Re: Coordinating Sex Roles
Mon, 7 Apr 1997 14:44:48 -0400 (EDT) (Robin Hanson) writes:

(re planning sex roles)

>Yes its complex, but the time to bring expectations and actions into
>equilibrium depends on the mechanisms of information transmission. If
>each person just makes a private guess, and then waits a generation to
>see the results, it could take a while. It should help to have more
>of a conversation about what we want and expect. So I am dissapointed
>that there seems to be little conversation on these topics.

Well, discussion would help, but discussion is generally with highly selected
groups. You'd want people to know what other people, in the aggregate, are
deciding, and surveys are far better for that.

Another big problem with forecasting or discussion is that people often
change their minds about what they want. It's difficult for a 20-year-old in
college who's never worked anything more than part-time casual work and who's
never had a significant relationship or children (an awful lot of
20-year-olds these days) to really have any good idea what they will want at
40. For example, a lot of career women change their minds and want kids when
their biological clocks start going off in their 30's. For another example,
"Mid-life crisis" is a cliche.

So my point is that we aren't going to have a good idea what people's
long-term life choices are going to be if they don't follow traditional
paths. Surveying, planning, and discussion are all good things, but even
ideal application of the above (unlikely) will leave us with a lot of