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Author Topic: Are men and women different?  (Read 10255 times)

Offline cheryl j

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Are men and women different?
« on: 05/12/2011 10:49:31 »
Sometimes it surprises me to see magazines still geared to traditional women's interests, or hear male comedians on TV joking about how men are like this, but women are like that. And the reason is, I see men and women working side by side in various professions. I believe there are almost an equal number of male and female physicians, for example. And when I go into the grocery store after work, I see plenty of men shopping pushing small children in grocery carts. We seem to live almost genderless lives in many ways, with the exception of clothing, perhaps, and a few other things.
 
I used to have an argument with a doctor at work who said men and women are just different. It's biological, it's nature, it's hardwired into our brains, he said. And while I didn't completely disagree,since I do understand a little about the role of hormones on gene expression, embryology, and the brain, I said that these differences are statistical. For example, you can easily prove that males "on average" are more aggressive than females. Psychologists can prove it with crime statistics, or even observing the play behavior of kindergartners. That said, there are still many assertive, in-your-face women, and many shy and introverted men. It's more like overlapping bell curves. And these curves seem to overlapping a little more all the time. He didn't like my answer.

But am I wrong? Are there any differences other than anatomical that absolute?





 

Offline Gordian Knot

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Are men and women different?
« Reply #1 on: 05/12/2011 20:14:29 »
In white collar professions, one can find a lot of fields where men and women are statistically equal. That changes dramatically when one looks at the blue collar workers. In blue collar fields, one sex tends to predominate over the other.

Collage grads and higher tend to be on more equal terms between the sexes in such areas as power and control. High school grads and below tend to be quite unequal in these areas.

Culture makes a tremendous difference as well. Compare the life of a woman from Germany to the life of a woman from Syria. Night and day!
 

Offline CliffordK

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Are men and women different?
« Reply #2 on: 05/12/2011 20:41:18 »
Many aspects of life should be considered as being along a continuum, rather than absolutes.

However, I am convinced that there are differences in how men and women think of love, romance, and family. 

If you took a selection of Men's magazines and Women's magazines, you would find significant differences.

They both probably discuss "Sex" in equal quantities.  But, the approach to the matter is very different.

Why are there "Men's Magazines" and "Women's Magazines" anyway...  afterall, if the two sexes are the same, then there would be no need for gender specific targeted magazines.
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Are men and women different?
« Reply #3 on: 05/12/2011 20:59:20 »
I think that the differences are often less than people seem to believe but I suspect that part of the reason there are two magazines (his and hers) is that the publishers want to sell two magazines to each couple.

re the two overlapping bell curves (I may get lynched for this) the spread of the curve is often greater for men than that for women.
So there are more male geniuses, but more male idiots.
More male prime ministers but more male criminals. (With the note that the two are not mutually exclusive).
Obviously some of that is down to social factors but I understand that the measurements  made by biologists back it up.
I have to admit I'm basing that on what I read ages ago. It may well be that more recent research has overturned it.
If that's the case please cite the research.
 

Offline CliffordK

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Are men and women different?
« Reply #4 on: 05/12/2011 21:30:40 »
Again, everything is on a bell-curve, continuum, or whatever...

But...  combine the two words "Shoe" and the word "Sale"...   

Uhhh....  did I loose the women already?
 

Offline CZARCAR

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Are men and women different?
« Reply #5 on: 05/12/2011 21:45:29 »
women carry eggs for life, men regenerate sperm
 

Offline CliffordK

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Are men and women different?
« Reply #6 on: 06/12/2011 01:20:58 »
One interesting physiological difference between men and women is that some women, perhaps a large number of women, may perceive colors fundamentally differently than men.  I.E. being able to perceive a wider range of color variations than men.

The Green Cone in the eyes is located on the X Chromosome. 
A mutation in this cone causes Red/Green color blindness.  This is much more common in men because women get two X-Chromosomes, and thus two chances to get a good green cone.  Men get one X-Chromosome, and thus more of an all/or/none with the cone.

However, apparently a portion of the women have two distinctly different Green Cone genes.  And, thus, rather than breaking the colors down into 3 colors, they break them down into 4 colors.  And, thus can see more different color variations.

Men don't get this, at least for the one green cone, because it is located on the X-Chromosome, which they only get a single copy.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrachromacy#Possibility_of_human_tetrachromats
http://www.klab.caltech.edu/cns186/papers/Jameson01.pdf

 

Offline cheryl j

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Are men and women different?
« Reply #7 on: 06/12/2011 05:39:38 »



Why are there "Men's Magazines" and "Women's Magazines" anyway...  afterall, if the two sexes are the same, then there would be no need for gender specific targeted magazines.

I'm not the type of feminist who beleives the differences between men and women are all learned and cultural. However, it seems to me these magazines, or shows like "The View" are desperately clinging to outdated concepts of what men and women are supposed to be like, and what they should be interested in, in order to maintain their demographic advertising markets. But in reality, the day to day lives of men and women are becoming more and more similar, at least in western society. Spouses go to work, they come home, they share in child care, take turns making dinner, etc.
 

Offline cheryl j

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Are men and women different?
« Reply #8 on: 06/12/2011 06:05:10 »
Many aspects of life should be considered as being along a continuum, rather than absolutes.

However, I am convinced that there are differences in how men and women think of love, romance, and family. 

Sometimes I question that as well. By observing my friends over the years, one thing I noticed was that in their twenties there seemed to be different goals and expectations. In general, women were thinking more about permanent relationships, having children, and the men wanted to stay unattached. It was surprising to me though, how much an unmarried 40 year old male starts thinking and behaving like an unmarried 29 year old female.
 

Offline Nizzle

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Are men and women different?
« Reply #9 on: 06/12/2011 06:37:09 »
It was surprising to me though, how much an unmarried 40 year old male starts thinking and behaving like an unmarried 29 year old female.

That's not surprising to me at all. We have a biological drive to reproduce, and we are all aware that there's a time limit on our possibility to reproduce. When women enter menopause, they lost that ability, and this occurs a lot sooner than in men, who can basically reproduce until they die. So there is a "sense of urgency" that sets in a lot sooner in women than men. This sense of urgency to reproduce determines our willingness to settle down and get married.

I'm quite sure that if there was no such thing as menopause, and women would make new eggs throughout their life, like men do with sperm, women would also think about settling down a lot later in their life than they do now, and spend more attention to career, or traveling the world, in their twenties and early thirties.
« Last Edit: 06/12/2011 06:39:34 by Nizzle »
 

Offline CliffordK

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Are men and women different?
« Reply #10 on: 06/12/2011 12:20:31 »
It was surprising to me though, how much an unmarried 40 year old male starts thinking and behaving like an unmarried 29 year old female.

Are they subscribing to "Brides Magazines"?
 

Offline CZARCAR

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Are men and women different?
« Reply #11 on: 06/12/2011 18:08:09 »
i thinx Q is unanswerable due to the Sheisenberg Uncertainty Principal
 

Offline grizelda

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Are men and women different?
« Reply #12 on: 08/12/2011 11:05:04 »
In evolutionary terms, a female's job is to send her DNA down the pike, a psychological form of immortality. To ensure that her progeny do the same, and continue her lineage, she must pick a mate who is the type of man whom other females are mating with. Thus she will pass on similar behavior to her daughters, and the type of son other females will mate with. Evolution is somewhat of a trap in this respect, we could conceivably find we are selecting for, say, men with three earlobes. But in most species, the females mate with the most aggressive male, though "aggressive" can have a varied meaning, such as rich, devious, criminal, sociable, etc.
 

Offline Don_1

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Are men and women different?
« Reply #13 on: 08/12/2011 11:27:54 »
I think it has been shown that women are better at multitasking than men and less able to concentrate on a single task.

As far as employment is concerned, I do think equality has been a double edged blade in that rather than women's wages going up to match men's, men's wages have come down (in real terms) toward women's' wages. This has happened over a period of time, so as not to be too noticeable and resulted (more often than not) in both partners in a union having to work for financial reasons.

This, I think, has been a significant contributor to family breakdown and dysfunctional children.
 

Offline CZARCAR

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Are men and women different?
« Reply #14 on: 08/12/2011 16:19:56 »
reproduction "sprituality"= man needs to experience orgasm, woman doesnt?
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Are men and women different?
« Reply #15 on: 08/12/2011 18:34:20 »
I think it has been shown that women are better at multitasking than men and less able to concentrate on a single task.


I don't. I think it's a myth.
 

Offline CZARCAR

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« Reply #16 on: 08/12/2011 22:22:59 »
I think it has been shown that women are better at multitasking than men and less able to concentrate on a single task.


I don't. I think it's a myth.
chicken sits on egg, rooster crows, penguins?
 

Offline Bored chemist

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« Reply #17 on: 09/12/2011 07:15:57 »
I think it has been shown that women are better at multitasking than men and less able to concentrate on a single task.


I don't. I think it's a myth.
chicken sits on egg, rooster crows, penguins?


Was that meant to be poetry? It certainly didn't make sense as prose.
 

Offline CZARCAR

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« Reply #18 on: 09/12/2011 15:47:00 »
mama be3ar + cubs> papa bear?
 

Offline CZARCAR

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Are men and women different?
« Reply #19 on: 09/12/2011 19:19:45 »
further thought= man dont gotta experience orgasm to reproduce but blue balls balances the equation whereas woman is as priorly stated?
 

Offline yor_on

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Are men and women different?
« Reply #20 on: 11/12/2011 05:12:47 »
I think they are different in many aspects. Cultural, interests etc etc. But it is also so that there is a lot of variety to it, so a Bell shape describing it sounds reasonable.

And behavioral research tend to agree, as well as gene research. When a woman is without child she tends to look at one type of male, when having a child another. When ready for fertilizing, ovulating, the more 'dominant' aspects of a male face catch her eye, when not, the more non-dominant aspects, according to research.

Also smell has to do with it, presumably as defining a immune defense system opposite to your partner, promising the offspring's the best defense. But that goes for both.

And that might have to do with some broken hearts :)
It goes both ways of course, but instincts can be strong.

 

Offline cheryl j

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #21 on: 19/12/2011 19:55:46 »

As far as employment is concerned, I do think equality has been a double edged blade in that rather than women's wages going up to match men's, men's wages have come down (in real terms) toward women's' wages. This has happened over a period of time, so as not to be too noticeable and resulted (more often than not) in both partners in a union having to work for financial reasons.

This, I think, has been a significant contributor to family breakdown and dysfunctional children.

Feminism has often been blamed for things like this, but I feel many of these social changes were really a consequence of the industrial revolution and declining in agrarian style of life. With fewer people living on farms and producing most of what they needed themselves, large families with 12 children simply weren't needed. If anything, children became almost a luxury that one  couldnt afford without a certain level of income.
The shift from industrial to service/technology further propelled women into work that was more similar in nature to men's. All feminism really did was promote a certain equality in rank or pay.
This discussion may seem to be drifting from science to politics - on the other hand, it does make one ask what differences between men and women are "fixed" and what are more variable or plastic, depending on certain environmental pressures.
 

Offline Nizzle

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #22 on: 20/12/2011 07:30:10 »
If anything, children became almost a luxury that one  couldnt afford without a certain level of income.

I disagree.
Here in Belgium, where we have a well developed social welfare system, we see that a lot of immigrant families are making lots of babies in order to supplement their monthly welfare check with state funded child support. They see it as a source of income.
 

Offline imatfaal

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #23 on: 20/12/2011 09:48:50 »
mod note

Guys - can we keep sweeping generalisations about the motivations of other groups of society to a minimum.

Thanks
 

Offline widereader

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #24 on: 21/12/2011 13:05:37 »
Men are from Mars; Women are from Venus.  This book tells about the disparity that men have with women.  They are different physiologically, emotionally, and even physically.  Men tend to think on a short-term basis while women think long-term.
 

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #24 on: 21/12/2011 13:05:37 »

 

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