An apparent Brit commented recently comment on my old post, We’re Different. I went back and read that and the two follow-ups, and I’m not so sure I managed to get my point across. Perhaps I should try again.
The problem with the “sexes are different” is that you cannot prove it one way or another.
I’m not so much interested in proving to the satisfaction of the scientific community. I’m interested in sharing the conclusions I’ve arrived at that help me deal with others, especially women. My main intent with that post was to point out what I see as a primary source of frustration between men and women – the unproven assumption that we are the same.
I lived for many years in Indonesia and saw things and behaviour that was considered completely ‘natural’ there, but which seemed odd to my European eyes.
You say this without giving a single example. I’m highly doubtful that anything you saw would contradict my way of thinking.
What part of our gender (as opposed to the obvious ‘sex’ differences) is culturally defined and what is biologically determined?
It’s not as simple as one or the other, as nurture versus nature. A person’s experience can determine which genetic behavioral traits are expressed, which are not, and which are perverted. Also, there are some differences between different groups of humans. Different environments result in different adaptations.
Armed with the experience in another culture, I reserve the right to be sceptical about those who point to commonly seen behaviours and claim them to be biologically determined. Where’s the proof? Where’s the control group?
Why is this important to you? It is ridiculous to demand that everything must be proven by scientists in laboratory conditions before one may believe it.
I’ve seen, heard and read enough examples of differences to conclude that much of what we regard as ‘normal’ are only normal in our time and culture.
I’m not concerned with what’s normal.
After all, there have even been studies to see if girls are more attracted to pink than boys. Yet, only 100 years ago pink was a boy’s colour. The idea that you might dress a girl in pink was considered as outrageous as dressing a boy in pink would be today (at least in ‘western’ cultures).
Yes, I’ve heard that. It’s amusing but of no consequence. Neither pink nor baby blue seem very masculine to me.