It’s our name for the intersection of needs. You’ve known it all along. What you may not have realized is that part of the problem we have in Western Civilization is that our culture has become ambiguous.
No? Ask an anthropologist. They study tribes around the world, many of whom have gone extinct. Back in the day it was still possible to find a tribe that had absolutely no previous contact with the outside world. A good observer records how those people live, what their customs are, and what happens to whom, when.
In many tribes, a young person is kept relatively insulated from sex roles until they are “of age.” At this point there is a ritual of initiation. This could include tattoos, circumcision, piercings, and many other identifying marks such that there was question that this being had passed a significant life threshhold.
Once a full-fledged woman or man, this person was expected to mate, to work, to contribute to the well-being of the tribe. Those are the customs anthropologists work so hard to study, to understand, and explain why societies work as they do.
Our society is no longer a tribe. We are something the world has never seen before. We are a civilization that spans the globe. We communicate instantly, we travel vast distances, and we mingle with myriad ethnic groups on a daily basis.
Our “culture” is no longer easily defined. Our culture is what we make of it amongst our close friends and relatives. If you grow up in an ethnically defined family, your culture will be heavily reliant on your family, your ethnic group, your history. But if you grow up in a well-blended family, then your culture will be a pastiche of peers ,family, friends, and fashion.
When did you come of age? It’s likely there was no significant event.
When were you expected to take a mate? It’s probably illegal in the country in which you live for anyone to require such a thing.
How many children are you expected to bear? This, too, is probably frowned upon where you live, however your mother and grandmother are exempt from this general rule.
So, the next time you’re bemoaning the fact that you’re alone. Don’t blame the other sex. Blame your culture.
It’s where sex and society meet.