Time to be biologically honest about affairs
I want to make it clear before you attack me that I am well aware that I am just a physician in general practice, not a biochemist, theologist, historian, etc.
In my practice, I find more married men than women who have had, are having or fantasize about having affairs.
Religion calls it immoral. Women's activists call the men cheaters, low lifes and more descript words that I choose not to use here. To be sure, a broken home can be damaging. The family nucleus is important for our children, married couples and our society. We all know that.
But there are a zillion porno sites targeting primarily men on the Internet. Ditto for strip clubs, massage parlors and escort services. Many ads, women's clothing, even food products focus on men and primarily sex. Why?
There are lots of men and women who are cads, but most of the guys who chance telling me about "the other side" of their lives are governed, I think, by biology, not because they do not love their significant other or their family.
Preachers who are caught with their pants down behind the pulpit are incorrectly scorned. Their sometimes insurmountable instincts do not mean they are less than Christian.
Testosterone is just one of the hormones -- there are others -- along with "brain imprints" (like the scent of an ovulating woman) that send men into their autopilot for sex and procreation. Guys were, in the biologic sense, made to plant their seeds. Evolution did not know that both genders could use birth control and men would have the gift of Viagra and women would accommodate males with Victoria's Secret.
Now we read a study that when men gaze at a woman's breasts for about 10 minutes a day, their blood pressure, along with their risk of heart attack and stroke, drop!
I know the old argument that we are more than animals and we should be able to control our instincts. First, we are animals. Next, who said we must or can control our instincts all of the time?
In some Scandinavian countries, marriage is not encouraged, but they have successful families. Humans will soon live to 100 or more on the average. Will your child want to live in a monogamous relationship for say, 80 years?
The '60s brought us love children and exploration of the family unit. Brightly painted VW buses and smoking weed in Haight Ashbury is gone. Whew! We are in a puritanical revival, but the biology is still there.
Since the '60s we have been, even in Gilbert, Arizona and the Arizona State Legislature, evolving.
I do not want to sacrifice family. I do not have the answer. We need discourse about this and we one way or the other, we will change.
Avoiding the issue will make things worse.
Dr. Sam Benjamin, M.D. - Integrative Medicine, weekend show host