All entries for Tuesday 29 November 2005

November 29, 2005

The differences between the sexes

Follow-up to Rape: do we deserve it?! from Musings of a blonde

Justin pointed out, quite rightly, to me last night that I probably misinterpreted the comment by 'henry' (No. 15) on my entry above in my own comment, No.17. Henry was stating that many women demonstrate stereotypically male aggressive behaviour when meeting men for the first time. He then mentioned the word 'control' and I overreacted in, I'm ashamed to admit, a quite feminist way. As someone who prides herself in her attempts to see all arguments from all sides, I was quite disappointed. But then it got me thinking…

I read the entry in a particular way. Reading the comment again after Justin's imput I can clearly see the other interpretation, but I still think I would always have reacted the way I did. Is this due to my particular view on the subject or just because I am a woman? It occurred to me that maybe men are more likely to react in the way Justin did, and women in the way I did: as a woman I find myself reacting in a relatively defensive manner on issues of sexual equality despite the fact that I would not class myself as a feminist.

But as rational human beings shouldn't we all be able to react in a reasoned way to a comment, regardess of which sex we are? Or is that view inflicting Vulcan logic on human minds and do our instinctive reactions in fact vary according to our situation? If men and women do indeed have differing instinctive reactions to potentially controversial statements is it due to the 'men are from Mars, women are from Venus' fundamental psychological differences or is the society around us and our position within it a more significant swaying factor?

An aside:
Transsexuals believe they are mentally the opposite sex to their physical appearance. Do they react in the opposite way to the one stereotypical for that of their physical sex?


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