another gender stereotype is proven wrong

from Hugo Schwyzer:

“…studies suggest that the notion that men lack the capacity for empathy — equivalent in degree to that more commonly displayed by women — is simply false. When motivated to put a dormant skill to use, the study suggests men can be every bit as intuitive as women.”

How many other accepted gender differences are merely the result of societal conditioning?

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2 Comments

  1. A.Y. Siu said,

    February 19, 2010 at 6:21 pm

    I’d be willing to bet all, if not all, gender differences are mainly the result of socialization.

    Why would we even have socialization if all these differences were so “natural” or “innate”?

    I didn’t have to train my cat to use the litter or lick himself. That comes instinctually. We do, however, as humans, have to teach men to “be men” and women to “be women.” And there are a lot of people who are upset if anyone bends the gender norms.

    • dreamingiris said,

      February 19, 2010 at 7:35 pm

      Thanks for your comment =) I agree with you in that I believe most gender differences are the result of socialization. But I’m not sure if all of them are. The reason I doubt this is because of my experience in observing cat behavior. I have owned 10+ different cats in my life, and I have noticed that male cats generally tend to me more cuddly: they love to snuggle in close to you, and be scratched and petted roughly and firmly. Female cats, IME, are generally a little more aloof, and don’t like as rough a hand. I’m not sure why that is.

      I think we may never know what human behaviors, if any, are inherently gendered.


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