Criticism of biologism  

cajunpet 70M
828 posts
7/20/2005 4:27 am

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Criticism of biologism


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Criticism of biologism

Gender roles have long been a staple of the Nature/Nurture debate: "folk" theories of gender usually assume that one's gender identity is a natural given. For example, it is often claimed in Western societies that women are naturally more fit to look after children. The idea that differences in gender roles originate in differences in biology has found some (controversial) support in parts of the scientific community. 19th-century anthropology sometimes used simplistic descriptions of the imagined life of paleolithic hunter-gatherer societies for evolutionary explanations for gender differences. For example, the need to take care of the offspring may have limited the females' freedom to hunt and assume positions of power.

More recently, sociobiology and evolutionary psychology have turned to this problem to explain those differences by treating them as adaptations. This too is quite controversial.

Due to the influence of (among others) Simone de Beauvoir's feminist works and Michel Foucault's reflections on sexuality, the idea that gender was unrelated to sex gained ground during the 1980s, especially in sociology and cultural anthropology. A person could therefore be born with male genitals but still be of feminine gender. In 1987, Connell did extensive research on whether there are any connections between biology and gender role and concluded that there were none. However, the debate continues to rage on. Simon Baron-Cohen, a Cambridge Univ. professor of psychology and psychiatry, argued that "the female brain is predominantly hard-wired for empathy, while the male brain is predominantly hard-wired for understanding and building systems."

The current trend in Western societies toward men and women sharing similar occupations, responsibilities and jobs suggests that the sex one is born with does not directly determine one's abilities.

What are your thoughts about gender roles?

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Philosophy_N_Sex 49M/47F

7/20/2005 11:26 am

Oh Wow nature/nurture

Well they have evidence that early tribes were martrichal, so I wonder how that would be. Have had female supervisors, was no big deal as a good leader is a good leader.

I am the at home parent, she is main bread winner, talk about getting flack.


cajunpet 70M
1185 posts
7/20/2005 1:53 pm

Thanks PNS, for sharing your thoughts. I also was the home parent because of my neck and back problems.


Take care.
Keep On Blogging!!!! Have a great day.

Cajun Pet


Goldenhairgodess 63F
396 posts
7/21/2005 8:12 am

My view on gender roles is that there are naturally given at birth potential abilities that are not gender based. It is the up bringing
of the children which encourage the development of some traits while discouraging the development of others. These abilities remain unused unless a situation arises inwhich the person must develop them. For example, in Kramer vs. Kramer the husband and wife filled their socially encouraged roles. When the wife leaves to develope her own identity, the husband has to take over the role she had covered. At first he did poorly. But over time he became competent in his own way.
Resistince to this concept is historic. Here is my own experience:
My BF was going to be on an aircraft carrier (Navy) so we went ahead and married before he left. That was in April and I was to graduate in June. For a class we were to pick a controversy to present orally. I picked the topic of equal pay for equal work. I spoke passionately on the subject. I was challenged by a guy in class who said "With that kind of attitude you will never get married." I proudly held up my left hand with the wedding ring and said, "Well I have news for you! I already am!" His jaw dropped open at that.


cajunpet 70M
1185 posts
7/21/2005 7:09 pm

Thanks Goldenhairgodess, for sharing your thoughts.


Take care.
Keep On Blogging!!!! Have a great day.

Cajun Pet


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