Chuma wrote:schwhatever wrote:about your explanations for why hunting is typified as male
Just out of interest, do you happen to have any other explanations?
No, given that I largely agree with your third argument - about males having a biological edge. I'd say that it's not very clear how large the disparity is, particularly since we're talking two very large groups of people throughout the whole of human history and across countless cultures. Likewise, I think it's worth pointing out that that biological advantage isn't necessarily a sure bet - since there are a lot of women who could easily physically out match quite a lot of men.
In all, there's still a question of untangling biology from culture. Sure, the male body is better designed for a lot of physical labor, but many guys are then also expected to have athletic or martial capabilities that are rarely asked of women. Biology might give men a significant advantage, but it seems like culture might exacerbate it further.
schwhatever wrote:Chuma wrote:Men are expendable
This only makes sense if women can comparatively easily find another sexual partner (after her previous one dies in battle), in contrast to men not so easily finding another sexual partner.
Actually, I don't think that's quite true. Suppose we have a completely promiscuous culture
Why? As comes up later, very few cultures are polyandrous or anything remotely like that. Sexuality has been, and continues to be fairly tightly regulated in the majority of known societies.
no marriages, everyone can have sex with each other. Even in that case, it is still the number of women that limits childbirth, as I said.
Not exactly. I'd say there are practical limits to how many women a man can have sex with on strictly mechanical level, before we get into issues of the emotional or political issues that usually accompany sex.
Also, as we can see from the data, most cultures are polygynous, so a woman can comparatively easily find another sexual partner.
The only survey listed in this thread that mentioned polygamous marriage patterns says that they're a minority (even if a very sizable one), with a slim majority either exclusively or predominately monogamous.
Likewise, I think you're confusing laxity regarding remarriage with acceptance (or normalcy) of polygamous marriage. That's... inaccurate in some cases, as the splinter sects from the LDS Church can demonstrate. In simpler terms, just because it's normal to have three or more members in a marriage doesn't mean entering a new marriage (or what have you) is permitted.
I'm not talking about vague things like social bonds - those would only evolve if it was beneficial. But if a woman is pregnant, at least in the later stages, she is probably not very good at chasing mammoths. And if she is breastfeeding several times per day, long hunting trips would also be a problem.
All of that makes sense, but the bit about carrying the children doesn't. As you said, men are physically stronger. Who's to say they don't carry the children?
I'm not sure what you mean by ethnocentricism. We can see that there are a total of 0 cultures where women are more likely, or even equally likely, to hunt, so the idea that hunting is a male activity is hardly ethnocentric.
Except I wasn't talking about hunting but childcare which you were talking about as a draw away from hunting. I was just pointing out that you're assuming that childcare is strongly marked as being woman's work, which it is in some cultures, but by no means all. If we're talking about a grand high theory that applies to all these different cultures, we need to have a grand high theory that applies to all these different cultures, which express connections between motherhood and childcare in various ways to varying degrees.
There is no section "Sex differences: Childcare", but I think we can guess.
Uh, no we can't. Or at least we shouldn't. Or if we do speculate we should be very careful to say that our speculations are precisely that - guesses, not necessarily fact. Also, it's probably a good idea to enumerate what our potential biases are if we're going to start guessing. You know, so we don't import our own culture's reasoning and methods for things into another cultural context, also known as ethnocentricism.
On he contrary, the idea that gender roles are strange and unnatural, that sounds like ethnocentrism to me.
When did I call gender roles "strange" or "unnatural"? Don't put words in my mouth. I said that gender roles aren't purely rooted in biology, so in that sense they're more than "natural" (meaning biological) but I clarified that I think there are biological grounds on which they're based, just pretty loosely.
Before we take this little tangent any further, you're going to have to define "unnatural" and hence "natural". Are we talking biology? That's what I've specified with and responded to your statement here as though that's what you meant (which you might not have). Or maybe you meant unnatural with the aura of "undesirable" that it's recently attained, highlighted by simultaneous use of "strange"? There are a lot of aspects of gender roles that I'm critical of, but I don't know that any of that really came out in my other post (but what did are things that suggest that I'm critical of them, hence this?).
Similarly, what's this "strange"? I read that as meaning, before anything else, unusual, and considering how we were having a discussion about gender roles involving as many human cultures and as broad an understanding of a "human reality" as possible, I have no idea where you got the idea that any one where thinks gender roles are outlandish. I think akin to that is an idea that gender roles are archaic, provincial, outdated. That is, rather than rare, they're "declassé". That's hogwash as far as I'm concerned, if you must know. If anything, the areas and groups of the world that view themselves as "beyond" gender are usually not and merely using that rhetoric as grounds to show contempt for parts of the world that haven't reformulated gender roles recently enough for the whole issue to somehow become invisible.
schwhatever wrote:Chuma wrote:Men have a need to impress women, and killing mammoths is arguably more impressive than picking berries.
[...] a person who delivers it gets rewarded with sexy times and ends up passing their role down to their children, but it has nothing to do with gender.
And women do also try to impress men, in various ways. They might have done it by hunting too, if it hadn't been for those other reasons. But as mentioned before, their need to impress is slightly less.
Yeah, you stated that women have less need to impress men, but then everyone pointed out that the one study you cited shouldn't be assumed to speak for all women forever, for various reasons. In the particular cultural context in question, people brought up that there seem to be driving social norms for women ("Don't be a slut") that aren't really at work for guys, so there's the risk of specific culture's norms influence data that's then assumed to be cross-culturally common. Relatedly, it doesn't seem like there's enough analysis of what forces were driving people's answers, which is pretty important. You seem to be saying that different genders gave different responses because they're different. Women are more selective of sexual partners because they're women. That seems a touch tautological. Others in the thread have pointed out that there's a lot of sexual evaluation of women and I haven't seen much response about that.
Also, I don't remember you mentioning a sample size. That would be helpful.
schwhatever wrote:you mentioned that men are (we think) generally physically stronger than women
We think? If you have any evidence to the contrary, I'm very curious to see it.
See above discussion about training, education, and all those other things that probably give the average guy a heads up on the average girl. In any case, I don't deny that there's a biological advantage that men have, just that it's doing the whole thing alone.
schwhatever wrote:That is certainly true. Even pre-hunting humans probably had some sort of control of this sort of thing - if you try to rape a woman, her partner and her brothers are likely to be upset - but it was probably not unusual anyway.
Hopefully her family would have been, but the essential element that's missing here are specialized classes like the police force, lawyers, judges, and so on. No one has the time to devote themselves almost entirely to detaining the accused and evaluating the facts at hand. So even if her family's upset they might have no recourse (except vigilantism, but that's making the recourse from scratch on their own, so it's allowing revenge to become your life, which sounds pretty time consuming). In short, yes there were controls, but nothing close to what we have today.
Furthermore, since a significant number of brides were essentially stolen, or otherwise taken by agreement with her family, there's a big potential for a woman to be socially isolated from her family, leaving her with basically none of this familial backup. I'm actually reading an ethnography of a Bedouin community right now that gets into the details of how alone women who marry into the patrilocal families feel, where those that marry in stick together because they don't feel like they can trust any one else.
That is of course one reason why men need to be physically strong; it helps them defend their wives against rapists, and it helps them if they want to be rapists themselves. Wouldn't it be more effective if the woman was stronger and could defend herself? Sure, but from an evolutionary perspective it is really the husband who stands to lose the most if his wife gets raped.
Before human rights got big that was the logic behind rape laws - it was damage to a man's property (his wife), or a threat to his security (that his children were actually his).
We can get even more provocative: It might actually be good for the woman to fight back in general, because that way she can make sure that only the strong men can have sex with her. That could potentially be another reason why men are stronger than women - women who were too strong didn't get laid.
I have my doubts about this theory, I should say, but it's wonderfully provocative.
That assumes that most if not all sex was violent rape.