It is often said, with some vehemence, that men and women belong to parallel, even antagonistic, universes. Who hasn't heard the resigned statement sighed with helplessness, and pronounced with force: "I can't understand the opposite sex"? And how many times have we fallen into the cliché of considering our inability to understand the other as an insurmountable tragedy? This article does not spring from such a defeatist view. Instead, it arises from a constant desire to investigate, to uncover the mysterious sexual qualities that seem to be an eternal echo throughout history and which, instead of drawing us closer as a species, seem to open an abyss between us. So, instead of surrendering to the supposed incomprehensibility of the other, we undertake the bold task of unraveling these differences, tracing their biological roots, to make conscious those traits that define us as members of a basic sexual unit. Thus, we venture to explore the impulses and feelings that daily shape our behavior.

Within Humanity: Rethinking Sexual Condition

Let's take a moment to contemplate a kaleidoscope, that toy that amazes us with its eternal ability to generate new forms from the same amount of glass pieces. A kaleidoscope is a perfect example to illustrate our next step: we need to rethink ourselves within humanity, in our sexual condition. We are all part of the kaleidoscope of the human race, part of a whole while maintaining our individuality. And just like what happens in this toy, if we remove the cultural varnish, we will see that our actions separate into colored fragments that adhere to our basic unit as men or women.

If we were biologists, we would record these differentiated behaviors and arrange them in a graph, examining the extremes and deviations from the standard in the style of Gauss and his famous bell curve of the normal distribution. By paying attention to those values and aspects that most deviate from the center of the bell, we will discover the characteristics that define us and are often repressed in our daily lives. This search will allow us to understand our roots and what internally configures us.

Evolutionary Biology and Sexual Behavior

Let's now look at the animal world, and more specifically at mammals, our close relatives. We can distinguish two types of behavior among them: on the one hand, there are the monogamous ones, those like meerkats or jackals, who choose a single mate; and on the other hand, there are the "tournament species", which males compete for the right to mate with the female, as happens with gorillas or lions. In these latter, the game of sexual selection is harsh and ruthless: males must show their potential so that females, supreme judges, choose who they believe carries the best genes, guaranteeing strong and healthy offspring.

These dynamics of attraction and sexual bonding can be a mirror in which we reflect, a guide to understanding those behaviors and impulses that seem to be coded in our psyche. Isn't it fascinating to think that we humans find ourselves at an intermediate point between these two forms of interaction? We are, at once, monogamous and competitors, an evolutionary mosaic that reflects our complex biological roots.

The Prism of Evolutionary Psychology

David Buss, a prominent name in evolutionary psychology, offers us a fresh lens through which to observe this phenomenon. Buss argues that our evolutionary adaptation has shaped our sexual and mating behavior, leading to divergent strategies between men and women. Broadly speaking, men tend to value fertility and beauty, signs of health and reproductive ability, while women seek indicators of protection and provision, such as status and success. Buss's work across 37 cultures reveals that these trends are universal and transcend cultural barriers, providing us with a powerful lens to understand the differences between sexes not as a source of discord but as a reflection of our complex evolutionary history.

El Baile de los Cíclopes y las Esfinges
The Cyclops and the Sphinx represent masculinity and femininity, respectively. Their dance symbolizes the interaction and attraction between genders, displaying the complexity and complementarity of masculine and feminine energies in human sexuality.

A Triangle, a Tree, and a Cyclops: The Complexity of Sexual Attraction

Can we represent human sexuality with geometric figures or mythological characters? Indeed, we can give it a try. Picture sexuality as a triangle with a joint base from which two divergent branches emerge. Or as a tree, robust and firm in its trunk yet branching off in different directions. In this tree of sexuality, men tend to lean towards one side, and women towards the other, and each of these deviations corresponds to two distinct biological ideals.

Let's think of the generic man as a cyclops, that mythical being with a single eye in the middle of its forehead. His focus is unidirectional, and his goal is simple and straightforward: sexual and reproductive. It is directed towards the beauty and physical health of the opposite sex, attributes that signify fertility. But what about women? Can we also represent them with a mythological figure? The generic woman, unlike the Cyclops, is essentially complex. In other words, she perceives the world in its totality and understands the entirety of the experience, not just a single goal. Like a sphinx, her allure lies in her mystery and depth, and her attraction toward men is not based solely on physical appearance but on more diverse and abstract factors, such as success, status, stability, and admiration.

El Espejo de la Evolución
"The Mirror of Evolution" represents the reflection of the evolution of human sexuality over time. The DNA chain shows how sexual drives and behaviors are rooted in our biological origins and how our experiences and ancestors have influenced our current sexual expressions.

The Sphinx and the Cyclops: Feminine Intuition and Masculine Perception

Due to their greater investment in reproduction, women need to be selective when choosing their partners. They will seek out the one who stands out, who demonstrates greater potential and sophistication, the one who meets their demands. It's as if they have an internal radar, a sort of sixth sense that guides them toward the man who has the excellence and sophistication they need. On the other hand, Robert Sapolsky, a renowned professor at Stanford University, adds a valuable complement to this scenario: not everything is about genetics and evolution; our environment and experiences influence our behaviors and responses equally.

Polygamy and Hypergamy: The Evolutionary Dance of Human Sexuality

These opposing biological foundations lead to two distinct reproductive strategies: while men tend towards polygamy, meaning they maximize their reproductive capacity by mating with several women, women seek out the best possible candidate through a strategy known as hypergamy. This game of strategies reflects our deepest and most basic roots as a species, an echo of our closest mammalian ancestors in the evolutionary chain. However, in our species, this difference generates a constant and irresolvable tension that we need to learn to handle.

The Challenge of Understanding: Acknowledging the Diversity of the Human Condition

El Laberinto de la Comprensión
"The Labyrinth of Understanding" symbolizes the challenge of understanding and accepting differences between sexes. The light at the center represents the ultimate goal of mutual understanding and acceptance. The transparent walls symbolize the need for open and compassionate communication to overcome obstacles in understanding the other.

The ultimate challenge we face as a species is to recognize and accept these inherent differences in our biological natures. It's about breaking out of the vicious circle that divides us into opposites and keeps us in a constant back-and-forth of attracting and repelling without reaching a proper understanding of the other. We need to make these attributes conscious in order to coexist, understand, and have compassion for our differences. In the end, each of us is a kaleidoscope of genetic and environmental influences, a complex and beautiful blend of cyclops and sphinx.

Thus, the study of our sexuality and its dynamics not only teaches us about our origins and evolution but also gives us a vital lesson: we are a diverse and complex species, and it is precisely this diversity and complexity that makes us human.