The speed and timing of maturation is perhaps the single most powerful force affecting human evolution.  Central to changes in speed and timing are environmental influences.  Every scale of our experience reveals the effects: our species, our societies, our selves.

Over the course of our lives, both male and female levels of testosterone vary according to environmental influences.  Though we are genetically disposed to a certain constant varying daily by 30%, the level can moderate according to stress, exercise, light, diet, smoking, alcohol and drugs.  Six weeks before we are born, our mother’s testosterone blood levels trigger the maturation speed of the embryo’s remaining life.  The maturing speed is different based on the child’s sex.  High testosterone blood levels compel a boy to mature slowly and a girl quickly.  Low levels trigger girls to mature slowly and the boy quickly.  Following conception, this development is perhaps the most powerful moment in a person’s life.  This juncture informs how the species evolves.  In humans, it informs how societies unfold.

Thousands of years of high testosterone females pairing with low testosterone males compel evolution in a matrifocal direction.  Place high testosterone males with low testosterone females and an opposite trajectory occurs.  There are matrifocal primates and patrifocal primates.  Hormone levels and social structure inform both evolution over time and societal behavior.  Hormones can drive humans to evolve biologically and societally, either matrifocally or patrifocally.  In 20th Century America, you can get both at once.

The seemingly unexplained attraction we may experience for a member of the opposite sex may have a lot to do with whether they exhibit the features of our complementary opposite hormonal structure:  high testosterone males pair with low testosterone females, and the reverse.

The addictions we engage in–eating, drinking, drugging–can radically alter our testosterone levels.  Are we engaged in changing the features of our progeny by modifying their maturation rates?

As the environment modifies a mother’s testosterone levels, the maturation rates of her children are transformed.  Just because we are not aware of these dynamics does not mean we are not deliberately engaging in the process of our own transformation.

Our bodies are deeply aware of this process.  Perhaps it’s time our smaller consciousness, our conscious minds, caught up.


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