This is a blog just to say human social maturity precedes sexual maturity, and we only wish folks like Freud had their finger on it. Honestly, don’t go, ha.
Man, I just couldn’t get anything said a few years ago, I found the one I was looking for, and that was it, but I read it and I got nothing from it, looks like we’re doing it again. Like I was being careful not to offend anyone or something, working hard to not say it – perhaps I have changed.
It starts with a few, I’m going to say facts. Data points.
One, human sexual maturity comes sometime after ten years of age, usually well after, a few years, sometimes seven years after, rarely at nine or younger? Two, after weaning, the children spend their days among children, the older ones raising the younger ones. This seems true to me, I got it from the Nurture Assumption, a tome with a bad point but a lot of information from a lifelong writer of science textbooks and I think her picture of the traditional human situation was pretty normal, she cites well known names, as in part two, among others.
Another name for sexual maturity, is of course, adulthood, and puberty is the end of human socialization, I mean science knows, every year is less important, we are more malleable every year than we will be in the next one. If our teachability is less every year by almost any rate at all, there isn’t much left after an average of twelve or thirteen years. Sure, it can be a lifetime of learning, but you are working and learning some grownup thing, while the kids are still outside teaching each other society.
I think maybe learning doesn’t slow to a trickle after puberty but significantly, perhaps instead teaching ends after puberty, when we age out and leave the children’s group, and then again, when the babies age out of the nest and into the group outside as the cycle rolls on.
To whatever degree any of that is true, human life, human culture is decided and propagated in childhood, and this is important, it seems to me – so it’s pre-pubescent, human society is sexually immature. Freud is wrong that it’s all about sex and whole branches of biology are missing it that it’s all about reproduction, that the violence serves the reproduction of our genes, no, this is not the order of causality, our entire life is written out before sex enters into the conversation. It’s the other thing, like the EP boys say, sort of, except it’s bloody horrible and not at all the way things ought to be – it’s the fighting.
It certainly does seem that evolution finds little use for self-awareness beyond the fight or flight response, beyond knowing when to eat and when to run, I mean maybe not always or even usually, but it is very much my contention that our social evolution involves a lot of unconscious stuff, and I don’t mean drives or animal things, I mean social things, rules and strategies we keep unconscious, weird to say, consciously, on purpose, things that exist at a level between animal imperatives and conscious, directed thought.
Things that perhaps blur the lines between the unconscious and simply lying or playing silly bugger (a Britishism for feigning stupidity and/or ignorance).
Returning to teaching, Sapolsky said on video that he and his peers are a competitive, alpha wannabe bunch and he talked about the stress of it, and if academia is a tournament of the most aggressive and loudest and scariest, then most jobs and professions are. My thesis here is that the strength tournament of boyhood stays in place for life in all matters – not an endorsement. I confess, if I read someone else saying that, I would assume it was indeed written with weird, violent glee and approval. I feel I must always clarify, I’m saying this is what is wrong, this is what is wrong with the “way it is,” this is what I would change, this is an argument to human life, not just an explanation I’m making – and if this is the case in the place where we think the brainiest little dweebs ought to rule, if that is the dynamic in the place we set aside for rational thought and the development of real knowledge, and if we don’t set it aside for that, then we don’t set it aside for nuthin’, and I mean sex and reproduction and all that too, Freud. The selfish gene.
Sorry to say, humans are historically aware enough of the selfish gene to have invented their solution for it, genocide. If Richard is suggesting humans don’t get human groups, then who has been fighting? Why does every ten year-old with a television know the phrase “you and your whole family?” A bit of a pet peeve of mine, this was some sort of revolution, the science that echoes the world we all see every day anyway? Violence wins again, if there was a fix for violence we wouldn’t be ruled by some version of the bloody Sopranos.
If we are more like an extrapolated bonobo, then maybe sex and breeding win, but we seem more like the other team. It remains to be shown that the bonobo love of loving requires a lot of violence to make it possible, which is what using the selfish gene to defend the patriarchy and a world of conflict is saying. You read all the popular science today, there is no way out, of course things are this way because of this and this and this, sorry about that, we had a good run, didn’t we?
Didn’t a few of us, I mean?
I mean, of course we’d rather talk about sex, there is maybe some point in talking about sex. Violence ends all conversations.
We do talk about sex, of course, bloody endlessly, and there are options, options aplenty – it’s the faux taboo, there is no taboo regarding talking about sex, I mean there are conflicts, we don’t tell everyone what our partners like and such, but even the most conservative societies talk about it enough to have a lot of rules, explicit rules and such. Ha – Dune is back, and honestly, a little bit of Dune stayed with me all these years, specifically, “a feint within a feint,” and maybe a third feint, and this is the context in which talking about sex is a taboo, like what the Hell is telling you you’ll go blind if not talking about sex? Sex is subject to a lot of control and rules, many rightly so, of course, many not, and that requires a lot of talk. Repressing sex is like not thinking of the word banana, you have to keep a filter for the proscribed thing in place twenty-four seven and whether sex is a free thing or not, it is on our minds in one way or another.
You know what we don’t debate all day, what doesn’t have a lot of options?
Fighting. Strength. And of course, the real thing is the thing you can’t even talk about. You hear it everywhere, all day long, I mean far more than you hear exhortations to be heterosexual, or to follow a particular church, or racial prejudices, be strong! Strong for cancer, strong for random massacres, strong to withstand random road crashes that take a whole community’s children.
There are those, many, who see all the strength as patriarchy, strength is the male principle, and sure, there is some of that, but as far as I can tell we are as obsessed with strong women as men, and even strong children, weakness is . . . wow, I’m always hedging, but I think I’m going to say ‘never’ this time, weakness is never encouraged. I mean, they might break you, but we talk about the broken only in terms of strength too. Nobody wants to tell a victim, or hear from one, that they’re weaker now.
Broken and alive we call strong.
They are even talking about the plague that way, ‘survivors’ not sufferers, I mean, ‘they,’ in this case doesn’t necessarily indicate the actual opinions of actual people, but this is all part of it, the propaganda is only a stretch from the dark side of normal, and fascism is only a stretch from the normal primate hierarchy of ‘peacetime.’
Social, all of it, conflict, territory, hierarchy, violence, normally my point is, social and not rational, but today the point is social – not sexual. Again, the Freudian and biology order of operations that puts replication ahead of all as the explanation fails to explain why this could only be the case for a single species among so many – and the standard answer, that we are more complex, social evolution . . . well, everything else is also incredibly complex, isn’t it, like perhaps we didn’t think when we made that argument a hundred years ago.
I suspect the difference with us – and there is one, we have broken the bonds of nature in ways to destroy it all, a thing other creatures have apparently never done, escaped correction and deselection, at least until now – is not based in genes and breeding which is not unique to us, but in the opposite, in the violence, in the advent of our breeding-defeating in-species violence.
But it’s much more fun to talk about sex, or, alternatively, if you can see the violence, to love the horror, like these young monsters of the New Nightmare, and to rave about glory and such garbage. Violent solutions, sure.
But what you are not allowed to do is see it clearly, for what it is.
Nov. 30th., 2021