Rachel Johnson

Atheist Blogger- the godlessvagina / Podcaster the pink atheist

The Brain And The Mind Behind It; How Testosterone Plays A Role.

2 Comments

 

I often find it amusing when people cherry pick scientific studies, like the religious cherry pick quotes. When it is quotes, it is quote mining, when it is studies, it can be down right sloppy behavior. We can pick what we like to see, or benefits the abuses we want to throw around, but really it makes for shameful behavior when it comes to standards. One thing any good scientist knows, and many who follow science, is that there are tons of studies, and tons of answers.

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Books/Story?id=2274147&page=1#.UB6zSKOrUWd

This is a chapter from a book written on how we are born with predetermined gender, and associations. This is from a doctor, who I assume, knows what they are saying. However you can note the dumbed down, childish tone of the book. It is clear that aspects of the influences of society were lacking in the manner which this book was written. The author tells of a child who is given unisex toys and one day is seen holding a fire truck in a blanket telling it that all will be fine. The only way to eliminate societal influences, and those from other children is to have never exposed the girl to other girls, or even children, and television. Which would be pretty impossible. Children learn to gender associate. Watching tv, a little girl is likely exposed to other little girls with dolls and babies, she would be playing with them and playing house. Not hard to find. It could actually make her feel like there is a deficit if she can’t associate herself with other female children. Just as young males would feel left out if they saw other boys with red fire trucks and they don;’t have one. It is not hard to push the development of gender roles in children who are learning everything.

Not every child fits into a gender role, though. In fact some little girls want trucks, and some boys want dolls. There is no set standard for how children will behave if given the chance, and while the majority will follow gender lines, putting everyone into a group neglects the idea of diversity. Just like saying all women are weak and all men are strong brutes. Generalizations can do harm in the wrong hands. Just like saying male brains are damaged by testosterone. Nature intended for the male brain to be effected by testosterone. While it may shrink the speech and communication centers it still increases the volume of the brain by up to 13%. So males are not lacking. In fact some studies have found that men do talk more than women. In certain jobs where communication is vital men actually speak more per day, and talk more about their home lives than women do. Just go on Google Scholar and start looking. You will find many enlightening articles on the brain and the functions of it.

Now women might have a smaller brain size, it is true, but it is also true that men only use one lobe to function, while the female brain uses both lobes and so has better communication skills, and reasoning skills. Men have the volume but they lack the capacity to multi task, and do many quick functions. So what is wrong with how we are built? The answer is nothing. We evolved this way for a reason. Men had to have higher relations when hunting, and facing danger. Men grow bigger than women, because our ancestors chose that. But just like all of our history, we have found a way to change the uses of our evolutionary history.

The 20th century gave rise to a man who would have never made it in the wild. One so effeminate even women were angry. Remember the introduction to metro sexual men? Suddenly women were thrown, where were the big brutes of men. They liked hair and nails done, spas and nice clothes. Showing us ladies that it was not all us being fancy, but that is not the first time in history. In fact most modern feminine things have come from men. From high heels, to wigs, to makeup the men did it first. But then it was seen as a manly thing to do until women did it. This has always been the case. Men have kept their distance from feminine things. But there has always been a reason. Women mostly don’t pick feminine guys. That is why male toddlers are told not to cry. They are ridiculed for being a “sissy, weak, a wimp.” They are told that men don’t cry, and so they grow into pent up, unexpressive males who only know how to sexualize women, and who is doing this? Both men and women raise their sons like this.

As for the testosterone, well it has the natural effects it should, but it can negatively affect the female brain. In fact the induction of too much testosterone to the female fetus during the pregnancy can cause a condition called poly cystic ovaries. A life long condition that causes stunted breast growth, infertility. The damage can be neurological, in larger doses. In smaller ones the female may behave more like a male and be more aggressive. This is a condition which may be hard on the female. Especially in a society with expectations of female behavior.

Now all of this talk about behavior and society, well it is important to note that we sexes are what evolution and we chose. It was once the situation where men played a role and women played another. it developed out of natural instances. Women who had babies could not leave them unattended for days at a time, plus our bodies expended energy on the ability to carry and nurse offspring. Males who were larger had always been the pick. That is why in any group of men on the planet you will see they are usually larger than their female counter parts.

So we are what we chose. But in the 20th century women suddenly wanted to change, they did not just want to be in charge of the home and the children. They wanted roles outside the home and to be accepted as equals in rights and treatments by males. This is against our biological nature just as much as sex for fun is, but we do it. And there is no reason not to. But the same men who conceded that women should have rights were also the ones who still felt they had a gender and a roll to play. The majority of them being religious. Now women had part in this as well. While some women wanted to go to work, others wanted to stay home and care for the children. They are the same women who raised their children that this is normal behavior. So it is not all mens fault for harboring these beliefs when women are also teaching them.

Women are expected to giggle and dismiss male advances, and some have, and do. Now that being said, a lot of women don’t learn to change a tire, and don’t do heavy labor. More women want office jobs, and to look pretty. In fact women put themselves into gender roles as much as society does. So if there is a mishap in communications with what women want, then men are not all to blame. Many women are quick to call other women sluts, bitches, and hoes, just as much as men. But women get offended when men do. Perhaps it is those thousands of years of oppression that are on their minds, that they were never alive for. It is the equivalent of someone being angry their ancestry was a slave. You can say it was wrong, feel horrible about it, but you really don’t know how it would have felt to be that slave. That is what we see today. Women have come a long way, and so have men. We are not perfect. Men have tons of testosterone, and women have full frontal in your face estrogen.

The facts are that too little of what we have actually makes us behave like the opposite sex. Too much and we overdo the behavior. We are biological beings, and we are minds behind those chemical filled brains. Otherwise the idea of birth control would have never come about. Looking at the advances in our societies, we can see modern humans are changing all kinds of rolls, at least those without dogmatic minds. But even that is slow progress. After all it took 20 years for the passing of a bill which provided universal health care to all Americans. Now imagine how long it takes to change the whole structure of a society. There is a fast track for males in feminine positions, but there are also more males willing to do the job. There are more female scientists now than ever before. In fact women have become just about everything, and we are showing we can go the distance. Now some might blame males for their behavior, but then why do women get a pass at their socially bad behaviors? What is good for the men is good for the women.

Our brains are structured different, our bodies are as well. We are genetically two different sexes. Biologically some things are predetermined, while behavior patterns are up to us. Women are not treated as they once were in western societies. What we need to focus on is how to work together and create the future that we want. Men are not damaged by their production of testosterone more than women are by estrogen. We are both supposed to be here, and can’t be a healthy species without each other. The fact is science can show us all the perspectives of our biological nature but it takes creative thinking to use them to abuse each other. Science intends to explain why things are the way they are. It does not eliminate the possibility of variances in what does exist. it is just the best explanation for what is. We should be working towards a future where science is not used in juvenile ways to hurt the opposite sex.

 

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Author: Rachel Johnson

I am a writer about atheist issues. Separation of the church and state. Women and their right to choose, and sex. I talk about all of the "taboos" of modern life as well as evolution and science.

2 thoughts on “The Brain And The Mind Behind It; How Testosterone Plays A Role.

  1. Though this does seem to be a taboo subject in society. I think at least in the Atheist community we are open to talk about these things. And that is at least a start.

  2. Another interesting piece which I will take on face value. However, I do with you were wrong. Or, more to the point, I wish things could change. Our education system, at least from my dim and fairly distant days, pigeon-holed ‘the boys’ and ‘the girls’ into different streams. The Boys were encouraged to do woodwork and metal work, for example, while the girls were encouraged to do home economics, or, as it is more commonly known, cookery. They were not exclusive, but it is probably no coincidence that the majority of boys took woodwork and a large slice, [sorry!] of girls took cookery.

    AS I say, it is a while since I was at school, but I am not aware of any fundamental changes in this thinking. Tish pah, you may say, does it really matter ? Well, it does really. I work for a telecommunications equipment supplier, of Scandinavian origin. Very enlightened employer. Ethical and environmentally aware. But, whilst I have no actual figures, the vast majority of ‘technical’ people I work with, designers, integration engineers, test engineers, project managers, solution architects, etc etc, are men. There are pockets of women, often in financial roles, sales and contract management for example. There are even a few technical women including some very good project managers. But, the technical roles are dominated by men.

    This can make for a dull office sometimes.

    There is, in my humble opinion, a vast untapped resource of very clever, very technical, very adept women out there who could make excellent engineers. And, in my personal experience, it is not for the want of trying to recruit that is the problem.

    The issue, as I see it, is that, as you say, gender definitions start at an early age. Boys are encouraged to play with building blocks, Lego bricks and Meccanno. They become civil [and often quite polite!] and structural engineers, architects, electronic engineers, mechanical engineers, plumbers, electricians and brick layers. On the flip side, girls are offered Sindy, Cinderella, Barbie if you are from the colony on the west of the Atlantic [sorry, it is Olympics week!], cooking things and Wendy houses. Speaking of which, look at Peter Pan, written by JM Barrie. A wonderful book that I had read to me when I was very young, and which I will, probably, read to my kids, should I ever have any. Peter was the hero, the go getter, the active one. Wendy followed. Wendy played the ‘mother’ role. Not the engineer role, or the architect role; both of which may have made the book a little less interesting I accept.

    My point is this: lets exploit women. Women have a brain. They can be more even handed than men, more compassionate, more literal, more analytical, more pragmatic and at least equally logical. Why do we insist on filling our universities with female arts undergrads’ just to get them a degree and the Sciences with stupid males, just because of the numbers of X and Y chromosomes ?

    Get the women into the sciences, break the shackles of ‘tradition’, and lets see a female Isambard Kingdom Brunnel, lets see Stevenson of the 2120’s wearing a dress [yes I know….., literally licence, let me have it!], a female Logie Baird designing tellecomms’ equipment, not just putty sparkly things on an I-‘Phone cover [which really does do nothing for the RF signal] and the next Daimler or Ferdinand Porsche wearing a bra, and not a jock strap.

    And if you think I am exaggerating, take a look at this link: one websites view of the top ten engineers. http://www.engineeringdaily.net/top-10-remarkable-engineers-of-all-time/

    How many Y’s did yo find? And Tesla was a man………….

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