Sunday, November 16, 2008

Anything Good About Men?

Some of you may know that recently I have been studying evolution theory more thoroughly! I think that our knowledge about mechanism of evolution gives us better understanding of our psychology and behaviors, biology and even social and cultural issues. Probably it is not a "must" for surgeons but it is the effect of my distracted mind!

While ago I had a conversation with a friend who told me that he read somewhere that there is greater proportion of men at both extremes of the IQ distribution! Some studies have shown that there is greater variance in the performance of men compared to that of women (i.e., men are more represented at the extremes of performance).

I know that this is a sensitive topic and if you remember former president of Harvard University and possible candidate for Obama's treasury secretary, Larry Summers had to resign after his comment( link) about difference between sexes in terms of intelligence! Apparently, his comments were politically incorrect!

The question is that what if there was a difference! I believe that we need to carefully interpret available evidence! I disagree with this idea that science should not have any word in construction of morality and social frameworks. I think that we have been able to make significant progress to resolve controversial issues such as abortion, stem cell research and end of life because of our secular approach founded in scientific knowledge!

I came across this speech by Roy F. Baumeister in American Psychological Association in 2007. He is professor of psychology at Florida state university. I enjoyed reading his speech.It was thought provoking! I thought you might enjoy it too. In his introduction he says that "I don't want to be on anybody's side. Gender warriors please go home."

It seems that most of us think that men are in charge of everything! Too obvious to be missed! But he says that there is a flaw in this conclusion! Because we look at the top! If you look at the bottom of the society, you will see mostly men are there too! criminals, prisoners! If there are big male winners, there are big losers too!

I let you read the whole paper but I would like to quote few parts that I found very interesting! They are about relationship and social roles!

"Women favor close, intimate relationships. These are if anything more important for the survival of the species. That's why human women evolved first. We need those close relationships to survive. The large networks of shallower relationships aren't as vital for survival — but they are good for something else, namely the development of larger social systems and ultimately for culture"

I hope this help my friends who are complaining about their partners! Why men are not committed! That's genetic!! If it is natural for women, men need to actively overcome their shallowness!

I think many of us will have trouble with the following statement. But it is worth thinking:

"the reason for the emergence of gender inequality may have little to do with men pushing women down in some dubious patriarchal conspiracy. Rather, it came from the fact that wealth, knowledge, and power were created in the men's sphere. This is what pushed the men's sphere ahead. Not oppression"

Hopefully after this email, you do not disassociate yourself from me! Please do not get me wrong! I believe that equal opportunity should be given to everyone! But to survive, men and women have evolved differently and obtained different abilities over the past million years!

Link to the article