“The masculinity of the ancient was measured by two criteria”

The masculinity of the ancient was measured by two criteria: (1) his prowess in battle, and (2) his ability to sire children. Because these two aspects of masculinity were frequently associated with each other in the mind of the early Near Easterner, the symbols which represented his masculinity to himself and his society often possessed a double reference. In particular, those symbols which primarily referred to his military exploits often served to remind him of his sexual ability as well. So too with symbols associated with femininity: objects which recall her domestic duties frequently carry overtones of her fertility and sexual drives.

Harry A. Hoffner, Jr., “Symbols for Masculinity and Femininity: Their Use in Ancient Near Eastern Sympathetic Magic Rituals”, Journal of Biblical Literature 85:3 (Sept. 1966), 327.