Sex Differences

Category archives for Sex Differences

Sheril Kirshenbaum has a few comments about a piece in Science addressing innate differences between boys and girls in math. I have to say, it may be hard to accept the scientific truth sometimes, but the research really does consistently say the same thing again and again. In this latest study, the science …

Screw this sexism

The following photograph is a Facebook Peme (Pic Meme, sometimes spelled “peem”). In its original form it had a caption that was sexist and offensive, feeding the idea that girls can’t do math (innately) and also suggesting that a good backup plan for a middle schooler frustrated with academics is sexual self-objectivictoin. I’ve blogged about…

Time Trauma Truth and Other Matters

First of all, I want you to know that I’ve devoted my life to this blog post so now you have every reason to love it more than any other blog post. Sniff sniff.

Humans appear to have a reasonable amount of diversity in their sexual orientations, in what is often referred to as “gender” and in adult behavior generally. When convenient, people will point to “genes” as the “cause” of any particular subset of th is diversity (or all of it). When convenient, people will point to “culture”…

Behaviors are not caused by genes. There is not a gene that causes you to be good, or to be bad, or to be smart, or good at accounting, or to like bananas. There are, however, drives. “Drives” is a nicely vague term that we can all understand the meaning of. Thirst and hunger are…

Falsehoods: Human Universals

There are human universals. There, I said it. Now give me about a half hour to explain why this is both correct and a Falsehood. But first, some background and definition.

Human infants require more care than they should, if we form our expectations based on closely related species (apes, and more generally, Old World simian primates). It has been said that humans are born three months early. This is not accurate. It was thought that our body size predicted a 12 month gestation, and some…

Delusions of Gender

This Friday’s Skeptically Speaking will feature … … academic psychologist Dr. Cordelia Fine. Her new book, Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference, challenges the assumption that gender roles are wired into our brains, and shows us how ubiquitous cultural stereotypes are mistaken for actual fact. That will be a life…

Why do women shop and men hunt?

Or, when the hunting season is closed, watch teh game (the guys), or when there are no sales, admire each other’s shoes (the gals)? This is, of course, a parody of the sociobiological, or in modern parlance, the “evolutionary psychology” argument linking behaviors that evolved in our species during the long slog known as The…

Chimpanzee Food Sharing

Is chimpanzee food sharing an example of food for sex? One of the most important transitions in human evolution may have been the incorporation of regular food sharing into the day to day ecology of our species or our ancestors. Although this has been recognized as potentially significant for some time, it was probably the…