Do women, on average, have different aptitudes than men?
Since sharky went to sleep and didn't post one of these questions. Taken from: http://reason.com/blog/show/121522.html
> Do women, on average, have a different profile of
> aptitudes and emotions than men?
I don't know. I've never met an average women.
son of parnas
July 25th, 2007 10:54am
Ooh! Very nice answer.
July 25th, 2007 10:57am
Isn't part of the question "and if they do, are those aptitudes genetic or societal"?
My favorite used to be that women were better cooks, except that all the great chefs were men. (Both products of social norms)
July 25th, 2007 11:01am
you probably have, it's just that there was no way of knowing that you had met her.
July 25th, 2007 11:05am
I wish I was average with women on me.
July 25th, 2007 11:08am
Why is this even a question?
How can the genders not be different on some levels? We're physically different, we have different levels of hormones and neurotransmitters ... even with the exact same nurture, we'd turn out differently.
Look at the cases where there were circumcision accidents and they tried to raise a boy as a girl. It always failed miserably once the kid hit puberty.
July 25th, 2007 11:11am
> My favorite used to be that women were better cooks, except that all the great chefs were men.
Or ... Women are better accountants (*) though the great mathematicians are male.
(*) Who balances the checkbook in the family?
July 25th, 2007 11:12am
Well, I'll go out on a limb and say yes. I mean, my wife is world's better at breast feeding than I could ever be. Of course, I'm better at writing my name in the snow.
I think women tend to be better than men at carrying a fetus to term, on average. Men, on the other hand, are more likely to be better producers of sperm.
There may be other subtle distinctions.
July 25th, 2007 11:18am
thank you dana.
July 25th, 2007 11:18am
Damn you, Clay!
July 25th, 2007 11:18am
Clay's was funnier.
And yeah, duh, obviously there are differences. I thought every test ever done (give or take) shows that men have a wider distribution of IQs - more morons (many here) but more super-geniuses.
July 25th, 2007 11:23am
"Why is this even a question?"
a) It's always good to ask the question. To do otherwise is assuming...
b) There are some feminists who have bought into the "people are totally equal" lock, stock, and barrel. I used to have a friend who was pretty rabidly feminist. Our friendship ended over the fight that arose from my suggestion that men are physiologically designed to be stronger than women - she was certain that the Olympics, powerlifting records, iron man and marathon results were all the products of societal pressures.
July 25th, 2007 11:25am
The trouble with questions like this is that it doesn't take into account that everybody is different. Sure, I have different interests and aptitudes than most men I know, but they're also different from most women I know, and there's some overlap in both groups. Aside from physical and hormonal things (breastfeeding and sperm production being good examples) there's no need ot lump peopl ein groups.
the great purple
July 25th, 2007 11:28am
Philo, how did your former friend explain why men tend to be taller? Is that society's fault as well?
July 25th, 2007 11:29am
I think GP also asks a good question.
Let's say, for the sake of argument, that men are in fact better at math than women. That's going to be the result of an average. There will still be plenty of women that are better at math than 99% of men, simply due to the vagaries of the bell curve.
So what's the value of "men are better at math" when a 13 year old girl solves Fermat's Last Theorem on her own? I went to school with a guy who was very close to solving unified field theory at 18 - should someone tell him "blacks aren't good at physics" and he should knock it off?
So - do we ask the question because it should be asked, or do we ignore it because the results may have no real social value?
July 25th, 2007 11:34am
>>> So - do we ask the question because it should be asked, or do we ignore it because the results may have no real social value?
You ask the question because it probably does have social value. If there are differences, then you would look at ways to identify them in individual cases. Then you get rid of BS like No Child Left Behind and recognize that not everyone is on the right-hand side of the bell curve, but the ones on the left aren't useless.
July 25th, 2007 11:46am
"Then you get rid of BS like No Child Left Behind and recognize that not everyone is on the right-hand side of the bell curve, but the ones on the left aren't useless."
Can't you do that without looking at gender or racial identifiers? I mean, it's not rocket science that some kids are good at math and others aren't without doing a "are boys better at math?"
There *are* lots of studies showing that girls with mathematical aptitude don't pursue it because they've been told girls aren't as good at math. Whether it's true or not, is that what we're looking for?
July 25th, 2007 11:52am
It's not that we shouldn't be asking questions about gender differences. However, the question
"Do women, on average, have a different profile of aptitudes and emotions than men?"
is a no-brainer. The answer is yes.
Perhaps the question should be:
"Are there definitive differences between the genders that we can reliably attribute to genetic gender (regardless of nurture), and how is that knowledge useful?"
July 25th, 2007 11:55am
+1, AG and Phylo.
July 25th, 2007 12:42pm
"> Do women, on average, have a different profile of
> aptitudes and emotions than men? "
There is no way to separate nature from nurture so we won't know.
How many of you think your girls request pink fluffy stuff, and how many of you believe they request pink fluffy stuff because they know it will please you?
You don't know, I don't care how many of you swear up and down that your girl was a pink and fluffy desirer from the womb.
Thanks to the obsession the boy next door had with my daughter's Barbies (and their Star Wars legos, which they love), I agree with sharky.
July 25th, 2007 12:50pm
It's interesting to see basic behaviors manifest with no prior input. Newborns do some things that simply could not have been learned, so it makes me wonder what else is hard wired.
July 25th, 2007 4:49pm
I'm sure lots of things are hardwired, and lots of things are nurture, but my point is that it is not useful to correlate things with gender unless there are specific physical manifestations. Men have greater upper body strength due to the way their hormones work. Women have the ability to lactate. But who cares if women, on average, are not as good at math? Deal with the *individual* who is not good at math, whether they are male or female. Sure, you might end up helping more of one gender than the other, but why are you counting?
the great purple
July 25th, 2007 5:06pm