“It’s a wise man who knows his own father”

Of course, it’s also a wise woman who knows her own father. Whoever it was who initiated this little piece of folklore — and certainly those who’ve promulgated it since — have known about human nature.

These days, only a wise man who also has some DNA tests done — on himself and on those his father might be — can be totally certain — that is, if their sequences match, of course. Such has happened to Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury, senior Archbishop of the Church of England.

Actually the really courageous — honest — person in all this recently revealed story has been has been Welby’s mother who confirmed that she had a “liaison” with Anthony Montague Browne, a fellow worker at 10 Downing Street in Churchill’s second term of office after the Second World War. The day before she eloped to America with Gavin Welby, Justin Welby’s notional Dad, she had a lst fling with Browne.

According to her own account, she was fuelled up with alcohol at the time but she also would have been at her most fertile period of the month. They’re full of hormones during those days and that’s when women are liable to go “astray”. Or at least that’s when most women — happily married or otherwise — are tempted and, in 25% of them, that’s when they’ve actually had a few brief flings as revealed to carefully conducted surveys among women in America and this country.

Not so the men, of course. Happily married or not, 70% of men confess to repeated flings whenever they had the opportunity — that is, on any day of the month. In mathematical terms men are 70/25 x 30/3 = about 30 times more likely to have an affair when away from home.

Unlike women’s, sexual hormones in their bloodstream are in spate every day of the month This disparity is becoming an increasing problem in modern society where male-female partnership s are not under constant supervision by everybody else as they were 10,000 years ago. It will not be solved by condemning men generally as some extreme women’s libbers tend to do. Perhaps it will only be largely solved when most of us in advanced countries return to small living and working groups for economic reasons?

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