How are men and women different? | INFJ Forum

How are men and women different?

Discussion in 'Relationships and Sociology' started by Satya, Apr 23, 2009.

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  1. Satya

    Satya C'est la vie
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    Aside from body parts, are there enormous differences between men and women? If so, what are they?


     
  2. Lucifer

    Lucifer Registered User #666

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    I don't think there are enormous differences between men and women, they exist but are not huge.

    :m192:

    Actually I think that people focus to much on the differences and not enough on the similarities.
     
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  3. Deathjam

    Deathjam ooooh
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    the spelling is different, women has a W and a O in it
     
  4. acd

    acd Well-known member

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    Any differences (gender roles and sterotypes) are social constructs. I had an older man try to explain the inherent differences between boys and girls once. Went like this: "You put a doll and a truck in front of a 7 month old--which is she going to grab first? The doll. Yes. The doll." He answered.

    But baby girls are given dolls at birth. How sick is that? You've just been born and now you're given charge over a lifeless replica of yourself
    ...grosses me out, mannnn.
     
    #4 acd, Apr 23, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009
  5. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    Actually, recent literature is strongly calling into question the theory that gender is merely a social construct. There is a relevant, although lengthy article at the University of Hawaii's web page:
    http://www.hawaii.edu/PCSS/online_artcls/intersex/intersex00_00.html

    The difference in genders makes sense from an evolutionary point of view. If you look at most mamals, and we are mamals, the sex of the individual can usually be quickly and easily determined from that individual's behaviour alone.
     
  6. Puck

    Puck Perilous Pixie
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    There's such an infinte variety of people and cultures, but I think there is a tangible polarity between male and female. The details may vary, individuals may be atypical, or fit in differently on the spectrum, but the difference is there. I bless it. It is part of the wonder of everything. I'm not too concerned about traditional gender roles, but there is an undeniable magic associated with man and woman respectively. It's good to honour that, to explore it, to see where it applies and where it doesn't. There is always the choice to stand outside of labels or to reverse them, but underlying that is the polarity, the distinction between one and the other, and so it is.
     
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  7. Zero

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    [YOUTUBE]0BxckAMaTDc[/YOUTUBE]
     
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  8. Cuddle Donor

    Cuddle Donor Community Member

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    I think I saw a documentary on the Joan/John case. It appears this article was written before the guy ended up committing suicide over the matter. Very disturbing story.
     
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  9. anica

    anica dark dreamer
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    It's my observation that women provide the sexual energy in lovemaking, though men arouse that energy. In the mating dance, it is women who choose men, not the other way around. Just some thoughts from the granny of the forums.
     
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  10. OP
    Satya

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    I completely disagree with your assessment from this article. First, are you drawing conclusions from the one case study (Joan/John) presented in the article? I would hope you are not making generalizations about the entire population based upon just one individual. The study also pointed out other factors beyond the child's natural sex that could have affected their rejection of their assigned gender. These include the secrecy the parents used, the fact the child had no choice in the matter, and the fact that she had a twin brother. Is it not possible that when it comes to such a socially significant thing as gender, that not being able to provide consent on such a matter may lead a person to later reject their assigned gender? Is it also not possible that a mother who gave birth to two boys may, despite making the conscious decision to do otherwise, still unconsciously nurture her child in a way to promote male gender development? Studies have shown that adults do unconsciously speak differently to male and female infants. You have to admit that there are a lot of confounding variables in this article. It doesn't really call "into question the theory that gender is merely a social construct" as much as it calls into question the ethical premise of informed consent. And frankly the argument could be made that the article supports the idea that gender is a social construct because of how the child is reported standing to urinate due to "penis envy" toward her brother (check the citation). Also I disagree with the author's insinuation that rejection to counseling and hormone treatments was tantamount to rejection of gender.

    I'm assuming that it is just your opinion that there is significant evolutionary differences in the gender of animals because it doesn't speak of anything on that topic in that article. Frankly gender roles in nature are simply related to the means of production and nurturing of offspring. Think of the example of boys with toy trucks and girls with dolls. In other words, consider the fact that all male humans have mammary glands and thus are capable of lactating and nursing infants. Other species of animals such as goats and bats have the ability and do nurse infants. So why do male humans who have such an evolutionarily derived capability not utilize it? The fact of the matter is that they do in some cultures. However, most human cultures have developed a patriarchal organization and as a result, males are socialized to be producers, not nurturers. As such, our actual physical biology would seem to suggest that our socialization has had far more to do with the formation of our gender identity.

    Also, when you say that you can look at most animals and determine the sex, you have made an irrelevant comment to this discussion. The topic is how males and females differ beyond their body parts and what those differences are.
     
    #10 Satya, Apr 23, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009
  11. OP
    Satya

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    Is it not possible that personality plays a larger role in the mating dance than gender does? From my observations on these forms, I have noticed that extroverted females talk a lot about "arousing the energy" and introverted males talk a lot about "providing the energy".
     
  12. Flavus Aquila

    Flavus Aquila Finding My Place in the Sun
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    There are differences between the sexes, beyond the physical ones. However, specific differences are in large part shaped by culture. However, one cannot argue that the differences are simply cultural, because there are no cultures in which distinctions are not very evident.

    Furthermore, the immediately visible difference in behaviour between male and female mammals in many species (including humans) gives weight to the arguement that there are indeed enormeous INTRINSIC differences between males and females, as male/female.

    Given that the difference of male and female sexes is principally a reproductive one, the particular differences between male and female humans are best treated in reference to human sexual reproduction.

    In other words, non-anatomical differences between males and females, such as temperament and behaviour, in my theory, must have a basis in the physical differences between males/females.

    To argue against there being differences, denies easily observable fact; to argue that the differences are not based upon physical sex, is to argue that males and females are not of the same species, or more logically, that the difference is based on non-physical differences, such as different types of souls or one sex not having a soul etc., which is absurd.

    **See, that's how you make a point without attacking people**

    The article sited in my previous post was an example of recent literature, calling into question the theory that gender is merely a social construct.
     
    #12 Flavus Aquila, Apr 23, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009
  13. arbygil

    arbygil Passing through

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    I wouldn't call the differences enormous, but I do think differences exist. Satirically we know - we laugh at the jokes about males and females because deep inside we feel the stereotypes are valid. Genetically there are differences - women produce more estrogen than males for the most part, and women can birth children. Women often have different physical needs - we tend to need more calcium and iron and so forth. We have less testosterone. We have less muscle mass, so on and so forth.

    That being said, some of the physical differences do affect the emotional processes on a smaller level. All of our hormone levels are likely different to satisfy the needs of the body. If the hormone level changes, you do have physical and sometimes emotional changes.

    But that doesn't answer the question.

    Are men and women different physically? Yes. Are they different chemically? Yes. Do chemicals affect brain chemistry? Yes. Can chemicals affect thoughts, actions, and decisions? Yes. I think an INFJ female does process things different from an INFJ male and it isn't necessarily cultural. I think it can be on a gradient scale and some cultures will be more dogmatic about it than others, but I do see differences. Or perhaps I should say preferences. I'm not the type of woman to dress up and look pretty, and that to me isn't something that makes me a woman. And just because I don't like sports that much doesn't make me a woman. I do feel men think differently, but I don't think this is a bad thing - and it has nothing to do with NT vs NF or SJ vs SP.
     
  14. OP
    Satya

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    I agree. Females are generally more selective in who they mate with because they need a reliable protector and provider and males often compete with one another for the best females and thus need to be more aggressive. That is generally the sum of human gender role differences. However, that is more largely contingent on environmental factors than on biological factors. In places with good climates, a large food and clean water supply, and no major dangers, females will be far more liberal with who they mate with and males will be far less competitive as a result.

    I never denied differences, I only argued against your sentiment that there are enormously significant differences. The differences that do exist seem to be far more cultural and environmental than biological, as I demonstrated with my fact about males possessing mammary glands.

    Nobody has made that argument. See above.

    I would say that gender roles are based most largely on culture and environment, which is demonstrable and provable, and therefore far from absurd.

    I feel attacked because you are claiming arguments that I never made and distorting my position. I'm also unaware of how I have attacked you.

    As I said, it does far more to call into question the topic of informed consent than whether or not gender is merely a social construct.
     
  15. OP
    Satya

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    And that is the crux. Hormones are the physical basis for gender roles.

    Who is then to say that a male whose hormones are like those of a female does not possess a gender that is female or that a female whose hormones are like those of a male does not posses a gender that is male?

    Hormones often change in parents as a result of a child being born or adopted. It's easily observable that males often become much more nurturing once they become fathers and females become much more protective as a result of becoming mothers. Who is then to say that two males or two females can't offer all the same things to a child that one male and one female can offer?

    Only culture and religion stand in the way of the natural fact that gender roles are primarily physically based on hormones which in turn are highly susceptible to environment and socialization.
     
    #15 Satya, Apr 23, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009
  16. Lucifer

    Lucifer Registered User #666

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    I don't think we'll really know that unless we live in a society without gender roles.

    What a creep! I actually hated playing with dolls when I was younger.

    Same here, girl power!
     
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  17. Flavus Aquila

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    Satya: They may be able to fulfill functions, but they are not able to be a different sex.

    Lucy bearer: how cute, a twin brother/sister who doesn't hog mom and dad's attention.
     
    #17 Flavus Aquila, Apr 23, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009
  18. arbygil

    arbygil Passing through

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    Ah - that's the reason for the question.

    Okay. Honestly, when it comes to child rearing parent roles vary. I've seen fathers who were far more nurturing than mothers and mothers who were far more protective (my mother and father, for example). It's not what we normally see in every day society, but it does happen. But unfortunately it's probably more likely that the mother will be the one singing the lullabies and changing the diapers and speaking that crazy baby talk and choosing the cute baby clothes. More than likely it's the mother who will react when a child scrapes his knee by running over and cuddling the child. More often than not it's the mother the child will run to when s/he's in emotional and physical pain. Why? Maybe it's instinct. Maybe it's unique to the human animal kingdom.

    But it's not always the case, either. I've seen mothers play sports with their sons and I've seen mothers to tell their sons to "quit crying" when they've fallen briefly. I've seen fathers who cry when they see their child walk for the first time. My father was the one who read me bedtime stories and he did the cooking and the cleaning in our house. But I do say this: I appreciate the different perspectives overall. I like to know all the sides of an issue and it helps to have multiple viewpoints. Women tend to have similar viewpoints (TEND TO - not set in stone) so it *can* be difficult to raise a child. Women do not know what it's like to have an erection. Men can never truly understand what periods are like. But maybe it all has to do with energy. It's very sexist, but I know I feel naturally comforted when a big guy hugs me over a smaller guy. I know (and I've seen) men react more positively to skinnier, curvier, bustier babes over heavier gals. I was never taught that in society. I know I felt more protected when my daddy hugged me and I felt more comforted when my mommy hugged me, but I can't explain why. Maybe it was unconsciously taught, but I don't know. My father was gay and my mother has been mistaken for a lesbian (her words, not mine)...so I don't think it's as simple as we think it could be.

    It's something to think about, though.
     
  19. Lucifer

    Lucifer Registered User #666

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    Well anyways

    I think the most important difference between men and women is the desire to be seen as a man and the desire to be seen as woman.

    It is not the only difference but it seems to explain a lot of behavior in my eyes.

    And men and women seem to treat the sexual act in a different way. Both men and women desire affection, both men and women desire hot button sex. The difference it appears to me is in the process of arousal. Women seem to be more interested in the act itself and men seem to be more interested in the chase.

    Does that make sense?
     
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  20. OP
    Satya

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    Of course they can't be a different sex. Sex is defined as chromosomes. XX and XY will never change. We are talking about gender here.
     
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