Imagine social structure, matrifocal and patrifocal, as representing left and right or past and future in a distribution of humans inclined toward egalitarian or hierarchical organization, our matrifocal past leading to our patrifocal present.

Consider human males exhibiting neoteny or maturational delay contrasted to females showing acceleration or maturational acceleration as pairing together neotenous, cooperative males with maturational-accelerated, commanding females.  We would hypothesize this to be a matrifocal society.  Now, consider the reverse, with neotenous females mating with accelerated, dominating males in a patrifocal society.  Heterochrony is the evolutionary biological principle that explores the influence of neoteny and acceleration on the evolution of species.

Last, note in neuropsychological studies of handedness and cerebral dominance in humans that there is a seamless arc of handedness tendencies beginning at the left end with strong left-handers bridging over to the right side with strong right-handers.  Most people are toward the center, many being right-handed but displaying some left-handed aspects.

An overlapping of all three of these academic traditions suggests a single process manifesting in three seemingly different areas.  Anthropological social structure exploring matristic vs. patristic frames, evolutionary biological neoteny/acceleration studies following the influence of changing maturation rates on physiologies and neurologies over time and neuropsychological evaluations examining the relationships among cerebral lateralization and handedness, maturation speeds and hormonal influences.

All three pathways lead to a woman’s womb.  The alchemy of our evolution focuses on a moment in later pregnancy when a child’s maturation rate is set by the mother’s testosterone levels, and hypothetically the child’s compulsion to be selective is established by the mother’s estrogen level.  How cooperative/commanding and how discriminating a person grows up to be is decided by the mother’s hormonal levels, levels heavily influenced by environmental factors.

Our evolution is only about genes insofar as genes are programmed to be open-ended, taking into consideration environmental information before making major decisions.

Decisions such as social structure, personality structure, maturation speed, degrees of caring, aesthetics, cerebral lateralization, handedness, creativity, physical dexterity, abstract thinking proclivities, cooperative tendencies and referential consciousness are all informed by testosterone and estrogen levels in the womb.

Pretty much most of what makes us human is decided in the womb, based on parents’ hormonal tendencies and environmental information.

We are moving into a new era where a healthy environment is becoming understood as integral to societal health.  Forty years ago there was no environmental movement.  Twenty years from now the environment will be the primary focus of governmental institutions across the world.  In a single lifetime, everything has changed.

Integral to understanding these changes is understanding the ways that we are integrated into the environment as individuals and as a species.  In ancient Catal Huyuk in Asia Minor, the womb was worshipped as the goddess.  There was understanding of how humans were connected to the environment through a woman.  These insights are re-emerging.

What formerly seemed separate has become connected in the past, in our future and in the now.


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