Currently Reading: The Secrets of Happily Married Men by Scott Haltzman, M.D.

Excerpt from Chapter Three ~ The First Way: Make Your Marriage Your Job

“When the excitement calms down and you’re faced with the
finer details of your new job, you have an interesting biological
advantage over women: you are pre-programmed to achieve. That’s
right. Research and sociological studies consistently reveal an
incontrovertible truth: most men are born with a drive to compete,
to be better than the next guy, to seek to prevail. It’s in our genes.
It shapes our brain. It forms our character. It affects the way we
think and what we do.
Some folks may not like to hear this, but it’s true. This com-
petitive advantage first shows itself as early as kindergarten.
Whereas girls tend to develop close friendships with one or two
friends and give equal status to all, boys create what psychologists
call a dominance hierarchy. They play in large groups that gener-
ally have one leader, several of his close friends, and a few other
members who are allowed to tag along. The boys at the top of the
hierarchy can then safely challenge the ones below who have less
social status and power. This dominance is established by threats
and challenges: a boy will boldly take a toy from another boy to
see how that child will defend or retaliate. One of them will come
out with the toy. A male’s concern with being better and stronger
than the other boys is far greater than his need to be friends.
And if you’re wondering whether that pattern persists into
adulthood, just ask the guy in the Hummer with the bumper sticker
saying WHOEVER DIES WITH THE MOST TOYS WINS.”

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