What we believe can be right, wrong, manipulated, corrected and adjusted based upon experience. Here's one simple example:-
They lived in the dark forests and vast plains of Scythia many generations before enlightenment dawned in the Mediterranean. They created objects of ornamentation; pierced beads, and more important objects of special interest; fat, small, modeled figurines of large breasted, full hipped women rendered in amber and ivory, most notably in Mammouth tusk.
These figurines tell of a time when the ability to yield children was revered beyond all other virtues.
Men could make no connection between their urges, their copulation and the ensuing children. Uninitiated women shared their ignorance believing that children were the gift of god.
Then, as one story goes, one mother alone, a queen to a small, crudely organised community of people, worked out the connection between the shedding of blood, the act of sex and the arrival of a child nine months later.
The ability to predict the time of maximum fertility gave her, and her daughters, the means to produce more children, faster than any other group of women. They produced prodigiously and as they did so, they and their ancestors grew in power and influence.
It was a secret worth knowing, but not worth sharing with men. In possession of such a secret, men could control who could procreate and thus control life. Women were not inclined to cede such power to them.
In time, one queen decreed that she would select a man as mate and that man would be called king.
So many men competed for the privilege of coupling with the most powerful woman in society that a different kind of bloodshed plagued the community. To stop the arguing, fighting and killing, she decreed that no man could be king for longer than one cycle of seasons and when he had served his purpose, he should be sacrificed upon an alter.
While men aspired to the privileges and rewards of becoming king, they were also convinced that the sacrifice of their lives commended them to god.
Queen after queen kept the secret of the moon and the blood and the coming child to herself and her daughters.
Everything was fine until a queen fell in love. So desperate was she to save her king that she bargained with her people to sacrifice a young boy in his place. The child was selected and sacrificed. Over generations the practice grew commonplace and ingrained in the rituals of the people. Over time the boy was replaced by an animal, often a goat, and continues in many cultures to this day.
All would have continued without change but for those who noticed that the queen's offspring looked and behaved remarkably like the king. Such an observation led men to guess their crucial role in procreation.
But the struggle between men and women for control of the process did not diminish. As predicted, men used their superior strength and aggression to usurp the reins of power and to decree who could mate with whom and when they could do it.
But women have not given up. The issues that come with test tube babies, artificial insemination and genetic engineering are testimony to the fact that underneath it all, the struggle is far from over.