June 06, 2005

I Confess

Reality shows and me, for the most part, don't mix. They aren't really "reality" and I find people eating bugs or trying to mimic love to gain money, not my cup of tea.

But I'm really enjoying HE'S A LADY.

For those in the US, the truth is now known, and because I went to the site to find out more, I know my fave guy won as well. (Dave and his wife are just so sweet together, and I loved the interaction between Dave, his sone and his step-daughter).

The show is fun, the challenges are humorous, and mostly the spirit is good. It is interesting to watch the progress and how feminine some of the men appear to be and how even the guys who I thought would never look like ladies take on, as the weeks pass, a more feminine demeanor.

During this same period an intense discussion is going on one of my e-mail lists about the differences between men and women, specifically in terms of men's reactions to the female figure (and the laws of modesty). "Men" to paraphrase one writer "Are more strongly visually stimulated than women. Science has proved that"

Me, who is both always ready for a good argument and who dislikes statements without at least some backing said.

"Show me the study!"

Someone showed me a study; (if the URL doesn't work it is the study called Gender and Love. Just back up, go to Science Central to find the article.) however, this study, as its name implies, dealt with how the person's brain reacted to the site of a loved one. It doesn't tell us that men are more strongly stimulated (by a female figure) than women are by a male figure in general, nor does it tell us that men are more stimulated by visual presentations than women are, nor does it tell us if it is the stimuli which evokes the response, and not the viewer: ie, do women and men both react more strongly to a female figure than to a male figure (as one synopsis of a study seemed to imply--however, since the reference wasn't scientific I'm not including the url.) It doesn't show which part of one's brain would react to smell/touch/sound/presence of a loved one.

The study was also quite small, 7 men and ten women, so I'm not sure how definitive it is, and I would have liked to see the brain scans of all the participants, and a map showing the areas of the brain (because it seems to me that the woman is also responding, and quite strongly, in her visual cortex, if I remember my brain map correctly).

And furthermore, while these are responses to visual stimuli. It would seem to indicate that women have more diverse associations with visual stimulation, not that they don't react to visual stimulation, and so while men may look at a picture of a woman and be more visually affected, it doesn't mean that the woman isn't having as strong of a reaction, but, perhaps, that the reaction is more diffused through different area s of her brain. Nor does it indicate if men and women are hard wired for these reactions or if these reactions are socially developed.

All of which leads me to the question of what you all (who have made it through this ramble) think about the nature of the difference between men and women? Does it matter? How do the differences affect our daily life? Do you think that taking on the role of the opposite gender, even for a short time, can deeply change who you are inside? What is hard wired into us, what is not?

What does it mean to be a woman vs a man?

Posted by Rachel Ann at June 6, 2005 07:25 AM

Spell check. It's son, not sone. Also one or two sentences are confusing from poor writing.

Lastly, now I know who wins; thanks a lot.

*This has been another posting by the one known only as "The Agent"*

Posted by: The Agent at June 6, 2005 09:30 AM
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