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What is the Psychological Cost of Rejecting Evolutionary Gender Roles in Society?

 
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11 January 2018 16:13
 
Quadrewple - 11 January 2018 03:45 PM


Okay, so what about all the problems I listed with young men and women lacking a purpose which was formerly provided by traditional gender roles or even evolutionary gender roles?

What about the problem that if women provide for themselves, that takes away one of the main motivators for men in life (to provide for a woman)?  That is indisputably a part of evolutionary gender roles.

Rape culture is the problem. It’s not a new phenomenon.

 
 
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11 January 2018 16:13
 
Quadrewple - 11 January 2018 03:45 PM

Yes, but single family units is just one of many examples of gender roles which I have brought up.  I thought it went without saying that men providing resources for women has been a part of human history since probably before recorded history (whether or not it’s for a monogamous nuclear family).  In addition to the thread title, I also asked about the significance of rejecting traditional gender roles in society.  What are your thoughts on that?

Actually, this is false. If you look at most present day hunter-gatherers, or explore what is known about life in the Paleolithic you find something quite different. Egalitarian gender roles with both sexes providing resources for the group, much mutual effort in childcare across the group (alloparenting), and according to some studies both women and men involved in things like tool making. That was the pattern that developed and persisted until very recently, historically speaking. So what you call “traditional gender roles” are hardly traditional at all, in fact you could say that they are an effect of settled living and state formation and actually go against our earlier genetic proclivities.

 
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11 January 2018 17:21
 

We can argue back and forth as to what are traditional roles or genetic tendencies.  However, the point is that humanity has entered a period of unprecedented rapid change.  Sometimes change is welcome (like helpful technologies—fire, metallurgy, the wheel, agriculture, medicine, etc.), other times it is disorienting and destabilizing (drought and other natural disasters, invasion, etc.).  No species, except perhaps microbes, are set up to handle rapid changes.  But that’s what we humans have created for ourselves.

Once new ideas arise, however, there’s no going back.  In the Dark Ages, the Church tried to squelch dissent and maintain power.  But curiosity, creativity, trading of ideas couldn’t be stopped.  The Reformation was a bloody mess.  And Renaissance was surely resisted by the the conservatives.  Darn that printing press!  And those compelling ideas from the Greeks and the Humanists!

There are a lot of reasons for the uptick of current protests in America.  I’d say that changing roles of men and women is not the main one.  If our country could buckle down and commit to the future, rather than clinging to selectively rosy view of the past and of the invisible hand of the free market, the situation could improve.  People want jobs and housing and health care and a chance for the pursuit of happiness.  There are plenty of families in which mom and dad both work and help raise the kids and they are feeling fine, despite the overlap in gender roles.

What of the people who don’t have good jobs or secure housing, and can’t enjoy the benefits of modern society?  What I see as the challenge is that modern life requires education and diligence and flexibility and intelligence more than ever before.  People who do not succeed in school, for whatever reasons, are at a big disadvantage for the rest of their lives.  Good paying jobs require technical skills.  Heck, even making phone calls or using your TV requires technical skills.  And the skills need continual updating.
Getting a student loan or buying a home is abstruse mathematics.  Look how many people have been ruined by defaulting on loans they didn’t understand.  Lots more examples, but my point is that today’s complexities may be beyond the capacity of a lot of people, unfortunately. 

What’s an out-of-work coal miner to do?  Or the son/daughter of an out-of-work coal miner?  That’s the question.  Do we have a national will to retrain people?  Are people willing to relocate for better opportunities?  And why do we praise self-driving trucks when truckers need those jobs? 

 

[ Edited: 12 January 2018 07:07 by hannahtoo]
 
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11 January 2018 20:45
 
hannahtoo - 11 January 2018 05:21 PM

We can argue back and forth as to what are traditional roles or genetic tendencies.  However, the point is that humanity has entered a period of unprecedented rapid change.  Sometimes change is welcome (like helpful technologies—fire, metallurgy, the wheel, agriculture, medicine, etc.), other times it is disorienting and destabilizing (drought and other natural disasters, invasion, etc.).  No species, except perhaps microbes, are set up to handle rapid changes.  But that’s what we humans have created for ourselves.

Once new ideas arise, however, there’s no going back.  In the Dark Ages, the Church tried to squelch dissent and maintain power.  But curiosity, creativity, trading of ideas couldn’t be stopped.  The Reformation was a bloody mess.  And Renaissance was surely resisted by the the conservatives.  Darn that printing press!  And those compelling ideas from the Greeks and the Humanists!

There are a lot of reasons for the uptick of current protests in America.  I’d say that changing roles of men and women is not the main one.  If our country could buckle down and commit to the future, rather than clinging to selectively rosy view of the past and of the invisible hand of the free market, the situation could improve.  People want jobs and housing and health care and a chance for the pursuit of happiness.  There are plenty of families in which mom and dad both work and help raise the kids and they are feeling fine, despite the overlap in gender roles.

What of the people who don’t have good jobs or secure housing, and can’t enjoy the benefits of modern society?  What I see as the challenge is that modern life requires education and diligence and perhaps intelligence more than ever before.  People who do not succeed in school, for whatever reasons, are at a big disadvantage for the rest of their lives.  Good paying jobs require technical skills.  Heck, even making phone calls or using your TV requires technical skills.  Getting a student loan or buying a home is abstruse mathematics.  Look how many people have been ruined by defaulting on loans they didn’t understand.  Lots more examples, but my point is that today’s complexities may be beyond the capacity of a lot of people, unfortunately. 

What’s an out-of-work coal miner to do?  Or the son/daughter of an out-of-work coal miner?  That’s the question.  Do we have a national will to retrain people?  Are people willing to relocate for better opportunities?  And why do we praise self-driving trucks when truckers need those jobs?

One of my standard responses when somebody starts talking about fixed gender roles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ec7SJy26tLA

 
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29 January 2018 07:20
 
burt - 11 January 2018 08:45 PM

One of my standard responses when somebody starts talking about fixed gender roles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ec7SJy26tLA


Well, I addressed evolutionary gender roles (motherhood, men providing resources), and I addressed traditional gender roles (which are by definition, not fixed).
But you could just as easily make the point that if there is confusion about gender roles (and both the categories I just mentioned have been significantly destabilized in the past 50-100 years), that in and of itself creates at some level of psychological bewilderment among the general populace.  We can argue about what degree that is, but I don’t see how what I just said can be denied, just as no reasonable person would deny that being disconnected from nature has negative psychological effects.  And if we accept that this psychological bewilderment is happening to a degree, then why would anyone think that everyone or even a majority of people who suffer from that are going to properly place the source of said bewilderment? 

That’s where the political activism element comes in for me…..people on the far left and far right (from what I’ve seen) are not raising families, and people who are not raising families are going to have paternalistic and maternalistic instincts which are not being channeled into the areas our evolutionary history intended.  Standard psychological theory would state that those instincts are:

1. Channeled into parenthood
2.  Repressed (and oftentimes inversely projected onto others).  The obsession with safe spaces and censorship (self and otherwise) on the far left is a maternalistic instinct gone toxic.  The obsession with the word “cuck” on the far right (which is saying “You’re not masculine enough, and are a traitor to the tribe”) is also obviously a paternalistic instinct gone toxic, as is the hateful racism (“You are of a different tribe with different ideals, so you must be removed,” as was so often the masculine duty throughout evolutionary history).
3.  Sublimated through unproductive regression (like video game/pornography addiction, one night-stands, violent or mindless political activism, etc).
4.  Sublimated through productive activities (such as helping others, providing mentorship, picking a job which fulfills some of those needs)
5.  Other options I haven’t considered

So my question is, why would anyone expect the people most bewildered (who are the main people we need to worry about) to choose option 4 (the optimal option besides option 1, though they aren’t mutually exclusive) if we’re not making this phenomenon conscious among the general population?  Isn’t it incumbent on the people who advocate for “progressive” gender roles or lack thereof to address this?  Why am I (someone who leans towards traditional or at least evolutionary gender roles) having to take up this burden?  Insanity…..people seem to have no sense of responsibility when they uproot fundamental psychologically and evolutionary based structures of society to actually deal with whatever fallout is likely to occur.

 
 
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29 January 2018 08:00
 
hannahtoo - 11 January 2018 05:21 PM

We can argue back and forth as to what are traditional roles or genetic tendencies.  However, the point is that humanity has entered a period of unprecedented rapid change.  Sometimes change is welcome (like helpful technologies—fire, metallurgy, the wheel, agriculture, medicine, etc.), other times it is disorienting and destabilizing (drought and other natural disasters, invasion, etc.).  No species, except perhaps microbes, are set up to handle rapid changes.  But that’s what we humans have created for ourselves.

Yes….you have restated my exact point.  I’m asking what we should be doing about it, and not finding much of value.  I know what I’m doing about it personally in my own life, but I’m concerned that people who don’t lean towards traditional/evolutionary based gender roles have no fucking clue what they’re doing when they attack traditional/evolutionary gender roles, when they put forward the idea that a society not replacing itself is nothing to worry about, etc etc.  If you have no idea what the consequences are going to be when advocating something, that’s reckless.  At the very least it’s incumbent on these people to learn about psychology, evolution, etc.

hannahtoo - 11 January 2018 05:21 PM

Once new ideas arise, however, there’s no going back.

Surely that doesn’t apply to you as an individual? 

hannahtoo - 11 January 2018 05:21 PM

In the Dark Ages, the Church tried to squelch dissent and maintain power.  But curiosity, creativity, trading of ideas couldn’t be stopped.  The Reformation was a bloody mess.  And Renaissance was surely resisted by the the conservatives.  Darn that printing press!  And those compelling ideas from the Greeks and the Humanists!

But how is that applicable to anything I’ve said here?

hannahtoo - 11 January 2018 05:21 PM

There are a lot of reasons for the uptick of current protests in America.  I’d say that changing roles of men and women is not the main one.  If our country could buckle down and commit to the future, rather than clinging to selectively rosy view of the past and of the invisible hand of the free market, the situation could improve.

You use the phrase “commit to the future.”  We are currently not committing to the future by trying to get women as educated as possible during their prime years of fertility when our birth rates are already below replacement rates.  If anything, we’re committed to replacing our society with immigrants from foreign countries with our 1 million immigrants a year and the higher birthrates they tend to provide.

I don’t want to get into a debate about the free market, but I don’t see what free market economics (which we have to a very limited degree) has to do with not “committing to the future.”  The most basic act of “committing to the future” is people here having kids.  If the future you want to live in is an ever-more diluted version of an already falling Western civilization, then we’re already on that path…..no need to make any changes.

hannahtoo - 11 January 2018 05:21 PM

What of the people who don’t have good jobs or secure housing, and can’t enjoy the benefits of modern society?  What I see as the challenge is that modern life requires education and diligence and flexibility and intelligence more than ever before.  People who do not succeed in school, for whatever reasons, are at a big disadvantage for the rest of their lives.  Good paying jobs require technical skills.  Heck, even making phone calls or using your TV requires technical skills.  And the skills need continual updating.
Getting a student loan or buying a home is abstruse mathematics.  Look how many people have been ruined by defaulting on loans they didn’t understand.  Lots more examples, but my point is that today’s complexities may be beyond the capacity of a lot of people, unfortunately. 

What’s an out-of-work coal miner to do?  Or the son/daughter of an out-of-work coal miner?  That’s the question.  Do we have a national will to retrain people?  Are people willing to relocate for better opportunities?  And why do we praise self-driving trucks when truckers need those jobs?

Unfortunately, everything you’re saying here is a problem in addition to everything I’m saying…...I wish it weren’t the case, but I haven’t been convinced that my worries are unfounded, much as I would like them to be.

 
 
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29 January 2018 08:33
 
Quadrewple - 29 January 2018 07:20 AM


Well, I addressed evolutionary gender roles (motherhood, men providing resources), and I addressed traditional gender roles (which are by definition, not fixed).
But you could just as easily make the point that if there is confusion about gender roles (and both the categories I just mentioned have been significantly destabilized in the past 50-100 years), that in and of itself creates at some level of psychological bewilderment among the general populace.  We can argue about what degree that is, but I don’t see how what I just said can be denied, just as no reasonable person would deny that being disconnected from nature has negative psychological effects.  And if we accept that this psychological bewilderment is happening to a degree, then why would anyone think that everyone or even a majority of people who suffer from that are going to properly place the source of said bewilderment? 

That’s where the political activism element comes in for me…..people on the far left and far right (from what I’ve seen) are not raising families, and people who are not raising families are going to have paternalistic and maternalistic instincts which are not being channeled into the areas our evolutionary history intended….

..........................................................

So my question is, why would anyone expect the people most bewildered (who are the main people we need to worry about) to choose option 4 (the optimal option besides option 1, though they aren’t mutually exclusive) if we’re not making this phenomenon conscious among the general population?  Isn’t it incumbent on the people who advocate for “progressive” gender roles or lack thereof to address this?  Why am I (someone who leans towards traditional or at least evolutionary gender roles) having to take up this burden?  Insanity…..people seem to have no sense of responsibility when they uproot fundamental psychologically and evolutionary based structures of society to actually deal with whatever fallout is likely to occur.


Quadrewple, my knowledge of history comes mostly from having memorized the lyrics to “We Didn’t Start The Fire”, and even I can tell that this assessment is not based on actual history. For example, Andrew Sullivan (who you might want to Google - his last couple of New Yorker articles have discussed this topic and in broad strokes I think you’d agree with him,) recently cited a study that I recall seeing somewhere before (can’t spend the time to dig it up now but if you’re not convinced let me know and I will do it later,) regarding how gender differentiation in careers is greater in very egalitarian societies.


Which makes sense, if you think about it. I mean look at my life, a not atypical example among the women I know (I sometimes kinda wonder if my peer group are my peers or manifestations of the same Platonic form, actually, but that a side topic, ha ha!), my coworkers are 80% female, I rarely socialize with men who are not members of my direct family (and if I do, it would almost always be while with a member of my direct family), I do only the light housework (cooking, cleaning, laundry etc.) and call my husband in if I need so much as a can opened, much less a home repair, and I am free to spend my leisure time doing girly things like hunting the entire intrawebz for free clipart to make cute worksheets with.


This is not to say that I don’t have interests that wouldn’t be considered more gender neutral. I really enjoy learning about new research in psychology and applying it to my work, for example. But if I were going to isolate out the more gender specific aspects of my life, that’s the picture I’d get.


Now think about what my Paleolithic or early Agricultural era or Industrial era ancestors were doing. Dressing themselves in the latest feminine fashions? Painting their nails? Having girls nights? I’m gonna say a great big ‘no’ to all of the above. They were likely wearing (more so the farther back you go,) approximately the same clothing as men, living in mixed male/female groups, and doing a lot of hardcore manual labor. If people want to express femininity, I’d say they are arguably freer to do so now than they have ever been.


Regarding some kind of biological need to have children - again, I don’t think this is how evolution works. In general parents are consistently less happy than childless couples, which doesn’t really support the idea that people are floundering in unhappiness until they can reproduce. Evolution selected for people who like sex, not childbirth. The latter they didn’t have much say in, after the former, so I assume it was neither here nor there in terms of selection pressure (it’s possible that could change now that birth control is widely available, that the genes passed down will represent the genes of people who actively wanted to be parents - but that is now, not in our evolutionary past.)

 
 
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29 January 2018 08:47
 

It’s always a problem when a person believes that they know how things are and ought to be yet this belief doesn’t fit with reality. The usual attempt is to try and cook up some sort of reasoned explanation of why the belief is actually correct and the world is wrong. The Procrustean Solution is sooooooooooooo tempting.

 
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29 January 2018 08:53
 

Sorry, I missed your earlier response a couple of weeks ago, might have been around the time the forum was down a lot. To the points I didn’t address in my last post…

Quadrewple - 11 January 2018 03:45 PM

Yes, but single family units is just one of many examples of gender roles which I have brought up.  I thought it went without saying that men providing resources for women has been a part of human history since probably before recorded history (whether or not it’s for a monogamous nuclear family).  In addition to the thread title, I also asked about the significance of rejecting traditional gender roles in society.  What are your thoughts on that?


I don’t think that goes without saying. Women in hunter gatherer groups likely went out to collect food for the group as well. Maybe men have some kind of genetic tendency to hunt deer or some such thing, but a tendency towards some degree of collectivism is fairly gender neutral given our origins, at least so far as I understand it.

Besides all that, promiscuous behavior in females (like one-night stands) has less of an evolutionary precedent than male promiscuity, right?  In evolutionary terms, sex means pregnancy - we did not evolve during times of birth control.  Thus, women are punished more (evolutionarily) for being promiscuous than men are, because she must secure investment of a man during those 9 months.  I’m not saying there are no situations wherein a girl slept around in the tribe and the men didn’t get territorial about being the sole sexual partner of that woman, only that that behavior probably happened less than not.  Otherwise, how do you explain the well-documented and basically universal territorial nature a man displays when another man hits on his woman?


I’m not sure what you’re saying here. I said I think men are more likely to be promiscuous, because yes, men weren’t the ones getting pregnant. But that is still a case for working against evolution when forming stable family units, not for it.

When I say spike in unrest, I mean that the US has had relatively few riots/mass protests in the past couple decades, but quite a few in the past couple years.  We have also had a relatively recent, strong movement against free speech (particularly conservative speech), and nationalism.  There is clearly ideological unrest as well - I don’t really see the two as being separate, the difference is that people are bitching on Twitter and Facebook more often than to each others’ faces.  I don’t think that makes the trend any less concerning…..it still indicates a lot of negative things going on in society, a lot of people without more productive outlets to invest their energy in (such as family), etc.


I think it’s a stretch to say that the events of the last couple of years are suddenly a spike in evolutionary unrest. Why just the past two years, if that is the case? Why not a broad correlation over time? Are countries where women are expected to stay at home and have children generally more stable than industrialized nations?

I see multiple problems with your statements here.  For one, our society requires a new generation to pay for the pensions and retirement of the last generation - I don’t agree with this system, but it exists and so that creates an obligation for people in general to replace themselves with children (ESPECIALLY those who agree with this system).  Secondly, overpopulated compared to what?  That’s just a blank assertion.  And by the way, the population growth in first world countries is usually coming from third-world immigrants who bring higher birth rates.  The vast majority of population growth is occurring in places like India, Nigeria, etc.  I’m not sure why low birth rates here when we have a welfare/entitlement system to keep up doesn’t concern you, and extremely high birth rates in poor countries also doesn’t concern you.  I see no logical backing for that mentality.


Again, I’m not sure what you’re saying - I did say I’m concerned about high birth rates. As for generational care - I suppose that would be a problem in countries that aren’t able to bring in immigrants as taxpaying citizens. But the US hasn’t had that problem, our population has approximately tripled over the past century.

 
 
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29 January 2018 11:52
 
NL. - 29 January 2018 08:33 AM

Quadrewple, my knowledge of history comes mostly from having memorized the lyrics to “We Didn’t Start The Fire”, and even I can tell that this assessment is not based on actual history.

So then please point out which specific things I said that are illogical, not based on actual history or what the general understanding of our evolutionary history and psychology is.  Being told I’m wrong is of no value to me - I’m interested in people pointing out what specifically I said that was wrong either in my syllogisms or otherwise.

NL. - 29 January 2018 08:33 AM

Regarding some kind of biological need to have children - again, I don’t think this is how evolution works. In general parents are consistently less happy than childless couples, which doesn’t really support the idea that people are floundering in unhappiness until they can reproduce.

Now I see the problem - you think I said people have a biological need to have children.  What I said was that people have paternal and maternal instincts which if not used for child-rearing, will be channeled into other areas - some productive and some destructive.  You still haven’t addressed that basic point which I elaborated on greatly, giving 4 detailed examples of how this might play out in an individual.

NL. - 29 January 2018 08:33 AM

Evolution selected for people who like sex, not childbirth.

But what does liking having children have to do with anything I’ve said here?  I’m afraid unless you’re quoting my actual posts you’re going to continue to make points irrelevant to my argument….

 
 
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29 January 2018 13:07
 
Quadrewple - 29 January 2018 11:52 AM

So then please point out which specific things I said that are illogical, not based on actual history or what the general understanding of our evolutionary history and psychology is.  Being told I’m wrong is of no value to me - I’m interested in people pointing out what specifically I said that was wrong either in my syllogisms or otherwise.


I think I did, but if you’d like a summary:


- Both men and women served as ‘providers’ in hunter gatherer groups, just in different capacities. Ergo the idea of ‘men are differentiated via being providers’ doesn’t really hold, although you could make a sort of esoteric case for ‘men like to provide in very specific types of ways, as they were out hunting buffalo while women were more likely to be hunting frogs, picking berries, or gathering firewood.’ But then you’re saying something different, i.e. ‘Men are more likely to enjoy hunting’, not ‘Men are more programmed to provide for others’.

- Providing for others would have evolved largely in a group, and not a nuclear family, context.

- Women back in the day likely did not engage in anything like the kind of gender roles we are familiar with today, making it something of an irrelevant comparison.

 

Now I see the problem - you think I said people have a biological need to have children.  What I said was that people have paternal and maternal instincts which if not used for child-rearing, will be channeled into other areas - some productive and some destructive.  You still haven’t addressed that basic point which I elaborated on greatly, giving 4 detailed examples of how this might play out in an individual.


What is an example of paternal and maternal instincts becoming destructive? Parental instincts are those that involve nurturing offspring. Other than the occasional overbearing boss who treats you like a child, I’m not seeing real world example of nurturing behavior run amok. I guess you make a case that hierarchical systems are somewhat ‘paternal’ (or maternal, even,) but authoritarianism tends to correlate, I think, with more ‘traditional’ nuclear family based societies already, so it doesn’t seem like those spring up when there’s a lack of such things.

 

But what does liking having children have to do with anything I’ve said here?  I’m afraid unless you’re quoting my actual posts you’re going to continue to make points irrelevant to my argument….


No, you’re not understanding the idea of selection pressure. Selection pressure presumably would have influenced people liking sex (which is neither her nor there when it comes to traditional gender roles,) and nurturing behavior towards infants (which hardly seems like a harmful thing,) but not specifically wanting to have children (which you seem to be saying isn’t what you meant now, although if you look back at your first post regarding ‘childless regret’, I think you can see how I’d get that impression - at this point, as I think you’re backtracking a bit, I’m not sure on what you mean by ‘gender roles’. It might be helpful to stop and clarify that - I know sometimes I’ll start a train of thought in a post and then learn, explore, refine, and reshape as I go - it’s part of thinking things through, after all.)

 
 
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08 February 2018 09:23
 
NL. - 29 January 2018 01:07 PM

- Providing for others would have evolved largely in a group, and not a nuclear family, context.

I’m not sure how this distinction makes a difference to my overall point, as the role of providing for others as a group of 50-150 no longer exists in any way which resembles the past.  My post was never meant to be a comprehensive analysis of evolutionary roles which is an enormously complex topic with variance based on so many factors, only to point out how far we’ve gone from them and what problems it might cause.

Maybe I should have titled my post “What is the Psychological Cost of Living in Post-Primal Society?” so as to avoid the topic being dragged down into the weeds, which I’m not all that interested in.  I’m interested in what we should be doing now in reaction to this environment which is changing at incomprehensible speeds, taking us further away from the environments we evolved in.

NL. - 29 January 2018 01:07 PM

What is an example of paternal and maternal instincts becoming destructive? Parental instincts are those that involve nurturing offspring. Other than the occasional overbearing boss who treats you like a child, I’m not seeing real world example of nurturing behavior run amok. I guess you make a case that hierarchical systems are somewhat ‘paternal’ (or maternal, even,) but authoritarianism tends to correlate, I think, with more ‘traditional’ nuclear family based societies already, so it doesn’t seem like those spring up when there’s a lack of such things.

The cancerous maternal instinct is authoritarian and censorious, and the cancerous paternal instinct is violent, intolerant, and xenophobic.  I gave the examples of the alt-right and its hateful racist elements and the use of the word “cuck,” as well as the anti-free speech elements on the far-left, whose influences are incredibly obvious on college campuses with the shutting down of conservative speakers and the “safe spaces” movement.

You can disagree that those traits are associated with masculinity and femininity, but those closely align with my experiences, and the experiences of most people I know.  Violence being associated with masculinity is completely obvious statistically, and the higher agreeableness in women is well documented also.  Higher agreeableness could dispose someone towards authoritarianism for a number of reasons, one of which is that if you are bad at dealing with disagreeable situations, you have to work harder to manage people and hierarchical structures so that you can prevent those disagreeable situations from happening.

As I said in my example, one role of men throughout history was to keep the tribe safe from outsiders - it makes complete sense to me that men are thus more predisposed to in-group/out-group thinking because the consequences for them not doing so throughout history would have been dire for the tribe.  The alt-right is very disproportionately male so how do you account for this other than its ideals aligning with some type of masculine instinct?

NL. - 29 January 2018 01:07 PM

No, you’re not understanding the idea of selection pressure. Selection pressure presumably would have influenced people liking sex (which is neither her nor there when it comes to traditional gender roles,) and nurturing behavior towards infants (which hardly seems like a harmful thing,) but not specifically wanting to have children (which you seem to be saying isn’t what you meant now, although if you look back at your first post regarding ‘childless regret’, I think you can see how I’d get that impression - at this point, as I think you’re backtracking a bit, I’m not sure on what you mean by ‘gender roles’. It might be helpful to stop and clarify that - I know sometimes I’ll start a train of thought in a post and then learn, explore, refine, and reshape as I go - it’s part of thinking things through, after all.)

I mentioned as a bit of a side point that many childless people will likely have childless regret but I didn’t explain why that is - I think it’s mostly to do with not being surrounded by one’s own family in the later years, when one’s individual abilities have dwindled down to inconsequentiality.  I also mentioned that I believe if one’s paternal/maternal instincts aren’t channeled into something useful or positive, that will cause psychological angst and if not dealt with, can turn into the type of toxic masculinity/femininity which I gave examples of in this post and previous ones.  I know some childless adults, and they are all heavily involved in the community and helping others, and I believe that’s why they don’t feel regret.

I see how my post left the opportunity for misunderstanding.

 
 
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08 February 2018 12:21
 
Quadrewple - 08 February 2018 09:23 AM

I’m not sure how this distinction makes a difference to my overall point, as the role of providing for others as a group of 50-150 no longer exists in any way which resembles the past.  My post was never meant to be a comprehensive analysis of evolutionary roles which is an enormously complex topic with variance based on so many factors, only to point out how far we’ve gone from them and what problems it might cause.

Maybe I should have titled my post “What is the Psychological Cost of Living in Post-Primal Society?” so as to avoid the topic being dragged down into the weeds, which I’m not all that interested in.  I’m interested in what we should be doing now in reaction to this environment which is changing at incomprehensible speeds, taking us further away from the environments we evolved in.


I assume this refrain of “Actually I never said what I clearly just said and also you’re off topic anyways” is your version of “Maybe I should reconsider, you seem to have a point,” so… thanks, I guess. If you’re interested in the role of evolution in sociology I think ‘Sapiens’ is a fascinating, very accessible start, btw, you might like it.

 

The cancerous maternal instinct is authoritarian and censorious, and the cancerous paternal instinct is violent, intolerant, and xenophobic.


What? What are you basing this claim on? And if you think some parental instincts are ‘cancerous’, why are you so keen on promoting them in society - what makes you think you’ll only get manifestations of the ‘good’ versions?

 

You can disagree that those traits are associated with masculinity and femininity, but those closely align with my experiences, and the experiences of most people I know.  Violence being associated with masculinity is completely obvious statistically, and the higher agreeableness in women is well documented also.  Higher agreeableness could dispose someone towards authoritarianism for a number of reasons, one of which is that if you are bad at dealing with disagreeable situations, you have to work harder to manage people and hierarchical structures so that you can prevent those disagreeable situations from happening.


Again, what? Do workplaces that are majority-women generally strike you as particularly authoritarian? Nurses stations? Schools? Daycares? What about workplaces where men tend to dominate, like Wall Street, the military, law enforcement? How many all-female gangs exist vs. all-male gangs? Where is the evidence that authoritarian structures are associated with women vs. men?

 

As I said in my example, one role of men throughout history was to keep the tribe safe from outsiders - it makes complete sense to me that men are thus more predisposed to in-group/out-group thinking because the consequences for them not doing so throughout history would have been dire for the tribe.  The alt-right is very disproportionately male so how do you account for this other than its ideals aligning with some type of masculine instinct?

 


You seem to be making a different point now, i.e., that men are more likely to be territorial. Ok, maybe, but I don’t think that has much to do with the OP - if you want to make a different argument maybe outline it, as I’m not sure what point you’re making here. Your OP was about marriage and children - does that relate to what you’re saying here, or is this a new topic?

 

I mentioned as a bit of a side point that many childless people will likely have childless regret but I didn’t explain why that is - I think it’s mostly to do with not being surrounded by one’s own family in the later years, when one’s individual abilities have dwindled down to inconsequentiality.  I also mentioned that I believe if one’s paternal/maternal instincts aren’t channeled into something useful or positive, that will cause psychological angst and if not dealt with, can turn into the type of toxic masculinity/femininity which I gave examples of in this post and previous ones.  I know some childless adults, and they are all heavily involved in the community and helping others, and I believe that’s why they don’t feel regret.

I see how my post left the opportunity for misunderstanding.


It’s not that I’m opposed to this idea, even though I realize it’s extremely un-PC, it’s that I don’t see any evidence for it.


For example, I think it’s entirely possible that it’s physically healthier for women to have children, even though I would never say this within 100 miles of a feminist who looked like she might slap me. I recall reading one study where women who gave birth before 35 had drastically reduced rates of breast cancer. I don’t recall if they screened strongly for selection bias (the other group may have had hormonal problems that led to both infertility and breast cancer, for example,) but again, I’m not closed to the idea - women’s bodies evolved in a lineage where birth was the norm - if you are alive today, it means every single one of your direct female ancestors gave birth at some point. So sure, that may have very real effects.


The idea that people have to channel their maternal and paternal instincts somewhere, however, makes far less sense, as children only require parental care for a few years. That’s a very specific, finite amount of time for one specific, finite task, I don’t see any reason, in the absence of evidence, to assume this is a trait that is simply set to ‘on’ all the time. And even if you do, having children won’t actually solve your problem for very long, as you’ll still have that trait running on autopilot long after they’re functioning independently. In that sense, people with children and without children would experience the same problems, it’s just that having children would give people a brief respite from them for a few years.

[ Edited: 08 February 2018 12:26 by NL.]
 
 
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