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

In some ways, living in tribes was more free, since we didn't need the existence of subcultures to protect our deviance

Today some subcultures support and nurture those who deviate from heteronormative sexuality, but in the past, such subcultures weren't necessary. If two men were caught having sex in a small tribe, even if they were ridiculed or molested by their group, the harassment wouldn't have carried the force of code. The tribe wouldn't have had a book describing what is or isn't wrong. Even if they had a collection of traditions or principles, the tribe wouldn't have encountered enough gay acts to condemn it. In the tribal world, the distinction between subculture and culture didn't exist. One could create a polygamist society in one or two generations without the fear of interference from external forces. The presence of one monolithic society that coexists alongside smaller tolerated/oppressed ones is a relatively new phenomenon in the history of humans.

sexuality society

Prehistoric humans had both types of sexuality: capable of reluctant monogamy whenever promiscuity became too troublesome

Even though we have good basic ideas as to whether prehistoric humans were monogamous or not (based simply on correlating our genitals with other primates), we don't know how much variation existed in human sexuality. If anything, the recent decline in sperm counts indicates that flexibility is the more relevant story of our sexuality, rather than that we are naturally one way or another.

sexuality evolution

There can be no "war between the sexes," so long as their genetic destinies are as twined as the strands of DNA that supposedly divide them

Ultimately the sexes are at peace with each other because their genetic destinies are linked. Every selfish man or woman who plays to the negative stereotypes of their sex has a mother and a father who benefits from that selfishness. If a selfless man or woman mates with a selfish jerk of a man or woman, they may be oppressed in this generation, but if the couple is successful in ensuring the survival and thriving of their children, then that selfless/selfish combination will perpetuate itself in their children, as designed.

While the lack of rights for women might vex those who currently live under those rules, those rules which supposedly benefit men, also benefit those women's brothers, fathers, and sons. This genetic collaboration doesn't justify those rules, but it does change the interpretation of existing, supposed fault-lines in the "war of the sexes." For example, when veiled, Middle Eastern women are trotted on Western news networks, it's framed under the guise that all those women are oppressed. Veiling is an automatic oppression according to feminism, but we can't assume that those women in rights-restricted countries are as excited about the promise of their liberation as we are. After all, those rules are intertwined with a social structure that supports their way of life.

sexuality evolution politics

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