The Masculine Instinct to Protect

Despite politically correct attempts to neutralize gender differences and to obliterate sex distinctions, this past summer (in July 2012) we saw the God-given male instinct to protect once again rear its head.  In an Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting, young men instinctively protected the women.  The manly internal compass and code to rescue and to protect kicked in, the way it does in less complicated superhero tales. At least 4 of the 12 victims of the shooting died because they were physically protecting the women they came to the movie with.

  • Alex Teves, 24, used his body as a shield to cover his girlfriend. He was shot, and she survived.
  • John Larimer, 27, did the same—sacrificing his life for his girlfriend,
  • Matthew Robert McQuinn threw his body in front of his girlfriend, Samantha Yowler. He too was killed, and she was pulled to safety by her brother, Nick Yowler.
  • Jonathan Blunk, 26, pushed his girlfriend, Jansen Young, under a seat. Again, he was killed, and she got out after the shooting was over.

More Than Chivalry.  This was Masculine Instinct.
Newspapers have described what happened in the theater as “chivalry.” But it’s clearly much more than that. Chivalry is better understood as a code of conduct connected to social propriety. Throwing your body in front of your girlfriend when people all around you are getting shot is not simply masculine protocol—it’s a God-given instinct that it is more basic, primitive, deeper, and instinctual.

Thank you Alex, John, Matthew, and Jonathan for sacrificing your lives for the women you were with and for reminding us once again that there are still good men out there who instinctively know their role of providing and protecting as men!


2 Responses to “The Masculine Instinct to Protect”

  1. Julie February 17, 2013 at 4:20 pm #

    Interesting take on a very well documented and highly publicized tragedy (Aurora shooting) and area of science (gender differences).

    Late night movies tend to draw a higher % of dating couples than any other type of movie-goer so by default there is statistically going to be more couples. Chivalry is defined in protective terms “gallant warriors…valor…knighthood…justice…honour” those are all terms used in the dictionary to define chivalry so it sounds like the newspapers you referenced had it right. It certainly is possible that chivalry is hard wired into the male brain, since studies have shown that the the maternal protective instinct is hard wired into mothers’ brains (e.g.,Biological Psychiatry in February 2008).

    Several women were also there with friends and grabbed one another, covering each others’ bodies for protection – like Bonnie Kate Pourciau and her friend Elizabeth Sumrall, and then there was Stephanie Davies who saved her friend Allie Young.

    Several scientific and behavioral studies, peer reviewed, show that courage is contagious so when one person (regardless of their gender) is seen acting courageously, those nearby tend to follow suit…Even Billy Graham and other religious leaders have acknowledged that.

    In a 2000 study on how women and men respond to stress, it was demonstrated that women overwhelmingly “tend-and-befriend” and most men “fight or flee” in stressful situations. In a few different meta-analysis (statistical study of multiple studies), it is shown that there is no consistent conclusion regarding one gender being more protective than the other and that could be because they’re largely equal in sharing basic human instinct. I don’t see it as a bad thing that both sexes are protective or that they share many other traits, talents, etc.

    I’m curious though, who do you think is trying to “obliterate sex distinctions”, and why is that relevant to the great commission? There is so much science and data out there for us to draw from, one only needs to be willing to seek it out. After all, God gave us these amazing gifts and while He made men and women different in many ways, He also made us all human and similar in so many other ways which also deserve celebrating.

  2. Dr. Dave February 19, 2013 at 10:31 pm #

    Appreciate the input. There certainly are wonderful differences worth celebrating! Amen!

Leave a Reply:

Gravatar Image