Ang Perrier


This conversation is closed.

How does gender affect formulation of opinion based on perception?

I'd like to kick-start this debate by asking for each person responding, to please describe their personal opinion of their ideal; a) Husband/boyfriend b) Wife/girlfriend.

I'm adding onto this now...

How different do you perceive males and females to be?

Are these differences something that can be phased out through gender neutralizing environments or are they engrained in our nature as a permanent fixture?

If there's a possibility of phasing out the differences would you choose to?
If there's not how do we address our Politically Correct world where we avoid any recognition of differences between genders?

The focus here is on the mental, emotional, and developmental differences, not so much the physical.

Closing Statement from Ang Perrier

Overall it seems as though we are able to accept and recognize that there are differences between males and females. What we are not ready to accept and recognize is that there are differences in the way we learn that should be addressed in early childhood development.

This doesn't mean the end result has to change as far as career capabilities. It means that we need to cater to these developmental differences and teach our boys the way they learn best and teach our girls the way they learn best in order for them to have the opportunity to achieve their desired goals in life.

Right now our education system is failing both genders equally and that is unfortunate. We can say that it's because we don't spend enough money on schooling, or we don't address the specific needs of each individual child. But I think that a reasonable attempt at adapting a school curriculum which incorporates certain gender differences into the lesson plan has proven to be effective and ought to be adopted by more schools and made available to anyone who thinks that their child would benefit from it.

I DO NOT mean that girls should be taught Home Ec. and boys should be taught Shop Class. I'm implying that girls and boys learn subjects such as math and science easier in 2 very different ways. Why not structure a class that is designed to teach girls/boys math the way their brains understand it best? It's not harmful for our society to look at what science can teach us about the brain and use that information in the most effective way possible.

I'd like to take this time to advocate to any parent out there reading this to do some research and decide for yourself if gender specific lesson plans could be a benefit for your child.

Start with Leonard Sax's book "Why Gender Matters" and see if you find yourself agreeing with the statements and research he's done over the past 25 years.

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    Apr 23 2014: Dynamism and energy in all things, as a general principle, derive from the existence of difference - not what we are led to believe as the holy grail of neutrality or equality.

    The modern clamour for gender equality will only end in grey sameness and the end of all that is beautiful and stimulating. It is the sparkling vibrance of opposites that keeps us energised and attracted to each other.

    'Phasing out gender differences' really is the stuff of nightmares for many including me, and the very suggestion of 'avoiding any recognition of difference between genders' is political correctness gone completely mad.

    What's missing in this patriarchal society, is empathy and respect for our opposites. In a matriarchy, I think there would be considerably more acceptance of such essential differences. The scourge of sexism and misogyny is possibly more a symptom, rather than a cause.

    My ideal wife is the one I have right now. She is my opposite, and would hate her to feel as though she had to be a clone, or be the equal, of me - or me to be a clone of her.
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      Apr 24 2014: How do we progress towards a society that acknowledges and accepts the differences, accounts for them in a way both parties can live with, and reduce violence?
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        Apr 24 2014: I wish I had the definitive answer to those questions, but what I can say with some degree of certainty is that the answer does not lie in equality. Equilibrium, which is equality's aim, is counter to the defined sexuality of male and female, and thus the perpetuation of species.

        Equality may feel politically correct in the skewed society we have created for ourselves, but it is biologically (and I would go so far as to say universally) impotent.

        A world where women have to effectively become men in order to compete in a society created largely BY men, is ostensibly civilisation in reverse. The age of enlightenment, where certainty, competitiveness and reductionism is desirable, is an era predominantly reflecting male characteristics.

        A competitive society fueled by testosterone (as is currently the case), is less likely to accommodate a tolerance of 'difference', because it negatively seeks to distance one from the other, forming elites, severing lines of communication and empathy with all who proclaim or show signs of difference.

        A matriarchy on the other hand might seek the opposite - especially in a positive acceptance of the difference between male and female.

        As with all movements and 'eras', I think it will just be a matter of time - a time during which a slow realisation will take place that the philosophies of the current era are becoming less fit for humanity's current purpose.

        The signs are that such a change is taking place right now.
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          Apr 25 2014: Equilibrium...good word to use, I like it :)

          "A world where women have to effectively become men in order to compete in a society created largely BY men"

          For me this statement has a direct correlation to politics.
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    Apr 19 2014: Pleasure for one hour, a bottle of wine. Pleasure for one year a marriage; but pleasure for a lifetime, a garden.
    chinese proverb
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      Apr 21 2014: Thankfully it's nice enough outside to get the ball rolling on mine this year. Can't wait!!! :)
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      Apr 21 2014: Vera and Ang,

      "To plant a garden, is to believe in tomorrow"

      I don't know where the quote came from, and I like it:>)

      I have been in the gardens all afternoon.....snow is finally melting, and things are popping up....I LOVE it:>)
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        Apr 21 2014: I have jasmine and all other bushes and trees blooming, the air is dry and shiny, it feels like I'm surrounded by this heavenly family with fluffy bunnies jumping around (we are next to the green-grassed golf course which is mostly used by bunnies.)
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          Apr 22 2014: I'm jealous Vera! The snow just melted here a few days ago, so we only have crocus and daffodils blossoming at this time. Everything else will be coming soon though:>)
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        Apr 22 2014: Yes, Colleen, it seems like not only things, but all Life is popping up. To feel Life running and boling everywhere is something great :-)
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          Apr 22 2014: I agree see and feel new life popping up all around in the spring is GREAT! That is one thing I love about the seasonal changes.

          It looks like both genders in this little thread of conversation (Ang, Vera, Sean and Colleen) have the same opinion and perception....I LOVE it:>)
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        Apr 22 2014: "crocus and daffodils blossoming" How much I miss them, dear Colleen !
        But cannot live in two places at the same time.. thank you for telling me so I can smell crocus and daffodils from your message.
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      Apr 16 2014: Inspired by your comment, Carolyn, I'm going to add something here which may just be a re-presentation of part of what you've expressed, but in a rather different way.

      I'm thinking that one very gender-specific role of women in general, although not for some women, is to bring new life into this world; to give birth to those who will perpetuate our species.

      The role of a killer is exactly opposite to the role of giving birth.

      It seems possible, perhaps even likely, that killing someone would, in general, take some serious provocation and some amount of pre-planning in order to overcome the appreciation for life that might arise through the process of bringing new life into the world. At least for those women who have borne children.
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      Apr 21 2014: I was reading a case about a woman who was married and had 8 children with her husband. After the youngest was old enough to move out of the house the woman murdered her husband. The case didn't go into much detail about her reasoning aside from saying something about outstanding debt and a life insurance policy.

      It makes one wonder about the dynamics of the relationship.

      Based on speculation only what are your initial thoughts on this Carolyn? Carl?
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        Apr 22 2014: My guess is that the woman was really tired of, uncomfortable with or afraid of who her husband really was (which she discovered only after getting married), or who he had become during their time together. Or perhaps she had been more or less "forced" into marriage, possibly either pre-arranged or he got her pregnant. Anyway, she felt stuck and perhaps threatened and/or abused.

        However, the husband provided material support - house, food, medical - for the children and her, so the woman tolerated the situation as best she could for as long as she had to in order to provide for her children, even if she suffered during all that time. And maybe the children suffered some, too, especially if their father was abusive, emotionally, psychologically, physically, sexually. So this was about survival of her children, whom she birthed, and herself, with the husband coming in last - 10th place.

        When the youngest child moved out, the woman figured she could make a go of life on her own without having to put up with her husband anymore, so she got rid of him - with the added benefit of relieving the family of debt and maybe even benefitting from the insurance.

        Apparently, however, the woman didn't get away with it. She got caught and may get convicted, even if she might claim she did it "in self-defense," and she'll pay the price of being imprisoned behind bars instead of by an unloving husband. And the children will unfortunately have lost both father and mother.
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          Apr 22 2014: The problem with our system is that it's never self defense if it's premeditated. Women often feel that there's no other way to defend themselves without plotting and planning.

          Despite the fact that there are very few details given we have both come to almost the exact same prediction of what the situation was yet she is serving a life sentence and will probably die in prison.
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        Apr 22 2014: Yeah, so it's premeditated murder to plan to save one's life from murder, whether from a long, slow painful dying, or a sudden death from a knife or bullet.

        That's the problem with "justice" according to "the letter of the law." rather than justice according to the guidance of the Heart. One is a mind game that focuses on what's legally deemed to be wrong, the other is based in compassion that arises from what is known to be right.
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          Apr 22 2014: Due to these issues related to gender does society need to go so far as to provide a different set of rules for 1st degree murder when it is applied to a woman or an additional description of self defense perhaps?

          Would society accept that there are differing rules applied when it comes to gender?
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        Apr 22 2014: I don't think "a different set of rules for 1st degree murder when it is applied to a woman" would ever get adopted. There will always be cases in which a woman - especially non-motherly types - would be guilty of pre-meditated murder in the same way as a man would. Nobody would accept a woman's explanations for such cases, so why would they for any cases? Women, after all, do want to be treated equally, do they not? Why should they be treated as more equal regarding murder? (I'm not defending this view, only presenting it for others.)

        But there should be room for seriously considering "self defense" in light of extenuating circumstances. The difficulty, however, would definitely be in proving that circumstances were so abusive and threatening as to have a high probability of resulting in death for the woman. The comeback from the prosecution would always be: "If things were so bad, why didn't you just leave him?" "Because it's complicated ..." would not be accepted as a reasonable reason. If it was acceptable, it would already be serving the purpose in such cases.
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          Apr 24 2014: "Women, after all, do want to be treated equally, do they not?"

          Let me ask you this; there's a task where a man and woman each 6'0" tall are being timed running up a flight of stairs. Each stair is 7" in height so that is appox. 1/10 of each of their height that they have to propel their bodies up for each step.

          Now you have someone who is 5'4", a height much more common for a woman and a 6'0" person a height much more common for a man competing in the same task. The stairs are closer to 1/8 of the 5'4" person's height. Should the individuals be given 2 different flights of stairs to run up in order to make the task equal? Should the times be adjusted for the 2 different heights? Or should the shorter person train and work much harder to achieve something even close to the same time as the taller person?

          How do we determine which of these would be considered equal?
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        Apr 27 2014: This is a task that involves the amount of power required to run up the stairs or, to look at it from a slightly different perspective, the amount of power that is generated in running up the stairs. Power is the rate at which work is done. The power required or generated can be easily calculated, and climbing stairs is an experiment that is commonly done in physics classes. The most significant variable between individuals, however, is body mass rather than height. To calculate power (in watts):
        (mass x 9.81 x vertical height) / time = watts
        * mass in kilograms
        * 9.81 is the gravity factor (acceleration of gravity m/s/s)
        * vertical height (total) in meters

        Here's one simple description of how to do the experiment:

        However, in considering the question of being treated equally, none of this is really relevant. What is most significant is whether or not women are even allowed to do the experiment, rather than being disqualified or ignored simply because they are women. So, the question that's most important in Life is one of recognizing value and validity and of offering opportunity rather than a question of actual physical power, or any other particular attribute.

        In reality, if everyone is allowed and encouraged to participate to the best of their ability, it will be found that some women will outperform some men, although it is likely that the most physically powerful man will be more powerful than the most physically powerful woman, yet that depends entirely on the mix of participants. Does that make the women less equal? Yes, when it comes to competing in such an experiment. Does that make the women less valuable? No, not at all, because they may very well be "more powerful" then the men in some other task requiring a different sort of power.
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      Apr 9 2014: An "unfair divide" where females are discontented with the layout. "Male privilege" and "accolades of having a female subservient" are very feminine view points. Are you able to remember or pinpoint how you first formed these opinions?

      A husband/boyfriend who allows his mate to be a separate person. Based on your observations, do you feel this is a common trait amongst the husbands/boyfriends you've known?
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      Apr 15 2014: What do you perceive would be the reasoning behind females committing murder in the 1st degree more often than the other degrees of murder??
  • Apr 28 2014: Someone who understands emotional correctness and codominance.
    Females give birth to babies with spines designed to stand upright and with brains of increased size. Having survived that, they then nurture the child for 25 - 30 years while their larger brain matures. The female endocrine system has evolved to motivate women toward this agonizing, life - threatening, life-long endeavor. After puberty she will look for an attractive male and lure him into mating. After childbirth the hormones change again, focus turns to the child. The young breeding male may now be driven away, in favor of a male more capable, of providing for and nuturing the child. The female driven to and practising the care and training of a child, tends to continue the behavior with the mature child and its father.
    Males explore and test themselves. beginning at puberty a male wants to have sex. The male brain reaches maturity around the age of 30. Oxytocin levels vary between individuals, both male and female, however, oxytocin's role in personal bonding has made for a dramatic survival advantage for high levels in females. Oxytocin levels in the male population vary more. Lower oxytocin levels serve a warrior/protector/hunter better, so as not to bond with the enemy. Higher oxytocin levels serve better for the nuturing provider. Thus the male population at one extreme has sociopathic abusive rapists and seemingly effeminant nuturers at the other, with a full range in between. All this behavioral variance in male and female individuals and we've only looked at testosterone, progesterone, estrogen and oxytocin. Now load onto this base, parenting, social, cultural and traditional conditioning and you've got the preconceptive lense through which we perceive.
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      Apr 29 2014: Do you think it would make sense to conduct research and base our children's early learning in school off of these differences? Create gender specific lesson plans and separate kids to maximize their learning potential?
      • Apr 30 2014: Yes, and beyond gender specific, individualized. As to separating the kids, only to give each an individual space, but not into groups and not isolated from each other. Each child will progress best by following their own unique line of curiousity, however as is often said, the best way to learn is to teach. As each child follows their own path of enthusiasm, the class can take breaks and share with their friends what they have learned. In this way, each child learns by teaching the topic as well as their enthusiasm for it. Each child has focused learning, which they do not fight or think boring or hard, and they are exposed to numerous topics by their friends and can choose a path of greatest interest. If they wish to gather together to follow a topic they can, and a child can take the lead, or the teacher is available to assist. This format can also be adapted to online learning which can serve to protect the child from physical bullying, or to isolate the bully as punishment for their behavior, without interupting anyone's learning. As learning progresses in specific topics, advanced interest groups can reach out online to topic speciialists. Learning can naturally evolve gender trends without any gender trends being imposed. Online formats also allow for early adaptations for dyslexic / autistic and other special needs learning, while minimizing differences between students.
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    Apr 26 2014: Ang, I started with one personal opinion of the ideal man in my life, but have since developed another. I was one of those girls who went after the "bad boys".I have no idea to this day what made me attracted to them, and trust me - I have had many years to think about it.

    In fact when I think about it, in depth, it makes less and less sense each time. Perhaps because I am getting older and realize the time that was lost trying to "fix them". or perhaps because my father was a tyrant and I should have known better from the start. But one thing is clear, and that is I have learned from my mistakes in formatting a preconceived opinion on what the opposite sex should be thinking, doing, saying or feeling. When I finally decided that I can only control myself, and would not let anyone, man or woman control who I was or what I felt, it was then that I met someone that finally accepted me for me.

    He is my husband and is so unlike what I ever thought I would want, need or admire in a man. He is calm, caring and is a man of few words, but when he speaks, I know they must mean something. He lets me insist on just the right cantaloupe when we are shopping and never tells me "calm down", or "hurry up". He is reliable, accountable, practical, strong and always there to be a soft place for me to fall. He has stuck by me through richer and poorer, and sickness and health and all the rest, just like he promised. But the one thing that I feel is most important to point out is that no man or woman should have to settle for any less than feeling that they are with the right person, no matter who that person is. There are so many types of male and female personalities ranging in beauty, intelligence, background, upbringing and experience and in this day and age of being able to connect with so many, I believe that nobody should ever settle. Bottom line.... we only live once, this is no dress rehearsal, and there is no time to waste being miserable with the "wrong" one.
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      Apr 27 2014: "it was then that I met someone that finally accepted me for me."

      You had to figure out who you were before you could figure out which man would accept you.
      The issue with a lot of younger females today is they are not figuring out who they are to be able to make a qualified life decision like this with any kind of success.

      I would love to see more gender specific education implemented so as to assist teens in finding and building up a stronger sense of self that is not as easily swayed toward something that does not feel completely genuine to them.

      There's a serene comfort in knowing your truest, genuine self and being able to rely on that in any situation.
      I want that for more people, males and females alike. I stand firm in my belief that in order for us to see this achieved en masse we have to be able to accept that gender equality does not mean that everything has to be uniform across the board.
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        Apr 27 2014: I could not agree with you more. It breaks my heart when I see a teen trying so hard to fit in and go against everything that they feel. I was given a little piece of advice by my parents that I must admit I initially ignored, but when I finally used it, boy did it pay off! Here it is....

        They told me:
        Wherever you are, and what ever you are doing, and no matter what you are faced with, think of us as standing right there. Now, would you do it? If not, you know it's the wrong thing.
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      Apr 22 2014: Please tell me if I've correctly understood.

      When men cheat it's an abuse of perceived property and our feelings toward the "other woman" is that she is allowing this abuse to occur if she knows about the cheating?

      When women cheat it's because of something that is lacking in the relationship and a need for fulfillment?
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      Apr 22 2014: Hello Carolin, do you think that loud media plays a great role in women life?

      Media, pop-culture, tell women what is "cool", what to ware, behave, eat, how to talk and walk, what to do in bed ... I think our crazy environment makes many women and men behave like pitiful unfunny clowns.

      Naturally, for instance, Not too many people need to be over-active sexually, and do not need at all to get into questionable relationships - many are not at all born this way - but they try to do just that because they do not wish to be "old-fashioned". Therefore, the majority, when is trying to keep up with that "super/man/woman" model, following those fashions (controlled by tricky industries) - eventually pay very dearly for fixing themselves according to that non-existing made-up prototype.

      I hope that someday it will be a new fashion: Be yourself.
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      Apr 21 2014: When a man cheats on his wife/girlfriend and she finds out, is she justified in feeling any anger and/or jealousy for the other woman?

      When a woman cheats on her husband/boyfriend have you ever found yourself wondering what he must have done to make her do it?
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    Apr 15 2014: Ang, I think this interview with Simon Baron-Cohen might interest you. He became interested in gender differences because of his work in autism, which is very much more common in males.
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      Apr 15 2014: Interesting Fritzie, and as Simon Baron-Cohen says in the is a story that is unfolding:>)

      Unfortunately, I could not open any of the videos Fritzie. When I hit the "play" button, they went into "pause", so I only read the article/transcript.
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      Apr 15 2014: Thank you Fritzie -

      Very interesting read. These are the kinds of things my conversation is attempting to focus on. People sometimes get confused and think that I'm trying to say that men and women in being different are unequal but that's simply not the case. There are definitely some underlying variations in how a male brain and a female brain organizes, perceives, and interprets things.

      To be able to understand these variations and teach in a way that optimizes learning in each of the genders I feel we could surpass all the expectations we've set thus far for our future generations.
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      Apr 15 2014: What do you perceive would be the reasoning behind females committing murder in the 1st degree more often than the other degrees of murder??
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        Apr 15 2014: This question is not within my areas of expertise. My first reaction is that the number of instances of murder by women is probably extremely small, a phenomenon concerning a very small group of outliers in the population of women overall, regardless of country. Research into gender difference, such as that I linked by Simon Baron-Cohen, on the other hand, look at gender differences "on average". Scientific findings about differences "on average" probably shed little light on the behavior of such extreme outliers.

        I think further one would need to look closely at the data to establish what lies beneath. For example, are male defendants more likely to get a charge of first degree murder negotiated down to a lesser charge than accused women are? Are murders committed by males typically incidental to crime situations or settings that are different from those that are the setting of murders committed by females?

        For example, in my quick look at what the difference is between first and lesser degrees of murder, it seems that a fair number of murders may occur during bar fights. If frequenting bars is much more common among men than women and if bar fights result in a significant amount of murders that are not premeditated, then men might, by virtue of recreational choices, have a higher proportion of non-premeditated murder than women.

        There are members of the TED community with significant experience with offender populations who may be informed on this issue in a way I am definitely not.
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          Apr 15 2014: The question is not "what is the reason that females commit murder in the 1st degree...?" My question is "What do you perceive would be the reasoning behind females committing murder in the 1st degree?"

          Not based on facts, just based on your own subjective reasoning skills, what do you "think" the answer is?
  • Apr 14 2014: Ang eating at a restaurant is also gender neutral. Most gender conversations are intent to subjugate men to a view that men are emotionally inept or lack a developmental emotional perspective that makes them less qualified to raise children or is used to define men negatively. Questions like why aren't more women... and you can pick any industry that operates on the perspective that any man in those industries is keeping women out. So are gender neutral choices optimal for men? No. Gender discussions or political correctness is a failed platform the same as laws preventing women from voting or owning property. It creates innuendo and discourse. The expectation of a man or a woman having a loving relationship is gender neutral. On having a family, of doing well at any grade level. The minute that social contract is challenged and we become single. Issues of fairness and equality is discourse to what was once the same goals for both sexes.
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      Apr 14 2014: If men experience and connect with their emotions in a different way is it fair to hold men to the same expectations as women as far as expressing them?

      In schools young boys are asked to identify with fictional characters in a way that would require them to be able to connect emotionally. Is it fair to hold a grade over their head where a fail could impose a negative self image if there is a developmentally different way that they process feelings and it isn't as easy to complete the project as it is for girls?

      I'm not implying that boys/girls are less, I'm saying that there may be developmental differences that if acknowledged would assist in a more effective way of allowing each to achieve their full potential.
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      Apr 15 2014: What do you perceive would be the reasoning behind females committing murder in the 1st degree more often than the other degrees of murder??
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    Lejan .

    • +1
    Apr 14 2014: ... that 'she' is always right!

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      Apr 14 2014: Which begs the question; "is she always right because she's right, she truly perceives herself to be right, or she knows she's wrong but continues to argue that she's right???"

      Is there a difference in the way a male is "right" and a female is "right"?
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        Lejan .

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        Apr 14 2014: There is a beautiful quote I learned from Ken Robinson, he quoted himself, which goes:

        'If a man speaks his mind in the forest, is he still wrong?'

        And to answer your questions ... they are all rendered totally irrelevant and insignificant by previous definition...

        We only have to accept reality ...


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          Apr 14 2014: Who's reality? Are you saying that woman imposes her reality on man? If that is the case how is it that we have always and continue to live in a predominantly male dominated world? If woman was right and man accepted that, she should have had a lot more control over her environment and been subject to far less adversity, abuse, and discrimination, right?
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        Lejan .

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        Apr 14 2014: 'Who's reality?'

        You are more reluctant than I expected ... ;o)

        Well then, let me ask you, what makes you think that we live in a 'male dominated world'? Because of the statistical numbers which gender is 'officially' in charge?

        'Presence' and 'Influence' to me is less a matter of visual appearance.

        History has had a multitude of stages in which genders cooperated more and less cooperatively and as much as I can see, since world dominating religions came into being, the natural fluctuations and balancing changes got out of sync and in favor for men. But if this truly marks a permanent change in power, remains to be seen.

        The actual trend in 'genderfication' appears suspicious to me in certain aspects, yet this would be a whole discussion just on its own.
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          Apr 14 2014: You were expecting me to be less reluctant based on what?

          "Genderfication"?? What's your definition of this?

          Male Dominated World

          Time Magazine's list of the 100 Most Influential People of 2013
          There are 34 women on that list
          10 of them are in Entertainment/Sports
          3 of them are listed in 1 spot together
          3 of them are listed in a spot along with a man

          100 Most Influential People in History
          2 women make the list, both were Queens
          1 made it to the runners-up list

          100 Most Influential Figures in American History
          7 women make the list

          Currently there are 362 men and 76 women in Congress

          Let me ask you this, what could influence me to think that we don't live in a male dominated world?
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        Apr 15 2014: 'You were expecting me to be less reluctant based on what? '


        '"Genderfication"?? What's your definition of this? '

        Equalization of genders beyond rights.

        All 'Most Influential People' you are referring to are those which are or have been in open limelight. If this truly reflects the structure of power in history and today, I doubt.

        Most careerist know, that to win the attention and affection of 'the boss' you have to win the attention and affection of his secretary first (not emotional or sexual). And although secretaries will never appear on any TOP something lists, because nobody knows them, 'behind the scenes' woman have always influenced male leaders in one way or the other.

        Influence of this sort is not directly measurable, as it takes deep inside knowledge of relationships and networks, which no outside reporter gets to find out bout easily, if ever.

        We already know that 'in general' woman seem to have the better talents for leadership, yet we also know that the 'best jobs' are not given to the best qualified people.

        Careerism on that level you mentioned is mainly driven by the 'call of power', the art of intrigue and recklessness, 'old boys network' and inheritance, which seem to thrive better on Testosterone, such as the violence it takes for 1st degree of murder.

        Big fish eats small fish. So to get on the top of the power food-chain, this hormone seems to kick it.

        Yet this hormone has a well known weakness, which, intelligently played, can make for true yet invisible influence.

        So yes, the limelight shows mostly man on the stage, yet we usually don't get to see the strings attached to them and by whom ...
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          Apr 15 2014: So when our children are learning about historical figures who had a great impact on life as we know it, do you think they're learning about an equal number of males and females?

          Do you think that they take away any opinions about gender roles in societal life after school?

          Does it appear to a young child in school that the world offers equal opportunity for both?

          How might this affect their outlook as they continue to grow into adulthood?

          Does this kind of information cause males to perceive the world differently than females?

          How differently does a female view the world compared to a male?

          Does this have any bearing on the way things are progressing for us?

          How do we rectify this and get our worlds more in sync with each other?

          We can't possibly answer any of these questions without first recognizing that there may be drastic differences in perception based on gender and then studying it.
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          Apr 15 2014: "Most careerist know, that to win the attention and affection of 'the boss' you have to win the attention and affection of his secretary first..."

          So, Lejan, you are appealing to the common wisdom that "behind every successful man is a good woman" - without whom he presumably would be less than successful?

          Yet, the woman is there at the pleasure - and often for the pleasure - of the man. And a woman can be easily replaced when it comes to men in powerful positions (which does not necessarily mean the man himself is powerful).
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        Apr 15 2014: 'So when our children are learning about historical figures who had a great impact on life as we know it, do you think they're learning about an equal number of males and females?'

        It depends what history and how you teach them about it. Popular history usually gets written and passed on by 'the winners', which naturally makes for a pretty biased, one sided picture about what really happened.

        The same goes for 'leading figures' and how children get to know about 'them'.

        Personally I have learned more about 'them' by Bertold Brecht than by any history class I ever had, because he inspired my way how to think about the so called authority.

        A truly democratic society may re-frame the context of how it presents and preserves what lays in the past to encourage their young to make up their own minds about it. To do so, skepticism about any form of 'personal cult' may help as well.

        Once there, I can only assume, that gender becomes irrelevant by what can be archived, but it would take an ongoing dialog within society, to keep peoples minds awake about it.

        I don't think that gender roles are entirely man-made, yet it is very difficult to distinguish what is from that what evolved naturally of it. Especially, when one is already influenced by ones own 'time'.

        If we see commercials from the 40's or the 50's and their role-model of woman at that time, we tend to simile today about its obvious nativity. But it is only obvious to us today, not then, and we may only see tomorrow, what we have now.

        Different than you propose, I don't see any reliably indicator, that the 'world offers equal opportunity' to anyone on this planet, regardless in what part of the world one lives in. The 'American Dream', that if your work hard you'll make it, is a carrot on a stick on peoples foreheads put there by others, who know better about the 'rules of the game'.
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        Apr 15 2014: And if we take a look on the current discussion about equal opportunities of genders, it isn't surprising to me, that its main focus is about business, Top Ten managers, etc, as if this was the only measure to describe what makes a society, to measure its success and what defines its values.

        To me this is giving false ideas to young generations, boys and girls, because it hinders both to grow their true talents in order to focus on career oriented skills.

        I am convinced that males perceive their world differently than woman do, just by the statistical fact, that men spend way more time to think about sex, how to get lots of it, and, preferably, with as many different woman than possible.

        And although I am no biologist or medical expert, the only way to make both genders more equal in perception was to equalize their hormone composition, as otherwise, they would divert again naturally.

        I think the most dominant force in gender roles is the way society cultivated sexuality and as long this doesn't change, roles will form around it in different, yet forming ways.

        Yet as the sexual drive is one of the strongest drives in humans, this task is going to be quite difficult to tackle.

        If in the future, genetic manipulation or hormone suppressive medication will become mandatory, I don't know, yet I hope I am not going to face this during my lifetime if it will.

        Alternatively, I can only think about education at and for its best, yet especially there are many pit-falls as well, because any educational system only reflect the ruling and dominating trends of its time and change is fragile and no guarantee for things to evolve for a better.

        In short: I have no recipe what would be best, because I am a victim of my time and experience myself ...
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          Apr 16 2014: Mandatory genetic manipulation or hormone suppressive medication hmmm...

          I already posted this on the conversation but I'll repost it here.

          I recently read a statistic; a study was conducted at a college where 35% of these educated men said they would rape a woman if they were assured to get away with it. In another study conducted at a different college over half of them said the same thing.

          Another piece of this is the study conducted on teenaged boys where they found that in rape fantasies there tends to be greater arousal if the victim has pain inflicted on them and in some cases the more pain the greater the arousal.

          These tendencies are non-existent in women.

          The part of the male brain connected with sexual arousal is also the part where aggression is concentrated. It's considered to be a primitive part of the brain not usually connected to a higher form of thinking.

          Not only are men thinking about sex all the time but they're associating it with aggression and there isn't much actual "thought" going into it.

          Segregating the schools and allowing boys and girls to mature separated during the years when their hormones are at their craziest may cause a positive shift in these thoughts and behaviors.
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          Apr 16 2014: Ang, what evidence do you have to support your statement that men are thinking about sex all the time?

          I know that I certainly do not. And I know plenty of other men who do not think of sex all the time, or even most of the time.

          I think this claim is a bit of "common knowledge" that's far from the truth.
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          Apr 21 2014: When a person spends their time studying math the areas of the brain that are connected to math problem solving will develop strong super highways of connections that allow the person to do math more efficiently.

          A young hormone driven male is aroused multiple times a day and finds himself sexually stimulated frequently. Is it safe to say that the areas of the brain connected to sexual thought would be over developed just like the mathematician's brain? That the more a young man develops those super highways in that area of the brain the more apt he is to be overly distracted by sexual thought throughout the rest of his life?

          A young man without the other mental stimulants to divert attention away and allow for developing growth in other areas may get bored with his sexual fantasies. Could this be a contributing factor in these fantasies taking on a sinister and masochistic quality that eventually has to be realized?
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        Apr 15 2014: @ Carl Karasti

        I came across this 'stereotype' many times.

        Less frequent in numbers yet uprising, couples in which both genders are career driven will simply buy the service necessary to run the basics of their household and for the upbringing of their children, in case they have any.

        Getting to the top without having the luxury to be borne there already, is time consuming. Anything from there is self-explanatory no matter how the individual solutions get arranged, as a day only has 24 hours.
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        Apr 16 2014: I totally agree with those statistics and that 'male sexuality' is highly influenced by aggression, yet I doubt that 'separation' at school will have a positive effect on how boys form their sexuality. Woman or girls don't have to be physically present to occupy the minds of males.

        It would be interesting to know, which I don't, if in indigenous tribes, in which nudity is part of the culture, the 'mental concept' of males sexuality forms differently by visual hebetation?

        I don't know.
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          Apr 16 2014: Sites, smells, and sounds are all influential in hormonal fluctuations.
          Alleviating some of that during the hours when these boys need to concentrate on something else, I can't imagine a scenario in which it wouldn't at least help.

          Also there are studies that suggest all male schools produce more young men with a desire to pursue activities that tend to be thought of as feminine interests such as art, music, theater, etc...

          These are all activities that generally promote and create a stronger connection to emotion which is something a lot of young men need to work on to suppress some of that aggression. Suppress the aggression, maybe the sexual urges, more specifically the violent sexual urges, get suppressed.

          Not saying this would solve all problems but could be considered an improvement on our current situation.
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        Apr 21 2014: On 'When a person spends their time studying math...'

        Fascination, in general, to me is no matter of conscious choice, and I further assume, that without sexual fascination our species would not have made it so far.

        A typical approach of nature is abundance and variation, wherever possible, to statistically increase chances for life to exist and to sustain. That an initial impulse for reproduction was not run on the same approach would actually be quite difficult to understand and to explain for me, which makes me quite lucky that it is as we have it.

        And although this impulse will form somewhat differently in each and any individual, I don't see any reason why the quantity of those impulses would have any relation to the sinister and masochistic quality you mention.

        It is the final use of strong and trained neural connections within a value system which determines the outcome, measured by the value systems of others, not the strength of that connection itself.

        According to some psychological schools it is even the suppression during sexual self-definition which forms 'abnormal' behavior, although I am personally not quite certain how a 'normal' behavior could be defined in sexuality.

        To give you an example, the only three reasons why I am not starring at major female attributes when those are around me are manners, respect and close distances, in which the focus points of my eyes remain detectable. The first two reasons are part of my 'value system' and never crossed unless invited; the last reason is pragmatism which does not compromise the other two.

        Within intimate relationships there is no reason why humans would not integrate and act upon their value system, thats why I think, it is this 'value system' which causes the 'sinister and masochistic quality' of interaction and not the quantity of sexual impulses.

        I also think that sexual 'masochism' is not negative in itself. It only gets negative when it is forced and/or not shared. It got to be mutual!
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          Apr 22 2014: Arousal for men is experienced in the primitive part of the brain where aggression also resides. There is far less higher thinking occurring in men who are aroused than in females.

          In men when there is an area of the brain that is significantly more active than another part, that section will actually spread and grow, seeming to take over other areas. If the primitive part of the brain is utilized far more than the other areas there is a chance that the individual will have a far more aggressive nature and since arousal and aggression are linked then their sexual tendencies may and tend to have strong ties to violence.

          I mentioned a study earlier in this conversation where teenaged boys reacted with stronger arousal when they viewed a rape victim experience an injury and more pain caused more arousal. I have to find a reasoning for this because once a reason has been identified it becomes slightly easier to avoid such behavior in future young boys by theorizing and implementing them while assessing the results.

          This is based on what I've read and my understanding of what I've read. That's not to say that new studies wont bring about new information or that my interpretation of the technical data may be off. My opinions are based off of this though and it makes sense to me.
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        Apr 22 2014: Although I think to understand your motivation 'to find a reasoning' in what influences male sexuality, I do not agree in defining violence exclusively in its physical representation.

        As a boy I was involved in many of those 'masculine games' with other boys, which made for quite some bruises and scratches by its plain physical violence. Nevertheless, the impact this form of violence had on me doesn't even come close to the violence I came to experience later with girls and woman.

        I came to learn that to many females it was of importance how many man they could get interested in them, and that it didn't matter if that interest was just sexual or based on deeper emotional motives, which we call love. Just in itself, this isn't a problem, as one has no say in who falls in love with one, yet to play this for vanity reasons is what I consider emotional violence, of which females are as well capable of.

        I also think, that many woman do use their sexual attractiveness they have on man intentionally and as one way of non-verbal communication. Without this, the whole industry of cosmetics and fashion would to large degrees be pointless in western societies.

        So if you aim for a more harmonic coexistence of both genders, those 'games on key stimuli' have to be considered and revised as well.

        It wouldn't make sense to me to separate boys from girls in school, to reduce the exposure time of femininity on those boys, when femininity then gets emphasized and underlined after school and from 'the other side'.

        And as I don't think, that woman are going to give up those 'triggers', I doubt that behavioral change in men against natural given instincts can ever be successful.

        And of course I am horribly generalizing here to make for loopholes. ;o)
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          Apr 22 2014: You do seem to be generalizing Lejan, and I think that generalizing is the only thing we can do when talking about gender issues?

          I agree that males and females may be equally capable of emotional violence, playing games for various reasons, and it seems that both some males and some females use sexual attractiveness to lure the opposite sex. Do you think/feel that cosmetics, fashion, and body building industries do not apply and appeal to both boys/men and girls/women?
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        Apr 22 2014: @Colleen:

        The cosmetics, fashion, and body building industries reflect our current ideals about physical appearance, and the absence of comparable consumer products for 'character shaping' may represent the dominating focus on 'external qualities'.

        During my lifetime I noticed a change in those industries to target males as potential customers and magazines, such as 'Men's Health' are promoting those 'new trends' to establish demand for those products.

        I may be mistaken, yet throughout history it seems, that woman tend to underline their sexual 'key stimuli' more provocative than man do, which to me makes perfect sense, just by the given differences in 'readiness' for sexual opportunities.
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          Apr 23 2014: Hi Lejan,
          I also have noticed an increased focus on men from these industries more recently. The industries have figured out just how much money can be made, so they want to draw EVERONE into the plan?

          If health is the focus, that is great for all of us. If the focus is simply changing our looks with the idea that everything will then be fine, I don't see it as particularly helpful to anyone. I agree with you, that there seems to be more of a focus on external qualities. In my perception, it always helps to seek balance:>)

          Perhaps you notice more women underlining sexual provocativeness because you are a man? I think I notice an increase in men focusing on sexual provocativeness....perhaps because I am a woman?
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        Apr 23 2014: @Colleen

        Personally I noticed this change in advertising in the early 90's and a bit after the advertising industry realized, that portraying attractive man in selling woman products seems to work.

        'Health' is one of the most misused terms in advertising, intensionally, because who could ever argue against that? Yet if health gets visually linked to a certain ideal of attractiveness, it manipulates our perception about it in no positive ways.

        On 'sexual provocativeness' I don't think it is a matter of gender to notice given trends, tendencies and quantities and to realize that the arsenal and the use of it is more numerous among woman that it is among men.

        In general public or on official occasions I am offered more often to have a deeper insight on certain parts of the female anatomy than I have on the anatomy of my fellow man. Beaches and sport events are of course excluded here. So just by statistics I should have seen by now as much variety on male chest hair that I came to see on female cleavages, which I haven't, and this regardless the fact, that the latter is my key-stimulus, I would have noticed the other as well.

        So do you really need me to give more examples to drive my point home on that? :o)
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          Apr 24 2014: Maybe you haven't noticed the vast array of different types of chest hair because cleavage happens to be more alluring to you. :)

          Big burly men changing the garbage and mopping the floor is an effective tool for advertising. But it's less about the level of attractiveness of the men and more about what they're doing. Women want men who don't feel as though household tasks are "below" them. A man who is willing to help out and split the chores 50/50 is the allure not their muscles. That's just a perk ;)
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          Apr 25 2014: Lejan,
          You say...."the arsenal and the use of it is more numerous among woman that it is among men."

          I don't have statistics to offer, so with simply my observation, I don't agree. I believe both men and women have various trends, tendencies, qualities at different quantities that may make up an "arsenal" with which they present sexual provocativeness.

          You say you noticed the change in marketing to men in the early 90s. I remember, as a kid in the early 50s, seeing advertisements in newspapers and magazines, with a scrawny little kid next to a big burley bodybuilder, with the caption something like......with this product or method, you can look like the big strong attractive guy, rather than the skinny unattractive guy!!!

          I believe the industries we are talking about intensified their marketing to BOTH men and women, in more recent times, and the idea has been with us (societies) for a very long time. Even in ancient times, both men and women wore makeup, cloths, jewelry and other adornments to enhance their looks for acceptance, to show their strength, sexual provocativeness, etc.

          I am not anticipating more examples to "drive" your point home. I thought we were simply having a conversation, and we already know that sometimes we agree, and sometimes not so much.....that is ok with me:>)
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        Apr 24 2014: 'Maybe you haven't noticed the vast array of different types of chest hair because cleavage happens to be more alluring to you. :)'

        This is why I added 'official occasions' intentionally and in hope to spare justifications on my given bias ... Apparently it didn't work ...;o)

        But thanks to let me in on the secret why so many men sweat in the gym. I didn't know that this was to pimp their 50/50 share for their sweethearts ... :o)
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          Apr 25 2014: Look at the statistics on who men really work out for.
          It's not as much to allure women as it is to make other men envious.

          Men work out because they are in competition with other men to be able to run the farthest, lift the most, do more squats, and have the biggest biceps.

          Women do not really respond to visuals the way men do. A six-pack etched into an annoying, superficial, D-Bag doesn't generally cause arousal for a woman. That's why the porn industry is generally focused on male consumers.
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        Apr 25 2014: If we take a look in the courtship of other animals, males there not only spend their time to impress the females, but also to dominate other males to become and/or remain first in line of spreading their genes. So to me, your observations 'who men really work out for' isn't really surprising, as is aligns to both intentions, domination and impression.

        'Women do not really respond to visuals the way men do.'

        Exactly, although there seem to be certain 'visuals' many woman seem to be influenced by. Size seems to be one of them. Tall men tend to attract woman stronger than short men. Also a certain shoulders/waist proportion, the V-shape, seem to be a visual attractor, as well as a 'crisp' butt.
        Also the shape of Hands seem to be of interest to many woman, although I am not certain about the source of this impulse. Is it taken as an indirect indicator for intellectual/artistic capabilities of a man, or for softness and tenderness, or both.

        I think many man wouldn't care much about a superficial female D-Bag, as long as she is sexy and easy to get for a night or two. So I agree on your statement about the main focus of the porn industry.

        But I also think many man have a different set of qualities they look for in a woman when it comes to long term partnership or to start a family and although 'visuals' still have part in it, it tends to be of less importance than if it was just about sex.
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          Apr 26 2014: There should be a significant dividing line between the qualities men look for in a woman they want for the short term and the long haul. The issue is that our modern youthful men are presenting is that they fail to make the distinction.

          Women are killing themselves to make sure they stay youthful and beautiful. Crazy diets, surgeries, make-up, salon fees, tanning beds, lotions, manicures, pedicures, laser hair removal, all in an effort to stay looking as young and beautiful as possible.

          Because men tend to be so visually stimulated, women feel as though they have to stay "on top" of their looks to keep the interest of men.
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          Apr 26 2014: Good point Lejan and Ang......
          There may be a distinction between a partner who is chosen for a short term sexual relationship and a life partner. I believe this to be true for both men and women.

          Do you think that people (both men and women) who go to the lengths you mention (crazy diets, surgeries, make-up, salon and gym fees, tanning beds etc.), are not totally aware of which kind of partner they are trying to attract? Could it be that they are following the stereotypical "role" as prescribed by society, without being fully aware of their underlying intent?

          If women are going to the extent you mention Ang, which I agree with, are they any more genuinely sure of the qualities they are looking for in men?
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        Apr 25 2014: @ Colleen

        'I thought we were simply having a conversation, and we already know that sometimes we agree, and sometimes not so much.....that is ok with me:>)'

        Good that this is ok with you, because it was meant as a joke referring to the other conversation we had.

        That you don't agree on me saying that '"the arsenal and the use of it (for sexual provocativeness) is more numerous among woman that it is among men." is not surprising to me, as most woman I spoke with about this topic are in complete and collective denial.

        My favorite personal experience and observations I made during winter in Russia.

        All Russian man dressed pragmatically to the outside temperature conditions which was -45° Celsius (-49 °F) in average when I was there. And pragmatically here means, a thick warm jacket, warm trousers, often turtleneck pullovers and strong winter boots with good and thick profile to have sufficient grip on ice and snow.

        Russian females however, at least those of younger age, dress for a complete different purpose than winter. Their choice for cloth was not bitter-cold temperatures, which would have made perfect sense, their choice was plain female attractiveness, which made for absurd situations I came to witness.

        Woman in high-heels!, mini-skirts + black Nylons wearing short jackets, often open to expose some see-through blouse or blouses of thin but elegant fabrics, slippering on ice and snow all over the place or rubbing themselves warm at bus-stops while waiting for the next ride to come.

        I have never seen something like that ever before, yet I was told by my Russian friends, that this is totally common there. Also I have never been exposed to so many female key-stimuli before in my entire life during winter, that as a man I had no other choice but to conclude, that Slavic woman tend to value their looks over their health and this for the sake of sexual attractiveness and nothing else, because at -45°C nothing else would make sense to explain this phenomena.
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          Apr 25 2014: Oh Lejan!!! I didn't get the joke at first....thanks for letting me I can LOL!

          I would not say that I am part of the "collective denial".....I wrote...."I don't have statistics to offer, so with simply my observation, I don't agree". It is only my observation.

          I had a different experience observing people in Russia when I was there a few years ago in January. The women had beautiful warm furs....absolutely gorgeous...practical, attractive and very warm....also lovely big, warm boots. Perhaps we were in different places, and traveling among different crowds of people Lejan. I was staying in a 17th century Russian Orthodox monastery .....that may have had something to do with the difference in experiences:>)
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        Apr 25 2014: @ Ang

        'Look at the statistics on who men really work out for. It's not as much to allure women as it is to make other men envious.'

        Is there similar statistics which shows, that woman wearing push-up-bras do that to make other woman envious about the volume of their breasts? Or is the use of such 'fake-devices' addressed to the other gender, and if so, what was then the purpose, or informational content of this obviously false visual communication?

        Same question goes on breast implants, also that visual content holds up on close inspection.
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          Apr 26 2014: An average looking woman who wants something done and has to get a man to do it or make the arrangements for her.

          An attractive woman approaches the same man at the same time. She is flirtatious and utilizes her feminine qualities to persuade him.

          Which woman is he going to be more inclined to help first?

          Same scenario but add to the less attractive woman's arsenal a lot of money. How does this affect the man's decision on which woman to help first?

          The feeling that getting through life in this man's world is easier when you have money or good looks as a woman is not uncommon.
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        Apr 25 2014: @ Colleen

        I hoped for the little emoticon at the end of that particular comment to be a strong enough indicator for my 'difficult' humor to reveal itself. It failed, so will try to make use of footnotes more often ... *

        Of course you would not say that you are part of this 'collective denial', as this is how denial works. Like it is in therapy one got to get pass this instinctive response reaction to open up for healing self-reflection... **

        I don't think, that your experiences in Russia are influenced by the nearness of that monastery, because I also came across those woman you describe in a regular industrial town with no obviously strong religious influences. Also I did reference that my observations mainly apply for woman for 'at least those of younger age', which in biological terms and timing are usually closer to active 'choice of partner'.

        I don't know if you noticed, that those fur coats you mentioned are mainly worn by woman and barely seen on man? Why is that if not for 'visuals'? Fur on man cloth I only came to notice in Russia on hats and collars, but far less in number than on woman.

        Also I found, that most older and warmer dressed woman in Russia are wearing lots and lots of colorful facial cosmetics, compared to woman of the same age-group in my country at the same season. If there was no obvious difference, I think I would not have noticed it.

        Also when I talk to other man, there seems to be some sort of a common agreement, that in terms of attractiveness, Slavic females 'rank' among the top of the world, followed by Latin American woman at Carnival***

        When I was in Scandinavian states during winter times, which are as cold as Russia can be, I didn't notice anything alike in the female population as I did in Russia.

        * Joke ... :o)
        ** Another joke ...:o)
        *** Unofficial data, horribly shallow
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          Apr 26 2014: Well Lejan, if you want to insist that I am in "denial" about something, it is certainly your choice and your right. However, I suggest that I know myself better than you know me.

          One thing I find amusing, is when men try to tell me what I am feeling, or what I need, because that suggests that he really isn't listening to me, or considering what I know about myself. I have done quite a lot of self reflection throughout my life Lejan:>)

          I notice that you noted this as "Another joke" in your footnotes.....I wanted to clarify, because it is common for men to try to tell women what they/we may feel or need, and that is not a joke:>)

          I think the fact that I observed practically dressed women in Russia, may have been influenced by our activities.....visiting orphanages, elderly retired people, church leaders and representatives, etc. We also visited museums, theaters, etc, where we encountered the general public. No nightclubs, or wandering the streets where I suspect we might have seen more of the scantily dressed people you mention (younger, actively pursuing partners, as you say). My experience was both in the city (St. Petersburg), and in very rural towns. Actually, I observed many men wearing fur coats and hats....certainly not as many as women, but quite a few. I didn't notice much make-up.....again, perhaps because of the kinds of places we visited, and the people we interacted with.
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        Apr 26 2014: @ Ang on: 'An average looking woman who wants something done and has to get a man to do it or make the arrangements for her.'

        With a puzzled look and a smile out of confusion I am sitting here now and can't think of any 'something' which a modern woman in a modern society cant get done without the help of a man.

        Could you please give me a view examples on this, as the only situations I can think of usually don't need this form of sexual trickery, as the help needed is given by friends.

        One of those scenarios would be if a woman would move to another home or apartment and would not have the financial means to let professional services haul all her furniture and stuff from one place to the other. Yet in situations like this friends usually tend to help, man and woman, and none of my female friends need to look like a model for me to freely offer my help to them.

        On the contrary, as I would not consider myself a friend, if my intention to help was based on my hope for sex.

        Another situation I can think of would be renovation work of apartments or rooms, where again, friends usually help out if a woman doesn't have the skills or to little time to get in done alone within her lifetime... :o)

        So please fill me in for me to understand your argument, because the only thing I can see so far, was to trick men into help by playing them on their hope for sex, which I think does happen, yet which has no justification in my eyes whatsoever.
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          Apr 26 2014: Don't think of this situation involving modern men and women. This is a behavior that was learned in previous generations when women couldn't or weren't allowed to do certain things and were dependent upon men to do it for them.

          We're talking traits that go back as long as history.

          Does that help?
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        Apr 26 2014: @ Ang on: There should be a significant dividing line between the qualities men look for in a woman they want for the short term and the long haul. ...'

        I think there is quite a distinct dividing line between those qualities in many men. Long term qualities are the same as for short term qualities (she got to be hot), with the only expectation to split the chores 0/100 and in their favor and on the long run... :o) Its rather a matter of acceptance than of distinction ... ;o)

        I don't think that woman go through all this 'hell' you described for their boy-friends or husbands, because if 'looks' was the only decision for a man to stay by her girlfriend or wife, this race for 'attraction/attention' could never be won by no woman ever.

        My personal choice is actually the complete opposite and based on personal experience.
        Woman which focus very much on their visual appearance often turn out to be plain boring in their personalities for me. And looks alone never made me fall in love with any woman. On the contrary, as I prefer 'natural' qualities over faked ones, but this is just my personal preference, I guess and may not apply to large numbers of my own gender.
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        Apr 26 2014: @ Ang on: 'Does that help?'

        Nope! :o)

        It may well be that I totally miss your point, but I see no correlation nor reason why the use of 'key-stimuli' today should be legitimized by helpful behavioral pattern of the past.

        Even an 'just' average intelligent woman would neither degrade herself, her modern independence nor her intellect to play the 'girly girl' or 'vamp' to any man out of 'role-model' echoes from the past.

        If that was the case, modern man would not have any reason not to drag woman by their hair to places they wish them to have. Physically that could still be done in many cases, practically most man have evolved since.

        So sorry, especially in this modern and high paced times we live in and AFTER waves over waves of emancipation in western societies, this doesn't sound convincing to me to any degree.
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          Apr 26 2014: You did in fact miss the point but no worries.

          No matter how far women leap ahead in this game of life we are still living in a world that was designed by men with masculine traits in mind as the drivers for success.

          Imagine if women had been at the forefront of corporate structure organization. In the business world it's common to have a Pres., VP, CEO, CFO, upper level management, supervisors, lead workers, and front line workers or some combination of these. This structure is very masculine in it's design. Had a woman been the original architect of our corporate world this particular hierarchy would not exist.

          Our political systems would be vastly different along with our judicial and law enforcement departments.

          A world designed with equal contributions from masculine and feminine perspectives allowing for each gender's traits to act as drivers towards success would be the way in which we achieve true equality/equilibrium.

          In order to get that we would have to structurally break down how our society operates now and build it back up with men and women working as equals to redesign all aspects of, well, everything.
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        Apr 26 2014: @ Colleen

        I am sorry to hear that you came across so many men who were trying to tell you what you were feeling that it became common in your experience with that gender, that just by counting the words you spent on my joke, your clarification, those experiences must have been quite oppressive to you.

        Personally I recall only one occasion in which another man insisted to know better about what I was feeling and wouldn't even open up again for additional information from my side. That was strange but reason enough for me to dump him as a friend I assumed him to be.

        With some woman I experienced that they insisted to know how I was feeling, which could be located on the opposite side of annoyance, I suppose.

        I visited Russia twice so far. The first time during the cold war in Leningrad, also during winter, where I only observed woman in warm fur-coats or warm jackets of which only very view were using colorful cosmetics. I assume today, that cosmetics were probably scarce during the Soviet era. The second time in Russia was in 2012 in the Ural region visiting friends and the observations I described was not a snapshot at Saturday night in front of a night-club. Actually I didn't have the chance to go to a night-club, yet just by extrapolating from regular daily life situations, that may have saved my blood-pressure from collapsing instantly on me due to stimulus satiation ... :o)

        It was a large industrial town by which I assume I came across a large fraction of the Russian working class during all times of a day and in public and I only reported what I came to notice and which was so different to my former experiences by its sheer numbers.
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          Apr 26 2014: Thanks Lejan:>)

          I didn't say I "came across so many men" who were trying to tell me personally what I was feeling. I wrote...".....I wanted to clarify, because it is common for men to try to tell women what they/we may feel or need..."

          I volunteered in a shelter for women and children, so I've heard lots of real life stories from women fleeing abusive relationships. I also volunteered with the dept. of corrections facilitating programs with male offenders of domestic violence and abuse. So I've had quite a bit of interaction with quite a few men and women.

          So, no, it is not "oppressive" to me personally, and I believe it is oppressive to our societies in general.

          I'm glad your blood pressure was "saved" from collapsing with too much stimulus Lejan:>)
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        Apr 26 2014: @ Colleen

        I am glad too, but I almost died for the same reason during a classical concert and the only one saving me at that night was a young boy, probably around 8 years old, who has gotten so deep into the music, sitting at the edge of his seat, that he became an active musician himself but silently. He conducted, played air instruments and vibrated as a whole along the rhythms as if in trance. Thanks to him I was able to refocus on the music by him, which was an interesting situation and probably saved my health ... :o)

        On your views on oppression I only partly agree, as for extreme situations you are referring to it takes always two to make it happen, and, even worse, to sustain it.

        To me oppression is a dysfunctional social behavior which, as much as I know about it, people acquire in their childhood and at that time are victims themselves by the same kind or forwarding dysfunctional social behavior of their close surroundings.

        Oppression in relationships takes one to try, but two to allow it to happen again, which could be expressed as we do for fooling: 'Oppress me once, shame on you ... oppress me twice, shame on me.'

        As we life in times today, where divorce is no longer a branding on womans social status and at least in my country the social monetary support sufficient enough for woman without a job to have a life on their own, that I came to the conclusion, that female victims of male oppression are actually also suffering from a different form of dysfunctional social behavior, which is probably rooted in their childhood experiences as well.

        One of my closest female friends I came to meet while she was hiding from her husband in a women's refuge with her four children and although I am no psychologist, I found a certain set of behavioral pattern in her reports which I found in reports of other woman I spoke with who also spend, actually wasted, many years in relationships with highly dominating males.
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          Apr 27 2014: I wholeheartedly agree generally takes two to contribute to sustaining an oppressive relationship. Society also contributes with predetermined "roles" you insightfully say.....sometimes influenced by social behavior, and maybe rooted in childhood experiences.

          I also agree that those who have been oppressed tend to sometimes try to oppress others. I agree....there are some very common behavioral patterns:>)
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        Apr 26 2014: @ Colleen

        This pattern mainly consists out of hope to change the character of another person, excessive need for 'harmony', lack of consequent and self-determined action, self-abandonment, self-deception (I endure it for the kids, etc,) and, probably worst of all, resignation and stasis.

        I also found, that woman who managed to escape one dominant partner often tend to seek for similar types of man as if there was a wish to start all over again, like moths steering at candles.

        Such woman often find other types of man less appealing, sometimes even boring, which of course makes it difficult then to have a chance to make better experiences.

        This friend of mine is in a new relationship now and close to a new marriage. To me, this guy is a plain crook, and as a friend I told her so, because he already betrayed her with another woman and spends most of his time with his friends and only comes home for food and sex and to get his laundry done by her. He doesn't take his share in the household, he doesn't even repair a flat tire on her bicycle, which made me drive 86 miles to help her out, yet whatever he does she thinks he is her true love.

        I do not doubt her love, yet to me she is given the stage and allowance for this man to play and dominate her.
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          Apr 27 2014: Yes Lejan, you point out more common behaviors/beliefs....hope that things will change....being attracted to another abusive person.

          There are so many different dynamics (and some the same as well) to violence and abuse in relationships, that if a person does not do some serious exploration in him/herself, the dynamics continue, sometimes without awareness.

          Perhaps you are aware of the idea that both men and women are often attracted to someone like their opposite sex parent? If one is not aware of that, at the beginning of the relationship, we sometimes play out the roles of our parents. That is only one little important piece to be aware of. Our parents are our primary role models for relationship as we are growing up. If we are not aware of the dynamics in THEIR relationship, and we are attracted to similar people as partners, we may repeat some of the same behaviors.

          Considering your friends challenge......
          It is also common to think that once people are married, things will change, and the fact is, things usually get worse, rather than better. Love is blind?
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          Apr 27 2014: Psychological verbal abuse, telling a woman over and over again that she doesn't deserve anything better than what she's got and finding ways to manipulate the situation and make her truly believe it. That's how a woman can continue to return to a man and other men who share similar abusive traits.

          A man with deep seeded insecurity issues will find a way to isolate the woman by saying something as simple as "I don't think your friends/family like me". Those connections provide her with a grasp on her own version of reality. Viewing the reality that he provides for her through manipulation, isolation, and abuse completely changes who she is right down to her core. Many women hold onto some small piece of their former selves that continues to scream at them from a muffled place.

          That screaming voice gets tired, and quiet after a prolonged period of time with no trustworthy confidante to validate it for her.
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          Apr 28 2014: I agree Ang....telling a person s/he is no good....nobody else will love him/her.....things are going to change and be better, etc., are all part of the pattern of isolation, violence and abuse, and there are several different levels. A person who is trying to isolate someone will also try to cut off communications with family and friends who might be supportive to her.
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        Apr 26 2014: @ Ang on: 'You did in fact miss the point but no worries.'

        As we are coming from the topic of the 'use of female key-stimuli' I am having some troubles now to bridge the mental gap towards your last comment.

        I think I understand that you are not happy about the way society and corporate structures are organized right now, but so am I ... now what?

        Of course we can go on in circles and blame all men to have caused all of this, which in return will cause men to blame all woman to have their equal share in that mess.

        It is not my fault that your gender didn't manage in the past to refuse to be dominated by mine, and from my perspective we are in transient times right now, trying to break ourselves free from those behavioral patterns we may grew up with.

        But the most powerful person in my country happens to be a woman and I can not say, that since she is in command things have gotten better here. On the contrary, as far as I am concerned.

        Of course we can open another discussion now, that this doesn't count, because SHE has to play the mens-game, only better, yet on that I would have only agreed in her first legislative period, which she already extended.

        What I don't understand in this sort of discussion is the following. Throughout many centuries, woman were expected to run the family and to mainly race the children. Girls and boys. We also know, that childhood experiences are molding main parts of our character and value system while we grow up. So when men were not partaking that much during all this time in upbringing, how can it be then that woman didn't make use of their influence they had over their boys, to make them better people regarding the acceptance of their female counterparts?

        Honestly, I have no explanation on this.

        My father was one of those men who didn't care much about his kids, as this was not unusual at that time. So my mother became the most influential person to my brother and me and both of us tuned our moral compasses towards hers.
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        Apr 26 2014: And as she was both, highly intelligent and warm hearted, we came to learn about many aspects of equality and respect towards other people and this regardless of gender, race or whatever.

        She also was a confessing mom. She wanted to be a mother, which at that time meant to stay at home with the kids. She never regret not to have made a career in business, which she could have if she had insisted on it, but she simply didn't want to, consciously.

        Why other woman didn't manage to 'tame' their wild boys, and wild I certainly was, I don't know.

        But what I do know is, that generations of woman did miss their chances collectively if the result of the societies they indirectly co-created was repeatingly disappointing to them ...
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        Apr 27 2014: @ Colleen, on: 'Love is blind?'

        Love can be blind, often is, but it is on us to allow it. The latter takes effort and its consequences can be very painful.

        Mentally healthy people are capable to distinguish their likes from their dislikes and this 'evaluation module' also works when we are in love.

        When I wrote about this crook my friend is going to merry, I exclusively expressed her personal dislikes she shared with me about him. Personally, I barely know him. Yet my point is, that she herself has sufficient enough information about his character to make decision in her favor... or against. They are together since 6 years now and he moved in 5 years ago. To me, plenty enough time to realize whats going on. I also talked with her about the fact, that 'marriage' is no mystical game-changer of any sort for a better, and as she has been married before, she knows that all to good if I can trust her word on that.

        What makes her to marry that man, I don't know, especially as she it the type of woman who likes to have her partner around as often as possible.

        I am not going to talk her out of this, as this is none of my business, yet do give her my hones view on her situation when she complains about him. As a friend, thats all I can do.
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          Apr 28 2014: Lejan,
          I think you mentioned that you can see the love in your friend for her partner, and she cannot see the reality of the situation....that is why I suggest that love is blind.

          I agree that evaluation works when we are in love......IF.....we evaluate realistically! If a person does not want to consider some aspects of the relationship, they will not be evaluating those aspects. It is common for people to justify certain behaviors with the argument.....he does this, this and this, which is I'll overlook this other behavior which is not so great.

          Your friend may have sufficient enough information about his character (in your perception), to make an informed decision. She may not want to use all the information, and that choice may be intentional....or not. She may not even be aware of how she may be justifying his behaviors or the relationship. SOMETHING is keeping her in the relationship....for whatever reason. Often, the victim of abuse and the abuser are equally insecure.

          Suggestion.....rather than give her your honest view on her situation when she complains about him, ask her how the behavior she is complaining about feels? How does she feel when he behaves in that way? Ask her if that is how she really wants to live her life....ask her if that is what she really wants with a partner....ask her questions that might cause her to ask herself some questions.

          When we impose our personal view on others (tell her what she "should" know, and probably DOES know in her heart), it sometimes causes her to defend the person we are speaking against....a person that she loves. So that behavior actually strengthens the relationship by causing her to feel closer (defending) the abuser.

          When we ask questions, in an attempt to genuinely understand with compassion, it sometimes encourages more introspection, which may support a person in making different decisions....or is a choice she makes for herself.
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        Apr 27 2014: @ Ang, on: 'Psychological verbal abuse, telling a woman over and over again ...'

        The type of woman you describe here certainly exist, probably in large numbers, yet this doesn't change the fact, that those woman themselves have some serious insecurity problems and for whatever reason didn't manage to grow a self-determined personality.

        If a woman would try to deprive me from people I like, or even love, I would not allow her to do that and this regardless how tricky she was trying to talk me into that.

        A comment, such as 'I don't think your friends/family like me' I would certainly take seriously and would talk about this to find out about the underlaying reasons for such an impression, or even for such a reality, as this can certainly be true. Yet as long none of friends or family member would pro-actively attack my girlfriend or wife, there was no reason to break up with them. For anything else compromises can be found.

        The very first time my woman would seriously tell me that I wouldn't deserve something, she would have the next two hours nothing else to do but to explain to me, why she thinks that is. Regardless of her arguments and the situations she was in while saying this, there were exactly two more 'wild-cards' left on her side to not grant me something positive.

        The reason for this is simple, we all say something we don't mean and my idea for my partner is to know her well and to care for her. This is no option, this is a condition. A mutual condition.

        I also think, that a person who needs his/her friends or family to grasp his/her own version of reality, has no own version of any reality at all and never learned to make up their own mind and to make decisions for themselves.

        Nobody else but we ourselves can know about our reality!

        I am not saying, that humans are immune against the 'boiling frog phenomenon' or against 'high arts of manipulation', but I do know that self-determined and stable characters are less prone to get trapped by them.
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        Apr 27 2014: @ Ang, on: 'Psychological verbal abuse, telling a woman over and over again ...'

        I do not excuse 'oppressive' behavior of men (and woman) and those who show it need therapy offered to them to get out of those behavioral pattern. Unfortunately, those people usually don't realize that they suffer from psychological issues and therefore tend not to face and cure them.

        But also don't see victims of oppression as 'guiltless', as those themselves have allowed it.

        This last view of mine only applies to modern societies, in which there is an infrastructure for woman to find shelter and in which a single or divorced woman is fully accepted by society and financially supported if needed.

        In Germany, where I live, all of those conditions are given, yet I can imagine many regions on this planet where this isn't the case and where woman become victims every day.

        And even in modern societies we could and should improve our help to get woman out of unhealthy relationships, as so far, all given services for help are not pro-actively propagated.

        I would go even so far to have once or twice a day the message spread via radio or TV that whoever is gridlocked in unhealthy relationships can get help for free at any time of the day to get out of it.

        When I first heard about the existence of woman-shelters I was pretty old already, around 30, and I was totally surprised and also angry how that could have happened that I missed out on this one for so long and completely.

        We need to spread this message to any woman out there, in any language and we also have to offer psychological therapy free of charge and way beyond the time a woman managed to escape their dominant male partners.

        I also think this topic has to be repeatedly addressed in our schools. I actually don't know if it already is in my country at the moment, as I am not updated for quite some while, yet I am a bit in doubt as the cultural pessimist I am ...
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        Apr 28 2014: @ Colleen, on: 'I think you mentioned that you can see the love in your friend ...'

        Total agreement from my side and what I consider the propulsion of those vicious circle, you summed up perfectly in saying: 'Often, the victim of abuse and the abuser are equally insecure'. Only to me its not 'often', but 'always', and both are victims of one another and each victim of circumstances which made them that way.

        Your suggestions have become applied reality since 5.5 years already, as honest views only need to be stated once to get them across. They don't seem to spark the process of self-awareness to any degree. Not even when compared to similarities with her former husband, on which she reflected quite a lot in retrospect. To me it often seems that little improvements she made with her new partner outweigh disproportional the resemblance to the former situation.

        But I do not invade her private life by myself and only speak with her about this topic if she herself brings it up on her own. And as I am not her closest reference person and her family members who are hopelessly conservative and deeply entrenched in Christian family values, I am not certain if self-awareness is continuously fostered. She got even banned from her Church by her own father who is reverent of the local congregation because she divorced her former and abusive husband. So much about ... love your enemy!

        She is in her mid 30s now and I assume, that as a mother of four out of her first marriage, it may not be as easy to find a new life-partner who accept so many children, which may be on subconscious levels makes for more compromises than necessary and against her interest.

        When 'love is blind' was in itself not the problem as long as this blindness was mutual and directed towards each other. But as we all 'love' differently and also on different levels this can cause severe misalignments. But when love results in self-devaluation this can not be healthy to anyone and often 'invites' dominance.
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          May 5 2014: Lejan,
          You say your friend reflected on her last relationship, and doesn't seem to recognize the similarities in a new relationship. It is not uncommon for people to go from one abusive relationship to another because sometimes, the outward manifestations of characteristics look and feel different in different relationships. It sometimes takes a LOT of reflection and introspection to be able to evaluate the circumstances realistically, and there are many levels of reflection, introspection and evaluation.

          You say..."But when love results in self-devaluation this can not be healthy to anyone and often 'invites' dominance."

          I agree that it is not healthy, and I do not perceive it to be love, because love generally does not devalue people. I believe it is insecurity. You may be right about her compromising because she is afraid of not finding a partner.....again....insecurity. Your comment about inviting dominance may be on target too, although I say one might accept dominance and abuse when one is insecure.....not necessarily consciously inviting it.
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      Apr 15 2014: What do you perceive would be the reasoning behind females committing murder in the 1st degree more often than the other degrees of murder??
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      Apr 16 2014: Carl -

      I'm not a man and so don't think like a man but most men are the ones who are self-proclaimed sex fantasy addicts.

      Studies conducted related to this exact topic have proven that men spend a lot more time thinking about sex than women on average.

      From a female perspective I can tell you that thinking about sex a lot more than I do is something I would consider as thinking about sex all the time. :)

      But that's just how my gender formulates opinion based on perception.
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        Apr 21 2014: 'I'm not a man and so don't think like a man ... '

        Now it becomes clear to me why 'You are more reluctant than I expected ... ;o)'

        I mistook 'Ang' for a male fist-name, my apologies!
  • Apr 13 2014: Ang, I think the differences we perceive between ourselves sexually are what allows us to mate. We have sex with a great number of persons but mate with 2 -4 persons and typically it is the first person whom we mate with that we consider our only mate. Gender neutralizing environments? Does that mean a less strenuous trial for a female to what was the standard for males? Gender neutral environments can mean co-ed facilities in dorms or inclusion in sports programs for females. Would a male volleyball player on an all female team be an advantage?. And a female on an all male team be a disadvantage? A Political correct architecture should be able to predict and effect change for the benefit of both sexes to excel and as you point out it just seems to grope around our bodies hoping to stimulate either sex into an acceptance of the act. Coleen and Carolyn what are your thoughts to this? Does maturity and a life lived with and without males have any meaning past the child bearing years?
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      Apr 14 2014: A gender neutralizing environment to consider to would be school. We teach boys and girls the same lessons at the same time and hold the same expectations for both.

      Looking at this from a mental, emotional, and developmental perspective, do you think this is optimal?
  • Apr 12 2014: I've actually given up on monogamy, the science tells us that it's a lie. My last relationship was the last monogamous one I'll have and I will from now on recognize that I as well as humanity is in fact poly-amorous by nature. Therefore I have no ideal girlfriend/wife.
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      Apr 12 2014: Which science? Pertaining to which species?

      Despite the fact that you're not looking for a life-long mate/partner, there are still qualities aside from just looks that would attract you to certain individuals and others that would repel you. What are those qualities?
      • Apr 13 2014: This TED Talk will give you a start on the science.

        "Christopher Ryan: Are we designed to be sexual omnivores?"

        Think of it this way: We all know that the "love phase" almost always goes away in about 1-2 years, after that the dynamics of every relationship changes in some way. We lose that feeling and it's replaced by one of satisfaction and admiration (at best).

        When it comes to what attracts me to people this is a hard nut to crack for me (and I think for most who have thought about it deeply). As I see it there are two major factors coming into play here; My past and who I wish to be.

        My past has shaped who I am and what qualities we're attracted to is set in an early age, but also by our physical appearance and/or the appearance of our first love. There's a thing called attraction coefficient where we can actually measure how likely physical attraction is between people. Things like size, height, hair color, eye color and so on, even the size of the nose and ears play into this, we want people who look like us (or our first love.

        But I'm running out of chars so I'll keep this short. For me to be attracted (if we skip the science) is someone who I find somewhat physically attractive for me and who thinks critically (is a skeptic) and is also an altruist (opposite of egoist).
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          Apr 13 2014: Multiple sexual partners has always been and will continue to be an option for anyone who goes into a relationship with honesty and a general openness about the desire for that kind of freedom of choice.

          Do you think this "omnivore" type sexuality is desired more by males or females?
          Why do you suppose this hasn't been the normal sexual behavior in our modern day societies?
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          Apr 15 2014: What do you perceive would be the reasoning behind females committing murder in the 1st degree more often than the other degrees of murder??
      • Apr 13 2014: It seems like monogamy was introduced by the monotheistic religions, before that (and even long after that actually) polygamy was the norm for most.

        Both the Greeks and Romans were widely polygamous and even saw no fault with sex with animals.

        Monogamy seems to be a social construction that is a result from the widespread religions that dictate how people SHOULD live.

        Nowadays it's such a norm that almost everyone label polygamy as bad and monogamy as good, so did I until recently when I began to study it.

        I've been talking to a lot of people that are polyamorous and live in poly relationships, their biggest problem mostly seem to be societies expectations of what a relationship should be.

        Check out
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          Apr 14 2014: You've done more research on it than I have but I did read the article on the website you've provided.

          Have you picked up on any noticeable differences between women in a polyamorous relationship with men and a man in a polyamorous relationship with women?
      • Apr 14 2014: I have found no suck differences between men and women. However I have found an anecdotal correlation (no proof, just observation) that most poly people are bisexual and have bisexual relationships.

        So it's usually 1 man and 2 women or 2 women and one man and they all engage with each other.

        There are however poly relationships that include more than 3 partners but they are rare as the more people involved the more complex it becomes to maintain a good relationship to all.
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          Apr 14 2014: Just to clarify, a polyamorous relationship involves a commitment and an open relationship means that each partner is open to the other having multiple partners without the commitment. Did I get that right?

          So if people are sexual omnivores and the love aspect fades out after a couple years, wouldn't it make more sense to just have an open relationship?
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    Apr 12 2014: Hey Ang.....interesting topic:>)

    A little background.....I was married for 24 years and have been divorced for 24 years, and since the divorce, have had several relationships on different levels. So, the exploration I've done with myself for about 48 years is the basis for any response I provide:>)

    The ideal partner for me, would be one who is as content with their exploration of life as I am content with my exploration of life, and be willing and able to communicate, share and explore thoughts, feelings, ideas, perceptions, perspectives and beliefs with respect and genuine curiosity.....that's all!!! :>)
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      Apr 12 2014: You used the term partner which could be referring to either a male or a female.

      Do you feel you've had much success in finding a male partner/companion who is willing and able to communicate, share and explore thoughts, etc...???

      What about a female partner/companion with those same qualities/abilities?
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        Apr 13 2014: Correct Ang....I used the term "partner" for that reason. I am open to possibilities:>) Although, I am more and more content all the time without a partner.......who knows???

        There are lots of people who are willing and able to share many thoughts and feelings on various levels, and I have had some lovely relationships. As I said, a person with whom I make a long term partnership commitment would be as content with their exploration of life as I am content with my exploration of life.....we would be equally as content.

        What I have discovered, is that often times, it is my contentment and passion for life that someone is attracted to (I have actually been told this several times), and I end up emotionally supporting that person. While it feels good in the beginning to have a person say they want to learn from me, it gets tiring very quickly. This is why a partner for me would have to be equally as content, which comes with genuinely exploring all aspects of the life adventure.

        Men and women certainly have "roles" given to us by society, and I believe those roles are changing, which can be helpful to relationships.....or not. Sometimes, I think it can cause more confusion in relationships.

        For example, as a young wife/mother, I was very aware that I was the emotional support of the family, while the husband was the financial support. He didn't feel like emotional "stuff" was needed from him because that was my job. I accepted that for years, and often felt totally drained. Gender DID effect how we perceived each other and our roles in the family. Interesting that now (since the divorce), we are better friends, and in my perception, more equally emotionally supportive of each other.
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          Apr 13 2014: Do you think gender roles are given to us exclusively by society? Do you find that you're relatively content with your role?

          What is your perception of men in general and their ability to connect with their emotions and the emotions of others?

          Sorry that's a lot of questions to throw out there. :)
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        Apr 14 2014: Hi again Ang:>)

        Questions are always a good way to explore anything in my perception and experience. It is how I do my own explorations in my self.....ask myself questions and ponder possible answers:>)

        Yes, I think gender roles are given to us by society....including parents, religions, etc.

        I have been creating my role for quite some time.....since I began to realize there were certain expected roles...I think it was about 40 years ago that became more clear to me. Since then, yes, I am relatively content with my life as I have orchestrated it.

        I think both men and women have the ability to connect with emotions, and I think it is important to connect with our own emotions, and then we connect with others.....I believe at the same level we are willing and able to connect with our self.

        Men/boys were taught for a long time NOT to connect with their emotions.....don't strong and aggressive, etc. Girls/women were taught and encouraged to BE emotional about things.....reach out and help others....etc.

        I believe connecting with emotion can be a learned behavior, and with the changes in our world....more women in the work force and more men in the role of stay at home dads, etc., ...we are seeing changes manifest in our world.....generally good changes in my perception. Men and women are doing some "cross training", which I think/feel we are all capable of on some level.
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          Apr 14 2014: Do you believe that connecting with emotion is a natural occurrence for males? For females? If it's a learned behavior how do you think one goes about learning it?

          Do you feel as though there was a time when women didn't feel a desire to talk and be emotional?

          Do you think there was a time when men were more emotional with an innate desire to get in touch with themselves by discussing these deep feelings?

          Can you foresee a future where gender specific traits disintegrate into general traits that are equally distributed amongst males and females? Or do you think there will always be some kind of dividing line distinguishing males from females?
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        Apr 14 2014: I think connecting emotionally is a natural occurrence for all people has been taught NOT to connect emotionally.

        I believe babies come into this world with the ability and desire to connect emotionally, and because of the modeling they/we receive, or the life circumstances experienced (which can often be very harsh), people often build defensive walls to protect themselves from connecting emotionally because it can be very painful at times......yes?

        I think it takes conscious awareness and effort to explore those walls and take them down to allow oneself to emotionally connect with one self and with others. This is a simple concept with the "cognitive self change" sessions I co-facilitated with incarcerated men. One of the first questions I asked was "what were you thinking when you committed the crime"? "What were you feeling?" It' is a beginning step in getting in touch with thoughts and feelings, which is where our emotions come from? There are various methods used to remember.....I think it's about remembering how to do something that is natural.

        I don't think there was a time in general when women didn't feel a desire to talk and be emotional. We can trace these habits/roles back to ancient times and the hunters (men) and gatherers (women).

        The gatherers/women, went out in groups to gather food....they spent time together talking and interacting and combined the food they gathered for the whole clan to share.

        The hunters/men usually could not talk during their quest for game....right? They had to be quiet, so as not to alert the animals. There also was a great deal of competition with hunting. Although the meat was usually shared with the clan, the hunter who actually took down the animal was rewarded and honored.

        It looks like the everyday habits going way back encouraged or discouraged talking, sharing and emotional connections...what do you think?

        I think gender specific traits are already starting to disappear. Cross training:>
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          Apr 14 2014: I think in prehistoric times women had a need of one another and more opportunity to form strong bonds with each other and their children because have been and will always be the nurturers. This may have had an impact on the way women developed mentally since. Women who had an easier time connecting with others and displayed a superiority in nurturing characteristics were perceived as the more acceptable mate. That trait ended up becoming a staple in the female brain allowing women to connect more effortlessly with their emotions.

          I just don't think men ever developed in the way women did. There was a natural desire to compete and when males feel like other males are their opposition it's far less likely that they'd be compelled to divulge weaknesses that could be exploited.

          The fact that women have always seemed to be able to sit around and chit-chat with varying degrees of ease without any particular agenda to cover seems to me like it's something that is part of being female. This trait spans all age groups, cultures, ethnicities, etc...

          Men have seemed to always get together for a specified reason like an event, or to accomplish a task. There's usually some agenda aside from a desire to just see and reaffirm the bond with their male companion/s.

          When women share deeply personal things with one another it helps them to realize what their truest desires, fears, and selves are. Women are able to introspect while getting an outsider's perspective sans judgment. I think this results in a firmer grasp on the truth of what it means to be a woman.

          If men don't open up with each other how can they know for sure what's inside them is normal or not? How can they gain a true and solid grasp on what it really means to be a man if they're not get affirmation from other men that they're on the right track?
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          Apr 14 2014: Despite the fact that women are far more likely to self criticize for physical imperfections there still seems to be a self confidence and strong sense of self which allows them to step out of typically feminine roles whereas men are far less likely to do so. Men seem to allow their sense of self to form around the judgments of other men where women tend to want to feel right about who they are even if that means withstanding a certain amount of criticism and judgment.

          This is just an opinion and I don't have any solid facts pulled from a particular study. This is just me putting a lot of data together and coming up with this theory.
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        Apr 14 2014: All good points, which I agree with Ang.

        You say..."The fact that women have always seemed to be able to sit around and chit-chat with varying degrees of ease without any particular agenda to cover seems to me like it's something that is part of being female".

        We all have male and female we not? We all have male and female energy? Your point is well taken.....however.....I still think that society "shaped" male and female roles.

        Good question....if people cannot open up with themselves and each other how can they know for sure what's inside? I think many men in our world are living the role of "being a man" that was given to them by society. Many men in our world are also discovering something different, and hopefully more beneficial.

        I think it is difficult for men to let go of the old paradigm and embrace something takes courage.
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          Apr 14 2014: Which society was it that shaped and defined our gender roles?

          How far back does this society go and if we're talking about a socially accepted norm of behavior for each gender that dates back 1000 years then wouldn't it stand to reason that many of the traits we're perceiving as societal have long since been engrained in our genes?

          We definitely all have certain elements of each but it is the universal characteristics that are so common as to be thought of as definitively male/female that I'm referring to.

          When and how were gender roles first established and how was it that society involved itself in the formation of them?

          In other words, which came first society's determination of how gender will be divided or an innate sense of what it means to be feminine/masculine from a deeper more primitive part of the brain that gives us comfort when we conform to it?
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        Apr 14 2014: Good question Ang...."Which society was it that shaped and defined our gender roles?"

        With some exceptions throughout history, most societies have been dominated by men? It seems like that dynamic is pretty universal? That's why the idea that it goes back to ancient times makes sense to me.

        Yes....that might mean that many of the traits we're experiencing as societal may be ingrained in our genes. Or.....maybe the traits are ingrained in our habitual behaviors that have been passed down?

        Consider the right to vote.....women were only given the right to vote and participate in the leadership of our countries a hundred years ago. That is only one part of the scenario that reflects a big story!

        Consider the documents that say all men are free and equal, when in fact, it was the law that men "owned" their wives, while the same men also owned hundreds of slaves. It took a couple hundred years, more killing, more prejudice, more actions, more documents, etc....etc... before these ideas (equality and freedom) actually started to be encouraged and enforced.

        I think/feel that male dominance is a learned behavior, and maybe by this time ingrained. However, we have seen some changes....slow.....but changes.....

        I don't have any ideas regarding your last question.....wish I knew!
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          Apr 14 2014: "Throughout history, most societies have been dominated by men"

          This spans across country, continental, and time lines.

          I have a strong feeling that it wasn't women who decided that men should dominate them. I guess it's possible, but not very plausible.

          With this in mind I have to wonder, never having been a male myself, what was it about the male sense of self that allowed them to feel so justified in dominating women.

          What started the trend that has spanned all of history?

          How does this view, that has been so prominent in men throughout history affect our lives today? Our perceptions of the world? The decisions we make? Our sense of self?

          If gender plays such a huge role with regard to all of these areas of our every day existence why don't we do a better job of preparing our children to accept and work with these differences rather than pretend they don't exist and push gender neutralization in schools, businesses, and everywhere else.

          I'm not saying we need to go back to a world where women are subservient, but a world where both genders are allowed to embrace the difference and gain a better acceptance of it?
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        Apr 15 2014: You are probably right Ang, that women may not have consciously decided that men should dominate. However, women participated and on some levels accepted their roles, as designated by society?

        Personally, the role of wife/mother, nurturer, caregiver, emotional supporter for my family was one of my favorite roles in the life adventure....I really loved it. AND I also had several business and/or creative adventures, was a competitive athlete, etc.

        Unfortunately Ang, I do not know what started the trend, and it certainly has affected all of our lives. HOW it has affected it, has something to do with our particular circumstances, don't you think?

        Before we can prepare our children, it is important to be prepared ourselves, and unless one has explored the information we are considering now, we don't know how to prepare.

        My grown children are very aware of differences, because we talked about it when they were younger (at the same time I was discovering more about it), and we continue to talk about it at times.

        My son and daughter are both accomplished athletes, they both cook, sew, garden, they both parent and grandparent their children, both successful in the workforce, and in my perception, both accept and embrace the differences. They both seem to perceive the life adventure as an exploration.....wonder where they got that???!!!! LOL:>)
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          Apr 15 2014: Nurturing, caring about, and supporting those we love is generally a good feeling for women. Women often times will naturally gravitate toward these roles because of an innate feeling of it being right and fulfilling. That doesn't mean it's the only thing that a woman wants to do.

          Your children are grown and you've seen the results of your effective parenting, from the description you provided you should be and probably are immensely proud :)

          Imagine what it's like for a young woman, everyone telling her she can be anything she wants to be. She has a strong sense of how to be feminine and feels comfortable exhibiting masculine traits as well as it's commonly accepted in society for her to do so. She has a close support group of friends who are able and willing to discuss her feelings and any insecurities she may be having about goals and who she is. She ends up as an adult with a firm grasp on who she is and what she wants.

          Now what is it like for a teenaged boy. He's told by his peers and the adults that he can be anything he wants but what he sees are a lot of mixed messages. On TV the man is supposed to be tough and the alpha so that he'll be respected. Violence is a typical characteristic displayed by males and it's acceptable in the world of entertainment but not ok in school or anywhere else. Is it more manly to take care of and be respectful of a wife or to dominate her? Are you supposed to be the strong silent type or divulge your feelings? Are you supposed to be the disciplinarian with your kids or take a more lenient and be their friend approach? Are you supposed to be into sports or be the scientific geek type?

          Women have a lot more freedom and therefore a more stable building block to grow from. Males are getting these mixed messages and having a hard time knowing for sure who and what they're supposed to be in adulthood. Without the connections that women have and a strong support group to discuss these inner conflicts how do they figure it out?
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        Apr 15 2014: I agree Ang, regarding nurturing and supporting those we love being generally a good feeling, and women naturally gravitate toward these roles. I also totally agree that it may not be the ONLY thing a girl/woman is drawn to.

        I am indeed proud of my grown children, and I learned a LOT from them:>)

        I don't have to imagine what it would be like for a young woman hearing that she can be anything she wants to be, because that is the message I got from the time I was a wee little lass. My mother and 7 older siblings were always very encouraging and supportive, and that helped form the foundation of my beliefs regarding the role of girls/women.

        Another part of the message they all stressed was that I needed to do my own learning and exploration....nothing comes easy, and we need to pay our dues:>)

        You write...."now what is it like for a teenaged boy".....I agree....mixed messages.....
        I had 5 older brothers (and two older sisters) as I was growing up. Although our mother was encouraging and supportive, our father was less than encouraging and supportive. He sent the message to the boys that whatever they did was never good enough. I believe that message was a projection of his own feelings about himself. Our father was abusive and violent....not a very good model.

        The boys each grew up forming their own perceptions and opinions about the situation. Two of them decided never to have children, one never married....all had different ways of dealing with the information and role models they were given. They all continued to explore throughout their lives on various levels.

        You ask..."how do they figure it out"? Sometimes, they come to their sister and we have talked a LOT about our childhood. I continually tell them that I am so grateful for their support and love when I was a little girl, and I feel sorry that they did not have some of the same encouragement and support from a father who did not know how to give it.
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          Apr 15 2014: Women seeking out a woman to emulate, a woman who will take the time to talk and listen and offer assistance, guidance, and advice is a more frequent occurrence a male seeking a positive male role model.

          There are far more absentee fathers than mothers, boys are floundering in an effort to figure out what the definition of "manhood" really is.

          They turn to entertainment and celebrity figures more often than females to fill in the gap. They choose to emulate what they see on TV because these men have power, respect, and prosperity.

          I'm not saying this is a prevalent or generalized behavior, I'm simply saying it occurs far more often in males than it does in females. Women will try to look like the women on TV but that doesn't carry as much weight in determining who they actually are inside.

          Do we need to set something up in the schools where we observe boys who are struggling and borderline force a positive influential male into their life?

          Would dividing males and females in school and offering lessons that are specifically designed to teach each gender be more effective?

          If this is something that could be proven to work then how do we present the idea to society that this is the right step to take?

          Society's perception right now is that it's politically incorrect to recognize and separate the genders.
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        Apr 15 2014: I believe mentoring programs work for boys and girls at risk Ang, and perhaps more of that is needed? We have mentoring programs in schools here, and some of my friends are involved. It seems to help, and more people are needed to volunteer for the mentoring positions. It is not easy dealing with kids at risk, so it takes a special kind of person.

        I don't know about dividing males and females in school.....aren't we already divided enough?
        I suppose there are some topics that could be addressed with either males or doesn't feel good to me.....could have something to do with the fact that I went to a girls convent elementary school! When I went to a high school where boys were in the mix, I was kind of clueless about boy/girl relationships.....very shy. I think the fact that I had 5 brothers helped a little.....but still.....I don't think it is too beneficial to separate by gender.
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          Apr 15 2014: In studies conducted related to female self image in an all girls school vs. a coed school the determining factors were dramatically different.

          Self image was based on grades, relationships, extracurricular activities, socioeconomic status, whether or not the girls thought of themselves as pretty, etc...

          In single-sex schools the girls' self image varied based on their answers to all of these questions.

          In coed school the girls' self image was almost exclusively based on whether or not they thought of themselves as pretty. If she answered "yes" she had higher self esteem and "no" she had low self esteem.

          The aspirations of young girls attending coed schools was determined to be very different than girls in single-sex schools. When asked about their plans for the future, girls at the coed school talked about careers in entertainment as an actress, singer, or super model at a rate alarmingly higher than the girls at the single-sex school. At the single-sex schools the goals were to pursue college and a career path less associated with being pretty.

          In males they saw that pursuing any interests outside of what would be considered male stereotyped activities was significantly lower in coed schools. Boys based their decisions off of how they would be judged by their peers at an alarmingly higher rate than in the single-sex schools. Boys in an all male atmosphere were vastly more interested in arts, language, music, etc...

          If we want our girls to grow up with career paths in mind that aren't dependent on their looks and we want our boys to feel free to pursue any profession they desire, then these studies suggest that separating them is the best course of action. Society however, feels that it would promote the opposite result.

          More studies need to be conducted, if the results remain consistent and we choose to keep things as they are, what does that say about us?
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        Apr 15 2014: What does this say about us Ang?

        It says that we (societies) like to study and fail to apply what we may have learned from previous studies!!!
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          Apr 15 2014: That we really don't have our kids' best interests at heart nor do we overly concern ourselves with their future as we would like to believe.
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      Apr 15 2014: What do you perceive would be the reasoning behind females committing murder in the 1st degree more often than the other degrees of murder??
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      Apr 11 2014: "What defined my sex was shameful"

      Who do you think defined these women on screen and why did they portray them in a way you feel is shameful?

      I know this requires a lot of conjecture and assumption, just curious if you've ever thought about it and come up with a theory that makes sense to you.
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    W. Ying

    • +1
    Apr 10 2014: .
    The perception is based on one's role.

    The symbiotic roles of different genders are:

    (1) In love:
    Men: --- Supplying foods, shelters ...
    Women ---- Bearing, bringing up, and educating offspring ...

    (2) In war:
    Men --- Defending ...
    Women --- Doing logistics ...
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      Apr 10 2014: Do you mind expounding on the "In War" role of men and women?
      What are men defending during war?
      Can you explain what you're referring to with regards to logistics?
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    May 5 2014: My peronal opinion on both a and b is someone who cares for you which is different to that of your family and friends. They see your faults and success and still choose to be with you, they love you for who you are. With family they have a sense that you make mistakes but family ties keep you together.

    males and females vary in a number of different ways. The first are genitals and what they are able to do, men are able to create sperm which penetrate a woman's egg to make a baby. Mos of us can generally tell the gender difference between individuals by there looks, however this can often vary if some girls dress like boys or boys dress like girls. In ancient socities men and woman had very specific gender roles and this was the most obvious way, however times and changing and woman and men are integrated in various fields which makes this harder.

    If we were to place woman and men in their 'required' roles we would create an unnatural environment where men and woman were restricted. I wouldn't like to be in an environment where I had to follow specific gender customs as sometime I like to act like a boy and sometimes like a girl
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    Apr 27 2014: Ang,

    You made such deep and interesting comments, I am overwhelmed with thoughts, but let me say this.....

    I see examples all over of men and woman treated with a varied set of rules. For example, my husband tells me that the women at work call out if they don't want to drive in the snow, and have cried at work. I can't even imagine the criticism he would endure if he did that!

    As far as men needing an outlet for aggression....I have news for you, so do women. My mother is the president of the Board of Education in her district and oversees hearings on discipline, violence and bullying, and the percentage of boys vs. girls varies by less than 10%.

    But in adding to your comment on needing an outlet during the course of schooling, I also see the problem as having much to do with the parents not providing such outlets. For example, my son took Karate classes at age 7-9 as he had lots of energy. And then he played guitar in his teens and it soothed his moods after belting out a tune, And then came hockey, and that needs no explanation. But they were organized and supervised methods of release.

    Girls, likewise, should have dance, or gymnastics, or music, or cheering, or field hockey, or something to cut down on cyber bashing and attacking those that they consider weaker than themselves.

    As far as women murders, I have Snapped on in the other room and those woman are just nuts!!! I was abused myself, so trust me, I get it, but there is never an excuse to take a life, no matter how miserable that life may be.

    Lastly, I do not believe that gender preconceptions carry with them negative connotations, but rather people carry with them negative connotations. When we treat both men and women alike the way that we want to be that is truly freeing.
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    Apr 27 2014: Hi Again Ang, I needed to add another comment which may help to answer your question of differences being "engrained in our nature...." I find them not only ingrained in our nature, but also in out media and court system. Let me explain.....

    A man comes before a judge and says "Your Honor, I loaned this woman money and she won't give it back." The judge replies..."Awwww, come on, you knew you wanted to be with her so you gave her the money and you never expected to see it again, so long as she was still with you.....Judgment for the defendant!"

    now lets flip it.....

    A woman comes before a judge and says "Your Honor, I loaned this man money and he won't give it back." The judge replies....."How dare you take advantage of this young woman, you creep!....and you madam, what were you thinking giving any man your money. I hope you learned from this!"

    Same case....only difference is the genders being flipped. Why were they not decided in the same way? There's your problem,'s everywhere from the playground to the courtroom, gender preconceptions are alive and "well?"
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      Apr 27 2014: Exactly.

      Is it wrong to embrace them and say that there are going to be separate standards because of the naturally engrained differences between gender? Hold men and women accountable for a slightly varied set of rules??

      Why can't we separate our children by gender in school and create a specialized teaching method for each?
      Why can't we accept that males often need an outlet for their aggressive behaviors and allow for that throughout the course of their schooling so as to teach them in a controlled environment the best ways to deal with that in a healthy way?
      Why can't we say that with the right to free speech comes certain responsibilities?
      Why can't we look at 1st degree murder committed by a woman who was trying to get out of an abusive relationship as a form of self defense?

      Gender preconceptions carry with them negative connotations however I view the acceptance of these gender differences as freeing in the sense that it allows us to get closer to achieving the true equality/equilibrium that will contribute to the overall satisfaction of most everyone.
  • Apr 22 2014: reply @Ang
    I objected to the story line in the Hunger Games that targeted children. I don't need to imagine any of the human failures of conscience when I am constantly reminded of them. I don't need to become emotionally attached as if I share responsibility or the burden for these acts by purveyors of wickedness. A news story recently was on a woman who locked her 7 year old son out of his home. He begged to be let back in. etc. I guess I could imagine being that boy or the dead infant of my mother who didn't want me because I was a boy but I'm just not emotionally equipped to solve the ills of human society with my imagination. Ang I think I said everything I need to say on this topic.
  • Apr 21 2014: I have come to the conclusion from reading the posts from the last four to five days that how "we" perceive males and females can be answered by looking beyond our culture and answer the question through another cultures. I saw a news story which I believe was set in India and focused on sex selection. Although outlawed it is common and an accepted practice to discard female fetuses and abandon infant girls. This also has occurred in China's one child policy and even in the U.S. For the, it's my body, my right, crowd, can you complain, when, this is what the parent is demanding? Does this politically correct action accomplish a gender neutral environment? Sans females, gender neutrality accomplished.

    Chelsea Clinton announced she was with child. People wonder why this staunch supporter of population controls and terminations at any stage, is referring to her pregnancy as a child and not a fetus or some cell mutation. I say it is impossible to avoid recognition of differences between genders when we have such a hard time understanding our reality.
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      Apr 21 2014: Imagine that yours is the gender that can so easily be discarded, what kind of effect does that have on a person's self image? Whether submerged in the culture or viewing it as an outsider from a distance it provokes a feeling of indignity, frustration, and injustice.

      When the decision has been made to follow through and it is accepted that the fetus will result in a child it promotes a particular mind set where one can easily refer to the fetus as a child. When there will be no birth, no child resulting at the end of the pregnancy then the mind set more easily accepted, is that it is not a child but a fetus.

      I'm not saying I agree nor disagree with these thought processes but I can conceive of how they are formed.
      • Apr 22 2014: I didn't argue for the action of sex selection only that it exists and the gender of choice has been chosen. If I am to infer from your response perception is a mental disorder closer to bi polar ism or schizophrenia. I thought choosing not to complete a pregnancy a celebration of liberty and a right. which makes me question why there would be indignity, frustration or injustice.
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          Apr 22 2014: I didn't feel that your response was in support of sex selection. I was asking if you've ever tried to imagine what it would be like if thousands of boys were drowned or left out in the elements as infants to die because they are boys? I'm asking if that would have any affect on you emotionally or if it could influence how you feel about yourself and your gender identification, which is a huge part of being who you are.

          A woman who decides that having a child isn't something she can go through with, and a woman who has a child and is disappointed in it because it wasn't what she wanted, are very different.

          I was responding to your comment about Chelsea Clinton referring to her "child" and others who refer to a "fetus". It's just a detachment mechanism and is very commonly used in many other areas when one wishes to distance themselves from something.
  • Apr 15 2014: Good question
    Ang, Very Good. I will need to get a reply shortly just not able to at this moment. Regards
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  • Apr 15 2014: Men physically need sex but don't physically need babies. Women physically need babies but don't physically need sex. Focus on the different physical needs not the physical differences.
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      Apr 15 2014: You have a very limited perspective on the differences between males and females. I'm not feeling like yours are very helpful nor insightful responses. You seem to be completely hung up on the sexual desire differences but this conversation actually has very little to do with sexual differences and deals with the mental, emotional, and developmental differences between gender.

      If you have anything introspective to relate pertaining to those areas then please feel free to continue providing responses. However if your only opinion is that men need sex and women need babies then I would say you need to work on your perception of what is really going on around you as you've a very narrow view of life in general.
      • Apr 15 2014: I will think again...
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          Apr 15 2014: I will appreciate any insightful perceptions you may have to offer and look forward to reading what you come up with?
      • Apr 15 2014: I've only got this: the battle of the sexes: men want more sex for less babies, women want more babies for less sex. There isn't a scientist on the planet that will say it is a scientific fact. And I'm not a scientist.
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          Apr 15 2014: Hmmm...disappointing to say the least. Thanks anyway.
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    Apr 14 2014: Boy, I do not like this sort of "traditional" discussions between man and women --- always ended in endless nothingness, but brewing more and more emotional irritaion, within every participant.



    Beside there is no such thing as an IDEAL - IDEALS belong to the old Plato's horrific fantasies.

    We are all Imperfect and incomplete -- because we are Living Beings constantly adjusting to ever challanging world. We have extremely limited perceptions of our reality and one another. We need to comprehend that we have our great limitations in everything we do.

    What is my personal role? Be responsible for myself, my own moves and mistakes. Be my own judge :)

    What makes the best of us the bestest? Wisdom that is always "working" towards our Mutual survival and even future prosperity.

    P.S. just wondering - throughout history women have had endless chances to be powerful and rule our human world - many times they were given great power - but how did they miss their chances, and eventually find themselves as "pushed away" members within their own society that they shared with men for millennia? What failed them in Themselves?

    My life has proven that a mind of a very fragile, very shy girl as I was, can be very respected by powerful men (selecting her over intelligent men they know well) seeking for her advice, knowledge and support.. I never compete with any men, I have my rule to let all people be themselves, well, but keep some polite distance.
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      Apr 14 2014: Vera,
      If you don't like this kind of conversation, why did you join in?

      You say this is...."brewing more and more emotional irritaion, within every participant."?

      I've been quite active in this discussion, and I do not feel any "emotional irritation", nor do I sense any emotional irritation from Ang. I think/feel it helps to talk about thoughts, feelings, ideas, perspectives, perceptions and beliefs, and I think it is a good way to develop understanding:>)

      You write..."women have had endless chances to be powerful and rule our human world - many times they were given great power..."

      I am certainly aware of quite a few women rulers in our world throughout history who were very successful rulers....not failures at all....."endless chances"? Who, when, where did women have endless chances and fail?
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        Apr 15 2014: Hello dear Colleen. I've published my comment not to just say I do not like the discussion. That would be very silly. I've explained Why I do not like these discussions - they do not help improve the situation. In my modest opinion, people who trully want to make some differences in life shall stand together as helping, not blaming one another, friends, and become co-creators of their social union.

        I feel that you, personally, do not like my comment. Maybe you're not sure about what I really mean? You ask me to bring here those endless cases when powerful women have been blowing up their good chances to change our bloody society for the better, You do not believe me and wish me to prove my point? But I do not wish to jump off my main point, I suggest a peaceful colaboration in ideas, not as victims and tyrants, but as individuals who are responsible for who they are.

        Let me ask you a specific question in return to your very general question. History speaks for itself. It shows that crowds of common women were the most excited spectators watching horrific executions having no clue who was the real victim. Why did not they protest against bloody violence as a group of good people? Why did they endlessly keep supporting it? even when some of them were victimized by the same authorities ? (French revolution 1830) I do mean the list is endless.

        I'd like to understand why is it so importrant for so many people, not only women but men, to complain as Victims!!

        If you cannot recollect anything from history about women having great chances to practice their kindness and wisdom, why not to look at our postmodern world? if I work hard I can get any diploma, and any position I want. As a responsible employee I can show the best possible solutions for the tasks. I do not need to blame anyone or to compete with men to get where I want. I avoid common competitions on purpose, because this kind of behavior provokes hostility and jealousy.
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          Apr 15 2014: I do not perceive "blame" in this conversation Vera. I perceive people seeking understanding.

          It is not a matter of me liking or disliking your comment just seems curious....why enter a conversation that you do not like? I am trying to understand...

          Who here in this conversation are the "victims" and the "tyrants" Vera? Who has suggested blame, or competing with men? Who has spoken about hostility and jealousy in this conversation Vera?

          Where are you trying to go with this discussion? What would you like to achieve?
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        Apr 15 2014: Colleen, you keep asking the same thing, and you are unhappy with my comments because you're missing my main point again.

        You write: Who here in this conversation are the "victims" and the "tyrants" Vera? Who has suggested blame, or competing with men? Who has spoken about hostility and jealousy in this conversation Vera?

        Where are you trying to go with this discussion? What would you like to achieve?

        ------ I Keep giving the Same Answer:

        The long History is our background that we cannot avoid. In any honest discussion if we wish to get somewhere we shall be aware of "Traditional" opinions, habits, behavior and recycling mentality mixed with common flirt or jealousy. If we do not recognize all that - we are dishonest or naive.

        I also know well that without that flirt, passion and jealousy it would not be any great poetry or literature or arts.

        I'm not an extreme person :) or a negative person as you might think. But I'm a trained scholar, and may be, as you guess, this is not my place - I mean this conversation, if it is supposed to be light.

        If we are unaware of the history that is in the very foundation of our possition today, I do not see that it would be possible to make any progress in this conversation. It will remain shallow, not serious.

        Am I responsible for women or men lived millennia ago? No, I'm not, But I'm responsible for myself - Absolutely. That is WHY I know and want to know more about the problems that have been brewing for a very long time before I was born. I've inherited all that, as anyone else who is alive today.

        Best Wishes!
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          Apr 15 2014: I agree Vera, we cannot avoid our background and in my perception, it helps to understand our background for the purpose of learning, growing and moving on to change. It's difficult to realize where we want to go with an idea, if we are not aware of where we have been.

          Absolutely! if we wish to get somewhere we need to be aware of traditions, opinions, habits, behavior, perceptions, perspectives and beliefs. Which is why I perceive this conversation has value.

          No one has suggested that you or I are responsible for women or men who lived millennia ago. As you insightfully stated, it is important to be aware of traditions, habits and behaviors of the past to understand how to change them, which is exactly why I brought in the idea of traditions, habits and behaviors of the past. You also seem to be reinforcing the idea that to be aware of the past is an important part of exploring the topic.

          I totally respect your choice to participate in this conversation or not.
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        Apr 15 2014: Colleen -

        I guess it was my fault - allowed myself to be a lttle spontaneously emotional in my first response to this topic and made a confusing impression.

        I appreaciate your great patience and attention. Not too many men or women are capable of doing what you're routinely doing while conversing with people whom you do not even know well..

        I am about to answer Ang, who is asking if I feel that " men and women are exactly the same mentally, emotionally, and developmentally"

        Best Regards!
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          Apr 16 2014: No fault Vera:>)
          Hopefully, we are all discussing the topic in an effort to learn and understand:>)
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      Apr 15 2014: Vera -

      Do you feel as though men and women are exactly the same mentally, emotionally, and developmentally?

      I'm not asking whether you feel as though men and women are unequal, just different.

      If men and women are exactly the same in all of these areas then there should never have been any gender divide throughout history and everything in our modern world would to this day be split equally down the middle 50/50.

      My point here is that there are differences that society feels uncomfortable addressing as it's no longer politically correct to say anything about boys and girls learning things at different times or developing on a different schedule.

      If we as a society refuse to acknowledge that boys don't develop their motor skills until 5 years after girls do, yet we teach them to write neatly or get a lower grade as early as 1st grade, are we being fair to young boys who will feel as though they are not as good as their female classmates?

      If we refuse to acknowledge that females pick up on math concepts easier when taught with word problem first rather than being shown the equation, is it fair to her to expect that she learn how to solve for X without relating the formula to something tangible?

      Boys and girls begin life experiencing all negative emotion in the amygdala which is a more primitive part of the brain. For females a shift occurs around age 10ish and her emotions move to a different area which allows her to make more linguistic connections as to why she's feeling what she's feeling.

      In boys this shift never occurs which is why they struggle in their attempt to explain and connect language to their emotional response.

      In schools kids are assigned fictional books and asked to identify with the characters and state in papers what they think the character is feeling. This is not fair to young boys and again their grades reflect this challenge. Are we setting our kids up to fail by refusing to acknowledge differences in learning patterns amongst them?
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        Apr 15 2014: Ang -

        Maybe my old poem would answer your Q. to some point?

        There is no space here for the whole poem. The beginning is about how different and unique each of us is, how private our minds/souls are, forever invisible to anyone but only to ourselves. Here is the rest:


        ..... but if blindness disappeared and everyone could see Every mind's Kingdom,
        Feel every feeling and know every thought as one,

        Misunderstandings could melt down forever.
        Seeds of doubts and blame about the others could stop growing.
        No fights, no wars, intrigues or hate, no players or pretending.
        Alas, no illusions of beauty, seductive unknowns and guesses.
        No wonder and
        No wisdom
        -all truths are clear for each mind and for all.

        No thrill to admire,
        No one to thank,
        No need to explain, to talk, to act, to scream!

        No artist to paint.
        No poet to sing.

        If my peculiarly human senses cannot give me the world
        God bless my blindness,
        the soil for my garden of dreams.

        How little I can see with my eyes!
        How much I can see and create without them!

        God bless my lonely mind in its sacred solitude, and my only way
        To know your world,
        By building my own.
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          Apr 15 2014: My point here is basically to find a better way to help individuals build their own worlds. I wish there were more effective ways in our communities, schools, homes, etc...for kids to figure out who they truly are and what they truly want in life.

          People who are comfortable in their own skin tend to navigate through life doing less damage to themselves and those they come into contact with.

          Males and females, in my opinion, have to learn these truths in a different order and with different kinds of assistance from the world around them.
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          Apr 15 2014: "I wish there were more effective ways in our communities, schools, homes, etc...for kids to figure out who they truly are and what they truly want in life."

          So, Ang, who do you think kids (all of us) truly are?
          And what do you think kids (we) truly want in life?

          Are the answers to either or both questions different for different kids (people)?
          How about for different genders?

          What are the similarities and/or differences between the answers?
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          Apr 16 2014: Carl -

          I can tell you exactly who I am. And I can tell you exactly what I want when presented with a choice based on who I am.

          My morals, integrity, and values stay consistent and allow me to navigate through life by always using them as my compass.

          Every child is different, we know this, however, I think that what helps one girl figure it out is similar to what helps most girls figure it out. Whatever tools, techniques, or tactics used to help one boy figure it out can be reused with other boys to help them get to a greater understanding of themselves.

          A boy and a girl may end up at an identical answer but couldn't get there unless they took the road that offered the least resistance and the most support for them.

          Does that make sense, it's getting late and I'm about to go to bed. Maybe I'll reread this in the morning just to make sure. :)
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        Apr 15 2014: You say "I wish there were more effective ways in our communities, schools, homes, etc...for kids to figure out who they truly are and what they truly want in life. "

        I'm with you here.

        The main problem I see that "prevents" us from any progress in this direction you've mentioned, is hidden in our unified systems that serve no individual but a non-existing collective prototype. These systems supress our unique abilties and therefore, possibilites, making very Many of us unhappy as we have no chance to explore the best in ourselves. We unfortunately keep serving these brainless systems and think that we must fight them if we want to change them! There is not need to fight agaist these systems.

        I think that we shall begin to create our small flexible systems of all sorts, Outside those gigantic structures.

        Small communities of all sorts, business, educational, scientific, artistic etc, if are created with respect to individual uniqueness and talents within each of us, allowing cultural and economic diversity would be a great start. No one is born to be a criminal, but everyone is born to be unique and creative to various degree.
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          Apr 16 2014: Finding a way to promote flexibility when kids are young helps them adapt and get creative as adults.

          Look at our systems in place on a global level. We citizens look at certain business practices and programs with disdain because we see how flawed it is. We can see that it needs to be scrapped and started from scratch but the leaders refuse and instead try to patch it up with a Band-Aid and forge ahead anyways.

          Showing our kids that we are willing to look at the school system as having flaws and then try to fix it shows them that it's necessary to reevaluate things and if it's not successful DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. No bail-outs, no denying the problem exists, no patching it up, just fix it.
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        Apr 16 2014: Child psychology is still in its "embryonic" stage having no clue of what it is dealing with, therefore even basic ethics are voilated in every research.. When we think we are discovering something based on old scientific methods of setting up experiments within artificial conditions combined with outdated, stiff mentality, we discover only our own stupidity.

        Very young children have naturally inborn intuition that adults have lost. Every child knows
        Self long before it is given conventional name etc. But researchers and the rest of society do not remeber themselves as babies, and very sure that a baby's mind is a blank-canvas that we, adults, must paint our own way.

        The questions that children ask come from the perspective of independent observers. While they are still outsiders, newcomers, they have not yet become seriously involved in the pretensions of our society, or in attempting to fit into its limited categories and conventions.

        In my memories, I return to my past very often; to my first impressions of life, which shocked me at that time, and made me wonder. I have therefore developed a special "technique" to compare the past to my recent experience. This helped me advance my work(research) tremendously, also understand why human society forces its artificial "training" on everyone based on mindless systems in spite that we cannot make any real progress, except producing more and more technology and tech toys.

        Education starts at home when a baby is in his/her mother's hands (does not happen often these days). What a wise mother can do to guid her child to find sense in his future life? growing up in this psychopathic world? Or maybe we, adults, shall begin to learn something from young children? Are their questions really stupid?
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          Apr 16 2014: Personally, I have learned a LOT from children Vera, and will continue to do so when the opportunity arises. I don't perceive any "stupid" questions:>)
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          Apr 16 2014: A parent can only do so much to exhibit control over the environment of their children. Stifling and over protecting leads to naïveté. Too much of it is bad, too little too soon is bad, there has to be a balance.

          Parents making the conscious decision to interfere with schools when necessary is necessary as the school is just an extension of the proverbial home.

          Question for you

          When referring to a male over the age of 25 do you ever find yourself calling him a boy? If so is it a compliment or an insult to his maturity?

          When referring to a female over the age of 25 do you ever refer to her as a girl? If so does if have a different meaning?

          Do you hear males being referred to as guys, men, or boys most often?

          Do you hear females being referred to as women or girls most often?

          Does this carry with it any underlying preconceptions or opinions, or is it nothing at all to pay attention to?
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        Apr 16 2014: Ang, it's a copy of your

        "When referring to a male over the age of 25 do you ever find yourself calling him a boy? If so is it a compliment or an insult to his maturity?

        When referring to a female over the age of 25 do you ever refer to her as a girl? If so does if have a different meaning?

        Do you hear males being referred to as guys, men, or boys most often?

        Do you hear females being referred to as women or girls most often?

        Does this carry with it any underlying preconceptions or opinions, or is it nothing at all to pay attention to?"

        Ang, I consciously refer this sort of "girls, boys, guys" perception to the mindlessly vulgar. But these "playful" half-joking "method" is used for expressing "normal" friendliness.

        Girls and women call themselves "guys" as well.. meaning we are all equil bunch of pals here.

        Well, I hope you'd agree with my view - these labels/names only show that we perceive others as buddies in our childish plays, drastically unaware that we deal with real reality and real individuals. We're not just co-players.

        Strickingly, when we see young chidren trying to behave like responsible adults they charm us deeply beyond our comprehension. Remember the timeless classical "The Kid" with Jackie Coogan? This child deeply knows - he's a little surviver.

        I think that when we are encouraged to be little kids by doing all sorts of idiotic things for "fun" we continue doing it when we are grown up. Almost all adults I know, or see everywhere with rare exception of a few, have a psyche of pitifully undeveloped young players who never learn that it is not wise to play with fire, weapons, food or brainlessly get into sexual adventures - this list is endless.

        Let me put all this in a few simple words - that common behavior and communication manners is a combination of cultural poverty, lack of real experience, and extremely poor education. This ugly loud vulgarity is demonstrating merciless caricatures of ourselves
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      Apr 15 2014: What do you perceive would be the reasoning behind females committing murder in the 1st degree more often than the other degrees of murder??
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        Apr 15 2014: Great question, Ang. I think it would be fair to look for some answers (will never find all the answers) if we'd try to understand the causes of illnesses of our society in whole.

        I'm quite sure that in all extreme cases the criminals are also victims terribly suffering something that has made them psychotic. In general women can be much more physically vulnerable than men, they get pregnant, or have to take care of young helpless children.

        In our psychotic society good natural, say mother's instinct, might mutate in some women. Very sadly it is a truly Classical case when a woman murders her baby.

        But I think the motivations still can be drastically different. I mean, in old times, I imagine, a young unmarried girl could get pregnant because of common rape or some spontanious contact. The society and its artificially established morals do not bother to understand her situation. That society judges her mercilessly making her life a living hell.
        She is desperate as any criminal could be.

        Living in our contemporary human world when sexual contacts are concedered to be "fun", "enternainment" even "gymnastics" etc, any person who is not well informed/educated about the truth regarding sexual adventures goes with that "fashionable" flow.

        Often, women who feel that they can attract men, easily get involved in that entertaining" game. Many of them had some problems in their childhood, as commonly very many of us had. But instead of learning these individuals prefer an easy way - driven by self-pity they play as forever victims who deserve to be "loved" by men.

        This sort of women want to be themselves forever favorite, spoiled babies. When they have their own baby they see it as a great enemy, outsider, taking away all attention and love from them. Jealousy destroys and kills but not only a motive for outstanding cruelty.

        Throughout history women murdered for various reasons: defense, freedom, greed, some position, etc..
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    Apr 14 2014: Hi, Ang, from a "neighbor" a few hours to the north.

    I'm going to describe an ideal partner, so as to not limit it for anyone. As such, it could be a romantic partner, marriage partner, social partner, business partner, etc...

    A partner (partnership) should be loving - manifesting love in a multitude of ways. Someone once said "the greatest gift we can give someone is the purity of our attention." And attention can be given in a multitude of ways. "Purity" means without any distortions by the ego, such as might be introduced by expectations of any reward: acknowledgement, appreciation, exchange. So, it means giving a gift, which requires completely letting go of that gift as soon as it is given and being completely unattached to what the receiver might do with the gift.

    Other gifts include support, encouragement, prodding, guidance, assistance, enticement for the other to continue evolving into the being s/he was meant to become - even if that might result in a dissolution of the partnership, at least in terms of being physically together in close proximity. That does not necessarily mean an end to the emotional-intellectual partnership that can endure even over great distance. It also means staying out of the way, not hindering the personal evolution of the other in any way, or trying to direct it against the essential nature of the other.

    In general, there needs to be some complementary characteristics in a good relationship because people are generally in need of finding more balance in life. Attributes that are lacking or inadequately developed in one may be found, through example, in another. So this is an important though often unconscious aspect of relationship that draws people together - each may help inspire and encourage the other in evolving to a more balanced way of being.

    Does this actually happen much, or at all? Not really. But, hey, you asked for "ideal" so that's what you get.
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      Apr 15 2014: Hello neighbor :)

      In your personal experience and observations have you noticed any varying degrees of difference between men/women in their ability to give a pure gift or remain open to the encouragement that may help with evolving as you've stated, to a more balanced way of being?
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        Apr 15 2014: No, Ang, I haven't noticed any such differences between men and women.

        However, I tend to not get caught up in differences between men and women because, based on my experience, I don't feel that's a really helpful distinction to make on a practical basis. Yes, there are differences between men and women, but there is also a lot of overlap between them. There are males who are very feminine physically, emotionally and intellectually, and there are females who are very masculine. There are, of course, also the ambiguous examples who are not clearly male or female according to our common standards - and I'm not talking only about physiology.

        So, I'm not impressed by any "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" type presentations that I've seen. In my experience, men are from Earth and so are women.

        I'm more interested in the behaviors of individuals, and of groups of individuals who are either similar or different in behavior, irrespective of gender labeling or identification. It seems to me that a health personality needs to manifest a broad range of attributes; males exhibiting "male" attributes but also with some development of what are traditionally considered "feminine" attributes, and females likewise exhibiting "female" attributes with some development of "masculine" attributes. Some people are naturally inclined to do this to varying degrees, whereas others may need guidance and encouragement to help them become more balanced in this way. But I'm not advocating that people should be forced to do this. Also, I'm not advocating phasing out or neutralizing gender differences. I feel that diversity greatly enriches our mutual experience of life.
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          Apr 15 2014: The societal attitude towards gender differences from a male perspective seems to be to take a "progressive" stance and look at every person individually with a blindness to gender. Or at least that's how it's coming across in all the males I've asked, not just here on TED.

          There are still a group of men who are very open about their ideas of females not being suitable for certain jobs and think that their place is in the home. But more often than not males wants to impress upon others how much of a forward thinker they have become and view males and females as completely equal.

          Females I've talked to generally have no qualms about noticing differences, differences that in no way affect equality, just differences.
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        Apr 15 2014: One of the complications in considering - and embracing or rejecting - equality is that many people tend to think that equality depends upon or leads to bland uniformity. It's not true, but it's definitely common to think it is. And the other issue is the need for some males to feel that they are in control better than females - that men should be free to do as they wish, and that females should do whatever men wish when they wish. And it seems that there are some females who go along with that view, for whatever reasons, although I suspect most would rather feel that they are equal and a few might feel that women should be in control.

        There are many very real differences between *most* men and *most* women. I say "most" because there are exceptions, varying in number according to whatever differences one is considering. Some are physiological, some are emotional, some are intellectual. However, different does not mean better or worse, it just means not the same.

        What we all need is equality of valuation, equality of respect, equality of opportunity for all people, so everyone has the possibility of becoming all they can be.
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          Apr 15 2014: Couldn't agree with you more Carl and thanks.

          Equality of valuation, respect, and opportunity...definitely!!! :)

          If we can all agree as a society that not the same means that there are different ways to help kids achieve their full potential then we can start the discussion about how best to accommodate these differences. Ignoring them and pursuing gender neutralized learning environments does not promote the progress we are aiming to achieve.
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          Apr 15 2014: Carl,
          Regarding your statement....
          " that men should be free to do as they wish, and that females should do whatever men wish when they wish. And it seems that there are some females who go along with that view, for whatever reasons...."

          I suggest that some females go along with this idea to be accepted, because it is one of the old paradigms....females are supposed to make the man what he wants....then he will love us!

          I wholeheartedly agree....we all need equality of valuation, equality of respect, equality of opportunity for all people, so everyone has the possibility of becoming all they can be.

          The example you use above...."females should do whatever men wish when they wish" sometimes puts the woman's attention and energy totally on the man, rather than giving herself respect and opportunity to become all that she can be.

          This idea is not very good for men either, although at face value it appears to be. I think sometimes, men rely on a woman, or expect a woman to provide everything he may need emotionally. So rather than evolving in themselves, women are trying to please a man, and the man is relying on the woman.....make any sense?
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        Apr 15 2014: Yes, Colleen, that makes sense.

        It's always interesting to consider how things really are, in the face of some group trying to assert dominance over another. Ultimately, we are all intimately and inextricably interconnected and interdependent. A dominant group - males, the super rich for a couple of examples - likes to assert that it is independent while, in reality, it is actually more dependent upon the subjugated group. But the dominant group is always blind to this truth - because they do not want to see the truth.

        So, yes, domineering men make themselves more dependent upon the women they *think* they dominate. And, of course, they do dominate women in some ways, but it's really only an appearance of domination. And some/many women play along because they don't know any better - they've been culturally conditioned to believe.
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          Apr 15 2014: When discussing aspects of dominance it is important to take into account aspects of physical differences between men and women. Also the hormone testosterone and the differing levels of aggression found. These attributes have a huge impact in female behavior when it comes down to personal relationships.

          Females do not experience aggression the way males do and so in a relationship where a man gets angry the female's natural reaction isn't generally to respond with anger and aggression. She tends to be saddened and hurt, becomes introverted and apologizes taking on a feeling of guilt and shame that she isn't the caring nurturer she thought she was and changes her behavior to better accommodate her mate.

          This is why it is important to teach males and females while they're still young about the differences and how to avoid mistreatment and develop healthy relationships with mutual respect. Young females developing confidence in themselves and understanding what is and is not acceptable is paramount to preventing domestic violence.
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          Apr 15 2014: I agree Carl, that we are all interconnected and interdependent. When we can genuinely understand the interconnectedness and interdependence, we have a better chance of functioning with balance and harmony.

          Your statement, which I agree with...."domineering men make themselves more dependent upon the women they *think* they dominate", reminds me of some of the incarcerated guys I interacted with.

          They were incarcerated for domestic assault, and their story often was....."she made me is her fault".

          He beat her up because she "made" him angry....part of a cycle...
          He gave up his right to make a more appropriate choice....part of the cycle...
          He certainly dominated with the assault...part of the cycle
          The consequence was jail...part of the cycle

          I also volunteered in a women/childrens shelter....
          Women "play along" because they don't know any better, as you say, there is a cultural conditioning with expected roles and behaviors that support those roles...all part of the cycle....
          Those who dominate with abuse often express remorse, which is part of the cycle
          Women often truly want to believe that things will change...also part of the cycle.
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        Apr 15 2014: Ang, you wrote "Females do not experience aggression the way males do ..." This is just the kind of statement that concerns me because "Females" is typically used and understood to mean "all females" which is definitely not true. It may just be "sloppiness" in communication, but it creates and reinforces erroneous impressions that color our thinking, feelings, actions and discussions in unhelpful ways.

        An alternative would be to say "Most females ..."; "Many females"; "Some females ..."; "Females generally ..." in such statements. The same is true, of course, for statements about males. I think that a little more care in the way we state things would help everyone stay more open to what is being presented. I try to do this. The only unfortunate part of doing that is that it uses up more of our 2000 characters that we're limited to here before we stop to take a breath.

        And what's important to teach *everyone* is that we are all in this together; we are all intimately and inextricably interconnected and interdependent. What we do to one, we do to ourselves, so we ought to treat each other as we ourselves wish to be treated - apply the Golden Rule; the Law of Reciprocity. What this is, is an application of manifesting Love through all we do. If we learn to fully love ourselves, and if we can learn to love (respect, value) others as we love ourselves, that will become the basis for everything we do, and it would result in us making decisions and taking action in ways that would help us equitably and justly deal with all the human-caused issues facing us.

        It's a challenge, of course, because we have hoards of "wounded" and "distorted" personalities running the world, our economy, our politics, our societies, etc., and raising families who commonly inherit those old "wounds" and "distortions" that have been perpetuated for millennia. We can only change our selves - becoming the change we want to see - and try to inspire, encourage and help others change themselves.
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          Apr 16 2014: As small children both experience emotion in the same section of the brain which is the amygdala but at around age 10ish for girls that changes and shifts to the cerebral cortex. This is a change that never happens in males. Therefore males and females do experience emotions, or at least what would be considered negative emotions, differently.
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      Apr 15 2014: What do you perceive would be the reasoning behind females committing murder in the 1st degree more often than the other degrees of murder??
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        Apr 15 2014: 1st degree? Premeditated? They have probably thought about it long and hard. I don't think women generally react with the "knee jerk" reaction, as men often do?
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        Apr 15 2014: I'll second Colleen's reply. When it comes to "fight or flight" I would expect that most males would be inclined towards an immediate "fight" in whatever way that might manifest for an individual. I would also expect that most females would be more inclined towards "flight" even if it often manifests as fearfully retreating into their feelings and thoughts as well as their "safe place" where they might eventually, through desperation, hatch and formulate a plan to relieve themselves of their tormentor. So, the time factor gives them an opportunity to plan their move, whereas most males wouldn't give themselves that luxury; they would be more inclined to impulsively act.

        That said, more effeminate males might tend to respond and act more like most females, whereas more masculine females might tend to act more impulsively in self-defense, because they might feel less intimidated, more self-confident and more capable of physically defending themselves.
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          Apr 16 2014: A woman may be more inclined towards flight until it comes down to her children, then it's fight to the death. :) At least it would be for me.

          "even if it often manifests as fearfully retreating into their feelings and thoughts..." I like the way you phrased that.

          I spoke with a woman at a battered women's shelter once who told me that based on what she's heard and experienced she believes every woman who has endured domestic abuse for a duration of time over a year has a plan of how they would murder their tormentor. And we're not just talking about a simple plan and a fleeting thought but and elaborate set-up that she would consider acting out should the opportunity arise.
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          Apr 16 2014: Carl and Ang,
          I volunteered at a shelter for a couple years, answered the hot line, and I can tell you that it is common for quite a few women who have been repeatedly assaulted, to think of ways to end the assaults, and start making plans. A women will typically leave and go back to an abusive relationship an average of 7 times before she will actually leave. So it seems apparent, that women are generally thinking about it, feeling it, and seeking alternatives for quite some time.

          We encouraged a plan...try to set up a support network with friends and family (abuse and violence thrives in isolation), have an escape plan.....where to go.....who to contact, etc., if that is needed. Sometimes, the plan causes more abuse....if an abuser is keeping someone isolated, and the abused person reaches out to friends and family for help for example, the abuser will often abuse the person more to "keep them in line".....all part of the patterns and cycles of abuse.

          To reinforce Carl's statement regarding how females or males might behave.....
          There is sometimes abuse with same sex partners, and there is sometimes abuse by a dominant woman, toward a man. So when we talk about abusive relationships, I like to talk about "people", rather than stereotype males and females. Even though the dominant male seems to be the most common scenario, it is not the only scenario.
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          Apr 16 2014: I'm not a big fan of feeding into stereotypes either but when it comes down to it, in order to find a solution that solves the biggest chunk of the problem you have to consider where the biggest part of the problem lies.

          Take the state of NV with the highest number of domestic violence cases of abused women and also the highest number of murdered women each year where their male domestic partner was charged.
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          Apr 16 2014: I agree's important to evaluate all information and explore the biggest part of the challenge. Which is why I wrote..." Even though the dominant male seems to be the most common scenario, it is not the only scenario."

          I have observed that sometimes when this topic is addressed, some people seem to think that ALL men have some of the traits we are talking about, and that is certainly not true.

          I realized where the biggest part of the challenge lies years ago while volunteering in the shelter. We can educate, encourage and support women who are often the victims of violence and abuse. AND, we also need to address the underlying causes with abusers, which is why I volunteered with the dept. of corrections for 6 years:>)

          We (Vermont) also have a high number of women's deaths, caused by their partners.
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        Apr 16 2014: Ang and Carl,
        I mention the cycles of violence and abuse.......

        I notice your additions to the topic Ang.....

        How different do you perceive males and females to be?
        My perception is that we are very different in some respects, and in some respects the same. We are all people trying to figure out how to cohabitate on this earth, and it often starts with our cohabitation practices as individuals.

        Are these differences something that can be phased out through gender neutralizing environments or are they engrained in our nature as a permanent fixture?

        I think/feel that recognizing the differences is a more practical plan, rather than trying to "phase out" differences. The idea of phasing out, feels like it sends the message that someone has to give up characteristics that may feel very much a part of who and what s/he is. I think/feel that when we understand some of the underlying cause of behaviors, the manifestations of those behaviors don't have to be destructive. For example, when a person learns some of the underlying elements of abuse and violence, s/he has the opportunity to change the behaviors...."cognitive self change".....make sense?

        How do we address...recognition of differences between genders?
        Recognize, understand, acknowledge, appreciate and respect those qualities that are beneficial, while discouraging behaviors that are NOT beneficial to an individual OR to the whole.
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          Apr 16 2014: Figuring out how to cohabitate starts with the individual. I completely agree.

          Respect those qualities that are beneficial and discourage behaviors that are not beneficial.
          Again I agree with you but society doesn't do that. We show our girls that looks are most important to the outside world not brains and we neglect to give our boys a clear view of what manhood is really about.

          Changing how we view gender from childhood on could lead to a positive change in advertisement and entertainment. At least I hope it would.
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        Apr 16 2014: I agree Ang, that society doesn't do what I am suggesting, and I also agree that changing how we view gender from childhood on could lead to positive changes in our societies.....let us begin.....each journey starts with a single step:>)
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          Apr 16 2014: One of the reasons behind this topic of discussion is that I'm hoping to find convincing arguments for making changes in my kids' school.

          He's having a difficult time sitting still and focusing. He's incredibly smart and can read at a higher grade level but the test questions they have been giving him on the material are stumping him. He's supposed to relate how he thinks the character is feeling and what is driving their decisions.

          My daughter is having some difficulty in math at school but when she gets home and we go over the problems in words instead of numbers she gets it right away.

          I have 5 children, 3 boys and 2 girls, they're different.
          We're also a blended family so we have the added difficulty of 2 fathers and 3 mothers involved in their upbringing.

          I need solid answers to make sure these kids all do the best they can with what they've got. Each one is already statistically in a pre-disposition to have difficulties, and some of those behavioral issues are presenting themselves.
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        Apr 16 2014: Ang,
        Have you discussed your concern with your son's teacher, school councilor or other interested parties who might be able to contribute something toward a solution?

        I had a similar situation with my son years ago. He was reading "Hardy Boys" going into the first grade, and punished because he was not paying attention when the class was reading "See Dick Run" type books. Unfortunately, he was bored, so entertained himself and the class quite a lot rather than paying attention in class. He was finally tested in the forth grade and determined to be in the top 1% of the country intellectually.....labeled "gifted", although I do not like that label.

        Regarding the test questions which ask your son to imagine how a character might feel, and/or what is driving their decisions.....

        This might be an opportunity for you to introduce and encourage compassion? Ask him to think about how HE might feel in certain situations....what decision might HE make.....

        My daughter didn't have difficulty in school because she did what she was "supposed" to a good little girl... no matter if it made sense or not. She was also reading quite well going into first grade (they both started reading at about 3), and rather than cause a commotion about reading "see Dick run", she simply did it....over and over again without complaint. You understand what I mean by "a good little girl" huh? She followed the expected pattern without complaint. She did however, break out of the mold very quickly, and now is an EE and manager in a major company:>)

        Kudos to you Ang, for your involvement with your kids education and development!
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          Apr 16 2014: Attempts have been made, conversations have been had, lessons are learned in the home, but these kids are being exposed to things and experiencing things that are in direct opposition to what I'm trying to promote.

          I'd like the school to consider teaching boys and girls separately, at least in a couple subjects to be able to better identify common behavioral traits displayed when in coed company as opposed to single-sex situations.
  • Apr 14 2014: My opinion about the perfect wife would be for her to be a loving and positively opinionated lady. That she expresses that love and opinion every opportunity of the day and that we more and more grow together, while having basically the same values and beliefs.

    Male and female are just as different on the physical level, every cell being different, as they are on the mental or spiritual level. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with being different! In fact the difference helps to attract one to the other. Some call the difference 'opposites' but that word I do not like in a relationship.

    The most important aspect of being husband and wife, i think, is to see the union as more important than each part. There is no machine, or company, or any kind of unit where any part of that unit is more important than the unit.

    Both have a will and an understanding, but men primarily use their understanding while women primarily use their will to interact with life.
    This expresses the origin of masculine and feminine.
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      Apr 14 2014: Adriaan,
      Could you please explain how you perceive "men primarily use their understanding while women primarily use their will to interact with life."?

      Is this idea simply your religious teaching? Can you provide a personal example, or substantiated information other than your religious teachings, which might support this idea?
      • Apr 15 2014: Hi Colleen,

        Would you accept, or even expect, scientifically substantiated information regarding our spiritual side?

        The closest science comes is acknowledging the two sides of the brain. Joining the two cerebral hemispheres is the corpus callosum which is a huge mass of white matter containing about 300 million fibres, although somewhat more on average in women compared with men, which, maybe, explains their superior conversational abilities, or expression of their souls. The corpus callosum makes it possible for the right and left brains to communicate with each other. They enable the will (a function of the right brain) and understanding (a function of the left brain according to Swedenborg) to work as one.
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          Apr 15 2014: Adriaan,
          I consider all information, and I also consider the source. Science clearly acknowledges two sides of the Brain, and I am aware of the structure and function of the brain.

          The topic question is...
          "How does gender affect formulation of opinion based on perception?"

          If you feel there is a spiritual component to the formulation of opinion based on perception, that is understandable, and may be true for some people.

          Your statement that I question is...
          "men primarily use their understanding while women primarily use their will to interact with life."

          You provided the answer....."according to Swedenborg". Everything Swedenborg wrote Adriaan, is not necessarily fact, and you present it as such. It is one person's religious belief and teaching, To present it as fact is inaccurate.
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      Apr 15 2014: That's funny Colleen I was going to ask the exact same question. :)

      I guess I'm just displaying my "will" to "understand" :)

      There's research out there that seems to prove that men and women house their language related information differently inside the brain.

      If a man has a stroke that damages the right hemisphere of the brain he may lose up to 80% of his language IQ.

      If a woman suffers a stroke that damages the right hemisphere of the brain often she loses between 9-11% of her language IQ.

      Female language is stored in many areas of the brain where as in men it is thought to be held in a centralized location.

      ---Amendment to my Post above
      I just wanted to change a statistic I posted here that was drastically incorrect the other day. Men don't lose up to 80% of their language IQ it was closer to 18%. and it wasn't the right side of the brain it was the left. I should have double checked that before I posted it.

      The point is still the same. Men don't house their language on both sides of the brain like women do.
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        Apr 15 2014: I realize that the male and female brain differs Ang. That does not explain the statement...."men primarily use their understanding while women primarily use their will to interact with life."

        In fact, it seems like a contradiction with fact, because women are generally thought to be more understanding.

        Well, the statement is from a religious teaching....what do we expect???
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          Apr 15 2014: My comment was in response to

          "The closest science comes is acknowledging the two sides of the brain. Joining the two cerebral hemispheres is the corpus callosum which is a huge mass of white matter containing about 300 million fibers, although somewhat more on average in women compared with men, which, maybe, explains their superior conversational abilities, or expression of their souls. The corpus callosum makes it possible for the right and left brains to communicate with each other"

          which was in Adriaan's reply :)
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      Apr 15 2014: What do you perceive would be the reasoning behind females committing murder in the 1st degree more often than the other degrees of murder??
      • Apr 15 2014: Hi Ang, this is one of the last paragraphs in the link in my first post. It says more or less the same I was saying.

        "The individual man or woman, it is true, is in the image and likeness of the Creator also, for God’s image is in every one of His works; that is, man and woman individually have will and understanding. However, the Writings say that with the man the understanding predominates and with the woman the will predominates and that which predominates gives the name. Each is complete, in a sense, in himself or herself (that is, the spinster or the bachelor) and can be prepared for the reception of conjugial love. They can, as it were, almost receive it immediately, that is, meet their conjugial partner immediately on entering the other world. Through the general masculine sphere or through the general feminine sphere, each can be prepared for conjugial love while on this earth so they can receive it in fullness after death. Thus we see that man[kind] is blessed in the creation of homo (vir and femina) or of Adam (ish and ishah)."

        One more thing, we very much believe that our brain is not us, but that it is the 'receiver' of the body, That our spirit corresponds with our body through the brain. Does that sound outrages to you?

        Your question about murder may need a long study involving motives and opportunities. I wouldn't even know what the difference is in the degrees of murder.
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          Apr 16 2014: 1st degree murder is premeditated. The person set up a plan and carried it out. I'm not asking for the studied answer. I'm asking what does your gut instinct tell you when you ponder why women would be committing 1st degree murder more than the others. It's a question that requires speculation on your part.

          Yes I know that was from your post because I copied and pasted it from there. :)
      • Apr 16 2014: My gut feeling is that if the will dominates and determines our actions it is more an existing 'condition' and less a 'spur of the moment' action.

        If the intellect predominates it becomes easier to do things we don't like. Change plans. But also be less connected to who and what we love, and take less time to express that.

        There is one source that I would consider a good answer to your post and general topic. It is one of Swedenborg's books dealing with gender issues. It is so explicit that at first, about 250 years ago, it could not be imported to Sweden. The title is Marriage Love and covers a large perspective of issues and ideals.
  • Apr 12 2014: Men need sex. Women need babies. People get bored. Women keep themselves occupied by raising children. Their ideal men would, too. But men don't. And men's ideal women wouldn't mind that they don't.
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      Apr 12 2014: Do you feel that there are distinctly male and female jobs?

      What other aspects of life are affected by these obvious, and blunt differences between men and women?
      • Apr 13 2014: Some places are too boring for males to be trusted to be alone with females: coal-mines; maritime engine rooms; miltary barracks; prisons; elite schools. Men jealously try to balance their lack of child-bearing womb with hygiene-enhancing circumcision and socially-excluding menstrual taboos. And balance female domestic-dominance with male social-dominance. The socially-dominant sex-needy sex cannot be trusted to share busy public toilets with the opposite sex.
      • Apr 13 2014: "Men need sex. Women need babies. People get bored. Women keep themselves occupied by raising children... But men don't." War, extra-marital affairs and football fanaticism are symptoms of boredom.
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          Apr 13 2014: I find it interesting that you've mentioned the lack of trust worthiness of males.

          I recently read a statistic; a study was conducted at a college where 35% of these educated men said they would rape a woman if they were assured to get away with it. In another study conducted at a different college over half of them said the same thing.

          Another piece of this is the study conducted on teenaged boys where they found that in rape fantasies there tends to be greater arousal if the victim has pain inflicted on them and in some cases the more pain the greater the arousal.

          These tendencies are non-existent in women.

          "Female domestic-dominance" vs "Male social dominance"
          Could you provide a description of what you mean by these?
      • Apr 13 2014: Women conspire to rule the roost to give their children the best chance. Men, bored with it sooner, let them win but conspire to rule everything else. Flash sports cars are a symptom of boredom.
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          Apr 13 2014: Women conspire with whom to rule the roost? Define ruling the roost for me please.

          Where are you that these men are so bored all the time? Why would a man choose a woman who bores him to tears? :) Sorry I just find it a little funny that women are 100% devoted to raising these children and that's always more than enough for them. They never seem to have any other interests aside from child rearing and activities related to child rearing. And these men who only ever do any extra-curricular activity out of boredom is a rather interesting perception.

          Are you aware of how and when you formed these opinions? If so please share I'm very interested to know. My Americanized perception of reality is having a hard time grasping this concept I guess.

          Please understand this is all coming from a place of needing and truly desiring to understand all kinds of different opinions and how they're formed.
      • Apr 13 2014:  "Men need sex. Women need babies. People get bored. Women keep themselves occupied by raising children... But men don't." That is how I explain The Holocaust. And women's ideal men and men's ideal women. And seperate public toilets. And flash sports cars. And 21st century child murder in Syria.
      • Apr 13 2014: Women conspire with women. Men conspire with men. Ruling the roost, who "wears the trousers" and "Female domestic-dominance" vs "Male social dominance" is "the battle of the sexes."