Re: Gender differences

Eric Shook (Panopticon@oubliette.COM)
Wed, 3 May 95 12:26:09 CST

In article <> writes:

> Hasn't there been a study of postpubescent human females showing their
> instinctive reactions to babies-- increased attention, dilated pupils,
> hearing tuned to the baby's cries, increased pulse rate-- and comparing
> those reactions to postpubescent males' reactions to a girl in a bathing
> suit? I remember reading that years ago.

Key to this is the phrase "years ago."

> Sometime about 1950 or 1951, everything changed; my body changed, and my
> attitude changed, totally. All of a sudden, Jane looked great to me,
> sitting in that tree house taking care of Boy while Tarzan and Cheetah
> went swinging off through the trees. <g> When my mother had another
> baby, I was 18, and I thought he was the most gorgeous, marvelous toy to
> take care of that I had ever seen, and by the time I was 25, I had two
> of my own.

Are you certain that you didn't just come to a point were you resigned
yourself to the intensity of cultural expectancies which were implicit in
every word you ever read, and image you ever saw? As for the toy soldiers,
androgeny is allowed in early childhood.

> Hormones, honey, hormones, and instinct that kicks in at puberty! To
> this day, you can distract me from the most interesting intellectual
> problem or the most vexing power struggle by putting a baby in my arms.

Well, this doesn't explain for the frequency of infanticidal practices
in so many of the hunting gathering cultures. Too many kids? Not done with
the last one yet? Not enough protein to go around during the famine?
Somehow they seemed to be able to resist this instinctual melting point
(which you propose having suffered from) and often opted for the baby skull
against hard rock way out of the maternal instinct scheme. Regardless of
your actual intent here, your last statement just seems to make you out to
be completely goo-goo when you are exposed to children, at even the expense
of your intellect. This supports such an old myth about women being
intellectual unstable, and driven to maternity vice higher, male pursuits.
You do nothing but damage women with such talk. Yes, it may be true for
you, but you cannot map this personal observation onto women in general.
Although, this is what you are in effect doing!

ps: I always wondered what was holds hormones together, and
thankfully I now know that it is honey...;)

-- Eric Nelson --
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee: