19 May 2006

The Last of the 20thCentury Myths

As social sciences undergrads we were bombarded with the dogma that there are no fundamental differences between men and women. All differences (apart from the obvious physical) are socially constructed and as such can and should be eliminated in a fair society. However, the emergence of the evolutionary paradigm along with advances in neurobiology and genetics debunked the myth. It seems that the layman was always right, from sexual behavior to agressiveness and competitiveness, testosterone makes a huge difference. Now, few new books are breaking the news to the wider public; the last (?) myth of the 20th century is about to pass away for good.

After reading "Taking sex differences seriously", an excellent primer on the subject, I started the notorious "Manliness” by Harvey Mansfield. Mansfield, the “weirdo” Harvard professor, is less concerned with fact gathering; his book is more of a philosophical discourse on the various layers of manliness, its evolution through the ages and its role in the modern society. His bold references to Plato and Nietszche may initially strike as old-fashioned; admittedly they provide a refreshingly unusual approach. His sarcastic references to the “gender neutral society” deliver the final blow to the comatose radical feminism. Definitely a must read.

I cant resist this one:
Poor Laurence Summers, just a few years too early.


Sophia said...

Well what does the book say about women and their ability to have sex without emotion??

Konon said...

According to the research quoted in the book "Taking Sex Differences Seriously" the desire for uncommited sex with different partners exists in both sexes, but on average it is more frequent and more persistent in men.

I hope this is what u were asking...?

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