FacebookTwitter
Hatrack River Forum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Does gender affect interests and aptitudes? (Page 1)

  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   
Author Topic: Does gender affect interests and aptitudes?
Shigosei
Member
Member # 3831

 - posted      Profile for Shigosei   Email Shigosei         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I was talking to a friend the other day, and I made the comment that I didn't think my gender influenced my mental abilities or interests that much. My friend said that he thinks men and women do have different tendencies, though it would be wrong to make blanket statements. He says that I'm the only young woman he knows with the skills and interests to be a scientist or engineer. What do you all think? Is the difference between men and women nature, nurture, or both? What causes men and women to pursue a career outside of what is "normal" for their gender? Is there really anything wrong with having male- or female- dominated fields?
Posts: 3546 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
sarahdipity
Member
Member # 3254

 - posted      Profile for sarahdipity   Email sarahdipity         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think your friend needs to meet more women/girls. [Wink] I know lots of female engineers/scientists.
Posts: 872 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Shigosei
Member
Member # 3831

 - posted      Profile for Shigosei   Email Shigosei         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
He's an engineering student himself, so I would think he'd have met plenty of female engineers. I think he doesn't make friends with his classmates, though. Most of the people he knows may come from a culture where women pursuing this kind of career might be discouraged. I'm not sure.
Posts: 3546 | Registered: Jul 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ak
Member
Member # 90

 - posted      Profile for ak   Email ak         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yeah, I personally think he's completely clueless. You can tell him I said so. [Smile]
Posts: 2843 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Coccinelle
Member
Member # 5832

 - posted      Profile for Coccinelle   Email Coccinelle         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This made me think about my field- there isn't a single man in my master's program, nor is there a male Family & Consumer Science teacher in the North Texas area.

When I was in college, the one guy in my program was constantly teased about being gay for choosing a "woman's field"

I do think men and women have different tendencies- I don't see many men at quilt guild meetings (unfortunately...)

Posts: 862 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Beren One Hand
Member
Member # 3403

 - posted      Profile for Beren One Hand           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Everything men can do women can do, better.
Posts: 4116 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Book
Member
Member # 5500

 - posted      Profile for Book           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Holy God. There is little to nothing magic about that particular cone.

I can think of a few things men can do better than women, namely owning testicles. We're damn proficient at that.

Posts: 2258 | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Muwahaha
Member
Member # 6488

 - posted      Profile for Muwahaha   Email Muwahaha         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think that women's and men's interest tend to differ a lot because of societal pressure and the messages around them. My husband and I worked very hard to raise our daughter without resorting to the idea that she has to be a girly-girl. Has anyone noticed that it's almost impossible to buy a girl under the age of 2 clothes that don't come in pastel shades? When she was 3, I set out a sailor-style dress for her to wear. She promptly said that she wasn't wearing a "boy dress." I assume she thought it was for boys b/c of the colors (red, white, and blue)...but it's funny that she didn't yet recognize that boys don't wear dresses!
Posts: 11 | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Xaposert
Member
Member # 1612

 - posted      Profile for Xaposert           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Well, I think there should be no question that gender affects interests and aptitudes. Even a very simple survey will show it does very strongly. For one thing, every year the engineering school at my university has had vastly more male students than female students. For another thing, there was only a few females in the philosophy program - and many males. It's not the sort of thing that can be explained away as random chance, so I think it's clear there's a difference in interests and aptitudes.

As to what causes this difference - that's a more debatable question. I'd put my money for the most part on society shaping them that way, although I don't think that makes the difference any less real than if it were genetic.

Posts: 2432 | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ak
Member
Member # 90

 - posted      Profile for ak   Email ak         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Tres, but the engineering schools had 0% females in 1965, 1% in 1975, 5% in 1985, 15% in 1995, and 30% now. How can you maintain your uncertainty in face of those numbers? Have women changed genetically in such a short period of decades?

[ April 26, 2004, 01:12 AM: Message edited by: ak ]

Posts: 2843 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hobbes
Member
Member # 433

 - posted      Profile for Hobbes   Email Hobbes         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
AK, I reamin certain, I just think that shows that good deal of it has to do with nuture [EDIT: and nuture has changed significantly with regard to gender roles in the last few decades] instead of nature (though I think that ple nty of nature still exists I don't really have any proof, at least non-anecdotal).

Hobbes [Smile]

[ April 26, 2004, 01:15 AM: Message edited by: Hobbes ]

Posts: 10602 | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Hobbes
Member
Member # 433

 - posted      Profile for Hobbes   Email Hobbes         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ohh, and I'm curious where you got your statistics AK. I've never done any serious reasearch on this but I know Purdue graduates more women engineers than any other college (or so it claims) and there really don't seem to be 30% female engineers here. Also, looking at pictures of garduating classes (that line the hallways in most of the buildings here) I'd also say that even the classes in the 1920s had higher than 1% female engineers.

<--*Curious about statistics, loves AK*

Hobbes [Smile]

Posts: 10602 | Registered: Oct 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Beren One Hand
Member
Member # 3403

 - posted      Profile for Beren One Hand           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My law school class had 53% female enrollment. [Cool]
Posts: 4116 | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Xaposert
Member
Member # 1612

 - posted      Profile for Xaposert           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Tres, but the engineering schools had 0% females in 1965, 1% in 1975, 5% in 1985, 15% in 1995, and 30% now. How can you maintain your uncertainty in face of those numbers? Have women changed genetically in such a short period of decades?
No, as I said, I suspect it's not a matter of genetics.

I think it's more likely that women have changed memetically during that time, in that they have been raised differently, to value different things and think differently.

But yes, it is still quite certain there is a difference. 30% is nowhere near any margin of error. And in other areas the difference remains far far higher, such as difference in the desire to wear makeup, or the difference in the desire to wear dresses, and so on. Gender does affect what you want, and what you end up able to do.

Posts: 2432 | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Suneun
Member
Member # 3247

 - posted      Profile for Suneun   Email Suneun         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What about things like juggling, competition yo-yo, and other nimble coordination skills? The vast majority of folks I know in those fields (especially if you look at competition videos) are male. Is it just self-perpetuation through gender social networking? Inherent skill bias?
Posts: 1892 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
fugu13
Member
Member # 2859

 - posted      Profile for fugu13   Email fugu13         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
First, you're just spouting gibberish as far as statistics is concerned when you're talking about margin off error, Tres. It doesn't make sense at all. What you're attempting to find is a causative correlation. 70% men 30% women is definitely a correlation, but is it causative? Quite likely, at least in the limited sense you already expounded. Its likely indirectly caused through societal influences that are applied based on sex.
Posts: 15770 | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
ak
Member
Member # 90

 - posted      Profile for ak   Email ak         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've been associated with the college of engineering at my school since the 70s. These figures are rough guesses at my school over that time frame. They are fairly close, but not exact.

I think the very first female engineering student was in the late 60s. Our first engineering building had no women's restrooms, for instance, and it was built in the 50s or 60s. Not only did they have zero women in engineering then, but they anticipated none over the lifetime of the building.

When I attended in the 70s, I was always the only girl in every class (of 20-30 students). Many classes had no girls. There were other girls, but not enough that we ever had class together. I was in EE. In IE there were more girls and in ME fewer. So EE was about average, I'm guessing.

In the 80s I went back to school to finish, and then saw the numbers had jumped up much higher. Again in the 90s. Now I think they are at least 30% or perhaps more. Numbers out in industry are way lower, more like 5%. Still climbing very quickly.

The exact numbers I'm not positive of, yet the huge change over that period of time is indisputable. I say it must mean that all of the change so far has been attributable to societal factors and none to genetics. Knowing that back in the 50s people attributed all of the difference to genetics, makes me think it's far more likely that what difference remains is actually societal in nature rather than genetic as well.

Posts: 2843 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Xaposert
Member
Member # 1612

 - posted      Profile for Xaposert           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
First, you're just spouting gibberish as far as statistics is concerned when you're talking about margin off error, Tres. It doesn't make sense at all. What you're attempting to find is a causative correlation. 70% men 30% women is definitely a correlation, but is it causative?
Actually, I think we're just looking at correlation, if the question is "Are they different?" rather than "What makes them different?" I'd presume the cause of the difference is not gender itself but other factors that also correlate with gender, like what the individual gets taught growing up, or what the individual's friends expect of him or her. And the margin of error refers to the chance that the difference in our sample is just due to random chance - which is not within the realm of possibility at 30%, given that our sample is a whole class of engineering students.
Posts: 2432 | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
fugu13
Member
Member # 2859

 - posted      Profile for fugu13   Email fugu13         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
*sigh* but without a numerical sample size you can't compute a margin of error at all, Tres. If there were ten people in that engineering class, the margin of error would certainly encompass the difference in those statistics.
Posts: 15770 | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
John L
Member
Member # 6005

 - posted      Profile for John L           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
The answer to the overlying question is no: gender does not affect interests and aptitudes. However, gender roles affect them greatly, and since women as a gender are still somewhat pigeonholed into a certain gender role—yes, people, even in this "liberated" age—they are often turned away from certain interests by learned behavior and social manipulation. More often than not, it isn't any one person's fault that a female will tend to lean a certain way with regard to many subjects. It's a group effort.
Posts: 779 | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
fugu13
Member
Member # 2859

 - posted      Profile for fugu13   Email fugu13         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Furthermore, standard margin of error calculations don't really apply. Gender statistics are highly school specific, so any sample based on a single school's population is going to be relatively meaningless. It just doesn't contain enough data to apply any meaningful margin of error to.
Posts: 15770 | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BrianM
Member
Member # 5918

 - posted      Profile for BrianM   Email BrianM         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yes, gender DOES affect interests/aptitudes/whatever you want to call them.

Now, before you answer, I don't think you understand what I mean by gender versus sex.

Gender is a culturally machinated role transposed onto sexual categories.

Now, does sex itself directly determine interests, etc.? No, but it does indirectly, here's how.

Society X has prepared gender Y for sex A

Society X enforces cultural programme of environmental instution of gender Y for sex A

Some reist but they are negligible for wholesale success with more than 70% of sex A adopting gender Y

Members of Gender Y successful in their absorbtion of Y institutionalize Y for future members of sex A. Some generational deviance occurs but not enough to mark it apart from whole generic cultural changes.

Of course this gets INCREDIBLY complex when Society X meets Society Z. Or when Society X messes up and turns sex A against gender Y by innappropriate/unacceptable conditioning means or perhaps fails to modify gender Y along with the changes affecting the entire culture (aka purposeful stagnating portion of culture whilst change occurs elsewhere)

[ April 26, 2004, 10:53 AM: Message edited by: BrianM ]

Posts: 369 | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BannaOj
Member
Member # 3206

 - posted      Profile for BannaOj   Email BannaOj         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Obviously as a woman in engineering I'm one of the "satistics" And I think I'm a darn good engineer if I do say so myself.

However, I have wondered about the link between brain structure differences, mathematic skills, and autisim, and the fact that considerably more boys than girls are autistic. (Though there are a few girls that are autistic, I know the mother of one.)

I also know that when "normal" (non-hatrack) girls talk to me about "girl stuff" I feel like we are from different planets. I have no idea how much is nature and how much is nurture, but I have to be dragged to the store kicking and screaming to buy new clothes etc. It often seems like I am on a very different brain wavelength than girls who chose to go into "traditional" female professions.

It is also interesting at least at the university I attended to see where the girls were in the college of engineering. (this is circa 2000) There were very, very few in Computer science and Electrical engineering, maybe 2 out of a class of 30. In mechanical and civil engineering it was up to about 6 in a class of 45. The chemical engineering classes were almost exactly 1/3 female, and the Environmental Engineering classes were over 50% female.

So I have to wonder if cultural bias is playing a factor in the areas even in engineering that women tend to go into. They appear to stay closer to more "sciency" types of engineering, like chemical engineering and environmental engineering. (Though neither is any easier than any other engineering discipline)

In real life though, the gains that are seen in the classroom are still outweight by the number of men that are already working in engineering. I am the only female engineer in my department and one of approximately 5 or 6 in a company that employs at least 60 engineers.

AJ

Posts: 11264 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Xaposert
Member
Member # 1612

 - posted      Profile for Xaposert           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
*sigh* but without a numerical sample size you can't compute a margin of error at all, Tres. If there were ten people in that engineering class, the margin of error would certainly encompass the difference in those statistics.
Class as in all the students across the country in engineering schools at a given level at a given time, which was the statistic anne kate gave. And considering she probably just guestimated that number anyway, I don't think there's much of an issue here. They know what I mean.
Posts: 2432 | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mrs.M
Member
Member # 2943

 - posted      Profile for Mrs.M   Email Mrs.M         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think it's nurture. I come from a long line of engineers and my father is a cardiologist. Yet, I have no aptitude for science. Math was always difficult for me, as well. Why? My early childhood I.Q. tests showed that I was equally intelligent in math and language skills. Maybe it had something to do with my Barbie saying, "Math is hard." And getting dolls and clothes for my birthday, rather than chemistry sets or puzzles surely has something to do with it.
Posts: 3037 | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mr_porteiro_head
Member
Member # 4644

 - posted      Profile for mr_porteiro_head   Email mr_porteiro_head         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have to chime in. I used to completely agree with Leto and BrianM. I used to think that the only difference between men and women was plumbing. But after watching my children, I am convinced that some of society's gender roles have some basis in nature as well as nurture.

Our first child was a boy, and the second was a girl. While we did dress them somewhat differently, it was not overly so. Neither my wife nor I are big fans of pink or frills. We gave them the same toys. We did not (consciously) encourage different behaviors in them.

Our boy is a stereotypical boy. He is loud, physically exuberant, and tries to physically dominate the other kids. He is fascinated by violence and death. He'll be playing with his toys and telling stories about who hit who, etc. He is always trying to place everything in its place -- he wants to know who is older than whom, which is better than which, etc.

Our girl is a born nurturer. She loves her stuffed animals and calls them by names. When she makes up stories about her toys, it's about them being in families and about how they feel.

So, to sum up, I believe that some gender roles have a real basis in nature. I think some of our underlying attitues come from our differing biology.

[ April 26, 2004, 11:30 AM: Message edited by: mr_porteiro_head ]

Posts: 16551 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
PSI Teleport
Member
Member # 5545

 - posted      Profile for PSI Teleport   Email PSI Teleport         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Link

quote:
There are other, perhaps more significant, differences that distinguish male and female brains. Male brains are wired to move information quickly within each side — or hemisphere — of the brain. This gives them better spatial abilities. They can see an object in space, and react quickly.

In women's brains, areas of the cerebral cortex — linked to language, judgment and memory — are more densely packed with nerve cells than men's brains. This allows them to process that information more effectively.

Fisher explained that the corpus callosum, which she describes as a "big highway between the two sides of the brain," is larger in women toward the rear than it is in men. "Hence," she said, "the two sides of the brain are better interconnected" in women.

One thing I learned when studying for the SAT's...women very often do better in the verbal, while men usually do better in the math. Not ALWAYS. But, if I remember correctly, the influx of hormones that a fetus receives affects the way the brain develops. Actually, I believe the way it was described was that testosterone had the effect of damaging ( [Big Grin] ) a man's brain in the area of verbal communication because it hinders the development of the area between the two sides of the brain, but allows the development to take place WITHIN each side of the brain individually, instead.

And since interests are often affected by a person's aptitudes, then I would answer "Yes" to both.

Posts: 6366 | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mr_porteiro_head
Member
Member # 4644

 - posted      Profile for mr_porteiro_head   Email mr_porteiro_head         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Man get man when U say the man brain damaged! Man hav good vrbll sklisz! Man smash research!

[ April 26, 2004, 11:32 AM: Message edited by: mr_porteiro_head ]

Posts: 16551 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mr_porteiro_head
Member
Member # 4644

 - posted      Profile for mr_porteiro_head   Email mr_porteiro_head         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As a side note, there have been many times that I have posted on a thread where nobody agreed with me except for PSI Teleport (like this one). I just thought that was interesting. [Smile]
Posts: 16551 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Storm Saxon
Member
Member # 3101

 - posted      Profile for Storm Saxon           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
[Laugh] mph
Posts: 13123 | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Storm Saxon
Member
Member # 3101

 - posted      Profile for Storm Saxon           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I just want to point out, too, that saying that nurture causes things does not equal those things being able to be erased and remade at will, or that it's a good idea.

[ April 26, 2004, 11:38 AM: Message edited by: Storm Saxon ]

Posts: 13123 | Registered: Feb 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
PSI Teleport
Member
Member # 5545

 - posted      Profile for PSI Teleport   Email PSI Teleport         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Good lord, I'm the only one agreeing with you? You may need to reconsider your opinions. I'm often a huge moron.

By the way, saying that men and women are hardwired differently does NOT mean that society has nothing to do with their differences. I really think it's a combo of both.

But the initial question was a yes or no, and my answer was yes.

[ April 26, 2004, 11:40 AM: Message edited by: PSI Teleport ]

Posts: 6366 | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Xaposert
Member
Member # 1612

 - posted      Profile for Xaposert           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Our first child was a boy, and the second was a girl. While we did dress them somewhat differently, it was not overly so. Neither my wife nor I are big fans of pink or frills. We gave them the same toys. We did not (consciously) encourage different behaviors in them.
But conscious is the key word. Unconscious actions can have a major influence if consistent over years.

One of the things research has found is that parents come to look at their children differently based on their gender. If they think a child is a boy they will notice the boyish traits he exhibits more than features associated with girls. For instance, they are more likely to notice "toughness" if the kid is a boy, and as a result more likely to come to consider the child tough.

Posts: 2432 | Registered: Feb 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I was under the impression that testosterone affected aggression levels, and has been tested in both men and women.

If that's the case, then if general levels of aggression affect interests, then in some ways physical gender does affect intersts at least somewhat.

Dagonee

Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mr_porteiro_head
Member
Member # 4644

 - posted      Profile for mr_porteiro_head   Email mr_porteiro_head         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Just to clarify, I didn't say that nurture doesn't affect gender roles. Of course it does. But so does nature.

There is a case study that has been taught to generations of psych-100 studenst to support the idea that all gender roles come from nurture. Two identical twin boys were born, and the doctor messed up the circumcision of one of them. The parents decided to have him castrated and raised as a girl. The psych books all talked about how that little girl loved frilly dresses and would go around playing nurturer to her dolls, while her identical twin brother went around shooting everybody with his play guns. This, we were taught to believe, proved that gender roles come from nurture.

But years later, I discovered that I had only been taught part of the story. When that girl got older (I don't remember if she was in her teens or 20s), she decided that all was not right with the world. She had no idea that biologically she was a boy, but she decided that she wanted to live as a man and not a woman. She was taught the truth of her situation, and is now living as an emasculated man.

Posts: 16551 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mackillian
Member
Member # 586

 - posted      Profile for mackillian   Email mackillian         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There have now been quite a few instances of that, particularly in the case of hermaphrodites (though it usually isn't TRUE hermaphrodism, since that requires both male and female functionality).
Posts: 14745 | Registered: Dec 1999  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BannaOj
Member
Member # 3206

 - posted      Profile for BannaOj   Email BannaOj         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
and some women can have higher natural testosterone levels just as some men can have lower natural testosterone levels.

I know from personal experience because I have high testosterone levels. When they put me on the pill for hormonal regulation, while I was greatful my acne diminished, I lost a lot of internal drive to be the best at whatever I was doing. I could still be the best but I had to work a lot harder at mental toughness to make myself do things than I did before.

AJ

Posts: 11264 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
combustia
Member
Member # 6328

 - posted      Profile for combustia   Email combustia         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
exactly. and hormone leves in utero are what determine sex...without the wash of testosterone, the fetus "stays" female.
Posts: 21 | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mr_porteiro_head
Member
Member # 4644

 - posted      Profile for mr_porteiro_head   Email mr_porteiro_head         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
But conscious is the key word. Unconscious actions can have a major influence if consistent over years.
Yes, I realize that, which is why I pointed that out. You can never be sure, but I don't think that is the case with my wife and me.

quote:

One of the things research has found is that parents come to look at their children differently based on their gender. If they think a child is a boy they will notice the boyish traits he exhibits more than features associated with girls. For instance, they are more likely to notice "toughness" if the kid is a boy, and as a result more likely to come to consider the child tough.

I can see how that can happen. It's like how we always notice when we have to wait for a stop light, but don't notice the many times that it's green.

But in our case, we have mentioned time and again how tough our daughters have ended up. They have to be -- our son is so aggressively affectionate with them thea they have to be. [Big Grin]

Posts: 16551 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mr_porteiro_head
Member
Member # 4644

 - posted      Profile for mr_porteiro_head   Email mr_porteiro_head         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
exactly. and hormone leves in utero are what determine sex...without the wash of testosterone, the fetus "stays" female.
Really? What happens if the fetus has the XY chromosomes? The child won't grow up to be a woman capable of giving birth, will it?
Posts: 16551 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BrianM
Member
Member # 5918

 - posted      Profile for BrianM   Email BrianM         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
mt porteiro head it could just be a sign that the system ie working well on your children, as it did upon you to get you to marry a female and produce offspring. I'm not saying it's bad, I'm just acknowledging the utter gazillion numbers ot environmental factors that re-inforce gender roles from the moment a baby is born.
Posts: 369 | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mr_porteiro_head
Member
Member # 4644

 - posted      Profile for mr_porteiro_head   Email mr_porteiro_head         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I can see what you are saying, Brian. It's just that from what I have seen with my children, I cannot believe that their slight differences in nurture could produce the huge differences that we have seen. But you haven't seen it yourself, and you'll probably just think that I am blind to the truth. That's OK. [Big Grin] I might not believe it either if I had not seen it myself.

[ April 26, 2004, 12:11 PM: Message edited by: mr_porteiro_head ]

Posts: 16551 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
BrianM
Member
Member # 5918

 - posted      Profile for BrianM   Email BrianM         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have three kids, two boys one daughter. The youngest is just graduating high school and soon to enter either kindergarten or the local jail. From observation of my own family compared to others, I can see exactly how environmental factors determine the speed, scope and overall lasting effects of gender role placement. There were probably gajillions of factors I didn't see such as paired emotional outcomes with certain social situations, subtle-non verbal language among their peers from the moment they stepped into 1st grade. Clothes, media, etc. Even if biology had a had in it, it wouldn't need to, environmental factors could pick up the slack and then some.

[ April 26, 2004, 12:15 PM: Message edited by: BrianM ]

Posts: 369 | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
PSI Teleport
Member
Member # 5545

 - posted      Profile for PSI Teleport   Email PSI Teleport         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I remember that my son once wanted to wear the headband of his sister. (Probably because when she put it on, she got lots of attention and ooh's and ahh's.) For our own amusement, we let him wear the headband and told him how "handsome" he was and made a big fuss. (He had just turned two.)

I wasn't worried that it would make him "girly" and it didn't. After that one instance of strutting and preening with his fancy headband, he has showed no interest in it. He doesn't want to wear pink clothes and never seems jealous that Jillian gets fancied up at Easter in pretty frills. He is very excited and proud to wear his big boy tie "just like Daddy".

The point here is that I think a lot of times what makes a child get interested in certain things is the desire to emulate their "favorite" parent, meaning the one that they want to be like. It could be argued that it is nurture that causes this, but I don't think so. My son made the realization a long time ago that he has "boy parts" like Dad, and that they are very special because they have them (just like Mommy and Jilly are special because of their "girl parts"). He has made the choice on his own to be like his Dad, and I think that it comes from the pride he has in being a boy. That seems to be at least partly attributed to nature, that he has chosen his Dad to be like, and is excited that he is built like Dad, rather than Mom.

No one in our family says that one sex is better than the other. My daughter is exhibiting interest in girly things and seems quite happy doing so.

And, on a side note, I was raised in the middle of a society that said that girls shouldn't be "girly" or act too feminine, and that sewing, cooking, and other things of the sort were degrading for a woman to do. My mom worked and never taught me the ways of housewifery, or femininity. It could be said that it was nature that led me to grow up to enjoy dressing up, cooking, etc, even though I was not encouraged to do so, either by family OR society.

Posts: 6366 | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Dagonee
Member
Member # 5818

 - posted      Profile for Dagonee           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
and some women can have higher natural testosterone levels just as some men can have lower natural testosterone levels
Of course. But there's no doubt the level is directly affected by the person's sex. It's one of the few conclusive statements that can be made about inborn differences between the sexes beyond the actual confirmable physical/anatomical differences.

Dagonee

Posts: 26071 | Registered: Oct 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mr_porteiro_head
Member
Member # 4644

 - posted      Profile for mr_porteiro_head   Email mr_porteiro_head         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
BrianM, part of why I say what I say is that my kids are still young -- neither one of them have gone to school yet. The whole peer influece bag of worms just hasn't come into play. At this point, the *vast* majority of nurture has come from me and my wife, and I don't think we have done hardly anything to influence our boy to act like a boy or our girl to act like a girl.

[ April 26, 2004, 12:25 PM: Message edited by: mr_porteiro_head ]

Posts: 16551 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
combustia
Member
Member # 6328

 - posted      Profile for combustia   Email combustia         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
My mother DID teach me all the rules of, as PSI said, "housewifery." I can cook, clean, sew, quilt, cross-stitch, knit.

I can't stand them.

Posts: 21 | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mr_porteiro_head
Member
Member # 4644

 - posted      Profile for mr_porteiro_head   Email mr_porteiro_head         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
The point here is that I think a lot of times what makes a child get interested in certain things is the desire to emulate their "favorite" parent, meaning the one that they want to be like. It could be argued that it is nurture that causes this
Although PSI and I agree about this, that quote by her is most convincing thing I've seen on this thread to make me think that I might be wrong. [Laugh]

The fact is that my wife and I are a pretty traditional/old-fashioned couple. There is surely a *lot* of nurture influencing our children just from seeing how differently mommy and daddy act.

Maybe a large part of our children's differences are caused by the boy trying to emulate daddy and the girl trying to emulate mommy. I could believe that.

*goes away to contemplate*

Posts: 16551 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Brinestone
Member
Member # 5755

 - posted      Profile for Brinestone   Email Brinestone         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Forgive me if this is a really ignorant/naive statement, but it seems to me that the stereotypical "male" tendencies also seem to be the tendencies of males of other species. And the stereotypical "female" tendencies tend to be the tendencies of females of other species. This may not be true across the board, but it definitely seems to be, especially among mammal species. No offense intended to animal lovers, but I really just can't see animals being intelligent enough to nurture their young according to expectations for the appropriate genders. *shrug*
Posts: 1903 | Registered: Sep 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
mr_porteiro_head
Member
Member # 4644

 - posted      Profile for mr_porteiro_head   Email mr_porteiro_head         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ok, I'm back, and I've had one additional thought. Our boy and girl alrady acted like a boy and a girl before they were old enough to know what their own gender/sex was.
Posts: 16551 | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2