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Re: Why are there fewer female than male conlangers?

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  • DM
    Whether or not poetry or songwriting are considered feminine depends on the culture. There is nothing naturally feminine about them. The principle extends
    Message 1 of 34 , Feb 22, 2013
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      Whether or not poetry or songwriting are considered "feminine" depends on
      the culture. There is nothing "naturally" feminine about them. The
      principle extends to other areas as well.

      >
      > BTW, I think there's another interesting sex-related fact to be
      > explained: there are activities that are more stereotypically
      > associated with girls than with boys, such as cooking, poetry and
      > songwriting, but more men than women seems to work on them
      > professionally. There are some people who says that testosterone
      > provides a more ambitious approach to those activities so that men are
      > more likely to take them seriously.

      Here is where my theory comes in.

      I'm not an expert on the study of sex hormones, so I can't say whether or
      not testosterone has any effect on anything. I'd explain that observation
      with the following assertion.

      Females in Western society are more likely to be "put down" when they
      express ambitions. It's happened to me. Fortunately for me, I'm slightly
      socially stupid, so I ignored them. Many others are not so lucky, and these
      incidents happen most often when we are young, elementary-school age. If
      you want to play tag with the boys, you get shut out. If you complain to a
      teacher, they direct you to the girls playing jump-rope on the other side
      of the playground. If it weren't for this tendency, to redirect instead of
      confront, I might have been an athlete. Instead I started reading books at
      recess and turned into a geek.

      It should be emphasized that this isn't a conscious process. It's
      subconscious, and it happens really early in life. There is a book called
      Delusions of Gender by one Cordelia Fine about the process of gender
      acquisition in young children, which I can't hope to summarize in full but
      which everyone ought to read to further understand what I'm talking about.
      Long story short, general culture perpetuates a set of gender stereotypes,
      which make females tend to be more passive and males tend to be more
      active. Unfortunately, because of these ingrained stereotypes, boys are
      more likely to receive leeway to be interested in "odd" things (such as
      conlanging). This might then lead to more male conlangers, simply because
      there were more pathways open for them to explore their interests than
      there were for females such as myself.

      On Fri, Feb 22, 2013 at 9:32 AM, George Corley <gacorley@...> wrote:

      > On Fri, Feb 22, 2013 at 7:03 AM, Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...
      > >wrote:
      >
      > >
      > > BTW, I think there's another interesting sex-related fact to be
      > > explained: there are activities that are more stereotypically
      > > associated with girls than with boys, such as cooking, poetry and
      > > songwriting, but more men than women seems to work on them
      > > professionally. There are some people who says that testosterone
      > > provides a more ambitious approach to those activities so that men are
      > > more likely to take them seriously.
      > >
      >
      > Are poetry and songwriting considered feminine? I think I might think of
      > poetry as somewhat feminine, but this has to be extremely culturally
      > specific, as I know there were many historical cultures where women were
      > not allowed to learn to read.
      >
    • Jim Henry
      ... I ll second the recommendation. Ms. Fine reviews a number of pop-science books which have misrepresented and exaggerated the studies on neurological and
      Message 34 of 34 , Feb 22, 2013
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        On Fri, Feb 22, 2013 at 4:11 PM, DM <decadent.muffin@...> wrote:
        > subconscious, and it happens really early in life. There is a book called
        > Delusions of Gender by one Cordelia Fine about the process of gender
        > acquisition in young children, which I can't hope to summarize in full but
        > which everyone ought to read to further understand what I'm talking about.

        I'll second the recommendation. Ms. Fine reviews a number of
        pop-science books which have misrepresented and exaggerated the
        studies on neurological and behavioral differences between males and
        females, and also critiques some poorly-designed studies that don't
        really prove as much as their authors claim. In short, there are very
        few sex differences that are probably caused more by genetics and
        neurology than by culture.

        --
        Jim Henry
        http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/
        http://www.jimhenrymedicaltrust.org
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