The conception of the relations between men and women in ante-bellum America idealized an inseparable blending of sexuality, companionship, tenderness, loyalty, and mutual respect. This combination, which defined love, was regarded as the richest gift nature had given humans. The sexual component in this ensemble has ascended to a preeminent position in this list, as well as in the larger set of life's delights, because other sources of happiness have descended. The third-ranked chimpanzee in a troop becomes the alpha male if the two more dominant animals suffer mortal wounds, even though his inherent characteristics remain unchanged.

source: Jerome Kagan, An Argument for Mind, 154 tags: Gender Issues, Marriage, Sex