Since so much of the foundational psych work was done by German Jews, I wonder how much of it is Jewish traditional education that depends on argument between two students as a way of learning. I once saw a depiction -- can’t remember whether it was fiction -- in which one of a pair of arguers lost his way. Quickly, his opponent stepped in to help: “The response on your part should be . . .” “Oh, yes! Thanks!” and they plunged back into the fray. It’s like lawyers attacking each other’s arguments as hard as they can -- then going out to share drinks afterwards. Men fight to fulfill the Mediterranean syllogism proposed by the Greeks: thesis/antithesis/synthesis. Women fight for survival.
Going into the ministry at age forty meant that my “formation” was already formed, much of it on an Indian reservation with an artist twice my age. I interpret the receiving of support as surrender, intimacy that must be justified, and possibly a trap. Since a basic and major part of a congregant’s relationship to his or her religious leader is support, this meant a deep conflict that we really couldn’t identify. As Eisenberger puts it, the female may want to retreat to the lab, the office. The male, esp. the narcissistic male who feels
support is only his natural due, will thrive and bloom at the lectern.
The story recommends the Mediterranean diet. The idea is that whatever causes inflammation tends to cause depression, and whatever opposes the inflammatory “cytokines” is going to make you feel better. Fats and sugars of the wrong kinds can trigger inflammation. No argument from me. But it shows how the lab and the kitchen have a lot of overlap these days, which means women might feel more at home. They are used to dealing with the subtle interconnections of cooking, housekeeping, and raising children. Is running cookies in and out of the oven that different from running volunteers in and out of an fMRI?