communication and gender differences

Discussions on behavioral ecology, evolutionary psychology, neurology, endocrinology, game theory, etc.

Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Serpent on October 2nd, 2016, 4:50 pm 

Athena » October 2nd, 2016, 1:33 pm wrote:First, I was trying to get permission to be feminine and not like a man.

Why?? Were you raised in Saudi Arabia or someplace? You don't need anyone's permission to take whatever damn character, persona, style, point of view or position you want. Whatever you choose, some people won't like it. So what?
Second, I found research explaining the gender difference in communication.

They are many and various, but none are an excuse for a free pass on factual inaccuracy, ambiguity, bad manners or bad grammar. Particularly on the subject of science, I've seen some female posters persist in quasi spiritual gobbledygook, very much like religious obscurantists; they really shouldn't be surprised if science nerds dismiss them in the same way. These days, science gets enough flak from creationists and budget-cutters that the insiders get a little protective, intolerant of fairies at the bottom of their garden and stern with the line-blurring likes of me.
Third, I saw a post from mtbturtle resulting from her being offended and wanting action taken, and that is the first time I thought mtbturtle must be a female, because the reason for that communication was the female purpose.

Well, that's not very fair! There are lots of male whiners. It's not unheard-of for male posters to provoke and annoy other posters until they get an angry response and then complain that somebody's angry with them. There was even a name and cartoon for this type in a very funny internet bestiary, but I lost my link in the last-but-one Microsoft crash.

ETA Do, please, look at the feedback section. I just did. I had no idea!
When the purpose of her communication was clearly the female purpose, I could identify her as female, and being able to do was the result of reading the research.

I see. Well that clears up a mystery. You followed a train of logical connections. Though the conclusion wouldn't hold up in court, the inference is understandable.

... And I suspect when women become educated and have careers they become more and more as men because our brains are pliable and the neuron pathways we use the most become the strongest. That is why I used the term "domestic female". If we are studying math and science and then using this information in a career, our neural pathways are going to be completely different from the women who sacrifices herself to be the extension of her hushand's and children's needs and wants. Different social positions, different neurological development.

So then, the gender differences are not necessarily innate or permanent? Might it be true, also, that men who are educated and employed in education, social work or service industries become more verbal, more communicative and more receptive to another person's communication? For example, a doctor of any sex could never become a good diagnostician without learning to interpret tone, expression, body language and hand gestures. Nobody can be a good child-care worker who didn't develop an ear for the barely comprehensible lisp and chirp of three-year-olds.
Recognizing that degree of brain-adjustment would put much of your assumption-base out of date. Women have been in higher education, the general work-force and the world for a century now - that's four or five generations, each in greater numbers than the one before. They have been in executive, supervisory and high-profile leadership positions for the last two generations, in increasing numbers; in the last 30 years or so, they have had a considerable presence in the hard sciences, police and armed forces. They're not handmaidens, second-raters or beggars at the gate anymore!
The bad news is, there is a heavy backlash in some places - which includes the US.

There was a time when I thought it very important to hide my gender because I was sure men are taken more seriously than women.

In some places, that's still true. In some situations and on some topics. It also works the other way, though: some women assume that they alone can address equal rights issues, or gender bias, or laws pertaining to either. Some women righteously maintain that no man is entitled to so much of an opinion on "women's issues." Yet, these are social issues that affect everyone, and in which we all have some stake, whether as part of the problem, part of the solution, bystanders, villains, victims or fallout.

I have read, when we transitioned from picture writing to letters, male dominance was increased because of the different demand on neurons.

I would like to know the rationale for that assertion. And by whom it was made, for what purpose.
In my era, females have been equally successful as artists, musicians and writers, translators and archeologists: they seem to have no problem making the transition from visual to symbolic, concrete to abstract, one language to another - and back again.

I suppose I could look for research that supports or opposes what was said in a book about language and gender dominance,

Look to the politics. It's power that forms language, not the other way around.
You should watch this series http://www.ascentofwoman.com/I think you'd benefit from it. I don't say "like", because much of it is horrifying.

Oh yes, I see a difference and wonder why some women appear more aware of the difference than men? However, I suspect a modern career woman would not.

Then let all the women become modern. And all the men, too. In fact, the sooner we get over judging one another on these superficial classifications, the later the world goes to hell in a handcart.
Then, they can work out who has a career and who does not, according to the needs and temper of each household.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Athena on October 2nd, 2016, 8:53 pm 

Serpent » October 2nd, 2016, 2:50 pm wrote:
Athena » October 2nd, 2016, 1:33 pm wrote:First, I was trying to get permission to be feminine and not like a man.

Why?? Were you raised in Saudi Arabia or someplace? You don't need anyone's permission to take whatever damn character, persona, style, point of view or position you want. Whatever you choose, some people won't like it. So what?
Second, I found research explaining the gender difference in communication.

They are many and various, but none are an excuse for a free pass on factual inaccuracy, ambiguity, bad manners or bad grammar. Particularly on the subject of science, I've seen some female posters persist in quasi spiritual gobbledygook, very much like religious obscurantists; they really shouldn't be surprised if science nerds dismiss them in the same way. These days, science gets enough flak from creationists and budget-cutters that the insiders get a little protective, intolerant of fairies at the bottom of their garden and stern with the line-blurring likes of me.
Third, I saw a post from mtbturtle resulting from her being offended and wanting action taken, and that is the first time I thought mtbturtle must be a female, because the reason for that communication was the female purpose.

Well, that's not very fair! There are lots of male whiners. It's not unheard-of for male posters to provoke and annoy other posters until they get an angry response and then complain that somebody's angry with them. There was even a name and cartoon for this type in a very funny internet bestiary, but I lost my link in the last-but-one Microsoft crash.

ETA Do, please, look at the feedback section. I just did. I had no idea!
When the purpose of her communication was clearly the female purpose, I could identify her as female, and being able to do was the result of reading the research.

I see. Well that clears up a mystery. You followed a train of logical connections. Though the conclusion wouldn't hold up in court, the inference is understandable.

... And I suspect when women become educated and have careers they become more and more as men because our brains are pliable and the neuron pathways we use the most become the strongest. That is why I used the term "domestic female". If we are studying math and science and then using this information in a career, our neural pathways are going to be completely different from the women who sacrifices herself to be the extension of her hushand's and children's needs and wants. Different social positions, different neurological development.

So then, the gender differences are not necessarily innate or permanent? Might it be true, also, that men who are educated and employed in education, social work or service industries become more verbal, more communicative and more receptive to another person's communication? For example, a doctor of any sex could never become a good diagnostician without learning to interpret tone, expression, body language and hand gestures. Nobody can be a good child-care worker who didn't develop an ear for the barely comprehensible lisp and chirp of three-year-olds.
Recognizing that degree of brain-adjustment would put much of your assumption-base out of date. Women have been in higher education, the general work-force and the world for a century now - that's four or five generations, each in greater numbers than the one before. They have been in executive, supervisory and high-profile leadership positions for the last two generations, in increasing numbers; in the last 30 years or so, they have had a considerable presence in the hard sciences, police and armed forces. They're not handmaidens, second-raters or beggars at the gate anymore!
The bad news is, there is a heavy backlash in some places - which includes the US.

There was a time when I thought it very important to hide my gender because I was sure men are taken more seriously than women.

In some places, that's still true. In some situations and on some topics. It also works the other way, though: some women assume that they alone can address equal rights issues, or gender bias, or laws pertaining to either. Some women righteously maintain that no man is entitled to so much of an opinion on "women's issues." Yet, these are social issues that affect everyone, and in which we all have some stake, whether as part of the problem, part of the solution, bystanders, villains, victims or fallout.

I have read, when we transitioned from picture writing to letters, male dominance was increased because of the different demand on neurons.

I would like to know the rationale for that assertion. And by whom it was made, for what purpose.
In my era, females have been equally successful as artists, musicians and writers, translators and archeologists: they seem to have no problem making the transition from visual to symbolic, concrete to abstract, one language to another - and back again.

I suppose I could look for research that supports or opposes what was said in a book about language and gender dominance,

Look to the politics. It's power that forms language, not the other way around.
You should watch this series http://www.ascentofwoman.com/I think you'd benefit from it. I don't say "like", because much of it is horrifying.

Oh yes, I see a difference and wonder why some women appear more aware of the difference than men? However, I suspect a modern career woman would not.

Then let all the women become modern. And all the men, too. In fact, the sooner we get over judging one another on these superficial classifications, the later the world goes to hell in a handcart.
Then, they can work out who has a career and who does not, according to the needs and temper of each household.


Serpent, I think those questions need to go in another thread because they appear to be more about my position on the issue than the science.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Serpent on October 2nd, 2016, 9:19 pm 

The science. Okay.
Is there a single, uncontested science that covers this difference? Do the criteria used encompass all cultures and time periods? Is there an absolute, measurable quality or attribute that is gender-specific, and remains fixed in different circumstances?
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Athena on October 3rd, 2016, 10:14 am 

Serpent » October 2nd, 2016, 7:19 pm wrote:The science. Okay.
Is there a single, uncontested science that covers this difference? Do the criteria used encompass all cultures and time periods? Is there an absolute, measurable quality or attribute that is gender-specific, and remains fixed in different circumstances?


Universally women tend to have higher voices than men, and deep voices tend to get more respect from children and adults. I would expect men to notice the difference size and deep versus a high voice makes. Physical differences equal communication and relationship differences.

I have opened a thread in the philosophy side of the forum that more fully answers your question. It is my hope we can discuss the subject less formally there.

viewtopic.php?f=51&t=31575
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Serpent on October 3rd, 2016, 11:13 am 

Athena » October 3rd, 2016, 9:14 am wrote:
Serpent » October 2nd, 2016, 7:19 pm wrote:The science. Okay.
Is there a single, uncontested science that covers this difference? Do the criteria used encompass all cultures and time periods? Is there an absolute, measurable quality or attribute that is gender-specific, and remains fixed in different circumstances?


Universally women tend to have higher voices than men, and deep voices tend to get more respect from children and adults. I would expect men to notice the difference size and deep versus a high voice makes. Physical differences equal communication and relationship differences.
All irrelevant to internet forums, or any other written communication. Besides, we don't have any children here, and we don't need intimidation to get our points across. (It's not the pitch of voice kids respect: they're more afraid of the parent that hits sooner.)
I thought the audio component had been dealt-with already.

I thought this was supposed to be about the style and purpose of communication.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Braininvat on October 3rd, 2016, 12:13 pm 

You all are welcome to keep going on this thread. As I pointed out elsewhere, sometimes if there is no research on a question, it's okay to suggest a new hypothesis as a basis for new research, and offer it in a speculative way. The Behavioral Sci thread has always been a bit looser, seems to me.

I will issue one tiny moderator caution to Serpent - in your otherwise insightful post you say,

Particularly on the subject of science, I've seen some female posters persist in quasi spiritual gobbledygook, very much like religious obscurantists; they really shouldn't be surprised if science nerds dismiss them in the same way.


You should be clear here. Are you really saying one gender waxes more mystical/nutty than the other? I don't think this was meant ad hominem, but it teetered perilously on the edge, and could be read that way. Sigh. This does seem like a topic where everyone has to be on their best behavior.

Am busy this week, so hope others mods can help this thread along, if it needs it. Or people can "self moderate" ....hint, hint.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Serpent on October 3rd, 2016, 12:24 pm 

Braininvat » October 3rd, 2016, 11:13 am wrote:[Particularly on the subject of science, I've seen some female posters persist in quasi spiritual gobbledygook, very much like religious obscurantists; they really shouldn't be surprised if science nerds dismiss them in the same way. ]

You should be clear here. Are you really saying one gender waxes more mystical/nutty than the other? I don't think this was meant ad hominem, but it teetered perilously on the edge, and could be read that way. Sigh. This does seem like a topic where everyone has to be on their best behavior.

Not exactly. The religious mystical nuts more often identify as male according to their handles, while the spiritual mystical nuts identify more often as female. That's not necessarily a true reflection of their gender roles in the walking world. Both types have a habit of taking some concept or catch-phrase from physics and running off madly in some unwarranted direction. The serious science types [more frequently identified as male] usually respond with long, pedantic lectures.
I have a dread of heights. Hate teetering on a perilous edge. But it's a true and honest observation.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Hendrick Laursen on January 8th, 2018, 6:40 pm 

Man and woman are not equal, but equivalent.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Serpent on January 8th, 2018, 7:21 pm 

Hendrick Laursen » January 8th, 2018, 5:40 pm wrote:Man and woman are not equal, but equivalent.

Is that supposed to mean something?
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby wolfhnd on January 8th, 2018, 8:27 pm 

Legal equality and equality of opportunity will not solve the battle of the sexes.

Dominance hierarchies are common among the species and are often segregated by sex. It is fairly unnatural for the sexes to be competing in the same hierarchy. Males are generally handicapped by non aggression towards females when they are competing with females. Females are handicapped by agreeableness when competing with males. Anyone who thinks that solving these issues is going to be easy is underestimating how strong on average the predispositions of the sexes are.

The suboptimal solution of equivalence is likely to make for unnecessary suffering. Equally of opportunity while preferable is an extraordinarily complex challenge. Goodwill and forbearance will be required.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby mitchellmckain on January 8th, 2018, 11:45 pm 

Athena » September 20th, 2016, 10:50 pm wrote:I love science but I do not communicate like a man and I what to defend my gender difference with science. I think humanity on the whole, would be doing much better if over the centuries females were valued for their difference and what they can contribute to discussions. And if they were allowed to communicate on their terms, instead of being forced to communicate on male terms or be closed out. Here is some science to support what I believe.

I want to stress it is my belief we are different and that this is a good thing, and that humanity would do better if the female difference were valued, instead of going for an equality that means we all be as men and being true to our female gender is taboo and justifies being excluded from the club. Now your job is to use science to argue the science I have presented, or if you like use science to support the possibility that we are different and that is a good thing because civilization benefits from the difference.


Yes, men and women are different. HOWEVER, are they more different from each other than individuals are different from each other? I don't think so. This is why for the most part their differences can only be stated in terms of statistics. And what is the relevance? It is that too much attention on the differences between the sexes tends to run roughshod over the differences between individuals.

What am I talking about?

We have seen it over and over again throughout history. Once society fixes ideas about difference between men and women they become a form of tyranny over individual men and women dictating what they must be like in order to be properly considered men or women. It is enough to make me suspect anyone pushing such differences between the sexes of being one of those who like forcing people into such boxes -- i.e. hammering down any nail that dares to stick out, so to speak.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Serpent on January 9th, 2018, 12:25 am 

wolfhnd » January 8th, 2018, 7:27 pm wrote:Legal equality and equality of opportunity will not solve the battle of the sexes.

There didn't need to be a battle in the first place. Anyway, this was about communication, and that's down to language, and all genders of human beings have access to the same words. We all have similar ears and linguistic processing equipment and the intelligence of all genders falls within the same range.

Dominance hierarchies are common among the species and are often segregated by sex.

We are not "all species". We are one single species that has been talking among ourselves since we first had language. Some societies have done it better than others. But even in the worst, most segregated, bigoted and stratified societies, men and women on the same socio-economic level have communicated more effectively with each other than either sex has done with members of the very same society in a different class. And some persons, both male and female, of different classes, religions and political views have managed to make themselves understood through literature, science, art and compassion. If it can be done by some, it can be done by many and if it can be done by many, it can be done by most. (Never all) Language is a learned skill --- so, too, is listening.
It is fairly unnatural for the sexes to be competing in the same hierarchy.

Then let's ditch the hierarchy and the competition.

Goodwill and forbearance will be required.

That's always worked. I've heard tell that Attila the Hun had an excellent relationship with his senior wife, who was his most trusted advisor. He wasn't alone by a long chalk. The male-female partnership that work best (often directly against the mores of the society) are co-operative. The societies that work best are those that take advantage of the best talent, intelligence, skill and creativity of the most members.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby wolfhnd on January 9th, 2018, 1:20 am 

I like a meritocracy but I'm in the mood to argue. Suffice it to say that the scientists here seem attached to the meritocracy of competence. Few things are more bitterly competitive than intellectual pursuits.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby mitchellmckain on January 9th, 2018, 4:50 am 

Suspicion confirmed...

Athena » October 2nd, 2016, 1:33 pm wrote:We are the same and different. And I suspect when women become educated and have careers they become more and more as men because our brains are pliable and the neuron pathways we use the most become the strongest. That is why I used the term "domestic female". If we are studying math and science and then using this information in a career, our neural pathways are going to be completely different from the women who sacrifices herself to be the extension of her hushand's and children's needs and wants. Different social positions, different neurological development.


To me this looks an awful lot like an argument that a woman who chooses a career other than mother and housewife cannot be a "real" woman.

Well I have to stand up for all the women in history who disdained Athena's idea about what all women are "made for" and decided they would rather do something else with their life including science. There is NOTHING inherently male about being a scientist and thus being a scientist DOES NOT make a female any less of a woman just because they don't want to live the life that Athena has chosen for herself!

I can well understand if Athena simply wants to defend the value of the child-rearing and homemaker role! But I will refuse any attempt on her part to reserve such a role for women only. Instead I would champion the men's liberation movement which refuses the idea that such roles make males any less manly. Let couples find the roles that work best for them without the interference of tyrannical ideological (religious or otherwise) busybodies.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby BadgerJelly on January 9th, 2018, 4:54 am 

And Athena was banned, so you're talking to the wall.

Why was she banned?
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Hendrick Laursen on January 9th, 2018, 7:23 am 

Serpent » January 8th, 2018, 1:21 pm wrote:
Hendrick Laursen » January 8th, 2018, 5:40 pm wrote:Man and woman are not equal, but equivalent.

Is that supposed to mean something?


That should give a clue, at least.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby mitchellmckain on January 9th, 2018, 1:39 pm 

Hendrick Laursen » January 8th, 2018, 5:40 pm wrote:Man and woman are not equal, but equivalent.


how odd... I would have said that the other way around.

Man and woman are not equivalent but they are equal.

i.e.

They are not the same but neither is ultimately or innately superior to the other.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Braininvat on January 9th, 2018, 2:18 pm 

I tend to think of human brains as pretty malleable, with some small neurological differences that do arise from early endocrine influences, but nothing that would create a sexual dimorphism that was significantly putting one sex in a superior position. Studies do show a thicker corpus callosum in women, a slight edge in spatial navigation in men (hippocampus-based, IIRC), a slight edge in handling global stimuli in women while men have a slight edge in screening them out, etc. All the minor differences are vastly overshadowed by upbringing and culture, and generally there is a useful complementarity between men and women, where the two sexes can solve problems by combining linear causality and logic with an intuitive/holistic approach.

As a lefthander, my corpus callosum is slightly thicker than the average right-hander's. And I often find the intuitive/holistic approach quite fruitful. But no one, meeting me, would think of me as particularly "female." It's probably not useful to categorize cognitive styles in terms of physical gender, but just be aware that there are some early developmental influences that may or may not fully play out in later life. I generally find little girls to be more perceptive than little boys, but can think of plenty of exceptions, and people often grow beyond a lack of perception as life experience accrues.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby BadgerJelly on January 9th, 2018, 11:51 pm 

Brainvat -

That isn't really accurate enough for me. Prenatal hormone fluctuations make a HUGE difference. I learnt this fairly recently watching lectures by Sapolsky.

There is little to suggest that cognitive capacity is different between males and females, but in certain areas of interest the sexes are, on a holistic scale, distinct.

I really like how Sapolsky terms the state of the human condition. He refers to us as "the confused ape," because whilst you see our cousins tend toward certain differences in how the sexes behave socially, the human species generally trends all of the middle ground. The males are not overly dominant and even possess a high maternal instinct.

The problem here is the conception of the term "superior." When it comes to certain situations one sex is superior to the other. This does not mean that they are superior over all, it is justa word that people tend to take offense at due to its political associations and usage.

Out of all the apes on Earth humans have the lowest sexual differentiation. There is a larger degree of overlap between human males and females, but there are still obvious distinctions.

I had the idea lately that maybe it was women that frst invented writing. I was thinking this simply because women tend to be more verbose, but it was just a stray thought and there is no real substance to it because equally productive arguments could be made for men being more likely to have invented language.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Serpent on January 10th, 2018, 1:29 am 

wolfhnd » January 9th, 2018, 12:20 am wrote:I like a meritocracy but I'm in the mood to argue. Suffice it to say that the scientists here seem attached to the meritocracy of competence.

I'm not altogether clear on what a meritocracy is. People get rewarded on standard of performance - being good at things?
But - what kinds of things? Is playing football really that much more important to a society than teaching children to read? Who sets the values and standards? On what basis? What are the rewards of this merit? Does someone who has been very good at avoiding income tax really qualify as president?
Few things are more bitterly competitive than intellectual pursuits.

And few things are more universally shared than intellectual discovery. Scientists and novelists and doctors get jailed all the time for communicating with their colleagues across some arbitrary political divide.
Patents are competitive; intellectuals are convivial.

What has it got to do with men and women talking to one another?
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby BadgerJelly on January 10th, 2018, 1:39 am 

Serpent -

I do find meritocracy to be an interesting view of the political landscape. I think generally we like certain things and reward those who are good at them. With the shifting of trends and fashions it is a very confusing idea.

Maybe you've heard neuroscientists talk about how a few decades ago to suggest doing research into consciousness would be met with derision by the established members of the scientific community. I think it is inevitable, and perhaps of benefit in some respects, that new ideas a held back by the old guard. This does lead to a kind of façade of a meritocracy though as people will be forced to pursue the "fashions" rather than commit to fresher areas - I think that over all though the kind of people willful enough to buck the trends are likely the best one;s to bring a new perspective into this or that field, rather than some spineless inept and pliable invidual ready to put personal success before genuine passion for some field of human activity.

Bit of a swings and rounabouts topic like all social topics.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby dandelion on January 11th, 2018, 10:38 am 

BadgerJelly » January 10th, 2018, 4:51 am wrote:
I had the idea lately that maybe it was women that frst invented writing. I was thinking this simply because women tend to be more verbose, but it was just a stray thought and there is no real substance to it because equally productive arguments could be made for men being more likely to have invented language.


Personally not very verbose, but just less topically enjoying this thought all the same- Sappho would be an interesting candidate, but was a bit too late for the alphabet I think, but just interestingly, Snell held her fragments evidence of an important development in history with the rise of the individual in early Greek lyric with the first expressions of subjectivity.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby BadgerJelly on January 11th, 2018, 11:19 am 

I was looking at Egyptian mythology and I guess the thought struck me there. In Egyptian mythology it was not Thoth who invented writing it was Seshat.

I was thinking along the lines of hunter gathers with the men out hunting and the women being more about distributing food equally. I would imagine some form of record keeping could have more easily developed in their social role - of course it is a highly speculative suggest and has very little on its side because I was basing it on several assumptions about the prehistoric diversity of the sexes in day-to-day tasks.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby mitchellmckain on January 11th, 2018, 3:36 pm 

BadgerJelly » January 11th, 2018, 10:19 am wrote:I was thinking along the lines of hunter gathers with the men out hunting and the women being more about distributing food equally. I would imagine some form of record keeping could have more easily developed in their social role - of course it is a highly speculative suggest and has very little on its side because I was basing it on several assumptions about the prehistoric diversity of the sexes in day-to-day tasks.


I cannot buy this because I have lived in communal situations and that kind of record keeping was never used for such a purpose. Instead I would go with the academic conclusion that writing is indeed implicated in record keeping but for the purpose of commerce. In other words, I don't see that writing is required until we are talking about city life rather than family life, where exchanges are made between strangers.

According my research today, it seems that one of the earliest uses was a primitive form of currency -- small tablets recording quantities of goods delivered which could presumably used in exchange for other goods received.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby BadgerJelly on January 11th, 2018, 11:55 pm 

I was thinking more along the lines of proto-writing and deep prehistory. I think we all know the actual occurrence of writing stems from commerce and legal contracts.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby mitchellmckain on January 12th, 2018, 12:19 am 

BadgerJelly » January 11th, 2018, 10:55 pm wrote:I was thinking more along the lines of proto-writing and deep prehistory. I think we all know the actual occurrence of writing stems from commerce and legal contracts.


If you look at those tablets, the writing is very primitive. Anyway, my point remains is that I never saw any need or use in communal living for such record keeping as you suggest.

In addition to commerce (which might include keeping track of debts also), I can credit that writing comes from a need for written law, diplomatic messages, or perhaps keeping track of time for the purpose of farming. But these are likewise connected to city groups and civilization. I contemplated the idea that recording religious stories might have pre-dated this but I don't think so, that I think that was a matter of oral traditions to which writing invented for other purposes was later adapted.

However, we certainly see the pictographic telling of stories in cave paintings from 38,800 BC which may have had a religious as well as historical function. If you count that as proto-writing then this evidence doesn't go along with your food distribution idea either.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby wolfhnd on January 12th, 2018, 3:41 am 

I suppose it depends on if you define the use of language as an art or a tool when it is both. The issue of language development and the sexes feels neither aesthetic or utilitarian to me.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby Serpent on January 12th, 2018, 10:46 am 

Are women really more verbose than men?
A new study published today in Science reports men and woman actually use roughly the same number of words daily.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/women-talk-more-than-men/
men speak significantly more in meetings than women do (one study found they account for 75% of conversation); that even when women speak less they are perceived to have spoken more;

http://time.com/money/4450406/men-interrupt-talk-more/
students collaborating on a project, and employees socializing during their lunch breaks. In the first setting, women talked significantly more than men, except in groups of seven or more people when men talked more.

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/features/do-women-talk-more-than-men/

It's all about context.
These studies were set up to test the widely-held modern American view that women talk more than men. Turns out, that depends on where, when, what about, how many and what status.

Now, if we were to conduct the same studies in other societies, in other historical periods, we would significant differences, which have nothing to do with communication styles or linguistic capability, and everything to do with power relations and assigned roles and functions.
In a sane, practical society, we would encourage every citizen to achieve their greatest potential and contribute their best talents and abilities to the welfare of the group.
I watched a silly Nova show the other night about black holes. (Silly, because they wasted more than half of the time on hyperbole and pretty graphics.) It was narrated in tandem by scientists, both male and female.
Imagine what progress we might have made if our ancestors hadn't shut half the population out of the creative arts and sciences!
Last edited by Serpent on January 12th, 2018, 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby BadgerJelly on January 12th, 2018, 10:57 am 

Serpent -

As Sapolsky tends to say in his lectures at the end of every "bucket" (as he terms the scientific approaches), "It depends."
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Re: communication and gender differences

Postby mitchellmckain on January 12th, 2018, 1:52 pm 

Serpent » January 12th, 2018, 9:46 am wrote:Imagine what progress we might have made if our ancestors hadn't shut half the population out of the creative arts and sciences!

Amen to that! And with slavery, serfdom, class societies, and more it was actually far more than half.

... the whole story is a bit more complex than this rather one-sided feminist complaint... Its not that women have been completely shut out of the creative arts but that predefined roles for the sexes has been rather oppressive in the stifling of the creativity of many people both male and female when it doesn't fit into those pre-defined roles. Most societies allowing men roles only in combat and labor often haven't allowed them to express their creativity either.
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