Is the "human nature" and "caveman/woman days" spin on dating / relations overused?

I can't count how many times on this site that the "human nature", "caveman/woman days.

Men want to spread their seed, women are drawn to strength and power in men, etc.

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Some people act like we're STILL unsocialized animalistic creatures that have no control over our natural urges.

Imo, somebody talking about their "human urges" taking over their thought processes and socialization is a weak cop-out to justify their behavior...like people REALLY can't control themselves if they really wanted to.

*rolls eyes*

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My question is...do you think that this "human nature" argument is over-used when it comes to justifying/explaining behavior in modern dating?

Please vote and reply.

  • Yes the "human nature" argument is over-used these days
    45% (20)57% (17)50% (37)Vote
  • No; "human nature" is 100% legitimate to bring up with these topics
    32% (14)30% (9)31% (23)Vote
  • Frankly, "human nature" isn't brought up ENOUGH with these topics
    23% (10)13% (4)19% (14)Vote
And you are? I'm a GirlI'm a Guy

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Most Helpful Guy

  • it is true to say that our biological wiring has not caught up with what society now expects from us, hence people are tempted (more often guys than girls) to cheat in relationships. however, I don't think that it should be used as an excuse. the difference between humans and animals is the ability to think logically about the consquences of our actions, and therefore while we might have "animalistic urges", as humans we are able to overcome them.

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    • Actually girls cheat slightly more often than guys. But I agree with you.

What Girls Said 7

  • The problem with society is that is suppresses our natural behaviors. Now, obviously there are SOME things that are good to suppress, like killing people lol but there are a lot of things ingrained in us that I think is silly to suppress. For example, sexually suppressing people, and degrading them if they express their sexuality freely.

    It also depends on what your definition of being a cave man/woman is. Example...

    I would say having sex WITHOUT PROTECTION thoughtlessly with any old person would be caveman like. However, I wouldn't look down on someone who had PROTECTED sex with someone they met in a club once a month. That is a way of showing self control, because yes, we can control ourselves if we so choose.

    I think some people go over the top though, because they want to suppress EVERYTHING--and that's just crazy!

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  • "Human nature" is a legitimate reason or excuse some of the time, but we are all still responsible for our own behavior and how it impacts other people. For example, if you want to sleep around because "it's human nature", go ahead. But do it in a situation where you're not cheating on anyone, and use protection. It's okay to give in to "human nature" in some ways, but we are still obligated to do it in a way that doesn't hurt other people or our society.

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  • the 'human nature' argument may have some grounding scientifically, but too often it's just used as an excuse to not take responsibility for themselves.

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  • I'm an anthro major, and we were just talking about this in class :) The conclusion that we came to was, yes, we are animals, it's biologically programmed in us to reproduce and ensure the survival of our species. But we also came to the conclusion that it isn't an excuse for ridiculous "Maury like" behavior. We have brains, and we have common sense. We can control what we do and who we do it with.We have urges like every other animal, but like every other animal (and probably even more so) we can control it. Blaming stupidity on "human urges" or "instinct" alone is just a farce. We are responsible for our actions, we have choice, so to an extent it is over used, but it can also be valid. I suppose it depends on what you are using it to justify in the long run.

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  • "we are mindless robots" is overused

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  • No, it's not over-used at all. In fact, I think people should more aware of the science behind behavior.

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  • I think its not used enough.

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What Guys Said 15

  • The lowbrow versions of the analogies are overused.

    However, when one thinks about social conditioning, the reality construct, and the collective subconscious, generalizations have to be taken into account. Many of these dating and relationship questions are related to people's phase in the development cycle, and almost all of psychology's generalities are treated as gospel for good reason: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Pavlovian response, birth order personality traits, and the ultimate for the young adult: the Briggs-Meyers personality type system are all well researched and therefore borderline hackneyed.

    There are some good points to be made with caveman references, if you're talking about a man in his extended adolescence continuing immature behavior well into his thirties.

    The ticking time clock analogy applies if a woman is working on developing her identity as part of the community, versus feeling isolated and alone in a group of young mothers.

    If we don't use illustrations in our answers then we miss a lot of common ground, and we lose a lot of social shorthand. Making reference to common held belief may make the answers trite sometimes, but at least the person who asks the question understands our point.

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  • If a woman can commit, a man can commit. The human nature argument is totally and complete utter bulls**t.

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  • Yes, it's overused and overrated. It's great for understanding our biological urges from a science perspective, but we're supposed to be evolved beyond that. If the "caveman" argument holds up, then why can't I hit some guy over the head with a rock and steal his cool stereo? After all, that's what a caveman would have done. Or beat someone up who's eating because I'm hungry and take their food.

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  • I use those situations to understand base human nature and why we do/say/think the things we do. You are right that we are no longer unsocialized animalistic creatures. However, I feel you're wrong in the thought that we no longer have these primal urges, underlying motives, and natural drives.

    Just as you say this theory is overused, I feel that people (such as in this question) overuse the theory that since we are so advanced as a society that we are somehow above those feelings now, superior in this sense to the animals around us, and we've somehow shed these old feelings. We have not and even researchers of anthropology and psychology alike continually remark in studies conducted that humans are living with extremely outdated behavior and thinking process.

    Society, technology, and all things related have advanced FAR quicker than what our internal behavior has had time to play catch up with. That would be my argument for people who argue that socialization has changed the face of human behavior.

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    • Also to add, we can see the struggle between both lines of thought. We have our primal urges but they are always met with our modern day logical reasoning that creates conflict in us. I'm not saying we are still animalistic, but we aren't as advanced as you or anyone else would like to think.

  • No, it isn't. Sixty years of female empowerment isn't going to change 150.000 years of biology.

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  • Well for one thing, no who was alive in the caveman days is alive to tell us how it was then, and there are no meaningful accounts, reliable or not of those days either. So I'm guessing it's an easy speculation, no one can disprove it. Basing a whole theory on speculation isn't very scientific in my eyes but it's still very intersting.

    I do believe we have animalistic instincts and urges, emotions are a very powerful force, but we are equipped with the necessary willpower to withold those instincts when we want to. So human nature can't be used as an excuse since part of being human is having free will. I certainly don't think the "human nature" argument justifies anything at all, and I don't think it explains behviour in modern dating either, people always have a choice. Using the "human nature" scapegoat is simply not taking responsibility for that choice.

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  • Some people can't control themselves; there are people like that, but a majority of people should be able to control themselves.

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  • While it can be "nature" it isn't HUMAN. Let me explain. HUMANS are creatures that can rise ABOVE nature. That can supersede their predefined instincts to a higher level where they don't harm others against their will. That is why rapists and murderers and sociopaths like executives of various companies that ruins MILLIONS of lives by stealing BILLIONS are not human. They are selfish instinctual pathetic creatures. Those who don't know better are animals, those who do know better, but do so anyways are below humans. Humans, true humans, rise above.

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  • We ARE animals! We just have a little bigger brains and more free will. I wouldn't talk about animal/human urges because of the free will and the ability to think about what we are doing but animal instincts that evolution has given us affect the choices we are making and guide us to different direction without even us noticing. The modern people have suppressed a lot of these instincts but hey still exist.

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  • You have a much higher opinion of human society than me.

    I cannot think of a more contemptible and savage beast than a human being.

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  • Cool old question. Sure it's overused, but it's still valid. It's not an excuse either, just an explanation. Any decent person can control the impulse to inseminate the nearest ovulating female most of the time.

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  • it is overused, we are not animals any more are we? Its not like when a woman is on "heat" every man goes after her to make sure she is pregnant.

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  • I think people like to think we are so special, there's animals and then there's people. Countless personal experiences tells me that even if we don't like to admit it, sometimes, we are just monkeys in suits.

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  • not overused, more under-explained. For example, you hear the "I just really feel attracted to him, I don't know why" but you rarely hear a scientific explanation (women are biologically attracted to men who have a stronger immune system than they do, as they represent good breeding stock). I would argue that "human urges" are very strong, I know I don't always think completely clearly when a woman is naked in front of me. I can control myself, but it isn't easy.

    I think if people use the caveman argument, thy should understand it (I'm a biology/genetics student by the way. I qualify)

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  • I think it's usually just a weak response to justify what they did. But no matter how civilized and advanced we become, we still maintain animalistic instincts from the past that do have a role in how we act.

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