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Traditionally, differences in gender roles between men and women have been justified by actual innate difference between men and women. For example, in justifying the gender roles of carer for women, and provider for men, people may say that women are psychologically and emotionally better suited to stay at home and look after the children, whereas men are better suited to go out and work. In their attempt to undermine traditional gender roles, feminists have downplayed the actual difference between men and women, and claimed that either they don't exist, or where they do exist they are due to social/cultural factors, not innate biological factors, and therefore have no normative value. I would like to look into the evidence from psychology for differences in men and women, and to what extent these differences are innate/biological versus cultural / due to socialisation. I started with empathy, and read this 2014 review: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25236781 They present evidence that empathy is biological in origin, and therefore women are naturally more empathetic then men. I have briefly noted some of the key evidence below. Its worth noting that empathy is a complex phenomenon, and has a pre-reflective element that can easily be studied in animals and babies, involving 'mirroring' which is when an individual copies/reflects they body language of another in their own behaviour. For example, writhing when seeing another in pain or automatically smiling when being smiled at. For details on the exact studies have a look at the review. Some key points: In animals with prolonged maternal care periods (where the female looks after the children for a prolonged period of time), females are more empathetic, e.g. in mirroring others, and they are also more quick to help other animals in need. This is explained by the fact that mums need to be responsive to baby's needs - having more empathy allows them to do that, and fulfill their roles as carers better. Women are overall more altruistic than men, and better at judging facial expressions, body language and emotion, all of which aid empathy. Female neonates more likely to cry, and cry longer than males when they hear an infant crying. This is a form of 'emotional contagion' and is likely a precursor to empathy. This cannot be explained by socialisation. Female neonates also show greater mimicry (copying behaviours). Giving males pacifiers which interfere with facial mimicry (ability to copy facial expressions) seems to have an impact on later emotional intelligence. Female toddlers show greater empathy than males. As do female adolescents compared to males Testosterone decreases empathy – one study involved giving it to females, and showed their ability to 'mind read' was reduced. 'Mind reading' is an important ingredient of empathy. Men have more testosterone than women. Oxytocin increases empathy, and women have more of it than men
In a previous thread I discussed the fact that women are more empathetic than men, and that this difference is innate, and not due to socialisation, patriarchy etc. My goal here is to see to what extent traditional gender roles are justified by innate differences between the sexes. Feminists want to abolish traditional gender roles, and view them as inherently oppressive, and one way they try and do this is by denying real differences between the sexes. Traditional gender roles have men as the providers, and women as the carers and nurturers. Note that you can champion traditional gender roles whilst also being fully supportive of women getting an education and working. The summary below is based on these 2 articles: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sexual-personalities/201603/are-men-more-helpful-altruistic-or-chivalrous-women https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sexual-personalities/201504/are-women-more-emotional-men -Women experience more negative emotions that men, e.g. guilt, shame, embarrassment -The personality trait most closely associated with negative emotions is neuroticism, Women tend to score higher in neuroticism than men. Its interesting that neuroticism is associated with taking less risks. Both of the above have been found across multiple cultures, and in fact the differences between sexes are more pronounced in egalitarian cultures. This shows that they are not due to social factors forces as patriarchy, but are due to innate differences between men and women: -The same goes for personal values such as benevolence (being giving, wanting to help others, provide welfare) and universalism: - And also for agreeableness, and other help-related traits across cultures. -And they score lower on anti-social personality traits such as narcissism and psychopathy. Again these differences are greater in egalitarian societies, so cannot be explained away by socialisation and patriarchy: In conclusion, in addition to women being more empathetic than men, they are: -more risk averse -more benevolent -more agreeable -less likely to be anti-social e.g. less likely to be narcissitic and psychopathic. And these differences are innate, not cultural. It's not hard to see why this would make them better carers and nurturers than men.
Salam everyone. Has anyone been following the Google controversy surrounding an internal memo (later made public) circulated by an engineer criticizing what he calls Google's discriminatory diversification practices? I attend a university where this debate about gender roles and stereotypes is triggered every couple of months so I'm fairly familiar with the subject. Naturally, I was interested in what this guy had to say in his memo that got him fired. I was expecting a very aggressively opinionated piece filled with a guy mansplaining gender issues (after all, it was enough to get him fired). So either I don't fully understand the flip side of the argument or the guy was really good at making his opinion sound like facts because I don't think I disagreed with a lot of what he had to say. He seems to have backed up much of what he says with scientific evidence. The gist of his argument is that men and women are inherently different biologically so they can't be expected to make similar choices while picking occupations and professional specialities. He says this all the while admitting that the gender-specific biologies are not binary and on a spectrum that overlaps (so one can't state that such-and-such profession is for a specific gender alone) and also supporting the idea of greater diversity in the workplace albeit minus the discriminatory practices to promote it. Admittedly he also makes some statements that appear blunt and unsupported by evidence (then again this was meant for internal circulation not a journal). This theme and argument (biological difference in gender and gender roles) is one that I've seen spring up in many gender debates (issues of testimony and inheritance etc.) on ShiaChat as well over the year. Unfortunately, much of what he's saying is considered politically incorrect in the times we live in. For those interested, James Damore's (the Google engineer who got fired) full essay/memo can be found here. It's an easy read and would recommend everyone to read it and maybe ask yourself what you find correct/incorrect about his views. Since the news became public people have expressed their infuriation with the memo but some others have also expressed their support. 4 well-credentialed scientists have written pieces voicing their support, from a purely scientific perspective, for the memo and its accuracy. Obviously, I'd encourage you to read the memo before you read their pieces. I'd be interested in knowing what some of the other members here think about this issue. (PS: Feel free to move this thread to any forum. Wasn't sure where it belongs and I'd like to see reasonable opinions on this so posting this here.) Salaam
Fill this form I have to conduct a psychology research for my final exams. I need Orthodox religious people who follow traditional roles to fill up this form. It only takes about 5- 10 minutes at most. Be honest and answer the test according to how you really behave and what you believe in. Your identity isn't recorded so you can be sure nobody knows what you have answered. it is confidential. Thanks.
Salaam alaikum ! (again) I have a recently converted friend, Al hamduillah, who has found Islam, and has been converted for a little over a month or so. She is a "feminist" who advocates for the equality of all and for women to choose their roles regardless of their gender. Therefore, I was recently speaking to her in a group chat with other sisters in which we were discussing how our husbands (she is unmarried) have domain over the majority of the affairs, and we were just talking about whether or not or husbands can decide how to dress. Needless to say she privately messaged me and said that she does not necessarily agree with that (men being the protectors and maintainers of their wives) and I found myself in a difficult discussion because while I believe we are asked by Allah swt to follow the roles He has established for us, I did not want to turn her away from Islam (because she is a pretty staunch feminist). So I was wondering if there was any way to appropriately tell her (I mean it is in the Quran after all) and I was also just wondering if she is permitted to not follow the prescribed gender roles. I know Allah swt has profound knowledge regarding His creations and so naturally He had given us roles which are naturally and easy for us to follow, and which provide a sound framework for life; however, I do not want her to think Islam is a religion in which women are oppressed by their husbands. Is a woman permitted to not prescribe to her mandated roles, or if she does not, will there be consequences? Both brothers and sisters are welcome to answer Thank you and salaam (:
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