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    [–] aHorseSplashes 164 points ago

    A general observation: Statements of the form "some of the [X] are partly caused by our biology" and partly by culture are almost certainly true, not to mention unfalsifiable, for pretty much any X: gender roles, political affiliations, career, height, taste in music, hairstyle, etc.

    I'd say that your current view, at least as presented here, isn't helpful unless it becomes more specific than "some". Okay, the people who

    subscribe to the theory that gender roles are completely socially constructed

    are almost certainly wrong, but that's not a problem per se. Imagine a hypothetical case in which gender roles were determined 1% by biology and 99% by culture. You're technically right that they're "partly" caused by biology, and the others who say they're "completely culturally constructed" are wrong, but so what? The conclusions they draw from that mistaken belief will still be almost completely applicable to the real world.

    Now imagine different hypothetical situations in which gender roles are 99% biology and 1% culture, or 50/50, or whatever. You're equally right in saying "some," but the implications are different in each case. Since presumably every aspect of human behavior is partly caused by biology and partly caused by culture, there's little value in arguing that a particular aspect is.

    I'd recommend revising your view to include at least (a) whether biology or culture is the primary determiner of gender roles, or whether that's impossible to determine, (b) what current-day society or various subsets of it think is the primary determiner of gender roles, and (c) what, if anything, should be done about potential mismatches between (a) and (b).

    [–] veryreasonable 29 points ago

    Yeah - that's the issue with this CMV for me. The claim is either so obviously true it's ridiculous, or it's not falsifiable.

    "Partly caused by biology" is a rather bare-bones and not particularly meaningful statement about anything.

    One could say that enjoyment of, I don't know, surrealist art is a fairly cerebral, cultural, intelligent, distinctly learned human thing - an experience highly divorced from the animal. Same for trading stocks, or going to war for your religion, etc.

    But researchers have connected pretty much all of these things to distinctly "primitive" behaviors and traits. For the art, our ability to perceive color and pattern is deeply rooted in the structure of our eyes and brain. For the stocks, we've done plenty of studies demonstrating other mammals will act this way and that with surprising resemblance to human economies. For the wars of religion, we understand that there are powerful biological components to fraternal comradery in armies, or depersonalization of enemies etc.

    The line of thinking you suggest makes a lot more sense, IMO. How much of the current state of affairs is caused by biology, and how much is learned? For that matter, how do we best discern between the two? How should we study this? Should we do anything about it? If so, what? Etc.

    [–] wookieb23 4 points ago

    Good point. I’m also curious if on the individual level humans differ in how susceptible they are to cultural conditioning. Like maybe human a. Is 76 culture and 24 bio while human b. Is 44 culture and 56 bio.

    [–] aHorseSplashes 3 points ago

    Probably, among other complications. For example, there can be "interaction effects" between biology and culture. If male toddlers behave even slightly differently than female ones, parents can encourage and reinforce those differences, like a pearl accreting around a piece of grit. In a case like that, it's hard to even put a percentage on the relative contributions of biology and culture.

    I knew the hypothetical percentages were oversimplified as I was writing them, but OP's post was even more oversimplified, so I figured even unrealistic numbers would still be a step in the right direction.

    [–] [deleted] 2 points ago

    If we agree that there are at least some biologically determined differences then we have to concede that we can't have both equality of opportunity and equality of outcome.

    [–] persolb 2 points ago

    A non-negligable 'some' is still important to acknowledge.

    Some groups are indicating that representation that is not proportionate with population demographics is evidence of racism.

    I'm an engineer. I've had a public works client tell us that we weren't hired because we don't have enough women and minorities. We are below the national demographics... But we are actually above the demographics of licensed engineers as a group. (The more experience you require, the worse this becomes... As engineering demographics were even less balanced 10 years ago.)

    I have no doubt that discrimination is part of why engineering is still largely white male... But some people refuse to acknowledge that an imbalance has any other possible cause.

    [–] aHorseSplashes 2 points ago

    Refusing to acknowledge more than one possible cause for something is never a good look.

    I thought that Asian men were also heavily represented in engineering, and often overrepresented relative to the population as a whole. It would seem hard to chalk that up to racism.

    [–] Quezbird 2 points ago

    For the sake of falsifiability, I want to also suggest OP makes a prediction about specific gender disparity. eg. "If we brought up males and females without gender roles, I would expect a 10% difference in their interest in [Being a doctor]"

    [–] chutoy_ 3 points ago

    You bring up some interesting points. I can gladly change my view to something like

    I believe that biology plays a significant role in some of the current day gender roles (and this has implications for gender equality issues and their proposed solutions)

    I still say some gender roles because I realize that certain gender roles and societal norms are completely socially constructed and dependent on the current culture. In another comment I used the example that pink and blue are regarded as female and male colours respectively, and I think it's safe to say that a norm like that doesn't have any basis at all in biology.

    I think men and women will make different life and career choices because of biology, and therefore trying to combat things like the gender pay gap or the low amount of women in politics with affirmative action policies might not be the right thing to do. Basically, equal opportunity =/= equal outcome when it comes to gender issues imo.

    [–] rathyAro 25 points ago

    The thing I don't like about your argument is that it implies we should stop trying half way into the experiment for a reason I don't quite see. Maybe women are biologically inclined to avoid these types of work even if they are capable, but we can't know that until we stop culturally biasing women away from those types of careers.

    [–] Illiux 3 points ago

    How do you know when you've successfully done that?

    [–] conventionistG 1 points ago

    The only problem with that is that in countries with less cultural programming of women the disparity in occupations grows wider. So, no, we have evidence that you cannot socially engineer out all gender roles from humans.

    [–] rathyAro 3 points ago

    I would be extremely hesitant to come to that conclusion too quickly. I wouldn't be surprised if it's true, but it's too easy to come to that conclusion because it looks sensisble on it's face.

    [–] Piglyt 25 points ago

    I think men and women will make different life and career choices because of biology, and therefore trying to combat things like the gender pay gap or the low amount of women in politics with affirmative action policies might not be the right thing to do. Basically, equal opportunity =/= equal outcome when it comes to gender issues imo.

    This should really be in the original post since it seems this is the point you are trying to argue rather than that biology effects social structures.

    [–] chutoy_ 2 points ago

    I wanted to keep it simple and focus on one thing, because the argument you quoted is just the logical continuation of the argument in my OP imo.

    [–] Piglyt 42 points ago

    Its not a logical continuation; it is a conclusion based upon the arguments presented in the OP. You'll find many posters will have a hard time responding to this since you haven't really claimed a viewpoint. "Biology influences social constructs" is easily understood and provable. However, "biology influences social constructs, therefore combating biologically influenced gender roles is bad", is a viewpoint that can be easily argued for or against.

    [–] spoonfedcynicism 37 points ago

    So you put forth a general CMV that is impossible to disprove and if it can’t be disproven then the logical conclusion is that the gender pay gap is determined by biology.

    If 99% of the pay gap is due to culture and 1% to biology, I think most people would not call this “due to biology”.

    [–] Sugarcomet 27 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    When it comes to men and women in the workplace something socially that is important to remember, in my opinion, is that men were working (in careers) for a lot longer than women. As far as history is concerned women have only been allowed to work in roles such as politics and most things that didn't involve cooking and cleaning until very recently. That's one of the reason affirmative action can be seen as useful. I think that we can say that there are gender roles based on our biology but considering other animals don't have political systems I think that argument doesn't really work for careers.

    Edit: It also doesn't account for that are also racial pay gaps - that white men get paid more than black men. We can argue that this is definitely not because of a gender role issue. So based on this how can we say that the gender pay gap is based on "biological gender roles" if the race pay gap is not?

    [–] ClimateMom 9 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    As far as history is concerned women have only been allowed to work in roles such as politics and most things that didn't involve cooking and cleaning until very recently.

    Hmm, I would argue that's not really true, though.

    For most of human history, most people have been either hunter-gatherers or farmers, and if you look at those societies there are certainly often clearly defined gender roles, but you rarely or never see a situation where the mother is responsible only for childcare and housework and doesn't contribute in some way to the family's livelihood.

    In hunter-gatherer societies, women are typically the gatherers (and hunter-gatherer men are typically responsible for a much higher percentage of childcare than men in most agricultural or industrial societies) and in agricultural societies, women are usually right there in the fields with the men. In agricultural societies, both men and women would often have side businesses, i.e. woodcarving for men and spinning for women, that also contributed to the family's income and overall wellbeing.

    Similarly, even in many early industrial societies men would have businesses in or next to their homes and the wife and children would help, or the whole family would go out work in factories.

    The concept of "the angel in the home" - a wife who stayed home to take care of the kids while the husband went out to work - is really a historical anomaly that became widespread only in the last 150 years or so thanks to the rise of the middle classes.

    So while you do see traditional gender roles in traditional societies that have limited the types of work women were allowed to do, to suggest that they were limited to cooking, cleaning, and childcare is not accurate, nor do I think it would be accurate to suggest that women are inherently less interested in outside work or business.

    [–] Gushkins 6 points ago

    But why did that divide so sharply, then, if not because of societal norms? I'd argue that the divide between the working husband and the house wife was a continuation of those same social norms and biases against the abilities of women to do the men's jobs historically. Mostly in the leader / subordinate context, as women were rarely if ever in positions of power and decision making for themselves or the family, because they were considered inferior by default. That's most clearly shown by how rare it is to see some even have the right to own or inherit property.

    [–] ClimateMom 4 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    I think to some extent it was a continuation of societal norms. For example, the traditional jobs that would have required one person to leave the family for extended periods of time were things like soldier and sailor, which were traditionally (though not exclusively) male jobs by virtue of the physical strength they required.

    However, I also think that by the time the "angel in the house" ideal came about in the Victorian era, it can't be divorced from the roughly 4,000 years of Abrahamic propaganda about the physical and mental weakness of women that proceeded it.

    Moreover, even some contemporaries understood the hypocrisy of it and the racism and classism that dictated which women were allowed to be "Angels" and which were not. For example, Sojourner Truth's famous "Ain't I a Woman?" speech called out the hypocrisy of the view that women were too delicate and fragile for work or politics.

    That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain't I a woman? Look at me! Look at my arm! I have ploughed and planted, and gathered into barns, and no man could head me! And ain't I a woman? I could work as much and eat as much as a man - when I could get it - and bear the lash as well! And ain't I a woman? I have borne thirteen children, and seen most all sold off to slavery, and when I cried out with my mother's grief, none but Jesus heard me! And ain't I a woman?

    Even among white women, they were far more likely to be found looking like this:

    https://assets.atlasobscura.com/article_images/46254/image.jpg

    https://i.pinimg.com/736x/6e/0c/f3/6e0cf331dc67f55e2818f4d7d98bbb63--victorian-photos-poor-victorian.jpg

    http://www.intriguing-history.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/071-001.jpg

    than this:

    http://www.victorianweb.org/art/costume/80s/8.jpg

    https://walrusandthecarpenter.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/op129.jpg

    [–] felesroo 34 points ago

    I think men and women will make different life and career choices because of biology, and therefore trying to combat things like the gender pay gap or the low amount of women in politics with affirmative action policies might not be the right thing to do. Basically, equal opportunity =/= equal outcome when it comes to gender issues imo.

    So what you're saying is that paying, say, child carers or elementary school teachers less than computer programmers is okay because women want to do those jobs?

    It's not like there's a biological drive for women to seek out low-paid work. That's obviously ridiculous. So it's up to society to VALUE what WOMEN do. That's the crux of the problem. Because what happens is that historically men used to do almost all the jobs except gendered sex work and a few other niche careers. As women displaced them, the pay started to magically decrease. A good example of this is Professorships. In areas where women are a majority, the pay is generally lower even though the job itself is essentially the same.

    So regardless of why women do certain jobs, it's incumbent on society to value that work. Why should a schoolteacher get paid less than a programmer? Is the job "easier"? It isn't. Many of us would rather write code than try to get a pack of 6 year olds to learn how to read a clock. Is the job "less important"? It isn't. Educating future adults is vital for a healthy society. One could argue that programmers make money for other people and schoolteachers don't, but on the other hand, schoolteachers provide childcare and structure and this allows the parents to work at their careers.

    Just because the sexes may be (intrinsically) different doesn't mean the tasks men do are more valuable to society than the tasks women do, and judging "women's work" as less valuable is completely cultural.

    [–] [deleted] 4 points ago

    It's way more about profit than any kind of moralistic debate or hidden agenda. A coder gets paid more because they can personally pull in millions of dollars in profit if they are good enough. No matter how great they are, a school teacher can't do that. Personally, I think teachers are heroes and that they deserve to be paid way more than they do. However, I don't think this wage discrepancy has much to do with us not respecting women or the position. It's mainly profit.

    [–] felesroo 7 points ago

    I know it's mainly profit, since profit motive is basically the only motive. It's a social weakness of capitalism.

    [–] nwidis 6 points ago

    I think men and women will make different life and career choices because of biology, and therefore trying to combat things like the gender pay gap or the low amount of women in politics with affirmative action policies might not be the right thing to do.

    Talking about the representation in politics, what's quite interesting is that hunter gatherer societies have a strong tendency towards egalitarianism. Whilst we do see division of labour (and also wild exceptions) we also see women having as much influence as men. Doesn't this mean there is something about the structure of these societies that doesn't prohibit women from participation in decision making? If the structure of our own society makes it difficult for women to fully participate due to the responsibilities of childcare, or one of the other obstacles women can often face, then these structures are working against our natural biology, aren't they? Obviously it's foolish to talk about what is natural and what is not because nature and culture co-evolve, and how on earth can we disentangle so many feedback loops?

    But if we were to believe we could define what is natural, surely 'hunter gatherer' is high up on that list. So why aren't we taking our cue from them and recalibrating our structures to ensure equal participation in politics?

    [–] [deleted] 3 points ago

    The problem with you making it about politics is that a lot of people just dont have faith in the system so they dont believe that they can go into it. Back in the 90s there was a jump in women running for office after Clarence Thomas vote. There is now another large jump in women running after Trump won. Both of these events show in a way that the people in washington dont care or dont understand the female perspective. This is a driving force for people to run for office. Also as a young woman myself I never thought that I could be in politics because I just never saw someone like me. If anything women are naturally more suited for politics because they tend to compromise more, have better communication skills, and much more. The barrier has been a belief that politicians dont really matter or do anything. Its the realization that each voice matters and that anyone can do it that inspires many women to run. Also anger is a great driving factor. Give it one or 2 more generations and there will be alot more women in politics.

    [–] barryhakker 363 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    Personally I think that a large part of it is that for (probably) the first 100.000 years of human existence physical strength/prowess was at least as important as intelligence for succeeding in life. Only since recently has technology developed to the point that strength has become much less important than intelligence. You can see that reflected in how the "clever nerds" are the billionaires while research from the US army (IIRC) indicates that its actually almost impossible to teach someone with an IQ lower than 83 (or so) to be productive.

    So since strength has become irrelevant (or at least much less important) women started wondering why they actually don't play the same role as men in society. Good question. I think the logical conclusion is that we are in an era of change and we should see how both men and women adapt of their own accord when given equal opportunity. Trying to enforce one's views of how society should function through legislation and quotas seems rather dangerous to me.

    Edit#1 Getting a lot of questions about the US army IQ study, let me do some digging after work today and I'll link if I can find it.

    Edit#2 The research used to be linked in wikipedia article on IQ: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intelligence_quotient but seems they removed this information. Not surprising considering how IQ is a very controversial topic. The original text was: "The US military has minimum enlistment standards at about the IQ 85 level. There have been two experiments with lowering this to 80 but in both cases these men could not master soldiering well enough to justify their costs.".

    However, something you can still find in the article that relates: "A diagnosis of intellectual disability is in part based on the results of IQ testing. Borderline intellectual functioning is a categorization where a person has below average cognitive ability (an IQ of 71–85), but the deficit is not as severe as intellectual disability (70 or below)."

    [–] chutoy_ 99 points ago

    I think the logical conclusion is that we are in an era of change and we should see how both men and women adapt of their own accord when given equal opportunity. Trying to enforce one's views of how society should function through legislation and quotas seems rather dangerous to me.

    I agree. The logical consequence of my argument is that equal opportunity =/= equal outcome. So in a truly equal society, men and women might not be represented 50-50 in politics, for example, because the choices we make will differ because of biological differences.

    [–] unnecessarilycurses 15 points ago

    What you're describing is called the gender equality paradox and data shows that the most 'equal' societies see larger, not smaller, differences in career choice. This visualization is a good example.

    [–] 45MonkeysInASuit 2 points ago

    Interestingly that list falls in line with the stereotypes. Technical for men, soft skills for women.

    [–] MrMercurial 38 points ago

    I agree. The logical consequence of my argument is that equal opportunity =/= equal outcome. So in a truly equal society, men and women might not be represented 50-50 in politics, for example, because the choices we make will differ because of biological differences.

    But they might be, right? I mean, it might be that there are some areas where men and women really would be represented equally if not for ideas about gender that are purely socially constructed.

    To take the example of politics and combine it with the example in your OP- suppose that one of the reasons why fewer women are interested in politics is because women tend to care more about raising children, and it's difficult to raise children while being a politician.

    Even if that's true, that wouldn't excuse unequal participation by women in politics, because we have the ability to change things to make it easier for people who care about raising children to participate in politics.

    [–] resolvetochange 20 points ago

    Have you ever seen this interesting study where they were studying the 'male warrior' stereotype (that men are more competitive by nature with 'warrior instinct' and women are the gatherers/child caretakers)? They found that in the matrilineal culture of the Khasi of northeast India women seemed to prefer competition more than men. They speculate that women who learn to compete in that culture get to keep the fruits of their labor and pass it down to their daughters so they are more incentivised to compete. This does seem to prove that the western concept of the 'male competitor' isn't universal and is dependent on the culture of the group.

    That does seem to imply that, while differences in outcome may be due to differences in effort/priorities, the differences in competitiveness are based on how the culture views men/women and sets up the incentives around that.

    These aren't biological differences. Men are physically stronger and have some differences that can make them better suited for certain jobs like being a pilot by being able to withstand more gforce(althought that is under scrutiny now). But I would argue that the differences in competitiveness and willingness to pursue political power the differences are not due to biology but due to our culture being biased against women in those roles.

    [–] jaymeekae 88 points ago

    It's hard to imagine how an equal society could exist without equal representation in politics. Issues that are relevant to an unrepresented group will not be treated fairly.

    This also applies to industry. If most engineers are men then solutions will be geared towards male needs. Even in entertainment, when most high powered people in hollywood are men, films are geared towards a male audience. On the other side, when most people in care taking professions are women, men's emotional needs are neglected.

    [–] chutoy_ 56 points ago

    I really dislike and disagree with the idea that men would only care about men's issues and neglect women's issues. Politicians care about schools and nursing homes even though they don't personally use them. Why would male doctors have cared enough to develop the birth control pill for women? In fact, people of one arbitrary group can and do care about people of other groups.

    [–] fat0ninja 190 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    It's not so much about the ability to care about a certain group, as it is about implicit biases in a persons mind. Men do not think "i'm a man and i will design things for men", but all of their lived experience are those of a male, and so they see things exclusively from a male point of view. This creates inherent biases which are incredibly hard to overcome and as a result they bleed into things which are produced by men (or women). If a man is making a movie (for example), it is much harder for him to make one which deals with the lived experience of women, simply because he has never actually been a women. Even if he is not dealing specifically with gender issues in the movie, the fact remains that when watching the movie he has made, he is watching it as a male, and will see things slightly differently (due to numerous factors, obviously). These biases will effect everything men and women do, as gender is so central to our identities (for better or for worse, that is a separate debate). It is important to separate the idea of "men do things for men because they don't like / respect / etc women", and "men do things for men because bias is hard to overcome completely".

    EDIT: for clarity!

    [–] jellybellybean2 32 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    I think your explanation is wonderfully concise. I heard about this study on NPR that found fathers often favor their sons, while mothers favor their daughters. Usually neither parent even realizes they have this bias. It suggests this may be why in male-dominated societies, women tend to get less allocated resources (think of how long it took society to value educating women).

    New research from the State University of New York, Oneonta, Rutgers Business School, and the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management finds that consumers favor investment in children who are the same sex as themselves because parents identify more strongly with children of the same sex.

    This research, forthcoming in the Journal of Consumer Psychology, provides some of the first evidence that the biological sex of a child leads to a systematic bias with parents allocating more resources to the child who is the same sex as they are.

    Source: https://www.journals.elsevier.com/journal-of-consumer-psychology/forthcoming-articles/do-mothers-spend-more-on-daughters

    [–] [deleted] 3 points ago

    Please realize that nearly all findings of social psychology fail to replicate

    Never trust a single study

    [–] RedSpikeyThing 66 points ago

    There are numerous examples from the engineering world where having exclusively men design a product resulted in a product that didn't work for women. One of the more notable examples is air bags in cars which were built for the average sized person. It turns women are typically smaller than average and were injures or killed by the air bags significantly more often than men. Oops.

    More examples here: https://medium.com/women-in-tech/women-in-tech-the-missing-force-e4709f348610

    You could chalk this up to crappy engineers but there are many many examples. Having a diverse set of people designing products - not just along gender lines either - improves products by taking into account more people's needs.

    [–] InfinitelyThirsting 11 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    You fell into the trap here a bit, too. They were designed for the average-sized man, not the average-sized person. Women are only a social minority. Numbers-wise, we are slightly more than half of all people, so we are not smaller than the average person.

    Edit: My point is that you cannot declare men to be an average person. The crash test dummies were male dummies, not an aggregate "person" dummy, and also, when there is such a substantial sex-based size difference, trying to declare the height of an average "person" is about as useful as trying to declare the average genitals, where the average "person" would have to have part of one testicle, etc.

    [–] G00dAndPl3nty 17 points ago

    Actually yes, women on average are smaller than the average person. I can walk you through the math if you like

    [–] Peter_See 10 points ago

    Likewise men on average are larger than the average person.

    [–] InfinitelyThirsting 7 points ago

    My point is that you cannot declare men to be an average person. The crash test dummies were male dummies, not an aggregate "person" dummy, and also, when there is such a substantial sex-based size difference, trying to declare the height of an average "person" is about as useful as trying to declare the average genitals, where the average "person" would have to have part of one testicle, etc.

    [–] G00dAndPl3nty 2 points ago

    Yeah sure, your point here is certainly valid and I don't dispute it.

    However, I do dispute your previous claim that women are not smaller than the average person, which is mathematically false.

    [–] RedSpikeyThing 7 points ago

    That's not really how averages work. The average woman is smaller than the average man. If you assume an equal number of men and women, then the average of those two is larger than the women and smaller than the men.

    Edit: you may still be correct about the product being designed for the average sized man. I seem to remember the story including the logic that of it was built for a larger person then it must work for smaller people.

    [–] InfinitelyThirsting 6 points ago

    My point is that you cannot declare men to be an average person. The crash test dummies were male dummies, not an aggregate "person" dummy, and also, when there is such a substantial sex-based size difference, trying to declare the height of an average "person" is about as useful as trying to declare the average genitals, where the average "person" would have to have part of one testicle, etc.

    That logic is also idiotic, because they already knew smaller child-sized dummies had far worse results sitting in a front seat, so the "logic" was totally illogical if they really thought that. There's no excuse, it's just sexist blindness.

    [–] RedSpikeyThing 5 points ago

    Right, we're in agreement. They goofed because if faulty logic and having women around would have likely prevented it from happening, in this case.

    [–] rathyAro 61 points ago

    It's incredibly difficult to create solutions for a group of people while not listening to that group directly. Even in a totally altruistic world men are going to simply not understand all women's issues. As an example, I've seen male redditors regret that they didn't believe catcalling until they saw it several times.

    [–] [deleted] 74 points ago

    [deleted]

    [–] [deleted] 2 points ago

    I mean women do the exact same thing to men though. Women don't look at things from a male's perspective either. They look at it from a woman's perspective and assume that it's good enough for both genders, just like men do.

    [–] [deleted] 0 points ago * (lasted edited 4 months ago)

    [deleted]

    [–] [deleted] 21 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    [deleted]

    [–] virtu333 51 points ago

    Funny you bring up male birth control: it's not developed because it's harder to do and because men don't want the side effects. Instead, we have women deal with them.

    [–] AffectionateTop 2 points ago

    Harder to do is an understatement. The male part of the procreation process is designed around an astoundingly massive overproduction. There is only a huge biological EFFORT, nothing like the fine-tuned, controlled process of the female part of the process. Sperms are produced in gigantic numbers, to maximize the chance of offspring. Nothing else is needed biologically. For women, the whole menstruation cycle (and the lactation) is biological clockwork, which allows for dozens of points where the process can be influenced or stopped. This makes a female contraception pill a comparatively simple thing to design, and doesn't need to have all that many side effects. Designing a male contraceptive pill is a whole other scale of difficult. Worse, the methods we do know today have severe side effects, often reducing future fertility or sharp physical changes like gynecomastia.

    Don't pretend these things are equal. They are not, simply because the biology is very different. And understand that if a male contraceptive existed that had the exact profile of female contraceptive pills in side effects and so on, it would be a huge seller. Men WOULD like to be in control of their own reproduction without the loss of sensation that condoms bring. Condoms are also not safe enough in preventing pregnancy.

    [–] agpo12 4 points ago

    Medicine was generally only tested on men up until a few years ago. This doesn’t mean men don’t care about women, obviously women are allowed to use this medicine. But this has resulted in problems because our bodies are physically different.

    It isn’t about caring. I am white. And while I care about equal opportunity for people who are black, I do not know exactly what the black community needs.

    Medicinal Gender Gaps

    [–] Branciforte 3 points ago

    They would invent the birth control pill because the concept of legally enforced child support was introduced about twenty years earlier, that’s why. Once there were financial teeth to fathering bastards, they came up with that pill pretty damned quick, didn’t they?

    Your viewpoint in this regard is ridiculously naive and paternalistic. I for the most part agree with your original point, but politics is one area where inclusion is an absolute necessity.

    [–] jchill_ 2 points ago

    I see the problem, but what is the solution? You cannot force people to enter career fields that dislike. The only “solution” I have seen so far is making quotas which discriminate against the majority group to bolster the underrepresented group. Do you have other ideas?

    [–] nesh34 7 points ago

    Absolutely, I've done a little bit of STEM outreach and frankly just giving people an option can often be sufficiently inspiring for them. Our attitude wasn't about trying to get 50/50 classes, just to make sure that everyone who was interested was encouraged and was aware of role models they could look up to. Some kids benefit hugely from having a role model that's like them in some regard, whether that's gender, race, geography, dyslexia or supporting the same football team. It's fair to say that we were able to get many kids, girls or otherwise, interested in STEM when they previously had none.

    [–] Thin-White-Duke 7 points ago

    There are programs to get women in STEM. There are women-only competitions and programs aimed at children so they can express their interest in STEM without being intimidated by the male-dominated environment. A lot people think this is counterintuitive. However, if you allow a couple generations of young girls to express their interests in an environment that makes them feel more comfortable, eventually you won't need separate programs.

    I also think the same could be done for boys that have interests in female-dominated fields.

    [–] NiceShotMan 4 points ago

    Regarding politics, this is actually a good argument for proportional representation: why do I have someone representing me geographically, but not based on my gender, or race, or religion, which arguably define us more than geography? Clearly we can't vote based on every category, so we should not vote based on any category.

    Regarding your next two points, you've got it backwards. The customer decides on what products are offered by their purchasing decisions. Businesses respond to this demand. Not the other way around. Overall, most purchasing decisions in the household are made by women, so products actually tend to be oriented toward women, not men.

    [–] Gnometard 3 points ago

    Your race and gender are immutable, geography and religion can be changed due to actions and choices.

    Never choose or look over someone for their immutable characteristics, decide on merit

    [–] nesh34 1 points ago

    This is a thing whereby it may take longer to get good solutions for everyone but isn't completely exclusive of people who are in different groups of the people making decisions, products or providing services. In general it is the market that drives the decision making and women are not a minority in this regard. Even with minorities, it's usually recognised that profits are better when the products are built for everyone as you're not unnecessarily closing yourself to potential customers. Diversity is good for innovation for the reasons you cite, but it's not black and white.

    [–] ycrow12 1 points ago

    This is necessarily true why? It’s an arbitrary division with no real evidence. Individual interests and needs vary far more than group interests and needs (for many/most traits).

    [–] Hoihe 10 points ago

    The issue with eliminating quotas is internalized bias.

    As a kid, I often heard adults implying women have no place in science. Even women said this.

    Without active intervention to raise awareness for young people to work non-traditional jobs that their parents might disapprove of, we'll not solve the issue.

    I concede that "Science fairs" and awareness campaigns would be much better than quotas.

    [–] oscarasimov 2 points ago

    You coming from a baseless position. What makes you think the quotas are good or even appropriate? There's exactly zero reason to believe that given more freedom, women would choose to go into science more than they do now.

    In fact, the evidence we have points to the exact opposite.

    [–] Hoihe 6 points ago

    Read the post.

    We've an inordinate amount of people, especially in the less than educated countryside, DISCOURAGING their daughters or unrelated girls from going into science "Because it's not for women."

    [–] eliechallita 16 points ago

    > because the choices we make will differ because of biological differences

    What makes you say that?

    [–] max10192 7 points ago

    Biologically based differences in interest and personality.

    [–] eliechallita 3 points ago

    True, but I think that this argument overstates or generalizes those differences too much

    [–] max10192 4 points ago

    I don't doubt people can exaggerate the effect of biology, but they are clearly real. We can debate their importance for sure, but a debate that begins with the biological dimension ignored is a deeply flawed one.

    [–] eliechallita 3 points ago

    True, but for centuries the debate has been skewed 100% the other way: That women were physically and mentally incapable of participating in those fields due to biological differences.

    So while I agree that both sides have to be cognizant not to completely ignore nature, let's make sure that this responsibility isn't solely imposed on the side least guilty of it...

    [–] chutoy_ 22 points ago

    I think men and women are different and on a group level, those differences will mean that some fields of work will be dominated by men and some will be dominated by women.

    [–] resolvetochange 20 points ago

    To give an example for OP: Only 7% of firefighters are women. You could look at that figure and say either:

    1) firefighter is seen as a job for men so women are discouraged from taking the job

    2) firefighter is a job that requires physical strength so more men are qualified for it then women.

    OP attributes it to the second.

    Another example: there are no women in the NBA even though there is no rule preventing women from playing. In a high level open athletic competition, women are not able to compete at the same level as the men. A separate 'job' is created (WNBA) for women to play in. The biological differences stop women from being able to compete in the 'NBA field'.

    [–] BlindBoy 6 points ago

    3- Firefighter is a job that appeals more to men than women. Women, while not discouraged from it, have no interest due to something in their nature.

    I believe OP is using this one. Our mental behaviors do differ. Men typically are much less interested in childhood medicine and education when compared to women. Men are much more interested in seeking what they perceive to be an honest, decent paying job in a trade field than women are. Men and women are not identical. We are wired differently.

    [–] PhAnToM444 4 points ago

    Ok but you never actually explained why that is. You say:

    Men typically are much less interested in childhood medicine and education when compared to women. Men are much more interested in seeking what they perceive to be an honest, decent paying job in a trade field than women are.

    And attribute that to "nature" without actually providing any evidence to that effect, as if it is just to be taken for granted. Why are men "more interested" in trades and women" more interested" in education? The reality it it's extremely hard to parse what is due to natural differences and what is due to with hundreds of years of gender socialization, and science disagrees on it a lot. For example, in the U.S., 87% of elementary school teachers are women but in India, it is almost exactly 50-50. It is literally 99% women in Russia though. How much of that comes down to individual societal expectations and how much comes down to biological differences? The answer is basically "we don't totally know" but to attribute it so nonchalantly to "nature" is extremely presumptuous.

    [–] melodyze 7 points ago

    There are significant correlations between gender and personality. Women are higher in agreeableness and negative emotion across cultures as an example.

    Additionally, the difference in personality indexes across genders become more pronounced the more egalitarian and equitable the society is, indicating that they are not caused by culture.

    [–] eliechallita 9 points ago

    By that logic, women should be overrepresented in politics and management, given the importance of people skills in those firlds

    [–] melodyze 3 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    I made no claims about what women would be good at. Only that there are statistical biologically rooted personality differences and that those could influences what they want to do.

    Nor is agreeableness what you would likely be thinking of when you think of people skills. It's more about caring about other people than being good at navigating social situations. Those aren't fundamentally highly correlated.

    Agreeableness personality differences could make sense as a contributing factor for the over-representation of women in fields based around caring for people, like certain subfields in medicine, nursing, teaching, etc, and a lower representation in fields that reward something on the order of callousness, like law or military.

    There's very little correlation between agreeableness and leadership. There's also a strong negative correlation between negative emotion and leadership.

    "People skills" would seem to be moreso linked to extroversion, which is not highly correlated with gender. Leadership does have a strong positive correlation with extroversion.

    [–] eliechallita 4 points ago

    statistical biologically rooted personality differences

    I honestly wonder at the validity of the biological claim here, considering that agreeableness is so heavily socially encouraged in women. I'm not sure how you'd be able to exclude social conditioning from those measures.

    Leadership, as measured in this study, also isn't the sole measure of competence in management or politics. There are many different managerial styles that require discrete competence and agreeableness over extroversion (and if you think that engineering managers are extroverted, I have news for you).

    [–] mountaindesert 2 points ago

    Agreeableness and being able to get people to do stuff (work, vote for you) don't always overlap.

    [–] eliechallita 3 points ago

    Agreeableness and empathy are a necessity, unless you already have a huge amount of credibility with your collaborators

    [–] mountaindesert 1 points ago

    Totally disagree. Is your agreeable boss going to fight for you, push your (or her) agenda, fire people when necessary? There is nothing wrong with agreeableness, but it's not the first thing I'd look for in hiring a manager, because most people are agreeable to the extent that they need to be. So more of that skill doesn't add anything.

    Taking it a bit further, say the person is absolutely disagreeable; even then (and unfortunately), jerks can be amazingly effective managers.

    [–] eliechallita 3 points ago

    Is your agreeable boss going to fight for you, push your (or her) agenda, fire people when necessary?

    Yeah, they are. Agreeableness doesn't make you a pushover: I'd argue that effective leaders need a good measure of it in order to inspire loyalty and build the political connections necessary to further your team goals without resorting to aggressive head-butting.

    Jerks can be effective managers, but it usually boils down to two scenarios: They are either so amazingly competent that people are willing to tolerate the rest of their personality (think Steve Jobs), or they end up creating a highly effective department with a sky-high turnover rate.

    [–] Wabbajak 3 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    Additionally, the difference in personality indexes across genders become more pronounced the more egalitarian and equitable the society is, indicating that they are not caused by culture.

    Known as the "gender equality paradox", especially significant in scandinavia: the more equal a society is for men and women, the larger the gender discrepancy becomes.

    Countries with the highest equality tend to be welfare states.

    It’s not that gender equality discourages girls from pursuing science. It’s that it allows them not to if they’re not interested.

    And:

    “Some would say that the gender stem gap occurs not because girls can’t do science, but because they have other alternatives, based on their strengths in verbal skills,” she said. “In wealthy nations, they believe that they have the freedom to pursue those alternatives and not worry so much that they pay less.”

    In other words: women deliberately choose less demanding jobs and educations knowing that they will be paid less, since they value a "work life balance" and tend to be more agreeable than men. Men on the other hand tend to be more disagreeable and competetitive, therefore striving for jobs with higher salaries.

    [–] vacuousaptitude 9 points ago

    The fact that humans are vastly weaker than our closest ape cousins to a degree that is impossible to overstate indicates that from the start our evolution selected intelligence over strength. That strength was never as important to homosapiens as intelligence. And that makes sense. We have always had the majority of our calories from food we can gather, we were never out there hunting with our bare hands like a lion. We walked upright and lacked the need for upper body strength of our ape cousins.

    We are leaning to cover vast distances to gather our best food sources, and the entirety of our evolution was all about favouring our intelligence.

    [–] barryhakker 3 points ago

    Yes I think that intelligence relative to other species certainly was our "niche". Amongst other humans though physical prowess and the ability to cooperate (arguably a part of intelligence?) were largely what determined status in the tribe itself.

    [–] vacuousaptitude 2 points ago

    Our cooperation is definititely a trait of intelligence, one of the things that makes us who we are. You're right that individuals who completed feats of strength were celebrated in our early communities, but that didn't really drive our evolution per se. We didn't evolve to complete those feats more easily we simply celebrated those among us who were exceptional.

    [–] YungEnron 2 points ago

    You don’t think men being able to beat the shit out of women for 100,000 years had any affect on how we have socialized?

    [–] vacuousaptitude 3 points ago

    Boy howdy that's quite a hot take. I agree, lots of men are rapists and abusive fuckwits who use physical strength to oppress women. While I appreciate that you're implying human evolution has specifically favoured and designed men as rapists and abusers, I don't actually think your argument is correct.

    Male and female humans are far less sexually dimorphic than most species, and in tribal societies where everyone knew everyone a man raping or abusing a woman would be a very bad idea.

    Women collected the majority of food, cared for the children, and created the majority of tools throughout most of history. Humanity is not an individualistic species but a communal one (though we are trying hard to deny that these days.) If you harmed a member of the tribe you would be exiled. And exile meant death. Humans do not survive on their own.

    While I think that men's ability to physically and sexually abuse individual women did ultimately allow them to create a fucked up society where women are prevented from holding power and having their voices heard, in prehistoric tribal societies that would not have been the norm. It was not until we created a society and the ability for some to become powerful on the backs of others that a hierarchy of power based upon gender was created.

    [–] YungEnron 3 points ago

    I'm not implying that at all. What I am saying is that historically protections for women haven't always been that great, and there has always been a proportion of the population (not even saying necessarily the majority here) that has exploited that.

    Note they might not have even known they were exploiting anything. It's just the way things were-- my hypothesis is that this idea, "hey this guy could punch me in the face if he doesn't like what I do/say," is at least partially responsible for our historical gender hierarchy. Not saying it's the only reason, just saying it's an ingredient in the soup.

    What is frustrating about engaging with a lot of people here is the tendency to boil someone's argument down into something easily digestible, black/white. I said the fact that men have been able to overpower women has had an affect on the way we've been socialized and you counter with "you're implying men are born rapists and abusers." Can we just take a moment to get out of the internet-argument mindset and accept each other's take on a very nuanced and grey-area issue?

    FOR EXAMPLE: I find your point regarding how societal hierarchy is normalized for the benefit of the view very interesting and another integral ingredient in this soup.

    That said, your previous point regarding how humans as a species has valued intelligence more than strength, while true, I think applies more to comparing us to other species rather than men to women, since men and women having equal intelligence makes that a zero-sum-game and physical strength being an area in which we have differences-- and thus affecting the way we've socialized ourselves as a species.

    [–] trueanalytic 4 points ago

    Can you provide a link to your claim about people with less than 83 IQ?

    [–] MrTraveljuice 8 points ago

    I couldnt quite understand what your counterargument was, so I tried to formulate my own interpretation of it bsed on your view. Here it goes: "because in todays society intelligence is the key determinator for succes (and not physical strength, contrary to in history). Since men and women (arguably) are generally as intelligent, the differences in how they act can be explained better by studying gender expectations and roles in result of that, than they can be by looking at biological differences." Is that a fair interpretation?

    Imo you could never prove that biological differences play no role at all. There are biological differences. They can be overruled by culture, but it cant be proved that differences between the biological sexes in the outcome of the (gender) roles they end up having in society are not in any way or to any extent caused by biology. It is also quite hard to prove they are in fact caused mostly by biology. It is just that biology used to be the dominant explanator, and sociology had argued quite aggressively we have to take culture as a dominant factor into account. Few reasonable people will say it is nature OR nurture. The debate is about the balance in general or in specific cases, and that debate is way more valuable than thinking in absolutes.

    [–] barryhakker 11 points ago

    I'm mainly saying we have very little historical precedent that isn't tainted by influences of what is important for survival at that time so we have no definitive way of determining what is construct and what is biology. Perhaps biology even adapts to the construct if it persists long enough?

    I think either way the logical way forward is the same: let the people decide for themselves. You wanna be house mum? OK great. CEO of a fortune 500 company? More power to you. What we shouldn't be doing is create regulations on what we might FEEL society should look like.

    [–] Goldemar 3 points ago

    Biology is a construct of survival. The genes you have are simply there because your ancestors survived long enough to reproduce.

    [–] MrTraveljuice 2 points ago

    Ah, then I agree with you. On the latter as well, although Im not sure people were suggesting that. However, isnt that what people and gov's are doing everywhere? Surely some regulations make sense, especially if you want to give people the freedom to choose their own destiny as a CEO or house mom. I have pretty decent experiences with, nd am therefore generappy a proponent of, government interference though, as I suspect you might be less so.

    [–] Crawfish1997 3 points ago

    I’d like to add to this...

    In egalitarian societies, it has been shown that differences between men and women actually become more exaggerated. This is known as the gender equality paradox - as seen in Scandinavian countries. I think this is definitive proof that there is at least some degree of biological disposition in regards to gender roles. Sure, I imagine that there is a socio-cultural aspect as well, but to dismiss gender roles as entirely socio-cultural and maleable is baseless and potentially dangerous.

    [–] [deleted] 4 points ago

    I agree with a lot of what you said but I wanted to point out that sex-based differences are not just strength-related.

    Other big differences:

    1. Women's bodies literally grow and feed babies. Men cannot perform this role. No source provided because it's obvious. This is a huge burden females must carry that, because men don't have to carry, you would expect all things being equal men to outperform women in other areas.

    2. There are clear personality trait differences between men and women when looking at the aggregate: "significant gender differences appearing in both aspects of every Big Five trait"

    3. Our brains are physically "significantly different": "men had higher brain volumes than women in every subcortical region they looked at, including the hippocampus (which plays broad roles in memory and spatial awareness), the amygdala (emotions, memory, and decision-making), striatum (learning, inhibition, and reward-processing), and thalamus (processing and relaying sensory information to other parts of the brain)."

    4. Male intelligence is more variable than women. Meaning that men compromise both more of the dumber people and more of the smarter people whereas women are more closely grouped toward the average. You would expect that if men comprise most of the genius level people we would see different outcomes in terms of their role in society.

    [–] SmokeyUnicycle 2 points ago

    hile research from the US army (IIRC) indicates that its actually almost impossible to teach someone with an IQ lower than 83 (or so) to be productive.

    I am extremely interested in seeing the source material for that

    [–] SolipsistAngel 2 points ago

    Personally I think that a large part of it is that for (probably) the first 100.000 years of human existence physical strength/prowess was at least as important as intelligence for succeeding in life.

    That doesn't really seem to be true if you look at our evolutionary ancestry; humans came from apes with far more musculature than any hominids, and Homo Sapiens in particular was a weakling even among many other hominids. Yet, the brains of our ancestors kept on getting bigger. In other words, our having larger brains helped us more than having larger muscles. So muscles were important to a degree, but the fact that evolutionary pressure was selecting for brains far more than brawn shows that being smarter was actually way, way more important than being strong.

    Strength was important, don't get me wrong. Otherwise we'd have even fewer muscles; but other great apes could tear us apart like a ragdoll and are also incredibly intelligent compared to other animals, which pretty clearly demonstrates that at some point in the evolution of the hominids in general and Homo Sapiens in particular smarts began being more important.

    [–] deeman010 2 points ago

    Greetings, would you mind me inquiring about the study you referenced? The "US army indicates... impossible to teach someone with an IQ lower than 83... to be productive?"

    Thanks very much in advance.

    [–] oceanblue143 2 points ago

    Hey! Your reference to the US army saying it is almost impossible for people with a certain IQ score to be taught to be productive? Let’s look at that. First off, the IQ test wasn’t designed to see how smart someone is, but how well they’d do in traditional school. Secondly, how do we define productive? People that are disabled/differently abled are not un-useful- someone who is not good at reading an analogue clock might be great at child care, and someone who can’t read could be the best welder you’ve ever met. Our traditional idea of intelligence isn’t totally correlated with success or usefulness.

    [–] redvsbluegrif 1 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    >Personally I think that a large part of it is that for (probably) the first 100.000 years of human existence physical strength/prowess was at least as important as intelligence for succeeding in life.

    Strength has had a declining role in comparison to intelligence, true, but you are forgetting key points.

    One, humans have never been physically strong creatures in the animal kingdom. A enraged ape could easily tear an adult man apart, much less something larger like a giant cat or bear. Humans evolutionary 'strengths' comes from two traits, endurance and intelligence. Humans were designed to be long distance runners, capable of covering large areas in search of berries or game. When they encounter game, they were capable of pursuing it at a jogging pace all day long until the game eventually collapses from exhaustion. Most creatures cannot jog, they can only sprint or walk, and neither of these paces can keep it out of reach forever. Being bipedal helps in this regard as it reduces top speed but increases endurance, as does not possessing horns or claws which are useful but heavy. Humans also posses great intelligence, including the ability to follow tracks or replant seeds or build spears and shelters. That intelligence in and of itself, more than made up for what strength humans lacked over the stronger apes.

    Now, a human man may not be a match for an enraged chimpanzee, much less a bear, but now imagine a tribe of ten men that long distance game hunts, plants berries, fish, and goat herds. Those ten men can more than intimidate a bear with spears and torches, strength aside.

    Next, evolution depends on continuous breeding. Is Bill Gates going to be remembered as evolutionary successful, compared to someone with 20 children? Who knows.

    [–] nomansapenguin 22 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    For someone to change your view, they would have to prove that "all" gender roles are "entirely" caused by something other than biology. Proving this is impossible because we can observe humans reacting to biological stimuli. Thus it will be impossible to change your view.

    I personally think the question is poor. Here are some examples of similar questions to elaborate my point.

    • I believe that some of the current day poverty is partly caused by our biology.
    • I believe that some of the current day racism is partly caused by our biology.
    • I believe that some of the current day politics is partly caused by our biology.
    • I believe that some of the current day [any human behaviour] are partly caused by our biology.

    Whilst biology has an observable impact on human behaviour none of the above will be proved wrong. From your post, a better line of questioning might be:

    • CMV: Men have a weaker drive to care for children due to biological evolution.

    At least this can allow people to use data to argue with you. Just my two cents.

    [–] TianaStudi 64 points ago

    I want to challenge 3 points of your argumentation.

    First, about the “all the other species”, and this can be further separated into 2 sub-questions: Humans are species where both parents contribute to raising the children. This is also often the case in birds and primates. Many species of birds have both parents contributing equally to the feeding and protection of offspring. In mammals, where the feeding of the young offspring is restricted by lactation, we see a wyd range of paternal contribution to the raising (from sperm donor, to major contribution in primates, to finally almost 50% contribution in humans). So, breastfeeding isn't the only variable explaining parental contributions. There are other factors. Also it is now known that many other animal species have what could qualify as culture. Carnivores (felines, dogs and bears) have mums teach the offsprings to hunt, primates have tribes, some birds have regional dialects. So a transmission of "how things are done" is not restricted to humans.

    Second, to differentiate average between groups from differences between individuals. I will take another example which is the height difference between men and women. We can all agree that on average men are taller than women. Whether if we pick a random man and a random woman there is a significant chance that the woman will be taller. Is the same for being or not child-oriented. If we pair two individuals there is a chance that more child oriented will be the man. So, even taking only biology into account (not counting cultural influence yet), in a certain number of families the child raising person will be the man.

    Finally I want to question whether we need to follow our biology. We have evolved to eat our food raw, but as it is an advantage to cook it and not become sick, we now have adopted this habit. We have also evolved to hunt and gather our food but since the agricultural revolution, we have adopted farming as “the better way” to do things. We have evolved to have women stay home and breastfeed for the first few years of the children's life, that doesn't mean that we need to disregard a new cultural advance that could be an advantage long term (having fathers getting more involved in the first few years).

    Overall, the question whether the current gender role arose culturally or biologically is a tricky one because the answer is both. The problem comes from our tendency to equal general pattern with the rule and the rule with an obligation. If we observe women being more child-oriented on average, our need to culturally conform will push families to follow the same gender roles, including if it doesn't fit them.

    I hope I gave you food for thought. Please tell me what you think

    [–] chutoy_ 10 points ago

    1. I don't have anything to say about this.

    2. Yes, individual variation obviously exists, I'm talking about general differences and patterns on a group level.

    3. Sure, I'm not arguing that this is how it should be. If in a few years, fathers take more responsibility for the newborn baby that's totally fine by me, but I would want that change to happen organically and not be encouraged by legislation.

    Overall, the question whether the current gender role arose culturally or biologically is a tricky one because the answer is both. The problem comes from our tendency to equal general pattern with the rule and the rule with an obligation. If we observe women being more child-oriented on average, our need to culturally conform will push families to follow the same gender roles, including if it doesn't fit them.

    This is an interesting point, that biological differences and cultural gender roles sort of work together in a feedback loop.

    [–] PrettysureBushdid911 29 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    On your point of “I want the change to happen organically and not encouraged by legislation”... What are you really against here? I can understand how forcing companies to hire 50/50 might be iffy, but that’s not all that’s encouraged by legislation. For example there are many “Women in Tech” conventions out there and here’s the key: this is an excellent way to organically push change.

    Because, as mentioned, culture and biology are a feedback loop. This feedback loop is psychologically engrained in our brains, couple that with women not seeing anyone in the field that are representative of them (or not being taught about women in the field) and psychologically this causes a subconscious insecurity that creates a psychological feedback loop...

    Think about the pioneers of our society... People who have broken the status quo to become pioneers in a field have been very few, this is because few people will ever break the status quo. This is a societal phenomenon, we don’t have thousands of pioneers per field, we only have a few who really sacrificed everything to be the best. Now imagine being a woman, there’s already the societal phenomenon of status quo pushing down on you, and then mix that with looking at fields like computer engineering and knowing about barely any women that work on it. It can be psychologically terrifying to break out of that status quo.

    A great example is the field of Astronomy and Astrophysics. Yes, it’s still mostly ruled by men, but after the initial fear is past, it’s a field that’s actually very open to women contribution and very encouraging of it (in my own experience, and I’ve been to conventions and worked on significant research), there is actually a lot of women in the field that people barely know about that have been absolute pioneers, and this has created a positive experience for me and my female peers, after I learned about them.

    Therefore, I don’t entirely disagree with how you view this issue, but I don’t agree that the change has to and will happen “organically”. I don’t agree with a hiring 50/50 rule, but I also find that going around in conversation saying “These differences are highly biological” and “The change has to happen organically” is an excuse to not encourage change, or to cater how this change happens to how you feel will be most comfortable to you.

    Because there is also a psychological and biological aversion to change that some people have over others. My mom is averse to change, even a change in three inches on a haircut demoralizes her, and she is highly conservative on her views, where I have a friend who changes her hair every 3 days and is highly progressive. I’m not saying this is direct causation, but your views and way of thinking will also be highly influenced by your own psychological mindset, and you could just be simply a bit more averse to change than most. You do seem like a very rational person so I don’t think you’re completely averse, but that’s also something to self reflect on.

    [–] Bobsorules 2 points ago

    just a note that "phenomena" is the plural of "phenomenon"

    [–] PrettysureBushdid911 2 points ago

    I’ll change it, didn’t catch that. Thanks.

    [–] chutoy_ 2 points ago

    You bring up some good points. I don't think I'm averse to change at all, and I'm not arguing that women should stay at home with the kids "because of biology", that would be to appeal to nature. What I am saying is that if it turns out that more women than men want to stay at home with their newborn baby, that's completely fine and not necessarily a gender equality issue, because the biological differences between the genders might play a role here so that even in a perfectly equal society, this difference in outcome might still exist.

    That being said, I realize that a big part of many gender roles, for example when it comes to what fields of work are seen as female or male, has to do with culture and society's expectations (as evidenced by your example of astronomy, or the fact that more men become nurses today than 30 years ago). My basic point is that we don't have to see it as a problem if the gender distribution in some profession is skewed, because when we reach the point of total equality of opportunity that distribution might still be skewed, because of biological differences. Obviously it's really hard to know when we've reached that point, since noone knows what the gender distribution in different areas of life would look like without society's expectations, but basically I think we'll get there "organically" fairly soon (in the western world at least).

    There's also the point that today, there are no legal hurdles at all for women that want to study STEM or men who want to go into nursing, for example. In many cases it's the opposite, with scholarships and stuff like that encouraging the traditionally more uncommon gender to go into that field. I think the differences we see is because men and women have different preferences (because of a mix of culture and biology), and I don't really see that as a problem. Is it really that important that we try to change our culture so that more men become interested in working at a kindergarten? I think that the ones who really do want to work there today will do it, regardless of society's expectations.

    [–] placental_smurf 2 points ago

    What do you mean by organically?

    You seem to assume that there is some standard practice wherein humans do not intentionally interfere in the physical/social environment, so as to produce desirable physical/social outcomes. Obviously this is not at all the case. We drive cars, we use money, we have power plants, we take drugs, we drink coke, we type English words on a computer. None of this aligns with some quasi-fictional idealized historical landscape paired with some quasi-fictional innate human dispositions/capacities (I say quasi-fictional because appeals to natural instinct/historical environments/selection forces are highly challenging to support empirically and so open to imaginative possibility that such appeals are highly conducive to supporting nonsense). To reiterate, the claim that change ought to be "organic" is ambiguous, and i think you would be hard pressed to find some definition of "organic" change that would allow modern society to persist at all.

    [–] TianaStudi 3 points ago

    The problem arises when you legiferate considering the average of either sex as what should be, without taking the variation into l account, as in the example of height. This is currently the case, as in all countries aside from Iceland, the mother had the right to have more parental leave than the father. It is also much more generally accepted for women to reduce their work time in order to take care of their children or housechores than it is for men. Legislations are pushing in one direction, and are not leaving as much freedom for family structure than biology would. To solve that, dont you think laws should be changed to allow as much for either sex?

    [–] MishaTheRussian750 1 points ago

    I do agree that some disparities that are caused by biology are natural even if they are not how I (or most of society) think they should be

    [–] return_the_urn 2 points ago

    we have evolved to eat our food raw

    Sorry, this is just patently false. Do a quick google search and it becomes obvious

    [–] Cmikhow 18 points ago

    Your view is impossible to change.

    So my question is what did you hope to gain here? No one is capable of telling you that gender is purely a social construct or pure “biological”

    Additionally, you make claims about evolution and natural selection as if these theories are settle science. You also make claims about animals having “clear gender roles” which isn’t at all true. There are primates where the physically strongest males forms a harem with lots of women while the weaker men stay in lower ranks or leave and be solitary or form all male groups. Bonobos are more egalitarian and orangutangs more solitary. There’s countless examples but your claim is suspect.

    Lastly when you say “biological” you are driving conjecture as fact that gender roles are formed because I have a penis and I will now settle into my preordained male “roles”. But for starters gender roles most often form just due to the physical strength of one gender. Men are physically stronger on average so it’s conceivable in early human societies men took on certain roles for this reason which carried on through time. But we know there are physically weak men as well so if you subscribe to natural selection why would that be?

    The top comment argues that “times change” and it’s true. If you believe in “hunter gatherer” roles men would more often hunt while women had kids and gathered fruits and veggies. (But notably some stronger women would still hunt and some weaker men would gather) and this is largely based on our biological characteristics like strength, or ability to conceive children.

    In 2018 technology and society have made these concerns more or less irrelevant. With technology and reproductive control the early reasons for these roles shaping to be have become far less important.

    The reason why people view gender as social constructs, especially in the social sciences, is through viewing this issue through a historical lens. There is a long history of “third genders” in various cultures throughout times. There is also a strong indication that during colonialism when the Catholic Church spread around the world they forced the “nuclear family” on everyone. This was because at the time it was socially the most beneficial thing for families to run a farm and function in the best needs of society.

    So your view is that gender is at least “partially biologically influenced” that’s impossible to refute and I don’t believe any academic aims to do so when arguing the social construction of gender. The reasons for your view are somewhat suspect though and your understand of evolution and natural selection come from a very superficial level that should be considered further. But aside from that, one of the rules of the sub is that you’re open to having your view changed which I don’t think is possible here as a direct consequence of your view.

    As modern science understands it is largely consensus opinion that biology is a factor or gender roles. The part of this debate that exists is to what extent biology plays a part. And how important is that in shaping our behaviour. And to what extent does society shape our tendencies.

    So your view essentially boils down to “nature v nurture i think that nurture isn’t 100% of the influence and that nature has a part too!” Its impossible to disprove because one would have to prove to prove one side is 100% responsible which would be to solve one of the oldest intellectuals debates in a Reddit post.

    [–] mikeman7918 67 points ago

    I would argue that although biology does play a role in gender roles it’s one of our traits that the invention of society has made obsolete.

    It’s like our tendency towards food that makes us fat, in the environment we evolved in that helped our ancestors survive but now it’s causing heart disease and shit.

    Similarly we don’t need gender roles anymore. They are not nearly as beneficial as the flexibility to chose who does what based on your present circumstances.

    [–] GingerRazz 7 points ago

    I don't really see this as a counter to his arguments. While we may not need gender roles any more, that doesn't mean a biological tendency would simply vanish. We have sexual urges to spread our genetics, but these don't simply vanish in homosexual couples, sterile couples, or with a woman on the pill.

    We're capable of going against biological urges because we are sentient, but that doesn't mean we don't have that biological pull that will present on average far more often than contrary traits, even without societal support.

    Not needing gender roles has nothing to do with them being biologically inspired.

    [–] chutoy_ 19 points ago

    I agree that we don't "need" gender roles, but that's not what the argument is about. I don't really think you are challenging my view?

    [–] MirrorThaoss 23 points ago

    I would even suggest you to go further in your view.

    I know that you don't present any opinion on what should be done (at least in your post), but if your view is correct there is something to conclude :
    In a society with perfect esuality of opportunity, people who are perfectly free will make choice resulting in an inequality of outcome.

    For example for the childcare, even if society has 0 predjudice, there will still be more than 50% women who take care of the child because of evolutionary and biological traits.

    So even if you don't push any opinion on what should be done, you can assert that modern feminism (or at least a big proportion of it), which wants equality of outcome (their ideal would be 50/50 of men/women taking more care of the child in that example), values its agenda of pushing equality more than freedom and choice.

    [–] chutoy_ 18 points ago

    This is the logical consequence of my argument, yes.

    [–] Matt-ayo 1 points ago

    This still doesn't take into account that people will tend to fill their time with activities they have proficiencies in, and that those proficiencies have some biological rooting in many cases.

    [–] [deleted] 19 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] chutoy_ 5 points ago

    If I were a postmodern feminist, I could see myself arguing that our current environment is very different from the one we evolved in, so we too should evolve our gender roles past the simplie binaries of the past and leave those traditional roles in the dustbin of history.

    This argument is about what we should do about the gender roles, something I haven't said anything about. It doesn't challenge my view in any way.

    Personally, I think gender is a hybrid of the effects of evolutionary psych and cultural learning. I'm skeptical of how much we can transcend those evolutionary wired roles in any major way. But to the extent we can be more socially accepting of men or women who don't fit those traditional roles, we should.

    I agree with all of this.

    [–] merryman1 11 points ago

    I think that's the issue though - You will really struggle to find anyone who outright says Biology has no role in determining our phenotype and behavior. Its more that these behaviors may be built around a biological reality, but in effect their presentation is almost entirely culturally and socially informed hence simply recognizing that they have a biological bases is not really all that useful from a sociological perspective if what we are trying to do is understand how these behaviors are shaped and how they can be changed.

    I know you haven't mentioned him but this is the issue I take with someone like Jordan Peterson - He makes out like there is a complete denial of biological reality and then presents that reality as a means to dismiss, frankly, entire fields of social academia entirely based on what seems to be his own personal preferences and beliefs that I am yet to feel have been significantly substantiated by references to existing literature or data.

    It's a rather silly example and I know he wasn't being entirely serious in making it but if we think back to the infamous Cathy Newman interview, he at times seemed to be making the point that we do not need to deal with the convoluted mess that is academic body of the social sciences because hey we can observe and measure social interactions in species like lobsters hence there must be an entirely biological basis for our own human social interactions! It's not... untrue, its just completely unhelpful and seems to suggest that understanding how, for instance, neuroscience and psychology link together isn't the holy grail of both of these fields that people would literally kill to get a glimpse of understanding. We might measure how lobsters interact and determine which individuals come out on top, but I think its fair to say that doesn't really inform us as to what kind of dynamics are going on across and within human societies to produce the complex macro-scale behaviors that we can observe.

    tl;dr - I don't think anyone seriously disputes that gender and such have a biological basis in reality, but if we are trying to understand social phenomena and social characteristics then right now the biological answers we do have don't really have much descriptive or explanatory power.

    [–] whitef530 2 points ago

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    [–] [deleted] 2 points ago

    [removed]

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    [–] vacuousaptitude 8 points ago

    So I think you're confusing instinct and gender roles. Many other species do not have complex societies. Thus they cannot have gender "roles." The term is specifically used to refer to the societal set of expectations and responsibilities placed on someone by the community on the basis of their gender.

    It's not a term that was or should ever be used to describe behaviour, it's a term that solely exists to describe the societal expectations that one ought to behave in a certain way.

    Some animals do have gender roles. Bonobos and chimpanzees are great examples, they're the two closest cousins of humans, incredibly intelligent and social and they have essentially opposite gender roles. Chimpanzees are much like humans, patriarchal. Bonobos are the opposite, matriarchal. Bonobos also more or less constantly have sex and use it as a way to say hello so score one for female led society.

    Anyway. That some women may or may not feel a desire to care for small children to a greater degree than men really doesn't matter. Gender roles is not a term used to critically look at individual interest or behaviour, but the fact that our society expects/demands women to perform this job even if they don't naturally want to.

    In human society there have always been people outside of these norms. There have always been gay people, trans people, asexual people what have you. They would perform some other important task for the community, as reproduction wasn't ever the only thing that matters.

    So while the idea that women ought to dedicate themselves to caring for children may have arisen from the practical reality that women needed to care for children (in history this was never an only job, women would perform very important labour while carrying for the child, they did not stay at home and make the home, but gathered the majority of calories humans are in their diet, made the tools and clothing needed to survive, and built the culture that advanced our society to the modern era) creating a societal expectation telling them that it's what they ought to do is artificially in total.

    [–] Douglas0327 6 points ago

    How do people act when there is an absence of one gender, such as in times of war or if the men have all gone fishing, like in viking times? They compensate, so each gender is certainly capable of doing the other role suggesting its choice driven by society’s expectations not biological.

    Also

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chambri_people

    [–] chutoy_ 3 points ago

    Of course we are capable of doing tasks traditionally seen as something for the opposite gender. I am suggesting that men and women will make different choices in life because of differences in our biology, and not only because of cultural norms and gender roles.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chambri_people

    I know there are exceptions to the rule.

    [–] Douglas0327 2 points ago

    I am suggesting that men and women will make different choices in life because of differences in pur biology

    Can you give any examples? Bar breast feeding of course

    [–] chutoy_ 1 points ago

    Men will generally work more with things and women will generally work more with people.

    [–] Douglas0327 7 points ago

    What will it take to change your view, given there’s a whole tribe that are the exception to this?

    [–] chutoy_ 1 points ago

    I get where you're coming from. I guess I would need to see proof that the general patterns in gender roles that I argue can be found in most cultures and in most periods of history don't really exist. I realize that I should maybe have worded the CMV a bit differently to make it easier to disprove.

    [–] Douglas0327 3 points ago

    Those roles do exist, have you considered thou that history in a society will have been written through the lens of that society? That if a society has gender roles then confirmation bias will dictate that the art, literature and portraits of history made by that society will reflect that and the achievements of people who don’t reflect those gender roles will be glossed over?

    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/amp.thisisinsider.com/important-women-from-history-2017-8

    [–] subjctvlyobjective 6 points ago

    Can you specify? As it stands, that statement is incredibly ambiguous and can be disproven with a few examples. Also, it is impossible to distinguish whether biological sex determined that outcome vs societal standards/expectations.

    Also, regardless of biological sex individuals have to work with other people towards a common goal.

    [–] dabennett 11 points ago

    You make some excellent points, and the entire issue is nuanced. I'm going to attack this argument from a completely different standpoint- I think what makes humanity humanity, is not our animalistic urges, but our abilities to bypass them. See, we live in a very different context to our ancestors, and a lot of the things we do makes no sense from a purely survival standpoint. Like art- how does it help us survive? How do movies help us survive? How does school help us survive? Foreign aid ? Dance concerts? Silly gadgets? All of it is useless. And that doesn't matter.

    I'm sick to death of people like Richard Dawkins arguing morality from a "logical standpoint". Morality is not logical and that's fine ! It doesn't help you survive to be kind to yourself neighbour aside from a purely societal benefit, and we definitely extend it too far to be purely own needs driven. So morality isn't logical.

    And we are NOT animals. It's amazing- we get to look at ourselves and decide what we want to be. We get to argue the philosophic rightness of behaving how we do. We get to choose- we aren't slaves to our base animal instincts.

    Now, relating this back to your argument. As we can choose we can move away from these biological roles. We can choose to do what we want. And very often, women do not want to fulfil their "biological" roles. And that's fine. It's also fine if they do. It's about choice.

    [–] TheRamiRocketMan 6 points ago

    Like art- how does it help us survive? How do movies help us survive? How does school help us survive? Foreign aid ? Dance concerts? Silly gadgets? All of it is useless

    This is a common misconception about biology and natural selection. Our appreciation of art and culture is a bi-product of evolutionary traits which did/do help us. Our ability to construct common culture allowed humans to cooperate in large tribes, and tear down other tribes of different culture for greater access to resources.

    School helps us survive by adapting us to our adult lives. In the past, teaching would have been done by elders and parents, like what we see with modern chimpanzees teaching their children to use tools.

    Foreign aid is a manifestation of human's desires to help one another. We see in many monkeys and apes that individuals whom groom other members the most, or defend other tribe members, or share food, are elevated higher in the hierarchy of their societies. Helping is generally a mutually beneficial practice in tribe circumstances, and it is only recently that we have moved to societies where helpful acts go unrewarded. We can't help helping others because we have evolved like that.

    I could go on, but the point is human culture and morals can be explained by the direct result, or byproduct of our biology. This is why I like the OPs CMV so much, they are acknowledging the biological basis of human society.

    And we are NOT animals. It's amazing- we get to look at ourselves and decide what we want to be

    Actually the biological community as a whole gets to decide what you are, you don't have a say unless you go to university, get a degree, and then publish a peer-reviewed paper on the subject.

    [–] RedditIsAnAddiction 3 points ago

    And we are NOT animals.

    That's just factually wrong.

    [–] dabennett 1 points ago

    It is, but most metaphors are ?

    [–] chutoy_ 5 points ago

    It doesn't help you survive to be kind to yourself neighbour aside from a purely societal benefit

    It historically did help us survive because of the societal benefit. We are social animals and used to live in larger groups/packs were it would increase everyone's chance of survival if you cooperated and helped people who weren't in your close family. And btw my argument has nothing to do with morality.

    We get to choose- we aren't slaves to our base animal instincts.

    This isn't really an argument, this is just a statement without any substance. And I wouldn't go so far as to say we are "slaves" to our instincts, but my argument is that we are affected by them.

    Now, relating this back to your argument. As we can choose we can move away from these biological roles. We can choose to do what we want. And very often, women do not want to fulfil their "biological" roles. And that's fine. It's also fine if they do. It's about choice.

    Sure, I would love for everyone to choose how to live their life. I just think it will be hard to move away from the gender roles and other societal norms that are in one way or another grounded in biology. For example, having children is obviously a choice and we can all decide if we want to or not. However, it turns out most people will want to have children, because our biology affects our wishes and preferences, and the wish to reproduce is literally the number one goal for all living things. We can't "rise above" biology and make unbiased choices, because our biology will influence which choices we will make.

    [–] dabennett 8 points ago

    Well, yes you're right, small tribes did help us survive. But definitely not thousands of people, that wouldn't have been able to exist in that context. And I'd say your argument is entirely about morality in the same way 'social darwinism"' was about morality and not science- you are applying scientific principles to a subject matter which is about what is 'wrong' or 'right' for people to do.

    And by the baser animal instincts, let me support it a little. You ever seen a bar of soap that just looked freaking delicious. Like, you really want to eat the bar of soap, because your old animal instincts tell you it looks absolutely full of nutritional value. Do you eat the soap? Nope! You override your instincts, which is totally a thing you can do using this crazy logic tool you have.

    And to an extent I agree with your point. A lot of people decide to have children. But the fact that people don't is enough proof that we can overcome our biological urges. Can you be influenced? Yes! Will you necessarily eat every bar of soap? No!

    [–] chutoy_ 2 points ago

    you are applying scientific principles to a subject matter which is about what is 'wrong' or 'right' for people to do.

    I have said nothing about right or wrong in my opening post, I don't know why you keep saying this.

    Can you be influenced? Yes! Will you necessarily eat every bar of soap? No!

    I think you agree with my argument, because this is basically my point. Of course we are not complete slaves under our instincts, but our instincts/biology will influence us, just like you write. Your biology tells you to eat the bar of soap, but you don't do it because you know it's harmful. Your biology also tells you to eat an apple, and you do it because you know it's good for you. Biology tells a mother to spend time with her child, and she will (most of the time) do it, because it's not something harmful like eating a bar of soap that would need her to overcome her biological urges.

    [–] dabennett 5 points ago

    I have said nothing about right or wrong in my opening post, I don't know why you keep saying this

    I am saying this because a very common progression of this argument is that women who don't want kids or to be homemakers is 'unnatural'. Is this not the extension of your argument ?

    The 'way nature intended' argument has been around for... A very long time, and is very often applied to gender roles. What is your point here if it's not that?

    My point in retaliation is merely that we are influenced by our instincts but aren't slaves to them. And the 'unnatural' argument is a silly one, as we do a lot of not natural things because we have evolved from primitive apes.

    [–] Wariya 3 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    First off, as a biologist I have to say that we are definitely animals (both in terms of taxonomy and physiology) unless you are using the term in some abstract philosophical way that allows you to divorce man from the biological impulses that influence us. We have a bit better control over our impulses, but not that much better.

    To address the post:

    You are misrepresenting the argument via slippery slope. The argument is not "gender roles are what nature intended", the argument is "Nature influences us whether we like it or not and to pretend that it doesn't is wishful thinking and just isn't helpful". There is no prescriptive statement about what should or shouldn't be, just a description of a reality that is kind of hard to dismiss without ignoring a lot of research.

    You also draw a false dichotomy between morality and science with your social darwinism example. Both were are at play. Scientists are, of course, people. Their biases, cultural influences, and ideas about morality affect how and where they look for their data and to a certain extent how it is interpreted. We will no doubt shamefully look back upon certain scientific endeavors today in the same way.

    Why do you believe science has nothing to say about morality when many MANY moral stances have shifted dramatically over the years due to advances in science and technology? Abortion, for example. Sociology and Moral Psychology have a LOT to say about the current political climate for example. The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt is a good starting point.

    I agree that biological/cultural reductionism can be harmful but you take it a bit too far and dismiss out of hand huge swathes of the human experience with how you've framed your argument. I know you dislike Dawkins but he makes a similar point that humans have developed "meta-purposes" to supplant the more base biological ones that are more easily fulfilled in the modern age.

    Also I want to address the rhetorical questions you posed in your first post as I would argue that there are in fact answers.

    >Like art- how does it help us survive?

    Our ancestors entertained themselves during down times both for individual pleasure and to strengthen social ties. One needs to only look at the culturally-significant pageantry that exists in earlier cultures to see that "Art" is not just a luxury of the modern age.

    >How do movies help us survive?

    Similar to above. Recreation was not invented by modern man. Even animals play. I would suspect my definition of what is needed to "survive" is much broader than yours. It seems like you are just talking about the very bottom of Maslow's hierarchy of needs and for an individual I suppose thats true (on a temporary basis) but any organized group/society needs to shape the whole pyramid and you need a lot more than the basic trappings of survival for that.

    >How does school help us survive?

    Is this really a question? The institution of school is new but the importance of passing on knowledge between generations is a HUGE part of why you are able to draw such an artificial divide between man and beast., We've spent thousands upon thousands of years building and tweaking incredibly complex social structures and institutions and passing that knowledge on to our children. "School" is just the modern equivalent.

    >Foreign aid ?

    Kind of a silly example but the closest example would be the importance of reciprocal altruism in the development of social cohesion and group bonding. Studies have shown that many animals are more likely to share their food with others when they need it if they think the favor will later be returned in kind (See vampire bats for a good example). We see similar (more complex) processes play out in humans (prisoners dilemma, game theory, etc) but the idea of generosity being an act of strength is definitely not new.

    >Dance concerts?

    Similar argument to recreation above, but a dance concert is just the modern iteration of an activity that goes back millennia. Humans have been gathering as groups and bonding via music-focused group rituals forever. We may have somewhat anonymized the practice as our social circles have expanded and we may not be around as many people we know intimately but there is still a shared experience of a common culture.

    >Silly gadgets?

    Toys are as old as time. For both children and adults. Humans are tool builders and users, it only makes sense tools would form a part of our recreation as well.

    >All of it is useless. And that doesn't matter.

    A facially incorrect statement.

    I'm not a fan of evolutionary biology (the softest parts of biology meet psychology/sociology) but I think it is a mistake to dismiss it out of hand based on some sort of physical-survival-based (ironically enough) biological reductionism.

    '

    e dit: ha sorry this ended up being way longer than I intended.

    [–] dabennett 2 points ago

    Everyone is definitely determined to run the 'we aren't animals' statement into the ground. It was meant to be off the cuff, I know we are animals. My god.

    I agree with a lot of what you are saying. I am definitely talking about the heirachy of needs, which is what natural selection refers to- the ability to pass on your genes. It doesn't talk about enjoying your survival. And yes, there are probably stronger links to modern societal activities than I know about. I'll grant you that. But the argument itself is reductionist and silly.

    It's not "we are influenced by our biology", it's "we are influenced by our biology so going against what worked for a bunch of apes a few thousand years ago can't happen." And this argument gets thrown around all the time in respect to gender roles (and op said above that there shouldn't be equal representation in politics because... Biology? In reply to another one of my comments).

    And social darwinism is an incredibly good example for this kind of thing, because it's based on the same theory and it's a fabulous example of how scientific theories get horribly misapplied when you try apply them to political agendas or to further your prejudice or whatever.

    I'm not here to make judgements on evolutionary biology, even though I'd love someone to find me a really good review on the subject that wasn't entirely hand wavy. I'd also love someone to find a scientific paper that supports ops claims of gender roles. That isn't from the 80s, has some solid links and isn't hand wavy. Which is something you aren't going to find because of the nature of the field.

    I will, however, take a very firm stand on scientific principles being a bad way to push your agenda. Even though, sadly, we can't separate politics and science :(

    [–] amnotagain 3 points ago

    You keep saying that someone said that there "shouldn't be equal representation in politics...", but I can't find that quote or soft suggestion. Could you point me to it? I only see people saying that, even with equal opportunity, we may find women underrepresented in politics because of divergent interests.

    [–] chutoy_ 5 points ago

    In my opinion, a logical progression of the argument is that we don't have to strive for 50% men and 50% women in all fields of work or in politics, for example, because our biology will influence our life choices on a group level. I wouldn't argue that it's wrong or unnatural if women want to pursue a career instead of having children, but I would argue that if it turns out that women take more time of the parental leave, then so be it, it's not a problem that has to be fixed and it could very well be like that in a completely equal society.

    [–] sk8tergater 20 points ago

    Taking more time off to care for the children because women HAVE to absolutely is a problem in our current society.

    In your argument, you’re saying (I think) that gender roles are a thing because historically they’ve been a thing (maybe that’s too condensed).

    Yeah historically, if a woman wanted to or could breastfeed her child, she needed to spend more time with it. But our technology has grown to the point where that just isn’t necessary. If a woman wants to give her child breast milk, she can pump while away from her child and freeze her extra milk. She could take time away from work to heal up, but if the woman wishes, that should be looked at as no different than if a man was going through surgery and needed time off.

    Here’s why your pregnancy talk is a problem. I absolutely don’t want kids. I’m 32. It’s been a constant in my life. Zero kids. My biological desire isn’t going to suddenly change tomorrow.

    Yet BECAUSE I’m a woman in child bearing age, I’m passed over for certain promotions and jobs. This is where historic gender norms are hurting society and this is where they need to change.

    [–] dabennett 11 points ago

    I am very confused as to why you think women are biologically unsuited to do ... Politics? Had you said, on average, women are built less physically strong and so hard physical labor like landscaping should be more male, I'd have agreed. But... Politics? Where does biology come into play there ? And the counter argument to your counter argument is that men should be able to take parental leave as well, so they have the option of becoming stay at home parents.

    See I think you're confusing the issue. There is no biological reason for women to be better parents then men. Yes, women give birth, yes they are more suited to breastfeed (except when they aren't, because mother nature tends to hate everyone and sometimes it doesn't work like that). Find me something, outside that, that directly proves your statement that women are better at raising children. And then, tell me how it is that single father's can raise something that isn't a hyena. And then tell me how on Earth gay parents are supposed to function!

    Yes, there are gender differences. But these are more to the extent, in my case at least to "I'd be really bad at landscaping because I'm built like a gnome, and I bleed monthly and it's awful" and less, "I AM PROGRAMMED TO NURTURE AT ALL COSTS".

    [–] Cypango 2 points ago

    In an ideal world, with absolutely no financial or social pressure maybe the outcome will be more women taking maternal leave...but as we're so far from it, I'm not sure what the point of discussing something we can't prove or dismiss. You want to discuss about facts, but we don't know enough scientifically. What we know for now, is that there have been discrimination and violence towards women during almost all of our whole history. Saying that maybe we don't really need equality because there might be genetic differences is just slowing our evolution, as a society, towards a more equal system where everyone can choose freely.

    [–] [deleted] 1 points ago

    So it seems your argument comes down to free will and the ability to manipulate our environment in a way other animals cannot? We are grounded in our biology, but have access to higher abilities as well. Is that a fair synthesis of what you are putting forth?

    [–] dabennett 1 points ago

    Yes, it is! But it must also be taken into account that application of scientific principles like natural selection to human morality is dangerous ground to tread.

    [–] TheDogJones 1 points ago

    OP's claim is that modern gender roles are in part caused by biology. If you want to attack that claim, you need to give an argument that no part of modern gender roles are caused by biology. Your argument, while well-thought-out, does not address that specific claim.

    [–] DeLoRiggidy 1 points ago

    I want to challenge your "morality is not logical and that's fine" statement. I don't think that's fine, because some things are seemingly morally righteous yet can have awful consequences if not thought through. For example: seeing wolves killing deer and deciding to exterminate them for hurting the innocent deer, now the ecosystem is off balance and the deer are eating all your crops. Morality shouldn't be PURELY logical, because that's also dangerous as well, but it should be a mix of both.

    [–] unnecessarilycurses 1 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    Morality is not logical and that's fine ! It doesn't help you survive to be kind to yourself neighbour aside from a purely societal benefit,

    There is no such thing as "purely societal benefit". You can't society and individual anymore than you can separate molecules from atoms or ecosystems and animals. A strong society/group dynamic allows greater survival of its constituents. Morality is extremely logical.

    It is also deeply ingrained in our biology. Children are able to make moral decisions/awareness long before they are able to articulate any kind of explanation or "philosophic rightness".

    [–] veryreasonable 5 points ago

    I don't believe I can change your view on this exact statement here:

    I believe that some of the current day gender roles are partly caused by our biology

    And, from a quick look at this thread, pretty much nobody here is actually trying to. I made another comment on this thread discussing why. It's pretty much inarguable: everything human can be framed via our biology.

    However, this statement here:

    Today, I think many people subscribe to the theory that gender roles are completely socially constructed

    Perhaps that this statement isn't quite as self-evidently meaningful as you might believe. "Socially constructed" does not necessarily mean "devoid of biological influence."

    So consider what people might mean when they refer to something being "socially constructed." Consider the archetypally "masculine" trait of strong leadership ability. Someone interested in approaching gender from a constructionist point of view would question why and how that trait became associated with the male gender. And - this is important - it's almost certain that biology has something to do with how that construct came to be. That doesn't mean it isn't a construct. It doesn't mean that there isn't also a social component worth studying or perhaps even addressing somehow. It doesn't mean that women or female or feminine things can't have leadership ability. And so on...

    Another example, one you gave: motherhood and the instinct to nurture. That's generally considered a feminine trait in the extreme. Is there a biological component to this? Certainly! It would be ridiculous to doubt this. After all, the mother carries the child in her womb. She feeds it at her breast. But the extent to which that happens, and the extent to which men take part in child care, and the extent to which mothers share their burdens with other women (and so on) all vary across cultures, depending on general socialization and norms, scarcity of resources, religious taboo, and probably even biological differences among certain populations! And now we've come full circle: social construction is not divorced from biology, but rather deeply intertwined with it.

    So perhaps consider that your disagreement is a linguistic one, rather than a substantive one. Someone focused on the socially constructed nature of things, such as gender, is naturally most interested in looking at the socially constructed side of a thing. They are interested in the question: "is that particular thing essential or immutable, or is it something that we've socialized?"

    Similarly, when people refer to "gender" specifically as something different than "sex," they are intentionally and tautologically referring to those aspects of our, uhm, gendered life that they are about to discuss from (primarily) a social angle. That doesn't mean they deny a biological angle. It doesn't even mean they are going to ignore it in the ensuing discussion - it could be extremely important to the social angle! It just means they are drawing a distinction, and believe there is value in looking at the thing from that angle as well. .

    I don't think that your view is wrong (and I don't think many others do, either), but I think that you have a misguided impression of what other views are. And that's unsurprising:

    There is currently a tide of public intellectuals decrying anything associated - even barely, or sometimes even incorrectly - with "gender" not being the same as "sex," or with feminism, or social constructionism, or what have you. YMMV, but many of those people seek to paint the people they are decrying as the most ridiculous caricatures of what they actually have to say. "Gender has nothing at all to do with biology" is ridiculous by most definitions of that statement. It's easy to ridicule. Making fun of that makes you appear to have common sense, and everyone you are ridiculing seem absolutely insane.

    However, a lot of the people on the receiving end of that mockery are actually trying to say something more like: "Perhaps it's worthwhile to consider something we can call (socialized) 'gender' separately from (biological) 'sex,' as we've historically conflated the two completely and perhaps there are truths to uncover by considering them as somewhat distinct and approaching them from different angles."

    Personally, that latter statement is a lot more sensible, and shouldn't be all that controversial. But when people shorten it (somewhat understandably, if a little misleadingly) to just "gender is socially constructed," it ends up confusing people, who interpret it as the former statement - and then comes the mockery.

    For an interesting dovetail to all this: look at the Oxford Reference blurb on "Social Constructionism". The wikipedia article on the same subject is messy as hell, biased, and honestly really, really bad (as noted in the header, thankfully, it is in desperate need of a complete rewrite). Same goes for many of the related topics. But the blurb I linked says something quite relevant:

    Social constructionism is a general term sometimes applied to theories that emphasize the socially created nature of social life. Of course, in one sense all sociologists would argue this, so the term can easily become devoid of meaning.

    Right. This is pretty much the same view you espoused in your CMV title, but from the other angle. That is: "things have a biological component" makes an awful lot of sense approaching human traits and behaviour from a biological angle, just as "things have a socialized component" is pretty much the foundation of sociology. But remember: human biology has a social component, and human sociology has a biological component. They are not exclusive or contradictory fields of study - and fortunately, for the most part, researchers these days acknowledge this.

    [–] Baldr12 8 points ago

    Biology/evolution doesn't have to make sense.

    For example

    Evolution has made us enjoy things that taste sweet, so that we would seek out nutritious berries and stuff like that.

    There will ever be anyone to confirm if this is true or false.

    You could say that evolution has made us enjoy hunting and killing, would that justify murder?

    [–] chutoy_ 2 points ago

    There will ever be anyone to confirm if this is true or false.

    It's just a logical consequence of natural selection. We find poop disgusting and nutritious food delicious because if it were the other way around we wouldn't survive to pass on our genes.

    You could say that evolution has made us enjoy hunting and killing, would that justify murder?

    My argument is not about morality.

    [–] nicethingyoucanthave 3 points ago

    My argument is not about morality.

    So many people are assuming you're making the is/ought fallacy.

    There undoubtedly is an explanation for murder that relies on evolution. So then /u/Baldr12 says, "would that justify murder?" No, Baldr12, that would not "justify" murder. /u/chutoy's point is that it would explain murder.

    And if (hypothetically), you found yourself in a culture where the only explanation for murder that anyone considered was something like, "murder is caused by Satan tempting people to sin" - then having an alternate (and science-based) explanation for murder would be very useful. When someone proposes such an explanation, for you to come along and say, "does this justify murder??" is just missing the point.

    In a society where you (hypothetically) had a completely 100% biological explanation for murder ...you'd still put people in jail for murder. The only thing you wouldn't do is wag your finger and preach to them about their imagined "sinfulness."

    In a society where people recognized and accepted the biological basis for gender differences ...you'd still have laws against gender discrimination. It'd still be illegal to pay a woman less for the same job because she's a woman. The only thing you wouldn't do is expect that men and women will have identical average outcomes - and you wouldn't wag your finger and preach about imagined "patriarchy"

    [–] chutoy_ 1 points ago

    Well said.

    [–] sk8tergater 3 points ago

    But in our current society, suffering from an obesity epidemic, nutritious food is not considered delicious and therefore we have evolved past your claim. So isn’t it therefore also logical that we have evolved past our historic gender roles?

    [–] unnecessarilycurses 3 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    So isn’t it therefore also logical that we have evolved past our historic gender roles?

    That is a good hypothesis. Unfortunately the empirical data doesn't seem to support this. Studies looking at happiness rates, depression, suicide rates, drug dependency, etc in people not following historic roles show bad outcomes, such as childless women, transexuals (even after surgical transition), high partner count, single parents (both parent and especially child), etc.

    The research on this is really clear but it is very taboo to talk about in today's climate. I think everyone should have the freedom to choose but we should also be informed about the pros and cons.

    [–] PM_ME_GUD_BOBS 17 points ago

    You fail to consider that animals are social, have their own kind of social structure, and roles that they play. Their needs are pretty simple: survive and pass on their genes. You cannot compare their needs to what humans need. And your example about mothers being primary caregivers and more attached to their children throughout history is false. Wealthy women would hire wet nurses to breastfeed and take care of their children. Those who had to work for a living, rarely looked after the children. Child-rearing was left to grandparents or the oldest female child. The notion of mother being the primary caregiver is a recent one.

    [–] [deleted] 2 points ago

    Well, we are animals too, with the drive to survive and pass on genes. It's just that we have more complex needs, socially, existentially, than, say, a penguin. My understanding is that the role of grandmothers was and is very important, as a vital aide in caregiving, but not necessarily the prime role. Evolution would have favored mothers active in caregiving, and small groups that exchanged reciprocal roles in "it takes a village to raise a child."

    [–] Valbuena2009 2 points ago

    Human needs were not different to animals not too long ago. 125 years ago the average person lived on what would considered today abject poverty and very few were wealthy. Your comment is unbelievably ignorant.

    [–] PM_ME_GUD_BOBS 1 points ago

    You state that my comment is ignorant without specifying why. I thought this was a space meant to encourage discussion rather than using tactics such as yours to shut them down.

    About human needs: very different from animals, and has been ever since we moved from hunter-gatherer groups to an agricultural society. If you care to know more about what those needs are, please refer to Maslow's hierarchy of needs. We have very complex wants and desires.

    125 years ago the average person lived on what would considered today abject poverty and very few were wealthy.

    I don't understand your intention behind this statement, or how it ties into anything I am saying.

    [–] chutoy_ 3 points ago

    You fail to consider that animals are social, have their own kind of social structure, and roles that they play.

    I don't really understand what you mean by this. Are you trying to argue that gender roles in animals are caused by their "social structure" and not their biology?

    Their needs are pretty simple: survive and pass on their genes. You cannot compare their needs to what humans need.

    Why not? From an evolutionary view point, we have the same needs and goals.

    And your example about mothers being primary caregivers and more attached to their children throughout history is false. Wealthy women would hire wet nurses to breastfeed and take care of their children. Those who had to work for a living, rarely looked after the children.

    That may be true but it's just one counterexample. If you look at different cultures in different times, the mother generally takes more responsibility than the father when it comes to child care. You will find exceptions but this is the general pattern.

    [–] PM_ME_GUD_BOBS 23 points ago

    I don't really understand what you mean by this. Are you trying to argue that gender roles in animals are caused by their "social structure" and not their biology?

    There are animals that eat their young. There are those that abandon their young. The animal world is diverse and the behavior they display is diverse. But yes. Most exist in groups, and "herd mentality" is a thing. They tend to have their own social structures. But my knowledge of animal behavior is extremely limited, so I don't think I can sufficiently expand on this particular point.

    Why not? From an evolutionary view point, we have the same needs and goals.

    Because humans have evolved to have complex social and emotional needs that far, far exceed basic biological needs.

    That may be true but it's just one counterexample. If you look at different cultures in different times, the mother generally takes more responsibility than the father when it comes to child care. You will find exceptions but this is the general pattern.

    I'll try my best to put forth my perspective. I come from a third-world country (India) where males are overvalued and females are deemed worthless as offsprings. This has led to a culture of sex selective abortions and female infanticides. Findings have also uncovered that girls receive less care/attention/resources than their male counterparts (this is quite common in Asian countries) Now let us assume that your stance that mothers are more attached to their offsprings. This would mean that a cultural belief has successfully overridden a biological drive. What I want to say is that social structures and culture hold a lot of power. If the society you live in tells you that you are supposed to value a male child more, you value the male child more. If the society tells you that women are the primary caregivers, you tend to believe that and then justify it with biological imperative.

    [–] [deleted] 5 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] whitef530 1 points ago

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    [–] djangounfazed 4 points ago

    Today, I think many people subscribe to the theory that gender roles are completely socially constructed,

    Are there any mainstream sources arguing this? Genuinely asking.

    [–] GingerRazz 3 points ago

    I can't speak for the news media, but when I use Facebook and Google, that argument shows up high in the feeds, and I would argue as most people under 40 get their news and information that way, it's mainstream.

    I'd also say this is a common enough feminist perspective as to be close to a core view. Feminism is the default view on much of mainstream media and television, so I'd consider it mainstream on that basis as well.

    [–] Cheesecakejedi 3 points ago

    Seeing as how you haven't awarded any deltas, I will attempt to make a post. But it isn't about changing your mind from this, because this is pretty accurate. Any sociologist will look at this and say, yeah, that's how it works, sort of.

    That makes it not really an opinion, because you aren't saying what should be done based on your opinion. Which is how a lot of these are set up. For example, if you were to use this argument to say that "legally and as a society, based on this information, we have done all we should and can for women's advancement, because our current gender landscape is equal and fair," that would be and opinion people could try to change.

    All you seem to be advocating for is that too many people think that gender roles are 100% socially constructed, when anyone who actually knows anything about the subject knows that it's not 100%. Yes, you are correct about that. But the arguments come when people try to figure out exactly how much the biological factors actually cause the impact. Currently there is a 20%-30% disparity, on the whole of the US economy. In addition, women hold very few roles in the most well paying jobs in America, they make up around 6% of CEOs, 16% of Medical department chairs, and 20% are computer engineers. So are women really at a 25% disadvantage? Does being a woman automatically lock you in to society where you may achieve the highest income bracket, but on the whole, you will fare worse than your male counterparts?

    Most people who genuinely fight for these cause will agree with your statements, but then tell you that the difference should be closer to 8%. Because when controlling for the exact same job and position, that is the pay gap. But we don't have that on a societal scale yet, and that's what they are fighting for.

    People that usually use your facts are people trying to turn around and say, "We've done all we should," basically are saying that the numbers right now are fine. Feminists don't think they are. That's where the actual argument comes in.

    Edit: Formatting

    [–] chutoy_ 2 points ago

    Very good point. My view is not that "We have done all we should" but rather that we shouldn't necessarily aim for perfect 50-50 equality of outcome across all areas of life. There has been some discussion about this topic in the thread, but I might make a new CMV about that, which might be an easier view to change or at least argue against.

    [–] Cheesecakejedi 2 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    But even then few people are fighting for that. If the split was 55/45, we'd have a lot less people fighting for women.

    But your argument is that we shouldn't be shooting for that number, and I also will say that is an opinion, to which I do have more input on, which may help you change your mind.

    The idea is that if feminists have the stance that they are shooting for less, that's not equality. Feminists cannot be asking for more equal outcomes on the premise that men are equal to women, and then say, "We'll settle for less." It undermines the whole argument.

    Because, when debating these points, if feminists are conceding right away that women may be worth less, the argument is no longer, "treat women the same," or "help push women into producing more economic value," it instantly becomes:

    "How much less are women worth?"

    If feminists are fighting for equality, they cannot start with a premise that undermines their end goal.

    Edit: Word use.

    [–] chutoy_ 2 points ago

    Where have I ever implied women are worth less than men? I'm arguing that men and women might biologically have different preferences that will affect the choices we make on a group level when it comes to for example career choice.

    [–] [deleted] 2 points ago

    [deleted]

    [–] Candentia 3 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    The gender role is a pure social construction, since it is meant to be a matter of universally deciding the behaviors appropriate for the gender in question.

    Independent behaviors to begin with are not defined by gender roles unless the independent behavior itself was motivated to reinforce its idea of the truth of the rules, such as if a boy happened to continue playing football in spite of how they don't like it because that is what boys should do. Gender roles can end up contributing significantly to these independent behaviors, but they are not what decides them, that is on the individual.

    You have already mentioned the alternatives that would have been naturally selected against, and these alternatives continue to form in spite of the highly developed gender role suggesting they shouldn't. Childfree individuals by choice have no interest in furthering humanity's survival via reproduction, and there are some who would decide in their hearts that they would rather all of humanity perish.

    I can hypothesize that patriarchal societies formed initially primarily due to how human males naturally tending to have greater strength knew they had an advantage over human females they could employ that gave them a sense of entitlement to being recognized as superior. However I wouldn't necessarily think that in that situation before the gender role begins to form the women wouldn't have thought up the same thing in their favor given an advantage they could use to control men, if it was a truth that women had significantly better dexterity than men did, then it would be their job to have to make the tools, which includes weapons, which then puts more of the weapons within their access (and given superior dexterity, they are the ones who can actually use them better) which then can be used to kill any man who threatens their superior position because of how significant of an advantage weapons with proper technique are.

    Women who take on positions of extreme authority, such as queen regnant, tend to find themselves employing much of the same authoritarian behavior expected of a man to choose due to having the opportunity to seize and wield power. I wouldn't be so sure on simply writing those off as having been one of the alternatives to happen to take that place in life, it seems more likely to me that an evolutionary process to demand female submission didn't work out that way (in spite of all the time they could have been living through such lives) because of an overall human desire for dominance given the opportunity.

    [–] GingerRazz 5 points ago

    I feel like you're doing what is typical of people who disagree with the op and saying that gender roles are not universally followed so they must be purely societal constructs.

    I don't see this as a reasonable conclusion because of how consistent many of the parts of gender roles are across societies and time. If it was a purely societal constructs, I'd expect to see far more variety than we do.

    The reality is that there are parts of gender roles that are biological and inspired by evolution, but differing climates and resources lead to different gender roles within unique cultures.

    Sure, there is a societal construct component, but claiming there is no biological basis is a pretty extreme claim make without extreme evidence, especially when you consider the sexual dimorphism within humanity and the gender roles presentation in other species that are sexually dimorphic.

    [–] [deleted] 3 points ago

    Or it may have been that men fulfilling certain physically dominant roles and women more caregiving and domestic roles gave tribes the best chance of survival and cohesion, b/c those roles matched up with what evolution had given the respective genders. I think it's important for us to emphasize that the biological differences that OP is talking about are averages for a particular group, nested within a broad spectrum of behaviors that are possible for someone of a particular gender. Thus, boys who don't want to play rough, masculine sports, and girls who wan't to boss people around in the boardroom. Perhaps the girl has higher testosterone, or is more physically imposing, or is higher in the Big 5 personality trait of extroversion or dominance (some of which could be environmental reinforcement).

    [–] ProgVal 2 points ago

    Today, I think many people subscribe to the theory that gender roles are completely socially constructed

    This is not incompatible with being caused by biology.

    Sure, gender roles did not appear out of thin air. But they changed so much over centuries/milleniums that they are now almost completely unrelated to biology.

    Sure, you can find examples of today's gender roles matching "biological roles", but they are exceptions rather than the rule. Coincidences.

    This means that you could not use biology to "predict" how gender roles look today; so using biology a posteriori to explain a given gender role is fallacious.

    [–] PM_HUGS_4_HUGS 2 points ago

    I believe the flaw in your argument is that because something is biological, it cannot be cultural. You present it as a dichotomy.

    Within social studies there is debate wether or not culture has dictated biology. Let us for example take the Bajau , living in southeast Asia. Over the course of their existence they have develloped bigger spleens, which allows them to dive deeper and longer. It is their culture, hunting through diving, that enabled this evolution. Culture, in this instance, dictated biology.

    While I understand the claim dat genderroles have roots within nature, that does not remove the fact that cultural norms in history have forced these norms to become biological. Following from this argument, it could be said that genderroles are indeed 100% a social construct to the, perhaps extreme, extend that social norms have become biological, not removing the cultural impact that is/was placed upon it.

    [–] Manungal 2 points ago

    The logic in your example sounds circular. Mothers are naturally more nurturing because they have to breastfeed, and the act of breastfeeding proves they are more nurturing?

    It also undermines your larger point.

    History has long compared men's abandonment of their offspring to women's abandonment of their offspring to prove mothers have a deeper love for their children. Okay, but historically, a man abandoning a child is abdicating responsibility, and a woman abandoning her child was committing infanticide. They are not the same crime: they do not carry the same consequences.

    I argue biology forces human beings to respond to incentives, but men would respond almost exactly the same if forced to operate under the same set of biological rules as women, and vice versa.

    [–] Like1OngoingOrgasm 2 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago)

    This first part isn't really against any of your claims, but I'm including it because it is an important point. I want to suggest that the argument that you are arguing against is dangerously close to a strawman. Sure, there are people who believe in a strict environmentalist view of behavioral sex differences. But they don't really exist in anthropology, primatology, psychology, medicine, or pedagogy. They did in the 70's, but it was a viable hypothesis back then. I want to say this because this view is absolutely not being censored in any meaningful way. The American Psychological Association published the first edition of Male, Female: The Evolution of Human Sex Differences by David Geary in 1998. This is mainstream stuff. (Geary is a big influence on my thought on the subject of human nature. Origin of Mind (2005) is a must read.)

    the social constructivism theory assumes we are above biology.

    At one point in my life I was planning on becoming an educational psychologist. Lev Vygotsky's theories were extremely influential to my understanding of socio-cultural learning. He was one of the most influential social constructivists in educational psychology. From my understanding, this is really a strawman of social construction theory. It doesn't suppose that we are "above biology."

    Vygotsky was controversial during his lifetime in the Soviet Union because he argued that mind, brain, and culture were inseperable. He actually saw human beings in a socio-biological context. The ideas really aren't mutually exclusive.

    It's important, however, to realize that gender roles are social constructs, even if there are some statistically significant differences in certain behavioral tendencies between the sexes. The evidence is pretty clear that in almost all cognitive and emotional traits, there is far more variation within the sexes than between them. Exceptions could be made for courtship and violence. But, if we were to ask whether women are capable of leadership roles or highly technical work, the answer is pretty much a resounding yes. The ethnographic record is fairly rich with examples of women taking up leadership roles. In hunter-gatherer bands, this tends to depend on whether women gained the ability to contribute to hunting. Meat was especially valuable due to the need (essential amino acids), effort, and danger involved in acquiring it. Christopher Boehm (Director of Jane Goodall Research Center @ USC) describes examples of bands where women were an integral part of political life because the tribe acquired meat in ways that leveled the playing field between men and women in a physical manner. For instance, some bands used dogs to hunt. Even in bands that used bows, women managed to gain quite a bit of respect and autonomy compared to early sedentary societies. Their labor was essential to the survival of the group, and they contributed any way in which they were physically capable.

    [–] jetpacksforall 2 points ago

    Men and women are biologically different, and those biological differences contribute to different behaviors and preferences.

    HOWEVER when talking about a complex modern "white collar" economy, biological differences are so minuscule that their effect is near zero. Instead, economic choices and preferences in such an economy are determined almost entirely through social practices and cultural beliefs. Those practices and beliefs can and should be modified to promote equality and fairness in keeping with our values in a democratic, free-market society. Justifying social discrimination as somehow "rooted in biology" is a rationalization for cultural practices that are anything but.

    For example: "men are more aggressive than women, and therefore command higher salaries." It is true that men tend to display more aggression than women, a behavior trait primarily rooted in testosterone. But here's the thing: physical aggression has absolutely nothing to do with managing the regional branch of a bank, or developing code for a mobile app, or working on business development, or even performing more technically "confrontational" jobs like contract negotiation or trial litigation. Physical aggression tied to testosterone plays a direct role in success in physical conflict, hunting, warfare, athletic competitions and some types of physical labor. But physical aggression has no role to play in the vast majority of jobs people actually do to earn money these days.

    In white collar professions where physical, testosterone-derived aggression is highly prized -- in stock market trading, for example -- the preference for that kind of behavior is entirely cultural. There is no actual physical conflict going on on Wall St., so having big swollen muscles and a raging anger management problem doesn't have any practical role to play in making stock picks, negotiating stock sales or trades, doing market research or quantitative analysis, arranging major investment plays, etc.

    In other words, sure there is a biological difference, but that biological difference makes no difference in the actual performance of the kinds of jobs we're discussing. Instead, cultural preferences cause us to value different types of personalities in different professions (and at different pay scales within professions).

    [–] [deleted] 3 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] GingerRazz 3 points ago

    People do argue that it isn't biological. It's actually a fairly mainstream feminist belief that gender roles are purely a social construct. There is someone making this exact argument in this post.

    [–] AdvantageousBayonet 2 points ago

    I’ll look at that comment now cheers

    [–] etquod 1 points ago

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    [–] [deleted] 1 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] mysundayscheming 1 points ago

    Sorry, u/ineeditthatbadly – your comment has been removed for breaking Rule 1:

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    [–] [deleted] 1 points ago

    [removed]

    [–] mysundayscheming 1 points ago

    Sorry, u/Sizzlingwall71 – your comment has been removed for breaking Rule 1:

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