have to find, establish a relationship with, then cooperate with. There are opponents to compete against, and the sexes are mixed in varying degrees. It was nice that I was good at it, but it is more important to be able to cope with the competitive environment than to win.