Re: Coordinating Sex Roles

Robin Hanson (
Mon, 7 Apr 1997 14:42:20 -0700 (PDT)

Lee Daniel Crocker writes:
>> Sorry, this is just not true. Games really can have multiple
>> equilibria, even with no explicit modeling of "social norms".
>> Consider the standard 2x2 "battle of the sexes" game.
>I understand the math perfectly; I am questioning your particular
>application of it to the real world. You claim, correctly, that
>different sets of rules will lead to different equilibira--I agree.
>But you seem to imply that we should then teach our children the
>set of rules that leads to solutions we think beneficial.

Both of these seem like reasonable statements, but neither of them are
what I claimed!

Again: A single game can have multiple equilibria, even if the "rules"
of the game are held constant. The action you want to take given your
options and preferences typically depends on what actions you think
other people will take. There can be more than one set of
self-consistent and mutually-reinforcing expectations. So I advocate
that we discuss our expectations and desires regarding sex role
actions, so that we can reach *some* equilibria between them.

Robin D. Hanson