June 7, 2012
June 7, 2012

Primal Behavior

I like to watch the National Geographic documentaries, and even the internet records of unusual reactions we don’t normally expect from other species that identify many cultures and types of animal behavior.

Humanity did not classify animal cultures in the past: but, Hyenas have been studied to show that its social structure requires a hierarchy which allows the dominant ones to force submission from pre-determined lower ranks; monkey culture even have the orphaned “prince” monkey be protected by the Alpha male because the mother before her demise was an Alpha female(a queen in our terms).

Yet, we are amazed by what we feel is aberrant behavior when a lion befriends a baby prey, or a dolphin and a cat exhibit friendly curiosity about each other. There are two more examples (over the years) of gorillas protecting a child who has fallen into the zoo cage area. Even our family male labrador who would attack other dogs did not show any aggression when a puppy ate out of his bowl at our campground.

So when I acknowledge that we humans exhibit animal behavior it is not to be taken as derogatory, but simply an observation.

One of the predominant animal behaviors is control/ submission, and in humans it is using certain behaviors to show dominance over delineated subordinates. Teasing is often condescending and establishes a reaction of defence and/or compliance. Certainly bullying is being recognized as such, as well as gossip. Threats and physical violence are at the top of the list in maintaining submission to a stronger force.

Both in the animal world and the human world the submission is often ingrained and therefore not challenged. However, in both worlds when the dominator is challenged, some type of discord, resulting in a physical confrontation, or causing the one that loses to become the outcast, or if remaining in the situation losing ones own will in decision making.

Women in our culture were legally suppressed and in certain other countries today still are forced into roles not of their choosing. If it appears that they choose to live as they do, it is a learned role superimposed upon their consciousness.

Bringing this into the micro level of marriage; the woman often agrees with her spouse in order to keep peace. Eventually a female may decide that she will no longer give in to maintain the status quo. She seeks counseling and if that does not accomplish her aim to be treated equally, then she often finalises the marriage and moves on to another life.

This all could be averted if she had been acknowledged as a full partner from the beginning of the union. However, that is a simplistic and often incorrect version of what really happens. Without being aware that she has learned to be submissive, she often plays that role, but resents it. This gives the male a catch 22 situation because if he has been sincerely asking for her opinion without receiving it, then he is flummoxed by her accusations that she has not had an equal say in their decision making.

This is just one of the many intricacies of society that impact on a couple.