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  • Annmarie Throckmorton, M.A.

vive la différence

As most will remember from school biology class, the nuclei of human cells contain 22 autosomes and 2 sex chromosomes. Women have two identical X chromosomes, and men have non-identical sex chromosomes, one X and one Y. An interesting question is: What do these fundamental differences mean for human relationships? The psychological differences between men and women are real but resist quantification, and have long been the subject of myth, propaganda, and lament on the part of both sexes. Obviously, males initiate with the allure of

impregnation, and females undergo the monumental process of developing life from conception to birth of a baby, but there is more. There are the statistically significant physiological differences in size, strength, et cetera between men and women. Does this obligate men to protect women, their mothers, wives, daughters, even strangers of the “weaker” sex?

Socially, what does this fundamental physical XX and XY difference mean? How are we to sort out new phenomena like the reputed sexodus of millenial males; the increase in MGTOW (Men Going Their Own Way) which used to be “losers only” and now is reportedly a growing group of straight men who actively avoid relationships and sometimes even social interaction with women. There have always been PUAs (Pick Up Artists), who seek women for sexual liaisons but not for relationships, They used to be called Cads, men who behaved dishonorably, especially toward women.

What about the young women of today, those who are attracted to men who may not be as men used to be: due to environmental degradation, social degradation, and the prevalence of designer drugs with insidious effects on human behavior? Here is just one example of many, many amazing interactions I have had with men of my “Baby Boomer” generation over the years, years which started out relatively free of hard drugs, free of media glorified violence, and free of environmental contaminants like xenoestrogens (false estrogens).

I drove a truck as a young woman, because I liked sitting up high in a large vehicle, and needed it to haul stuff around. It was fun. One autumn morning as I drove my truck to work, through the early morning fog steaming off of a Midwest countryside, the narrow highway led down between two cornfields that rose high on each side of the road, further reducing visibility. I had just registered that fact by applying my brakes, when four hooves appeared above my windshield, dropping down from the cornfield above, and landed directly in front of my truck. I struck that white-tailed deer stag and it flew to the side of the road. I stopped and, foolish young woman that I was, ran to the deer to see if I could help it. This was a more innocent time, before internet clips on that show the strength of animals, and I was thinking “Bambi”. Simultaneously, two men arrived, jumped out of their truck, and ran toward me. I did not know them but I thought that they were going to help me with the deer. Instead they positioned themselves, between me and the deer, and when I tried to get around them on my mission to help the deer, they spread out their arms to form a gentle barrier between me and the deer. They talked me down and away from the very real danger of the deer which heaved itself up and stumbled off down the road. It was larger than I thought. It still touches my heart that two men who did not know me, would spontaneously and instantly place themselves between me, a young woman and a dangerous deer.

Caption: X and Y chromosomes display their different characters

in this electron micrograph-public domain image.

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