Thursday, March 25, 2010

Men are from Mars... aren't they?

Actually, no. For an interesting insight into how much "research" goes into gender stereotyping, I recommend this Mind Hacks article.

It seems the secret to finding differences between the sexes is to ignore any actual evidence. Oh, and don't be put off from relating human behaviour to animal brain structures that humans don't actually have. No one will know the difference anyway.

Did you know that:
testosterone drives the "Man Trance"-- that glazed-eye look a man gets when he sees breasts (from the article by Louann Brizendene)
No? Maybe Mind Hacks can explain.
Are there any scientific studies on whether hooter staring is related to testosterone levels? (Sadly) No.

The trouble with these sort of articles is that they have a spurious authenticity and soon the "testostone makes you look at breasts" meme will be all over the internet.

I agree with Mind Hacks.
Please make it stop.
 

28 COMMENTS:

Whirlochre said...

As luck would have it, I still have an old-fashioned clothes mangle tucked away in the attic for tumble dryer emergencies.

For an experiment, I wrung out all the testosterone from my doo-dahs, and hobbled down to Tesco to check out whether any of the checkout girls seemed any less alluring.

Can't say I noticed any difference (though it's surprising how having crushed bollocks can make your gait less masculine), but when I got home, Geoff had clearly been lapping at my extracted juices and was busy humping a cushion.

Hope this helps.

Richard N said...

@Whirlochre - I think I just had a mishap in my trousers... thanks! *Thwack*

Men are from Earth, women are from Earth - it's about time a few people got the stick out of their ass and dealt with it. :-)

fairyhedgehog said...

Whirl, Thank you for undertaking this dangerous research for us. I hope you recover soon.

Richard, "Men and women are both from Earth" isn't going to sell as many books, though, is it?

blogless troll said...

As a man, I can tell you for a scientific fact that testosterone does not make me look at breasts. Breasts make me look at breasts.

fairyhedgehog said...

Blogless, I knew there had to be a simpler answer.

maybe genius said...

Haha. Oh, junk science. These types of articles are almost as bad as the ones about how to affect the outcome of an in-utero fetus... did you know eating more cereal while pregnant could raise your chances of having a girl?! That's right, no chromosomes involved at all!

fairyhedgehog said...

Oh my goodness, maybe, I hadn't heard that one! How do people produce such rubbish?

Ann said...

Interesting! I am not surprised about the rubbish produced; I am surprised there are so many eejits who believe it.

fairyhedgehog said...

Ann, I think we are conditioned to listening to "authority" and it takes a lot to train us to ask questions. The main one being, of course, "how do you know?"

Sarah Laurenson said...

Being a dyed-in-the-wool breast fanatic, I'm with BT.

And I think the predominate difference between the sexes is cultural.

Mother (Re)produces. said...

Yeah. As a non-multi-tasking, completely sex obsessed woman, I'd like to get that "Men are from Mars" author in a dark alley for a chat.

blogless troll said...

Being a dyed-in-the-wool breast fanatic, I'm with BT.

See? Scientific consensus.

Elana Johnson said...

Ha ha! Yes, lets make it stop.

SillyBoy said...

I'm pretty sure the full title is Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, This Book Is From Uranus.

fairyhedgehog said...

Sarah, you may well be right. I'm not sure anyone knows for sure yet.

MotherRP, don't you just hate it when the stereotypes are so far out?

blogless, yup, two people is surely statistically significant? (I think it's more than the author had for her "research".)

Elana, thanks for popping in!

SillyBoy, very funny! (Well, I laughed.)

David F. Weisman said...

I still think you can find certain differences between the sexes without ignoring all the evidence.

DJ Kirkby said...

Too busy laughing at the comments already left to think of anything useful to say.

Mother (Re)produces. said...

David, you may well have something there. For example, 100% of the men that I have seen naked have had a penis. That's the only real evidence I've seen. I think that's what the article was about: all these supposed "differences" are based on NO evidence. Except for Whirl's experiment. I'm still trying to interpret the data on that one.

fairyhedgehog said...

David, it depends what you mean by differences. I think if you generalise there may be differences, but it's all on the lines of "on average, men are stronger", where there are nevertheless some women who are stronger than some men because there is an overlap. In the case of mental faculties, I think the overlap is often huge. But there are things like Aspergers which do seem to affect more men than women, on the whole.

DJ, it's nice to see you enjoying yourself in here!

Mother RP, okay, I laughed out loud at that. I think we can all agree that men have penises and women don't. Although I'm not sure how intersex folks fit into that...

Bevie said...

Well, once again I'm johnny-come-late. Ah, no pun in that.

I've never been a "breast guy", and I think I have more than enough testosterone to suit my needs.

I happen to like the other side. haha

So when I talk to women I have no trouble looking them in the eyes.

That's where they are anyway.

Let's see now, Mars and Venus. Neither planet with breathable oxygen. Good then we all met up here, isn't it?

Bevie said...

Oh. I like the new look. Still bright and happy. This is the best blog in blogosphere.

fairyhedgehog said...

Bevie, you're not late at all. I love Good then we all met up here, isn't it?. Thank you for your kind comments about my blog.

writtenwyrdd said...

Junk science, the kibble of the non thinking.

I also have to agree with blogless.

And I also feel it's more cultural expectations than anything else that determine many gender differences. I seem to recall that there HAVE been studies about culture influenceing gender behavior, but that there was great disagreement as to what the studies proved... Typical!

fairyhedgehog said...

ww, it is junk science and it drives me crazy!

raine said...

I'm waiting for some guy to go on trial for grabbing a handful without being invited, and pulling this out of a hat for his defense. "It wasn't my fault! I was in a glazed-eyed trance, couldn't help it, and next thing I knew..."
Uh-huh.

fairyhedgehog said...

raine, I could imagine that happening. I do hope it doesn't!

Bernita said...

Hee.
I've heard men divide themselves into " leg men" and "tit men" according to which feature caught their attention first. And then there's the crap-psychological explanations that state it all depends on whether they were breast-fed or not.

fairyhedgehog said...

Bernita, don't you just love crap-psychology? It's right up there with crap-science.

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