Though humans are characterized as being particularly vain species, there are other superficial creatures. The peacock, for example, wows ladies with its enormous and extravagant tail. The multicolored plumage of the peacock offers a classical example of sexual selection as females swoon for the most ostentatious. But the bigger and more extravagant is only better up to a point: if the ornament becomes too large and colorful, it may become too heavy to carry. Or it may attract new predators. Or even both. As the saying goes, the pride comes before the fall as an advantage becomes the handicap. The masculine persona adopted by peacocks determines the speed of the evolutionary wheel for this bird: being the most masculine could help you prosper or flounder. That does not stop peacocks from perpetuating the cycle because in its long history, masculinity works to its advantage. Unsurprisingly, the story of the macho personality in peacocks manifests itself in the human story.
The Spanish term Machismo is used to describe this excessive masculinity that subscribes to the belief that males enjoy superiority over females. There have been many layers of meaning attached to chauvinism and macho personalities based on context and culture. For those who are quick to dismiss gender inequality as being a figment of sociological pressures, they are ignorant to the reality that gender roles are often universal and timeless.
Humans are apart of the biosphere and not above it. Therefore, evolutionary biologists believe that like peacocks use their tails to attract mates, people seek to spread a maximum number of their genes to the next generation. Physiologically speaking, men and women differ in many respects: for all intents and purposes, men can impregnate an unlimited number of sex partners throughout his life, while females (more…)