Sex Differences -- Class Blog

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Sex Differences- Class Blog

Read the instructions below. Please do not delete anything on this page.


At various points in the class, you will be responsible for adding a post to our class blog, below. I will notify you in-class, and via email, when blog posts are due.

You can blog about anything you wish as long as it is related to the topics we have recently covered in class or the readings. You can post a question, a comment, something that you found particularly surprising or interesting, or share a personal anecdote(as long as it is relevant to the topic, and not too personal... ). You can also respond to someone else's blog post (if you do so, place your post after the post to which you are responding, and indent your response). Another option is to search the web to find something relevant to our topic for that week -- an article or web page that is both educational and would likely be of interest to your classmates. You may not repeat a blog post already used by someone else -- e.g., you cannot use an article of web site link that someone else has already used.

Keep this web browser window open (but don't login or click the "Edit" button yet). Also open a window with your word processing software on your computer (e.g., Word for Windows). Write your blog post using your own computer word processor. When you are finished, log in to Wikispaces (above). click "Edit."

Paste post your post below. Try to do so quickly in case other classmates are waiting to login to copy their post too.

Create a title for your post. If your post includes a web link make it an active link by lighlighting the link, and then clicking the chain icon above). Bold the title of your post.

Here is a sample blog post:

News article: Finger length correlated to bullying. I found this article, Science fingers natural bullies, published by The Sunday Times, Britain. It reports on research that suggests that "Childen whose ring fingers are much longer than their index fingers are more likely to be hyperactive and bullying," and relates this to prenatal testosterone level. I found the article very interesting -- that you could learn something about someone's (likely) personality simply by looking at their finger length. But, I then wondered why finger length would be influenced by prenatal testosterone levels... (more discussion...). -- Student ID: 4872, 9/14/2012

As noted above, be sure to add the last 4 digits of your student ID (or, if you wish you can use your name if anonymity isn't important to you). Add the date as well.

Paste your new post to the top of our blog (not to the bottom).

IMPORTANT: after you paste your post and edit it, y'ou must click on the "Save" button above or your post will be lost, and you will not get credit.

In addition, if you wish, you can also discuss and respond to the posts of others.

The day the bog post is due, please print a hardcopy of it, and turn it in to me during class. You will receive up to 5 points for each blog post.

We will break into groups and discuss the posts in class.

How to make class more interactive: I think a good way to make class more interactive is to have in class activities. Whether it be solo work or group work, actually focusing on doing something in class makes the class more engaging than just taking notes. Working in groups allows students to engage with each other. Talking about the class material in this manner lets us have a broader view of the subject and creates an environment where people are free to share their thoughts. (8237, 1/26/14 Week 1 Post)

Study of mood regulation dimorphism In this research study [|] on major depressive and anxiety disorders shows that sexual dimorphism in brain dysfunctions and altered hormones may help decipher why women are more prone to these mood disorders than men. Understanding the biological basis behind women’s vulnerability could help to discover at-risk women earlier and treat their symptoms. These findings could even open a door to discovering more and understanding sexual dimorphism in the human brain. (8237, 1/26/14 Week 2 Post)

I thought Chapter 4 of The Female Brain was interesting because I always believed that there was no reason that women orgasm. It makes sense, however, that the muscle contractions provided by orgasm pull in sperm to the egg and that the orgasm keeps a woman on her back for longer after inseminated in, increasing chances of conception. From reading, I was unable to tell if this is just a theory or a proven fact, but from an evolutionary perspective it is understandable and purposeful. In addition, I found it interesting to learn the reasons behind the fact that it is difficult for women to orgasm. I always assumed that many women did not reach orgasm because there was no real reason to in the first place. The author made it easy to understand that for women, psychological factors such as stress, anger, and worry (which are often on the female mind in terms of their relationships with men) hinder the ability to have an orgasm. This was an idea that had never crossed my mind before reading this chapter, which is why this section was enjoyable. (3259- April 13, 2011)

I found the first two chapters in both "The Male Brain" and "The Female Brain" to be very insightful depictions of male and females. The stereotypes of the genders that we have all heard since birth seem to be founded in actual scientific evidence. The different ways that typical male and female brains are formed are a strong explanation for the differences in the sexes. However, my questions evolve around the heterosexual men that enjoy doing things that girls typically enjoy. If a heterosexual man enjoys creating deeper relationships with his peers and participating in activities usually reserved for women how do we explain that? Is the answer physiological? Is it simply how they have been nurtured? Or is it a combination of both? (8674, 9/13/17).

Does the release of pheromones from a pregnant woman depend on her age? Will a woman who is in her prime fertility age range have a higher release of pheromones than an older woman who is pregnant? Could this effect the father's hormonal response? (0419)

I really enjoyed reading the The Daddy Brain chapter in The Male Brain. It was interesting to learn how different men view parenthood and how their emotions can change so drastically during different stages of parenthood, ranging from pregnancy to adulthood of the child. It got me thinking of how what I should do during parenthood to ensure my child's success later down the road in life. It was by far my most favorite chapter of either book for it brought me in and makes me want to learn even more about differences in parenting. (9814)

Throughout the reading in the female brain, Brizendine discusses the differences in male and female arousal. In order to an individual to climax and have an orgasm, the amygdala has to be turned off. In other words, the amygdala is a part in the brain that controls whether or not a woman can have an orgasm. If a woman is relaxed and comfortable with their sexual partner, then they will easily climax. On the other hand, woman do not have as many one night stands as men do because it is more difficult to become sexually comfortable with a new partner. Research also demonstrates that it is easier for a woman to conceive if she orgasms after a man has ejaculated, which is the biological reason why men do ejaculate before females orgasm, just for this purpose. My question is- is it just in humans that the biological reason why males ejaculate before females orgasm is to be able to have a higher chance of conception? (5282)

The Female Figure and the Male’s Perspective Why is it that males even at a young age all are attracted to the same type of figure in a woman? The women the males tend to like are ones who have curves, large breasts and wide hips. It is said that these characteristics of a woman’s body mean that she is fertile and this is the reason why men are so attracted to these types of women. What does this say about men who like women who are extremely skinny and do not portray these desired features? Do these men like women who appear to be or are not fertile? Do men actually know what they like or want in a woman’s physique, or is it what society tells the is beautiful that has persuaded them to like a certain body type? (3593) April 13, 2011

After reading chapter 4 of Brizendine’s The Female Brain, I found it interesting to learn that women who cheat are more likely to fake orgasm with their steady partners. Research found that even women who flirt with other men are more likely to fake orgasm with their steady partners. I was wondering as to why this may be true. If orgasms help women become pregnant, then wouldn’t a woman have more orgasms with the man whose genes she would want to have passed on to her offspring? If women are turning to more attractive extramarital partners, then those attractive genes would be the ones to be passed on to their offspring with the added benefit of a stable partner who is willing to invest time in those offspring. My question is: why does it seem difficult for women to find partners who can both invest in offspring and provide an intense, sexual love life? How come evolution has not yet adapted to this? If it were true, then women would be less inclined to cheat. (4876)

After reading Chapter 4 of the Female Brain, I thought it was interesting that studies have shown that once a woman’s home is secured she will have the biological urge to sneak around with men who have better genes. Studies report that women tend to orgasm, and therefore usually conceive with a male who isn’t her usual partner. Before taking this course, and reading Brizendine’s book, I have never looked highly upon cheating men, but never considered that a cheating woman is just as bad, if not worse. Because the media always plays up the idea of men cheating, many people will obviously conjure stereotypes that men are generally just unfaithful, but in fact, as Brizendine states, “Women are no more built for monogamy than men are.” It’s really interesting to know that when women even flirt with other men other then their steady partner, they will be less likely to achieve an orgasm, and that they will tend to fake their orgasms. It’s sort of disappointing to know that we weren’t specifically built for love. We aren’t satisfied with partners that care for us, or nurture us, instead our biology drives us to gather the best genes, at the expense of those care for us. (0097 4/11/2011)

This weeks’ reading was quite interesting. I was interested to read about the Daddy Brain. What was most interesting is that we view men as these creatures run by the hormone testosterone. It is the reason that men are the way they are. Testosterone is the reason why men are more aggressive and have a greater sex drive then women. But when a man finds out he is going to be a father, everything changes. It is common knowledge that female hormones and emotions are up and down during pregnancy but so are men’s hormones and emotions. After men discover they are going to be fathers, four to six weeks later their distress levels peak. Men deal with this distress in different ways. Some men distance themselves from being involved in the pregnancy whereas other can become extremely involved and end becoming even more stressed out then before. Once men find out they are going to be fathers, their testosterone level decreases. This decreasing of testosterone levels continues if fathers play an active role in their children’s lives. This decrease in testosterone during active fatherhood may help explain why couples who are married with children do not engage in sexual acts often. It is not that the man does not love his wife or find her as sexually attractive anymore, it is that he has simply lost some of his sexual drive due to the decreased amount of testosterone in his system. The decrease in testosterone also explains the change that surrounding persons see in men when they are fathers. Many men will develop a “soft spot” during fatherhood. So here the question lies. Women want men to be more understanding, more gentle, and more caring and becoming a father greatly increases the chance of this happening, but at the same time becoming a father inevitably reduces a man’s sex drive. Is this a sacrifice that woman are willing to make? It is true that women are naturally less often in the mood then men, but that does not mean she is completely uninterested in sex. Having a good father translates into having a weaker sex life, which is more often then not why any marriages fail. Is this a sacrifice that both men and women should make? 9057

Discussion Question In chapter 5 of The Male Brain, Brizendine writes of the bond between father and child. She goes into a lot of detail about how playing with the child, direct physical contact and looking into each others eyes helps to reinforce the parent’s and child’s brain circuits for connection. Also, fathers instincts for paternal behavior are honed with more time spent with the child. The father becomes more attentive to his child’s needs and can better predict how they are feeling and what they are going to do. What I am curious of is the connection between a father and subsequent children. Say a father had his first child, and then a couple years later a second. When the first was born, he would have honed these instincts and developed that father-infant synchrony. So when the second child is born, he should already be more attentive and paternal. Yet this new child may have a very different personality and temperament than the first. Would he develop an even new set of neural connections for this child specifically? Or are these instincts just generalized and already formed from the first? (1866)

Sex Differences in Communication At the end of the chapter “The Brain Below the Belt” in The Female Brain by Brizendine, she talks about this discrepancy in communication values. Brizendine refers to a hypothetical couple and the repercussions of sexual rejection as well as emotional rejection for both sexes and how they are weighted differently for men and women. She cites the typical thought process that a woman would engage in after emotional neglect and the proposed reasons for male change in demeanor. Interestingly, the hypothesized reasons for change in attitude may very well be Brizendine says of no connection or relation to changes in behavior. The continual process in which females and males engage in as an attempt to understand differences in behavior and presuppose reasons as to why there is a sudden shift seems futile when the schemata of values is offset from an evolutionary standpoint. I refer back to my own experiences and also that of others when I say that the incompatible communication lines between sexes is a constant frustration because there is so much it seems that is implied when it could very well be clarified with a simple explanation. I wonder if this incompatible communication is a constant process that sexes work to combat or if it does improve with age or with maturity. (5826)

I found it interesting how Brizendine mentions the way in which women’s pheromones during pregnancy can trigger a response in males causing them to experience a hormonal shift, “sympathetic pregnancy”. I did not know that a soon to be father’s testosterone levels decrease and prolactin levels increase, and men develop more of a parental instinct as a result. Do men experience this phenomena in the case of being cuckolded, and not being aware that their mate is carrying a child that is not their own? (3842)

I enjoyed reading The Daddy Brain because it reminds me of my brother who recently had a baby with his wife. The “old Paul” and the “new/father Paul” are two different people. Of course he still makes jokes and acts carefree, but he now has a stronger sense of responsibility. As stated in the book, in fathers-to be: testosterone goes down and prolactin goes up. After Will was born, I noticed how gentle and careful my brother was with every move. He was always making sure he was doing the right thing. Even now when I watch video clips of Will and Paul, I can see the synchrony between them. They are in their own little world doing all those adventurous things that Paul loves to do. What I found interesting was the study in Germany where the researchers found that the children, whose fathers played roughly with them, were the most self-confident by the time they reached adolescence. Since females are attracted to confidence, does rough play during childhood serve as practice to prepare boys for competition for mates? (2407)

In chapter four, Brizendine makes a comparison between male sexual desire and female communication desire. Although I have been aware that men tend to desire sex more often than females, and that females desire deep communication more often than males, I have never thought to compare the two concepts. It makes sense to think about them as two nodes of the same initial desire to be loved. Additionally, the fact that males have a greater “area for sexual pursuit” than females helps me understand why men are so sexually driven (Brizendine, 2006). [5412; 4/13/11]

I thought it was very interesting how men’s hormones adjust during the end of his mate’s pregnancy and how they readjust after the child learns how to walk. I think that the fact that the male mentality and hormonal composition to be similar to that of females acknowledges the fact that women are, by nature, more nurturing. I wonder why the male testosterone level decreases when he has children…. Is it that having kids decreases it or is it that a decreased testosterone level leads to a higher probability of having children? (5696)

In chapter 4 of The Female Brain, Brizendine writes about women and orgasms. Orgasms can help lead to pregnancy. Brizendine also writes that when a married woman has an affair, she is more likely to orgasm with her lover and fake an orgasm with her husband. I found an article that looks at this topic. The article I found, entitled “Why Women Fake Orgasms,” states that, from an evolutionary standpoint, women desire to have children. Once a woman does have a husband and children, she then seeks better genes then her husband provides. This comes through extra-marital affairs. Once a woman has a lover, she is more likely to orgasm with him because she wants his genes. She will then fake orgasms with her husband to deceive him into thinking that he is satisfying her. This is a way of hiding her affair. The article states that men do the same thing only in a different way. When a man has an affair, he attempts to hide it from his wife. Rather than faking orgasms with his wife, he will pay extra attention to his wife and shower her with gifts. (0298) [[1]]

One of the things that captivated my interest was the difference between the female and the male brain from an anatomical point of view. According to the book, the "defend your turf" area in the male’s brain known as the dorsal premammillary nucleus, is larger in the male brain than it is in the female brain. It also and contains special circuits that helps a male detect when another male is attempting to take over hi territory In addition, his amygdala, the alarm system for threats, fear and danger is also larger in men than it is females. These brain differences make men more alert than women to potential turf threats. (5696)

I found it interesting how Brizendine talks about the idea of anger leading people to think more clearly. Anger is often associated with irrational decisions and actions that have not been thought through completely. It surprised me that anger allows people to more carefully analyze another persons reasoning, but at the same time it makes sense because you are paying more attention to how you can retaliate. However, in instances of abuse, why do people resort to rash actions following an argument? (3842)

After reading The Male Brain, the thing that I found most interesting was the different emotional responses between men and women. It is often said that women empathize and pick up on emotion much better than men. In chapter 6 of The Male Brain, Brizendine offers reasons for this. The brain has two emotional response systems the mirror-neuron system (MNS) and the temporal-parietal junction system (TPJ). Males primarily use the TPJ while females use the MNS. The MNS allows females to emotionally connect with someone while the TPJ allows men to focus on trying to find a solution to problems. (0298)

“Railroad Sex” Is railroad sex the basis of where people got the idea that women and men cannot just be friends? Railroad sex deals with getting from friendship to sex as soon as possible, so is that supposed to raise questions for every individual who is friends with the opposite sex that they are only in this friendship just to get into your pants? Can’t some people truly be friends without viewing the person of the opposite sex as only a potential sex partner? I believe that this idea of “railroad sex” is almost animalistic and does not give much hope to those who love someone of the opposite sex as just a friend and wish to keep it that way. Although there have been friendships that have been completely ruined due to one person developing feelings for another when the other person just wants to keep their friendship the way it has been, but not because of just sexual attraction but emotional as well. 3593 (April 4, 2011)

This example of “sneaky copulators” in red deer shows how subordinate males steal females from the dominant deer. In this case, does the subordinate male then become the dominant male? Why would so many males help out the subordinate to trick the dominant? 0419

I found the video that we had to watch for class this week about Margaret Mead and her work at the island of Samoa very interesting. I had not known about this controversy before, and I was shocked to hear about how influential Mead’s work had become for such a long period of time. I also found it interesting that no one else seemed to question the validity of her work until Derek Freeman came along. I also wonder if the sexual revolution of the 1960s would have still taken place if Margaret Mead had never published her findings. I also found it strange how Mead was able to sway so many people with her ideas—which basically implied that nurture plays the important role in life, not nature. Today, that seems hard to believe, since most psychology classes teach us that both nature and nurture provide us with important roles. Nature is much more important now then what people used to think thirty years ago. 4876 (3/9/11)

Cuttlefish Wimps I find it interesting how some cuttlefish are able to change colors to mimic females. These creatures are then seen as “transvestites,” which in turn makes me think about human male transvestites. Do they become transvestites in order to make females feel comfortable around them and then be able to make their move on them, or is it because they feel as if they want to switch genders every one in a while. The cuttlefish who mimic the females are seen as wimps because they are unable to present themselves as males and use this tactic to fight off any other rivals that may want the same cuttlefish. This makes me think about the true reason why some human males mimic females because when they do they are always perceived as just not wanting to explore other options, but it may be a smart tactic in attracting and making females be comfortable around them to fight off other men. (3593) 3/9/11

From the readings of chapter 6, my question is whether environmental conditions can alter the matings systems of an established group of species such as tje elephant seals. The text explains that when sexual reproduction is based on intra sexual selection, males become bigger and meaner. Are there any environmental conditions that could result in perhaps for females to choose who to mate with on the basis of something instead of the biggest seal that fights off and dominates the rests of the hierarchy? (87610, 3/9/11)

The Margaret Mead Controversy I think the whole controversy surrounding Mead and her findings of Samoa are very interesting. After watching the video, and hearing about the Samoan culture, and the Samoan interviewees first hand, I would have to agree with the skeptics of Mead. I believe that because her field was the study of anthropology, it would make sense that she write and publish results that are biased. Especially during a time when the nature versus nurture debate was such a controversy, it would behoove her to publish results that support the field of anthropology than biology. From an evolutionary standpoint, Mead’s results and conclusion doesn’t make sense. Could there really be a culture that could depart so much from our ancestors that females can be so sexually indiscriminant and males can simply be callous about their paternity assurance? Perhaps during Mead’s time period, evolution was not as thoroughly understood as it is today, but today, from an evolutionary standpoint, many people can agree that it would be disadvantageous for both females and males to live the lifestyle that Mead so details in her publication. (0097, 3/9/11)

From the chapter six reading, it is amazing what strategies and lengths non-human species males will go to in order to copulate and raise their chances of assured paternity. The section on infanticide of offspring fathered by competitor males was particularly interesting, especially after watching the video last week about males in lion prides. After reading about this topic and comparing this behavior to humans, I have two questions. Why is it so common for human males to raise kids that are not their own (in the case of step fathers, adoptive parents, etc.) when it is certain in such cases that males do not share genes with the children? Also, from the reading it does not sound like it, but are there any known non-human species in which males act as a father figure to offspring that are from another male? (3259, 3/9/11)

The most prominent male reproductive strategy is to mate with as many fertile females as possible. It is crazy to learn that males will even risk their lives in order to spread their seed even if it comes down to dying as the end result. A bazaar phenomenon that researchers and scientists have been baffled by for decades are pedophiles. Males are biologically and evolutionarily set to be attracted to fertile females. However, pedophiles do not fall under that description. Pedophiles are a small group of individuals (94% of them being male) that are sexually attracted to someone that demonstrated zero signs of reproductive value. In other words, a pedophile is sexually attracted to young children- less than thirteen years old. When a human female is younger that thirteen, she is not fertile yet. One of the theories floating around is that this type of attraction could be caused by a traumatic event and the pedophiles are hence “re-wired”. Is pedophilia caused strictly by environmental factors or something dealing with the development of the brain from birth? (5282 3/9/11)

Coolidge Effect-How Do Bulls Know? According to the Coolidge effect male mammals, in varying degrees, are able to mate multiple times of day but choose not to if it is with only one other female. The reproductive novelty offered by new females would cause the male to reproduce again, because it offers another chance at impregnation. The interesting part is with cows who are impregnated by a bull. If a bull has sex with a cow and is presented with her again, he will not have sex even if her face is covered and her smell altered; yet if she is presented to a different bull he will then try to copulate with her. So my question is, do bulls recognize the bodies of cows when they are presented with the same one they’ve already impregnated? If not, how can they tell? (9185 3-9-11)

Meads movie Coming of Age in Samoa, seem to mainly focus on adolescent behavior on sexual activity living on the island of Samoa. Freeman was popular with his university students who were interested in Margret Mead along with Anthropology. It was her book, Coming of Age in Samoa, which caught his eye on the Island Of Samoa. He took so much interest that he moved there for two years where he stayed with the chief of the island. He became well known around the village and successfully become intergraded into the Samoa culture. Since, he held such a high title he was granted more privileged which gave him access into meeting where he could continue with his research. What Freeman learned from these meetings was that Margret’s Meads book was not entirely correct. Meads reputation continued to grow because of her entertainment and gift of performance. Even with her faults she still was extremely popular. When Freeman confronted her about her conclusion she realized that her results could be different. She was mature when finding out the new results on Samoa. If I would to bet on the professor whom I felt was more knowledgeable on the subject I would choose freeman. He had a larger study, he visited Samoa many times for numerous of years, and also was able to attend certain meetings that Mead was not able to attend. His fault was that in his own book he focused more on destroying Meads reputation then sending out his message to the readers. My question is wondering why he was so determined on attacking Mead? Another question was what were the main areas where he saw in difference with mead? Out of Holmes, Mead, and freeman who is most reliable on having the most accurate information? (8527)

My question for today is how did the act of sexual intercourse even begin? What two species started having sex first and how did they figure out how to do it? Is the sex drive innate or does it develop? It seems to me that it is innate but I’m just wondering how the act of sex came about. (5041)

What I have found interesting this week is an idea that has been mentioned before but has now been built upon. It is this idea, this fact that men have shorter lifespans then do women. At first glance we see this result as a product of the fact that men engage in more dangerous and risk taking behaviors. This is true, yet the drive for these dangerous and risk taking behaviors is often that of to mate. We see this throughout the Chapter Six reading. Males put so much effort into mating that their life is actually shortened because of it. Take for example the red deerare. Males in this species have large, overgrown, and sharp antlers. These antlers are used in fights with other males when competition for the right to copulate with the females ensue. The antlers are a huge expense for the deerare himself because they serve no purpose other then to fight other males. The antlers slow the male down when trying to run from a predator and often prove a nuisance when going through shrouds of trees. This extra energy used to maintain the antlers causes the male to spend less time taking care of his actual self, and in turn, his life is shortened by this loss of energy or by the possible fatal attack of another male. Male elephant seals are another example of how males have shorter lifespans due to their strong innate desire to mate. When male elephant seals engage in violent behavior it is to guard or take over female mates. These battles often lead to massive physical damage and possibly death. This innate desire for males to mate and do everything they can to mate leads me to draw the conclusion that human males have somehow lost this fighting instinct. Males often do not fight as they once did for the girl. It is seen as an unimportant topic. If the male cannot get the female he desires easily, he moves on, and ends up mating with a female that is possibly less qualified in the gene realm. How will this effect the human gene pool in the future if men continue to pass up the women who would provide the best genes for their children but also provide the most work? (9057)

In chapter six of Dr. Mill’s book titled, “Male Reproductive Strategies in Non-human Species” the concept of senesce was discussed, the idea that different species age at different rates with the determinant of aging being an investment trade-off between somatic maintenance and reproductive effort. With somatic maintenance rate being a closely correlated variant to lifespan, it has been found that males show a higher tendency towards r-selected behavior, behavior that participates in relatively low effort in maintaining and repairing their own bodies. Instead, energy is directed toward reproduction whereas, women are active participants in k-selected behavior that is the natural tendency to invest more in self-repair. My question is, how does this data relate to outliers in sexuality? Does a gay male or lesbian female participate in more r-selected or k-related behavior or do they still consistently gravitate towards their preconceived behaviors? If there is a difference, can behavior more be attributed to a biological fixation or social and environmental responsibilities? (5826)

From the chapter what I found disturbing was the section about forced copulation. It is disturbing to me that non-human species such as fruit flies and chimpanzees would engage in this awful activity. However, it is interesting to see the similarities in behavior between humans and other non-human species. I think a lot of the male reproductive strategies mentioned in this chapter can be used as explanations to why humans act the way they do when they are courting someone or when they are in a relationship with someone. It is mentioned that forced copulation is sometimes a strategy used when male species are repeatedly being rejected. Some species such as the mallard ducks will go even as far as gang rape. An unmated mallard duck will collaborate with other unmated males and target a female when her mate is away. This is ridiculous! In addition, they will catch her, bite the back of her neck, and may dunk her head under water (Barash, 1977). This aggressive behavior proves even more that one of the main reasons of our existence (humans and non-human species) is to sexually reproduce. I have always understood this at glance, but I did not grasp the extent to which humans and non-human species would actively pursue this. So basically in situations like this, females do not have an option to choose their mate and are most likely mating with a male that has poor genetic quality. (2407)

I found the section in the text about pedophilia very disturbing, yet very interesting as well. I would assume that pedophiles have other abnormal disorders but I did not know that the percent of pedophiles with other disorders would be as high as 50-70%. The discussion about the high chance of an individual who was abused or molested as a child behaving molesting a different child once he is older makes sense to me. The essay leads me to wonder what psychologists and other people can do to try to stop the “victim-to-abuser cycle” or the “abused-abusers” phenomena. (5412) (3/9/11)

Male reproductive success is proportional to the number of fertile females with which the male can mate. Males generally invest more “mating effort” or physical effort in the process of mating and less “parental effort” or effort put towards parental investment. Because of this trend, there is a difference in senescence (aging) between males and females, males generally aging faster (more r-selected). Males have a greater mating effort than females leading to more somatic cell damage. This wear and tear on the bodies of males causes more somatic cell repair in males, and therefore they senescence faster and have shorter life-spans than females. This may have everything to do with grand mothering and the fact that females lose their ability to reproduce way before they actually die. Women care more about having and caring for the kids than making them. (5696)

In class we learned that in species where females have no choice of mates, males grow extremely large. The largest males are often the alphas that reproduce with the majority of females. The smallest males are often reproductively disenfranchised, mating with no females. This led me to wonder if this occurs in humans. I hypothesized that men with the Napoleonic Complex, more commonly known as Little Man Syndrome, overcompensate for a lack of size because, in evolutionary terms, they would have been reproductively disenfranchised. The BBC did a study where twenty men (10 average size and 10 small in stature) fought with sticks. The study was done to see if the smaller men would react more aggressively due to overcompensation caused by Napoleonic Complexes. However what researchers found was that the average-sized men were more aggressive disproving the Napoleonic Complex. The researches concluded that the Napoleonic Complex is a myth that has no bearing on how aggressive a man is. I’ve attached the link in case anyone wants to look at the article. (0298) [[2]]

According to our text, “when males do parent, it is often because they must”. The likelihood of a male investing a large amount of his time and resources is generally dependent on both the “ability of males to provision or protect their offspring and a high degree of paternity assurance”. Furthermore, if more “females are available for mating,” males tend to stray from the children and their mothers for more opportunities to reproduce. While the text acknowledges that human males tend to invest more than other species, if their assistance is unnecessary or insufficient and there are other women willing to reproduce, are they likely to abandon the children and their mother? In cases where the female supports the family financially, is the male more likely to cheat? Or since they are dependent on the female for their own survival, are they likely to stay and try to offer help in other ways? (ID #: 0023, 3/9/2011)

Quiz 3 Discussion-Seahorse Anomalies So although seahorses are unlike most species on Earth in that the male bears the weight of reproduction by housing the developing babies and birthing them. Also a unique sexually dimorphic quality is that the female seahorse is larger, make up most of the population and fight for a male reproductive partner; these behaviors are identical humans but opposite in terms of sex along with the sexual reproductive role. The reproductive duties lead to choosiness even in seahorses, a behavior also similar to humans. Humans and seahorses also share their monogamous nature, as seahorses tend to stick with one partner in order to fine tune their reproductive ability, which is in essence what humans do as they stick together and work as a team to advance their parenting abilities (both nurturing and reproducing). Based on information found at: [[3]]

Also discovered the nature of female seahorse genetalia in response to my question during class of whether or not female has external genetalia, only during the reproductive dance does the ovipositor (a tube for transferring eggs to male pouch) externalize. For further information, Wikipedia says: “The ovipositor is an [| organ] used by some [| animals] for [| oviposition], i.e. the laying of [| eggs]. It consists of a maximum of three pairs of appendages formed to transmit the egg, to prepare a place for it, and to place it properly. Some [| Roach]-like [| fish], such as [| bitterlings], have an ovipositor as a tubular extension of the [| genital] orifice in the breeding season for depositing eggs in the mantle cavity of the pond [| mussel]. [| Seahorses] have an ovipositor serving a similar purpose.”

One thing that interested me this week was based on the video we watched online about mating and evolution. The video noted how in some species, particularly some birds, the females will choose potential mates based on exaggerated features. The birds mentioned in the video had longer tails, brighter colors, or other different features. These ornamental features seem to attract females, even though they do not help the males in any other way. In fact, these features attract predators to the males, since they make the males stand out more. The video mentioned that it is still a little uncertain why females prefer these ornamental details on the males in the species. My question is how come in humans, females are the ones who seem to have more “ornamental features”? That is, women, on average, seem to care more about their appearance towards males. I understand that men value beauty in women, and would as expected be more interested in females who are more attractive. But how come men do not put as much into their appearance when compared to women? Other species have done this and the males who have the best ornamental value have the best and possibly most mates. (4876) 2/23/2011

Firstly, I found the discussion of evolved mating tricks in the video amazing. In particular, the ‘satellite male’ fish that are disguised as female fish, allowing them to sneak in between two mating fish without being noticed. While this was a little weird at first, it was fascinating in the sense of how systematic the whole thing is. Many animals go to great lengths to cheat and as discussed in the video, cheating is considered genetically beneficial. I understand the benefits of cheating from an evolutionary perspective, although I do not condone the action. All of our recent discussion about cheating and each sex trying to make the best of their investments, I am beginning to wonder why our culture puts so much emphasis on ‘love’ and long term commitment. Besides the fact that males and females are wired very differently, it just does not seem that males and females were designed to have the kind of romantic and exclusive relationship that we think, or would ideally hope for… (3259) 2/23/2011 Chapter 4 Quiz Discussion In an earlier blog someone questioned the nature of low male involvement in parenting. It really struck a chord with me because even in situations where men know the child is theirs we see low investment. Maybe in the animal kingdom that’s dismissible as a function of nature, but in the human world I think it’s just a cop out giving men a reason to forego responsibility. “Boys will be boys” as the saying goes. Frankly, I believe just as with girls, boys will be what society allows them to be. Men have just as much responsibility for creating a child, and likewise should have as much in raising the child. Being an absentee father should not be dismissed as a natural occurring reality for human beings. -6052 (2/23/11)

My question for this week is why men are so shallow sometimes. I feel like most men our age are only looking for a certain type of girl. That is blonde, skinny and tan and if you aren’t one those, you immediately get put in the friend zone. It seems that no guy is into the down to Earth girls that really could care less about getting all dressed up for school and trying to impress everyone. I feel like guys our age are so one track minded. I know that this may be because of the girl’s reproductive value, but what happens to all the girls who don’t look like supermodels?(5041)

Advances in the study of animal behavior (1993) My focus in finding the article for the lectures related to readings and lecture is towards male aggression towards females in relation to reproduction. Our readings have described methods that males used towards other males for access to more females for quantitative and qualitative purposes, but never mentioned aggression towards females. However, it was mentioned that in some species females ate their mating partners. The research article that I found relevant to my focus was geared towards documenting male aggression in primate non-human species. The article suggests that male aggression was tied towards sexual coheresion. Aggressiveness towards females results in females being more apt to mate with a particular male out of fear of injury. The article also mentions that research is not extensive into delving into this particular study for reasons unknown. On the one hand, it does not make sense to wish to harm a potential female mate for reasons that the female could find protection with another male, but it can also be reasonable to believe that a male could in fact tap into a greater resource of female partners if he physically monopolizes over them. (7610) 2/23/11

I remember reading an article in Time Magazine about a family with 19 children. The parents expressed no desire to stop having children (or use birth control) because each child is considered a "gift from God". They seem like a fully functioning, happy family, but I wonder what the psychological repercussions are for the older children in the family. With so many children, there has to be at least one child who feel ignored or neglected. Obviously, they put a lot of responsibility on the older children, and I find it hard to believe life is picture perfect in this family. (0419)

In relation to the video, I found an interesting article on the environmental role on the differentiation between asexual and sexual reproduction ([| leases/2010/10/ m]). It reported that more heterogenous environments (environments with diverse species range) are influential on a species in reproducing sexually, while more homogenous environments are responsible for asexual reproduction. It states that, "simply, sexual reproduction helps create genotypes that are better able to survive across different environments. In contrast, asexual reproduction yields types that are suited to only one environment." Very interesting! - 3839

The main topic that I want to discuss on chapter 4, specifically on the concept of female sexual choiceness and caution. In the reading it talks about the relation in the picking a male and paralleling that to optimally timing of child bearing for a female. Even though certain variables can effect the timing ex: stress famine, unavailability etc. But, when a female finally decides to pick a male she can look at factors regarding commitment, wealth, and status. Unlike some female animals that pick their males purely passed on bright colors like certain fishes and finches. Female Humans need some kind of security when choosing the right male to reproduce. Males are more likely to engage in sex compare to women. In the study from Clark and Hatfield, 75% of men would accept an invitation for sexual interaction compared to a woman being asked the same thing. In the study not one woman accepted the invite. My question is why do so many men think and want to engage in sex? Why do women feel the need not to think about sex all the time? Also, when they have the opportunity to have sex why don’t they embrace it? (8527)

Evolution has provided humans with the prestige ability to reproduce sexually. Although this way of reproducing allows for only fifty percent of genes to be passes on compared to the hundred percent allowed in cloning, there seems to be a strong inclination for wanting this sexual reproduction. Humans are quite different from any species in the sense that yes, we often mate for the sake of our future children and having good and strong genes, however we are the only species that can mate for other reasons. Humans have the choice of mating simply because we care for that individual. The genes of that individual may not be the best genes to pass on, but because we love them it is okay. My mom is one of the exceptions to this rule. She left the person she loved because they didn’t want to have any more children and she found two men who were not the best mates. They did not provide the best Parental investment, however they did provide great genes. My brother and I are physically and mentally strong individuals with higher levels of intelligence and have a way of communicating with others that makes us seem (because we are) genuine. This leads to the ultimate question of, if a majority of humans mate based on love, will the human race at some point not be equipped to survive on this planet?(9057)

Is paternity insecurity the only reason why males are less invested in the offspring? Some males discuss their fears of having to be responsible and no longer being able to do whatever they want whenever they want because they have now produced an offspring, or some are too immature to take on the responsibility as well. I think that there are many different reasons as to why males will not invest in their offspring, paternity insecurity may be an issue, but I think that there are many other factors that go along with it. The fact that males do not like to be “tied down” is another reason why they may reject the offspring as their own. Paternity insecurity may be a real live issue, but it may also be an excuse to not take responsibility in something that requires change, responsibility, and monogamy. ID: 3593 02/23/11

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The Influence of Behavioral Consequences

The behavioral consequences of females include sexual choosiness and caution, desire for male status, resource, control and commitment as well as the assurance of maternity and female parental investment. However, my question is how influential is each sexual determinant. Can sexual choosiness outweigh maternal investment? What is the interaction between the two and could potentially their interactions be influenced by the behavioral consequences of the male? (5826)

I found it interesting how men look for women based on age because it is an important determinant of reproductive ability. On the other hand, women look for men based on status and whether or not they have the resources to provide for the woman and her offspring. Women are at an advantage as the statistics showed that there are more never been married men compared to never been married women, however you often hear women complaining that their biological clock is ticking and they are still unmarried when they are older. Why do we hear about unmarried women, for example the “old cat lady”, more than unmarried men when the statistics show otherwise? (0018)

In class, we’ve been exploring many psychological and sociological puzzles. For example, men want to marry women younger than themselves while women want to marry men older than themselves and men are more likely to initiate a sexual relationship while women are more likely to initiate an emotional relationship. We have seen that sexually dimorphic psychological adaptations have evolved due to evolutionary pressures on men and women. In a recently published article ([[4]]), Where Have the Good Men Gone? author Kay S. Hymowitz explains the reasons why men in their 20s are now living in an extended adolescence. She calls this cultural phenomenon pre-adulthood. In comparison to the 1960s where men and women were marrying in their early 20s, men are now marrying at age 28 and women at 26. There is a large population of single, unattached 20 year olds who like to have a good time. Hymowitz claims that the origin of pre-adulthood has been the recent economic changes. Men and women have become more career conscience given that the economy has become extremely competitive requiring long working hours, international travels, etc. In addition, there has been an increase of women in the workplace and they have been noticeably more successful at outperforming men. Another reason for pre-adulthood comes from a sociological perspective. In the past, men and women’s lives were structured by a clear defined script. You go to high school, graduate, go to college, marry, have kids, etc. Now Hymowitz finds that it not clear what the next step is. In particular, men’s social role is unclear. They are confused about what is expected of them and how they are suppose to act. Are they supposed to be confident but not too confident? Hymowitz believes men have become self-conscious about how to act, so they resort to acting like boys. In contrast, women are starting to manage on their own. There are more women who are single mothers. They are shifting into a breadwinner role. When a baby comes, some women still have part-time work. Hymowitz wants to encourage more interdependence between me and women. She says men are needed not only in childbirth but in financial support. -2407

For this week’s discussion question, I found a related article in the New York Times regarding a study done about reactions between men and women during a woman’s point of peak fertility. The article can be found here: During the study, the woman was dressed plainly, with no makeup or perfume and told not to flirt with the men and to keep eye contact and conversation to a minimum. The men thought she was simply part of the experiment they were conducting, and worked along side her. Later they were questioned as to her attractiveness, and all of those who were not already in relationships rated her as more attractive during the peak of her fertility, while those who were rated her less attractive. The article suggests that those in the relationships lessened her attractiveness in their minds and answers so as to not be tempted. Also the study suggests that in some ways, human men can detect when women are ovulating, even if they are subtle clues. It was generally thought before that this couldn’t really be done- but according to the article, studies have found that there are changes in a woman’s behavior- such as vocal pitch and body odor. Men respond with higher rated attractiveness and an increased level of testosterone. Also, it was found that, around the time of ovulation, women tend to dress more attractively and flirt with other men (in terms of those in relationships) more. This leads to increased mate guarding from the males.
 From an evolutionary standpoint, this all seems to make a lot of sense. Men are more attracted to women while they are most fertile because copulation during that time would have produced the most success. Also, women around that period tend to look around for those with better genes, even though they are not planning on leaving their current partner for good because it will be them who will assist with taking care of the child. This also shows how evolution can effect not only biology but behavior as well. For a male, it would make the most sense to copulate with as many women as possible and to not put in much parental investment, because they cannot be as sure it is their child. But for women, who must put much more effort into off spring at all stages, need to have males that will assist and thus help their offspring survive. So while the impulse may be towards polygamy, humans have evolved to check our behavior and form a generally monogamous type of society. (1866) 2/22/11

Our text discussed male strategies to assure paternity of their offspring, mainly noting that males have acquired a number of adaptations over the years, such as jealousy to guard females from other males. While this makes much sense, with recent advances in birth control, females have more control and freedom ov#_GoBacker their bodies, allowing them to practically regulate who they have a child with. As a result, do jealousy and other adaptations still have a role in a relationship, since it seems like more of a guarantee that their chosen partner will be the father? Do new technologies alter previous evolutionary adaptations, making them virtually useless? Will these adaptations further change over time as technology increases? Furthermore, the text also notes that men will invest significantly less in their children due to their lack of paternity assurance. If they are positive the child is theirs (such as, the child has the same facial features to himself or other relatives), are they more likely to invest in the child? (0023, 2/23/2011)

One thing that absolutely captivated my attention in chapter four was the idea of sperm competition. I thought it was extraordinary how an organism can be capable of “wiping” the female clean of previous insemination in order to have a higher chance of the offspring being their own. I wonder how certain species of fish and even birds can make this happen. Is it a chemical that cleans the girl out or maybe a specific set of motions by the male? It’s amazing what a man has to do to make sure that their kids are really theirs and in that way increase their male fitness as well reproductive success. (5696)

One thing that I really found interesting was the results of the Hatfield and Clark study from 1982. The study asked men and women three questions: 1) Would you go on a date with me? 2) Would you come to my apartment? 3) And would you have sex with me? About half of the men and women asked were willing to go on a date. The thing I found most interesting was that 75% of men were willing to have sex while 0% of women were. More men were willing to have sex than go on a date. I guess this is because of the investment involved in reproduction. For men, they can have sex and that is the end of the interaction. Because of the length of time women invest, they have to be much more selective. Because of this, they are less willing to have sex with someone they do not know. (0298)

Chapter 2 of Male Brain discusses the situation of a boy named Jake, who’s soaring levels of testorerone make it very difficult for him to be attentive to anything but girls and computer games. However, his dad finds a trick that keeps him attentive enough to focus on homework. This aspect of puberty is supposed to last until age 20 in average males. If I am a male about to turn twenty-one and still feel myself distracted by computers during class work as opposed having a will to succeed that keeps me focused am I too far gone to save? If my parent’s were unable to train me during adolescence with useful incentives like that of Jake’s dad, will I never have the type of meditative awareness it takes to kick butt in the real world? (8143)

In the movie Nature Vs Nurture dealing with homosexuality, I felt it was very interesting in the first segment with the twin boys on how one was perceived gay and the other child straight. Even the way the young child spoke you could notice a flamboyant tone to his voice. I felt this was interesting because I felt that gays were only flamboyant of years of being surrounded by other gay people. This child was only nine years old and could guarantee that he has not been exposed to many gay men in his lifestyle but all ready had the flamboyant ring when he speaks. So my question is, is acting, dressing, and speaking like a flamboyant homosexual nurture or nature? I feel that it still brings up the important issue that no one knows for certain because the next segment had to deal with a set of twins where one was gay and the other was not but they both acted and dressed like straight guys and there was not any flamboyant talk when the gay person spoke. (8527)

I would like to know what makes women more attractive at their time of ovulation. It is my understanding that we release some type of hormone but why are men attracted to it? And why do men want to have sex with women while they are menstruating? (5041).

With regard to the developmental process during pregnancy, an individual’s sex cannot be determined until after a certain period of time. Though both males and females have this similarity in the same manner that different species have the same ancestors, the theory of evolution falls short of explaining what exactly the advantages are for having two sexes of the same species. Through mutation, adaptation, and natural selection, the species of the world that we have today have stood the test of time through evolution; however, not all of these species have two sexes. Some animals (such as certain types frogs for instance) have the capability of changing sex over time or reproducing without sex. Will it be possible someday to have genderless humans that reproduce asexually? Regardless of the countless possibilities that the future holds, one question that remains today is “what are the advantages of having male and female forms of a species versus other sexless species?” (5092) -2/2/2011

Something that interests me greatly is the difference between men and women when it comes to limerance and lust. How come guys first response is lust, but females is limerance? Are our brains that different in the way they think that causes this response? Is it a result of our society and the way we expect men and women to respond? Or is it something else that we cannot really explain? We touched on it briefly in class but this is just something that really interests me in general. (9814)

In the discussion of sexuality I think the 60 Minutes segment: “Homosexuality: Nature vs. Nurture” proved that there really is no discussion to be had. While the 9year-old boys are too young for outsiders to officially deem “heterosexual” and “homosexual,” it seems the two will be respectably such. In the case of identical twins, who grow up in the same home (essentially “nurtured” the same) the reality is that sexual-preference is nature. The two boys were exposed to the same upbringing and teachings, socialized to believe the same things and given equal opportunity to express themselves freely. When after all that the two, with such close DNA choose such drastically different lifestyles the reality is clear. Another reality, not discussed in the video and largely based on my opinion, is that so many people wouldn’t choose to be different and discriminated against if they had the power to. Gays in our society have, in the past, and continue to, face discrimination and high instances of not being accepted. Most people just want to fit in. I believe most people wouldn’t choose to be gay. There is no discussion. Homosexuality is nature. -(2/2/11) 6052

I found an interesting article on ScienceDaily that attempts to explain why the continuity of gayness still exists even though it does not produce any sort of survival value advantage. Understandably, mating with the same sex actually diminishes your chances of reproduction and passing on your genes. However, scientists from this article propose that homosexuality promotes altruism and a helping of close kin relationships. It is called the kin selection hypothesis. “Specifically, the theory holds that homosexual men might enhance their own genetic prospects by being "helpers in the nest." By acting altruistically toward nieces and nephews, homosexual men would perpetuate the family genes, including some of their own.” ([[5]]) - 3839 I really enjoyed watching the segment from 60 Minutes that discusses how homosexuality involves both nature and nurture. It was really interesting to hear about identical twin boys who have completely different personalities. One of the twins had childhood gender nonconformity, and according to research, he is more likely to grow up as a homosexual. Since nurture isn’t a plausible explanation for homosexuality given this example, one might assume that it is nature. But identical twins have the same genes. So homosexuality cannot be completely genetic. Therefore, research has indicated that prenatal environments and hormones probably have a large effect on sexual identify. I find this research very interesting, since it hasn’t been fully answered yet. Perhaps we will be able to know the answer in 10 or 20 years. Another thing I have always been curious about is if homosexuality is part genetic, how come evolution hasn’t completely wiped it out by now? I have no problems with homosexuality—some of my closest friends are gay. But it still doesn’t make sense in evolution that people who, because of their sexuality, do not reproduce. Yet it is found that homosexuality can be a common occurrence in families. (4876) 2/2/2011

Last month an article regarding homosexuality and its affects on teenagers was posted on the New York Times Internet news site. The article by Jane E Brody, entitled, “Gay or Straight, Youths Aren’t So Different” discusses the issues of stigma placed on homosexuals, despite any differences they may have with heterosexuals. Brody reports that gay teenage men are just as socially integrated as straight teenage men, yet they are stigmatized against and are more likely to face issues of depression. I found this article interesting because it relates to the topic of the maturing male brain and how they perceive other’s comments of being gay, or feminine. Together, the article and Dr Brizendine’s book, stress the need for social acceptance of differences. How can we end the social stigmas placed against homosexuality and towards people that are “different”? [6] (5412) 2/2/2011

In the readings this week it was discussed that men and women seem to utilize their brains differently- males tend to think in a more lateral way- using one hemisphere, while females tend to use both for the same task. It would seem natural then that males and females have very specific differences in brain structure that could lead to these different utilizations. males tend to have thicker cortexes on the right side (spatial processing) of their brains, while females tend to have thicker corpus callosums. This could explain why males tend to perform better on spacial memory and rotation tasks, and why females have an easier time utilizing both halves of their brains. What I am curious about though, is what caused this difference in the first place? These days, these are differences that occur during hormonal releases during fetal development, but the first humans wouldn’t necessarily have had these differences. One could see from a social perspective that if males were more often wandering off to hunt or to find other mates, the areas in their brain dedicated to spacial skills would over time develop to be larger. Yet what is it that would cause the female brain to eventually develop a thicker corpus collosum and split thought processes between both hemispheres? Perhaps it is because they not only had to worry about their own safety and well being, but had to be worry about their children as well, leading to a greater need to be able to multi-task and thus split up brian usage? Or could it be for some other reason? (1866) (2/2/11)

1. DHT is primarily found in the Dominican Republic. Why is this only happened here? What would it be like if it happened in America? Could this be related to an evolutionary perspective in that starting out female and transforming to male could resemble some sort of survival method? (0419 2/2/11)

Genetically Modified Foods Affecting Puberty. I found an article in The Huffington Post: [[7]] highlighting some of the effects that modified foods have on prepubescent males and females. The article specifically mentions that foods such as cows modified with hormones like estradiol should cause concern. Some researchers maintain that the levels of estrogen found in 3 oz of beef are far less than those found in our bodies. However, another group of researchers argue that those “miniscule” level of hormones can be quite substantial for a body that’s not producing hormones for itself. Last class meeting, we briefly mentioned the trend we see in girls and boys reaching puberty at earlier and earlier stages of life. This article addresses this phenomenon by stating that this could be due to either the consumption of foods genetically modified with hormones, or it could be due to our protein, calorie, and nutrient rich diet which has an impact on the mechanisms of our growth hormones. (0097 2/2/2011)

Embodied Cognition

In Louann Brizendine’s book The Male Brain she discusses the influence of embodied cognition on learning and spatial manipulation in males. Brizendine writes that when a boy is learning a new word such as the word run, “his brain fires messages to his leg muscles and makes them twitch: He’s rehearsing the action of running in order to learn the word” (26). Brizendine elaborates saying the boys have a tendency to use their muscles and body parts (embodiment) to formulate a bodily movement that is associated with the word. Although, this is true of all brains (males and females), Brizendine attributes a higher frequency in that of males and makes a correlation with this cognitive function and spatial manipulation. My question is, how are these two cognitive functions related? And most importantly, do we even understand why our brain participates in embodied cognition process and thus, why is it more prevalent in males? (5826)

I found both writings by Brizendine highly interesting. One of the things that caught my attention most was the fact that infant girls are keenly aware of eye contact while infant boys are not. Brizendine illustrated with examples from her patients that little girls would stare directly into the eyes of their mothers while boys’ attention drifted to more flashy things such as mobiles. Little girls, at young ages, are also able to recognize facial expressions and emotions much better than little boys. We know that this is the case in men and women; however, to see that it occurs the same way in infants is fascinating to me. (0298)

For many years there a debate over homosexuality: should it exist? Does it really exist? How/Why? This last week in class we have learned that homosexuality is very much a real thing. Homosexuality is not a choice. This point seems to be obvious, in the sense that no one would willingly choose to be disliked, mistreated, or shunned. Science is proving that homosexuality is natural in the sense that it deals with the brain and its hormonal development during critical stages of differentiation. Dorner has created three stages of brain masculinization, alluding to the idea that the brain is not masculinized all at once, but overtime. The first stage, sex centers, determines physical genitalia, the second stage, mating centers, determines the sexual orientation, and the third stage, gender role center, determines the behaviorisms of the individual. Now if these stages occur at separate times, then it can explain homosexual and many other somewhat puzzling gender identities and behaviors. What is most interesting here, is that this research has been around for at least ten years, going off the picture quality of videos seen in class, yet this information is completely new to me. This would mean that although there seems to be much information that demonstrates the concreteness of homosexuality and its natural beginnings, no one has really taken this information to the center of debate. Of course these “errors” that are caused by hormonal changes in the brain and body could be spun to say that homosexuality is wrong, science would put to rest the argument that homosexuality, or sexuality in general is not a choice, but a condition chosen by the body long before the individual is even born. These ideas if brought to the debate could be the beginning of the end of this homosexuality debate.9057

According to Brizendine and various researchers, females demonstrate more intense stress responsivity compared to males. In other words, female and male brains are biologically set-up so that males handle and react to stress completely differently. For instance, as Brizendine states “fluctuating estrogen and progesterone in the brain is responsible for this opposite stress responsivity in the hippocampus of females (34).” Females focus more on the upsets and downfalls or drama from relationships whereas males get stressed over authority or being in control. One of the main objectives for females is to be liked and accepted by her peers as well as being viewed as sexually attractive to the opposite sex. Males, on the other hand zone in on being viewed as an authority figure, strong, in-charge, or in other words, the alpha male. One of the main reasons for such difference in the male and female brain is from the hormone estrogen in females. This hormone influences females to react more strongly to stress when it is in regards to her social and love life. For instance, the menstrual cycle is known as clearly affecting and altering a girl’s mood. So my question is- is it more nature or nurture that males are more focused on being seen as an authoritative figure and be respected? It is known that males generally are seen as the strong alpha males who are in charge of a household but is that stereotype/generalization from nurture or nature? (5282)

Response to Environment

In the youtube video we were required to watch for this week, scientists included a theory that said homosexuality could possibly be genetic. Since our genes help us interact with our environment and determine which human beings are best suited, could this shift in genes – which controls our hormone production – be a response to the environment? The studies done on female rats injected with testosterone acted like males. If female rats no longer act like females and do not mate with the males it could curb the population or weed out male rats who do not have the best genes for survival. Could our own evolutionary process be doing this as well if it does turn out to be true that homosexuality is carried in our genes? The reasons for this could be endless, but it can change the way homosexuality is treated in religious, social, and political spheres proving that it is not a choice, but rather a fact of nature. And just because something is natural does not make it wrong. (0614)

Triple X Syndrome and Causes of Genetic Abnormalities I am extremely interested in the disorders that occur with abnormal sex chromosomes such as Triple X Syndrome. It is fascinating that with Triple X Syndrome, females can have as many as 5 X chromosomes, creating a “super-female” who may have lower intelligence and be viewed as a troublemaker. If females are supposed to be the less rambunctious and more peaceful sex, why are females with too many X’s seen as troublemakers when it should in theory have the opposite effect? Are their personalities somehow masculinized to be rambunctious despite being super-female genetically? The online textbook says that conditions like Triple X often occur when mothers are older, which leads me to ask why this is true? Do older mothers have a disintegration or change in sex hormones that, when passed on to a child, creates inconsistencies and genetic abnormalities? And if this is the case, why are some children with abnormal sex chromosomes born with only 1 X, like in Turner’s Syndrome, while other children are born with too many X’s? Perhaps there are environmental influences as well such as hormone therapy that may contribute to the prevalence of such disorders, however little is known about them. (3341, 2/2/11)

In Brizendine’s book on the male brain, I found the section on spatial-movement particularly interesting. I had always heard the stereotype that men are more spatial than women. However, now understanding that men use both sides of this region in the parietal lobe when tackling a spatial task and the fact that this area is on “autopilot” in men helps me see where the stereotype comes from (and that it has truth in it to an extent). Men embody objects of the problems they are solving, helping them solve these problems more quickly and with more ease than females. This approach seems complex; it is amazing to think that the male brain naturally thinks this way. I was especially surprised when I read that men in an experiment on this subject used their body movements and not words to describe how they got to the answer.The experiment done on females in which they were taught how to approach spatial tasks as the male brain does, was really interesting as well. For me, the fact that the women learned how to think like men for the task at hand highlighted the broader concept that the brain is not fixed, despite the fact that men and women are “wired” from very early on in life. (3259, 2/2/2011)

I enjoyed reading The Male Brain because I thought Brizendine wrote the book in such a way that anyone could read it and understand what she found in her research. One of her main points in the first two chapters is that there is this relationship between hormones (testosterone and MIS) and their effect on the brain which in turn, affects the way males behave. For example from age one to ten boy’s testosterone level drops, but his MIS hormone remains high causing his brain to desire exploratory behavior and rough play. So at this time boys begin testing their parent’s limits. At 12 months old he can even ignore signs of danger from their parents. In contrast, girls can’t easily ignore them. Girls are wired in their brain to be able to read facial expressions. I think it’s interesting to see how hormones have such a large effect on behavior and before reading these two books, I never thought that females and males could have different brains. - 2407

I found it interesting how in the books The Male Brain and The Female Brain the author talks about how boys/men are interested in competition while girls/women are interested in maintaining good social relationships. I was somewhat surprised that our general behavior was still tied to the primitive notion of women protecting their young and men fending off predators. Men have a more competitive nature which is shown in their attempts to become the alpha male, while women look to establish good social networks with other women, which was portrayed in the example of how women go to the bathroom together to gossip. It was interesting to see how these common attributes men and women have reflect their intended roles in society, being the protector and being the caretaker. (3842)

The subsection “Squirming Boys Learn Better” I found to be extremely interesting. I thought that boys liked video games because they tend to be more competitive, and video games just gave them one more thing to compete at. When a male video game player makes Mario jump, the neurons that make the video game player jump are actually activated. This made me question does playing a skateboard video game help a male actually skateboard better after playing the game? If the neurons to do a trick get activated several times, will this make the trick more natural for when the male actually attempts to do the trick? Men seem more coordinated when doing “tricks” (on skateboards, snowboards, wake boards, etc.). Is this due to their more aggressive and risk-taking behavior or because their neurons have been activated so many times by seeing the tricks that these moves come more natural? -5513 2/1/11 Turner’s syndrome #2 I was very interested to find more information about Turner’s syndrome and I found the site below. In this website, it describes what Turner’s syndrome is (Turner syndrome is caused by a missing or incomplete X chromosome. People who have Turner syndrome develop as females), how do people get Turner’s syndrome (Turner syndrome is typically caused by what is called no disjunction. If a pair of sex chromosomes fails to separate during the formation of an egg (or sperm), this is referred to as no disjunction. When an abnormal egg unites with a normal sperm to form an embryo, that embryo may end up missing one of the sex chromosomes (X rather than XX)), and what the symptoms of Turner’s syndrome are (Girls with this disorder are shorter than normal, and may fail to start puberty when they should) among other information. (5696) 01/27/11

Limerant vs. Lusty Attraction In Weinrich’s hypothesis, why is it that limerant attractions are more likely to be bisexual than lusty attractions? Does is have to do with the fact that a person usually only lusts over the same sex who they have always been attracted to, or is it because limerant attractions deal with gradually developing feelings for a person you have known for awhile, even if it is someone of the same sex? I think that limerant attraction is more likely than lusty attraction because you can be friends with a person of the same sex for a long period of time and think nothing of it, and as you get to know the person you start to develop feelings for them. With lusty attraction, it is just the appearance of the person that makes you lust over them. So if the person is used to being attracted to a particular sex right away based off of appearance, they will most likely not develop an attraction for a different sex based off of only looks. Also, do these two types of attractions only deal with bisexuals, or can it be heterosexual and homosexual people as well? (2/2/11) (3593)

The Brain Sex video we watched online was extremely thought-provoking. I understand that rat brains are not identical to human brains, however I do feel there is something to be said about being able to change the way a creature acts simply by adding the hormone of the other sex to an immature brain. There seems to be natural behaviors organisms are programed to do strictly based on the sex of the creature. Just as the female brain instructs a female rat to lift her hind to receive a mounting male, perhaps there are completely inherent behaviors female humans do that have nothing to do with nurture, or one’s environment. I don’t know that I’m entirely sold on the idea however. I believe female humans have a little more agency than rats in deciding how to behave in their lives, and behavior may be a little more attributable to preference and dispositions rather than generic female programing. Than again, perhaps female human “preferences” and dispositions are just a more advanced, or varied form of a larger basic set of options. (1/26/11) -6052

During one of the videos we watched for the week, there was talk of studies that were done regarding possible correlations between stress experienced by the mother during gestation and the possibility of the male child being gay. I found this interesting, but am wondering what actual changes this results in. Are the child’s chromosomes affected? Are there any differences in the way such a child utilizes their brain, i.e. more like a female brain then a male, or the other way around? Basically, are there any provable differences within the genetic makeup of such a child that would be able to make this theory any stronger? There seems to have been none mentioned that I recall from the video however... So what change would there most likely be that could possibly have this effect? (1/26/11) (1866)

Beauty and the Hemipsheres Why is it that when men see something beautiful, they only use their right hemispheres? Is it because the right hemisphere deals with attention and organization, and men tend to focus in on one aspect of things at a time? As opposed to women, who use both hemispheres, is it because they are constantly thinking of different things at one time and do not focus as much on one thing as men do? Does this relate to beauty in a way where women might visualize how the beauty occurred and how it was created and in different parts, as opposed to men just viewing it as a whole that is something aesthetically pleasing? (1/26/11) (3593)

It is interesting learning about the role of sex chromosomes, cells, and hormones in the differentiation of sexual development. For humans at least, difference at the level of sex chromosomes is the first determining factor of sex differentiation; then difference in cells resulting in production of distinctive hormones and finally resulting in physiological sex differences. I found an article on science daily [[8]] that highlights recent findings that attempt to explain the appearance of both male and female anatomy in chickens. Originally, scientists believed that sexual differentiation happens the same way in birds as it does in humans. However, recent research findings identified that the difference lies inside the sex cells. They labeled this phenomenon, cell autonomous sex identity (CASI). These cells control the development of sexual traits and derive from basic differences in how sex chromosome genes are expressed. This could also possibly explain why we humans have shocking phenomena such as turner syndrome. - 3839

I found this article [[9]] published on The article talks about the recent findings that female crickets prefer hearing the serenades of younger male crickets as opposed to older male crickets. The study was conducted by placing female crickets in a box and seeing which way the female turned when the sound of a young and the sound of an old male cricket serenade were played at the same time. The results showed that the females responded more to the sound of a younger crickets serenade, which was attributed females preferring younger males due to greater reproductive abilities. If our main goal is reproduction, why do women tend to go for older men? Could this be a possible explanation as to why some older women date or marry significantly younger men? ID: 3842 (1/26/11)

Chapter/Quiz One Discussion Question/Comment

Question: How would one account for a male who expresses his emotions more openly, or more similar to how the typical female expresses her emotions? Discussion: First, a description of one who is open with his or her emotions would be described as one who is more sensitive, and one who shares his or her feelings when happy, sad, frustrated, and confused, etc. in words, facial expression, or action. The word “emotion” is typically assigned to the female sex. Females have a reputation for being more in-tuned with their emotions and more outwardly expressive with them. It is more common for a female to cry when overwhelmed or sad. But what about a male who openly cries when sad or shares his concerns more than the average male? Does this type of male have less testosterone than others, giving him more female-like qualities? Or, rather does he just have a better-rounded personality, the whole of it entitling him to step out of the “be a man” box that society constrains him in? Perhaps the more sensitive male has a slightly thicker corpus callosum that enables him to access both hemispheres of his brain, or even a more active amygdala? Based on the video, “Brain Sex, Part One”, I could suggest that during the third stage of fetal development—behavior stage—the male fetus did not receive as many androgens as the average male, altering his behavior into a more sensitive type (ID# 5412). (DATE:1/26/11).

After reading this chapter, I realized that I engage in folk psychology: the how-to understand men books, the magazine articles, the talk shows, essentially the ‘Ptolemy’ explanations of sex differences. The chapter discussed that these are often intuitive theories from everyday observations and that they tells us that the sexes differ but not why. I have read many casual online and magazine articles suggesting that men worry more about physical cheating while women worry more that their partner is having emotional affairs. Now, knowing about differences in the hypothalamus as well as differences that hormones play in early stages of development, I am thinking the reason that the sexes differ on the topic of cheating is related to these things? Perhaps there is an evolutionary purpose? I am not sure but I would like to examine more scientific articles and studies conducted on this topic. I would like to know why the sexes differ on this matter, if it is in fact empirically true. (3259, 1/26/11)

News Article: Polygamy boosts mouse sperm fitness I found an interesting article, published recently on The article was about a study on mice that provided evidence that supported the evolutionary theory that competition for mates will increase male fertility. The study compared the fertility of polygamous and monogamous breeds of house mice. They paired 18 males and 18 females of the monogamous mice, took two offspring from each couple, and then bred them together. They repeated this for 12 generations. In contrast, for the polygamous mice, each female mated with three males and this was repeated for 12 generations. To test the success of the sperm, 16 females in heat each mated with a different monogamous male and then by a polygamous male. This procedure was reversed for another group of 16 females. Findings showed that the polygamous males fathered more offspring in both experiments. The hypothesis is that polygamous males are more fertile because they produce more sperm with better motility than monogamous males. Another hypothesis is that since testes are known to be larger in polygamous animals, their sperm could also be longer. Sperm length increases swimming velocity which in turn helps the success of fertilization. This study concluded that multiple partners could be good for the quality of sperm. My question is: can this be applied to humans? Do polygamous males have better sperm quality than monogamous males? Also are people attracted to people with healthy sperm? ID: 2407

Discussion question #1 As I was reading about the anomalies that exist having to do with sexual dimorphism, I began thinking about one that has had me puzzled. I understand that the ultimate goal of copulation between a man and a woman is to reproduce and to further the survival f their genetic identifies. However, my question is; what is the purpose, from an evolutionary perspective, of a woman reaching that level or moment of orgasm? From a physiological point of view, it has no benefit to the reproductive process what so ever in that a man can get a woman pregnant whether she has an orgasm or not. One of the possible answers to this question that was mentioned in the reading that I am interested in learning more about is that when a woman has an orgasm, her cervix widens up for easier entry by the sperm… hmmmm, interesting.(5696) 01/20/11

Males are and have always been perceived as sexual beings. It is puzzling to females because females do not have the extreme sexual desire as males do. Is it biological or a learned behavior? Researchers state that males have two and a half times the brain space devoted to sexual drive in the hypothalamus compared to females. Men are always ready for a sexual opportunity whereas with females are more concerned with finding love. It is argued that females get more emotionally attached to their sexual partners than males. Although it is scientifically proven that males have sexual thoughts running through their head constantly- why is it that some males sleep around more than others? All males have the same brain composition such as the large amount of space meant for the sexual drive- so how come some males are almost sluttier than others? Is it a learned behavior or just that some males act on their sexual drive more so than others? (5282) 1/26/11

My question for this week is about the differences that people readily see between males and females. What are the reasons for our physical attributes? Is there some evolutionary explanation for the reasons why men are generally taller than women? Why do women have a more slender physique than males? How much can evolutionary psychologists today attribute social influence on the difference between how boys and girls look and act? Have these social settings affected our evolutionary pattern? There are countless questions about evolution that cannot be readily answered. The focus of my topic for this week is: “How have gender differences, be it physical or social, benefitted human beings as a whole?” (5092) -1/26/2011

Last week’s class was extremely interesting. The fact that nature automatically deems the woman as the “generic” sex is quite interesting. It is not until the sixth week that sexual differentiation occurs. Furthermore, it is only when the fetus is to be male that any hormones are released at all. It is during this time during pregnancy that if the 23rd chromosome reads XY, testosterone and MIH are released which in turn masculinize first the body and then than the brain. The absence of these hormones leaves the fetus to develop physically and mentally as a female. What is even more amazing is how the male genitalia that is no longer necessary, simply disintegrates and disappears. It seems as though the female developmental process within the womb is somewhat less complicated, which somehow seems to make up for the intense female development later on in life, and also the complicated period of child bearing. It seems as if nature has tried to even out the playing field, however because no one is actually conscious, or at least members this time inside the womb, it does not really equate the sexes in reference to development. Because of this, and other sex differences that have been noted, for instance, women have a larger corpus callosum and use two halves of their brain compared to men who tend to use only one half, that nature has deemed females the more difficult, but more valued life. Because women are the sex that bear life and are also the default setting for sex of fetuses, it seems as if nature values the female more. However, this is not reflected in our social culture. Socially, women are seen as the weaker sex. Indeed, women are physically weaker, but are no less intelligent. Women outperform men in all areas in standardized testing with the exceptions of math and spatial imagination tasks. This is related to the idea of Natural Selection. Men are better at these tasks because of their required duties in hunting and gathering societies. If woman are naturally better at more things than men, it seems as though women are really the stronger sex. With all this talk of Natural Selection, it might be that nature has created the ultimate protection. Perhaps the woman is to appear weak, and be treated as such, but maybe it is just an evolutionary adaptation. When we discuss the basic traits of males, they are protective, of both their territory and their women, they are competitive, with each other for status, and often times concerning women. Many of the basic and core male characteristics are an advantage for women. Just food for thought. 9057

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Attracting Mates: Effects of Paternal Investment on Mate Attraction Strategies The article I found Attracting Mates: Effects of Paternal Investment on Mate Attraction Strategies by Elizabeth Cashdan in Ethology and Sociobiology Volume 14 Issue 1 from PsychINFO, was basically about the strategies of humans based on their intent of Paternal Investment. Cashdan distributed a questionnaire among undergraduates to test her 4 hypotheses on the subject. The first hypothesis was that females who want investing male partners will have the tendency to suppress their “appearance of competence” and their resources in order to show a need of male investment. This hypothesis was only partially supported in the findings. There is still a question of how women emphasize their need for support that has yet to be fully answered. The results imply that self-deprecation has mixed implications. The second hypothesis was that women will emphasize their commitment by acting chaste in order to attract investing males while women who expect non-investing males will act sexual to get as many non-investing males as possible. The third was males who believe in heavy investment in their offspring are more likely to attract females who also emphasize heavy investment in offspring. The fourth was that investing males are more likely to emphasize their fidelity and chastity than non-investing males who emphasize their sexuality when looking for mates. These last three hypotheses were supported by the data concluding that investing males are more likely to attract investing females and vice versa even though it is more efficient for investing females to attract non-investing males and vice versa. ID: 7147

Gay men read maps like women. I found this article,, published on This article discusses findings related to reversed male sex roles. The hypothesis of the study was that homosexual people shift in the direction of the opposite sex in more ways than their sexual orientation. It states that gay men adopt female strategies involved in navigating and language production. Findings have shown that men and women use different methods in navigating and language productions. In general, men tend to be faster than women at navigating and rely more on point of a compass. Women tend to rely on landmarks when navigating. In regards to language production, straight men tend to not speak as much as women. In the study, the results complied with their hypothesis in that gay men used more landmarks than straight men, and gay men spoke just as much as straight women. SD ID: 2156

Sex Differences in Gift Giving among Young Adults I found this article, An Evolutionary Psychology Perspective on Gift Giving among Young Adults, from Psychology & Marketing, Vol 20(9) Sep 2003, on the PsycINFO Database. The article discusses the sex differences in motives for giving gifts to romantic partners, how individuals allocate their gift-giving budges to romantic partners, and mating strategies, in general. The findings in the research suggest that in a romantic relationship, men play a greater role in the gift-giving process, in regards to mating strategies and courtship. In other words, men report tactical motives for giving gifts, and they see them as an investment; men view gifts as a means of acquiring sexual favors, whereas women see receiving a gift as a sexual debt. Furthermore, men believe that gifts can be exchanged for sexual favors, but once a woman admits her love to a man, he has “won”, so the gift-giving declines. Men also often have trouble expressing their emotions, so they see gift-giving as an opportunity to do so. In the gift-giving process, men place a greater emphasis on the price of the gift, whereas women place a greater emphasis on whether their romantic partners actually like the gift. Research shows, however, that men and women spend about the same amount of money on gifts to their romantic partners. In general, women view gift-giving as a means to celebrate a relationship, and to show long-term commitment; men, who are more likely to be inclined to want short-term dating/mating, report to have tactical motives for giving gifts to their romantic partners. (ID#: 7558, 10/02/07)

Differences in Criteria for Partner Selection This study [| h][| ] looked at partner selection in both men and women and examined what each looks for in the process of finding a partner. The study used a speed-dating program to examine the effects of various relevant variables. The researchers found that for women intelligence and race were important factors. For men, physical attractiveness ranked high and intelligence was important, unless it exceeded the individual man's own level of intelligence. For men, changing the selection size had no effect on their selectivity, but for women moving to a larger group led to a significant increase in their selectivity. (ID: 2795, 10/1/2007)

Deflating the Myth of Monogamy Student ID: 4656 02 October 2007

I read an article about monogamy, entitled “Deflating the Myth of Monogamy,” which I found at In this article, written by David P. Barash, the author discusses monogamy in our society, within both animals and humans. Barash writes about how monogamy was once a common misconception; but in reality, he argues, nature is polygamist rather than monogamist. This can be seen in animals, like birds, gorillas, and even humans. When it comes to humans, he gives four reasons that are evidence as to why humans are not monogamists. These four reasons are as follows: “First, men are significantly larger than females, a pattern consistently found among polygynous species. …Second, around the world, men are more violent that women. …Third, girls become sexually mature earlier than do boys – another tell-tale sign of polygyny… And fourth, before the cultural homogenization that came with Western colonialism, more than three-quarters of all human societies were polygynous” (Barash).With all of this information shared, Barash neither condones nor encourages infidelity within a monogamous relationship; instead, he simply states that fact that humans are polygamists by nature. It is up to the individual to either indulge in his or her natural inclinations or to control them. Barash leaves us with a quote from GK Chesterton: “The ideal of monogamy hasn’t so much been tried and found wanting; rather, it has been found difficult and often left untried. Or at least, not tried for very long” (Barash). This supports the idea that humans can in fact fight their natural inclinations rather than giving into them.//

Are There Differences Between the Brains of Males and Females? Student ID #1024 10.02.07 My article titled “Are There Differences Between the Brains of Males and Females?” can be found at This article discusses sex differences in the brain. It has been observed that there are striking differences in the ways in which men and women solve mathematical problems, display artistic expressiveness, visualize and orient special objects, etc…The lingering question has been, why do these differences exist? Using three different techniques (volumetric measurements of the brain, functional imaging, and post-mortem examinations) scientists have found biological differences in the brains of men and women. One area of the brain that differs between men and women is the inferior-parietal lobe, and it actually differs in two ways. The IPL is responsible for “allowing the brain to process information from senses and help in selective attention and perception.” Research has found that the IPL in males is roughly 10% larger than females. Furthermore, the left IPL is larger in males while the right IPL is larger in females. Another study found that the areas of the brain associated with language (Broca and Wernicke) were significantly larger in women, nearly 20% larger. They also found that women can process verbal language simultaneously in both hemispheres of the brain, while men tend to only process in the left side. These results help provide a biological reason for women’s superiority in language. Lastly, there has been some research at the neuronal level in the cerebral cortex. Researchers found that men have more neurons in the cerebral cortex, however women have a more developed neurophil (the space that allows for communication between neurons). This difference may play an important role in the effects of dementia; men not being affected as much due to their backup neurons. Thought here are some differences in the brains of men and women there are many more similarities than differences. Research will continue to progress in this field as technology increases as well.//

Perceptions of Self and Ideal Mates Similarities and Differences Across the Sexes" In the article that I found titled, “Perceptions of Self and Ideal Mates: Similarities and Differences across the Sexes”Steven C. Clark and Adam M. Dover Utah Valley State College Glenn Geher State University of New York at New Paltz Paul K. Presson Westminster College. The topic of the article is the differences and similarities that men and women have when seeking a mate. It also shows us how men and women are different, such as men who are more interested in the youth of a woman because it is a sign of fertility, and with this men are more attracted to women that will be able to pass on their genes and be able to nurse and nurture their offspring, they are not looking for life long partners. While women are looking for men who are smart and educated and have a future because women are looking for more of a lifelong partner and someone who will not leave them. This article supports how in class we discussed that women devote much more time with their off spring while men do not and that is why women are very picky about who they allow to be their partner. That is why women look for someone who will stick around rather than just pick up and leave after the birth of their child. [|] student id 94371219

Rethinking Gender The article I found on ([|}})] titled "Rethinking Gender" by Debra Rosenberg is an article discussing what it really means to be male and female, pointing to those who feel as if the body they are stuck in is not the one they were meant to be in. People who are transgender have the genitalia of a boy or girl, but their brains and thoughts are of the opposite sex of their external appearance. It is very interesting how many people can be told that they are a boy their entire life, but from a very young age, that "boy" feels he is not supposed to be a boy. One child mentioned in the article knew in preschool that he was really a she, insisted that he was a girl, and his parents let him wear dresses and play with dolls because they understood that that was who "she" really was. Many times though, parents and our society are not as understanding. Society is not very open to midlife sex changes, but these people feel so strongly that their gender was misplaced, that they brave criticism and ridicule so that they can finally feel comfortable in their own skin. Just as we learned in class that "{{In rats, testosterone given in the first week of life can cause female babies to behave more like males once they reach adulthood", the same might be able to be said for transgenders. Babies who have a serge of hormones in the womb or shortly after birth, or lack the necessary serge of hormones to make their brains receptive to, say, testosterone, and fully integrate them into boyhood, might be biologically predetermined to be transgender. Being male or female is more in how you think that how you appear on the outside. ID# 6237, 10-2-07 Stem Cell Sex Differences Student ID #: 7254 10/02/07 My article titled “Sex differences found in stem cells” can be found here: This article discusses a study that found differences in stem cells from adult female versus adult male rats. The stem cells from the female’s muscles were better at regenerating tissue than stem cells from male rats. The article mentions the importance of this finding is that it could help the development of stem cells to help patients with different diseases, such as muscular dystrophy. Muscular dystrophy is primarily diagnosed in boys before they turn five years old. Researchers put stem cells of healthy mice into mice that had a disease similar to the human disease of muscular dystrophy. Scientists measured the cells’ ability to recreate muscle fibers that contain dystrophin, which is what patients with muscular dystrophy are lacking. They found that female mice’s cells produced many more fibers than the male’s cells. The study’s senior author Johnny Huard commented that “regardless of the sex of the host, the implantation of female stem cells led to significantly better skeletal muscle regeneration….” The scientists believe the stem cell differences between males and females will be true in other stem cells as well, including those of humans.

Sex is more than socialization I found this article in The Stanford Daily ([|] The article talks about how male babies are different than female babies. It mentions how baby girls are more irritated and anxious by noise, pain, or discomfort more readily than baby boys. Also how baby girls at 12 months look at human faces longer than boys. Another interesting fact is that one-year-old boys preferred watching a film showing cars to one showing a person. On the other hand girls showed the opposite preference. (ID: 3420, 10/01/07)

Math Differences in Men and Women I read an article done by ABC News ([|] that discussed why men score higher on math than women. They have noticed that men score higher on SAT math than women, however; the men’s variability is much higher than women’s. To find out why they discussed some factors that might contribute to these differences. They listed social factors to be a difference including: socialization of females and overt or subtle sex discrimination when it comes to math. They found that females are more likely to not be interested in math due to their socialization (females prefer to be with others). They also found that men are better at navigating a 3-D space and visualizing objects, while females are better at quick calculations and subitization. (ID: 9800, 10/01/07)

Sex Differences in All Aspects of Life The article I found was in Psychology Today ([|] written by Hara Estroff Marano. This article discussed all the different types of sex differences in males and females, not just linked to their genes and a few behaviors here and there; rather, it is linked to everything from their brain to their heart. In terms of biology, the article mentions that the Y chromosome makes more dopamine neurons which are involved in reward, motivation, and addiction in males. In women, one of the X chromosomes is turned off so that you don’t get doubling of the X chromosome genes, but it turns out that it does make a difference in which X chromosome is turned off, whether it comes from the mother or father. In addition to this, the Y chromosome holds approximately 500 genes and the X chromosome holds 1000-1500 genes and 19% of those genes on the X make it through when it is “turned off” so you get “back-up genes” in women. The article also states that women have 15-20% more gray matter in their brains even though men have more white matter, even though women and men score similarly on intelligence tests. In other words, women brains are more densely packed and men brains have more cushion or fluid-filled space. Also, men lose more brain tissue with age than women do which would cause them to lose more ability to think of long-term consequences. In a cited study within the article, it is hypothesized that testosterone in early development slows the growth of the left side of the brain and accelerates the growth of the right side. Studies also showed that the more testosterone one had as a child, the less eye contact he/she would have with other playmates. This suggests that it may be possible that testosterone affects social ability. Depression prevalence was another sex difference that was pointed out in this article. It talked about how women are more prevalent to depression and how they are more likely to be depressed at lower stress levels than males. The author also talked about how both men and women are becoming more emotionally involved when it comes to relationships so the “norm” is changing in that men are becoming more attached and caring a little more about who they sleep with. There didn’t seem to be a clear reason for the shift, but it simply stated that it was indeed shifting from the usual male unemotional involvement to the more attached relationship and less infidelity in marriages. (ID:2442 10.01.07)

Our Cheating Hearts Previous theories of evolutionary psychology suggest that a man should care ore about the physical act of a partner’s infidelity than the emotional aspect because of parental identification issues. Females on the other hand are more upset by their partner’s emotional betrayal because there evolutionary interests are concerned with a mate that will stick around to rear children. Psychology Magazine Today ran an article concerning a study done by Christine Harris, Ph.D., of psychology professor at UCSD. She challenged the previous sex differences notion by measuring blood pressure responses to cheating scenarios for males and females. The results of the study showed men are strongly aroused to acts of physical infidelity. While women claim to be more effected to emotional infidelity their heart rate scores show equally arousal levels. In addition women in committed relationships showed a greater reaction to sexual rather than emotional infidelity. The findings suggest that women may not be innately wired to react stronger to emotional infidelity, and individual differences may play are major role in determining reactions. My hypothesis is that women may care more about the emotional aspect of a relationship but know that men care more about the physical and are therefore just as worried when a man becomes physical with another women. (Student ID: 5041, 10.01.07) "When to have a child, if ever: The impact in later life "([|] A researcher, Pienta, at the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research studied the effects of being childless, birth timing, and marital status on women’s psychological well-being later in life. Data was collected via 2 national surveys targeting levels of happiness and life satisfaction from women 51-61 years old (in 1950’s these women were having children between 19-24 years old). Women with kids were described as less happy than childless women, especially women who became mothers before age 19. This finding suggested that “timing matters.” Young mothers are less likely to have a stable career or husband (or even a stable relationship for that matter). "Most studies have shown that psychological well-being tends to decline when people have kids," Pienta said. Young women today are waiting longer to have children than in the 1950’s. This study suggests that the outlook for psychological well-being later in life for today's childless women and mothers who wait is quite good. (6364, due date: 10/01/07)

Sex Differences in the Brain My article was found on Scientific American at This article suggests that to understand human behavior--how men and women differ from one another we must look beyond the demands of modern life. Our brains are essentially like those of our ancestors of 50,000 and more years ago, and we can gain some insight into sex differences by studying the differing roles men and women have played in evolutionary history. Any behavioral differences between individuals or groups must somehow be mediated by the brain. Sex differences have been reported in brain structure and organization, and studies have been done on the role of sex hormones in influencing human behavior. But questions remain regarding how hormones act on human brain systems to produce the sex differences we described, such as in play behavior or in cognitive patterns. (student id # 6276 date 10-1-07)

Partner Preferences My article was taken from PsychInfo at the LMU website.It is similar the topic we discussed in class; for example, it is a study of how women and men have different partner preferences. This particular article was written by Sheila Cunningham and Phil Russell, University of Aberdeen. These researchers noted that traditionally men attach a greater importance to physical attractiveness, when looking for a mate. And, women attach a greater importance to commitment and status, when looking for a mate. Their study also suggested that characteristics may be “traded-off.” A total of 143 participants were involved in this study; they completed the Bem Sex-Role Inventory and also had the opportunity to rate the importance of several partner characteristics. Cunningham and Russell believed that “masculine women may engage in some trade-off of commitment characteristics for physical attractiveness and feminine men may trade-off attractiveness for signs of willingness to commit.” These predictions were confirmed through the study. Results showed that men attached greater importance to physical attractiveness in a partner whereas women attached greater importance to commitment and status. Also, it was revealed that “consistently sex-typed men rated physical attractiveness to be more important than did inconsistently sex-typed men, while consistently sex-typed women rated commitment to be more important than did inconsistently sex-typed women.” Sex-typing was also found to be a significant predictor of the two ratings. Ratings for physical attractiveness increased with masculinity and ratings for commitment increased with femininity. Ultimately, the results show that men who are more feminine rate appearance on a lower scale and take commitment more into consideration when looking for a mate. Women, who are more masculine, take appearance more into consideration. (Student # 7989 - date: 10.01.07)

What Men Want I found this article, ,// published by the APA psychological association. This reports research on why men have commitment issues, and the reason being is they are merely more careful in their decision making when it comes to making decisions that affect the rest of their lives. I found this article interesting because it almost makes me wonder if women are too quick in their decision making when it comes to men. Maybe the reason why “women initiate nearly two-thirds of all divorces”. This article also relates husband’s relationships with their wives to not just their mothers but their fathers as well. 9329 (10-1-07)

Maternal Stress and Homosexuality I looked online regarding information on the maternal stress theory that was touched upon in Chapter Two of the textbook. The first webpage I found was the following: This webpage emphasized the evolving ideas of sexual orientation from ancient Greece to Dorner who was the proponent of understanding the effect of environmental factors. The article provides an overview of the anatomical data (differences in brain structure-hypothalamus), genetic differences (family/twin studies) and then focuses on the effects of perinatal and prenatal environment. He concludes with new avenues of research for the cause of homosexuality such as intrauterine pollution and the way babies are born (C-section, etc.). The second article was published by the Journal of Sex Research, Sexual Orientation of Human Offspring May be Altered by Severe Maternal Stress in Pregnancy. This article illuminates a research study that tests the hypothesis that maternal stress during pregnancy may alter sexual orientation of offspring. The study was done with 285 women with offspring of 19 years or older who provided accounts of stressful experiences beginning 12 months prior to pregnancy up to the point of giving birth. The subjects were recruited through students at Minot State University. The data from the study shows that the critical period in gestation that influences sexual orientation is the 2nd trimester. The study concludes by including the flaws in testing out the hypothesis: using retrospective accounts and absence of bio-chemical assessment). However, this artic ([|] 10/02/07 Student ID# 9367

Gender Differences In Brain Response To Pain This article suggests that the way in which people respond to pain may be influenced by their gender. Scientists performed an experiment in which mild pain stimuli were administered to the subjects while their brains were being monitored. Although there was some overlapping of the areas of brain activity, researchers discovered that several areas of the male and female brain reacted differently when exposed to pain. They found that the female brain showed greater activity in the limbic regions, which are emotion-based centers. In males, the cognitive regions showed greater activity. The study’s co-author Dr. Bruce Naliboff stated that “the reason for the two different brain responses may date back to primitive days, when the roles of men and women were more distinct.” Additionally he said that these differences might have evolved as part of a more general difference in stress response. Finally Naliboff added that neither of these differences is better and both have their own advantages. This study may have impact on the way in which patients are treated. Oct 2, 2007 ID: 0364

Is pornography just for Males? The article I read is “Hegemonic Masculinity and Pornography: Young people’s attitudes toward and relations to pornography” and can be found at EBSCOhost. This article delves into whether pornography is only for male’s enjoyment and the difference between genders when it comes to viewing and arousal by porn. The study was conducted in Swedish junior high and high school with 48% being male and 52% being female. It was found that men read, watch and find porn more sexually arousing compared to females. However, the study found that females are much more open to porn and it is not as taboo for them anymore. More than half of the women in the study have read and watched porn. Another interesting finding is that on average women in the study become sexually aroused while reading erotic stories and only 40% of women did not become aroused while watching porn. Which means that women do become aroused to some degree while watching porn. This suggests that the traditional gender notion that porn is only for men is not entirely true anymore. (ID: 8292, 10-2-07)

“The Exotic becomes the Erotic” Dr. Daryl Bem, a psychologist from Cornell University, proposed a different theory from the existing theories about sexual development and sexual orientation. Dr. Bem believes that our “hormones, genetic make-up and brain structures” influence our temperament. Our temperament then determines what activities we will involve ourselves as little kids and who we feel comfortable playing with. Those who decide that playing with the opposite sex is more comfortable, may in turn feel different and consider the same-sex as “exotic” which causes physiological responses. Eventually, according to Dr. Bem, what is seen as “exotic” turns into “erotic”, which is why tomboys might end up liking girly girls when they grow up. I found this article interesting because it shows a different, creative way to approach the idea of sexual development and orientation. (0497)

Men Invest Less This article: discusses the sexual differences between men and women in terms of how much they invest in mating and parenting. They take a modern evolutionary psychological approach, using both social and evolutionary views, to explain why men and women invest differently. The researchers applied this theory called the Parental Investment Theory in trying to interpret such sex differences. According to the theory the differences in investment are related to the different ways that men and women behave and think in these areas; sexual strategies and inhibitory abilities. Basically the sexual strategies are what we talked about in class with men having less to lose than women and that is why they are less sexually discriminate towards their partners. Whereas women are very sexually picky. The article also covered that the reason why men are more upset at casual sex affairs and that women are more upset with emotionally attached affairs has to do with paternal security. For the inhibitory abilities they said that women are better at controlling their emotions because over time they had to adapt to taking care of their offspring and keeping them out of danger, which meant not hurting their own kids. 1711 (10/01/07)

Homosexuality: Alternative Male Strategy Student ID: 7715 12.12.07 The article I found was, [| “Interaction of Birth Order, Handedness, and Sexual Orientation in the Kinsey Interview Data”] by Bogaert, Crosthwait, and Blanchard. The previous research cited in the introduction, and in the results of the study, both identified handedness (right-handed or non-right-handed) as a characteristic that is determined during an individual’s prenatal development. The study also showed that the fraternal birth order, or the number of older brothers, also affected prenatal development. The study proposed that both fraternal birth order and handedness are linked interactively in their relation to men’s homosexuality, and the results confirmed such an interaction. The conclusions drawn from this interaction revealed that male sexual orientation is also determined during the critical periods of prenatal development, and that handedness moderates the relationship between older brothers and sexual orientation. Specifically, the results showed that older brothers increased the odds of homosexuality in right-handers only; while older brothers did not affect the odds of homosexuality among non-right-handers.//

Do not post below -- those are posts from a previous class.


BLOG POSTS Add your post here at the top, and, when you re done, remember to scroll to the top of the page and click on "Save."


For your final blog post, you may respond to either one of the following two questions. You will get up to 5 points for this post. Higher point values will be given to responses that do not simply state an opinion, but back it up with what we have learned in the class, well reasoned argument, and any relevant evidence you can find.

Do not restate the arguments of your classmates -- although you may refer or respond to them, or expand upon others' points. These questions are controversial, and, to me, still unresolved in the field of evolutionary psychology -- so there is no "right" or "wrong" answer -- feel free to debate on either side of the question.

After you copy and paste your post below, make sure to print a copy. Turn that in on the last week of class before finals to get credit.

//QUESTION 1. A recent post at led me to a paper in which the authors (who are laypeople -- not evolutionary psychologists) argue that evolutionary psychology can help us to stop war. They suggest that the traits of men are selected by women's reproductive choices (via inter-sexual selection, female choice). As long as women prefer men who dominate other men (and other "tribes"), men will continue to be aggressive. If, on the other hand, women rejected such men as sexual partners and mates, and instead mated with men who were not aggressive, or strove for high status via competition, men would change.

Review a summary of their arguments at: -- based on their book: -- intro to book:

A somewhat similar thought was expressed by the following quote at the beginning of the book (recently turned into a film by Clint Eastwood) "Flags of Our Fathers:" "Mothers should negotiate between nations. The mothers of fighting countries would agree: Stop the kiling now. Stop it now." -- Yoshikuri Taki

To start, you might consider these questions (you are not required to answer any one of them -- you can approach this via your own analysis as well): -'''- what about the effects of intra-sexual selection? Would that interfere with implementing this proposal? -- would humans become like bonobo chimps (hyper-sexual, female dominated, and peaceful)? -- would this require changing human "female nature?" If so, is that possible? -- could males be changed in one generation, or would it take 10s, 100s, or 1,000s of generations? If so, isn't this a proposal for a form of eugenics (making the human species "better" by selective, artificial breeing)? Eugenics has been denounced by some as immoral -- would this be an exception? -- could males (or some males) undermine the project? If so, how? -- how might male sexual jealousy affect the authors' thesis? -- the authors claim that humans were peaceful until about 6,000 years ago. What evidence can you find to support or refute this claim? -- Evolutionary biologists/psychologists suggest that reproductive success (or "inclusive fitness") is always relative to the reproductive success of others. There is no absolute level wherein, once reached, that is "enough." What implications might this have for the authors' thesis? -- other thoughts?

//QUESTION 2. Given what you have learned in this class, what, if anything, might be done to reduce the "battle of the sexes" -- such that men and women might have more harmonious relationships? To start, you might consider these questions (you are not required to answer any one of them -- you can approach this via your own analysis as well): -- should young men and women be taught about robust sex differences, and learn to empathize with the perspective of the other sex? -- or, are the interests of males and females so different that simply knowing about them is unlikely to change behavior much? For example, I know when I try to sell my car that the potential buyer wants the lowest price. But, despite my understanding and empathy toward the buyer, that typically doesn't affect much my interest in obtaining the highest price possible for my car. Does a similar dynamic occur when the sexes, with different interests, interact? -- suppose a way was discovered for men to have their own babies (perhaps via an artificial womb). Would that reduce the battle of the sexes? -- today, males can assure themselves of paternity of their offpsring via DNA testing. Will that make men better fathers? -- other thoughts?

Copy and paste from your word processor your response below (remember to click "Save" when you are done).

Please enter your response under "RESPONSES TO QUESTION 1" or "RESPONSES TO QUESTION 2," below:


This is actually not a bad theory by any means. A little unorthodox, perhaps. But in principle it does have the potential to effectively cease violence world wide. However, the first problem with this would be getting women to go along with it. Many women absolutely love to date assholes and violent men. They choose these men for any number of reasons, be it that they are exciting, or offer the protection they need, and many women don’t even consciously make this choice. For some, merely trying to go against their own instincts and choose a good guy that will not be abusive as most likely other have been in that woman’s past can be hard enough. Some woman won’t even face this fact and are in denial. So how then, could you ask every woman in the world to, for the better of the species, choose only to mate with less aggressive, more passive and reasonable men if many of them can’t even do it for themselves. As for Eugenics, I’m not so sure it is immoral to do so as much as it is forceful. I don’t think Eugenics is unethical, but I do think it might in fact be impossible. The truth is that you can’t even force a single person, let alone an entire society to conform a certain way. Society, along with this planet, both have a natural balance to them. And I think that if you try to help nudge the scale too much to one direction, it will only balance itself out back the other way. Trying to completely control nature is simply out of our grasp, at least for the time being. We must simply let nature take its course and hope that women will just start to prefer less violent men. The last thing to consider is the violent males themselves. Just because women stop mating with them does not mean they will instantly disappear and all will be saved. I think that if worldwide suddenly the passive men were getting all the women, all the other man would either try to conform to that status to impress women (less likely), or, more likely, these aggressive men would only start to gang up on their weaker counterparts, knowing that they can in fact take them with their strength and knowledge of battle. As I said before, trying to tip the scale on your own rather than letting it naturally happen will most certainly lead to bigger and more severe problems if and before any solution is reached. (ID#: 5512, Male, 11/3/06)

I think that this argument is very interesting and worth investigating. Theoretically, it makes sense that if over time women chose passive men for their mates, it would lead to future generations of more passive men and this could in turn cause a decrease in war. In an ideal world, it would be that simple and straight forward to stop war. However, there are other factors to consider in this scenario. There are reasons why women are attracted to active and dominant men. For example, dominance and assertiveness are signs that the male would be able to support and defend his family. It is innate for women to be attracted to dominant and aggresive men, it is an evolutionary trait. If we wanted women to choose passive men, we would have to basically wipe out their inherent attractions to men and replace them with new ones. I would imagine that the process of erasing certain instincts and replacing them with others would take a very long time. The initial argument is very intriguing, but it seems that these people are not taking into account how long and complicated this process would be. It would be great if it was that simple, but it just doesn't seem like it is feasible. (ID: 9577, 12/5/06)

I do not agree with what these authors postulate. I believe that at one point in history, possibly in the Medieval and/or Renaissance time periods, or before, this may have been true if women had even been aware of the fact that they could cause a drastic sexual revolution. The fact that the power of women was so insignificant during these time periods did not allow women to fully realize their potential or their ability to control men by denying them the possibility of reproduction. Today, I feel this is no longer likely. With the massive developments of science (such as the procedure of in vitro, commonly used by infertile couples, sperm banks for single women and the cloning of animals) it is clear that we are close to a time where copulation is not necessary for reproduction. It may be quite possible for babies to be born without ever being inside a woman’s womb. If women decide to not make their eggs available (for sexual reproduction or in vitro) it could be possible that men may just start cloning themselves. It seems to me that if women completely cut men off from being able to sexually reproduce than humans would advance in science and become more primitive socially. Men may begin cloning themselves and use their clones as human robots in wars more massive than ever imagined. These wars would not be for land, but possibly women, who (drastically outnumbered by men, due to cloning) would stand no chance. These women would either be violently raped, or cloned by men. These clones, knowing nothing of the history of women would comply with what men wanted and we would be back in ancient times, only with scientific benefits. Of course this is a slippery slope argument but if a few intelligent and able radical men were able to accomplish such a thing, would the threat of the human race dying out cause them to act? I think the aggressiveness in men is too great to be controlled and that war is inevitable. Sad as it may be I agree with Thomas Hobbes in his book Leviathan //in which it is stated as the first law of nature “that every man ought to endeavour peace, as far as he has hope of obtaining it; and when he cannot obtain it, that he may seek and use all helps and advantages of war” (#2166, Female, 12/5/06).

Although it is am intriguing idea that women might be able to stop war if their sexual selection was changed, I find it completely inaccurate. The biggest problem is that even if women were to select for men that were not as violent, that has very little to do with war. In fact, most times there is an attempt at a diplomatic solution to a problem before people start shooting each other. In addition to this, what standard would all women abide by to make this change? War is caused by differences in opinion, not soley on the aggressive behavior of men. Beyond any of this, if women did not prefer men that dominated other men, it would be hurting the women as well. By being attracted to dominating men, the women are they given more resources as a dominating man will be able to control more resources by conquering others. A woman that was married to a passive man would get an average of goods divided between everyone. If this change was somehow implemented, it would take many generations to become successful. If the general public decided tomorrow that men had to be more diplomatic it would never work out. Men have been raised to be competitive and dominating. This entire lifetime of education and reinforcement would not simply disappear over a day. It would take at least 100 generations for the change to completely take place. It would have to evolve. The idea that humans can be similar to chimps, in which women mate with many different men, is ridiculous. We have learned in class multiple times that men do everything they can to increase paternity assurance. This system would not only reduce paternity assurance, it would destroy any amount of trust between a male and a female. This would dissolve the nuclear family and harm humans more than it could benefit them. Human beings are too greedy to raise a community of children not sure of whose child is whose. If anything, this lack of paternity assurance would create a feeling of hatred and general distrust towards the women. If men distrust women they will offer fewer resources to them which will hurt both the women and her offspring. Lastly, the quote by Yoshikuri Taki is unattainable. Although these mothers might agree to stop the killing, they would not solve any of the problems at hand because there were innate differences that started the war in the first place. If these problems are not solved they will only fester and make matters worse between nations. War is a last resort, used only when diplomacy fails. If women selected for more docile males it would, in time, make this world even more full of hatred for other nations. If there were never any wars countries such as the United States would never be as powerful as it is today. Realistically, few people will be happy with this sort of communist ideal because humans are greedy. Why have a piece of pie when you can take the whole thing? (ID # 6115 MALE 12-5-06)

I agree with the summary on about women’s ability to change the aggressive tendencies in future male generations by choosing mates that are less aggressive and more “sensual”. I also thought this article was a bit biased and a bit sexist against men- as if they have no choice in who they mate with. The reason I agree with the article’s claim is all of the evidence of runaway sexual evolution that there is in the animal kingdom. Take for example, the elephant seals we learned about in class. Female seals preferred bigger, stronger, more aggressive males, and pretty soon the alpha male was so large that he would crush the females he mated with. If women continue to choose more and more aggressive males to mate with soon, or society may be figuratively “crushed” by these males. (female, #4047 12-3-06)

I do not believe that changing evolutionary psychology can help to stop war. War is human nature. In this class I have learned that human nature far outweighs any other social phenomenon. Women have been attracted to the same types of men for as far back as they have been studied. If women were to desire to attract the same type of man (one who is peaceful and not aggressive) we would have a new problem on our hands. It seems to me that if this happened, then women would have to become more aggressive in finding mates. There would be more female competition and over time, they may simply take over the characteristics that were initially wanted to get rid of in men. War may then be between females. Among animals where females and males switch traditional roles (where females are competing for the males), the female takes on the role of the aggressive sex. This would not only come out in competing for males but also competing in every aspect of life. This would completely change female human nature and not stop war, simply alter the sex that it comes from. The fact that the author claims that humans were peaceful long ago is very wrong. Men have always been in heated competition with one another when it comes to mating. There has been male conflict over females for as long as we have existed. Competition, selfishness (in carrying on one’s OWN genes) and aggression are all aspects of human survival and nature. If we did not have these three characteristics who know what would happen to the human race? We may simply die out because there would be no more will or drive to continue to reproduce. (female, #6141 11-30-06)

I do not agree with the authors Sheehan and Refell in their argument that females can reduce the incidence of war by selecting men that do not have aggressive traits. Although I do not promote war and violence I think it is silly to believe or even try to select mates who lack an aggressive nature. One reason is that women are going to prefer mates who can offer them something, the most important things being protection and resources. While a male still may be able to provide resources he will no longer be able to provide very good protection. This leaves women with too much responsibility in that not only will she have to carry and nurse the young but she will also have to be ready to defend her family in a time of need. The example of the bonobo chimps although it seems to be exactly what the authors are aiming for, does not apply to humans. It has been found in various studies that we discussed in class that females almost always attach emotional value to intercourse. Thus, using sex to maintain peace would be more difficult for females to accept because of the emotional attachment. This in fact would be more of a hindrance to females because as we have seen in many other animal species promiscuity serves no purpose for females. The only benefit it would have is to confuse paternity which tends to happen by default already. Another problem this poses is that it goes against the current practices of gender roles. For example, even though a female may make herself open to advances from males, it is usually the male who is expected to “make the first move”. Many females subtly attract men but then wait for the male to initiate conversation or a relationship. So, if females were to select mates who did not carry the traits of aggressiveness then women would also have to be the ones to be aggressive and initiate relationships. At this point I would like to refer to the comment above that says that women would just take on the role of the aggressor, basically aggression would not be eliminated it would just be passed from one gender to the other. I completely agree with this argument because even in the bonobo chimps the females are more aggressive. In order to ward off the aggressiveness that seems innate in the males the females must become more aggressive to pacify them. Finally, the idea of choosing mates who are not aggressive as a way to end wars and violence presents many logistical problems. If women in America wanted to elect more passive traits in their mates Americans would have to figure out a way to have a worldwide consensus to have all females select mates with these same traits. This would of course be extremely difficult to do considering the few prime mates available who lack aggression as well as cultural differences. If only American men were affected by this desire in females it would also affect intercultural and international relationships in that, American women would only be able to procreate with American men leaving the millions of other people outside of what would become a new species. (F, 3132, 12-3)

According to the natural selection, favorable traits are more likely to survive than any other traits. Therefore, men will be less aggressive to mate and reproduce if women prefer less aggressive men. This is the reason why I agree that women have abilities to reduce war and change this world more peacefully. However, it will be take more than few decades because of genetic problem. Aggressive variations will be inherited to next generation and it may take long time to reduce aggressiveness in this descendants. As the result, it might take a long time to change it but women’s preference will change men and it consequently will help to stop war. (Female, 9983, 12/04/06)


I think the biggest key to solving the “battle of the sexes” as it were is knowledge. Knowledge is power. Were we to institute classes in all our schools about the fundamental differences between men and women, both on a biological and psychological level, our differences might better be understood and accepted, rather than criticized and exaggerated. The younger the education could begin, the better. I think from this class that has helped me tremendously with the way I interact with women and the way I see them. You must, of course, understand what something is and how it works before you can use it. You can’t just walk up to a cement mixing machine and suddenly you are a construction technician. The same goes for relationships. You have to understand why things are the way the are, not just acknowledging that they are. Motivation is key, because I think one of the biggest frustrations between the sexes is not what we do, but why we think our partners are doing it. We are very different creatures, with very different motivations, both physically and mentally. After all, it is our differences that excite us about the opposite sex. If the opposite sex had nothing to offer you that you didn’t already have, there would be no point in having bi-gender couples, or even in having two separate genders for that matter. I think the first and biggest step we can all make right now towards better gender harmony is to simply accept the fact that we as men and women are different, stop trying to make each other like us, since we are so different, and simply put the best of both our worlds into one healthy, passionate, exciting, and thriving relationship. (ID#: 5512, Male, 11/3/06)

I don’t think there is anything that can be done to help the “battle of the sexes”. As we learned throughout the entire semester, men and women are motivated by different desires. They are hardwired to want different things and use very different, very specific strategies to go about getting them. Women value emotional intimacy, men want sexual intimacy. Men want women who are physically attractive, those who display outwards signs of fertility. Women want men with resources, those who are financially secure and display the potential for long term investment. Women like to talk, men like to do. I used to think that there were certain things about men and women that could be changed, and that the sexes behaved in certain ways by choice and not because of biology. After reading the David Buss chapters from Evolutionary Psychology I learned that regardless of race and background men and women all over the globe were giving the same kinds of responses to survey questions, whether they be about jealousy or physical intimacy, as their counterparts thousands of miles away in another country. Therefore, I think the best thing to help the battle of the sexes would not be to try to change the sex differences, but rather to be educated about them. As a woman, I can say I feel far better equipped to dealing with and understanding men because of the things I learned from the two textbooks we used in this class. Understanding how the male mind works, and understanding male motivation in relationships and sexual interaction is enough to alleviate a lot of the conflicts in miscommunication that contributes the battle of the sexes. If men and women know what one another wants, we’ll be less likely to hit bumps in the road ahead. ID # 5294

I think that if men and women would be able to think and communicate on similar levels that would reduce the “battle of the sexes” by making them have more harmonious relationships. Since men and women differ greatly in the way they think and act based on distinct gender differences they often have communication barriers that make it hard for both sides to understand the other side’s feelings. Since the genders differ so greatly in how they think and react I don’t think that the battle of the sexes will ever be completely solved. I think that teaching young men and women at a young age about sex differences is a good way to get them to better understand the other gender. Although it might lead to a better understanding of the other gender, I don’t think that it will solve the problem altogether. I agree with the other posts in that men having their own babies through an artificial womb would ensure that that man was for sure the father and would reduce sperm competition in males. Perhaps it would also lead to a stronger bond between the father and the child if he were allowed to bear it, and increase he responsibility for taking care of that child. As stated in other posts, many countries have made great strides for equality of males and females in their countries. Although these strides are apparent and important there still exist prejudices against men and women doing certain jobs, and having certain family roles. Since men and women view each other differently and have preconceived notions on how the other sex should act and be, I think that the battle of the sexes will always exist; but educating people at a young age on gender differences can highly reduce differences and increase understanding between the two sexes. (Females, 12/5/06, 5289).

Humans are a very complex species. Like all living things, we strive to reproduce and protect our offspring to insure that they, oneday, will reproduce and pass along our genes. With our social lives and cultures evolving along side of our bodies, this complexity becomes greater. The fact that men and women are sexually dimorphic, and have been since before humans were even humans, means that our gender differences have been growing further and further apart. This is probably the main reason that the “battle of the sexes” exists. Women compete amongst women (for men) and men compete against men (for women). We do so in very different ways, most of the time unconsciously, so to understand what the opposite sex is going through when it comes time to reproduce is very unlikely. Our hormones are the main factor in determining how we compete for a partner, meaning that we act the way we act largely without choice but because the genes within us are simply trying to find other genes to combine with (again, unconsciously). The other factor in partner search is our culture. Here in America, we are brought up with certain standards and expectations to obide by and when deveated from, people are scorned upon or more devasting, a genetic dead-end occurs. So, to have more “harmonious relationships” we need to first start with education. Most of us in this class were probably educated about sex between 5th and 7th grade, which seems to have worked. But this is too young to educate about pyschological factors that we have been learning all semester. Maybe in high school is a good time, since this is when things start heating up. If high school students are taught, repeatedly, about the other sex and the way they think, act, and want, then maybe men and women will start to be more understanding and accepting. I think that most of the problems between men and women occur simpy because the men try to be MANLY and the women try to be WOMENLY. But MANLY and WOMENLY are only our basic hormones, brain structures, and body structures. We are molded by our families and cultures to believe what is correct. If this molding is changed from the roots, which are society’s constraints, then maybe the sexes will understand each other and the “battle of the sexes” can be reduced. Things have gotten, for the most part, out of control between men and women because of society and even technology. We are reminded every single day that women need to be thin, beautiful and girly to be attractive to guys who are reminded to be strong, decisive, and wealthy. These stereotypes need to be changed when people are young so as they grow up, they will act differently than we do. Yes, men should be fit and desire resources and women should care about their images and children, but Americans in general seem to have blow these traits WAY out of proportion and that is the problem here. To sum this all up, we need to include better intermediate sex education to bring these opposite sex traits back down to normal before it’s too late. (male, 12/5/06, #3211)

I do think women and men should be taught more about the opposite sex, yet it is human nature to be different from one another. As we have learned in class, a man’s brain is significantly different from women in many different areas. I feel the more educated we are about the opposite sex, the more we are able to understand each other from an educational point of view. The only way I feel men and women could have a more harmonious relationship is if a man would also be able to have his own children. Paternity insecurity would no longer be an issue and they may no longer have as much of a desire to be unfaithful because they also have to endure the years it takes to birth and raise a child. Women choose the best quality in their mates to insure good genes for their offspring while men prefer the quantity of women to copulate with as many as possible. Men would also have to invest in the years while his offspring continues to develop. If men would have the assurance of carrying a child like women, then they will presumably be better fathers and will invest more time if their offspring. As for now, women can only bare the children and because of this reason, the battle of the sexes will continue. 4141 female, 12-5-06

I don't think that men having their own babies through any artificial means would reduce the battle of the sexes in any major way. It may allow males to understand what females go through in terms of carrying the baby for 9 months, but the process would be very different from natural childbirth. They would need to take pills to increase nutrients as well as estrogen and it would be incredibly invasive to implant an embryo in an artificial womb. It would increase paternity assurance which would make them more inclined to provide for the children and possibly invest more in a monogamous relationship. However in terms of personality differences, many of the qualities of men and women have developed over hundreds of years of social interaction and it would take as much time to once again alter the dynamics between the sexes if men were able to start having their own children. In fact, I think that men having their own babies may increase hostility on behalf of the women because they could feel as though the men were infringing on their territory as giving birth is one of the major perks of being a woman. It is what makes the pains of puberty and PMS worth it when we are able to have a baby. If men would be able to have the children without years of cramps and mood swings with only the perks of having the kid, women would be a little jealous and might start putting their efforts towards finding something else that they can do equally as well as the men. Therefore competition between the sexes would only intensify. In general, men having babies is not a good idea because there are no real benefits that are apparent besides paternity assurance. If men really want to reaffirm their paternity, DNA testing is a much better way to go about it. (12/5/06, female, #5348)

Two sexes have evolved for a reason. The differences between the sexes, or the “battle of the sexes”, will probably never be fully reduced, however the constant tension is just a part of nature, and thus, I don’t consider it a bad thing. I do think that it is important that young men and women are educated on differences, because if people understand the evolutionary purpose for the difference, there will be more sympathy towards the other sex. Based on class blogs and discussions, a lot of people have gripes with the opposite sex, myself included. However, when I learn about how the male brain is set up and their natural mating strategies and tendencies, a lot of their behaviors can be explained, and I’m sure the reverse of that is true for females. I believe that the more understanding that is fostered, the better relations will be between the sexes and that it does take a compromise on both ends. The major reason that the sexes differ is due to the fact that women deal with childbearing duties and hold high responsibilities for maintaining the species. Almost all the issues can be reduced to this phenomenon. If men also carried the burden of post sexual consequences, they would be more sexually reserved, much like women are now. Cheating and extra-marital affairs would be less of an issue and that would lead to more nuclear families and an overall better society. The down side to that would be that it would be a lot harder for both males and females to find a suitable mate due the high competition caused by both male and female choosiness. One would assume that since paternity can be easily determined now that males would be better fathers, however the status quo shows the opposite. Society has changed so that males are trying to get as little responsibility as possible. I believe that evolution is natural and the best determinant of what is appropriate for the species to function at the ultimate level. If males and females were supposed to be the same, they would have evolved that way. (9608, 12/5/06)

In this class we have learned that one of the things that distinguishes males from females, probably more than anything else, is the parental investment that females put in compared to the amount of parental investment a male contributes. When I think of sex differences many things come into mind, however, one of the most highly talked about is the desire women have for men to be chivalrous, and the pressure society puts on men to be chivalrous. I have often heard men ask “why should we pay for every date?” and “why should we always be the ones to ask out a woman” and women respond with “we have to carry a baby for 9 months, it’s not equal deal with it”. I truly think although women fight for equality (i.e. the feminist movement) they still want to be treated differently, they want more special attention from men and they want men to do things for them, and I don’t find anything wrong with that. It seems that women’s justification for this is that they have to carry the baby for 9 months and they have to breast feed… and the list goes on. Other sex differences are that men are more aggressive and competitive, two things which we also learned are direct results of men fighting for a woman to mate with, a great example is the lions we learned about in class and their aggression and even infanticide. They were willing to go to any length to impregnate a female lioness. So it seems that the only way that we could eliminate sex differences is if we found a way to make it so that men and women could both get pregnant and bear children. Because in species where the males carried the babies the gender roles were reversed. For instance with the But that would be a terrible world, I think sex differences add some spice to our lives. And how would that work anyway? Would people become asexual and everyone become a clone of their parent? Or would a man and woman still be needed for reproduction? (7585, Dec. 5,2006)

First off the name “the battle of the sexes” is misleading to begin with. This title to me implies that men have united together, as have women, and they are battling against each other on our many differing opinions. But I think that this is not the biggest area of conflict when it comes to the sexes. I think that it is within each sex that the real conflict exists. Men are fighting against other men to acquire resources, while women are fighting against other women for the same thing. Men will kill other men in order to gain money, power, and most importantly access to other women. Reproduction is the main focus of males, so they will do anything to get it. Take for example the story of a certain “bloodthirsty” sultan. He wanted to impregnate as many women as possible, and in order to do this he killed his male competitors. Males, far more than females, have a higher rate of homicide. Males will kill for what they need to survive. This is not just true for human’s, many other animals will kill to get what they need too. An example of this is the Lion Pride, where in a take over the new lions will actually commit infanticide. On the other hand women are in competition with other women to get access to the high status males, and to get these high status men to commit to them. It is rare that men and women actually aggress against one another. Men will be aggressive against women when they are suspicious of cuckoldry or infidelity. And women will be aggressive towards men if they are being physically abused and it is the only way out. But these situations are far less common, than the everyday interaction on each sex with each other. (female, 11-5-06, #3896)

The battle of the sexes may in fact be a never ending issue. It is not so much that the there isn’t adequate awareness or understanding but nature make it very difficult. I do feel that educational instruction about the differences between the sexes would be useful. It may bring about empathy but it may just bring a general comprehension that may in turn change our behaviors. It is understood that we can cope with some things better when we fully understand it than when we do not. Unfortunately the way in which we act isn’t complete due to our environmental influences. The discussions within class have noted that many of our behaviors have a strong genetic component, and that isn’t going to change ever. Males and females have different predisposition not just for how they act but what they want. Females want providers and males want offspring. Those drives impact the behavior more than just culture. Even structure with the brain is also different between males and women. Such discrepancies in the emotional center for the sexes or even the way of processing information in its entirety are significant enough to have biology win over culture. I’m not saying that is impossible to have the sexes understand each other but it seems highly improbable. There is a certain amount of plasticity in our brains that allow for our individuality yet we each have a predisposition for what is already hard wired. Now if we decide to take an in vivo approach to educating the genders about each other, like example given about males giving birth it may be more effective but there are some problems with this as well. First all there would be a vast majority of male who would refuse to engage in such an activity. I do not think that they would gladly accept to carry a child just for the sake of paternity. They would rather remain as they are and deal with the struggles o uncertainty versus that of physical pain. Furthermore was mechanism would there be to prevent the sex roles to become reverse and the problem to persist. Many species who have the males as carriers, such as sea horses and Panamanian poison frogs, have their roles reverse where they become the choosy sex and provide for their young. In time instead of coming to an understanding in all likelihood the problem would persist but in a reversed manner. Other methods that are now used such as DNA testing may aid in this struggle. Some of the greatest issues face among the sexes is paternity disputes which can bring out he worst in both of them. The assurance can now be established which eases the tension, to some extent. Commitment to the family is strengthened by this, because the investment is seen as adequate. Unfortunately the battle isn’t just because of lack of commitment there is more to it, like the way we communicate, or rather don’t communicate with each other. It is a very dynamic problem that requires many solutions. For the most part education would aid in finding common ground in the battle but it would not resolve it. Education alone does not help in any situation if it has not been internalized by the individual and if it can not be used practically. General awareness especially at a early age would ease the future problems, but this process need to be continuous thing between the individual and the material. It’s is feasible but over a long period of time, and by then new problems may arise, so for the moment some understanding moves of further which is better than none at all. (Female ID#1578, 12/4/06)

I think that the “battle of the sexes” will never go away, but it can definitely be reduced. I think a huge way to reduce the battle of the sexes is through education. I think that when you learn about the perspective of the other sex it is easier for us to understand where they are coming from. Without education about sex differences I would find it impossible to really understand your partner. I think this is why I am a psychology major. I think an education in psychology will help my relationships in the future because I definitely have learned to empathize with the perspective of the other sex. With regards to the idea of men having their own babies, I guess this could fix the battle of the sexes. With this situation the men could have the babies and the women could go to work and have no maternal assurance. I do not like this idea because I think that we need to respect the sex differences. Yes, we have different brains which makes us different people, but this does not mean that one is better than the other. Men in general are better at spacial skills and women are better at communication skills. This is in general and this does not mean that a woman cannot be more skilled than the average man. I think that through education, celebrating our differences (while still realizing that we are equal), and respecting each other we can reduce the “battle of the sexes”. (Female - 7452 - 12/05/06)

There is nothing that will ever completely resolve the "battle of the sexes." The only thing we can do is ease the tensions. Men and women have evolved over many many years to be different. We have different drives, needs, wants, and even brains. By putting oneself in the other sexes shoes we can attempt to understand them. Everyone should learn about the innate sex differences between males and females, but also everyone should be encouraged to explore all aspects of their skills as human beings. For example, girls should play sports or work in math related fields if that is what they want to do; same with boys who want to work in nursing or be a stay-at-home dad. In response to the question regarding DNA testing to determine paternity, this will not make men better fathers, in fact it might make them worse. If the test indicates that the man is not the father than he is off the hook, if it says he is, all he has to do is pay child support. (Female - 8954 - 12/3/06)

I believe that there are always going to be issues between the sexes because in order for a man to understand a woman one hundred percent he would have to have a female mind, think act and live like a female and also be treated like a female and in this case he would of course no longer be a man. I do believe that it is important for men and women to learn about the opposite sex, why it is harder for a man to listen to his wife while other things are happening…why males are often more promiscuous than females and why sex doesn’t have to always mean something for a man. It might also at least give men something to think about when they get frustrated with women who want a commitment out of a man before they will go any further with him. Or what motivates a girl to talk about her “friends” behind their backs. I must admit though that I don’t think that men knowing women need to protect their reputation in order to secure a good mate that will be faithful to them is going to make men accept women’s actions (sometimes underhanded and slightly devious) to protect this reputation. And at the same time I don’t think women will, even with an evolutionary understanding, accept that fact that men place so much importance on a female’s physical appearance. Despite the fact that it could be because selecting a women of a certain physical appearance, evolutionarily, has meant selecting one who is reproductively fit. I simply don’t believe that men and women knowing the reasons behind our actions and behaviors will really have any baring, in the long run, on how we respond. I do understand the reasoning behind the idea of artificial wombs and DNA testing. I understand that if men did have one hundred percent assurance of paternity they would definitely be more willing to help in the upbringing of their children who will carry on their genes. But I think that the only case in which this works is if a father was already doubting whether his children were really his. I think that most fathers that are married already (no matter what the truth is) trust that their children are their own. As Buss said, when a man marries a women he ups his chances that the offspring are his own and has more assurance that the women will be committed to him. He also can put energy into raising a healthy and vital child that will carry on his genes because he has more certainty that his child is his own. In general I suppose that different ways of proving paternity would only help with sex struggles if the father was already worried about paternity but I don’t believe that all men question the fidelity of their wives and therefore not all men are going to be less invested in the raising of offspring because of this questioning. I think that it is fine for us to speculate and think of all these great ideas that would decrease the separation that exists between men and women but I think that this is just speculation. I don’t think that anything is really going to close the gap ion communication and understanding between men and women. It would be great if men could understand that talk about wanting a man who is strong, protective and kind it is because they are looking for characteristics that are good for a father. And that aggression and hostility, although arousing to some females does not attract all women because these are not desirable qualities in a father. It should be remembered that male and female brains are different from each other and these differences may account for differences in strengths. For example men are perhaps more naturally good at special problems and women more capable with language and communication. I realize that some people are working hard to even this playing field so that men and women may compete equally for different opportunities. I do realize that this could reduce the wars between the sexes because with equal opportunity and “equal intelligence” there would supposedly be no animosity between the sexes. The problem with trying to give men and women equal advantages is that when it comes to the real world no matter what a women or man has learned to develop his or her brain at this time there are still social norms that will constrain that man or women from taking full advantage. It seems that even in today’s society it is less common to see female architects and mathematicians or to see male nannies and kindergarten teachers. If somehow we are able to affectively foster spatial skills in women and communication and language skills in men perhaps someday there will be a change in this part of society and some small piece of “the battle of the sexes” with be eliminated. (ID# 7998, Female, 11-26-06) From Dr. Mills: poster: please indicate your gender.

I do not think that anything can be done that we will see immediate results. If in fact our current behaviors and beliefs are due to our ancestral history the changes we make now will not be seen for many generations. I think a good start would be to have young men and women take classes like this one to better understand the sex differences. This class has taught me what men think in the some of the same situations I have been in. It has broken some of the stereotypes women attribute to men and brought about a general understanding. However, this class along has not bridged the gap entirely for me. Men and women must possess a strong desire to bridge the gap or it will never happen. From what I have learned in this class, one of the main reasons for the differences in cognitions and behaviors is the difference in reproductive success and parental security. Technology needs to find some way to make it possible for men to give child birth or for women to enhance their reproductive success. Maybe an incubation compartment can be built where after sex then man and women put the fertilized egg in it. The incubator would provide a stable environment for the baby to be raised and the mother and father could then both pursue whatever they want. (Student 5598, Female, 12/04/05)

I think that the “battle of the sexes” can very easily be eradicated. The mere presence of sex differences does not necessarily pose a problem between the sexes. Although people at times assume that “differences” imply difficulty, inequality, etc., that is not the case. I see the sex differences issue as being able to parallel the race issue. Just a few generations ago, we were battling between races. We not only had slavery, but also segregation. Once it was proclaimed and trusted (by the masses) that we as a people are in deed created equal, the walls of being “different” started to crumble. Although society is still not ideally all inclusive/ all accepting, we are getting much better very quickly. Just as we celebrate cultural differences today, and grow in respect and admiration for/of those who are different from us, we should continue to learn about and celebrate sex differences. I do not think that men carrying our future children via an artificial womb will do any good with the sex difference battles. If anything, I think that men carrying children would make things worse… creating an “arms race” between the sexes (who can do what now… next… etc…). I think that the simplest way to deal with the “battle of the sexes” is to treat it as we have treated the race issue. (#9918, F, 26 Nov. 2006; ) From Dr. Mills: poster: please indicate your gender.//

As long as we have inherent sexual differences, which I have come to believe in from this course, The Battle of Sexes will always persist. With that in mind, I think that the intensity of the battle can be harnessed…with knowledge. Sex differences should be and need to be taught. Generally speaking, it would create an understanding of each sex which, I think, is all that can be asked for. Males should learn to be aware that females generally seek high status and good gene bearing sexual partners. Females should learn that The Coolidge Effect ingrained into males’ sex drive calls for different sexual partners. Sure, society has impeded males and females (particularly males) from expressing their innate sexual desires but it sometimes is for the best. It can be difficult to imagine a situation, where like most mammals, polygyny was the default relationship for humans. It would still remain up to the individual whether or not he or she will take the knowledge given and be more emphatic towards the opposite sex, but knowledge is the next step. Males and females should just be more mindful of each others flaws. It just makes sense. We need each other to procreate and to live happy, sane lives. However, not understanding each other hinders our capacity to truly appreciate one another. Knowledge of our flaws, I believe, will help us interact with each other more effectively. As a result, maybe the “Battle” of the Sexes won’t be so much as a “Misunderstanding” of the Sexes. (ID# 5732, Male, 12/3/2006)

Note from Dr. Mills: The following post links to an article -- that is optional. In responding to the question for the final post, you do not need to link to an article.

Let a Man Have a Paternity Test if That is His Wish [|] In the article I read the author talks about how she feels men should be able to get a paternity test if they want to. This way men will have no uncertainties while raising the child and so they can raise them so much more efficiently. And she believes that women should not be offended and should allow the man to get a paternity test if they would like. Whenever a woman refuses the paternity test it only makes the man more uncertain and nervous that the baby is not his. The author says that the woman should have nothing to worry about and that the test will only make the man become a better father. In the article it also states that 70% of today’s fathers are caring for a child that is not their own and it is unknown to them. This is really hard for me to believe because 70% is a huge number and I can’t believe that there would be that many women sleeping around and getting pregnant and saying that it is someone else’s baby. That just doesn’t seem to make sense that 70% of men are raising someone that is not their own son. I agree that the author of this article does make several good points. I believe that if every man were to be as certain that the child is there as much as the women that this would cause a lot less stress between the two sexes. Then men wouldn’t be so insecure when it came to fatherhood and they might take more responsibility. So this would allow women to not be so scared to become pregnant because they know that the man most likely fully support her because he would know for sure that it was his kid too. (female 11-27-06 ID: 9083)

Previous blog posts:

The Science of Sex: Glenn Wilson on Cross-Cultural Comparisons [| Link to article] The above article disucsses how across the globe, cultures have almost always maintained a double standard for men to be polygynous, and for women to be faithful and loyal to one and only husband. This is, of course, and as the article discusses, due to genetics and the female's limit to the amount of offspring that she can produce. The article mentions several powerful male figures throughout history that have had hundreds of offspring, while even powerful and sexually liberated women were never known for their large number of children, but only for their lustiness. (10/31/06 ID#5512 Male)

What men REALLY want This is a study that was done to show that men are now looking for women who are similar to them. They want women who make the same income as themselves and have similar goals for success. This is very interesting becuase it is opposite of what we have been learning in class (specifically that men want women who make less moeny than themselves and women want men who make more moeny than themselves). This could be an outcome of the equal rights movements that have been going on in the US for decades. Perhaps men and women are finally seeing each other eye to eye. (11-13-2006, #6141) ARTICLE

Self-reported assertiveness in Swedish and Turkish adolescents: [| A cross-cultural comparison] This article discussed an experiment that studied 652 Swedish and 654 Turkish high school students in order to compare the two different groups “self-reported assertiveness”. First they found that in general Swedish adolescents were more assertive than Turkish adolescents. They also found that Turkish boys and Swedish boys were both more assertive than their female counterparts. They also discovered that in both cultures girls were more able than boys to express feelings about and deal with any personal limitations they might have. This article also discussed how the fact that males in different cultures all tend to be more assertive than females is due to the fact that it is within a male gender role to be so and that it is a “highly socially desired attribute”. (10-29-06; ID:7998)

Sex Differences in Anger, Curiosity and Anxiety: A Cross-Cultural Study [| article]// This study examined the differences in curiosity, anxiety and anger between males and females in Israel and compared their test results to adolescent males and females living in the United States. Interestingly enough, results showed that Israeli female college students reported significantly higher levels of anxiety and anger than did Israeli males, and significantly lower levels of curiosity than their male counterparts. When college students in the United States were tested, they shower similar results that were definitely comparable. These results suggest that females worldwide might have the propensity to be more anxious and have more stress than males. The article hypothesizes that this could be due to certain feminist movements that consequently act as a pressure for women to perform at the same level as men. Although results were not exactly the same for both cultures, there was a clear indication that sex differences could be generalized between the two cultures and women displayed the same sorts of emotions at a higher rate than men did in both cultures. This is interesting because it does show that perhaps our behaviors do stem from nature and that environment may help to shape them, but it is not the sole factor in our psychological development. (10/29/06; ID: 9608)

The Science of Sex: Glenn Wilson on the Theory of Cultural Determinism In this article it talks about how in cross-cultural data there are often points of view that support the idea that sex roles are socially learned. It talks about three different New Guinea Societies and how the men and women’s roles varied across each. In the Arapesh culture both the men and women are mild-mannered and lacking in libido. In the Mundugumor culture both genders seemed aggressive and rather masculine. And lastly in the Tchambuli culture the roles are reversed and the women are dominant while the males are emotionally dependent. It is said that all the personality traits that are labeled masculine or feminine are as lightly linked to sex as things such as clothing. I thought this was really interesting because this shows how some sex differences might not be implanted in us, they might be learned. So many studies are done that support the idea when and women are biologically different but this article is saying the complete opposite. In these varying cultures the roles of men and women are so different compared to each other and compared to how we view sex roles in our society today. The article makes the point that if these masculine and feminine stereotypes occurred because of some accidental social decision then the same accident had to occur in virtually every other culture and this is a coincidence to remarkable to be possible. (10-29-06, ID: 9083)

Gender Effects in Childrens Beliefs in School Performance: [| A cross cultural study]// I found this study to be somewhat interesting since it mentions they discovered that boys and girls around the world have very similar ideas about what generally leads to academic success. This cross cultural study was on 3,000 kids in the grades 2-6 to see if they understand differences in academic success between the two genders. When the boys and girls beliefs were equal, their academic performances were equal. But when girls outperformed boys, their beliefs in their own talent were no greater than boys' beliefs, even though they did have stronger beliefs than boys in other facets of their achievement potential (e.g., putting forth effort, being lucky, getting their teacher's help). (ID: 7811; 10/29/06)

Students' thoughts on sex and relationships [| Students' experiences of Sexuality] The research conducted to form this article was in Belgium and South Africa. The article doesn't state why these were the only two countries studied but there is a different trend in the results. In Belgium, 65% of the students at the given university thought that a steady relationship was necessary for sexual contact while only 47% of the South African students thought this. I think both of these percentiles are quite high but may be because of the traditions of the two countries. 54% of the South Africans and 28% of Belgians were not sexually active at all. This probably affected the first stat as well as the other stats gathered. The article doesn't go into too much detail about the compared countries but HIV/AIDS can be a contributing factor to South Africa's low involvement in sex (among college students) because of the growing awareness of AIDS among educated people there. (10/29/06 ID# 3211)

Your Wish is Your Command This article was about self-efficacy and the effect it has on the sexes within a variety of different cultures. Self-efficacy is the belief that you can achieve what you wish to achieve. The more personal efficacy a person has the higher they set their goals and the more control and satisfaction they tend to have about with their lives. On the other hand low self-efficacy was correlated with depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, and pessimism, among many other attributes. I had expected to dimorphism between the sexes to be vast, however the results showed otherwise. I predicted correctly that in most cultures men had more self-efficacy than women, of the sixteen nations in the study Korea was the only nation where women had more self-efficacy than men had. However, the differences between the sexes were not that significant. The significance was apparent in the mean scores, where Japanese, Hong-Kong Chinese and Koreans scored the lowest and Costa Ricans, Peruans, and Russians scored the highest. I guess self-efficacy is more culturally learned than gender learned. 10/29/06 (ID# 7585)

Hush, No Words…[|] This article is so great… It talks all about how lovers do not have to share a language in order to understand each other. There is an example of Japanese-American couples not speaking a common language, but being able to communicate through “the language of the eyes”. Tres romantic (did you catch that…. A little French for y’all!).

Margaret Mead [http:http//,9171,839916,00html| Margaret Mead] In 1969 Margaret Mead delivered a speech at the American Museum of Natural History. This lecture was on the topic of social change. She argued that primitive societies barely perceive change; a child repeated almost exactly the lives of his parents. She believed that in more advance societies, children often do not model their parents’ characteristics but instead modeled teachers and heroes. Many people disagreed with Dr. Mead but she was very opinionated about this topic. Her disciplined career for observing human behavior began when she was only nine years old. Her economist father and sociologist mother encouraged her to record the speech patterns of her younger sister. She read hundreds of books a year and every magazine, allowed or forbidden. She went to college and earned a Ph.D in anthropology. When she was twenty-three years old, she left alone for six months to America Samoa. She published her results in 1928 at the age of nineteen and it was called Coming of Age in Samoa. 10/29/2006 4141

We all dream the same It took me a really long time to find something for this topic but I finally came upon this study which I actually found quite interesting. The researchers looked at many modern as well as many small-scale societies. As far as cross-cultural consistencies in sexual differences across all cultures men tend to dream more of men, and women dream fairly equally about both sexes. Women are more often victims in their dreams than men. Men tend to dream more of physical aggression. (ID# 8954- 10/29/06)

The Aging of America: Culture, Stress, and Sex This article discusses the differences in stress and life expectancy in America and other undeveloped countries. The longer life expectancy of women compared to men is a cross cultural phenomenon; even seen in undeveloped countries. This is due to many reasons, one of the most significant being that the social role of men seems to require a more physically strong attitude. This may cause some men to neglect seeking help when ill because "real men do not get sick." The article also shows this in the hunter-gatherer societies where men engaged in more dangerous physical activities (hunting) while women who were the gatherers faced childbirth as their most physically dangerous activity. Although both were dangerous the socialization of the men and women directed their responses to the activities. Childbirth was expected of a woman and more support is given to her during this time, similarly men were expected to be tough even when injured by hunting and were therefore more likey to succumb to their wounds. Research shows that the gap between the sexes has decreased however, the longevitiy of females is still dominant across cultures. I found this article to be interesting because I expected that the life expectancy of men and women would be much more similar in undeveloped countries. I also found it interesting that although the danger once involved in daily labor seems to have decreased, stress has increased and now that is affecting the life expectancy of males and females with females still living longer. (10-29, 3132)

Nature Vs. Nurture Debate

[| Nature vs Nurture]// This article written in animal behavior online discusses the waste of time that it is to discuss nature vs nurture. The author claims that there is no real reason to debate the subject seeing as there are equally justifiable sides for both. He does not take a side in this paper but points out the issues that both sides deal with. He says that nurture develops some societal phenomenons such as racism and classism but the nature side of it explains how the two genders differ. Both sides interact together to explain why humans (and other animals) act the way they do. The author points out how potent the argument between these two sides are, but the answer to this debate is simply that both sides win. (6141, 10-18-2006)

Animal and Human Behavior The article I found is a quite comprehensive study one researcher writes about involving his observations on animal and human minds to problems associated with sexual reproduction and social living. In his research, he has closely examined many different species, ranging from insects and spiders, to his research on human beings, both heuristic and theoretical from his end, and some empirical research conducted from a few of his students. He goes on to discuss evolutionary psychology, both in animals and humans, Across Species Comparisons and Psychopathology (ASCAP), differing metabolic rates between the sexes and how they effect developement, and even how two overt male traits can independently predict fertilization success in females, specifically their body mass and copulatory vigor, as well as the female-to-male counterside to that in other species. (ID: 967985512, 10/17/06)

[| It Pays to be an Imposter] is an article I found about the giant Australian cuttlefish. Appearently, smaller male cuttlefish are very good at hiding the fact that they are male and can fairly easily trick larger males into thinking they are female. Scientist Roger Halon discovered that there were actually three different tactics males used to try and mate with the female cuttlefish. There were the large "guard" males who were the most beneficial partners to the females. There were the "sneaker" males who, when two guard males were fighting, would try to sneak in and mate with the female. There are also the males who could mimic the females. Because the larger males were no longer threatened by these males because they looked female, the males could swoop in and fetilize the females eggs without the other male even knowing. Halon also found that these cuttlefish could actually switch between looking male or female 10 to 15 times per minute. Although mimicry has been seen in nature before, this account of mimicry was the first ever documented inwhich there was actually fertilization success. (ID# 2116, 10/17/06)// 300x227px Giant Australian cuttlefish. (Photo credit: Roger Hanlon)

“Wham, Bam, Thank You, Man” This article discusses polyandry in animals such as fish and birds. Although it states that 90 percent of birds are monogamous creatures, there is about two percent of the species that are polyandrous. The National Geographic calls this the “what, bam, thank you, man” attitude. Although there are crucial evolutionary steps for a species to turn out like this, there are big reasons why theses animals do adapt like this. One reason is the male’s ability, more so that the female’s, to protect the eggs and offspring. In the Gulf Pipefish, studies have been conducted that have shown that up to four males are usually pregnant with the eggs of one female at the same time. In a species of birds, called Jacanas, the female often attack other females for the “rights” to her man. Like the lion kingdom we learned about, a female jacana will kill another female’s eggs (that the male is sitting on) and force him to sit on her eggs that she lays. (Student ID# 3370) 10/10/06 (I attempted to do this on Sunday evening, but for some reason it would not allow me to edit the page)

A species of bird can read body language undefined (i'm on a mac and can't figure out how to insert a link...sorry!)// This article mentions something that I hadn’t seen before, males of this kind of bird actually take into account how the female is reacting, instead of just competing with each other and then mating with the female whether she likes it or not (even if it is in her best interest). Anyway it is the satin bowerbird that the article is referring to. Like many species of animals the males put on a performance to get the attention of the females, and then she decides whether it is good enough or not. If the male’s performance is too aggressive though, then the female will not mate with him. The interesting thing is that the males can read the females body language to decide whether their performance is working or not…if she stays standing, he tries a more subdued kind of display, if she bends down and puffs her wings, he’s succeeded. A researcher made a robotic female bowerbird to show this interaction. ID# 8954…10/16/06 (when I tried to post on Sunday it didn’t work and I had to rewrite)

Animals can also fall in love [| The mating game]// In prairie voles, females and males release hormones from their brains (oxytocin and vasopressin) when they are ready to mate. These hormones "bond" the voles together for life and spend about 50% of their time sitting together and touching. Sea horses perform rituals everyday with their mates which involves locking tails and rotating around a strand of underwater grass and are always faithful to their mates. Bowerbirds also perform rituals. The males contruct hanging nests filled with flowers, feathers, and leaves. If the female bowerbirds aren't impressed with a particular nest, they do not mate with the male who made it. Female stingrays pile ontop of each other (with the lowest female on the sea floor) and emit electric signals for males to intercept and "pull" females out of the stack. Male elephant seals fight with each other, sometimes to the death, to mate with huge groups of females. Finally, the article discusses how a male praying mantis will have its head bitten off while mating with a female. This goes to show how important it is to pass along your genes and at any cost. (ID# 3211, 10/16/06)

Female Swordfish Change Preferences As They Age [| Swordfish Article] This article explains a phenomenon shown with the mating preferences of female swordfish. Recently, it was found that females change their preferences as they age. When they are young, they prefer male swordfish with symmetrical markings on their tales. As they get older, they prefer male swordfish with asymetrical markings on their tales. Scientists do not yet know the cause of this change in preference. However, they do know that the females are looking for different traits in their mates as they get older. The scientists are interested to see if the change is due to experiences that the females have over the course of their lifetime. (ID# 9577 10/16/06)

[| Mating Systems in Bottlenose Dolphins]// This article discussed the mating systems in bottlenose dolphins, a promiscuous mating system that allows them to copulate with many partners. Male bottlenose dolphins have less paternal assurance and therefore provide little to no resources in the upbringing of the porpoise. The female is the sole provider. Much like the video we saw about lions, dolphins too commit infanticide however there is less documentation of this than in lions. The theories behind possible reasons for infanticide include that if it was committed by the mother its purpose was to save resources or if it was committed by the male it was done in order to mate with the mother. Female bottlenose dolphins become estrous again very quickly after they lose a child. Promiscuity seems to work best in these dolphins because the more partners a female dolphin has the more confused the paternity of her offspring is and therefore it is less likely that those who she copulated with before the birth of the particular porpoise will commit infanticide. This is because there is a possibility that the porpoise is their own offspring. Much like humans dolphins have live births of only one porpoise, howevery they have a 12 month gestation period and stay with the mother from three to six years after birth. This is an interesting fact because considering the limited number of resources the gestation period is rather long and the number of years that the porpoise is cared for by the mother is pretty long as well. The intense protection of the infant by the mother in the first week is also very interesting especially considering that after this first week, the protectionism decreases significantly. The fact that other female dolphins attempt to "kidnap" the porpoises during the first week is also very interesting. Dolphin males who are smaller in size also form packs in order to gain access to females which is interesting because the larger male dolphins recognizing their advantage in size tend to travel individually. (Student ID: 3132, 10-15-06)

Sex in the Wild This website discusses the different types of animal mating systems in the wild. It explains how the key to mating systems lies in the resources, and mating systems hold the key to behavior. First it discusses monogamy and its benefits. It explains that there are two parents to care for the child, to catch food for it, and to protect it from predators. Monogamy is also beneficial because if all the females (or the child-bearing sex) are ready to mate at the same time, there will be no other receptive females left for the male to mate with by the time he gets done with the first female, so he might as well stick around and take care of his offspring. However, there are not many monogamous species. Monogamy is most common in birds species, more than 95% of bird species are monogamous. Most monogamous species have a very small gender difference since it would be ideal that both sexes contribute the exact same amount. Specifically in monogamous species courting efforts of animals are very similar to human courting efforts. The female relies on the male’s resources, especially time, to make sure he is being faithful to her and that he will take care of her. It is a common trend that the sex that has more parental investment becomes the commodity that the other sex competes for. (student ID# 7585) (10/15)

Even Simba Gets It On: Lion Mating Systems

This article, African Lion Mating Systems, I found through a Yahoo! search. It reitnerates a few of the same concepts that were introduced during the in-class video: most mammals are promiscuous by mature, but lions are an exception because of the pride unit. As a result, lions are polygunandrous--both sexes mating with several sexual partners--as well as have no mate selection process. The article goes into the specifics of how lions mate and copulate. Male lions initiate a lot of physical rubbing, particularly head rubbing. Lionesses, similar to female rats, arch their backs and hindlegs. The important concept that I got out of this article was that lion mating is quick, repetitive and unsuccessful. It is noted that ejaculation occured 90% of the time, but mating was still unsuccessful. I guess lions just can't get the job done. (#5732, 10/15)

Animal Mating Systems Polygyny Monogamy and Promiscuity. I found the website on [| Different animals] in each system. It is not really an article, but I think it is a really interesting website. It gives definitions of each system and then lists animals that would be classified under each system. Monogamy is pretty rare in the animal world, some of the examples that I found interesting for monogamy were mountain lions and wolves; two animals that I did not know were monogamous. Some of the animals for promiscuity were bears and gazelles. (Student 5598 10/15)

When Birds Divorce [| article]// This article talks about the few species of birds that “divorce” each other after mating instead of remaining together for a lifetime. Usually birds will mate during the mating season, and then once mating season returns, the birds will reunite with the same partner and mate again. However recent finding disprove this notion in certain bird species. So far there is a record of approximately 100 bird species in which divorce from mates takes place, and in one species in particular, the rate is 100%. The ironic part is that females are the ones who benefit from the divorces, not the males, since females increase their reproductive success with a higher ranking bird. And unlike in humans, the older a female bird is, the more attractive she becomes to males because she will mate faster than her younger competitors. However because there is the uncertainty that birds will not find a partner to mate with because they are not guaranteed the security of a permanent partner, many lose out on their breeding season if they wait too long. The author argues that because birds are a species that are only together during the few weeks of mating, they are less likely than mammalian species to stay together. (ID: 9608; 10/15/06)

Jacanas and Polyandry I found this article to be extremely interesting because in the case of the Jacanas, it appears that the traditional gender roles in regard to mating are completely reversed. Not only do the males care for the eggs, raise them, and protect them, but the reproductive output is limited by the number of males a female Jacana can obtain. The females weigh more than the males, and frequently kill off other females’ eggs in order to eliminate competition and gain more male mates. We have had many examples of different mating systems, but this one is almost completely reversed and seems unique. (ID: 8049; 10/15/06)

Selected polyandry: female choice and inter-sexual conflict in a small nocturnal solitary primate This article talks about a small species of primate that practices polyandry. The females did not show any bias in their mates. The females that were studied generally mated with up to 7 different males in one night of activity, copulating a total of 11 times in one night! Another reason for this polyandry increases genetic variability. However, it has been found that the bigger males sired more offspring than the smaller. This may be another clue to why the females mate so often with so many different males. Through this practice, they will not only increase their genetic variability, but also not get ‘stuck’ with one mate. I found this article interesting and relevant to the mating systems we discussed in the last class.(ID 4047, 10-15-06)

Things About the Animal Kingdom your Parents Never Told You [|] I thought this article was very interesting because it talks about how there are so many matting differences between different species. In the article it states how every animal just have sex to allow their species to survive but how not every animal performs the act in the same way. It talks about many animals have a short life span, like the mayfly who lives for about an hour, so it is understandable why some of these animals are in such a hurry to ensure that there genes are going to be passed along before time runs out. There are also differences of styles during mating. There is this one old mating practice by a breed of flies that is called Serromyia fermorata. During this the flies take a position during sex which resembles kissing and then at the end of the mating the female sucks the body content out of the male. This seems so strange and bizzare to me that any animals after mating could suck the body content out of their mating partner. But there are obviously many very strange mating rituals that go on in nature that we don't always know about. But it actaully isn't that strange because it is just the way the world is and there are always meanings as to why the animals partake in each of the certain rituals. ( ID 9083, 10-15-06)

The mating game: ligers, zorses, wholphins, and other hybrid animals raise a beastly science question: what is a species? [| Article] This article looked at the breeding of different species. Hybrids are almost never seen in the wild because different species do not usually mate with each other. Captivity has created a whole new world for animals, and they are not beginning to stray from how nature intended. Most of us know the a mule is made by breeding a horse with a donkey. We have all heard of the Liger, made by breeding a lion and a tiger, but have you heard of the wholphin? Off the coast of Hawaii a Killer Whale and a dolphin had a baby wholphin. Unfortunately instead of living 40-50 years like it’s parents the wholphin died when it was five years old. There are biological reasons why different species do not mate. Most hybrids are infertile (this is thought to happen if the hybrids parents have a different number of chromosomes). The endangered spotted owl and the Midwestern barred owls have been mating and producing fertile sparred owl offspring. This is a problem. “Sparred Owls could trigger the Northern spotted owl’s extinction”. I think it would be interesting to find two entirely different species with the same amount of chromosomes and breed them. It would be interesting to see if we could create a whole new species! Then again maybe we should not mess around with nature. Species have specific genes that “help them adapt to a particular climate, eat what’s on the local menu, and fight off neighborhood predators”. These genes are passed on to the next generation, but when breeding with another species these genes essential for survival may be lost. “Mixing genes through interbreeding can eliminate survival traits or result in infertile offspring”. (ID 7452) 10/15/06

The mating game, snake style. This [| article] is about the mating habits of red-sided garter snakes in Canada. For six weeks out of the year in April and May thousands of these snakes appear and mate in the craters found at Narcisse Wildlife Management Area. During this time, researchers are able to lower themselves into these pits of 15,000+ snakes to study this without fear of being attacked by the snakes because during their mating season they are harmless and focus purely on sex. When the female emerges from her hibernation she is pursued by up to 100 male snakes that use pheromones to distinguish her sex. The question still being debated by researchers during the time of this study is how they choose which male to mate with. Is it just a matter of size, or are there other factors involved. One interesting exception to the male and female pheromones emitted by these garter snakes is the she-male garter. The she-male snakes are known to fool other males by giving off the impression that they are the female while heading straight for the true female themselves. Interestingly enough, females have been shown to prefer these she males to normal males because they have three times as much testosterone. Research is still being done in this field, and because it is difficult to distinguish what exactly is going on in the pits that are only present for a limited time, it could be a few more years before anything concrete is set down. (student ID: 5348 10/15/06)

Pipefish and Seahorse Evolution, Male Pregnancy and [| Sexual Selection]. Male pregnancy is apparent in the fish family Syngnathidae. This family includes pipefishes, seahorses and sea dragons. During mating, the female transfers unfertilized eggs to the outside of the male where they are attached to the surface of the male in some species and attached covered by a fleshy pouch in others. They are then fertilized by the male's sperm. This article discuses male pregnancy and how it is of interest to evolutionary biologists because it affects the nature of sexual selection. In most biological systems, males compete with one another for mating opportunities, and secondary sex traits (like antlers in deer or striking plumage in birds) typically evolve in males. In some species of pipefish, however, females compete for access to receptive males and the secondary sex traits evolve in females. This reversal in the direction of sexual selection provides an interesting challenge for theories of sexual selection. #Behavioral_characteristics(ID# 5289 10/15/06)

POLYAMOROUS RELATIONSHIPS: Not just straight, gay, or bi anymore… [|] Beyond straight, gay, bi- and asexual… POLYAMOROUS relationships are to the 2000’s as homosexuality was to the 1960’s! It means that someone is in a committed relationship with more than one person. This is NOT swinging or polygamy. You just need to read this article for yourself, it is mind boggling. I never would have guessed that one man can have two girlfriends and each of the girls get to “enjoy” each other and the man… or it could be one woman and two men… or it could be four men…. or two men and two women… The possibilities are endless, and NO, this is not a joke. Some have even yielded families (brings a whole new meaning to “who’s your daddy?”). Enjoy!!! (15 Oct. 2006 by #9918)

Positive Illusions [http:http//,9171,992083,00.html| marriage]Studies show that marriages start to go downhill soon after the “I do’s” are exchanged and continues downward through the first four years. Marriage quality will then remain the same after the first fall and will again decline during years eight, nine, and ten which is known as the “seven years itch.” Children are a large stress factor and they prevent a couple from having positive illusions about their relationships. Natalie Low, Ph. D states “Marriage is hard work.” “Marriage is not a static event that can be measured, but a series of development--those triumphy and setbacks—that make up life.” Couples have to keep working on their relationship since there are no set directions. The reason for knowing research patterns about marriage is because it may help the couples stay together, if they can come up with positive ways to deal with change. It would be wise if people can build into a marriage that their will be a lot of change.4141 10/15/2006 A Polyandrous GENE??? [| in Hawks]// This article talked about polyandry in Galapagos Hawks. There was a study done over several years on hawks residing on four different islands in the Galapagos. The study was conducted to see if polyandry was related to genes or the environment. Parker studied the smaller populations of hawks on the two smaller islands, Pinta and Espanola. Espanola was a completely monogamous society whereas Pinta was completely polyandrous. In support of the “polyandrous gene” this would make sense if the first hawks on the islands were, respectively, monogamous and polyandrous. However, to further support the idea of the “polyandrous gene” Parker compared the two small islands/populations of hawks to two other Galapagos Islands which had much larger populations. She found that the environment was not a factor in determining the monogamous/polyandrous society because the environments had almost the exact same differences, so at this point in time, there appears to be a “polyandrous gene” among these hawks. (ID: 0618, 10/14/06)

Aspirin protects men's hearts and women's brains [| Health] Aspirin therapy helps to reduce cardiovascular events in both men and women, however, there is a discrepancy. Researchers studied six studies with 95,456 subjects and found that aspirin reduced strokes in women and it reduced heart attacks in men. There is no study that found the exact reason yet but researchers think that men may metabolise aspirin differently than women. In America, aspirin therapy for the cardiovascular problems are recommended to both men and women but it only recommends to men in Europe. (ID: 9983, 10/14/06)

- - - - Above = This week (wk 8, 10/17/06) - Below = Last Week (wk 7, 10/10/06) - - - - - Questioning Darwin Taking into account sexual and social selection As we have learned in class, Darwin explains sex differences and sex behavior in animals by sexual selection. This says that the only reason for mating is strictly to reproduce. A few doctors from Stanford are beginning to question this theory. They are hypothesizing that mating may have other purposes in society such as maintaining a healthy relationship with a mate. They began to question Darwin when they realized that his theory does not explain such mating phenomenons such as homosexuality are female promiscuity (which can both be seen in not only humans but also animals such as monkeys, flamingoes and male sheep. These professors argue we should take into account social and sexual selection. (ID 6141 10-11-06).

Are genes the only factor? [| Turtles] Genes are not the only factor in sex differentiation among animals. For some species of turtles the temperature also plays a role in determining the sex of a particular cultch of eggs. The margin for this is relatively small but a study has shown that an all male clutch is likely to develop at temperature the reach 25 C. An all females clutch, on the other had, requires higher temperatures that reach 30-31 C. This small margin between the sexes is puzzling but it goes to show that the way that organism are not just base don genes but on the environment as well. (ID 1578 10-12-06)

Sex Differences in relationship aggression in young adults in [| Germany]. Research into violence in intimate relationships has traditionally cast men into the role of perpetrators and women into the role of victims. A large body of evidence leaves no doubt about the fact that men are responsible for disturbing levels of physical and sexual aggression against female partners, and many women are traumatized by persistent and recurring violence by their male partners. Due to this women's role as perpetrators of aggressive behavior has received very little research attention. This article is based on research done in Germany and was done because scientists wanted to contribute to a predominently North America based body of evidence on sex differences in relationship agression. Physical aggression toward a partner is defined as a behavior carried out with the intention to inflict physical harm on a partner in a relationship.The researchers used two methods of collecting data: first they used official crime statistics and crime victimization surveys of representative samples, and secondly they used research collecting self-reports of perpetration of, or victimization by, relationship aggression, using the Conflict Tactics Scales developed by Straus (1979). Official crime victimization figures in Germany showed that women account for a substantially higher proportion of victims of partner violence than men and that the rate of injuries from partner violence is higher for female than for male victims. Studies using the Conflict Tactics Scales (the second method) present a different picture. A large body of evidence has shown that on this self-report measure, women feature as much or even more in the perpetration of physical aggression toward a partner as men do. (ID# 5289 10/12/06)

Sex chromosome genes directly affect brain sexual differentiation I found the article listed above on The article describes various studies conducted of several different types of mice and their psycho-neural development in relation to which set of chromosomes they had received. More specifically, these researchers were monitoring the resulting production of dopamine levels and their direct effect on the mice's sexual development. The chromosomes appear to have a direct result, even before gender specification, on how each animal was to react to that chemical compound. The article goes on to discuss in detail the effects all this has on the in vitro// system, and how it relates to both rodents as well as human beings. (ID: 967985512) 10/10/06

Vet Diagnoses Dogs with Comulsive Disorder Article The idea of this to me is a little extreme. This article gives us advice on how to help our dogs if they show the signs of “compulsive Disorder” (licking one spot on their body raw, barking because of nothing, chasing their tail). My opinion is that some dogs chase their tails and some don’t but it has nothing to do with whether the dog has a disorder. Also dogs lick themselves because of an irritation not because they are compulsive about it. Andrew Luescher, a veterinarian who is director of Purdue University’s Animal Behavior Clinic has found that “many dogs even have emotional disorders that are more commonly associated with humans than pets”. I absolutely believe that dogs can be traumatized from experiences (such as abuse), but to diagnose a dog with a human disorder is a little far fetched for me. (ID 7452) 10/10/06

11 Strange Mating Rituals: Don’t Try These This Valentine’s Day I found this article about interesting and slightly shocking Animal Mating practices on the Associatedcontent website. This article talks about the odd ways some animals mate, and I found some of these not only relevant to chapter 6, but also quite interesting. This article not only talks about interesting sex differences in certain species of earthworm and penguin, but it also illustrates how these sex differences come into play in each of these 11 different strange sexual practices. Interesting highlights from this article include the mating practices between spiders, where the male spider is actually caught in the female's web, and also the mating practices of gulls, snails, and sea hares. (ID 4047) 10/10/06

Fickle Fish Force Males to be Flashy [|] This article explains how female fish in East Africa's tropical Lake Victoria choose male fish to mate with based on their brightest color. Not only do males with bright colors apear "sexy" to the female, they also are the healthier fish. The brighter the male, the less parasites they seem to have, they are the prizefighter fish . Because in merky, unclear water the brightness of the fish is harder to distinguish, females begin to be less picky with their mates and choose based on size. When the fish mate this way it seems that these hybrids are less successful. There is a big emphasis on keeping the lake clean so the species of cichlid can stay alive. 10/10/06 (ID 3370)

terous with Impacts your Life Forever This article discusses how basic biological sex differences have a drastic effect on diseases. It reiterates over and over again the importance of testing both sexes when conducting a study because of the different tendencies of each sex. This article explains a few studies that were done on litter born animals such as rodents and pigs. These studies revealed that fetuses are effected by the sex hormones they are exposed to from other fetuses in the utero. It explains how female mice who lie between two male mice in the utero are less desireable to male mice and also have a shorter life cycle in their reproductive ability. In gerbils it was found that a male gerbil that is exposed to more testosterone as a fetus, by sharing the uterus with other males, will be more sexually proficient but will also have worse parental instincts than a gerbil born sharing the uterus with females. More studies have shown that this theory applies to humans as well. It has been revealed that females with a male twin have, who are therefore exposed to more testosterone in the untero have more masculine tendencies. (ID 7585)

Aggression in Animals Linked to Reproductive Success- Science Magazine The article I found in Science magazine looked at animal’s aggression and whether it helped or hurt that animal’s ability to reproduce. In many instances, the female (usually in regards to spiders), is so aggressive that it kills off its mate before it has a chance to reproduce. It is hypothesized that the female has such natural hunting abilities that it confuses the mate for prey. This was interesting because it is contradictory to our study that says reproduction is always an organism’s first instinct. It is also shown in this research that females tend to avoid aggressive males when given the chance to do so. This shows that aggression in males (not only females) can slow down the process of reproduction. However, aggressiveness can also help reproduction by fighting off other predators and threats. Animals simply need to regulate when and to whom they show their aggressive personalities. The author concludes that just like humans, an animals personality traits can “make or break” his or her ability to reproduce. (student id: 6141, 9-27-06)

Fraternal Birth Order and Maternal Immune Hypothesis of Homosexuality. Article This article was interesting because it talked about many of the issues that we discussed in class about homosexuality. The experiment done for this study supported that sexual orientation in males is definitely correlated with the number of older brothers that the male has and not just that, but the number of males a mother has also directly affects her immune system. That is, the more males a mother produces, the more immune she becomes to H-Y antigens and thusly prevent normal sexual differentiation in her fetus. The article also stressed that the findings of this study was consistent with real world situations since in many cases of homosexuality in male individuals, it is found that he either has a lot of older brothers or his older sisters are irrelevant to his development. This research is especially valuable now as homosexuality is becoming more accepted by the general public. With this knowledge of the causes of homosexuality, there is less room for intolerance of these individuals as they have no control over their sexual orientation. (10/8/2006, 9608)

Sperm sorter ensures sex-linked litters. At the time of this article, which was written in 1989 (so admittedly it is a bit out of date), scientists had recently improved upon a method that allowed them to manipulate the sperm in animals thereby choosing which chromosomes were produced and controlling the sex of the offspring. The goal of this research was to enable farmers to have control over their livestock depending on whether they are in need of more males or females in a particular season. The process was originally a semi-success on chinchillas, however the sperms were unable to be sorted while still possessing their tails. The latest breakthrough at the time of the article was that scientists had been able to perform this procedure on rabbits and the success rate was considerable. Although the failed pregnancy rate for the rabbits inseminated with the sorted sperm was twice that of those inseminated with the unsorted sperm, scientists were optimistic in the continued success of the project. What interests me about this article is that it was written over 15 years ago and as of today I am unaware of any significant advancements in this field. Did research on this topic end because of a lack of funds, an absence of progess (and therefore abandoning the experiment), or was it due to a moral debate and fear that this process could be adapted for humans and lead to "designer babies"? Or maybe the scientists already found a solution to this and it was published years ago, only I was 7 years old and not reading the newspaper at the time. Either way, I would like to know how this was resolved. (Student ID: 5348, Oct. 8, 2006)

Boy? Girl? It's up to You [,9171,989125,00.html| Boy or Girl?] Boy? Girl? It's up to You Boy or Girl? There are many superstitions to increase the likelihood of a couple having a certain sex. Some extreme examples include in France the male would tie off his left testicle to increase the chances of having a male and the Germans would put a hammer under their bed. A fertility center in Fairfax, Va. can offer couples an 85% chance of ensuring that they will have a girl. Sperm are known to have a gender, some carry an X chromosome and some carry a Y. Artificial insemination can be performed because X chromosomes are known to have 2.8% more DNA than Y's. There are roughly about 300,000 sperm for every attempt and the procedure costs $2,500. This method seems to work because out of fourteen pregnancies, thirteen were girls. This study will only work about 65% of the time for a couple to have a male. 4141

"Walnut" Sized Male Octopus seen for the first time One of the most prominant sex differences in the animal world was just recently seen for the first time. It was discovered off the north shore of Australia. It is called the blanket octopus. It may be the only species in which the female is 40,000 times heavier and a hundred times larger than the male. The species of Octopus have been known to exist but this is the first time that one has been spotted alive living in its natural enviornment. Because of the unusual size differences the female actually benefits from her size in terms of mating, as her increased size leads to more offspring.(10/8/06) 3896) From Time magazine.

Fish Show off their Mating CratersArticle I found this article to be interesting. It is about male cichlads showing off their sexual prowess by building craters. The only purpose for these crates is for them to mate in. They vary in size, with the larger ones tending to be for the healthier fish. In a study they adjusted the larger ones to become smaller and the smaller to be bigger. But right away, they changed it back to normal either rebuilding it or breaking it down. They keep it the same size everytime, for the female to not think they are scratch or other males will attack. The researchers suggest that this is an "extended phenotype", a behavior that is passed on by genes. I just thought this study was very interesting, because of what we learned is mainly males will show off being big or dominate one another, but here they keep it to their original size and don't exaggerate. Even if they can build the craters larger than what they are, it is still questionalble to me of why they keep it one size.( 10/8/06; 7811)

The Bronze-winged jacana Role Reversal This article discussed the role reversal among bronze-winged jacana birds. The male birds fight each other for lily pads on which they reside while the females fight for their right to one to four males. A female presents a male with her eggs, but because the female has so many partners, the male is uncertain that any of the eggs are his. Still he tends to them completely, taking on all parental responsibilities, because if he does not, any chance of him passing on his genes dies along with the chicks. The male cannot stop the female from mating with other males because she is 60 percent bigger. His only defense is his cry. Some researchers observed that they make this yelling noise when predators are near so that the female returns and protects him and the chicks. The female hurries over about 75 percent of the time. This researcher also speculated that the male sometimes "cries wolf" in order to get the female away from other males. It is true role reversal. (10/8/06, 9822)

Equal time spent in the nest between male and female voles

Gender differences in animal studies. Implications for the study of human alcoholism. In this article it talks about how researchers have tried to study differences between males and females dealing with alcohol intake, responses to alcohol and consequences of alcohol abuse. It is said that this is still not very clear and that we still do not have a good grip about this difference. When studying these differences in the study the researchers use rodents to observe. It has been noted that female rodents tend to drink more alcohol than the males and they have different drinking patterns and responses to the alcohol. But i thought this was really interesting because this is the complete opposite with humans because males usually drink more than females since that are biologically larger than females so they can handel more alcohol in their system. So this shows that rodents may not be the best way to compare effects of alcohol on to humans since the responses can differ so much. I really enjoyed reading this article because it point out to be how many differences there are between genders dealing with alcohol consumption and response. (10/8/06, 9083)

Parental Care in the Captive Mandarin Vole

This article was particularly interesting because no or very few differences were found between male and females in the investment of parental care of the Mandarin Vole. High paternal investment was expected but there was no difference in the amount of time spent nesting with the young. Differences were found in some of the behaviors of the male and female parents, "Females spent more time grooming pups than did males" but other behaviors like nest building and time spent alone as well as time spent in the nest were equal for males and females. It was interesting to discover that no significant differences were found in nest maintenance or frequency of bringing objects between any two pup stages. It was also interesting that male voles would continue to raise the young even if the female vole died. The article was interesting because the information we have been studying in class as well as in the chapter shows tendencies for parental investment to go in the other direction, where males have little interaction with the young and females are the primary caregivers. (8 Oct. 2006 #3132).

Competing forces drive evolution of male genital size in FISH! This article explains problems male mosquitofish have with attracting females. The male mosquitofish has a modified fin called a gonopodia which is used to transfer sperm to the female mosquitofish. Female misquitofish respond positively to a larger gonopodia, but, a larger fin causes the male fish to swim slower and therefore they are unable to outrun predators as well as males with a smaller gonopodia. I found this intereting because I remembered the example from class about the elephant seals that got so large they crushed the females. It is interesting to see how species are continually evolving in different ways and how different environments can cause different selection pressures. 8 Oct. 2006 #2166

Stress Differences (including post-partum depression) in animals: I found this article and was intrigued, as I have notivced a HUGE sex difference between human males and females concerning stress/ anxiety levels. We doculmented this observed difference the first day of class when the females noticed that males are usually more methodical and calm when dealing with any given situation. In turn, the males in the class agreed that females, in general, are more emotional, "stressed out", and "a mess" when dealing with many situations. I found this article to be very pertinent and applicable to our class as well as interesting --as I never thought of animals as experiencing stress/ anxiety beyond simple survival needs. The post-partum depression part especially intruiged me for the same reason. 8 Oct. 2006 #9918

Earliest Sex Difference...even before Dinosaurs!!! Fossil Tusks I found this article interesting because I guess I never thought about sex differences in dinosaurs...but this article talks about them even before that! There was a group of 4 legged mammal like reptials called Dicynodonts...the specific species these researchers were interested in was the Diictodon. They found some fossils with tusks and some without. Ruling out that the absence or presence could be due to a difference in age or species, it had to be a sex difference. These creatures did eventually evolve into mammals so it is the earliest sign of a sexually dimorphic world. It seems they had complex social mating systems similar to what we observe in mammals today. (Oct. 8, 2006; Student ID: 8954)

Female Bats' Devotion to Kin starts with Mate Devotion of Female Bats This article talks about the fact that the female horseshoe bat is a "one man" kind of bat. This type of bat does not like to mate with many different bats it prefers to have one partner and to mate with that one bat year after year. This desire in the female bat to mate with the same male year after year is because of a want to have a close and tight kinship. This desire to keep a close kinship will often lead to mother, daughter and grandmother bats all mating with the same male bat. All of these actions lead to a very closely related group of bats which may lead to more cooperation between the bats. The article also states that many male bats are passed over by the females in order to mate with only a select few. The reasons for this are not known but it does lead to a few bats getting most of the opportunity to pass on their genes. (Student ID: 7998 10/08/06)

Zebra Finch Males Prefer Females with Exaggerated Parental Traits [| Zebra Finches] This article discusses an experiment that was done on Zebra Finches. The researchers wanted to find out if the mating preferences of male zebra finches were related to traits of their parents. To do this, they experimented on two groups of male finches and their parents. They painted the beaks of one group of mother finches orange and the corresponding father beaks red. For the other group, they painted the beaks of the mother finches red and the corresponding father beaks orange. When the male finches reached adulthood, they tested their mating preferences by painting the beaks of female finches varying shades of orange and red to see which the male preferred. It was found that all of the males tested preferred females with beaks more extremely colored than their mother's beaks. This shows that zebra finches use their parents as models for sexual partners, but prefer traits that are exaggerated compared with their parents. This is known as sexual imprinting. (Student ID: 9577 10/8/06)

Training can reduce cognitive differences in monkeys - Monkey Experiment This article discusses the findings of an experiment done by Agnès Lacreuse which pertains to rhesus monkeys and their cognitive spatial abilities. The research dealt with males and females, three different age groups, and finding food under trays. The research showed males were better at finding the food but especially young males. This suggests that men are in fact better with spatial tasks but as they get older their ability declines faster than in females. From an evolutionary standpoint this makes sense as males primarily found food and females stayed with their young. Lacreuse performed a second study, with less monkeys, in which young males and females were trained to perform better at finding food under identical trays. The males showed no improvements whereas the females did show improvement. Although this may be because it was a specific task they were trained at and tested in, I gathered that the training went beyond the makeup of the male/female brains. Different hormones differentiate male and female brains but experience (training) can enhance the brain beyond nature's blueprints. The experiment further suggests that all males decline faster than females when it comes to cognition. (STUDENT ID: 3211. 10/08/06)

Sea slugs solve the battle of the sexes - sea slug This article is about hermaphrodite sea slugs. Not like human, those sea slugs have both male and female genitalia. By making a "balance between receiving and giving in a relationship", they show the way to optimize sperm transferring. I found this article very interesting because reproductive processing of sea slugs does not have a problem that human has. In human's reproduction, females have more costs than males, therefore, giving and receiving is not well balanced in human's reproductive processing. However, as the title tells us, sea slugs solve this problem. They "donate sperm only the condition that they receive it" so, their way to transfer sperm is beneficial to both partners. (Id # 9983, 10-9-06)

Hyenas and reversed roles- Spotted Hyenas This article discusses the differences between male and female hyenas. Hyenas from social network based on female line and unlike most animals they are more dominat than the males. Theya re larges in size and are more aggressive than meales. in more way the one they seem to fit the prototypical male. This phenoma is actually rooted in their biology, specifcally their prenatal environment whihc is more receptive to male hormones. This masculinization is presume the aid in thier survival, since they live ina highly conpetitive enviroment (ID#1578, 10-9-06)

Monkeys Confiming What We Already Know. In this article, researchers conclude that like their human counterparts, male monkeys are more inclined to play with toy cars; females, with dolls. They link this difference in inherent genetics that program males to be geared toward toys that will express their penchant for throwing or moving--skills useful in hunting and finding a mate. On the other hand, females have an affinity for toys like dolls because of an inherent desire to care for children. The study conducted involved putting a variety of toys in front of 44 male and 44 female vervets, a breed of small African monkeys, and measured the amount of time they spent with each object. Male monkeys spent more time with cars and balls; females, dolls and cooking pots. Both monkeys did show equal attention to "neutral" objects like a picture book and a stuffed animal. The article goes on to find that men tend to be better at mathematics and spatial reasoning while women outdo men in verbal and language skills. However, women scored higher on a verbal fluency test. (ID #5732, 10-10-06)















The New Sex Scorecard - Psychology Today This article touches on several differences between female and male brain structures and they function they have in today's culture. The article talks about many things we discussed in class, including the male's prominance towards spatial skills involving eye co-ordination, as well as a more focused mind for peforming individual tasks. Women in turn have a smaller, but more condensed brain of grey matter for collective processing, and more communicative skills. They as well have a thicker Corpus Callosum to aid in this process. The article as well touches on the various effects of testosterone in the brain during early stages of developement, including even actions such as eye contact and the reduced developement of brain functions in charge of speech. It lastly compares males and females attitudes regarding sexual behavior, emphasizing once again the overwhelming promiscuity of males to females. However, as a recent study shows that I was not aware of, men are growing increasingly to be just as much prone to emotional attatchment as women in our culture are, even in noticeable amounts within out lifetime. (Student ID: 967985512 (2601) 9/25/06)

Babies by Design Mastering genetics This article discusses the future of genetic research and its ability to screen for diseases and abnormalities before a baby is even conceived. The new information could be used to find out an embryos traits such as hair and eye color, height, and life expectancy. A new technology was introduced called PGD, or pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. The sperm and egg are matched and incubated in a laboratory. The scientists are able to screen embryos for disease or "defects", and implant the healthy embryo into the mother. Some are worried that potential brilliant minds or major benefactors to the world could be screened out because there is a good possibility they would have breast cancer or some other disease. It seems to me like this PGD technology is playing God and messing with mother nature.(Student ID: 9822 9/25/06)

Scientists Find Sex Differences in Brain [|]

The article that I choose talked mostly about how there are major differences between the male and female brains. This idea that men and women’s brains are different can explain many differences between males and females; for example why fewer women succeed in science and math careers or why female children start speaking earlier than males. Major differences are also noticeable with different diseases also. We know that depression is twice as common to appear in women as in men and this is common with many neural diseases that they are either more common in one gender than the other. This is all very likely to be explained by the differences in their brain. Males brains actually tend to be larger than females but this could be because men are usually larger than women in general. Although this is true women are actually said to use more parts of their brains at once than men. So as we can see there are not only physical major differences but also operational differences between the male and female brains and this is something that became very clear to me after reading this article. (Student ID: 9083, 9-24-06)

Gender Differences in Memory Gender Differences in Vivid Memories-autobiographical memory and self-identity This article discusses the gender roles that are places on individuals from birth and its effect on which memories men and women are motivated to remember from their childhood. It further explains the relationship between autobiographical memory and its effect on an individual's sense of identity and concept of self-worth. One of the major components of identity is a person's gender and because a person's gender effects the way they view the world, it is hypothesized to have a great effect on a person's collection of memories. Because women are socialized at a very young age and create a support network no matter where they are in life, their memories tend to have more details about other individuals involved, whereas males seem to lack details about anyone other than themselves when remembering their past. The article elaborates on this current theory by including several different studies about autobiographical memories and continously illustrates how each researcher's findings supports this observation. (Student ID: 5348, 09/24/06)

Female Promiscuity and Male Reproductive Success -Female Promiscuity and Male Reproductive Success in Social Birds and Mammals This article paralleled different species with humans when it came to reproductive trends but it also showed the stark differences in social species when females are the promiscuis and the males only mate with one female. Although females invest more energy into reproduction than males, and females cannot fertilize more eggs by having more partners, there are some advantages in certain species for females to be promiscuis. For example, there would be more genetic diversity and in very social species, it is no uncommon for the females to compell the males to care for their offspring. I found this especially interesting because female promiscuity is starting to become more popular in the human species. However, whether that is a social acceptance issue or a biological/evolutionary advantage issue is still vague. At least we know that there are species that exist where this trend is popular. (Student ID: 9608, 09/24/06)

Sex Differences in the Brain Male and Female Brains Differ Though this article seems to repeat a lot of information we have already learned in class, it still offers some interesting points about the differences in male and females. The first part of the article that grabbed my attention was how your intellect depends on your intellectual strength in addition to your sex. This means that even though men and women perform differently at certain tasks, it is not entirely due to your brain's structure due to hormones but also your specific brain capacity. Another point this article makes is how the mental differences of both sexes are evident early on in life, far before puberty. Later in the article, a researcher, Camilla Benbow, concluded how males vastly outnumber females in mathematical skills. This is largely due to biological factors and is almost unaffected by social ones. The most interesting part of the article was how menstrual cycles in women directly alter their performances in certain tasks due to estrogen levels. With increased estrogon, women performed even better at speech and manual skill tasks. After some talk on the left/right hemispheres of people and how men and women react differently to strokes, the article closes up with talk on evolution. Our brains have not evolved as fast as our technology. Only tens of thousands of years ago, men had very different tasks from women (hunting and navigating compared to nurturing and upkeep) and this probably contributes a lot to mental differences in us in the modern world. (Student ID:3211, 09/24/06)

XYY Syndrome XYY syndrome is aneuploidy an of the sex chromosomes in which a human male receives an extra Y chromosome in each cell, hence having a karyotype of 47,XYY. XYY syndrome is also called Jacob's Syndrome. We discussed XYY Syndrome briefly in class and learned that some characteristics of this syndrome are that the males tend to be taller, have a lower IQ, and be less fertile. This article discusses the syndrome more in depth. In the article it states that skeletal malformations and severe facial acne might also accompany XYY syndrome at a higher rate than in the general population. Larger hands and feet have also been associated with the syndrome. XYY boys have an increased risk of speech and motor skills delays and learning disabilities. The most interesting part of the article was the part about the myth of XYY males having higher aggression. The myth states that the Y Chromosome adds to aggression and antisocial behavior of the males who have this syndrome. As we also discussed in class there is an elevated frequency of XYY genotype in inmates and delinquents. The incidence of this condition is 1 in 1001 males. (Student ID#5289 September 24, 2006)

The New Sex Scorecard...Psychology Today This article attempts to shed some new insight on differences between sexes based on biological and genetic differences between the two sexes. It begins with the basic gene differences we discussed in class. It furthers the idea of barr bodies by claiming approximately 19% of inactivated genes are actually not inactivated and can provide a “backup” for potentially defective genes found in the activated X chromosome. Men do not have this luxury since they are born with only one copy of the X chromosome. This difference is thought to help explain why women suffer less from brain problems than can lead to disorders such as schizophrenia. Another point the article makes is that the Y chromosome is shown to produce more dopamine, a neurotransmitter that is related to reward and pleasure. Men also seem to have more vasopressin production that leads to aggression. The article continues to discuss behavioral, cognitive, and psychological each relating to causations from testosterone exposure in the womb to brain differences between the sexes, providing great examples to the ideas we learned in class. (Student ID# 1645, September 24, 2006)

eMedicine's facts and statistics on Klinefelter's syndrome This article gives in-depth statiscits about Klinefelter's syndrome, a syndrome we talked about recently in class. We have already learned that Klinefelter's syndrome is a product of the 23rd pair of chromosomes turning out XXY. This article however, goes further than our class discussion when it notes that in America,"approximately 1 in 500-1,000 males is born with an extra sex chromosome; over 3,000 affected males are born yearly. The prevalence is 5-20 times higher in the mentally retarded than in the general newborn population." Other effects of Klinefelter's syndrome are also discussed in this article. One point I found interesting was the "variants" section, where XXXY and even XXXYY variants are discussed. The effects of these rare chromosome groupings are both shocking and intriguing to read about. (Student ID# 4047 September 23, 2006)


China's "Gendercide" Creating the Largest, Longest, and Highest Gender Imbalace in the World. This article reports on the worst gender imbalance in history, that is taking place as we speak in china. The imbalance has grown from a combination of causes. First is the Chinese cultural preference for a boy that has manifested itself through the centuries. Second is China's law of only one child per family. Lastly with the advancement in technology for prenatal care, families are able to find out the gender of their child in time to do something about it. These factors are creating "gendercide" which is the phenomenon of increased abortions and infanticide to make sure that the families sole child is a male. The imbalance is very dangerious to society with ramifications being seen in increased human trafficing and also in an increase in violence among low status men. (Student ID# 3896 September 23, 2006)

Survey finds more women Experiment with Bisexuality This article, found on, said that, when surveyed, More women especially those in their late teens and 20s experiment with bisexuality or at least feel more comfortable reporting their same-sex encounters. The survey which was released by the National Center for Health Statistics, found that 11.5% of women, ages 18 to 44, said they've had at least one sexual experience with another women in their lifetimes. 14% of women specifically in their late teens and 20s say that they have experienced same sex encounters whereas only about 6% of men in their teens and 20s said they'd had at least one same-sex encounter. They can only hypothesize as to what the reason for this difference between men and women's willingness to experiment with bisexuality. they are also only able to guess as to why more women are experimenting with bisexuality now than before. One possible explanation is that people are more willing to admit to it than previously (even though the survey respected the privacy of all parties). Some say that it is simply more accepted for women to experiment than men. But some experts who study sexuality say it's even more likely that many college students simply see experimentation as a rite of passage. (Student ID#7998, September 22, 2006)

Fickle Fish Change Sex Depending on the Company Fish Article This article was about a study that was recently conducted on Bluehead Wrasse, a type of fish that lives in Coral Reefs. Scientists found that these fish could change their sex depending on the other fish that they live with. These fish start out as larvae without a specific sex, and only become male or female as they develop. The scientists found that the fish were more likely to become female if they were surrounded by only a few fish, and male if they were surrounded by many fish. Sometimes, these fish could even change sexes as adults depending on the breeding situation. The ability for the fish to change and choose their sex seems to be correlated with breeding conditions. (Student ID: 9577, 9/21/06)

Why Girls Will Be Girls... Differences between men and women start with their brain. This is an article that I originally found in Newsweek Magazine, and then again came across in at A neuropsychiatrist, Louanne Brizending, in California, conducts research trying to discover how men and women use their brain differently. The brain structures are studied and shown how men and women have different brains and therefore take part in different activities. In the '90's, she began specializing and studing gender-specific psychiatry. She is now writing a book of her findings, which include the biological and hormonal reasons girls gravitate toward dolls instead of trucks, enjoy shopping in their teens, get more stressed and fearful than men. (Students ID#3370, September 21, 2006)

Could there be an evolutionary aspect to divorce? "Love" Birds mated for life but bound to cheat is an article I found in National Geographic News. It talks about how many birds who were previously thought of as being monogomous, have the same problem that we humans are having...infidelity. It's simply a matter of what we've been taught many times in class. An animal's purpose is to continue it's species. The female Kentish plover will leave her partner and their offspring if there's a liklihood she'll have more babies with another male. When this happens the males actually do continue to care for their young. But what researchers noticed was that the females wouldn't leave if the males seemed incapable of caring for the babies. It seems as if now the male plover's are purposefully losing weight to keep the females from fleeing the nest, literally. Another species, the great skua, cannot produce offspring as a single-parent like the plovers. Although in most cases it is too costly to "divorce," if the male isn't pulling his weight by providing food and being optimally fertile, the female will try to find another mate. "Obviously individual motivations in humans and birds are going to be different, but the general evolutionary reasons for divorce are probably similar." "Humans, like different bird species, have probably evolved to have a divorce rate that is roughly appropriate for the conditions we live in. And it's likely to be something that's adaptive, as it is in birds," (Student ID: 8954; Sept. 21, 2006)

"Dilemmas in counselling females with the fragile X syndrome" I found this article interesting because originally I did a search for XXY- Klienfelter's syndrome which tends to affect males. So, I was pretty surprised to find out that this mutation can affect females too. The article claimed that "cognitive defects and behavioural problems, such as shyness, attention problems, and anxiety, are less conspicuous than in affected males." In this article an entire family is affected by this mutation. The woman with Fragile X Syndrom became pregnant by her husband who happened to be mentally retarded as well. The article discusses the difficulty that the counselor of this couple had in explaining to them the risks and high chance that any child they can conceive will be affected with their disabilities. The woman ended up getting pregnant and with more counselling and support of her parents decided to do a prenatal check on the fetus. It was found that her child contained the same mutations on the 47th gene as her and her brother whose condition was much worse. Her and her husband decided to terminate the pregnancy but according to the author of the article (the counselor) the couple never fully understood what was happening. He quoted them as constantly asking if they were "allowed" to have children. It was a really interesting case study. I wonder though if the baby would have survived to come full term and also whether or not it was really ethical to semi-coerce the couple into terminating the pregnancy. I understand that it probably was for the best but it is still sad to know that this couple because of their conditions will not be able to be parents. (Student ID: 3132, Sept. 20, 2006).

"For Them, Just Saying No is Easy" is an article from an issue of The New York Times which discusses the topic of asexuality in humans which we breifly touched upon in class. It begins by a few quotes from those who claim to be asexual and also talks about how the internet has allowed people from all over the world who believe themselves to be asexual to contact one another. The Asexual Visibility and Education Network is the largest of these groups consisting of over 4,000 registered members and defines an asexual person as someone who "does not experience sexual attraction". This article also talks about the history of asexuality, and gives reasons such as the possibility that asexuality has always existed but that it was easy to hide since these individuals either never married, had sexless marriages or had sex when they didn't want to. Physicians have found that giving asexual individuals sex hormones will increase their sexual desire, therefore it has been hypothesized that certain brain structures may have developed differently in asexual individuals because of a fluxuation in sex hormone levels. I believe the most interesting part of this article was the few comments about asexual people being in a sexual relationship for awhile and after the relationship ended just not caring about sex again. Was it the person in this relationship which enticed them to have sex or did they merely want to experiment? Many expert opinion's seem to think this lack of libido is a normal condition but, like it is stated in the article by Dr. Leonard R. Derogatis, asexuality is "...a bit like people saying they never have an appetite for food" which does not seem normal at all. (P.S. if you want to read this article you might have to register with New York Times first, but its free!) (Student ID 2166, September 20th 2006)

Gender Confusion Distresses Teens

In the article, “Gender Confusion Distresses Teens”, the author discusses how gender identity issues can cause disruption in a teenager’s life. Gender identity disorder can cause depression, pyschological illness and substance abuse disorders (only to name a few of the problems). Many times teens with GID attempt to pass off as the sex they appear to be or act as though they only have a different sexual preference so not to be ostracized. This façade only results in more confusion and trauma. Treatment centers for GID are trying to make these side effects less by teaching teens and their families about GID and letting them know about their option for gender reassignment. (student id: 6141, September 20, 2006). Infidelity - what makes us do it - [| The Cheating Heart] I liked this article because it talks about the fundamental differences between men and women and what makes us cheat on our significant others/husbands/wives. I thought it was really interesting as I read the parts about how our gender and gender differences affect the "way" we cheat. It also talks about a possible correlation with the increased frequency of female infidelity and women working more outside the home. The article is pretty interesting and it also gets to talking about the evolutionary perspective on people's tendancy to cheat (it brings up info about reproductive success as well).

  • I didn't know how to get the link to work, so I tried what I could. If it doesn't work, here's the actual link but when you go on this page, you'll need to click the green button that says PDF [54KB]. Sorry! (Oh, and I couldn't get the writing to stop being bold - don't know what the problem is)

Student ID: 0618, 9/19/06

Odds Of Getting Pregnant And Age [|] I found this article interesting because people often hear about the changing fertility in women, but it is rarely put into mathmatical terms that are straightforeward and easy to understand. This seemed to go well with the idea of women's fertility window and the maximum number of children she could have. Perhaps, if the chances decline as stated in this article, the number would be far less than 32 as it becomes much more difficult to get a woman pregnant as she ages. (Student # 6115 9/19/06) Localization of Pain - Gender Differences in Brain Response to Pain This article came from Science Daily and was striking to me because the concept of pain should have the same evolutionary benefits for both genders and thus no differences. The hypothesis date back to early human evolution when the gender role where more distinct; males as the protectors and females and the care givers. For this reason males, the defenders, have developed pain centers in cognitive regions of the brain and females in the limbic system where emotion is processed. This bring into light the ever present differnces between men and women. (student # 1578 9/20/06)

Bisexuality Revisited. I found this article, Bisexuality Revisited|Straight, Gay or Lying? Bisexuality Revisited in The New York Times. This article was about that men who claim bisexuality are usually homosexuality. Researchers asked 101 young adult men (straight, gay and bisexual men) about how they think about their sexual orientations. Then, researchers showed them a series of erotic movies and monitered sexual arousal. As the result, three-quarters of the participants who described themselves as bisexual showed arousal to images of men as like as those gay men. I found thos article interesting because I was also wondering that whether gay men identify themselves as homosexuals because of they really are or because of the social norms. However, even though researchers found the significant result from this study, many psychologists still think, "humans are naturally bisexual" while Dr.Bailey thinks, "... in men there;s no hint that true bisexual arousal exists, and that for men arousal is orientation". Because there are not many studies about the bisexuality, i believe it will be the great topic of the future studies. (Student ID: 9983 09/21/06)

Sex Differences in the Brain. I found this article The New Sex Scorecard on google. It starts off discussing why it is ok to talk about sex differences today. The sex differences pointed out in the article in no way make one sex better than the other. It contnues to talk about the X and Y genes and how they affect the brain and development. For example, "the Y chromosome itself spurs the brain to grow extra dopamine neurons" and " XY makeup also boosts the density of vasopressin fibers in the brain." It discusses what these part of the brain do and why they make the male and female brain different and how behavior is affected. If the link doesn't work, here is the web site directly: (Student ID: 5598, 9/23/06)

Trapped in the Body of a Man? [,9171,983698,00.html| transsexuals] I found this article through Time magazine and it explains numerous information about true transsexuals. Some scientists did a study on six male-to-female transsexuals and found that a tiny structure deep within the brain the brain that controls sexual function appeared to be more like the type found in women than found in men. A part in the brains hypothalamus is larger in men than in women by fifty percent. True transsexuals are different and more rare than homosexuals or transvestites. No more than one person in every 350,000 believes he or she was born the wrong gender. There are more male-to-female transsexuals than female-to-male because males need more masculinizition while they are in the womb. I think it was a sifnificant finding because it helps us understand how and why there are any such people such as a transsexuals. student ID: 914944141 9/24/2006

Women's Sexual Behavior on Par with Men? Females v. Males in Sexual Behavior? I found this article through Google. It is based on a study done by Ohio State psych professor Ms. Terri Fisher. In her study, she polled college students, male and females ages 18-25 about their sexual behavior. The participants were separated into three different groups. One group, answered their questions while tied to a polygraph. The researchers indicated that the polygraph could sense dishonesty even in written responses. However, the polygraph was an old model which did not actually work--but the group did not know this. A second group, answered alone in a room and were told that their answers would be completely anonymous. The last group was told that their answers might be reviewed while a researcher sat outside the room that they were taking the survey. What the researchers found was that females in those groups where their answers might be viewed tended to give answers that were more 'socially acceptable'. Specifically, females tied to the fake polygraph reported an average of 4.4 sexual partners. Females where their answers might be read responded with 2.6 sexual partners. Those who answered in privacy gave answers in the middle, around 3.4 sexual partners. Males in the same groups had less variability in the reports--4.0 for those tied to a polygraph and 3.7 for the rest. “Women appear to feel pressure to adhere to sex role expectations that indicate women should be more relationship-oriented and should avoid being seen as promiscuous,” Fisher said. Beyond anything, based on this study, it seems that it showed more differences between men and women in sexual attitudes than in sexual behavior. student ID: 926765732 9/24/2006

Gender Differences in Cognitive Functioning [| The Article] This article talked about how over the past decade the differences between men and women have been highlighted because of books, television shows, celebrities, etc. There is the stereotype that men have a stronger sex drive than women. This article's conclusion said that "researchers have located an area of the brain that is distinctly different in males than in females, in a region of teh hypothalamus that regulates hormones. Known as the secually dimorphic nucleus, or SDN, it has been found to be larger in males than in females and transsexual males. I found this so interesting because it is s part of the brain that is different in males and females. In class we discussed "male brain" versus "female brain", and this article shows a part of the brain that is different in the two sexes. This differences is thought to account for the difference in sex drives that men and women have. The idea that men have a stronger sex drive than women is actually due to something in their brain makes me really think if there are biological reasons for a lot of the gender stereotypes. Student ID - 997452306

Homosexuality in Twins This article is based on a CBS special that is trying to understand homosexuality better. It is looking for an answer to the age old question of whether homosexuality is based on nature or nurture. It questions enviorment, family upbringing, genes, and hormones. Most of the article was based on twin boys. They figured that twins have the same upbringing and receive the same type of attention from their parents so their environment both inside and outside ther mother's womb is the same. They also based part of their study on the fact that identical twins have the same genes. If they have the same genes and the same upbringing how can one be gay while the other is straight? The article suggests that it must be some type of combination of the two. I personally believe that homosexuality is the result of some type of life altering even that the victim might not even be aware of. Another very interesting point that the article discussed was the behavior of two twin brothers. Their mother says that from the age of 18 months she could detect a difference in her boys, now at the age of nine one wears nail polish and describes himself as a girl while the other describes himself as a GI Joe loving T.V. loving kid. This just makes me question at 18 months old does a child even know the difference between his mother and father? Does he know what sexual attraction is? They say this difference is due to gender nonconformity, and they say that most children who have gender nonconformity grow up to be gay. I just wonder if it is possible for an 18 month old child to know the difference. (Student ID# 7585, Sept. 24, 2006)

"Gender Influences Familial Transmissions of Mood Disorders" PsychiatrySouce.comThis article is based on studies conducted on mothers and fathers with mood disorders such as major depressive disorder and bipolar disorder and how frequently those men and women passed the disorders down to their offspring. Studies showed that women were twice as likely as men to pass psychiatric disorders on to their children, depending on the onset of the disorder, how many years they've had it, and whether or not they were abused as a child. Student ID - 929425294

Why can't a male who has androgen insensitivity syndrome respond to testosterone during puberty? Although, they do develop breast development and other sign of sexual maturation, why does at the prenatal stage they have a genetic defect with the body cells. Would a male become able to produce milk production in there nipples. The insensitive to the action of testosterone occur because of exact effect of the internal process? How instead testosterone is prevent in an genetic male, but able to maintain estrogen. If a male does not respond to androgen before puberty so, immediate actions throughs the internal male structure such as the epididymis, vas deferents, seminal vesicles, and ejaculatory ducts does not develop. (Student ID #959642223)

Ch.4 week 2/23 Questions If males in the human species have “paternity insecurity” then why do men today adopt? Isn’t adoption of another man’s child completely against their nature and reproductive interest? Adoptive Males parents are investing their reproductive time and energy to raise someone else’s child. Why do some men have this desire? Could men in the future evolve out of the “paternity insecurity” behavior and naturally take care of child despite it possibly not being his own?

Most males today stay with their women and are faithful once they get married, despite the increasing divorce rate. But it is said that men having multiple reproductive partners is in there best reproductive interest. The more females one copulates with the more offspring he has therefore spreading his genes. So is this possibly an evolutionary change going on in males today? Why are they choosing to stay with one female rather than have many partners? In our species it is not impossible for women to raise kids on their own, to technically men should not have any interest in staying with one woman.

If women are the choosy ones in our species and are harder to get the OK to copulate with, than why are women the ones who spend so much time putting on makeup and looking attractive? Everyone knows that today women take wayyy longer to get ready than men do. Shouldn’t it be the other way around? Is this the way women try to keep their men around? I could maybe understand why old females would do so because males are discriminate upon age, so they would want to look more youthful, but why do women who are in there prime age try so hard to look good?(ID#978696532 2/23)


It is explained in the text that men are mostly indiscriminant toward a mate. All the way to the point where some species try to mate with the wrong species or random objects. But when it comes down to a male choosing which female he wants to mate with he always goes for the more fertile of the tow females. In humans this would be the females that are around the age of 15 to 35. But human males don’t have the ability to judge if a female is fertile like other species, they just have to rely mostly on looks. Today there is so much plastic surgery and things females can do to stay looking youthful and in there prime fetal age. Thus is deceptive to males, to the point in some cases of the males making poor mating decisions. My question is, if this deception continues what will be the evolutionary byproduct of these bad choices? (ID: 978696532)

Class question: What if the whole world was educated in regards to the scientific and factual findings that have to do with gender identity, gender role, and sexual orientation and realized that being homosexual, heterosexual, bi-sexual, transvestite, transgender, or asexual is not necessarily a choice. Do you think they would be less biased and more understanding towards these groups? If so, do you think actions should be taken to educate these people? (ID: 900631109)