Re: Are Beliefs Like Clothes? & gender
Sun, 17 Aug 1997 01:34:23 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 8/16/97 10:20:30 PM, (Sunah Caroline
Cherwin) wrote:

>Some linguists see a male tendency toward argument not as part of
>present-day sexual selection, but as legacy code in which
>(to put it broadly and generally)
>*men* communicate to seek status
>(originally for sexual purposes)
>and *women* communicate to form connections
>(originally a habit that led to fathers and other community members helping
>support them and their kids).

These both seem very plausible. In what sense, however, are they "legacy"?
Persuasiveness and skill at argument remain an excellent road to status
(sales, law, management) and I believe it's been shown that a strong social
network continues to provide good insurance for personal crises, whether
social or financial. As far as I can tell, they are "legacy" only in that
reproduction is now limited by desire rather than resources. In that sense,
I'd wager that most of our courting and child-bearing habits are now legacy.