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Could women become extinct were it not for their obvious neccessity in reproduction?

Throughout history there has been a shameful tradition of women being undermined in society. In the origins of countless civilisations, culture has quickly unfolded to place women as second class citizens. One has to wonder why this is?
The answer lies in amongst the irrefutable cornacopia of differences between men and women both physically and pschologically. There is no dividing factor amongst humans quite like it, even race is just an issue over a bit more skin pigmentation. (Bear with me, I promise I'm not a sexist)
Women have different bone structures to men, different organs in them, different brains and much more. The difference between gender is paramount to being a different species. If you were to take a homo sapien female and a neanderthal male and asked to compare them at glance to at a homo sapien male which would actually look more similar: the one with the weird forehead and bad posture or the one with their genetalia inside of their body, the two lactating bulges at the chest and the curvy waistline?
The problem however, with this comparrisson is that the neanderthals are extinct, as are every other species of human. It seems that in evolution when two similar creatures occupy the same habitat, one eventually emerges dominant and one dies out. If humans magically became capable of asexual reproduction would the same thing happen?
However, I don't think women deserve to die out. I think they add a diversity to civilisation that we are only starting to see in recent decades. So what if women aren't on average as strong or fast as men? Is there a massive flaw in the laws of evolution? Just because one varient shows relavent strenghts in survival of the fittest scenarios it doesn't just mean the entire species should just upgrade and replace itself. Variety is the very basis on what evolution depends on. Women have many other and equally valuable ways to contribute to mankind and we must celebrate them.

Topics: evolution
progress indicator
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    Jun 14 2012: I think it's the reversal actually Michael, I think man would become extinct. We're useless we just provide the sperm. This here is an interesting process you should read, if females could do this, there would be no need for man, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthenogenesis
    • M D

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      Jun 14 2012: Thanks for showing interest firstly and also for the article, perhaps I should start worrying over the bit that said "This type of reproduction has been induced artificially in a few species".
      Also it's very open minded and scientific to suggest this could go both ways. Apparently during the hunter-gatherer eras men would 9/10 times come back from hunting empty handed while women provided for us all with gathering other foods.
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    Jun 14 2012: Your single .... Right?
    • M D

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      Jun 14 2012: I actually seem surprisingly like a normal person once you get me out of this whole existential thought mode. I'll admit, I phrased this whole thing badly.
      And yes, I am single. I gave up on that long ago.
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    Jun 14 2012: " the weird forehead and bad posture" ah ah ah ah ah!
    I love this post. Thank you, Michael.

    About your question : reproduction is indeed the only thing keeping women in evolutionnary business. But I guess you can say the same about... every single thing in the biosphere. Including men, of course.
    Division of labour was advantageous for obvious reasons. But we could well imagine that men could get rid of women and manage reproduction with technological assistance, in some near future.
    Of course, they'd have to find a way to mix two fathers' chromosomes and synthetize the genes missing in male genepools. But why not? About sex, everyone would be gay, I suppose.
    At one point, every man and women would need to decide to select out female embryos and have baby boys only.
    If one couple were to cheat, the project would collapse. I don't know exactly why that should happen, but people have predicted correctly weirder stuff in the past.
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    Jun 14 2012: For the sake of straight males everywhere, I hope this is not the case. Because straight males are interested in women for more then just reproduction purposes. I don't see how men versus women in the survival of the fittest would benefit men only, because the great equalizer for our survival these days is intelligence. It doesn't matter who is stronger and faster when guns and weapons exist, it's the reason why we are not being dominated by lions which can kill any human instantly. Through intelligence we are actually making more ferocious animals than us go extinct. Research has not demonstrated that one sex is smarter than the other so I don't think the odds favor men or women,
    • M D

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      Jun 14 2012: Completely true. I guess I was just imagining a more primal backdrop when I came up with the idea. I initially was goingto use the words "Would woman have..." in the title but it sounded too blunt and insensitive, I thought.
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        Jun 15 2012: Another thing that I wanted to point out is that men and women are part of the same species but that's only because they can produce offspring. Thats the reason why they are classified under the same species. in your hypothetical scenario both are asexual, so how could both be differentiated as separate species if fertility is the basis for speciation. Look at dogs for intance they all look very different but they are still the same species according to this principle. So to answer your question a new standard for speciation is required.
    • Jun 15 2012: If you look at innate intelligence and take the noise of social, economic or cultural inequality out of the equation I'm sure you are correct that women and men are equally intelligent.

      In reality that noise does exist and there are plenty of places in the world where women are being suppressed.

      The potential for intelligence between genders may be equal but I would bet that if we could measure the realized intelligence of each gender globally, you'd find that men have an edge.
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    Jun 15 2012: Your phrasing suggests that reproduction is the one unique ability of female Homo Sapiens that keeps them from extinction. I challenge that premise. It is not reproduction, but the physical act associated with reproduction which motivates males to not eliminate all the females. Suppose all females were attractive, sexy, promiscuous. . . and sterile! Men would be ignorantly blissful right up to the point of extinction.
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    Jun 15 2012: If you've ever gone into a fraternity house or a sorority house for any length of time, you have probably seen how quickly either group would self destruct if left to themselves. :-D
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    Jun 15 2012: You've got it round the wrong way. As soon as human females master parthenogenisis it is us who are doomed. There are whole populations of female lizards in several countries around the world that have dispensed with the need for males. After all it is the Y chromosome that has a bit broken off it. We're on shakey ground fellas!
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      Jun 15 2012: I come from a matriarchal and matrilineal people. I agree 100%.
  • M D

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    Jun 14 2012: My apologies for any offence this suggestion may cause. My intentions were good and I do consider all people as my equal and my neighbour.