Re: Gender importance (was Future Relationships)

Scott Badger (
Wed, 21 Apr 1999 22:22:05 -0500

Jason Spencer wrote:

> James Rogers <> writes:
> >
> >Having two genders is an important part of the survival strategy for many
> >species. Our biology and psychology is well-adapted to this the
> >survival strategy.
> >
> >Moving humans to a single gender for both sexes could have a long-term
> >impact on the survivability of the species. After all, every aspect of
> >both genders is extremely useful under some circumstance. Having two
> >genders allows a species to embody multiple conflicting characteristics,
> >which appears to be a strategy to maximize adaptability; to a certain
> >extent, differences between cultures would seem to be a manifestion of a
> >selection process among the large number of characteristics found across
> >both genders.
> I'm not sure that culture has been around long enough for such adaptations
> to have taken hold. The gender differences are largely due (directly and
> indirectly) to a differential energy investment in the raising of
> Culture is a New Trick whose attributes have emerged from these gender
> differences that already existed. (Over evolutionary time, culture may not
> turn out to be beneficial for our species at all as we can see from the
> various disaster scenarios discussed on the list - it's a gamble, just
> every evolutionary innovation.)
> I'm all for diversity of personality types, but gender differences per se
> most likely will not be needed in the period of intense auto-evolution
> we are approaching.

Agreed. Although gender psychology is not my field, I think there's considerable support for the idea that of the 4 gender types:

  1. undifferentiated
  2. masculine
  3. feminine 4 androgynous

it's been shown that androgynous individuals tend to be more psychologically fit in our North American culture at least. Understand that androgynous individuals possess the most adaptive traits of both genders. It would seem to follow that those attributes which are strictly masculine or feminine and not part of the androgynous set of attributes become less useful and some may even become maladaptive as societies advance.

Gina wrote:

> I'd say leave each to his or her own selection. Just as in today's
> dichotomy there are variations on gender attributes. If you've ever
> seen the silliness of the Jerry Springer show, you can see this in
> it's most extreme of actions. When left on it's own natural course,
> there are bisexuals, transvestites, homosexuals, heterosexual's and
> some who dabble in a little of each.

Gina, I think you're confusing gender with sexual preference. I'm not referring to one's sexual orientation. I'm referring to your self-concept in terms of sexual identity. I once treated a man who wanted a sex change but fully intended on being a lesbian after the operation. He was a lesbian trapped in a man's body! I started thinking...hmmm, how do I know _I'm_ not a lesbian trapped in a man's body? I mean, _I_ like women! The difference, of course, was that he felt like a woman inside, not a man.

> Might the future society do more of the same but with further
> advances of varieties?
> Maybe I could be a boy for a day? Or could exude a little more
> testosterone one day and then a little more estrogen for a different
> situation. Ying and yang?

I like the idea of having control over exploring what it would feel like to be a woman. VR may be the easiest way to eventually experience this. But who would I date if I still felt like a man inside of female body? No, we'd have to fix it so I actually felt like a woman inside. It's odd to think about.