Research About Gender Differences

I just read this article:
Men and Women Have Major Personality Differences: New Report Suggests Previous Measurements Have Underestimated Variation Between the Sexes

"The researchers used personality measurements from more than 10,000 people, approximately half men and half women. The personality test included 15 personality scales, including such traits as warmth, sensitivity, and perfectionism. When comparing men's and women's overall personality profiles, which take multiple traits into account, very large differences between the sexes became apparent, even though differences look much smaller when each trait is considered separately."

"The authors conclude that the true extent of sex differences in human personality has therefore been consistently underestimated."

This raises some important questions:
  1. Are the differences related to the differences between instincts that are subconsciously shared with animals?
  2. Are these differences causing harm and suffering to the other gender?
  3. Could awareness for any harm due to these differences be a valid basis for a rational and non-religious moral focusing on reducing the suffering, that people inflict upon each other?


I am convinced that religious morals, for example christian morals, serve to enhance people's acquiescence with the suffering caused by the diffrences, because these differences enhance the success of procreation for the price of individual suffering.   A new atheist moral has to take account of this.


This is a modified copy from my ERCP-blog.


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Comment by Jason Fleming on January 7, 2012 at 5:03pm

1. I would suspect this to be the case. In the animal world, behavior very often differs between genders within the same species. However, I have heard of many cases where one gender steps in to perform the role of the absent one when needed. I don't think we've evolved any differently. We have natural tendencies to fall into gender roles to a degree, but our highly developed frontal lobes gives us a choice as to how we approach gender difference. Distinct gender roles may have served us well when we were hunting mammoth on the plains, but are less relevant today. There are differences that have to be acknowledged, but we can't be slaves to those differences.

2. The differences themselves do not cause harm, rather the social and  institutional enforcement of gender differences that lead to inevitable subjugation of one gender over the other. 

3. Sure. But as I stated in my answer to number two, the trouble isn't the differences, but in the enforcement of them. Historically, such enforcement has had a religious basis.

Comment by Daniel young on January 6, 2012 at 12:26pm

Interesting, thanks for the link.

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