Tag Archives: biology

You don’t know why, either.

Hi there!

Yes, its been a long while since I’ve written. Here.

In fact, I’ve been doing a lot of writing, lately. The second edition of “Exposed” is nearly complete. Oh my! What a project! When I embarked on a rewrite six months ago, I had NO IDEA what I was opening up. But, it’s worth it, and I hope you’ll agree. I’ll be sharing excerpts over the next few months as it goes through the editing process.

AND, the first draft of the second book is FINISHED! The working title is Dragonfly, and I’m excited to get back on that.

The reason I’m writing today is because I saw an article in the magazine “Science News” this morning. The upshot is that the microbes in our bodies may affect our moods, and hence our behavior.

“Though preliminary, such results suggest that the right bacteria in your gut could brighten mood and perhaps even combat pernicious mental disorders including anxiety and depression. The wrong microbes, however, might lead in a darker direction.”

Then there was a book review in the New York Times titled “Sext and the Single Girl” that wonders if women are getting the sex they want or need from their current lifestyles.

How do I tie these references together? Yeah, it’s a stretch, but here goes.

First, women will not get what they want or need out of sex until each determines exactly what that is, and it’s not easy to do so. It is even more difficult when there are conflicting demands: Blow job for a man who doesn’t want to return the favor? Eyes for the muscle bound gym-boy on the third week of this month but the CPA on the fourth? Etc.

If our microbiome is also at large in this process, in addition to our heredity and memories from a forgotten childhood, how the hell are we supposed to know what we want, and why?

The fact is, we often don’t until we’ve tried it, and even then it may change. We need to stop judging ourselves for how that goes down, or we do, if that’s what we feel like at the time.

Free will may not be our prerogative in the best of times, and certainly not when it comes to “the passions.” I don’t know. You don’t know, either. Don’t be too harsh, toward yourself or others.

That’s all.

It’s nice to be back.

~ Jessica

Differences that unite

Salt is a rare but important commodity for monarch butterflies. Those that eat milkweed along roads treated with salt appear to have an advantage over those that don’t. With more salt, males develop more thoracic muscle, enabling them to fly further in search of females. Females get bigger brains and eyes, allowing them to find better places to nest.*

Hmmm. Males and females may be genetically programmed to have different priorities, and these may be expressed differently in different environments?

Because so often male / female communication seems so screwed up, I don’t think we really appreciate the extent to which biology plays a role. I may be painting a target on my chest, because so often when someone, anyone, brings this subject up, shout-downs often follow. I think the major culprit is the tendency to over-generalize.

So let’s agree for just a moment, anyway, that human sexuality has a mental component, and minds can’t be divided into simple categories of “man” and “woman.” We have homosexuals and pansexuals and asexuals galore, babies occasionally born physically as both, and while it may be that each of us has a tendency to a “wiring” that allows us to see the world a little differently than other people in the room, there are few absolutes.

We all know and accept not all straight men are insensitive, and not all straight women are nurturing. Bonding conditions at birth play a huge role, as does testosterone exposure in the womb, as does a hundred million other factors we haven’t even begun to discover.

Nature also plays with groups of individuals, tribes or societies. Where behaviors are partly genetic, and genes switch on and off, and environments change, and everything overlaps, sorting out a single “truth” about these things is pretty complicated. Categories are useful tools but are oversimplifications when dealing with continuums. Depending on them for ultimate “truth” is reckless.

Personally, I think differences are pretty cool and without them our species, any species, would be at a significant disadvantage. It’s rare that two people see the world in the same way, but it’s possible for either or both to change a point of view, if not priorities and genetics. Unconditional love is one of the most powerful and transformative forces on Earth.

Along with really good sex.

It also appears that some lab rats may feel regret, and, possibly empathy.* Not to overgeneralize, but I know a few guys that could take some lessons.

*Science News, July 12, 214