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Men are from Mars, women are from Venus?

Tsuyoiko

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Please forgive the cliche!

Apart from the obvious anatomical differences, how different do you think men are from women? Do the genders think differently? Are we good at different things? If you do think there are differences, what do you think causes them: anatomy, chemistry, upbringing, peer pressure?

Here is a general article about some of the established differences and their causes.
 

Gackt21

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I believe that we are raised to be the way we are. Only somebody raised by a male would have male and female traits personality. Everyone can differ depend on somethings...
 

bakaKanadajin

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Chemistry and anatomy, plus culture. It's all there because it serves the purpose of procreation, the golden motivator. Nearly everything men and women do, either physiologically or socioculturally, can be linked in some way to the propagation of the species. That's it.

Men are good at brute force, women are good at mothering. Are they limited to that? No, no ones stopping a woman from hunting or a man from breast-feeding but really, one cannot argue that these aren't fairly established roles.

Granted, life in the 21st century is far from just hunting and breastfeeding but that would be getting off topic.
 

Tsuyoiko

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Granted, life in the 21st century is far from just hunting and breastfeeding but that would be getting off topic.

So long as it pertains to the differences between men and women and how their changing roles through time might impact on those differences, then I don't think it would be too far off topic.

I guess we have to agree that their are some inherent differences. But how inherent are they? I mean, can we overcome them by conscious effort, for example? It interests me because I'm not particularly feminine, and I'm not really clear why that is, although I have some ideas.

Do you think it's possible (in part) that I dislike most stereotypically girly things because I made a conscious effort to steer clear of them?
 

bakaKanadajin

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Well as far as that which goes beyond hard wiring, meaning society and culture,.. I'd say that in forging your own path you have definitely 'reacted' to the traditional archetypes of femininity, whether that is/was to incorporate or steer clear of them. The reaction itself was a function of simply being, but pinpointing just how the hard-wires and chemistry played-out sociologically is tough, in my humble opinion.

That is to say, well ..lets imagine you have an aversion to pink because you feel that's 'girly', and that this aversion stems from your opinion that 'girlyness' is counterintuitive to the true female experience, and that the true female experience needs to be stronger... to what end? Perhaps this is because you feel a need to be strong, should you ever have to rear a child on your own, or do so in the presence of increasingly negative stereotypical influences. So what started out as an aversion to all that is apparently female ends in that which truly is more female, the mothering tendency. Just as an example.

So my point is that determining (tracing backwards) those sociological mainfestations we see here and now, back to the hard wiring, is tough. Some things are easy, such as the bread-winning office-slugging man. He hunts via his paycheck, and kills via his resume. He offers up the daily winnings upon his credit card. All this in favour of the mammoth-hunt, the spear, and.. I dunno some bloody rack of ribs he used to come home with centuries ago. So some connections are easier to see than others.

But, in trying to understand some things macroeconomically it becomes unclear, because just how does this social phenomena or that social phenomena fit in to the propagation of the species archetype.., it doesn't make sense that .. I dunno, drug addicts or pedophiles exist, they aren't serving a purpose. Other major hard-wired motivating factors include sexual activity, followed by fear, danger-avoidance, and also leisure or the need to relax and be free of stressors.

And one could still argue these all in some way propagate the species, some being more decidely male or more female trends than others. Of the more notable stereotypes, take your average 'dirty old man', leering at highschool girls. Maybe males are more aggressively sexual and need to impregnate stuff by nature, so some go off the deep end and they aim for vulnerable, young victims, I don't know. Women like to mother and care for their kids as best as possible, so maybe (again just by going on what we see in the media) women are more apt to euthanize sick children in the bathtub and end their suffering and 'send them to be with God' rather than men.

So I guess I'm saying humans have not evolved a whole lot in some cases.
But despite those macro trends, some clear some not so clear, I'd wager that each is a uniquely personal experience (or malfunction), and therefore closely connected to its individual roots. Not everyone follows these sterotypes, and if even if they do, not to the same degree or severity. We are all human but I maintain we are still individuals, but I'd further add that this individuality still stems from basic motivators.

But, now, at long last, (getting far off topic), I think for many this lack of evolution and adherance to the physical body's whims is going to change in the coming decade.
 

Tsuyoiko

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How about this for a guess? I'm bookish, clumsy and unsociable, not the kind of girl that was popular with boys as a teenager. Since boys aren't going to like me for the reasons they usually like girls, maybe I need to make myself noticeable for other reasons. Create a niche market :D But as you say, I guess we'll never know.

it doesn't make sense that .. I dunno, drug addicts or pedophiles exist, they aren't serving a purpose.

Drug addicts and paedophiles become that way through a mix of genes, environment and social factors, right? The genes that contribute to it don't necessarily prevent a person reproducing, which means that those genes are going to get passed onto the next generation. The same goes for any condition with a genetic component: so long as it allows enough people carrying it to produce offspring who also have a chance to reproduce, it won't die out.
 

Kinsao

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I'm bookish, clumsy and unsociable, not the kind of girl that was popular with boys as a teenager. Since boys aren't going to like me for the reasons they usually like girls, maybe I need to make myself noticeable for other reasons.

OMG, I totally relate! 😊

I guess that has relevance in the sense of being a 'survival technique'.

Apart from the obvious anatomical differences, how different do you think men are from women? Do the genders think differently? Are we good at different things? If you do think there are differences, what do you think causes them: anatomy, chemistry, upbringing, peer pressure?

I believe there is some scientific evidence (although I can't quote anything) that there are some differences in the ways the brain works in males and females due to men having higher testosterone levels and women having higher oestrogen levels, which affect some brain functions.

This seems reasonable to me, but I have to admit I really dislike some of the easy stereotypes that thinking leads to (rather oddly, since I'm not in the least a 'feminist' type) - perhaps because, like you Tsuyoiko, I find that I have rather more of a 'masculine brain'.

I do believe this may well be attributable to higher levels of testosterone, either when developing in the womb or in the present... I have heard that higher levels of testosterone in the womb can cause someone to have a longer ring finger than first finger, and mine is definitely longer... of course I have some womanly traits (!) but I also have certain more 'masculine' traits as well which are associated with higher testosterone levels. Most noticeably these include: a strong 'focusedness' and inability to 'multi-task', and (supposedly linked to this trait) good spatial awareness and being good at parking the car (!); aggressive tendencies often manifesting themselves in physical ways; a tendency to physically 'aggressive' sexual behaviour e.g. biting, scratching etc; and being a 'systematiser' rather than an 'empathiser'.

So in answer to your question, I think that to a certain extent it can be said that, very broadly speaking men and women 'think differently', but as individuals differ so much this is a far from infallible guide, and 'feminine men' and 'masculine women' exist so widely and on such a variable sliding scale that it's not really possible to generalise in any very useful way.

I think the main basic differences are caused by a combination of chemistry, anatomy and evolution, probably in about equal measure - a case of nature designing us to fulfil certain roles as efficiently as possible. These traits are then gradually adapted to the changes that take place in society - for example, men don't have to be literally 'hunters' so much nowadays, nor women 'gatherers', so traits that reinforced these roles have either lessened or been channelled in other directions.

Upbringing and peer pressure also have their part to play, and I think form a kind of second tier of affecting factors over and above anatomy and chemistry. These are, of course, tied in with the society and culture. Socio-cultural conditions are, I think, a kind of interlocking 'web' connecting the anatomy, chemistry and evolution 'level' with the upbringing and peer pressure 'level' - all of which combine to cause the differences.

Phew! Not sure if I'm making any sense...!
 

Capster78

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I think the only thing that makes women and men different is society and their expectations.
 

Otto

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I think the only thing that makes women and men different is society and their expectations.

Come on! I’ve heard that one before. It’s always those, who don’t have any kids. If you have raised children (both girls and boys) you would know this is absolutely not true. Like “Kinsao” said, there will be some exceptions, feminine men masculine women. Society and its expectations are the only differentiators!? Come on! Don’t get me wrong, women and men being different don’t infer that one is superior to the other. It just means we are different.
 
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lol the title makes me think of our dear admin. I don't think there is much a difference really but because of society, women feel that they have to act ditzy, hard to get, or get over prettied up and guys feel that they have to put up a facade of manliness and pride while overdoing it!
 
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