Re: Evolution of Sexism

Gerold Firl (
20 Aug 1996 21:09:16 GMT

In article <empty-1608962016430001@>, (CU Student) writes:

|> In article <4utck6$>, (Gerold Firl) wrote:

|> > A game-theory analysis of social stability shows why universal pacifism
|> > cannot endure; violent societies rapidly colonize and exploit a
|> > peaceful mileau. Under conditions of resource scarcity, this can lead
|> > to increasing escalation...
|> > In times of violence, men step up and women fade into the background.
|> > In times of peace, women become more prominent. It might be interesting
|> > to look for cycles of patriarchy and egalitarianism related to
|> > conditions of turmoil/violence/resource scarcity and stability/peace/
|> > abundance.

|> -- Furl's comments -- the dynamics of social stability, and possibility
|> for cycles of instability --are intriguing.
|> However, I've wondered about the hypothesis that universal male bias by
|> mothers (for males) might be related to, or else compensatory for, male
|> genetic weakness, i.e., at every stagew of the life cycle, from conception
|> onward, human males die in significantly greater proportions than females.

I believe that the initial ratio of male/female births is something
like 105/100; higher rates of male mortality (due to a greater
susceptability to disease and higher rates of accidental death due to
high-risk activities) tends to even-out the sex ratio sometime in
adulthood (depending on cultural factors and technology), with a
preponderance of females in old age.

|> Yet, clearly, males posess greater short-term importance to human groups.

Well - this is certainly true of societies where violence is endemic,
and military capability is paramount, but lets keep in mind that such
conditions are not (or at least, need not be) universal. One can
imagine societies where females were more important, and males were
sort of a luxury, though such imbalance is unnatural for humans.

|> Shouldn't such observed socio-cultural compensation be predicted?
|> Thus, the charges of "gender bias" feminists see in our (and every)
|> "patriarchal culture"is really mistaken as an expression of
|> environmentally determined bias, when in reality, its sociobiological.

Perhaps a small component of the favoritism accorded male children
could be attributed to the higher robustity of female children, but I
think that must take a back seat to more immediate concerns where male
strength, aggressiveness, and perhaps leadership are required. Cultures
which are at risk of immediate extinction at the hands of violent
neighbors must cultivate an ethic of warlike fierceness, which tends to
favor males.

Disclaimer claims dat de claims claimed in dis are de claims of meself,
me, and me alone, so sue us god. I won't tell Bill & Dave if you won't.
=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=---- Gerold Firl @ ..hplabs!hp-sdd!geroldf