Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I don't want to have sex with your wallet

Posted on Reclusive Leftist, under Ev-Psych Bullshit, by The Ghost of (Dr.) Violet (Socks).

From The Complete World of Human Evolution, Chris Stringer and Peter Andrews, 2005, Violet quotes

"Thus it is argued that past evolution has operated such that men are attracted by potential fertility in a prospective partner, while women are attracted by men who are likely to provide stability and resources after reproduction. There is certainly good evidence to back up such theoretical expectations from a range of human societies […]"
Violet rebuts:

"No, there isn’t “good evidence,” you fucking moron. Why is it so hard for these stupid old men to realize that the TV shows they watched in the 1950s weren’t a reliable guide to female nature?

What the evidence actually shows is that in societies where women can only gain access to certain resources through marriage, they (quite sensibly) are more likely to choose mates with those resources. This is an economic decision, not a matter of sexual attraction."

[The full post is prettier and sexier.]

Sample responses from another site:

Hazelstone quotes a friend (male): “Actually they have found differences in preference between the sexes as early as two weeks old which by all accounts is prior to when socialization could reasonably be assumed to impact it. There are differences between men and women. Women have a much larger corpus collosum which allows both hemispheres of their brain to communicate. All jokes aside, this does mean that women are more in touch with their feelings, that women have a much larger inner world when it comes to dealing with and focusing on emotions. It also means women are more effective at multitasking while men are more effective at concentraing on a solo task. Women are better at building consensus but slower to come to a decision. Men are worse at building consensus but faster at coming to a decision. I would say that the more collaborative science becomes the more women will be drawn into the field.

The more we insist that all men and women are created equal the less capable we are of dealing with their very real differences. In solo competition more men learn to thrive while under cooperative settings more women thrive. Schools that were long known for individual learning through rote memorization favored boys where the new school system focusing on interaction and team building is much more suited towards women. The old business model of working alone in competition and standing by your work favored men and the new system focusing on collaboration and multitasking is far more favorable to women.

Men and women have different parts, different hormones, different brains, different inner thoughts, and different perspectives based on our different abilities. I think a more honest understanding of each of the sexes strengths and weaknesses is long overdue. We need to be aware of the kind of environments that will enable us to thrive both as members of a sex and as an individual that may stray from the norm.“

* * *

Erin: “Damn, I'm going to go to my department chair and tell him that, since the new, cooperative, team-building environment favors women, and since our department is devoted to communication and collaboration between other academic departments, that I'm gonna be taking his job. I'm obviously innately better suited for the job because of my outrageous corpus callosum. It's a medical school, so they can't argue with the inevitability of neurophysiology, right? Heck, since clearly the educational system favors women, too, I might start aiming for the office of the director of the entire damned school!

Which is totally sweet, since they both have much cooler offices than mine.

These much more favorable business environments, where is the glut of female executives this has caused? Oh, nowhere? Right”.

* * *

Ant: "Yeah, it's everywhere isn't it? It makes me angry in three stages:

Firstly, as you said, it is impossible to separate the socialized bits of gender from the 'innate' bits. And since socialization is such a massive force it seems most reasonable to assume that most of the differences are down to that. As your friend even points out in the toy industry bit.

Secondly, let's assume there are non-negligible but small differences that could be found if only we could see past the socialization. That's no justification for the pigeon-holing of people by sex, at all, let alone to the extent that actually happens. Again, your friend sort of acknowledges that individual humans might not be best described and treated solely according to their gender role, but then stops and retreats.

Thirdly, so women are better at talking and at people-skills are they? So why the fuck aren't we running the world while the men sit and check the accounts?

There's a fourth stage actually, a moment of blindly incoherent rage, followed by a complete shut down of all mental faculties before I hobble off to make a cup of tea.

If there's any consolation in it my friend is stupider than your friend:

Me: "[enlightening discourse]....and so you have complete identification of a woman's social role with her sexual role."
Him: "Oh...well, they are related...And men and women are different."

I would put that down to just phasing out and then pretending to have listened, but he went on to say he's turned on by schoolgirls having sex with older men. Lesbian separatism here I come."

* * *

Antigone: “Why am I so bad at cooperative groups and multitasking and so good at working independently on a focused project? Do I have a penis hidden somewhere that I don't know about?”

* * *

Dawn: Hey, you gotta love it when science supports gender norms. It makes everything so much easier. Does my corpus collosum make me a better housekeeper, too?