In recent weeks I’ve written posts on hypo- and hypermasculinity and the role of the anima and animus, what these have in common is that they both deal with reactions to environmental stimuli, often in early childhood that continue to influence behavior well into adulthood.
We know that human beings are not born as blank slates, we are born with a number of genetic predispositions that affect our personality, our performance and various other parts of our lives on a day to day basis. Our genetics influence many aspects of our behavior and perhaps one of the more well-known are “The Warrior Genes” , known to influence antisocial behavior and predispositions towards violence.
From the day we are born, we are also socialized by our parents, our peer groups, relatives, family friends and various other sources of patterns that we internalize. Before we can think in abstract, before we can reason, before we can even speak, we are internalizing and implementing patterns of behavior and thought. The manifestations of such behaviors can subtract or add to our genetics, a famous example is researcher James Fallon who despite possessing both the neurological and genetic correlates of psychopathy, does not engage in many of the negative behaviors associated with the genetic or neurological makeup . He largely credits this to his positive upbringing, and the positive patterns that he learned as part of his socialization. Such patters are among the oldest we have in our life, they are the deepest ingrained in our mind and burnt into our brain, having been repeated throughout most of our lives. Continue reading