Huang Youguang: men should control their natural playfulness and not let desire rule completely

 Huang Youguang: men should control their natural playfulness and not let desire rule completely

Produced by Netease Research Bureau: how Chinese people are happier

Are you happy? In 2020, China will move towards a well-off society in an all-round way, and people will begin to pursue a higher level of spiritual life. How can we be a happy person? Must money be in direct proportion to happiness? What are the influencing factors of happiness? Netease Research Bureau invited Huang Youguang, a world-renowned Chinese economist who has been engaged in happiness research for a long time, a distinguished professor of Fudan University School of economics and an academician of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences, to interpret the secret of happiness.

Recently, there have been frequent sexual assaults. How to treat sex and happiness? Professor Huang Youguang gave an in-depth interpretation.

Weve talked about why men are more promiscuous last time. Today were going to discuss whether we should restrain this kind of promiscuity.

As for the males flower heart, it is not limited to human beings, but also the vast majority of animals. There is an interesting story about it. It is said that John Calvin Coolidge Jr. (1872-1933), the 30th president of the United States, visited a farm with his wife. Because the president has less time, the arrangement of the presidents wife and the presidents visit is separate. When the presidents wife visited a chicken farm, just as a rooster and a hen were mating, the presidents wife asked the administrator, how many times a day does a rooster mate with a hen? The administrator replied, at least ten times. The presidents wife said, when the next president visits here, please tell him about it.

Probably because of this, scholars call the following phenomenon the Coolidge effect. Its not just the rooster, most of the male animals, when only one female lets it mate, it copulates several times, and then stops mating. However, if you put in another female, it will immediately start mating with the new female again.

Perhaps because of this Coolidge effect, China has the so-called happiness for all in human terms. This means that a man has multiple wives and concubines, at least one wife and one concubine.

Is it really lucky for a person to have many wives and concubines? Lets start with the allusion of happiness for all. It is said that this sentence originated from Mencius. However, according to the story of Mencius, it is not that many Qi people have one wife and one concubine, nor that the one wife and one concubine are very lucky. On the contrary, the story says that the Qi man went out every day and returned home full of food. He told his wife and concubine that the rich man invited him to dinner. Later, his wife found out that he was begging outside, which was not lucky at all. It was probably the man who later dreamed of having more wives and concubines, who described the story as a blessing for all. Therefore, the so-called happiness for all is problematic only from the source of allusions.

Of course, except that Muslim countries allow a man to have four wives, the laws of most countries do not allow more than one wife. Polygamy is a serious crime. Therefore, the so-called happiness for all should not be an option to consider at all.

In fact, even if there is no illegal problem, polygamy is still not a wise option. The quarrel between the first wife and the second wife will certainly bring a lot of troubles. Last weeks article also mentioned that the headline is bitter, one person and two wives.

In addition to avoiding the mistake of happiness for all, men should further restrain their inborn playfulness. Why? The most important point is that our inborn playfulness allows us to roughly maximize the probability of our genes inheriting, but not necessarily maximize our happiness, even if only considering our own happiness. Genetic inheritance has something to do with happiness, but its not 100 percent, so theres room for us to partially correct our natural predisposition and increase happiness.

Of course, we will be happy to eat fresh and nutritious food when we are hungry; a man may also be happy to ask for flowers. By restraint, I dont mean that you dont want to eat at all or pursue satisfaction at all, but that you dont want to eat separately and let desire rule. Rational people, even if they are eating, will not eat as soon as they want to eat. When they eat until the current marginal utility is equal to zero, they will choose to eat more healthy food and eat about 80% full. If the current marginal utility of the last bite is equal to zero, most of them will eat up, not only feel uncomfortable later, but also very unhealthy.

When it comes to mens playfulness, more restraint is needed. In this respect, the desire is particularly strong. For example, former US President Clinton, who has a high level of rationality and wisdom, will have Lewinskys scandal. It would be much better if he could restrain more. Therefore, there is a saying that heroes are sad about beauty pass.

About this statement, I have a true story about myself. About the fourth grade of primary school, because I was in grade two or three, so in grade four, I had read about five or six years, and could read newspapers. But I was younger. I went to school when I was five years old. I was about ten years old. When I read in the newspaper that heroes are sad about beauty pass, I didnt take it seriously. I thought the correct saying should be: you cant pass beauty pass, you cant call a hero. And I decided to become a real hero who can pass all beauty pass when I grow up. However, when I grow up, I hope that there will be more beauties who cant make me pass, the better! ha-ha! Now, its hard for me to see a beauty that I think is more attractive than my wife who has been through the ages. Therefore, some peoples views and preferences will change with age. Of course, two plus two equals four, which will not change.

In mens hearts, the difference between the present and the ancient is even greater. There was no law against polygamy in ancient times. In China, the law clearly stipulates that it is monogamy. In ancient times, men and women were also very unequal, including in law, society and family. The level of equality between men and women has been greatly improved. Therefore, including second wives and raising third children will not only cause family disputes, but also be condemned by the society.

Third, sex, relationships and marriage are more than ten or twenty years or more long-term, and happiness will increase to a higher level; the happiness of one night husband and wife or money business can not reach the level that a long-term well coordinated spouse can achieve. Therefore, it should be the right way to maximize long-term happiness to restrain the love, pay attention to the couples feelings and make marriage the hotbed of love. Even in terms of personal happiness, this is right. If the impact on others, including spouses and society, is considered, it is even more right.

However, since a mans heart is born, it can only be restrained and cannot be completely removed. So, it still conflicts with monogamy. Some people even think that marriage system imprisons peoples nature and will eventually die out. (for example, it is worth reading: Yu Weihua 2011. Dr. Yu is an associate professor of Jinhe Economic Research Center of Xian Jiaotong University.). I dont think the marriage system will die, but I agree there is a conflict. If there is an opportunity, we will discuss how to reduce this conflict in a large number of articles in the future. Readers can first think about whether they have their own views on this issue? Before that, most of our articles next week will discuss: is marriage the tomb of love?


Yu Weihua (2011). Love and marriage and choice, Shandong peoples publishing house.

Professor emeritus of Monash University, distinguished professor of Fudan University School of economics, academician of Australian Academy of Social Sciences, and advisory member of global priorities Institute of Oxford University.

Born in Malaysia in 1942. In 1966, he received a bachelors degree in economics from Nanyang Technological University of Singapore and a doctors degree in economics from the University of Sydney in 1971. He was an associate professor at Monash University in Australia from 1974 to 1985, a personal chair from 1985 to 2012, and emeritus professor after 2013. He was elected as an academician of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences in 1980. In 1986, he was elected as one of the ten Australian scholars and ten Chinese scholars in the world whos whoin Economics: abiographic Dictionary of major economics 1700-1986. In 2007, he won the highest honor of the Australian economic society Distinguished Fellow. Invited to work at Oxford University for the first Atkinson Memorial structure in 2018.

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