Re: Gender and Cognitive Style

Alexander 'Sasha' Chislenko (
Thu, 26 Nov 1998 02:41:37 -0500

Since I - and, hopefully, uploads - would consider cognitive styles primary features of an [in]dividual, and look at gender as a secondary and somewhat outdated characteristic, I'd try to look at the gender/assertiveness statistics from another side.

So we have a number of "assertives" in the society that play dominant roles in some social tasks, related to leadership, and a number of "non-assertives" playing a (necessary!!!) subservient role in these tasks, and maybe leading in some others, such as preservation of traditions, nurturing, emotional stabilization. Assertives also exhibit some old-fashioned manifestations of masculinity, and non-assertives - femininity (all these no longer needed distinctions in body size, hair, milk glands and [emulations of] sexual appendages). These old-fashioned features and appendages are distributed unequally between assertives and non-assertives. We could fix that by distributing body sizes and appendages more equally (I am sure any intelligent being would rather change physical features than its core cognitive characteristics). Or we could change the situation by liquidating variety of all features, making sure that nobody has an equal start in the social physical/emotional/cognitive ecology, not leading in being more emotionally sensitive, curious, adventurous, impulsive, or whatever.

I hope it sounds ridiculous enough already.

Isn't it time we stop classifying ourselves by gender?

I would actually expect that billions of highly intelligent beings with high degrees of morphic freedom would often play with all their features and tune them freely in any direction, depending on need and interest, so the diversity of features will grow dramatically. If we want to prepare to this situation now, the last thing we want to do is to attempt removing any personal distinctions.

Alexander Chislenko <> <> <>