Archive for the ‘Sex differences’ Category

I know the title is a bit a provocative, but that is intended. What I want to talk about is an observation or at least a suspicion that females have a natural/biological inclination to solving problems in groups, rather than the more individual “hide in cave” approach that males tend to have.

The only half decent explanation I’ve seen is that females release a hormone called oxytocin when talking, and more importantly, during stressful situations. This triggers the so called tend and befriend response as opposed to the fight or flight response which is more common in males. It’s not that males do not have oxytocin, it’s just that they have less estrogen and more testosterone, which reduces the effect when compared with females.

This may be one of the many reasons that females are more group oriented than males. The differences are probably rooted in evolution. The tend and befriend mechanism probably allowed more offspring to survive, in some situations there is strength in numbers.

What I want you to consider the possibility that females are more collective/group oriented even when they claim to be strong and independent. That is not to say there aren’t exceptions. It’s just food for thought, to highlight that despite good intentions when it comes to equality between the sexes we must not forget that there are real differences. It requires awareness before we can even consider going beyond our biological differences.

I’ve found this link interesting to read. This is all for now and until we meet again.

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In this day and age we still sometimes hear people saying that women and children should go first in case of an emergency. While I can understand children, I do find it disturbing that women are prioritized over men regardless of circumstances.

Some of the reasons I’ve heard or read about (over the course of time) why women should be prioritized:

  • They are weaker creatures that need special privilege.
  • They have the ability to procreate.
  • They are the primary caretakers of children.

Let’s start with the first, while females on average are physically weaker than males, this difference is not day and night and most women should be capable of (for example) swimming. There might be exceptions when it comes to people who are obese or otherwise unhealthy, but such exceptions also exist amongst men.

Females indeed possess the ability create new human beings, but in this day and age where the planet is overpopulated, is this even relevant? The human race is not struggling to survive as it was long ago in our evolutionary past, so there is no need to value reproductive capability this highly.

Both male and female are capable of caring for children, prioritizing a female simply because she might be a parent is not justified. Plenty of females don’t have children, so it would be unfair to males to prioritize them. Prioritizing at least one caretaker of a child is justified, prioritizing more than one is open for debate as it is not strictly necessary for the survival of the child.

I realize that in this post I’m referring to males and females, leaving out the rather sensitive topic of women who are genetically male and vice versa. This is a topic for another post. Until then this is all I have to write.

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Agency is the capacity to act in a world. Agents possess agency, objects do not posses agency.

I’ve already talked about the female tendency to let a male act on her behalf, something which originates from a time where our survival as a species was constantly at stake. In those days it was beneficial that females avoided high risk actions as much as possible.

The question is, how do you get another human being to do tasks that the person in question is capable of performing. The answer is quite simple, you make it seem as if the person is not capable of performing these tasks. In essence you reduce their perceived agency at the cost of increasing the agency of others. This is what has led to male hyper agency and female hypo agency.

I’m not ignoring the fact that on average human males are physically stronger than females, but this does not make females helpless or incapable of acting on her own.

Children, certainly when they’re very young, don’t have a lot of agency. They are legitimately in need of protection and care until they become adults. But once they are adults, they should in principle be able to act on their own behalf. Some ways of reducing perceived agency include imitating a childlike youthful appearance, pretending to be vulnerable and acting submissive.

Today, with all our modern technology, the physical advantages males have over females are becoming less relevant. It has become obvious females are capable of acting on their own, but still there females who at one point or another pull the reduced agency trick out of the hat in order to avoid or reduce the consequences of their actions. This sometimes means that a male automatically gets the role of hyper agent, making him responsible for actions that should be a shared responsibility of all parties involved.

I’m not ignoring the likely-hood that humans have evolved in such a way that supports this shift in agency. Long ago it was probably very useful in allowing our survive. But when you claim to be civilized, to have grown beyond the phase of mere animals, it is important to consider all aspects of life and not only the things that are convenient to you.

Realize that what I’m saying here implies that instinctual feelings are not by definition true, it takes sincere honesty to look at reality as we have it today and admit that a lot of things don’t match up to the reality of our evolutionary past. Becoming aware of your biological tendencies is a first step in achieving genuine personal growth.

It is time we as species end this lie of female hypo agency and start treating everyone like human beings. The current state of affairs is unhealthy for both females, who are treated like objects sometimes, and males, who are sometimes forced to be responsible for the actions of females when in fact they are only partially responsible.

This is all for now, if you have any comments, you are more than welcome to participate in the discussion.

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At the core of who we are, of how we perceive life, lies our biology. The differences between males and females goes beyond the obvious difference of reproductive organs. Evolution simply ensures that the genes with the biggest chance of surviving are those who allow the most children to be born and to survive to reproduce again.

Male reproduction has a very low cost, probably in the order of hours or days. Female reproduction on the other hand costs years, 9 months of pregnancy and much more time to get the child to a stage where it isn’t entirely helpless.

Female reproductive systems are the scarce resource in a species that is struggling to survive. It is therefore in the best interest of the species as a whole to migrate as much risk as possible to the males of the species, whose death would be less of a problem.

The females most likely to survive and procreate are those who manage to acquire a powerful male with sufficient resources and manipulating those men into taking over risky activities. The males who are most likely to survive and procreate are those who are powerful and have sufficient resources to mate and protect as many healthy and fertile females as possible.

This process of evolution has produced females who are relatively capable manipulators with a belief that they are entitled to a male protector and provider. The males however are more susceptible to manipulation and are expected to work and compete for the scarce female reproductive resources.

While I won’t pretend this all there is or even that is 100% correct, it does serve as a basis for understanding the situation we have today. This is all for now. I look forward to any comments you might have.

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