That Th!nk You Do Chapter 6 – Guys Can’t Help Themselves

For those who didn’t know, I’ve signed with a new publisher and my first book out with them, The Think You Do, should be available late Nov-Dec ’22.


As always, let me know what you think.

Guys Can’t Help Themselves

I have never accepted “Boys will be boys” as an excuse for socially unacceptable behavior. But have you noticed that the vast number of “acting out” news items involve males? Consider DUIs, fights, shouting matches, anything you care to recognize as “bad behavior” and the involvement of males greatly over shadows the involvement of females.

Why is that?

Well, to a certain degree it’s because guys can’t help themselves.

No, this is not an apologetic for bad behavior and I’m definitely not providing men a carte blanche. What I’m recognizing is that the wiring of the male brain makes it easier for them to behave badly. Women don’t have the same wiring.

And no, I’m not kidding. Research performed at John Hopkins and elsewhere is verifying yet another difference between males and females, another evolutionary difference in addition to the obvious sexual traits.

It works like this: cause humans to do something pleasurable and their brains release dopamine (the “pleasure molecule”). Well, duh!, right? But male brains release up to three times as much pleasure for a given stimulus as female brains do.

Three times as much? Well, heck. Sign me up right now, please.

Signing up right now is essentially what males do without realizing it. Have a drink while talking with some friends in a bar and both males and females are having a pleasurable experience, right? But men are having three times as much fun than women are right out of the box and a fascinating neural feedback loop ensues.

Another drink, another joke, another pat on the back and men are now having 9x the pleasure women are having. Or watching a game. Or driving fast. Or … Back in our history this difference in pleasure response was necessary. Males risking their lives to bring home a mastodon probably wouldn’t have done so without a really good neural kick to do it.

But everything comes with a price…

Increased pleasure comes with a price tag attached. The male neurology that allows men to sense more pleasure than females in a given situation also causes addictions to occur more easily. Addictions can be dealt with in a variety of ways. That same male neurology also causes the male brain to be more susceptible to things like Parkinson’s disease, Tourette’s Syndrome, schizophrenia, … Those are not so easy to deal with.

Once again, Prisoners to our Biology, we…

The nub of all this is to be aware and appreciate yourself and the situations you’re in. Women, does your guy have too much fun? Is he not satisfied until he’s a little over the top? Are you willing to pay the price for his pleasures in the years to come?

Guys, there’s hope if you’re willing to take it. Recognize there’s going to be enough pleasure to go around and you don’t need to take it all in at once. Don’t live a life of mundanity and definitely not one of quiet desperation, do take your joys — especially those involving mood altering substances — in moderation. You might think well of it in later years. Literally.

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