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RE: Sex Differences: Do females and males have different brains? Pt 3

in #steemstem6 years ago

Don’t apologize unless it’s the build up to the punch line.

More male vs more female vs who decides what characteristics are more one than the other. Aka what are those traits specifically, and why are they associated more with either of the respective sexes[?] - rhetorical question(s) perhaps... ?


Well I used the example of the baskets as an analogy, if that's what you're referring to.

The specific paper was a meta-analysis of other studies, so the subjects (people) were defined as male or female by those studies, probably by the people themselves. Their brains were scanned, or personality profiles questionnaired, and those that were more prevalent in males were defined as male, and those more prevalent in females were defined as female. That's at least one way it can be done.

And the result was substantial variability as well as lack of internal consistency:


The reason some traits may be associated with some sexes might have to do with their reproductive strategies, but that whole interesting chapter will be explored in the future!

I get the basket thing. It’s the study that you described after that I was asking for and...

Yeah I assumed that this method of categorizing masculine vs feminine characteristics would be the preferred and “objective” way of determining it (masculinity/femininity).

But I guess what I’m really alluding to or questioning is the wording. More implies that things are being compared and that the non “more” thing would have or be less. So if a male is more feminine than shouldn’t he be less masculine? I understand (I think) conceptually that what you mean is:

if there are two “bars” representing either characteristic, masculinity and (not vs) femininity, then this male would have high readings on the bar of both masculinity and femininity....and therefore it doesn’t necessarily make him non or less masculine....?

So yet again I’m just presenting my devil’s advocate, skeptical, cynical perspective and inquisition, seeking clarification and enlightenment for myself and anyone who might be reading.

🧔🏻🧠👱🏿‍♀️ :)

You're right about the bars. That's what's meant. An increase in masculine behavior (masculinization) is not necessarily associated with a decrease in feminine behavior (definimization). And moving toward femininity doesn't mean you're moving away from masculinity. You could be both very masculine and very feminine at the same time (a British dandy? all the rock stars of the 70s?), while another person is lower in both masculinity and femininity than you are.

For the most part I agree, but there are some behaviours which are either/or. If you are sitting in a bar with a drink you can't simultaneously sit like James Bond and a female fox news commentator.

Yes that makes logical sense. I think though that most of the either/or situations are where, for example, you are either violent or not violent, you can't be both. People often view non-opposite things as being opposite, as when for example crying during movies is seen as, for some strange reason, as de-masculinizing. I can't imagine any man who has ever created a worthy piece of touching art, not crying at his or someone else's creation. Those are the types of fake contradictions that we should guard ourselves against, even though, of course, as you say, there are also genuine either/or cases.

Agreed on the tendency to see things as opposites when the reality is more complex. I think our minds do have a bias towards simple explanations. Very well-written series, I enjoyed it and learned a lot.

Lol nice parenthetical examples.

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