Not so long ago, I put up a comprehensive article here on the site in which I ventured into highly charged territory by talking about the biological differences that exist between men and women. The primary reason why I decided to stick my neck out and delve into that contentious issue, which is bound to provoke many a gender activist, is that I’ve recognized that an unnerving trend of negating the differences between men and women in an attempt to squeeze everyone into one box has taken hold in many modern societies, in particular ones that are by many considered to be highly developed.
This politically correct disposition may certainly appeal to our sense of equality and justice; however, by embracing it, we’re basically embracing a lie, because contrary to what many young boys and girls are taught today, men and women aren’t cut from exactly the same cloth. There are certainly many similarities between us; however, there are also some marked differences: not just pertaining to the way we look, but also to the way we think and behave. This is important to recognize, as it has far-reaching implications not just for our society as whole, but also for the individual.
Why it may be a mistake to diminish the significance of gender differences
I’d argue that the fact that men and women differ in several important respect is not something we should try to hush up, but rather something we could benefit from exploring, understanding, and taking into account when we plan our society and way of living. The rationale is simple: As a result of evolution via natural selection, men and women are designed to be good at and derive pleasure from different types of activities. This is not to say that a man can’t get fairly good at the sort of activity that has historically been mostly reserved for women, or vice versa; however, there’s no doubt that whether you have a knack or not for doing a particular thing will depend somewhat on your gender.
Basically, by getting a handle on our Darwinian selves, we may not only tailor our lives and society accordingly so that we get to better exploit our strengths, while at the same time realising and accounting for our limitations and weaknesses, but potentially also derive more pleasure from life. Additionally, by acknowledging that men and women are inherently different from one another as a result of varying evolutionary selection, we may find it easier to come to grip with our differences, as well as perhaps be more liable to embrace and take pride in them, something that could improve our sense of self-worth, as well as inter-gender relationships.
It would certainly be grim if men and women were of the exact same nature. Part of what I find interesting and endearing about women is that they’re not like men. For example, I’m taken by females who embody maternalism and would argue that such a quality is not something that should be diminished and repressed (which it unfortunately sometimes is in our business and performance-oriented society), but rather celebrated and valued.
Unfortunately, the potential benefits to accepting and accentuating the differences that exist between men and women are often eclipsed by the bad connotations that any discussion of gender differences is liable to bring up. In pointing out that there are marked biological differences between men and women, I’m not attempting to set females, which represent the sex that has historically been subjected to the most discrimination, back, or suggest that one gender is better than the other (from an evolutionary point of view, it makes little sense to make such a distinction), but rather to expel misbeliefs and accentuate truths.
The evolutionary basis of gender differences
Just recently, I created an infographic that summarizes the evolutionary, hunter-gatherer basis of gender differences. Hopefully, it can help bring awareness to this whole thing.