On Thu, 14 Feb 2019, Thomas Kellar wrote:
I am learning from the discussion. I disagree with
argument. Women and men both have personalities and brains that range
over a huge spectrum of differences. It is society that tries to force
them into particular molds.
FWIW, the mainstream on both sides of this argument agree that men and
women overlap in characteristics. The question is what causes the
Many human characteristics are bimodal with most people clustering around
one of two points, and those points correlating with biological gender.
Opponents of inate gender differences argue that the observed differences
are socialised. They point out that neuroplasticity means that even
differences in brain structure between genders *could* be socialised.
This is why I find studies on infants so interesting. There are plenty of
examples but I've linked a study below that monitored the behaviour of
infants that are around 24 hours old. Statistically significant
differences in behaviour were observed between boys and girls. This is
far too early for any socialisation to have occured.
When I was a young man I believed that gender differences (beyond obvious
morphological differences) were socialised. But the evidence grew, and
has continued to grow, that to a large degree this isn't so.
A really fascinating area is "greater male variability" (GMV) which really
explains a lot about the world. I wrote an article on that for a well
known blog a few years ago. While researching the article I discovered
that men vary more than women in personality. That is to say that on
average women are more similar to each other in personality than men are.
I admit that one really surprised me.
Some people claim GMV has been discredited. It hasn't. People claiming
GMV has been discredited usually cite a handful of counter examples as
evidence of this. GMV was never claimed to be univerally true, only true
for most characteristics.. I suspect there is at least one case where
females, not males, exhibit greater variability but this still doesn't
Getting back to employment, there have been many studies on employment
patterns and gender by researchers and governments. They consistently
show that men and women make a myriad of different choices in employment.
In particular they show that men will tend to prioritise earning potential
over many other characteristics of employment while women tend to do the
reverse. The largest study on this topic anywhere is probably the
CONSAD Report, commissioned by the US Dept of Labor. The CONSAD Report is
actually on the gender earnings gap but it's still relevant to a
discussion on different choices men and women make in employment.
Here's a tiny URL to the CONSAD Report: