Male and female ability differences down to socialisation, not genetics

This is something I have always known since gender roles were shoved on me so late in the game that I could see the contrast between what I was supposed to like and what I liked based on my personal temperament. But it's nice to see science finally catching up.

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I'll read the article in the next night or two. Interesting though - I just wrote a short paper for my archaeology class, largely going off on a tangent about assumed gender roles in prehistoric societies. The automatic assumption tends to be man-hunter/woman-gatherer. Man make tools. Woman cook and raise children. Some are slowly starting to acknowledge that this more often comes not from the factual evidence (can we tell by looking at a stone tool the gender of the toolmaker?), but from our own cultural biases.

And those biases are indeed strong. In the whole of recorded history more societies than not seem to fall into these roles. It's more than plausible to assume those roles have always been. Child-me, pondering the question when I was a wee little thing, came up with excellent biological-evolutionary reasons why women might be kept away from the dangerous tasks like hunting. Child-me also came up with excellent biological-evolutionary reasons why it would have made sense to have women included in all the tasks, including the dangerous ones.

Anyway, point is that the gender roles assigned by early archaeologists tended to stick and it's taking a very long time to un-stick them. A woman is just as physically capable of flaking a tool or throwing a spear as a man. She probably won't win the furthest-throw contest, but she only has to be able to throw it far enough to hit the deer. Likewise, there's no reason a man couldn't know how to cook or change a diaper.

Just sayin'. ;-)
I still remember growing up in the 90s, wanting to dress in the grunge style and sports clothes (because they're easier to play in!) and my mom making me wear flower patterns and dresses.  I believe the compromise we had was that I'd wear the clothes if I could get them dirty.  I also remember getting offended when a teacher would ask for "a few strong boys" to carry boxes of paper and whatnot--and cringing when I heard girls say "I'm a girl" instead of "I'm not strong enough to lift this."
I've got the book, 'Delusions of Gender' by Cordelia Fine, mentioned in that article. It is freaking fantastic. I highly recommend it to anyone.




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