Riffing off the conclusions of a fascinating New Scientist piece, "Dirty tricks of the egg and sperm race," Alex Balk wonders why men, as he says, "take break ups harder than women." Balk is cheekily responding to the idea that a father's genes may be less influential than the mother's, but quickly expands into a larger socio-biological theory about breakups. Balk's hypothesis on men's long-term difficulties with handling emotional stems from a Freudian view of childhood:


Little girls are often treated as "princesses," the object of paternal affection in an idealized-but-not-romantic way. ... Little boys are often treated the same way by their mothers. " ...

The difference is stunningly obvious: Dads are far less committed parents than moms. ...

And this is why men take break ups harder than women. When a woman breaks up with a man, it is Mommy telling him that she doesn't love him anymore. ... His cries of pain, either voiced or shown by his actions, are really him shouting, "Mommy, why did you stop loving me?" Whereas for a woman, she had no illusions that Daddy wasn't going to leave at some point. Sure, she's hurt initially, but she knew the score going into the game.

Can the disparate experience of emotional rejection between men and women be reduced to a matter of child psychology?