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Old Jul 10, 2017   #21
+Ele
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Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
It's less what they say you can't be, and more what they say you can be. Because of these aforementioned gender roles that society still perpetuates, the jobs children are pushed towards are different. There's been an improvement in recent years, but you'll still see that there's a gender divide even as children between jobs, and a lot of it seems to be based around gender stereotypes. Boys are more likely to want to grow up to be athletes, firefighters, astronauts etc. etc. while girls are more likely to want to grow up to be doctors, teachers, scientists, and chefs/bakers. It's also worth noting that, despite more girls wanting to be doctors, there's twice as many male doctors compared to female doctors in America. And female doctors performing, on average, better than male counterparts.


Basically, biology should be playing a minuscule amount in representation within a field. All genders are equally qualified, it just appears that the societal narrative steers genders into different fields.

I feel like I should pipe up here.

These stereotypes that society has around gender roles (which you say is the societal pressure pushing people to pick jobs), where do they come from? Like most stereotypes, they're rooted in reality. In this case, rooted in biology. Instead of biology playing a small role, biology is playing the directing role.

I don't think it's controversial to say that stereotypes around gender roles have weakened significantly in the past half century. That said, the underlying biology the resulted in those stereotypes is still present. Our biology hasn't changed, but our society has. So boys still wanna be firefighters, girls still wanna be teachers.

Like I said earlier, I reckon that our unconscious biological pressures are more influential than societal pressures nowadays.

tldr; gender role stereotypes are just a manifestation of biology

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Old Jul 10, 2017   #22
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Originally Posted by Ele View Post
I feel like I should pipe up here.

These stereotypes that society has around gender roles (which you say is the societal pressure pushing people to pick jobs), where do they come from? Like most stereotypes, they're rooted in reality. In this case, rooted in biology. Instead of biology playing a small role, biology is playing the directing role.

I don't think it's controversial to say that stereotypes around gender roles have weakened significantly in the past half century. That said, the underlying biology the resulted in those stereotypes is still present. Our biology hasn't changed, but our society has. So boys still wanna be firefighters, girls still wanna be teachers.

Like I said earlier, I reckon that our unconscious biological pressures are more influential than societal pressures nowadays.

tldr; gender role stereotypes are just a manifestation of biology

Even with a root in biology, how accurate can some of these notions be considering how long ago they might have been formed? I can understand saying only men should be soldiers back in the day when war consisted of wielding swords and spears and required a large degree of physical strength. But saying only men should be soldiers today, when war has largely been mechanized and the skill set required to wage war is different from before, begs whether our notions about biological differences may need to be changed because of how the roles themselves have shifted.

This also doesn't hold up with more modern roles. For example, I mentioned that a larger percentage of boys want to be astronauts compared to girls. This is a job that has only existed for less than a century, and is largely a field that is devoid of any specific trait that benefits a specific gender over another. Why is it more boys would want to be astronauts compared to girls? You could say it's because boys are more adventurous, but is it really that simple? Girls are just about as curious as boys at a young age, and biological differences between genders are much more muted at younger ages, so it would stand that interest in exploring space should be somewhat represented among girls. It seems more likely that the most lauded astronauts of our time have been male, and the role itself has been typically typecast as a male profession. As such, girls don't take interest in the job because the job isn't presented to them as an option due to lack of representation or perceived opportunity.

It also fails to explain why more girls than boys want to be doctors, yet there are more male doctors than female doctors and there are more female nurses than male nurses. Is it a shift in goals as they got older? Is it a bias in society to favor males in the perceived dominant role? A subliminal push during their education to take the nursing path instead of the medical practitioner path? Furthermore, from a purely biological standpoint, the role of doctor and nurse would both be performed better by a female than a male, yet the trained medical profession was male dominated for the majority of modern medicine, with women filling a supportive role through nursing. This runs counter to job roles being rooted in biological differences. Rather, it indicates that the medical profession has been populated by males for so long, due to systemic discrimination in the past against women pursuing the required education to be licensed medical practitioners, that the gender role has been falsely attributed to biological disposition, rather than societal opportunity.

We also have to remember that some of these gender stereotypes were formed when the common belief was that females were weak, and thus should be excluded from "difficult" work because it would make them "hysterical" and they should just care for the home while the man earns keep. I hardly see why our modern views of gender roles should be based on outdated, and often outright misogynistic, views of gender.
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Old Jul 11, 2017   #23
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Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
Even with a root in biology, how accurate can some of these notions be considering how long ago they might have been formed? I can understand saying only men should be soldiers back in the day when war consisted of wielding swords and spears and required a large degree of physical strength. But saying only men should be soldiers today, when war has largely been mechanized and the skill set required to wage war is different from before, begs whether our notions about biological differences may need to be changed because of how the roles themselves have shifted.

Nobody is saying that biology demands that only men become soldiers. I'm just saying that because of their biology, men are more likely to be drawn to these roles.

Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
This also doesn't hold up with more modern roles. For example, I mentioned that a larger percentage of boys want to be astronauts compared to girls. This is a job that has only existed for less than a century, and is largely a field that is devoid of any specific trait that benefits a specific gender over another. Why is it more boys would want to be astronauts compared to girls? You could say it's because boys are more adventurous, but is it really that simple? Girls are just about as curious as boys at a young age, and biological differences between genders are much more muted at younger ages, so it would stand that interest in exploring space should be somewhat represented among girls. It seems more likely that the most lauded astronauts of our time have been male, and the role itself has been typically typecast as a male profession. As such, girls don't take interest in the job because the job isn't presented to them as an option due to lack of representation or perceived opportunity.

That's one theory. I subscribe to the idea that it's an adventurous dangerous job. Girls are not as adventurous as boys, even at younger ages (yes tom-boys exist, speaking generally). I read the article you got your info from, and I'm really not a fan of what the author of study sees as the endgame here - Seems he wants girls and boys to be wanting to be everything, equally. It reminds me, and I think sort of connects, to people who say that sex is a social construct. Through good intentions, they don't recognise that yeah, there's actual ingrained differences between the sexes. There's always gonna be these differences, so it's naive for them to want equal representation in what people aim to be/job outcomes - There's always going to be areas dominated by men and areas dominated by women. Not saying you don't recognise this, just that the author of the study doesn't.

Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
It also fails to explain why more girls than boys want to be doctors, yet there are more male doctors than female doctors and there are more female nurses than male nurses.

As commentators of that study have point out, this is a more recent development, so that's why. As you noted, in the past, when the stereotypes held more weight, women were pressured in being nurses instead. Now, with that pressure all but gone, they've started becoming more involved with that field.

In 20 years you'll see a lot more women doctors, perhaps even more than men, if that study of 500 kids holds any predictive weight.
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Old Jul 11, 2017   #24
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But it still doesn't tackle the possibility that our perceptions of what is required for certain jobs is false, and these perceptions skew the jobs that people are more inclined to go in to. The mechanics of each job have shifted over the decades, yet the same underlying personality associated with each job stays relatively rigid.

For example, a car mechanic. The skills and personality we'd associate with such a person would be what? Good with their hands, hard-working, willing to get a little dirty, some basic understanding of vehicles. How many of these skills are intrinsically tied to a specific gender? Women are biologically more dexterous, work ethic is pretty much even across genders. So what about the last two? Are women biologically less disposed to getting dirty than men? That seems pretty ridiculous to be honest. What's more likely is the societal pressure to remain "pristine" or "pretty" at all times for a woman makes them avoid the job. Understanding of vehicles though? What biologically would predispose either a male or a female to understanding a vehicle? Nothing, we haven't been around long enough to evolve any sort of biological influences over this. This is entirely society's perception that vehicles are a "manly" object, and thus encourages males over females. But if we're looking at this from a biological standpoint, a woman should be better qualified to be a car mechanic, and should have no biological disposition to avoid the job. It's almost all societal perception of the job and who should be doing it that shapes the fact that men dominate that job.

I feel like you're attributing too much to the individual, and not enough to the effects of societal pressure. While a person may be predisposed to certain activities because of their gender, this predisposition only matters if it effects their perception of what jobs are appropriate for them. Being empathetic or compassionate is a valuable trait in any field, but society emphasize the effects of it in very specific fields of medical and service industries. We pigeonhole traits to roles, when traits are not exclusively valuable in any given field. It's not only about opening up representation. If people don't want to work the job, they don't want to work the job. But it's about making sure that option is at least perceived as available. And frequently, society subscribes to the view that certain jobs are just better suited for men, despite no rational reason to support it. And it's these types of misplaced beliefs that need to be revised. While it's not a hard discrimination, such soft discrimination still influence decisions.
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Old Jul 11, 2017   #25
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What jobs do you think aren't perceived as available by young girls/boys in today's modern society? We're told from such a young age, and repeatedly, that we can be whatever we want to be. In this PC world also, it's unlikely that anyone would receive much flak for entering a field in which their gender is the minority. Society is so so so much more accepting of these kind of things nowadays.

Also, it seems like you disagree that some jobs are more suited for one gender over the other (you said that's not rational). Do you? Do you think that men and women are equally suited for all jobs?
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Old Jul 11, 2017   #26
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I think everybody can be qualified for any job given enough training. Whether they want the job is something else. Biological differences between genders become close to irrelevant with the right training, since the actual differences between genders are tiny at a base level.

And it's not even saying a job is explicitly not available. Technically, every job is available to be considered. But do you want to consider a job that's not considered appropriate for your gender? Males are still often ridiculed for participating in something like ballet, females are encouraged to avoid jobs requiring physical labor. Even if there's a biological disposition against females from performing physical labor, that doesn't mean that society needs to enforce that disposition on to every female by treating the females that are disposed to it like they're odd.

After all, every person has their own biologically determined base line, but what you do with that base line is shaped over years of influence. Rather than tailor any sort of recommendations in accordance with their baseline, society will impose a set of standards on to every person in broad strokes. What does it matter if you're a girl and you've got a strong sense of adventure if everybody is telling you that it's normal for girls to like pink and play house? You're an impressionable kid who's going to see the societal rejection of your abnormality for not conforming to the norm and shape your behavior accordingly. Humans are inherently herd animals, and will cave in to pressure from the herd very easily, particularly when they're too young to have developed a sense of self or critical thinking.


Let's say it in the most basic terms. It's not a problem if a group of people who were raised devoid of judgement or cultural influence, separate into different jobs based on gender on their own volition. That can almost certainly be explained as biological influences. But that is not how people are raised. They are raised bombarded with messages about what being x gender means, and it shapes what they develop in to. Those messages are still just as prevalent today as they were decades ago, the message has just shifted in tone. While there's less rigidity in the roles explicitly stated, children are, to put it bluntly, fucking morons. Children are too young to be able to consciously develop a sense of self, they're ultimately shaped at a young age by role play and what they're pressured in to. When the role models are almost all binary along gender roles, and the perceived normal is not open-ended (this segregation of the genders can be quite literally seen by walking into a toy store for babies), you can be sure that children are not developing according to purely, or even in the majority to, biological disposition, but on society's perception of what biological disposition should look like. Biology only deals the cards, but society sets the rules on how to play them.
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Old Jul 11, 2017   #27
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Its a big mental stretch for a direct link between wearing pink baby clothes and therefore being less likely to become a CEO.

The actual differences between males and females are not insignificant, they have different hormones running through their brains and their brains are differently wired, females have more connections between hemispheres and males have more connections between the front and back of the brain. This affects how people think. Dont get me wrong, women are perfectly capable of any job I can think of, if that particular woman is good at the job and the subjects that lead to it and she wants to do both of the aforementioned things; but that does not mean that a skew in numbers of males and females in different jobs is a surprise, males and females are different and have different brains, this gives rise to the probability of a person being suited to a particular job in the way I mentioned above different for different sexes and different jobs.



In response to the last paragraph: Where do you think females get the short end of the stick, as you claim they do? You say societal pressures, but where should the line be drawn - should all tv characters be genderless to avoid giving children ideas about what they should be? Should clothing shops all be unisex since you mentiom baby clothes?
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Old Jul 11, 2017   #28
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First: women aren't paid as much on average compared to men in many fields, some cases significantly less than average. Statistics from the BLS: https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2017/wo...ns-in-2016.htm

There's always the claim it's because women choose to work less and, while it's true, there's evidence that women are evaluated as less valuable than a man in an identical job, even with identical credentials, therefore worth less of a salary in more than a few studies. Here's a news article that cites a few of them: https://www.usnews.com/opinion/civil...money-than-men

This is wage disparity. Obviously, this shit has no basis in any society that's supposed to reward merit, not biology.

On to child development. Let's bring up a historical anecdote: Who do you think this person is?

take a guess 


That's U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt as a child. Wearing a dress. And this is common fashion at the time for both genders, in a neutral white color. In the early 1900s, it was widely advocated that young boys should be dressed in pastel pink, not blue like it is now. In fact, gender neutral clothing was popular until about the 80s. What changed? People realized you could sell more shit to people if you separated the genders into different acceptable "fashions". Clothes started getting tailored for the different sexes, even though evidence suggests that children are not aware of their gender until ages 3 or 4, and aren't even aware gender is permanent until 5 or 6. This is entirely parents impressing their views of gender on the child.

http://www.smithsonianmag.com/arts-c...97/?c=y&page=1

That's not to say that society was a paragon of gender equality back then, because it certainly wasn't, but it shows that certain perceptions of femininity or masculinity are pushed on to children before they can even understand the concept of gender. If you're honestly expecting that they can understand the implications of what is being pushed on to them due to the presence or lack of a specific chromosome, then you're honestly giving them far too much credit.

While children are not capable of deep critical thought about themselves, they do learn incredibly quickly. So if you treat them a specific way due to their gender, who's to say that their actions are truly reflective of their gender, or if they're reflective of the actions you've imposed upon them because of your own view of gender. Children aren't smart, they won't recognize if you're treating them a certain way because they're (fe)male, and they won't question how they're being treated until they get older. At that point, they've lived through at least a decade of gendered treatment through society. Why would they suddenly question society's perceptions of gender roles now? They've lived through them filling the role, why would they change course and suddenly become the odd one out at a time when cliques and popularity literally form around the norm? By the time they're fully grown, and able to decide on their life path, the only thing they may have lived through is the narrow path provided by the gender role imposed upon them. They've now been shaped to believe in the gender role, fill the gender role, and subscribe to the gender role. Women should be feminine, men should be masculine. Terms that are arbitrarily defined by the culture in which you reside in, which is based around the historical roles that the genders filled. You're asking a person who has lived within a system for their entire life to buck the trend that has been perpetuated for centuries through culture, all because they maybe feel some interest in a profession that isn't typically populated by that gender.

This is wishful thinking. People do not change easily, and people will often live to become what they've been brought up to be. The proverb "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree" has a kernel of truth to it. If you're raised by people who believe in it, raised with belief in it, and are suddenly expected to deviate from it, most people will not change.
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Old Jul 12, 2017   #29
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If a woman believes they are paid less for the same job, in the US AUS and UK (these are the countries I know it exists in not the only countries the law is present), there are laws in place so that the woman in question can take it to court and get what she deserves its illegal to pay people differently because of their gender.

Hoe exactly do you think clothing colour affects the development of a child? I dont expect the child to understand why their parents put them in blue or pink clothes, and I also dont expect it to affect their development much. Stereotypes are unavoidable, the average person from culture or gender x does thing y more often than the average person from gender or culture z, therefore the stereotype among gender or culture z is that culture x does thing y.

What gendered treatments other than clothing do you think are common? How do they affect the child?

In modern schooling the path is not narrow, from when you first start the teachers say you can be anything you want to be if you work at it. They also dont treat boys and girls differently. Girls are not brought up to fill job x or told they cant fill job y.



Also you seem to be skirting round all the questions asked - "I think everybody can be qualified for any job given the right training" doesnt answer the question "do you think that men and women are equally suited to all jobs". You also didnt answer any of my questions, youre writing well written short essays that dont answer the questions posed.
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Old Jul 12, 2017   #30
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Originally Posted by SmallBowl View Post
If a woman believes they are paid less for the same job, in the US AUS and UK (these are the countries I know it exists in not the only countries the law is present), there are laws in place so that the woman in question can take it to court and get what she deserves its illegal to pay people differently because of their gender.

Yet wage disclosure is not mandatory in either country, so it's hard for anybody to know they're being paid less unless they ask. Which is also culturally frowned upon in either country. Putting the responsibility on the victim is just excusing the perpetrator of the responsibility of being ethical.

Originally Posted by SmallBowl View Post
Hoe exactly do you think clothing colour affects the development of a child? I dont expect the child to understand why their parents put them in blue or pink clothes, and I also dont expect it to affect their development much. Stereotypes are unavoidable, the average person from culture or gender x does thing y more often than the average person from gender or culture z, therefore the stereotype among gender or culture z is that culture x does thing y.

I'm giving an example of one small facet of a child's life. I'm obviously giving a small excerpt because to explain how every possible influence on a child's life could impact their development is a topic that would struggle to fit in a textbook, let alone a forum post. If you're going to take everything I say narrowly, then you're going to miss the point. The point is that influence on a child's perception of gender roles starts at a young age, and is prevalent in even the most tiny, seemingly innocuous things.

And just because stereotypes are unavoidable doesn't mean you can't mitigate how many of them there are. The whole point has been about limiting the influence of these stereotypes.

Originally Posted by SmallBowl View Post
What gendered treatments other than clothing do you think are common? How do they affect the child?

Walk up to somebody with a baby. Ask them what gender it is, and tell them to describe them to you. They will almost certainly ascribe adjectives that are associated with that gender to the child. The parent is literally going to be raising their child with those perceptions in their mind, and will treat them differently as such. If you view your baby girl as "delicate and beautiful", you're going to treat her differently than if you view her as "curious and feisty". Is some of this going to be shaped by the baby's personality? Sure. But a lot of it is going to be shaped by a caricature of the gender.

Then we get into toys, again divided between genders. You'll see more "feminine" toys in the girls' section, so there's the implication to girls that they should be feminine, and more masculine toys in the boys' section, implying to boys they need to be masculine. Play gets shaped by these toys, which then reinforce behavior patterns.

There's a reason why advertisers spend huge amounts of money for ads on children's networks, and it's because kid's are impressionable. It's not hard to impose a view point on a child.

Originally Posted by SmallBowl View Post
In modern schooling the path is not narrow, from when you first start the teachers say you can be anything you want to be if you work at it. They also dont treat boys and girls differently. Girls are not brought up to fill job x or told they cant fill job y.

Being told you can do anything, and actually be taught to do anything are entirely different things. Have a study: http://www.nber.org/papers/w20909 Just because girls are told they can be anything they want doesn't mean they get treated that way. Gender bias among teachers result in them praising and encouraging different behavior between the genders. Look up more of them, because there's a lot to read on the topic. This isn't even particularly new either, similar studies have been performed with more or less similar results over the past two decades.

Originally Posted by SmallBowl View Post
Also you seem to be skirting round all the questions asked - "I think everybody can be qualified for any job given the right training" doesnt answer the question "do you think that men and women are equally suited to all jobs". You also didnt answer any of my questions, youre writing well written short essays that dont answer the questions posed.

You're playing semantics at this point.

Saying "I think everybody can be qualified for any job given the right training" does answer the question if I think men are women are equally suited to all jobs. Most jobs nowadays are defined more by a skill set rather than a biological report card. Skill sets can be taught, so every gender is equally suited to most jobs. The few that require a specific physical trait are often traits that can be developed by either gender. There's very few exceptions where one gender is favored over another. Last I checked, the only job requirement that required a penis was a gigolo, but there are female equivalents to the profession.

Where do women get the short end of the stick? Wage discrimination is an answer. One of several possible answers I could have given. But an answer none the less.

On the topic of societal pressures, I give historical evidence that the perceptions of femininity is not intrinsically tied to pink or frills or dresses, but are cultural constructs. If the concept of what makes somebody more feminine or masculine is based on a cultural construct, then the roles of gender are also being shaped by cultural constructs. This is an answer to where females get shafted by social pressures, because the perceived roles of women are still an emphasis in supporting roles and service roles. As such, these perceptions inhibit women from pursuing roles outside of the norm, as it's not viewed as feminine, and thus something is not normal about the female.

As for a specific answer as to where the line needs to be drawn, this is a wide, systemic perpetuation of culture. It doesn't have a silver bullet solution. Culture doesn't change easily to begin with, but it requires realization that culture needs to be changed. Once that realization happens, then change can happen through whatever mechanisms necessary. Short of being an autocrat, there is no solution I can propose that isn't beyond scope.

Clothing should be unisex. It's not only economically more intelligent to produce, but it cuts back on imposing gender stereotypes.
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