The Scientific Objectivity of Gender Difference

New Mother:  What is it? Obstetrician:  I think it’s a bit early to be imposing roles on it now, don’t you think?        Monty Python, “The Meaning of Life” Even the most aloof spectator of current culture cannot miss that the nature of gender and sex difference[1] are white-hot issues today. They have been for quite some while actually, starting with the super hip and nouveau 1970s parental conviction that so-called “gender neutral” toys would create more sensitive, compassionate, non-judgmental children. How did that work out? These parents were aghast to see Suzy feed her dump truck its bottle, wrap it up nice and cozy, and put it down for its nap. Johnny turned his kitchen set’s broom and mop into swords and rifles with which to vanquish the bad guys. Such actions baffled these free-thinking parents, because they knew they did not teach these things to their kids, and also knew they did not learn them at the homes of their friends or at their Montessori schools. Totally confounded, these parents saw such stereotypes emerge from their sweet children’s own nature as boys or girls. This tempered some of their ideological conviction that gender difference is taught, merely a cultural construct: Remove the stereotypes, and you free your children from the gendered behavior. These parents came to realize that some stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason, but that realization has not kept new generations of parents from trying the same thing with their kids. As the revolution against the acceptance of an inherent and intrinsic human male and female nature continues to this day, it ironically does so against the tide not only of basic human experience, but an impressive and growing body of sophisticated emerging science as well. These facts reveal that the prevailing “cultural construct” theory of gender is more rooted in ideology than actuality. We will ask and seek to answer two questions in this exam
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