A Theology of Attraction (slightly updated)...
My thesis is simple: both sexes are attracted to the sex-specific attributes that are central to fulfilling the creation mandate (Gen. 1:27-28).
1. The creation mandate has two interrelated commands 1) be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and 2) subdue and rule the earth. In other words, God commanded mankind as a whole to reproduce image-bearers (children) that will subdue the earth for God’s glory (resulting in culture). So…
a. Mankind is designed to have fruitful sex.
b. The fruit of that sex (children) is essential to creating God glorifying culture.
c. Therefore, the fulfilling of the command requires the sexes to cooperate biologically.
2. God created mankind in two varieties, male and female. The two sexes are more alike than they are different as they both equally belong to mankind. That being said, the differences are significant and uniquely play a part in fulfilling the creation mandate. These God designed sexual distinctions are part of our nature and should be embraced by both sexes as good. So…
a. Being manly or masculine is embracing and living a life in line with male sexual distinctions.
b. Being womanly or feminine is embracing and living a life in line with female sexual distinctions.
c. Androgyny is a rejection of the goodness of one’s God-given sex (more on this later).
3. Male sexual distinctions are reflected in how man was made and what he was made to do. Man was created from the earth, brought to the earth, and charged to work the earth. In short, man was made from the earth to shape the earth. Here are a few of the related sexual distinctions…
a. Male physiological distinctions:
– Males tend to have larger, more robust bones and joint surfaces, and more bone development at muscle attachment sites.
– Males tend to have more strongly developed and constructed striated muscles.
– Males tend to have a higher pain tolerance and threshold as compared to females.
In summary, men are uniquely equipped to overcome physical obstacles and to carry loads.
b. Male intellectual distinctions:
– Males tend to be more oriented towards the world of “things.”
– Males are superior to females in logical consistency, abstract reasoning, and spatial conceptualization.
In summary, men are uniquely equipped to look at the unshaped and come up with a plan on how to shape it into something useful.
c. Male temperamental/hormonal distinctions:
– Males are hormonally wired (i.e. testosterone) to be more aggressive than their female counterparts.
– Males are more apt than females to take both intellectual and physical risks.
– Males tend to establish and organize a social hierarchy to accomplish a shared goal.
– Males tend to “partition” their feelings from their reasoning.
– Males are more rule-consciousness
– The design of the male sexual organ and the male reproductive cell demonstrates that man is equipped to be an initiator (i.e. the woman receives the man, the ovum receives the sperm).
In summary, men are uniquely equipped to engage in conflict and establish structures.
d. Males are physically, intellectually, sexually, and temperamentally equipped to dominant and structure society. Men are providers, protectors, and leaders.
4. Female sexual distinctions are reflected in how woman was made and what she was made to do. Woman was created from the man, brought to the man, and charged to help the man. In short, woman was made from man to aid him in the shaping of the earth. Here are a few of the related sexual distinctions…
a. Female physiological distinctions:
– Female bone structure tends to be smaller, rounder, and less sharply formed.
– The female pelvis is wider, longer, and held together by ligaments that soften during pregnancy, allowing the two halves to slide apart.
– Females have a longer torso to accommodate extra reproductive organs and find space to push things out of the way during pregnancy.
– Females have much less muscle mass and higher body fat.
– Female skin has a greater sensitivity.
– Females have breasts and a womb.
– Females can make people
In summary, women are uniquely equipped to carefully respond to the nearest and most intimate things. Also, it must be noted that females are clearly and overwhelmingly designed for motherhood.
b. Female intellectual distinctions:
– Females tend to be more oriented towards the world of “people.”
– Females are superior to males in linguistics, verbal communication, and in fields/activities requiring a high level of empathy.
In summary, women are uniquely equipped to nurture and manage structured communities.
c. Female temperamental/hormonal distinctions:
– Females are generally more agreeable than their male counterparts.
– Females are more apt to seek out the company of others for simply the pleasure of the company.
– Female reasoning is more emotionally integrated.
– Females react to any stimulus in a more lively and complete way than a male.
– Females possess a greater social adaptability.
– The design of the female sex organ and female reproductive cell demonstrate that woman is equipped to be a recipient (i.e. the woman receives the man, the ovum receives the sperm)
In summary, women are uniquely equipped to provide care/nurture and be responsive to leadership.
d. Females are physically, intellectually, sexually, and temperamentally equipped to help, nurture, and refine society. Women are refiners/multipliers, nurturers, and followers.
5. Men are designed to want women. Women are designed to want men. This mutual desire was focused and anchored in the creation of a household. Mouser says, “Only together can man and woman build human civilization. Both must rule, subdue, and multiply; but, they do this by playing different positions on the team. Man leads by working the earth to provide for and to defend the human family. Woman helps by giving life and building a home in the territory the man has gained. The married couple is the fundamental builder of human civilization, and its fundamental unit is the family and the home they build.”
6. Men find feminine women attractive. Feminine beauty possesses three key attributes 1) curves 2) responsiveness and 3) pleasant industriousness.
a. Men like curves (external beauty). They like breasts, hips, thighs, and butts. Why? These things are all related in one way or another to a woman’s sexual maturity and overall healthiness. They are associated with her ability to bear and nurture children.
b. Men like a woman who favorably responds to their leadership.This doesn’t mean that they are looking for a doormat. It simply means that they are attracted to an attitude which is necessary for the work of establishing and growing a household.
c. Men like a woman who competence and industry takes what he gives her and creates a pleasant atmosphere for him, their children, and their broader community.
7. Women find masculine men attractive. A masculine man possesses three key attributes 1) physically fit and taller 2) resourceful and 3) confident/assertive.
a. Women are attracted to a physically fit and a comparatively taller man. They want to know that he can protect their family. They want to feel safe. There is also evidence of a genetic component (i.e. a desire for healthy children).
b. Women are attracted to a man that has resources. They want to know that they will be well provided for if they give their body to birthing and raising children.
c. Women are attracted to a confident/assertive man. They want someone that commands their respect and the respect of others. They are looking for a competent leader.
8. These attractiveness factors are weighed differently against each other based on an individual’s stage of life and some level of personal preference.
9. There are other factors involved in attraction. However, I’m not listing them here because they are less universal and, in my assessment, secondary to the previously mentioned factors.
10. The fall has twisted and marred mankind. Consequently, both men and women will attempt to suppress the created order. Men will look for a way to get low-cost and low-commitment sex. Women will look for a man that they can dominate and lead. They both will try to avoid establishing a house (aka children). However, the creation mandate can only be suppressed. It can’t be destroyed. At the end of the day, men want feminine women and women want masculine men. Androgyny is the thing we all should hate.
P.S. This is not a complete sexual theology. It's a partial look at a single component. My influences are Stephen Clark, Werner Neuer, William Mouser, and Steven Goldberg.