Tuesday, February 5th, 2013 04:49 pm
(First post)

I've been dipping in and out for ages so decided to just sit down, put on some music, and finish the damn thing. And then the last quarter turned out to be references and notes so the task wasn't as hard as I thought it would be :D

Some notes on the last third or so:

If there is a physical brain difference, it is that small brains (which tend to be female) are wired differently than large brains (which tend to be male), probably for practical reasons of space. And while DNA determines some things, your brain (and hormones/mental capacity etc) changes dramatically based on the way your life plays out. So even if there was a proven difference between male and female brains, it wouldn't prove nature over nurture.

But as it turns out, such proof does not exist. There are very small studies that show a difference, but what that difference is varies from study to study (though it regardless always "proves" that men are thinkers and women feel-ers) A quote:

"Using standard statistical procedures, they found significant brain activity in one small region of the dead fish's brain while it performed the empathising task, compared with brain activity during "rest"."

Huge difference in behaviour towards children of different genders from parents even ones who think they are showing no difference. Kids will prefer things based on how they are coded not what they actually do eg classifying a spiky tea set as for boys and a ribbon bedecked truck as for girls. Implicit attitudes like body language affect children's learned attitudes much more than adult's stated opinions. If you subconsciously hate black people chances are so will your kids.

And of course even the most "egalitarian" parent may pause at buying their son a barbie.

Children police each other pretty harshly, and are very susceptible to in-group stereotyping and bias eg if you randomly divide them into blue and red then say "good morning blues and reds!" and make them line up by colour etc for a few days they will start to identify as a "red", want to play with other reds etc.

All of this adds up to me pondering sending a complaint to Cottees about their Boys vs Girls campaign.
Tuesday, February 5th, 2013 06:54 pm (UTC)
I do think trying to not pass your subconscious prejudices on to your kids is better than the alternative, even if it doesn't always work. My dad did try pretty hard not to pass his knee-jerk "ew, homosexuality" feelings on to me, which given that I ended up queer made coming out a lot less awful than it could have been.

I was always aware of the dichotomy between his personal feelings and the way he voted, but by the time I was old enough to be thinking about it, I respected him for following conscience rather than gut feeling, even if he never got rid of the gut feeling.
Friday, February 8th, 2013 01:42 am (UTC)
*nods* This is a good point.