Thursday, April 03, 2003

Gender Wars Redux

(double posted)
I'm annoying some of my dearest Blog Sisters by asserting that men are more violent than women and it's the leadership of males that almost always is behind our marches into war and the destruction of cultures.

I really do believe that, until we confront the power that our hormonal chemistries have over our natures, we're not going to be able to evolve much futher as human beings. That doesn't mean we should be using other chemistries to neutralize that power; but it does mean that we have to become aware of our behavior patterns and work on some "personality" changes to diminish the insidious way that those chemistries effect our behaviors.

I posted the something close to following in a comment in response to a comment, but I'm repeating it here for broader consumption:

Been there, done that. The "change" has taken all my hormones away, so I can't fault them for my point of view.

Of course human beings are complex. But look at history as it documents the actions of males and the actions of females as they reflect manifestations of physical violence against others, aggression, extreme competitiveness. I think the males win in that category.

History, literature, mythology etc. also document problem tendencies in females (need to please others, emotional outbursts, over-protectedness, vanity, self-mutilation etc. etc.), but these are not actions that tend to initiate wars and mass murder. Extreme manifestations of our biological natures pose problems for all humans, but the male version is a killer.

Fifty years from now, look back and see if things are any better -- if men are still in charge and charging at others aggressively, if women are still defering to what men seem to want them to be or emulating men's aggression because they've allowed themselves to be convinced that that's the way to succeed. (Notice: I did not say ALL men and ALL women!)

How much better the world -- how much better relationships -- would be if each gender worked at eliminating those extreme tendencies that we've carried along in our genes and hormones from our more primitive ancestors?

But, like the process of any evolutionary-therapeutic journey, first one must admit that there's a problem. That's the hardest part, and it's even harder if what is our "problem" is also our source of power.

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