The high school girl faked a sheepish smile and giggled,
"He wants to go to bed with me."
I was taken back by the teen’s answer. How could she be so
naive? Only three words in her sentence were correct.
Vicky’s response in the school cafeteria was to my question
about her low cut dress: "Do you know what your boyfriend thinks when he sees
you dressed like that?"
Sure, "He wants to," but what? "Go to bed?" I don’t think
that would be a requirement. She had some romantic scene in mind, but the fact
is, if he could get what he wanted with impunity behind the cafeteria dumpster,
he’d take it. Her appearance prompts him to think of a sensation, not an
And the last part was the most naive of all: "with me." She
really thinks that what she prompts in him has something to be with who she is.
Silly girl! She has done the exact opposite of what she seeks. She has made him
think of a process instead of a person.
The problem is that she thinks that he thinks like she thinks. The
brain connections are not the same, and the chemicals that affect their
thinking secrete from different glands in vastly
different amounts. The most ironic part is that some guys would actually
like to be allowed to think of girls as persons, but the girls’ presentations of
themselves short-circuit any opportunity for that.
Guys have a stronger drive to "want to" than girls. Girls
do what gets quick response, even if it’s not the real response they want. Guys
and girls may do what feels good right now, even if it means in the long run
they can’t feel good about themselves.
Is this off my usual subject? My usual subject is the
tragedy of teaching students what to think instead of how to think.
Allow me to through in one more thought to complete this
vicious cycle: If guys and girls are taught in school that they are no different
from other animals, then they are more likely to give in to animal impulses. It
begins with self image and ends with self image. If an adult places into a
teen’s brain that abstinence before marriage is best for several logical
reasons, and then the adult places into the teen’s hand a condom, which do you
think will rule–the brain or the body? The message is, "We know what would be
better, but that’s really irrelevant. We also know you can’t do any better."
In essence guys and girls are taught that they cannot change their
behavior by thinking, all the while not only thinking, but
unaware that they are thinking differently from each other.
There is another irony here: By promoting the idea that we
evolved from lower animals by chance, we reverse the theory’s prediction. We
begin to act more like where the theory says we came from than where the theory
says we are going.