The idea that men are from Mars and women are from Venus, with male and female brains wired differently, is a myth which has no basis in science, a professor has claimed.
Neuroscientist Prof Gina Rippon, of Aston University, Birmingham, says gender differences emerge only through environmental factors and are not innate.
Recent studies have suggested that female brains are more suited to social skills, memory and multi-tasking, while men are better at perception and co-ordinated movement.
However, speaking on International Women’s Day, Prof Rippon will claim that any differences in brain circuitry only come about through the ‘drip, drip, drip’ of gender stereotyping.
“The bottom line is that saying there are differences in male and female brains is just not true. There is pretty compelling evidence that any differences are tiny and are the result of environment not biology,” said Prof Rippon.
Given that the brain differences can be seen in foetal development that is?
Time warp alert! Pre MRI, pre-PET scans, back to 70s Marxist feminism.
Typical! That’s what a woman would say.
Neurogender science denier. She should be sacked at once.
I think we need a picture, to see if she should be kept barefoot and pregnant on the kitchen…
Well, if the differences are biological, then since the changing nature of work means growing demand for “social skills, memory and multi-tasking” and relative decline in the need for “perception and co-ordinated movement”, men have something of a problem, it seems.
I wonder just how many real scientists there are left in the world?
I don’t know about brains, but the facts are that women can reproduce no more often than once a year, can reproduce until they’re about 40, and men can reproduce something like every few days and can do so until they are 70.
And that’s the fundamental basis of the difference between men and women. Men seek more opportunities, women have limited numbers of opportunities and so have to look after them.
It’s why women quit jobs to look after kids. It’s why husbands bang women on the side for the hell of it and wives bang blokes on the side because they’re looking for a new bloke. It’s why slut-shaming exists and stud-shaming doesn’t.
Wimmin can keep banging on about environment and society, but it’s our biology that’s the problem.
I’ve never been entirely convinced that this change of style is actually because the economy works better with “social skills, multi-tasking” etc, or whether it’s just that a certain cohort of middle class women in offices prefer sitting around in meetings blathering bullshit instead of doing something useful.
Anyway, the professor’s statement comes up against the Feminist dogma that there is no intrinsic difference between men and women, but women are intrinsically superior to men.
As society and economic activity have been ever more distorted by the encroachments of statism in general and socialism in particular then the female skill of hot air production (at both ends from a number of women of my acquaintance) has allowed lots of women, like balloons, to rise. That is not to say that are not numbers of women with genuine talent and nous. However, most of today’s female “role models” –managers, members of the statist boss class, etc,etc –do indeed resemble balloons in terms both of size and innate substance. The forthcoming economic disaster will, I think, reveal to all the real qualities of people of both sexes. Many but not most men will be found wanting. Most –but not all–women certainly will. We shall see.
Yes, that’s exactly the sort of misogynist remark I’d expect from you. Most of the bullshit in offices comes from men, not women.
Frances Coppola:” Most of the bullshit in offices comes from men, not women.”
I can’t speak as to your experiences but they would seem to be the exact opposite of mine. Altho’ there is an increasing crop of males (I won’t use the word men) who crawl around after the female boss class creatures like dogs–no, not like dogs, dogs often have courage and a noble and brave spirit within their limits. Like, well, crawling shite really.
Most of the bullshit you experienced in offices comes from you having worked in banking 😉
Although, it has to be said, even at RBS, the bullshit quotient was noticeably higher from HR than from IT.
That’s pretty unfair.
The best person my accountant ever had dealing with us was a woman. He replaced her with a guy who’s fine, but she was brilliant. The best software test managers and testers I’ve worked with, the people who cover everything in fine detail, were women. The recruitment companies I know are about 50/50 men/women, and they don’t take passengers. The women who are working as software authors are generally more reliable than the men who are.
I specifically didn’t say “all women” because I didn’t mean all women. I’ve worked with and for as many good women as good men. Hence,
“just that a certain cohort of middle class women in offices”
I am no doubt many reprehensible things, but I do not have any animus against women as a sex or class. Without writing one of my usual lengthy screeds, it comes down rather to my view that the ideal of women promoted and indulged currently in Anglo society are the most useless ones. The problem is, that a narrative has developed of describing their useless, self-indulgent attributes-
“social networking”==blathering bullshit in pointless meetings
“empathic”==self indulgent emotionalism
“multi-tasking”==inability to put their mind to one task and stick to it
-as meritous rather than problematic.
Not sure that this thing about men having better mapping and co-ordination skills is true.
Quite a few logistics companies have ditched their expensive programs that purport to solve their network problems and gone back to good old instinct. i.e. humans. And the humans that have a particular talent for this turn out to be female, as a general rule.
Well it is International Women’s Day, so lets try to be nice to the laydeez.
Just out of interest, when is International Men’s Day? (Not that my wife would allow me to celebrate it, of course.)
“since the changing nature of work means growing demand for “social skills, memory and multi-tasking” and relative decline in the need for “perception and co-ordinated movement”, men have something of a problem, it seems.”
Bollocks basically. The only reason there is such a market for people sitting in offices and pushing bits of paper around is that the State pays for or sponsors huge swathes of the population, particularly women to do exactly that. Production – virtually zero of anything anyone would actually part with cash for.
Whereas as men tend to do all the actual physical work without which civilisation falls apart. We can do without HR and equality officers, we can’t do without food, energy, manufacturing and construction.
When I see some women ‘multitasking’ up an electricity pylon, or down a sewer, or in some hell hole of a mine or oil field, then I may reconsider.
Frances Coppola – “Well, if the differences are biological, then since the changing nature of work means growing demand for “social skills, memory and multi-tasking” and relative decline in the need for “perception and co-ordinated movement”, men have something of a problem, it seems.”
What Ian B said. What exactly are these growth areas in social skills, memory and multi-tasking? Ignoring the fact that women can be shown to be no better than men at multi-tasking. What possible part of the economy can these relate to?
I am not sure that Facebook needed any perception and co-ordinated movement but what it didn’t have was any noticeable number of female employees.
In my experience where women are concentrated are exactly in those part of the economy we do not need and are a drag on the rest of us – the civil service and Human Resource departments for instance. Or in declining and failing industries. The newer parts of the economy, or those parts where performance is always at a premium, tend to be solidly male.
No doubt that is misogynist. But it is also true.
Women have always been net consumers of human resources. Whether thats as an biological producer of and carer for children, or as a ‘worker’ for the local council or NHS, the net result is the same. Women, by and large, live off the wealth created by men.
bloke in france – “Just out of interest, when is International Men’s Day? (Not that my wife would allow me to celebrate it, of course.)”
Well for some female-centric holidays we have male-centric equivalents. I am thinking of the male equivalent of Valentine’s Day, otherwise, and I have to admit rather crassly, known as Steak and Blowjob Day.
But there isn’t one for International Women’s Day. So it must follow that *every* other day of the year is Men’s Day.
But she’s from Aston University!
Remember when the name Aston University used to mean something? Me neither.
Being a simple man, I imagined a neuroscientist was some sort of medical doctor who specialised in the brain.
But no. Apparently it’s just a fancy word for a trick cyclist. Behold the intellectual brilliance of Gina:
Gina graduated from Bedford College (University of London) with a B.Sc. (Hons.) in Psychology, London, and subsequently gained a PhD in Psychophysiology from Birkbeck College (University of London). In 1975, she was appointed to the newly established Department of Psychology at Warwick University, where she remained until 2000.
Frances is right – the invention of machines to do most of the heavy manual labour that was a male preserve and HSE regulations eliminating those jobs where young men took risks to achieve results (the tasks are now carried out more slowly by three people in cumbersome safety equipment) does create a problem for men.
It is indeed arguable whether many of the new roles that are mostly occupied by women add anything to the overall welfare of mankind, but that is not her point.
I do, however take issue with the implication that men have poorer memories and are unable to do several things simultaneously – when it comes to feats of memory, men vastly outnumber women; the idea that women can multi-task is politically correct spin on their frequent failure to concentrate because young men are disciplined to concentrate as society has not abandoned the concept of danger to which it expects boys and men but not girls and women to be exposed.
This conversation has served to remind me why I give Britbints & their N.American sisters such a wide berth.
You’ve explained the 9/13 AP report:
“The slowly recovering U.S. job market has helped women rebound faster than men: They’ve now regained all the jobs they lost to the Great Recession. Men are still 2.1 million jobs short.”
Money News, 09/12/13
Oh yes there is! Oh no there isn’t! etc …
International Men’s Day is 19th Nov each year.
Does multi-tasking in a mine-field in a hell-hole count? ‘Cause women do that.
john77 – “Frances is right – the invention of machines to do most of the heavy manual labour that was a male preserve and HSE regulations eliminating those jobs where young men took risks to achieve results (the tasks are now carried out more slowly by three people in cumbersome safety equipment) does create a problem for men.”
No she isn’t. Those machines throw a certain type of man out of work – young, working class men in particular. They do not throw men as a whole into any sort of problem. As the growth areas of any economy still tend to dominated by men. Facebook is just one example. I bet Whatapp didn’t employ many either. Women have been trying to break in to Silicon Valley and their numbers are actually falling. The entire Silicon Revolution in the economy since the 1980s has been virtually entirely a male preserve.
“It is indeed arguable whether many of the new roles that are mostly occupied by women add anything to the overall welfare of mankind, but that is not her point.”
Well it ought to be. Because a growing parasite load is not a sign of a health animal, much less that the parasite load is what is keeping the animal alive.
Surreptitious Evil – “Does multi-tasking in a mine-field in a hell-hole count? ‘Cause women do that.”
Not many of them do that. In fact I would say roughly none of them do that. In the British Army they have found that women cannot cope with the basic tasks a Squaddie is expected to do. Like digging fox holes. So the men in their units have to do it for them. In the American Army, women routinely refuse to do dangerous things. In every single war since Panama women have refused to obey orders to do the simplest tasks like drive trucks to re-supply soldiers. In one famous case in Afghanistan, a female helicopter pilot flatly refused to land to take off injured soldiers who were coming under fire. This is relevant because in every case the Higher Ups have kept it quiet, not punished the women – and got men to come in and do those jobs instead.
Female soldiers are unable to do the job both physically and mentally. We are throwing our soldiers’ lives away out of an insane mix of political correctness and White Knighting.
So young working class men aren’t men? Or do you mean that they cannot compete for *your* job so it doesn’t directly affect you?
Men as a a whole include young working class men – unless you think that they automatically change gender when they become unemployed.
“As the growth areas of any economy still tend to dominated by men.” Completely false – the major growth areas in the UK economy are the public sector, particularly health, schools and social services, all of which are dominated by females. Go away and look it up.
IT has always been overwhelmingly male with a small percentage of females from the time that my Oxford tutor was a teenager at Bletchley Park to my brief few years as a teenage programmer (mentored by a female) to my son’s time correcting (as a 15-year-old) and (later) designing websites *but* the total number of geeks is smaller than the *increase* in the number of female jobs in health or education.
And just why should Frances be debating the utility of HR etc when making a quick quip pointing out that the change in employment patterns disadvantage men?
I expect better of you than DBC Reed and his ilk.
Because actual comment would be superfluous:
More than 50 Cambridge University academics are calling for a different way of making senior appointments to tackle the lack of female professors.
They want a more “inclusive” recruitment process that takes into account a wider range of skills.
At present 22% of professors in UK universities are women.
The group of Cambridge academics says that recruitment should consider aspects such as teaching and outreach work as well as academic publications.
The proposals, to be published in a letter to the Times Higher Education magazine, call for a way of measuring applications that they say will not unduly advantage men.
They say the step up to becoming a professor depends on too narrow a set of achievements, such as publications in academic journals and research grants.
Instead they want to include other experiences from academics’ working lives.
“A broader, more inclusive approach to success and promotion, where other academic contributions, including teaching, administration and outreach work are valued, would make it easier for women to advance,” the academics argue.
Professor Athene Donald, gender equality champion at the university, says: “Our experience at Cambridge, where we have recently surveyed 126 female academics and administrators on this subject, suggests that this is indeed the case.
“Women seem to value a broader spectrum of work-based competencies that do not flourish easily under the current system,” she said.
“There will always be hardcore metrics for academics, such as grants, or prizes won, and books and papers published, and they are important. But there are opportunities to reward and embed different types of success, such as teaching, outreach and departmental support.”
Figures for 2012-13 from the Higher Education Statistics Agency show that 45% of all academic staff are women, but 78% of professors are men.
Women are more likely to apply to enter university as undergraduates than men, with the latest Ucas admissions figures showing that 58% of applicants were female.
“But there are opportunities to reward and embed different types of success, such as teaching, outreach and departmental support”?
So not quite cake baking then.
john77 – “So young working class men aren’t men? Or do you mean that they cannot compete for *your* job so it doesn’t directly affect you?”
That is so spectacularly f**ked up I really have nothing to say but that you need to go back and start again. You did not read, or if you did, you did not understand.
“Completely false – the major growth areas in the UK economy are the public sector, particularly health, schools and social services, all of which are dominated by females. Go away and look it up.”
Well that makes me feel so much better. The growth areas in the real economy then if you prefer. By the way, how are these sectors going? The Social Services gave us Baby P – a dysfunctional office dominated by female employees over-seen by a self-righteous and incompetent woman. The NHS continues to be the wonder of the world as it kills patients due to thirst – because mainly female nurses can’t be bothered to give patients a glass of water. And the school system is a smoking hole of massive failure – at least it is in the State-sector which tends to be dominated by women. The private sector, not so much. They also tend to employ a lot more men.
Could be a co-incidence.
“*but* the total number of geeks is smaller than the *increase* in the number of female jobs in health or education.”
Any improvement in the world is usually done by a very small number of young men.
“And just why should Frances be debating the utility of HR etc when making a quick quip pointing out that the change in employment patterns disadvantage men?”
But it is too broad. It disadvantages *some* men. As we see with working class men who find it harder to get and stay married. We don’t see it with men as a whole. Men remain central to the economic process. Just not all of them. This matters because if we want to do anything about it, and we probably don’t unfortunately, we should not be wasting time focusing on men as a whole but rather the actual victims – young working class men.
“I expect better of you than DBC Reed and his ilk.”
As I said, go back and re-read what I said.
tex – “Frances, You’ve explained the 9/13 AP report:”
No. She has explained Obama’s explicit and open stimulus goals:
Although it is part of a longer term trend of men opting out. They are not expected to be the main bread winner any more and so increasingly they do not see any need to waste their lives away working at [email protected] jobs to support increasingly angry and ungrateful wives and children. They would rather spend their thirties partying.
So Much for Subtlety:
Frances explained the 9/13 AP report.
You have explained the reason for “the changing nature of work” for which I thank you. I missed it in 2009.
I’ve deployed to Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, where I’ve worked with female soldiers and officers. They do their jobs. Sometimes very well indeed. Sometimes not so well. Just like the blokes.
What’s your experience? Or are you just being bigoted as usual?
“the major growth areas in the UK economy are the public sector, particularly health, schools and social services, all of which are dominated by females. Go away and look it up.”
And all that has happened entirely naturally has it? The natural scheme of human development is that the State will come to dominate the economy by totally voluntary action, and that women will thus be economically dominant?
Or is it that socialism has created that situation artificially, using forcible taxation to fund it, and in the absence of guns and prison to make people pay taxes it would collapse, resulting in a more natural demand for labour and specific gender talents throughout the economy? One that would value male labour talents higher than they do today?
Indeed, I was not making any political points, just observing changes in the nature of work and their implications.
But if you object to the implication that men have poor memories and can’t multi-task, I object to the implication that women have poor perception and lack concentration. Biologically this is nonsense. Back in the days when humans were prey as much as predator, a woman who wasn’t paying attention to her surroundings and didn’t perceive danger didn’t live very long, and nor did her children.
“Bollocks”. Yes indeed, that is the problem.
““Bollocks”. Yes indeed, that is the problem.”
What a fucking stupid thing to say. I really thought you were more intelligent than that. Obviously I was wrong.
“Biologically this is nonsense”
I didn’t posit a biological reason – I posited that it was due to a social environment that expects danger to be very gender-biased.
I did read what you said. You said “They do not throw men as a whole into any sort of problem.”
I personally think that “men as a whole” include the young unemployed working class men, but even if you mean “other men are unaffected” you are still wrong.
The abolition of jobs for which men are far better suited than women *is* a problem for men as a whole. Those who can get heavy jobs either compete in the general labour market forcing down the clearing rate for pay which disadvantages other men or become an unemployable underclass, an easy recruiting ground for professional criminals who then make life worse for the whole population. Not to mention a prime example of male inferiority to be trumpeted by bigoted feminists (even though a larger %age of men are in paid employment, men have a higher “unemployment rate”).
That is apart from this being a decline in productive work, with the replacement jobs being mostly in the public sector or the pseudo-public sector (jobs contracted out to firms whose sole purpose is to pretend to be in the private sector while working for the public sector).
Also we have ended with the vicious circle that 60-odd-year-olds cannot afford to retire because their savings won’t buy enough of a pension for them to live decently because the BoE has negative real interest rates because the youth are unemployed with the consequence that they hang on to the jobs that the youth could have filled, so the lack of job vacancies result in higher unemployment.
This *is* a problem for men as a whole..
Sorry – that should read “those who cannot get heavy jobs”
Surreptitious Evil – “I’ve deployed to Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan, where I’ve worked with female soldiers and officers. They do their jobs. Sometimes very well indeed. Sometimes not so well. Just like the blokes. What’s your experience? Or are you just being bigoted as usual?”
I hope it is the bigoted thing. There have been plenty of reports on women in combat. There is no end of eye witness evidence. On the internet you may be a dog, but you would have to be willfully blind to ignore that evidence.
Frances Coppola – “Back in the days when humans were prey as much as predator, a woman who wasn’t paying attention to her surroundings and didn’t perceive danger didn’t live very long, and nor did her children.”
I am incredibly dubious about evolutionary arguments. I think we can trust some studies of college students – but we have to keep in mind they are usually small numbers of college students and the default option ought to be that any differences are cultural, not biological.
However, it is likely that in the past, which we do not know enough about to make many sensible comments, women congregated in groups. Foraging together. Which means that they would have everyone else’s eyes to rely on and so need to be less alert than if they habitually spent time alone. Hunting for instance. But there is no reason to make any claim on this. We don’t know enough.
john77 – “I personally think that “men as a whole” include the young unemployed working class men, but even if you mean “other men are unaffected” you are still wrong.”
Personally that might be true. But raising tax rates on the top 10% does not affect all tax payers. It affects the top 10%. In the same way, the loss of jobs for men at the bottom of the pile is tragic for them, but it does not change the fact that the rest of the real economy remains highly dependent on men. Men, as a whole, are not being replaced and they are not losing out. Poor, working class, young (and perhaps men coming up to retirement) men are.
“an easy recruiting ground for professional criminals who then make life worse for the whole population.”
So the problem with the loss of working class jobs is that life for everyone is worse? OK. But that is a problem for everyone. Not just men. We went through this before when agriculture stopped employing large numbers of semi-literate young men. Mechanisation did for them too. But they got other jobs. The economy remained male-dominated.
“Not to mention a prime example of male inferiority to be trumpeted by bigoted feminists (even though a larger %age of men are in paid employment, men have a higher “unemployment rate”).”
There is a problem with idiots saying idiotic things.
Frances Coppola – ““Bollocks”. Yes indeed, that is the problem.”
I am not sure it is. We have had over forty years of Affirmative Action. I doubt there is anyone at any university like Cambridge who would not welcome more female colleagues. Female students dominate the under-graduate intakes.
Yet the only solution to a lack of female Professors is to dilute standards and promote women who have not earned the promotion. Now there may be many explanations for that. Let me give one – bollocks. Men are more driven by testosterone that means they fight more with other people. One reason why women are more pleasant colleagues as a general rule. But that fighting, if channeled into actual publication, is going to have a beneficial effect on their careers. Hence more male professors.
Men are actually very good at what they do. We all rely on them to do it. Even though increasingly they won’t.
But no, because the numbers don’t work out right, they think it is a better idea to destroy a great university.
Isn’t the idea that gender is a construct of culture itself a construct of the culture? How many cultures other than Western are putting forward this idea? If it were true, it would be all of them.
How about answering what I said instead of what you would like to pretend I said?
I explained how and why abolishing one group of relatively-highly-paid male jobs affected all men and you pretend that I am talking about tax rates for the top 10%..
” But that is a problem for everyone. Not just men.” Everyone includes men.
bloke in france,
> Not sure that this thing about men having better mapping and co-ordination skills is true.
It isn’t. Men are better at visualising and mentally manipulating three-dimensional objects. Women are better with two-dimensional objects. (Can’t begin to imagine an evolutionary reason for that, but there you go.) It follows that women should be better with maps.
Am I the only one here who sees the words “So Much For Subtlety” and stops reading? It’s becoming such a Pavlovian response that someone could send me an email at work headed “So Much For Subtlety” and I’d take the rest of the day off. I wish someone would.