As I research the idea of male aggression for the chapter in my dissertation on why men need the goddess Athena, I encounter reams of evidence, from the social as well as the natural sciences, which provide substance to my “gut” suspicion of the term, “marriage equality.”
In their 1989 book, Brain Sex: The Real Difference Between Men and Women, Anne Moir and David Jessel write:
A hundred years ago, the observation that men were different from women, in a whole range of aptitudes, skills, and abilities, would have been a leaden truism, a statement of the yawningly obvious.
Such a remark, uttered today would evoke very different reactions.
But, these differences are real and they go to the very heart of the debate about marriage:
The appreciation, for instance, that sex has different origins, motives and significance in the context of the male and female brains, that marriage is profoundly unnatural to the biology of the male, might make us better and more considerate husbands and wives.
Sex differences are not then a social construct and men and women see marriage in profoundly different terms, at least until their mutual sexual attraction brings them together in a committed relationship.
We know how real those differences are from even such a zealous advocate of gay marriage as Andrew Sullivan. He understands how hard monogamy is for men and offers excuses today for men’s failure to realize that ideal, a failure he refused to countenance when he was writing/debating gay marriage in the 1990s.
Does acknowledgement of these differences mean that gay people should abandon the struggle for state recognition of same-sex marriage? For now, I’ll say, “not necessarily.” It does mean, particularly given the results in Maine this past week, that we need change the way we approach the debate.