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【AEON】男人好色,女人爱财。天生的?

【AEON】男人好色,女人爱财。天生的?

在漫长的孕期和抚育期,女人本能地希望可以依附于富有的男人来供养自己的子女。而男人则更看重女人的生育能力,年龄和外貌都是加分项。很久以前,这一行为就已适应于人类生活中,而进化过程通过摘选编码将其融入到人类基因组中。

 

 

男人好色,女人爱财。天生的?

【AEON】男人好色,女人爱财。天生的?

译者:高浦铭 & 张松

校对:黄倩霞

策划:鲁城华

Men want beauty, women want wealth, and other unscientific tosh

男人好色,女人爱财,还有一些伪科学的胡扯。

 

本文选自 The AEON | 取经号原创翻译

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On their first date, Mia and Josh talked as if they’d known each other for years. Josh loved Mia’s wit; Mia delighted in Josh’s warmth and ready smile. Their relationship blossomed, but doubts crept up on both of them now and again. Josh was the primary caregiver for a child from a previous marriage, and his financial prospects were dim. 

 在初次约会上,米娅与乔希便一见如故,乔希爱慕米娅的机智,米娅倾心乔希的温柔亲和和那张挂满笑容的脸。虽然他们俩的关系迅速升温,但彼此之间时常存在猜疑。经历了一次失败婚姻后,乔希成了带着孩子的单身父亲,且收入堪忧。

 

That didn’t really bother Mia, since Josh’s personality more than made up for it. Still, he wasn’t her usual ‘type’ – the type that was much younger than her, plus athletic and handsome to boot. Josh, meanwhile, had been dreaming of a cashed-up woman with high ambitions, status and education, ideally with a PhD (or two). Mia’s mere MA was a bit of a sticking point. It was the norm, after all, for men to be the ones to ‘marry up’.

对米娅来说,这算不了什么,乔希性格上的优点早就掩盖了这些不足。然而,乔希仍然算不上米娅的理想型,她的理想爱人最好比她小好几岁,有着健硕的身材,英俊的外貌。同样,乔希的梦中情人则是:有着巨大野心、很高的社会地位、受过良好教育,最好有一两个博士学位的多金女人。米娅仅有的硕士学位离这一标准相去甚远。但女性嫁给比自己更优秀的男性倒也正常。

 

This scenario probably sounds strange, and it should: I’ve invented an anecdote about how the heterosexual dating scene might look 100 years in the future. Currently, the desire for a young, attractive partner of the opposite sex tends to be more prevalent in men than in women. Women, meanwhile, are more likely to prioritise money and status over youth and beauty. Why?

以上的情况看起来很奇怪,确实如此。我曾经编过一个关于两性约会在未来一百年里如何发展的故事。现在,相比于女人,男人越来越普遍地渴望年轻漂亮的异性;而女性则更看重男人的经济实力和社会地位。这是由什么原因导致的呢?

 

Many evolutionary psychologists put this trend down to the power of innate biological drives. Their argument is that women have a primeval urge to hang on to wealthy men to provide for their children during the long period of pregnancy and childrearing. Men, meanwhile, are mostly concerned about a woman’s fertility, for which beauty and youth serve as helpful cues. In the distant past, this behaviour was adaptive, and so evolution selected and encoded it in our genes, forever. Sure, the rituals of modern mating look very different to those of our ancestors. 

许多进化心理学家将这一情况归因为先天的生理驱动。他们给出以下原因:在漫长的孕期和抚育期,女人本能地希望可以依附于富有的男人来供养自己的子女。而男人则更看重女人的生育能力,年龄和外貌都是加分项。很久以前,这一行为就已适应于人类生活中,而进化过程通过摘选编码将其融入到人类基因组中。可以肯定的是,当下人类的行为习惯与我们祖先的大相径庭。

 

‘Nevertheless, the same sexual strategies used by our ancestors operate today with unbridled force,’ as the psychologist David Buss put it in The Evolution of Desire (2003). ‘Our evolved psychology of mating, after all, plays out in the modern world because it is the only mating psychology we mortals possess.’ (There’s little historical or intercultural research on LGBT mate preferences; such questions are clearly important, but sadly there isn’t yet sufficient data to examine them properly.)

心理学家大卫巴斯在他的著作《欲望演变》中提出:‘然而,在今天,现代人却与前人一样,毫无保留地运用着相同的“交友方法”。人类当下的择偶心理大行其道,因为这是我们的唯一选择。(现在我们几乎找不到关于同性恋、双性恋及变性者的择偶倾向的历史和跨文化研究。相关问题虽然重要,但是很可惜,没有充分的数据来梳理检验它们。

 

However, there has been a tectonic shift in gender roles over the past 50 years. As recently as the 1980s, female flight attendants in the United States could be fired if they got married, and women’s right to vote wasn’t universally enforced in Switzerland until 1990. Wouldn’t we expect these changing relationship mores to make a dent in the mating preferences of straight men and women? Or are we still at the mercy of our biological destiny, as evolutionary psychologists claim?

然而,在过去的五十年中,两性角色间的关系发生了巨大的变化。早在上世纪八十年代,美国的空姐有可能因为结婚丢掉饭碗。直到九十年代,瑞士的女性才普遍拥有了选举投票权。难道我们不希望这些年来两性角色发生的种种改变能够改变异性恋的择偶标准吗 ?或者还是像进化心理学家认为的那样:面对性别命运,我们无能为力。

 

The results from the research are clear: mating preferences among men and women look increasingly similar. The trend is directly tied to increasing gender equality, as women gain greater access to resources and opportunities in business, politics and education. In more gender-unequal nations, such as Turkey, women rate the earning potential of partners as twice as important compared with women in the most gender-equal nations, such as Finland. As with Josh and Mia, Finnish men are now more likely than Finnish women to select partners based on their high level of education.

研究结果明显表明:男女间的择偶偏好趋于相近。两性间地位越来越平等直接助推这一趋势,原因在于:相较过往,女性更易获得社会资源,比如商业、政治及教育资源。以土耳其为例,在性别较为不平等的国家中,在两性间,女性收入潜力这一数据,比以芬兰为代表的性别最平等国的数据要高一倍。就像米娅和乔希,在择偶过程中,芬兰男性比芬兰女性更看重对方的高学历。

 

Of course, sexism varies within each society, and a nation’s overall level of gender-equality doesn’t necessarily translate to gender-equal attitudes among individuals. But if mating preferences are biologically predetermined, individual sexism shouldn’t have an impact. However, research carried out in nine nations proves the opposite. The more gender-unequal men’s personal attitudes, the more they prefer qualities in women such as youth and attractiveness; and the more gender-unequal women’s attitudes, the more they prefer qualities in men such as money and status.

当然,性别歧视在各个社会中各不相同,一个国家的总体性别平等水平也未必就代表了个人态度。但如果说择偶偏好在生物学上已经预先决定好了,那么个人的性别歧视就不应该对此有什么影响吧?然而,一项覆盖了九个国家的研究表明,结果恰恰相反:认为性别不平等的男性越多,他们就越看重女人的年龄和外貌;认为性别不平等的女性越多,她们就越看重男人的资产和地位。

carry out 实施;执行;实行

 

This evidence points to some serious flaws in the evolutionary psychologists’ narrative. If genes determine our mating preferences, how is it that these supposedly hardwired instincts erode in line with societies’ and individual’s gender-egalitarianism?

这项成果指出了进化心理学家学说中的一些严重缺陷。如果说基因决定了我们的择偶偏好,那为什么男人爱财女人爱色这一现象还会越来越糟,社会和个人对于性别平等的观念还会越来越差?

In line with 与…一致

gender-egalitarianism 性别平等主义

 

To be fair, evolutionary psychologists acknowledge that cultural factors and local customs can affect how people choose their partners. But gender equality isn’t considered to be one of these factors, since even in relatively gender-equal societies, the gap between men and women’s preferences is only reduced, not eliminated. However, the counter-punch is that evidence of a lingering gap actually supports our case: the difference is only narrowed to the extent that gender equality is attained. Getting rid of it entirely would require complete gender equality, which doesn’t yet exist.

公正地说,进化心理学家确实承认文化因素和当地风俗能够影响人们的择偶方式。可他们从来没考虑把性别平等加到这些因素里,因为即便是在性别相对平等的社会中,男女地位之差也只是缓解了,而非消除了。然而,这里用来反驳他们时所提到的“填不平的差距”其实是支持我们的论据的:只有性别平等有所实现,性别差距才能有所缩小。完全摆脱性别差异需要的是完全的性别平等,但这还从来没实现过。

counter-punch 反击

lingering gap 挥之不去的差距

 

Regrettably, traditional gender roles persist even in very egalitarian societies. In one Danish study, husbands whose wives out-earned them were more likely than other husbands to use erectile dysfunction medication. One interpretation is that the husbands felt under pressure to exhibit their virility, because they couldn’t claim the role of ‘provider’; another view was that the loss of breadwinner status somehow led to impotence.

令人遗憾的是,即便是在最提倡平等主义的几个国家中,传统的性别角色还持续存在。在一个丹麦的研究中,收入比妻子低的男性比其他男性更可能使用助勃起药物。一个解释是,这些男性倍感压力,无法显示自己的男子气概,因为他们并未承担养家的角色;另外一个观点是,失去了养家者地位不知怎么就导致阳痿了。

 

In another study in the US, single women downplayed their career goals and toned down their assertiveness in the hope of making themselves more desirable to men. However, if the importance that men attribute to women’s good education and earning prospects continues to grow, these tactics might eventually cease to be effective.

另一个美国的研究中,单身女性为了赢得男人更多的爱,会放低自己的职业目标,收敛自己的自信。然而,在研究中,若是男性越来越重视女性的教育背景和事业前景,单身女性的这些小手段可能就不太管用了。

downplay 对…轻描淡写;使轻视;贬低

tone down 使(言辞)温和;使(调子)缓和;收敛

 

What if a society actually did achieve perfect gender equality? Would women and men hold essentially identical partner preferences? My hunch is that women’s and men’s choices might never completely converge. The key difference is likely to come down to the demands of breastfeeding following the birth of a child – an activity that’s energy-intensive, time-consuming, and quite difficult to integrate with paid work, at least as work is currently structured. The implication is that women will seek to replace this anticipated loss of income by choosing husbands with good earning prospects. 

那如果某个社会真的完全达到了性别平等呢?那时候男男女女还会固守传统的择偶偏好吗?我的直觉是,女人和男人的选择标准也许永远不会相同。关键差别就是被生育哺乳的需求所拉开的:生育哺乳,这项活动又辛苦又耗时,而且,很难跟带薪工作一起做好(至少在工作还是结构化的情况之下)。可能的结果就是,女人就会通过找一个有良好赚钱前景的丈夫,来寻求弥补可预见的生育哺乳所带来的收入损失。

 

This decision will have little to do to with some primeval urge for a great male protector, however; it will be guided by rational calculations about future needs. Moreover, progressive social policy, changes to the workplace, and greater participation of fathers in childcare could all mitigate such career-compromising pressures.

这种决定跟想找个厉害的男性保护者的原始冲动可没有关系,恰恰相反,这是对未来需求的理性计算所致。此外,进步的社会政策如可变更的工作地点,更好的男性陪产假制度,都会减轻女性由生育哺乳对女性职业发展带来的压力。

implication /ɪmplɪ’keɪʃ(ə)n/ n. a possible future effect or result of an action, event, decision etc 可能的结果

compromising /’kɒmprəmaɪzɪŋ/ adj. vulnerable to danger especially of discredit or suspicion 危及,连累,中伤,损害

 

My students sometimes ask me whether gender-equal partner preferences would be desirable. They seem concerned that such equality could snuff out the spark from our love lives. Another risk is that levelling out mating preferences could lead to more marriages of equals, which could in turn entrench economic inequality. But according to the latest gender-gap report for 2017, there’s little reason for worry. Given the current rate of change, it will be some time before Josh and Mia get together: we have at least another 100 years to wait before gender parity is achieved.

我的学生有时候问我性别平等下的择偶偏好本身是否可取,他们似乎是关心这种平等可能会熄灭我们爱情生活中的浪漫火花。另一个风险是趋于平等的择偶偏好会导致更多门当户对的婚姻,这会反过来加深社会经济的不公。但是,根据最新的2017年性别差异报告,我们真没什么可担心的。鉴于现在的迈向性别公平的速度,想让乔希和米娅在一起恐怕是要等一等了。毕竟,我们还要至少等100年才能等到性别平等的实现。

desirable /dɪ’zaɪərəb(ə)l/ adj. something that is desirable is worth having or doing可取的

snuff out  (用手)掐灭;(用物件)弄熄

level out 趋于稳定(同level off)

entrench /ɪn’tren(t)ʃ; en-/ v. 使权力、习俗、观念等根深蒂固

 

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【AEON】男人好色,女人爱财。天生的?

<原文链接: https://aeon.co/ideas/men-want-beauty-women-want-wealth-and-other-unscientific-tosh>

 

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