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Evopsych and sexual harassment from men

I want to comment on seeing evopsych – particularly stuff about the reptilian brain – used to justify men’s behavior like ogling, and up to sexual harassment of women:

Amy: While this does not excuse the behavior, there is a lot of biological lizard brain at play when men drill their eyes on breasts (or butts). It is more indicative of their lack of evolution and innate slavery to their biological imperative (must reproduce, hey that looks fertile…) than anything. Again, I am not excusing their lack of evolving – in fact, they should NOT reproduce if they are incapable of behaving in a more “human” fashion… sadly, the more lizard brained among us tend to breed more profusely and keep the cycle going (that goes for male and female).
Esmeralda: Evo psy has no bearing since we developed ginormous cerebral cortexes to overcome ALL of our original instincts.

Quit the pseudo science, open a neurology, sociology and anthopology book or 256, please.

The reptilian brain thing is interesting, but horribly misapplied, and I see this done often (using evopsych) in order to rationalize male-socialized behavior that says they are slaves to biological imperative. People reverting to “animal instinct” do so for physical/emotional survival when under extreme stress or have been through trauma either in fight-or-flight syndrome or learned helplessness/immobility; needless to say, seeing anything indicative of a female (breasts, butt, etc.) does not count. Our brains have evolved to be triune, not tripartate (Levine, 2010), meaning that unless you have had a lobotomy, the three parts are interconnected (reptilian, limbic mammalian and primate). Men who ogle and harass women can make a conscious choice NOT to. Just like how women choose not to sexually harass, beat, rape, and murder men for simply existing.

Popular evopsych is stupid and it’s only ever brought up when it comes to disgusting male behavior as a way of avoiding responsibility – behavior which is at least reinforced, if not created by social conditioning among their peers (to say nothing of whether or not biology plays a factor). So I’d argue that they are unnatural, sick states for people who praise the animal in the human but fail to see the human in the animal. That’s the range of its use and abuse in the mainstream (yes, including ephebophilia), and it gives science a bad name because men say this same crap all the time (for centuries actually) and were just waiting for their prejudices to be “confirmed” by science. Calling men “lizard-brained” implies they are cognitively deficit (these same men who argue about how logical they are everywhere else). They are not zombies. Yes, people often “feel” through their guts, but it doesn’t naturally follow that men – as in, adult human males – think with their dicks! Like I’m gonna feel sorry for sexual harassers whose minds are said to basically be “asleep” or turn off whenever they see women, yeah, right!

Seeing a woman and getting sexually aroused is not a state of stress; maybe men can’t help a boner, but they can help taking no for an answer and empathizing with how stressful it is for women. i actually do not care if straight men think of themselves as slaves to their libidos – but they certainly act based on such beliefs at women’s expense! i care about misrepresenting their behavior in a way that shifts or projects responsibility to the women and blame them (even going so far as to say women are oppressing them for not putting out), and/or claims men are innately superior, sexually entitled, more logical, etc in spite of that, or that their gendered behavior is natural. seriously – men can’t have it both ways.

It’s a double standard. I don’t see the fight-or-flight response encouraged in women very much; they are told to shut up and take sexual harassment as a compliment, and it’s easier to flee than fight. That line between flirting and harassment is very thin. Sometimes a victim is immobilized, whether from that learned helplessness or not being able to escape. Sexual harassment could be one trait of an abuser, and maybe THEY were abused themselves, but that’s no excuse to not choosing to break the cycle. If you think about the equivalent of sex in many animals when they mate (for example, tigers) compared to that of humans, we’d know it as rape! And if people REALLY wanted to follow the mating routines in animals, it’d be the males dancing in makeup and dresses!

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