Philosophistry Database

Does it matter if boys like cars, and girls like dolls? Both genders will love anything specifically tailored to them

We often make the case that men and women are naturally different by citing the fact that boys overwhelmingly love toy cars, and that girls prefer dolls. But is it possible that this is the result of trial-and-error by toy-makers? "Ah-hah!" the toy maker said to themselves, "I found a toy that boys consistently love." Perhaps boys and girls only share slight differences in their preference for amusements, and it's just that popular gendered toys dominate the marketplace.

Gender is not defined by mass marketability. Just because there are some signal products that most women want exclusively, such as lipstick, doesn't mean all male-female differences are signal. The differences could just be the loudest signals in the market which have drowned out all other data.

sexuality gender

Every sex cultivates an attractive trait well before the opposite sex has had a chance to know what's happening

When women say they dress more for other women than for men, it’s because they’re playing a bigger game than men can understand. Arguably fashion could be meant just for an overall enhancement of status. But that status is only conferred by its simulated value in enticing the opposite sex. When an outfit is deemed “sexy,” for example, it’s not typically implied that it encourages sexual interest in the same sex.

Even if fashion is ultimately for the opposite sex, men can only appreciate a sliver of the fashion acumen of women. Women want to be ahead of the limited apparent taste of men and appeal to their subconscious tastes. Hence, women compete to be the most fetching of the fetchers. They depend on each other to create beauty contests and assess each other’s skills, rewarding each other’s fashion sense with status, but ultimately they are competing in those same contests.

Likewise, men are bonded by elaborate rituals to sort each other out. Women may never know the convoluted adventures men partake in to create novel and abundant professional and creative successes. If a man only has a few minutes to convince a woman whether or not to mate with him, that man will move Heaven and Earth to collect all the necessary ornaments of accomplishment. Are the men who run Fortune 500 companies doing so to impress women? Perhaps in the grandest sense. But impressing women isn’t the thought that wakes those CEOs up in the morning. It’s a sense of mission or intrinsic reward that motivates them. For if someone is driven just by the minimum needed to impress a member of the opposite sex, their genes will likely be out-duplicated by someone willing to impress the already minimally impressive competition.

evolution society fashion sex gender

Half of all genetic traits are latent

Mom's needlework is present in her, but obscured in her sons. Likewise her sons' ambitions may be muted in their daughters. For the muted recipients, those traits either remain completely dormant, or find some narrow or redirected expression, either through proxy hopes and dreams or more gender-appropriate ones.

evolution gender

Homosexuality exists because sex is useful

Start from there, and then it's easy to sketch the rest of its evolution.

evolution gender

There are masculine versions of feminine things men are attracted to and vice-versa

So, for example, a woman who is soft translates into a man who is sensitive. Or a man who is powerful translates into a woman who is confident.


Women transmit class, men acquire it

All the class signals seem to be the mainstay of women. Conspicuous consumption, whether in the form of clothing, jewelry, or stylish pedicures, is their purview. They themselves can be trophies. They are like the jewelry they acquire, storing value to be dispensed with as needed. Their beauty is praised, which is a proxy for the value of their DNA. And in history, women were literally passed around as a way to negotiate power between kingdoms. And the etiquette teachers, the comportment teachers, the ones urging their children the most to have good friends, good education, etc., are the mothers.

gender class

You could abuse cognitive therapy if you mistake a distorted negative belief for a fixed inclination, like trying to dispute one's sexual orientation

What is the basis of one's stance toward something? Is it taste or belief? Some stances we take because of taste. You can't, for example, use cognitive therapy, to make yourself enjoy heavy metal or hip-hop music. That is unless your negativity toward those genres is based partly on a distorted negative belief toward those underlying subcultures. By extension, is it possible that some negative attitudes toward ourselves are not based on distorted beliefs, but a natural distaste or revulsion?

Most likely it's a spectrum, of taste and belief, and at the very least, cognitive therapy should be used to rule out the belief component. But beyond that, a different tool has to be used.

sexuality gender cognitive_therapy