Are men and women different?

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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?




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Offline Gordian Knot

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« 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!
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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.

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Online Bored chemist

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« 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.
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Offline CliffordK

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« 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?

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Offline CZARCAR

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

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Offline CliffordK

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« 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


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Offline cheryl j

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« 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.

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Offline cheryl j

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« 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.

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Offline Nizzle

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« 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 »
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Offline CliffordK

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« 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"?

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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

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Offline grizelda

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« 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.

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Offline Don_1

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« 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.
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Offline CZARCAR

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

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Online Bored chemist

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« 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.
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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?

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Online 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.
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Offline CZARCAR

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

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Offline CZARCAR

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« 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?

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Offline yor_on

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« 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.

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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.

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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.
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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
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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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Offline Gordian Knot

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #25 on: 22/12/2011 01:52:55 »
That is also one of the most bogus books on a subject that is chock full of bogus books! IMHO. It became well known because of a clever title, not because of any useful content.
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Offline CliffordK

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #26 on: 23/12/2011 10:26:27 »
It is interesting that when shopping for Christmas Gifts, the Girls Stuff and the Boys Stuff is very different.

The Girls Stuff is generally pink & purple, with lots of flowers and princesses.
The Boys Stuff is generally blue & red, with trucks, tools, and the like.

Even if one wants to strive for equality and androgyny...  the polarization happens early.

Of course, my Nephew and Niece share toys...  at least they share my Nephew's toys...  My Niece's toys (dolls & etc) are pretty much just hers. 

I wonder if there are potential issues with viewing my Nephew's toys as "common toys" and my Niece's toys as being "only hers".

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Offline Gordian Knot

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #27 on: 24/12/2011 01:08:35 »
Actually you bring up an interesting trend that follows through into adulthood. Boys and girls play with boy's toys, but boys do not (as a rule) play with girl's toys.

As adults, men and women both wear male clothes. Men never wear women's clothes.

Apparently guys' stuff is considered fair game for both sexes. Girls' stuff is still just for girls.
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Offline Karsten

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #28 on: 28/12/2011 18:45:41 »
Actually you bring up an interesting trend that follows through into adulthood. Boys and girls play with boy's toys, but boys do not (as a rule) play with girl's toys.

As adults, men and women both wear male clothes. Men never wear women's clothes.

Apparently guys' stuff is considered fair game for both sexes. Girls' stuff is still just for girls.

Men wear skirts, make-up, high heels, jewelry, etc. What exactly is the "girls'stuff" that no man is interested in?
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Offline Gordian Knot

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #29 on: 29/12/2011 14:15:03 »
A tiny proportion of men wear women's clothing, and are considered outside the mainstream and weird by western society as a whole.

A large proportion of women wear men's clothing and it is considered normal and mainstream by western society.

Outside of western society I do not have the knowledge to comment, though I rather doubt there is a significant number of men in India or China dressed in drag.

I stand by my comment, male attire is considered socially acceptable on either sex, female attire is reserved for women.

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Offline Karsten

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #30 on: 30/12/2011 02:30:19 »
The only piece of clothing that is worn by women that generally (at least in the USA) is not worn by men is a skirt or dress. Everything else is fundamentally so similar that, depending on the current fashion and context, it can be considered unisex clothing. Well, maybe panty hose could be considered an exception as well (or an extension of the skirt). But, so what? This might be temporary. The way noble men in Europe dressed 200 years ago was rather feminine (whatever that is) by today's standards.  And I sure wish I could wear a skirt in the summer when it is really hot. It would be more comfortable than pants or even shorts. But my current social environment makes that rather uncomfortable. Maybe women have managed to become the gender that can wear what makes sense rather than what is expected? Guys can only wear what guys are allowed to wear and women can wear whatever they please? That sounds like men are forced by society to conform rather than an inherent difference.
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Offline Geezer

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #31 on: 30/12/2011 07:37:55 »
The only piece of clothing that is worn by women that generally (at least in the USA) is not worn by men is a skirt or dress.

Oi! Knock it off laddie.

I regularly wear a kilt in the US. I also carry a very large Claymore.
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Offline CliffordK

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #32 on: 30/12/2011 08:22:45 »
There are, however, exceptions to every rule.

Including some  men who wear dresses, makeup, hose, high heals, and all the rest!!!

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Offline Geezer

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #33 on: 30/12/2011 08:36:41 »
There are, however, exceptions to every rule.

Including some  men who wear dresses, makeup, hose, high heals, and all the rest!!!

Right! That's it.

I'll be tapping my claymore on your door in about four hours. You better be wearing tartan jammies, or you'll be toast.
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Offline Gordian Knot

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #34 on: 31/12/2011 03:43:58 »
Men do not wear dresses or skirts. That is two things, not one. :)
Men do not wear blouses. Just shirts. Women can wear either.
Men do not wear high heals. Women do (although they shouldn't).
Men do not wear decorative scarves as part of an ensemble. Women do.
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Offline Karsten

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #35 on: 31/12/2011 23:34:21 »
Men do not wear dresses or skirts. That is two things, not one. :)
Men do not wear blouses. Just shirts. Women can wear either.
Men do not wear high heals. Women do (although they shouldn't).
Men do not wear decorative scarves as part of an ensemble. Women do.


At what height are heeled shoes to be considered high heels?
What exactly is the difference between a shirt and a blouse?
Is a scarf that is not one color to be considered decorative?

Just because one piece of clothing is in a store that sells women's clothing right now does not mean that clothes like this never were worn, are not worn, or never will be worn by  men. I think we need precise definitions here. A blouse is a shirt worn by a woman. Put it on a man and it becomes a shirt. Same piece of clothing. Every cowboy boot has about a 2 inch heel.

And I did not bring up that men don't wear skirts! I tried to be agreeable and wrote that they "generally" don't wear skirts in the "USA". Of course men wear skirts. Exactly my point.
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Offline Gordian Knot

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #36 on: 03/01/2012 18:46:23 »
Karsten I agree with you that clothing styles have obviously changed over time. The discussion is not about the changes in historical clothing. It is the question of whether men and women are different today, 21st century earth.

I also agree that getting bogged down in the definitions is one of the most difficult stumbling blocks to having a debate. Hence here are the definitions that I perceive are accepted by "normal" society, i.e. based upon what one would see walking down the street of any major U.S. city today.

By definition, perhaps, a blouse is a shirt worn by a woman. In practice one does not see men shopping in the women's department for blouses to wear. It just isn't done. Women, however shop in men's departments for shirts all the time.

Putting a blouse on a man does not make it a shirt. It is seen as a weirdo wearing a women's piece of clothing. While a woman wearing a man's shirt is considered "normal", i.e. acceptable in modern society. Admittedly there are probably some styles of blouses that are more shirt-like than others.

One definition of high heels I found doing a quick Google search:
"High-heeled shoes are shoes which raise the heel of the wearer's foot significantly higher than the toes. When both the heel and the toes are raised, as in a platform shoe, it is generally not considered to be a "high-heel."

A high heel, then, is one that raises the heel above a natural level. Again, walking down the street of a city of your choice, one is likely to see many women wearing high heels. One is unlikely to find many men doing so.

Unless one is in Texas. Your point about cowboy boots is spot on. Which I find quite ironic, as cowboys are considered manly men, yet they are the only large group of men who wear what would be considered a high heel!
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Offline Geezer

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #37 on: 03/01/2012 20:30:49 »
I can see I'm going to have to post a piccy of the Geezer legs protruding from beneath a Gunn tartan kilt. Anyway, it's really a shame to deprive our readers of such a fine view.
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Offline lightspeed301

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #38 on: 03/01/2012 22:15:19 »
Geezer - Regarding Claymores

I spent a year in Vietnam and have a certain 'intimacy' with said claymores. We only had one size. It was about the size of a large paper back book with a curve to it and several spikes on the bottom to push into the ground. On the outside of the curve it said something like 'This Side Towards The Enemy'.

Do not detonate a claymore you are carrying with you, even if pointed in the proper direction. You think a three inch twelve gage field magnum shotgun has a kick?


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Offline Geezer

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #39 on: 03/01/2012 23:05:27 »

Geezer - Regarding Claymores


Different claymore laddie [;D]
 
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claymore
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Offline CZARCAR

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #40 on: 04/01/2012 17:11:19 »
TP usage?...abussage?

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Offline jackdcosta56

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #41 on: 05/01/2012 05:01:41 »
if you talk about the physique .. yes they are else i think they have a similar soul.

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Offline neilep

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #42 on: 05/01/2012 05:24:38 »
Men are the same as women...just inside out !!    [;D]


There was a quote I remember form a Star Trek TNG episode..."Men are human...women..... are women"
Men are the same as women, just inside out !

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Offline CliffordK

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #43 on: 05/01/2012 07:06:05 »
TP usage?...abussage?
I realize the 1 or 2 rolls a year that I use is awfully wasteful...  but sometimes it is just worth it!! 

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Offline Karsten

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #44 on: 15/01/2012 20:02:24 »
I keep noticing that occasionally girls get typically boy's first names. Jordan, Jesse, Logan, etc. Few boys receive girl's first names. At least it seems that way to me where I live (New England). In addition to the clothing issue discussed above, I wonder if it is that men/boys shy away from being identified as members of the still less powerful half of humans on this planet while girls obviously don't have a problem with the opposite. I don't buy that this is a difference beyond "current behavior".
I got annoyed with looking
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Offline cheryl j

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #45 on: 15/01/2012 22:00:34 »
Men do not wear blouses. Just shirts. Women can wear either.
Men do not wear high heals. Women do (although they shouldn't).
Men do not wear decorative scarves as part of an ensemble. Women do.

You must be young and werent around for the 60s, but surely you saw an Austin Powers movie or two, and they did wear exactly that, and grow their hair long. Why clothing styles shift like that occasionally, I'm not sure, and there is something more taboo breaking about males wearing feminine clothing. Its almost a boast, as in, I'm so confident of  my maleness, that I can wear anything. It sends some kind of message. I think the reason why women in male clothing isnt as provocative is that one assumes its for practical reasons.  Even before feminism, I suspect a women would put on a pair of mens pants to go out and hoe a field rather than drag the hem of her dress through the dirt. Dresses are not great in snowstorms.

What is more interesting, and probably more related to my original point in the first post, is not men wearing women's clothing or women wearing men's clothing, but a sort of androgenous look that started with people like David Bowie and hasnt really stopped. Although, when it comes to sex and advertising, clothes that emphasize the differences between men and women are still alive and kicking.

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Offline Gordian Knot

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Re: Are men and women different?
« Reply #46 on: 16/01/2012 02:03:58 »
I keep noticing that occasionally girls get typically boy's first names. Jordan, Jesse, Logan, etc. Few boys receive girl's first names.

Arrghh! Don't even get me started on this whole girls using boy's names!!!!!! LoL. I hate this trend more than all of the others combined.

But for Cheryl's sake, back to the point of her first post. I could not disagree with you more. (Well, actually I probably could, but ........). Despite some homogenizing between the sexes in clothing and names, they remain very different.

Keeping to the magazine angle:

Women's magazines are made in such a way as to cater to women. Men's are catered towards them. Not that there isn't some crossover of readers, which, of course there is. And there are magazines that are about subjects interesting to both sexes.

Predominantly though, magazines are focused on one sex or the other because publishers make the most money that way. Simple economics. If the product does not make money, it will not be published.

ps. Cheryl wrong on both counts. I was around during the '60's; long hair on men wasn't as much a fashion statement as a form of rebellion.  And I wouldn't watch an Austin Powers movie if you begged me!!!!!
Life is not meant to be easy, but it IS supposed to be fun!