Re: Controlling the male sex drive

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Thu, 7 Oct 1999 16:29:34 -0700 (PDT)

> I didn't contend that. Our socialization leads us to express the
> sex drive in different fashion. Women are taught to disguise
> their advances, to pretend that they aren't pursuing someone, to
> use passive-aggression. Signs are that more women are throwing
> off that conditioning.

Socialization certainly plays a big part, and we're all happy that women are learning to throw off the yoke of socially-imposed roles. But the idea that socialization is the /only/ source of gender difference is the kind of politically-motivated nonsense that causes so many otherwise intelligent and eloquent feminists to discredit themselves in the eyes of those who don't let their sense of justice shape their perception of the facts. Mistaken facts lead to irrational actions.

> In my mind, this is just another instance of supposedly forward-
> looking persons perpuating moldy stereotypes. Time to move on.

Sometimes the moldy old stereotypes are true, and sometimes they are false. That's what honest, rational epistemology is for. No amount of hand-waving will get rid of the wired-in human behaviors and predispositions present in every culture without exception throughout history. Socialization can /overcome/ some of them, but they're still there. A society might discourage smiling, for example. But the physical reflex of stretching one's mouth when amused is not a learned behavior like handshaking--it's present at birth in all humans. Even babies born blind, who have never seen a smile, smile spontaneously when stimulated.

Some sexual drives are like handsakes: learned from culture and easily mutable. Others are like smiles: built into the hardware and tough to overcome. Some good research has been done to find which are which, and I hope more will be. A lot of really bad research and writing has been done too, and should be debunked.

The most dangerous idea, and easiest to debunk with good science, is that sexusal identity itself is not genetic in large part. A good example is the number of baby boys who underwent "gender reassignment" when that practice was accepted. Some were boys who lost their penises or testes to botched circumcisions. The doctors surgically constructed vaginas for them and advised their parents to raise them as girls and give them hormone supplements to grow breasts and such, assuming that they would grow up as fairly normal (albeit infertile) women. They were wrong. Almost all of them had severe psychological problems with their gender identity. Many became transsexuals, most others just depressed, neurotic, badly adjusted women. Those who insist that gender is all about socialization would still be butchering those boys today.

Lee Daniel Crocker <> <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
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