Why do many men fear the sexual power of women? The Indian psychologist Sudhir Kakar (photo) offers an in-depth explanation in his book The Inner World. His theory has seven steps, cyclically connected through the generations.
1. The theory is based on the idea that men took over the domain of plant food when farming got developed. This made the male group of the family (agnates) control the land and desire to keep their land together. For that purpose the kept the men’s group together and arranged the heritance accordingly.
2. When a son marries he is more or less kept away from his in-married wife because she is seen as a threat for the solidarity in the agnate group.
3. Therefore, the wife has a unsatisfactory relationship with her husband and his family.
4. When she bears a son, she gets more respect from his family, so a son is very important for her.
5. Subconsciously, she projects not only her love but also her unmet sexual desire on the son.
6. The son enjoys her love as a paradise, but her adult sexuality he feels as way too much and even as dangerous, poisonous.
7. In his adulthood he expects the same unconditional love from women, but also deeply fears their female sexuality.
8. When he marries he will keep her sexuality away from him as it still feels as dangerous, which is functional for the agnate group solidarity.
Some versions of the Indian goddess Kali represent the deep ambivalence of men about women.
Perhaps many societies have a more or similar type of kinship pattern. In catholic Mediterranean cultures many men experience women as symbolized by the ‘Madonna-whore’ complex.
All along millions of years men go out, leave their women behind, with perhaps the fear of female sexuality as a push factor contributing to the men’s adventurous travels.