Re: Gender differences

Kathryn Aegis (
Sun, 26 Jan 1997 02:34:53 +0000

I think that those expecting (or hoping for) another diatribe will be
disappointed, but read on:

Eliezer Yudkowsky:
>I continue to try and find a cure for being a teenager. I find
>evolutionary psychology to be the key and necessary tool in that area.

Fine. No one here is saying that you shouldn't pursue that. But
please believe me when I say that your own understanding of gender
and its place in human relations will advance drastically over the
next few years, and your university years will yield further more
exponential growth. Even at my age and many intense years of pushing
the limits of gender expression, I still believe that I have much to
learn and many avenues of growth ahead. This is why I will not
accept static viewpoints.

>This is a highly controversial area.

This is an area ripe for human exploration, advancement and achievement,
and to let those with limited horizons place their limitations on us
would not be in keeping with principles of transhumanism. And since when
have transhumanists allowed controversy to bar them from their quest?

>Even if you are a researcher [credentials?] and I am not, I don't think your particular and
>scientifically disputed viewpoint should reign unchallenged simply
>because you happen to be the only credentialed researcher on the list.

I've never made any such claim, either to you or to the many individuals
on this list have contacted me off-list for extended conversations on
key points. When it is clear that an individual has put thought and
study and enthusiasm into an idea, a question, a challenge, I welcome
and value such interaction. It is exciting and inspiring to me to
learn all the different ways in which people are experimenting with
new modes of interacting with each other and with their own bodies.

>Are you seriously stating that evolutionary psychology is now viewed as
>a baseless and failed experiment by the majority of gender-difference

Again, I have made no such claim, as should be evidenced by my own
contributions to the evolutionary thread. I myself utilize
evolutionary research in my own development and enjoy hearing about
new discoveries and theories. My best friend spends her time digging
for clues to our past in the dirt, and I have recently come to
realize that we are engaged in the same search--only she looks to the
past and I to the future.

>In any case, if you're going to try and pull rank,

What rank? I merely made it clear to you that I also possess the
'genius' credentials you claim to possess, and that I have changed
modes into challenging you to live up to that. And also to draw the
line between criticizing on the sidelines and participating in some

I made the decision not to pursue a more advanced degree in gender
studies, because a degree in another field will be more useful for me,
but I do continue to incorporate it as a key element. Some of the
most amazing writing on gender has come from individuals who approach
it from an interdisciplinary perspective.

>The Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry, Fourth Edition: Copyright 1985.

This is a seriously outdated source, partly because of some
methodological issues and partly because many fields have made some
serious progress in the past ten years as to how they will approach the
topic of gender. I am sure that the most recent edition of that
textbook will incorporate many of these changes.


Kathryn Aegis