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Old 02-28-2010, 03:19 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post
****ing ridiculous. Gender differences are imposed by society, they don't exist in birth.
Since when? You know what the "x" and "y" chromosomes are, right?
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:32 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Since when? You know what the "x" and "y" chromosomes are, right?
Prove to me how that affects behaviour, rather than just appearances.
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Old 03-01-2010, 12:02 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ProggyMan View Post
Since when? You know what the "x" and "y" chromosomes are, right?
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Originally Posted by The Monkey View Post
Prove to me how that affects behaviour, rather than just appearances.
I agree with Monkey that the variety of behaviors among humans are much greater than can be explained simply due to their genetic sex (whether or not their cells contain XX or XY chromosomes), and so the decision to segregate classes based on students' genetic sex is based on the false assumption that gender stereotypes hold for particular individuals and predict the type of learning environment in which those individuals do best.

Regardless what "average" behaviors exist for females or males, there are always individuals who are far from that average. How will schools know which child is "girlish" enough or "boyish" enough to benefit from the "girl" classroom or the "boy" classroom?

Plunking a girl into a "girl class" when she likes to run around, collect snakes, make forts, do math at a young age, etc. etc., simply because she is a "girl" is a preposterous and dangerous notion for public education systems to subscribe to.

As just such a "girl," I would have hated a class where I was given tame science experiments and told to think about how "soap and oil and water interact" when "my mother washes dishes," as is described in the article. The assumption that only mothers wash dishes is preposterous; the assumption that little girls stand spellbound watching parents wash dishes is even more preposterous.

My best friend growing up was...gasp!...a BOY!!!....and we made mud bombs and played cops and robbers together and loved smashing pennies and drawing pictures. He'd draw military planes; I'd draw horses...but we still had fun drawing together and learning from each other. Luckily, we also went to the same classroom. A wild 70s alternative public school program with all ages of students. Those were the days!!! It saddens me greatly that some adults have failed to see the commonalities among children, regardless of genetic sex, and so are trying to force a divide between boys and girls in segregated public schools rather than encourage them to learn how to interact with each other respectfully regardless of genetic sex.

As for behaviors of children, studies have shown that people who view boy babies and girl babies as having different behaviors often view boy babies as "cute and gentle" when misled into believing the boy babies are girls, or girl babies as "tough and adventurous," when misled into believing the girl babies are boys.

Cultural beliefs about gender differences, I've observed, generally assume much greater behavioral differences between the sexes than actually exist between two people based on their genetic sex. The most common misconception about females, I'd say, is that they are "nurturing," as if males aren't...and as if females are always "nurturing." One need only look at the gross gender stereotyping of clothing into which parents stuff their little macho boy babies and sweet frilly pink girl babies to see cultural beliefs in action.

I once had a mother (a relative) tell me how "girly" her little girl was...see all her pink clothes?...when the kid was 1 1/2 years old and the mother herself was the one who bought all the clothes!!!! When her little toddler talked on a toy telephone, the mom said, "Oh, she is such a girly girl." As if boys don't talk on telephones. People tend to see what they think they'll see, fulfilling their own expectations.

The segregation of classrooms into boy and girl reflects more the stereotypes of the teachers and parents than actual needs of children. Even if there *were* major differences between males and females when it comes to learning, I would still oppose segregating classrooms based on sex. A good classroom accommodates the needs of all its children, all of whom are individuals with their own proclivities and peculiarities.
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If a chicken was smart enough to be able to speak English and run in a geometric pattern, then I think it should be smart enough to dial 911 (999) before getting the axe, and scream to the operator, "Something must be done! Something must be done!"

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Old 03-01-2010, 10:24 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Prove to me how that affects behaviour, rather than just appearances.
Vegangelica, I already stated my position, I don't disagree with you. Anyhoo, you know what testosterone is, right? If you don't, google it. Various levels of testosterone affect both behavior and appearance.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:29 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by VEGANGELICA View Post
Regardless what "average" behaviors exist for females or males, there are always individuals who are far from that average. How will schools know which child is "girlish" enough or "boyish" enough to benefit from the "girl" classroom or the "boy" classroom?

Plunking a girl into a "girl class" when she likes to run around, collect snakes, make forts, do math at a young age, etc. etc., simply because she is a "girl" is a preposterous and dangerous notion for public education systems to subscribe to.
Exactly.
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:27 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Vegangelica, I already stated my position, I don't disagree with you. Anyhoo, you know what testosterone is, right? If you don't, google it. Various levels of testosterone affect both behavior and appearance.
Yes, we do agree, Proggyman, that segregating kids in public schools based on sex is a bad idea (you wrote, "As is pointed out by Sax's critics there's too much overlap to just stick boys and girls into two different groups like that").

Where I think we differ, though, is on the degree to which people's behaviors can be predicted by whether they have XX or XY chromosomes. For example, both males *AND* females make testosterone. Women make testosterone in their ovaries and adrenal glands. What impact do our testosterone levels have on our behavior? That is an interesting question but very hard to answer easily.

Studies of gender differences are difficult to interpret because environment has such a big influence on people's learned abilities and performance on tests. People's experiences in life (whether they end up dominant or subordinate; successful or beaten down) may affect their testosterone levels.

Also, if you measure testosterone levels in a person, this won't tell you everything, because the cells' responsiveness to hormones is important, too, in determining the effects of the hormones on the person's body and behaviors. I might have lower serum levels of testosterone than you, but that alone won't determine how affected by testosterone I am. Maybe I'm actually much more aggressive than you due to how my brain responds to my testosterone levels! Or maybe I *feel* more aggressive than you, but have developed greater Spock-like control over my emotions. (Spock was my hero when I was growing up.)

Finally, testosterone levels don't always correlate simply with behavior, even if you do measure blood levels and cell responsiveness. You could have someone with high testosterone levels who feels and acts quite peacefully.

Studies do show trends, though--I'm not denying that. Hormones do impact us, but teasing out exactly what effect they are having on our decision-making and feelings as individuals is very difficult.

Just based on personal experience, I've never noticed any major difference between male and female psyches or behaviors other than the behaviors that are limited by physical things. For example, it is difficult for me to write my name in the snow with urine! Also, I do notice emotional changes related to ovulation, but the actual emotions are ones men also have at various times.

Of course, there certainly are boys and girls, men and women, who may feel very different from each other in how they think or operate. I'm just stating my own experience.
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Originally Posted by Neapolitan:
If a chicken was smart enough to be able to speak English and run in a geometric pattern, then I think it should be smart enough to dial 911 (999) before getting the axe, and scream to the operator, "Something must be done! Something must be done!"
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:46 PM   #17 (permalink)
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This concept makes no logical sense, I hope only a few schools are doing this because if this catches on we're in deep trouble, trying to assign class distinctions and social roles to people based solely on their genitals is a huge step back and this country already has enough of those. Anyway, I read this article about a week ago and found it interesting.

Arizona Teacher Adds Etiquette to Lessons - AOL News

Thoughts? Just a guy who wants to teach customs from an older time or a fascist worse than Hitler and Stalin combined?

Well, I don't think anyone but the most hardcore feminists would cling to the latter belief but yeah, do you guys think this is sexist or just a well meaning attempt to teach old manners that are now outdated?

Last edited by boo boo; 03-01-2010 at 11:58 PM.
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Old 03-02-2010, 12:13 AM   #18 (permalink)
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As just such a "girl," I would have hated a class where I was given tame science experiments and told to think about how "soap and oil and water interact" when "my mother washes dishes," as is described in the article. The assumption that only mothers wash dishes is preposterous; the assumption that little girls stand spellbound watching parents wash dishes is even more preposterous.

My best friend growing up was...gasp!...a BOY!!!....and we made mud bombs and played cops and robbers together and loved smashing pennies and drawing pictures. He'd draw military planes; I'd draw horses...but we still had fun drawing together and learning from each other. Luckily, we also went to the same classroom. A wild 70s alternative public school program with all ages of students. Those were the days!!! It saddens me greatly that some adults have failed to see the commonalities among children, regardless of genetic sex, and so are trying to force a divide between boys and girls in segregated public schools rather than encourage them to learn how to interact with each other respectfully regardless of genetic sex.
Definitely.
I grew up playing football in the street or hide and seek in some abandoned building with my two older brothers, and I was never able to understand how girls can be so boring with their little dolls.
I still to this moment, don't enjoy anything thought of as "girly", though I can't say I'd enjoy the stereotypical car obsession males have.

Other than the physical appearance, I can't say there's much difference.
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Old 03-02-2010, 12:24 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Arizona Teacher Adds Etiquette to Lessons - AOL News

Thoughts? Just a guy who wants to teach customs from an older time or a fascist worse than Hitler and Stalin combined?

Well, I don't think anyone but the most hardcore feminists would cling to the latter belief but yeah, do you guys think this is sexist or just a well meaning attempt to teach old manners that are now outdated?
Definitely, a fascist worse than Hitler and Stalin combined!!!

The article asks, "But is teaching gender-specific etiquette perpetuating what some consider sexist traditions?"

The answer is simple: YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If boys are being taught to pull out chairs for girls, then the opposite should be taught, too: girls should show respect for boys by opening the door for them, etc.

The whole premise of that teacher's etiquette lessons is that women are some weak, delicate creatures who must be coddled and cherished. While it certainly isn't wrong to cherish and protect other people, and respecting others by showing you genuinely are concerned about their well-being is wonderful, to direct this behavior toward girls/women only is patronising.

The second problem with that article, boo boo, is that it assumes people in society are losing the ability to respect others. Last time I checked, back in the 1950s in the U.S., racist Jim Crow laws were alive and well, people couldn't be open about their sexuality, and women couldn't control whether or not they have children.

In my view, people are much more respectful toward others now in the U.S., at least, than in the past. I feel that the belief that there has been an increase in "disrespectfulness" toward others is a myth. Where respect really counts...in civil liberties that allow us to live and let live...people are *much* more respectful now than in the past.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neapolitan:
If a chicken was smart enough to be able to speak English and run in a geometric pattern, then I think it should be smart enough to dial 911 (999) before getting the axe, and scream to the operator, "Something must be done! Something must be done!"
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Old 03-02-2010, 07:45 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Definitely.
I grew up playing football in the street or hide and seek in some abandoned building with my two older brothers, and I was never able to understand how girls can be so boring with their little dolls.
I still to this moment, don't enjoy anything thought of as "girly", though I can't say I'd enjoy the stereotypical car obsession males have.

Other than the physical appearance, I can't say there's much difference.
This exactly I was a little tomboy, all my friends were male. I always played on scaffolding, played football at the pitch in my village, climbed trees alot, made dens, went bike runs, the boyish things I did are endless. I'd have been ****ing miserable in a class full of girls.
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