Social Gender/Gender roles

Discussion in 'Every Day Debating' started by Emelie, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. Emelie

    Emelie Queen of darkness

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    Sparrow - the thing is, that even though there are biological differences between men and women, some that was mentioned in the article, I believe that they are so small that it really doesn't matter all that much, and it's usually an excuse for people that don't want to believe that things are very much socially constructed, much more so than they think. Just a couple of years ago, i was one of those that believed that boys and girls were different, ant there wasn't that much to do about it, men are more aggressive than women, and women are weeping pms things. But now i see how much everyday life and the environment and society do for us and the children that are raised. For the example of your daughter, you might not have taught her to love glitter, but have you thought of the possibility that other might have? friends, kindergarden, school, tv programs, movies, pictures, commercials. etc. Children are learning by doing. They see and they do. And some actually do like it, and that's okey, as long as the parents don't push their child into loving something because they are a boy or a girl.

    And as for some differences between boys and girls, for example: Guys are often thought of as aggressive and generally mischievous, and how do most people raise boys? by saying "boys will be boys" = allowing them to play pranks and beat friends, because that is what boys do. It's expected of them. They are therefore also allowed to take up more space than girls do. Girl on the other hand are usually encouraged to play quietly, be quiet, not be rowdy and so on. These are things we generally dont think about, that affects the way people turn out in the end. If parents encouraged their girls to be loud and mischievous they would probably become more like boys, and vice versa. The article mentions that girls usually cries more, well of course, girls are never being looked down upon when crying, cause women cries, everyone knows that... But what about those guys that want to cry but cant, because that's not manly, that's being a sissy. Maybe boys need to get in touched with their more emotional side. That would be a good thing.
    And yes there will be a difference between giving an 8 year old boy/girl a box of fireworks, because that's how they are raised, not because men have testosterone and women have oestrogen. And not because they have different active centres in their brains either. The article also mentions that women are "slightly better at tasks that required finger dexterity and quick thinking" then why are there more male surgeons for example?


    Turambar - Yet again, I believe why this is, is because the way we raise our children, boys are usually encouraged to brawl and compete, while girls are encouraged to talk about how they feel, and how to talk, how to be sensitive and so on. And the communication you mention between men and women, I also believe that to be something that is taught. We don't do it deliberately, but kids pick up on these things. would you care you elaborate what you mean with "hard time communicating"?
    As for some of the other things I mentioned in the answer to sparrow, about the toys and children's choices.

    As for you (and many others) not thinking they live in a male dominated society, things have become more equal in many countries, there are still male dominated societies in the most equal ones as well. Not that women are pushed down or looked upon as less valued, but because the man is the norm. "The white, straight man is the perfect being" or at least that's what society tells us. They are on the top of the hierarchy. Why else is things non male looked down upon, if its not a male dominated society. Example: a woman is often nagging, while men usually just 'tells the truth', A women is cold-hearted, while the man is just being..a man? The man is 'tha awesome playa' getting all the women, and the women are? sluts and whores. And I believe these words are used to suppress women's sexuality, 'cause women aren't supposed to have any, that's wrong' We often don't think about what words we use and other stuff like that. But it's out there.


    Anduil - Sure women and men can have different reactions to things, and many of them might be biological, but most of them as i see it, are socialized and we internalize as well.


    Feidai - As you say, it's not all black and white, but that's not often what we see, media and commercials are showing us the stereotypes, and just as young people believe that there exists perfect people like in the commercials, we believe and internalize what we see around us. When really there are more differences Within the gender, than between them.


    Sevi - Nice example!
    And there's where I dont think that the penis makes the gun choice and the vagina makes the cooking set choice, because we identify ourselves with our own sex, and so a little girl is more likely to take after their mom than their dad, and if the women is the hunter and the dad the carer, i believe the kids will learn from that as well.
     
  2. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    I guess you have to decide if the dog is wagging the tail, or is the tail wagging the dog where society and gender rolls are concerned. For myself, I think biology is at the heart of it and it's only those inherent differences between male and female that are exploited by various entities in our society, chief among those being religion, to force women into a submissive, secondary role. The three mainline religions have a very certain hierarchy in which women submit to men. I know it's wrong, you know it's wrong, but as many women don't accept that hierarchy there are just as many, and sometimes it seems more, who are comfortable with it. You simply can't force equality on people who have refused it at every turn.

    As for some of your other points... on how boys and girls are raised to fit in with cultural norms... I mostly agree with you that there are different standards that set boys and girls apart and often it's those early formative years that end up fashioning the adult that goes off into the world to usually perpetuate the same behavior when they have children. But you're still left with the biological differences and tendencies between boys and girls that make the cycle very difficult to break.


    You mentioned surgeons and why is it that there are so few women in the field... indeed you're correct, women are on the whole more dexterous than men, and are every bit as smart... but, those are largely only technical skills. To marshal those skills in an operating theatre when someone's life is on the line is of an entirely different matter. Surgeons are a lot like fighter pilots in that there's an almost military ethic to surgery. Most women aren't prepared for that sort of pressure... hell, most men aren't capable of handling those pressures. Another field in which women made up almost the entire ranks of was traditional cell painting animation. When I was just out of high school I served an apprenticeship at an animation studio and was surprised to find that there were no guys at all in the inking and painting department; whose job it was to paint the reverse side of thousands upon thousands of acetate cells, painting within very thin line work and doing it quickly. You should have seen those women work, they were like machines, it was almost unreal how good they executed the work. But why weren't there more women at the creation end of it, producing the original pencil sketches and background paintings? I think these type of pursuits have to begin at a very early age. Then perhaps you're right, girls are steered away from such things and are forever at a disadvantage if later in life they decide to enter a "man's world".
     
  3. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    Sorry, but I have to disagree there. If I look at my four nephews, the oldest one was into cars and trains. The second was into puzzles and building things, while the third one was really into guns. And there's no real reason why. It was all there from day one It's just part of their nature. I hate to bring it up again, but Star Wars, how many percent of boys do you think are going to in awe because of it, while girls are more in awe with Disney. It's idolizing. And do children have maternal instincts. I wouldn't say every child has them. But speaking for Padme, she wanted to have a baby doll and she had it all. She was pushing it around with prams. She wanted her mother to have a little baby sister or brother, so she could take care of it. But her sister on the other hand was more into doctor sets, she wasn't into dolls at all. But she did like ornaments of fairies and such. I myself was into action figures, so was my brother. We liked jetfighters and of course star wars toys, but we were never really into cars. I was also into building things. So, I would say you have exceptions. You hear of girls who are tomboys and such, who like to dress like boys. Do boystuff. And this goes back hundred thousands of years, because even in archaeological sites they could find examples of baby dolls. I am sure girls in general are more maternal than boys.
     
  4. Sevi

    Sevi Pocałunek!

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    All the examples you are using are of children who were born and live in our society, being influenced by television, advertisements and their parents. But the question we are really asking is whether these children would have different preferences in toys if they grew up in a different society with different stimulations. Your nephews have a selection of "boy things" to choose from, but if the stimulations were different would they still chose the same things or would they made a different choice. Maybe if a doll wasnt considered so girly one of them may want to have one. Maybe not. I bought my nephew a "dragon set" which included the magic ring of the Dragon hunter. He loved that ring and wanted to wear it all the time, but my sister (his mother) told him that this is a girly thing and gave it to his sister. He was really upset and I thought that was really stupid.

    Disney movies are mostly with female characters, princesses, especially the older ones. Of course girls would find them more interesting than boys do. Also, its our nature to be maternal no doubt about that, but this isnt something we feel since we are small. Its something that comes later in life (if it comes at all).

    Im not saying that boys and girls arent different, Im just saying that I beleive society seperates them in a very early age with wrong ways.
     
  5. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    Yes, now everything is commercialized, but boys toys and girl's toys were created before it ever was. The commercializing happened because they realized there was a need. They didn't create the need.
    Disney movies are based on fairytales, which were written hundreds of years ago with heroines, but also with heroes. So just because Disney chose to base their movies on these fairytales, doesn't mean they're only meant for girls. Of course you got heroes in Disney, still girls will take a preference to them.

    Rings aren't necessarily girly. Men these days fashion large rings. It's a personal preference. I'm not that into it. You see a lot of rappers wearing them and such thinking it's 'cool'. I wear two rings, one being my wedding ring, the other was a gift. So, no I wouldn't say rings are girly.

    And about being maternal, Padme was pushing a pram when she was about the age of 1. It was in her nature. But is it because Padme is more girly than other girls? Well that explains her interest in Dinosaur toys later when she got all these Jurassic Park sets. So no, it is just there from the beginning.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2012
  6. Emelie

    Emelie Queen of darkness

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    Word.
     
  7. Emelie

    Emelie Queen of darkness

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    Well many children do things because they are copying the parents, or other people, not because it's in their nature. John Dewey have the theory "Learning by doing". Kids learn by doing stuff, and by copying. Often parents. So she might have seen her mother do it, or wanted to push something that she herself had been pushed in, cause it was a thing she knew. It's not because some are more or less girls/boys. It's all depending what the environment around the children is like, what kind of people and so on.
     
  8. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    I don't completely disagree. But if they want to copy it, then that desire is there to copy it in the first place. Boys are not going to copy their mother and push prams, simply because they want to copy them. It's because that instinct is there. When they see something that intrigues them even as young as the age of 1, then it will not be because of what was taught to them. And of course our characters evolve, but it evolves from what was already there.
     
  9. Emelie

    Emelie Queen of darkness

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    I think it can be more like that we know from a really young age that we are boys or girls. Parents and people in general always push the gender in our faces. "oh what pretty girl/what a tough boy" so we know what gender we belong to. And I have a hard time seeing why girls would be prone to drive around prams? It's not like they are something connected just to women. Or would intrigue them, in that case.... it's more likely that boys will like prams, since they got wheels, and boys are supposed to like cars.. :)
     
  10. Sevi

    Sevi Pocałunek!

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    Good point! ^^
     
  11. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    I think it's more complicated that that. A boy sees wheels and it would intrigue him because boys in general like cars? No, it's more likely that they see cars on tv and then get an intrigue, but what intrigues them. The cars themselves or the speed. I sure can tell it's the speed. If you show them a pram or a car. You think it matters to them what model they both have? Because the other shows that it's fast, the other shows that it's slow. But of course they'll choose a car because they like speed, because they have a rush in them. You could even say that they have an aggression in them that makes them tend to like these things. It's why they like cars and guns and such. So yes, it's by what they see in society, but it starts from their nature. And the same counts for girls only they will be likely choose things from what it's in their nature and when they see a pram or something else that attracts them, then they'll go for it.
     
  12. Emelie

    Emelie Queen of darkness

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    I'm not attracted by prams though and never will be. And I do like speed as well, have shot some guns. *checks pants* No, still girl :)
    On a serious note, I believe that it is what the kids are learning, i don't think a little kid can see on a car that its fast, or know what it feels like if its so young its never driven a car. And driving around prams for girls, no. I think they would rather do something else. I mean society also tells us that its cool with guns. and guys often feel the need to be cool. No wonder they like guns. Not sure if i want to think that guys in general are more aggressive than girls, it might be something there, but i think its individual as well, and that many guys have that as an excuse to be aggressive.
     
  13. Emelie

    Emelie Queen of darkness

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    Just like some (not all!! note that) people that have different diagnoses use that as an excuse "oh but i have ADHD, i cant help my actions" and they're not even trying to.
     
  14. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    I didn't say what you never get attracted to speed or guns at all when you're a girl, though I'm pretty sure this more develops as you grow older. I'm also not saying every girl will want to push a pram. I don't want to generalize. But I still stand with what I said about girls being more maternal. I am pretty sure boys are more aggressive. This is something that evolved over time. This may come off as sexist, but these were sexist times. When you look at our history. In the Ice Age, it were mainly men who had to go through a rough time to hunt and provide food, while women took care of their children. And this evolved over time if you go way further when we were mainly farming or hunting still, while women took care of the house and again took care of children. Of course one child will be more aggressive than the other, but I do believe it's especially a boy's thing. But I do not claim it's only a boy's thing. I already said that with my nephews some are not interested in guns at all, or cars. The second oldest mainly likes to build. But they all fight. And you don't see that as much with girls. Not saying they don't fight at all. But again it's mainly a boy's thing. Is it because they think it's cool? No, it's because they are competitive, aggressive and they fight not to be cool, but over a toy to give an example. It's really hectic when you got to baby-sit four children lol
     
  15. Sparrow

    Sparrow Well-Known Member

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    But I don't think you're giving enough weight to the inherent differences between baby boys and girls, each have natural tendencies that are born into them, not taught. Little boys like cars and similar toys because they have a need to move things, they tend towards motion. Furthermore, they tend to gravitate towards mechanical motion over human motion. A study in England tested year old baby boys and found they preferred watching windshield wipers go back and forth over human activity. Beyond that, little boys had better spatial skills and have a better understanding of the laws of motion at an earlier age. Studies also show that baby boys tend to be less fearful than baby girls. On the flip side, baby girls tend to have better communication skills and hit those milestones before boys. Girls also tend to develop certain conceptual skills sooner than boys.

    And remember, evolution isn't politically correct nor does it play nice.
    As absolutely horrible as this is going to sound... we men and women are here to pass down our genetics, that is to procreate and ensure the survival of the species. Boys and Girls are different because at the most primal level they only exist to reach sexual maturity, and to reproduce and raise the next generation. Evolution really doesn't concern itself with whether the women has a rewarding life, or if the man is free to show his innermost feelings. Evolution has constructed the mind and body of a women for a purpose, that purpose is to have babies and raise them to sexual maturity. Society can temper the roles we all play in it, but it can't overcome 500 million years of evolution. Let's face it, if and when you get pregnant, spend nine months with a living being growing inside you, and just when you think you've hit the wall... pass something the size of a cantaloupe through your vagina... I think you may understand why some things are the way they are.

    Disclaimer: I am by no means saying women are here to have babies or that society should be promoting such a notion, but no amount of social engineering can make all things right.





    Now if you excuse me, Anakin and I are going out to do some hunting... probably bears or mountain lions.
     
  16. Emelie

    Emelie Queen of darkness

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    Okey Sparrow and Anakin, I'm not saying I don't believe that our biology makes us different from eachother.
    But that we as grown ups don't realize what sort of impact we have on children's lives. little boys and girls might develop some things differently and in different stages, but it is up to us so level the playing field so to speak. Why would we want more differences, it's not just girls that are at disadvantage in this world, but as things are more equal and people start to become more educated and aware, guys are also finding themselves at disadvantage unfortunately.
    And that's why it is important to know that differences can be made if one is aware of how it works. If there are such a way to raise a person without influences from the outside world and parents we might see differences in the gender, maybe. But we are at the moment enhancing those differences more than necessary. So by raising our kids with an open mind we might also do great things for our society. I would like to believe that some problems in this world could be fixed by raising our kids differently. not only in the equality aspect.

    And yes I agree we are here to pass our genetics down, but I think that some things in our brains have evolved since the caveman time, we still have a lot of instincts left of course, that really are useless, causing phobia and such. But working for a change is still possible. In the days back then since women were the only source of babybirthing, of course they needed to stay at home and be protected, have kids and then raise them, they were after all the source of food with breastfeeding for long periods. But today's society have lots of modern alternatives, so one can't really live like in the stoneages anymore.
    And that day i get children i will try my best to keep my kids from being to influenced by the crappy stuff, but it will happen eventually. But atleast I will try and give them a stabile ground and values to stand on. And if my child likes cars or princesses, then that be it. But i will also try and broaden it's horizons beyond just it's own sex. And hopefully this child will learn others that in turn.
     
  17. Silvermune

    Silvermune New Member

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    With all that has been said, regardless of media times are still changing, women are taking bigger and more important roles than they used to, going from working in simple factories while their husbands were at war, to now being doctors lawyers and even engineers or law enforcers, go back a few decades and someone would have called you crazy for saying such things, if you took away all our technology, and we lived in a more civilized life style I'd say it wouldn't be much different, even though in the past the men were the hunters and the women were harvesting/nurturing guaranteed there'd be a high amount of women hunters as well. The way I see it no matter the conditions as long as we keep growing civilized as a race, the less differences there will be. Sure women have that maternal instinct, but for every day life, even small girls nowadays are seen playing video games more often than dolls say.. or doing other boy-ish activities than sitting at home having tea time with their dolls. To even think that women are always gonna be the lovey house wives who are supported by men is ignorant now. Though its still seen that way by many. ~end rant~
     
  18. Emelie

    Emelie Queen of darkness

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    In fear of making all the guys choke on something, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and tell you all that men also have maternal instincts, please don't choke on your own tongues now :) So it's not something that are exclusively female. Fortunate for most guys ;) Or the women wouldn't let them take care of their own children.

    And btw Sparrow "Now if you excuse me, Anakin and I are going out to do some hunting... probably bears or mountain lions. " that sentence totally sounded like something out of twilight xD



    And word Silver *thumbs up*
     
  19. Cascador

    Cascador Who's Anakin?

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    Of course we have maternal instincts. It's why men in history saw it as their duty to take care of their families, while females did mostly focus just on their children. That's all changing. I don't deny that. While we still live in a world mostly dominated by men, things are becoming more equal. I think people in general are opening up, becoming more open-minded. And this isn't just for the gender of humans, but sexuality, race etc. You'll find far less sexism, racism and homophobia now compared to say the thirties in the 20the centurary. But on an evolutionary level our nature still hasn't changed that much as you might think. We weren't all hunting and taking care of our families during the Stone Age. This continued for a long time. It's only recent that we're changing on a social level, but not really in nature. Of course I'm with you, when I think of when I will have a child with Padme, I will be very open-minded, not caring what the child will be in gender or sexuality. Hell, I'll even care for it if it's black, cause it does happen. That doesn't immediately mean the child isn't mine. Though I would be suspicious lol.
     
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  20. Emelie

    Emelie Queen of darkness

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    Yes, okey that i can agree on more. As you say people are trying to become more openminded about a lot of things. which is a huge step in the right direction. And even though there might be instincts left in us we are still pretty good at putting those aside and build a better society. Or atleast trying to. that's the beauty with humans, even though we have biological differences and instincts, we are still able to ignore them or atleast try and change them. Just look upon the cognitive behavioural therapy, where psychologists actually change behaviours and emotions in humans that need it. That wouldn't be possible if we couldn't change our nature.
    And I'm also glad to hear that you two's future kids are gonna have awesome parents, that think like that.
    I feel sorry for friends who's parents refuse to accept that they are for example homosexual. I had a friend who been told to atleast go and have sex with girls and don't just assume he's gay. Or try to go to a therapist and change it. That's just sad. It would be like telling all the straight people to go have sex with the same gender, cause we might not know if we really are straight or not otherwise. - _ -