Jump to content
Gopi Passiflora

What are some of the causes of the behavioral differences between genders in humans?

Recommended Posts

4 hours ago, Gopi Passiflora said:

I think culture for the most part has influenced many differences in behavior among humans.

Not to mention furries.

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Genetics/biology certainly make up some of it. There are general differences between men and women at a class level (so they obviously won't apply to every single individual).

I do question, though, just what and how marked these differences really are. When I was pregnant, I couldn't get anything baby-related that wasn't totally gendered (except white babygros). Even the baby baths; I eventually got given a plain white second hand one, but when I was shopping even those were all blue with pirates and sharks or pink with mermaids and princesses. From my personal observation of toddlers, there are plenty of sensitive boys and boisterous girls. (And boys generally love My Little Pony before they've had a chance to learn that they're not allowed to like colourful, magical horses.) 

There was some outrage over here a while ago when a famous upmarket chain store decided it was no longer going to label children's clothes as being for boys or girls, and just set everything out for people to choose. I cannot fathom why anyone was bothered by this. There is still a cluster of blue dinosaurs, cars and aeroplanes next to another one of pink princesses, rainbows and sparkly unicorns. 

So much is cultural. Time was that real men weren't supposed to have any interest in cooking, and now all the most famous celebrity chefs are men. The Romans saw nothing unmanly in having sex with other men (just as long as it was in the right role). Wris*****ches, now luxury status symbols aimed mostly at men, were only for women until World War II, when precise and instantly viewable timekeeping became crucial (prior to that, men had pocket watches). I hear that even Goreans, for whom trauma bonding and toxic masculinity are religious canon, have started some sort of "evolved" thing because they've decided that running around in dresses and sandals isn't manly. 

ETA: Oh good God. Seems "wrist watch" needs to be two words....

Edited by Amina Sopwith
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Technology has leveraged the greatest OPPORTUNITY for behavioral change within gender roles.

Instant global communication has increased awareness and therefore enlightened many to *new* possibilities. Good ideas are hard to kill once they get communicated.

Tools have made former gender-based restrictions based on upper body strength and reproductive (gestation) cycles largely irrelevant - although still enforced in many areas.

Technology and Social Media have also caused some of the most conflicted messaging in history...the modern woman is supposed to be financially and emotionally independent while *at the same time* remaining ”forever 21”,  having some version of a “perfect” body shape, buying shoes that kill their feet and generally conforming to Pop Cultures version of what “normal” looks like.

......and we tune in daily to make sure we know what that is.

 

Edited by AmandaKeen
  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A combination of nurture and nature, of course. Exactly how much of the difference can be put down to biology and how much is caused by our culture is both debatable, and varies pretty significantly from society to society and over time. But even if we could eliminate every single aspect of gendering that comes from the culture we live in, those biological factors will still cause a difference between men and women at the population level.

That's the thing to remember about gender differences - they're an average, nothing more. Most of the core psychological differences between men and women work on a "60-40" split; so if you were to take a random man and a random woman from the population, and check to see which is more aggressive (as an example), the man will be the more aggressive of the two 60% of the time. That's a vast amount of overlap. And so while the statement "men are more aggressive than women" is true, there's still huge numbers of women that are more aggressive than your average man. Because it's all just averages.

What's crucial is that we shape our society to fully accept and appreciate those that don't follow the typical gender behavioural patterns - because there's millions and millions of them. Aggressive women, agreeable men, female engineers and plumbers, male nurses and 'househusbands'; they might not follow the 'typical' expectations of their gender, but that shouldn't matter one bit.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Bree Giffen said:

Well, genetics causes differences of behavior between genders in animals. 

"Genetics" is often used incorrectly. Most mammals, including humans, have nearly identical genomes whether they're male or female. Most of the changes that we associate with "natural" causes are actually caused by hormones acting on structures that genetically can be either "male" or "female."

I've known people who've been on hormone treatments as part of gender transitions and have heard people describing the dramatic mental changes they're experiencing with the treatments.

  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Amina Sopwith said:

all the most famous celebrity chefs are men

But all the efficient ones are women.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Theresa Tennyson said:

"Genetics" is often used incorrectly. Most mammals, including humans, have nearly identical genomes whether they're male or female. Most of the changes that we associate with "natural" causes are actually caused by hormones acting on structures that genetically can be either "male" or "female."

I've known people who've been on hormone treatments as part of gender transitions and have heard people describing the dramatic mental changes they're experiencing with the treatments.

But aren't those hormones produced by hormonal glands which grow based on genetic code? Genetics controls hormones and once again controls the differences between genders. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Well, it's an interesting question but it is also an impossible one to answer. For a start there is the debate of nature vs nurture and quite honestly that debate could go on to the end of time without reaching any significant conclusion. Gender as it is meant in the modern day covers a whole range of things and humanity is so varied that when you start to define what is or is not about a gender you also start devaluing those within that gender that do meet your definition.  Then there is the debate of Gender vs Sex which again...end of time.

Interim note : Before anyone starts the "but gender and sex are the same thing". Words change, meanings change, phrases evolve. Gender is now generally considered to be your identity and sex your biology.

For example you could say "but women are gentler and have a much softer approach" and I can show you 100 males who are more gentle and have a softer approach than any women you would ever meet. You could say "but but but women are more understanding and in touch with their emotions" to which I could show you another 100 males who are just as, if not more so, in touch with their emotions and understanding of people's feeling. The same can be said in reverse of the aggresive domineering aspects males are said to have. And so on and so forth. And that is a few of the sociological differences of how each gender is percieved and expected to act in the world.

When you cross the boundary from gender into genetic and sexual differences the waters become even more murky and even more impossible to define fully.  For example you have Androgen Sensitivity Syndome the least extreme of this could be a woman being born with a predisposition to a higher amount of testosterone in her system and the most extreme being a woman born who is for all purposes female with functioning sexual parts but genetically has male chromosomes and unless she undergoes genetic testing would never even know anything about it and then all kinds of variations in between. We also have the fact that all fetus' start out as inherently female (if the males on this forum don't believe me look under your pen*s, see that scar that runs right down the middle..that scar is a closed v*ginal opening) and around xxx weeks androgens and other chemicals are introduced that define whether the baby develops into a male or develops into a female. These chemicals are not introduced equally for each person by the way, every single birth on this planet is unique in the sense that those chemicals are introduced at levels that vary from person to person. We also have the issue that every single person be they male, female or other carries the genetic code for their opposing sex and on the deepest genetic level (I forget the name now) has the opposing sexes chromosomal cells.  There is even a village in the remote parts of the Dominican Rebuplic called Selinas I think who have had studies conducted on their children as they are born "female" and then around puberty grow a p*nis and are found to be actually male.

So as you can see. Definite behaviours and traits and physicalities is not as straight forward as most claim because every single person on this earth is intersexed to one degree or another and a lot of what we define as being a man or a woman are just societal expectations that really have no definition or base when explored out in the field. Even those who appear to conform to these actions are just conforming to what they think society expects of them and once out of the view of society usually display significantly different traits. A good example is a friend of mine. When he is with his friends he is the lad, the joker, the man who has to be top of the pack and the most (non violently) aggresive. Behind closed doors he is actually a very deep understanding person who is more switched on and in tune with the feelings and emotions of others than any girl I know. The same could be said for me sometimes when I am with my girl friends vs when I am not.

Even if you want to define physical primary differences it can be difficult. You can't say "a man has a p*nis"  because some are born without one. You can't say but women have breasts as some men develop them due to hormonal imbalances and some women never develop any breast tissue . You can't say "women have babies" because some are born unable to. You can't fully define chromosomes for the reasons stated above. You can't say men are hairy as I know some women who are on par with apes. The world of gender and sex and behaviour in humans and in deed animals is so so vast...that it's impossible really nail anything down solidly. There are even tribes in the rainforest where the men sit at home caring for the young and wearing jewellery and makeup and the women are the ones who go out and hunt and are the providers.

Anyway I have waffled enough 😁

 

 

Edited by ItHadToComeToThis
Idk why those words are banned..
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Odaks said:

But all the efficient ones are women.

It's certainly got something to do with cookery becoming seen as an art form and worthy pastime...when it was just necessary domestic drudgery, it was totally women's domain. Early computer programmers were women too, again until it became seen as something properly weighty and serious. We have ideas about what men and women should be, but what this actually means in practical terms changes with the weather. 


Someone mentioned opportunity earlier. I've been asked in job interviews whether I plan to have any/any more children, as have other women I know. It's an illegal question over here but that doesn't stop people. I don't know a single man who's ever been asked this in a job interview. 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

The difference in actions and behaviors when looking at men and women used to be very obvious. It used to be a deeply rooted instinctual game of cat-n-mouse.  Or man-n-woman.  

As someone pointed out the instinctual grit is not as strong as 150 years ago when the most common reasons for having a sexual routine were connected to making babies. Technology and more time added to our estimated shelf lives makes a pretty strange combination and sends our species a genetic-mixed-message that says something (in the advanced language of our code)  that essentially says something sexy and awkward - In the same breath.  Like this:  “***** me! No wait! Ok, go ahead and ***** me. Wait! wait. I am not ready.  Ok ok ok go.” 🤭😂

And mankind still continues reproducing-  only ... now it’s not as certain- and we have a lot of these mixed messages in our new generations .  

❤️Our bodies like the pleasure.

🤖Our minds don’t connect sex as much to reproduction as we used and this is making a shift happen.  For sure. 

 

Beep bop bleep bloop 

 

edited to express my shame for not knowing the naughty word rules .  My bad. . 🙀

Edited by CandyLipsKiss
To babble more
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

True story from yesterday. Niece and nephew, both seven, were sharing a sticker book together. Lots of information about history, weaponry, armour, castles, exotic animals, natural rocks and space. After they were finished stickering and reading, nephew closed the book (it was his) and niece saw that it was called the Big Sticker Book for Boys.

Niece: "Your book says it's for boys."

Nephew: "Yeah, so what?"
 

Edited by Amina Sopwith
Just realised this is ambiguous. He meant "yeah, so what if it says it's for boys, girls can do it too."
  • Like 4
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Amina Sopwith said:

True story from yesterday. Niece and nephew, both seven, were sharing a sticker book together. Lots of information about history, weaponry, armour, castles, exotic animals, natural rocks and space. After they were finished stickering and reading, nephew closed the book (it was his) and niece saw that it was called the Big Sticker Book for Boys.

Niece: "Your book says it's for boys."

Nephew: "Yeah, so what?"
 

I come from a German / Irish background so in my family we are pale. I was in the Department of Motor Vehicles with my mother once, and  I was playing with a Little African American boy in the line. I was 3 or 4. Years old. The moms in line were watching us and listening to our chatter.  He asked me if I wanted to run to the end of the building  and back.  I told him he should ask his mama first. Then I turned to the moms, a line of about 10 people where only one woman was African American woman. 

I closely inspected them all and finally looked back at him and said 

“Which one is your mama?” 

🦋🦋😻😻🦋🦋

Gotta love the innocence of a truly color blind child . I saw no difference.  The moms all giggled.  I didn’t know why. 

 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some great responses here, but something that is implicit in many of them but not explicitly stated is that most of what we now know about gender (and, to some degree, sexual biology) has forced a rethinking of what was once a pretty clear gender binary. In some ways, the unspoken premise of the OP is that there are two genders, and the issue is how these two relate to each other. In fact, it's far more accurate and useful to think of gender as a spectrum -- or perhaps something even more complex than the two-dimensional scale that that implies.

What we also have come to understand about culturally-determined binaries -- good/evil, man/woman, natural/artificial, heterosexual/homosexual, white/black, etc. -- is that their primary social function is to establish a hierarchical power relationship that enables the control of the second term by the first. Most of the socially-determined ways of defining masculinity and femininity have been, historically, really about establishing the dominance of the "male" principle. (In much the same way, "homosexuality," as a category of identity rather than as a description of certain kinds of sexual practice, was more or less invented in the West at the beginning of the 18th century as a means of privileging "heterosexuality.")

A few people above have spoken about the role of technology in challenging the traditional binary, and that's true (although it has been challenged before, without the aid of tech). Something I've said before about SL is relevant here: the sense of unease, sometimes bordering on moral panic, that one frequently encounters about disconnects between RL and SL gender (think of "voice verification" groups, for instance) is pretty concrete proof of the fact that gender is socially constructed. If someone can convincingly represent here as their "opposite" RL gender, they've effectively demonstrated that the social traits that we associate with gender are not innately connected to their biological sex.

Every time someone in SL freaks out because someone they thought was "female" turns out to be run by an RL "male" they have learned (even if they don't fully absorb) an important lesson: our genitals are only a small part of the complex array of factors that determine who we are.

  • Like 3
  • Thanks 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Every time someone in SL freaks out because someone they thought was "female" turns out to be run by an RL "male" they have learned (even if they don't fully absorb) an important lesson: our genitals are only a small part of the complex array of factors that determine who we are.

If only this were true. Unfortunately many who encounter such an experience feel they have been fooled by someone who is simply skilled at pretending to be the opposite sex and so learn nothing :(

The question remains -- what will enable those who think in binary terms to let go of the safety/certainty this provides and embrace the complexity/uncertainty of reality?

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Scylla Rhiadra said:

Some great responses here, but something that is implicit in many of them but not explicitly stated is that most of what we now know about gender (and, to some degree, sexual biology) has forced a rethinking of what was once a pretty clear gender binary. In some ways, the unspoken premise of the OP is that there are two genders, and the issue is how these two relate to each other. In fact, it's far more accurate and useful to think of gender as a spectrum -- or perhaps something even more complex than the two-dimensional scale that that implies.

This is such an interesting point. It made me think about how many different male/female identities/narratives humans have constructed over the years. Men: the wandering minstrel, the romantic hero, the he-man warrior, the alpha male, the deadbeat loser. Women: the femme fatale, the virgin madonna, the ingenue, the Amazonian queen. And those are just the first ones that come to mind. 

You might be interested to read Self Made Man by Norah Vincent. She's a gay woman who spent a year disguising herself as a man and did things like date women as a man, join a bowling team, even spent time in a monastery. A lot of very interesting experiences and observations, but one that comes to mind with regard to your comments about people discovering a female av has a male behind it is her dating experiences. When she was messaging these women prior to meeting, she didn't change anything about her self expression; she wrote and responded entirely as herself without trying to sound different. In a lot of cases, while the women she met weren't attracted to her physically, they were very very drawn to her writing, very impressed with her emotional intelligence, engagement and sensitivity.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 4/22/2019 at 12:06 AM, Amina Sopwith said:

Someone mentioned opportunity earlier. I've been asked in job interviews whether I plan to have any/any more children, as have other women I know. It's an illegal question over here but that doesn't stop people. I don't know a single man who's ever been asked this in a job interview. 

From my own experience as company owner, and many others with me in my surrounding: Female employees that get a child do of course have a period where they will be not available for work, but once that done, its generally done, and you will hardly notice any extended downtime after that.

The guys who get a child in their home situation will have much less initial downtime of course, but OMG... every damn time the kid sneezes, the guy gets sick to and has to stay home with super extreme man flue nearly killing him and sure as hell not being able to work for at least a week. I dare say we loose a lot more workhours to guys being sick yet again because the kid sneezed at home, then we do to women who get children.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Luna Bliss said:

 what will enable those who think in binary terms to let go of the safety/certainty this provides and embrace the complexity/uncertainty of reality?

Dissolution of privilege. And partly necessarily through the efforts of those willing to raise others up. This can often feel like oppression to those unwilling to let go of their privilege and treat others with respect, so it's a long, slow, painful process, but it is happening.

Another process is when our own circumstances and suffering force us to accept uncertainty and insecurity in how we experience the world, and can lead to us having empathy for others when we recognise their suffering.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Amina Sopwith said:

When she was messaging these women prior to meeting, she didn't change anything about her self expression; she wrote and responded entirely as herself without trying to sound different.

This doesn't surprise me at all: I think that a really detailed linguistic analysis of the way in which men and women speak in text would discover more variation within each gender than between them. And those gendered differences that are likely to appear in such an analysis would not only be a minority of instances, but culturally-induced, quite often by men trying to sound more "manly" (monosyllables, more direct action verbs, etc.) and, equally, women trying to sound "feminine" (more emotive language, greater use of emojis to communicate emotional or tonal nuance, and so forth).

Which brings us to the way in which some represent gender in SL. In the same way that there is a marked tendency (in some "men") to choose hypermasculine physical shapes, with exaggerated musculature, shoulders, thinner waists, shorter necks, while women choose hypersexualized avatars (curvy and/or hourglass shapes, large breasts), so too one runs across a substantial number of people who consciously or unconsciously use language to sound more masculine or feminine.

I think the reason people do this (and, I don't know, is this kind of exaggeration more common amongst those who are representing a different gender than they are in RL?) is not because men and women actually look or sound in these ways, but because they are cultural markers for conventional gender characteristics. It's as though, in the absence of "real" bodies to provide visual evidence of RL gender and sex, some over-compensate by turning the volume up to "11" on gendered characteristics in their representation. You can't know for sure that I'm a woman in RL, so instead I'll appear here like a cartoon woman.

Edited by Scylla Rhiadra
  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, LexxiXhan said:
22 hours ago, Luna Bliss said:

 what will enable those who think in binary terms to let go of the safety/certainty this provides and embrace the complexity/uncertainty of reality?

Dissolution of privilege. And partly necessarily through the efforts of those willing to raise others up. This can often feel like oppression to those unwilling to let go of their privilege and treat others with respect, so it's a long, slow, painful process, but it is happening.

Another process is when our own circumstances and suffering force us to accept uncertainty and insecurity in how we experience the world, and can lead to us having empathy for others when we recognise their suffering.

It's a strange state of affairs we have in the U.S. where the public perception of LGBT issues is more positive, yet the laws under this administration are busy stripping away rights. I'm fearful the Orange Disgrace will get elected yet again and further undermine hard-won rights :(
It's difficult, in the midst of it, to keep the perspective that this is probably just a backlash and not a permanent downward trend. It's scary though, that a collapse of civilization that could easily occur at any time would most likely create a downward trend for all marginalized groups.

So true what you're saying about privilege - "When you're accustomed to privilege equality feels like oppression"

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Behavior differences between genders are multifactorial. You can roughly split them up in three groups:

1. One factor is genetic, XX vs. XY. The most obvious phenotypes are neuroanatomical and hormonal, resulting in differences in reflexes and instincts.

2. Another factor is epigenetic, in which environmental factors, such as physical and psychological stress, are imprinted upon our chromosomes. These do not change out DNA code, but modify the way out DNA is expressed. Epigenetic changes, like genetic changes, can be passed on to offspring and influence our characters and behaviors.

3. The final, and most complex group of factors is environmental, including cultural. Some cultures are more resistant to change than others, most notable in populations that have, historically, been more isolated from others (conservative vs. progressive), or suffered scarcity of resources. Conservatism may result in rules which dictate more established and rigid roles for men and women, whereas progressiveness may result in higher tolerance to changes in gender-related behavior.

From a biological viewpoint, differences in behavior contribute to the diversity of a population (in this case, a broad spectrum of conservative to progressive characters). Diversity is the basis for adaptability and survivability and one of the driving forces behind evolution. The more diverse a population is, the easier it is for this population to adapt to environmental changes. And I believe there are some major environmental changes around the corner, so better embrace our differences.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...