This site has a curious gender imbalance

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katfireblade

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Re: This site has a curious gender imbalance
« Reply #30 on: January 01, 2018, 08:33:09 AM »
Okay, I need to think on the rest of my reply, but I am going to tackle the economics and science because that part of the conversation is making my brain hurt.


I'm basing my argument on markets, chiefly, and what tends to happen when there's no competition. (Or at least very little of it.)

And I wasn't talking about economics, because economics are not a good indication of how people function. We create the markets, and can shape and change them according to the laws, regulations, and moral codes we bring to the table. I was talking about actual human behaviors outside of those systems. Because again, I'm pretty into Sociology. I started studying it to make my writing and characters better. I kept up with it because it's bloody fascinating.


I live in a city (one of many) where cooperation and collusion in the telecoms market has led to zero competition in home internet, a local monopoly.

Collusion is not the same thing as cooperation.

Collusion: A secret agreement between two or more parties for a fraudulent, illegal, or deceitful purpose.
Cooperation: the actions of someone who is being helpful by doing what is wanted or asked for : common effort

Another difference? The former is breaking the law, so they are not cooperating with society. The latter is beneficial. This falls under "every cough is not pneumonia;" just because two things superficially share a trait does not mean they're the same.

And that's all I'm going to say on economics because this section of the conversation is now somewhat ridiculous and headed down a rabbit hole.


To which I cite a slightly more recent article from the same website citing a study that showed that brain differences between the sexes are hard-wired.

Oh sweet sexy Loki have mercy. I cannot believe you just made my point for me and phrased it like a rebuttal.

Step by step then. You've heard of brain plasticity, yeah? This is the finding that the brain is much like any other muscle. For instance, it can heal itself. Also, the parts you exercise become stronger. So, for instance, if a student uses math, or plays music, or kicks a football a lot, those areas of the brain become more efficient and prominent in that individual.

The brain goes through a rapid maturation in the first few months after birth, then again in late adolescence and early teens. What age range are we talking about? Well, let's ask the study you cited:

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Male and female brains showed few differences in connectivity up to the age of 13, but became more differentiated in 14- to 17-year-olds.

Yep, that's the age range, give or take.

Now, what else is going on in this crucial time period? Well, teachers are steering boys towards math while neglecting girls. On the flip side, boys are receiving more punishment for minor infractions than girls. Girls are being punished for acting too male and rewarded for being more female, and visa-versa for the boys. Their brains are rapidly growing, and in that time period they are being shoved as hard as society can shove into the gender roles they will embody the rest of their lives. (Yes, I realize some of those links are about people older than teens. I invite you to do your own research--it's almost 5 am and I'd like to see a bed before dawn.)

So is it any wonder that they show exactly what our culture expects them to in brain development during those years?
Those are the muscles they exercised.

But the study of Sociology and Anthropology tells a different tale, because it doesn't stop at the borders of white middle class America. We see women and men all over the world not only acting radically different from what we'd expect, but who think we're downright strange. And when you bring actual, factual, written down history that has been left out of history books, the story changes once again. The only thing that's certain is that people are as diverse in behavior as insects are in species.


Anything else I write will have to be for another day.

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True Neutral

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Re: This site has a curious gender imbalance
« Reply #31 on: January 01, 2018, 12:20:19 PM »
I'm kind of up weird hours sometimes...necessity, unfortunately.

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Male and female brains showed few differences in connectivity up to the age of 13, but became more differentiated in 14- to 17-year-olds.

Yep, that's the age range, give or take.

Now, what else is going on in this crucial time period?
Puberty. Puberty is going on at that time. Are you ignoring a massive flood of hormones in favor of just saying "it's all just cultural pressure"? Because puberty is the obvious huge one to me, and, although hard-wiring doesn't show up until that age sex-specific play preference distinctions show up much earlier, even in environments where adults try to counter it. Although there are outliers, and although you can force the opposite if you really go out of your way to do so, the majority of children go for what we'd call gender-conforming toys and styles of play, given the choice. It holds true across several species (except, apparently, hyenas).

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Tyrannohotep

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Re: This site has a curious gender imbalance
« Reply #32 on: January 01, 2018, 02:43:46 PM »
In my opinion, some psychological and behavioral differences between men and women could very well be "hardwired". Our ancestors would have been sexually dimorphic mammals after all. However, the thing about Homo sapiens in particular is that we're smart even by primate standards, meaning we have a lot more potential to learn and innovate than other animals. The same intelligence that allowed us to create sophisticated tools and artwork allows us to override our instinctual programming with what we have learned and invented for ourselves. Which is to say, men and women both have the ability to think and behave in ways that aren't necessarily linked to hardwired instincts. We are much more malleable than that.

Furthermore, some concepts of masculinity and femininity probably have roots in differences that aren't neurological. For example, the reason you see a lot more male hunters and warriors throughout history probably has something to do with childbearing and nursing presenting a burden to intense and risky physical exertion. With the right tools or techniques, I'm sure women could be every bit as effective and competent as hunters and warriors without those maternal burdens.

I'm not against some innate differences in male and female psychology existing. But I am inclined to agree with @katfireblade that cultural conditioning is a big factor as well.
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Manu

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Re: This site has a curious gender imbalance
« Reply #33 on: January 01, 2018, 03:01:55 PM »
With the right tools or techniques, I'm sure women could be every bit as effective and competent as hunters and warriors without those maternal burdens.
That has even been proven - now that we have DNA testing, a lot of ancient warrior graves turned out to be the graves of women.

I'm too lazy to dig out a source for that, but in societies where maths, IT and technical things are not perceived as typically male fields, girls show as much interest in them as boys do, and they perform as well. That's the case in some African countries. Cultural conditioning definitely is a huge factor, and that conditioning leads to differences in brain anatomy, not the other way around.
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Re: This site has a curious gender imbalance
« Reply #34 on: January 01, 2018, 05:01:36 PM »
Since this thread has officially veered off topic, I am locking and archiving it. Should you wish to continue the discussion that has developed, you can do so in a new thread, but remember to keep it civil.
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