Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Stating the Obvious

I just love it when researchers spend Many Dollars to come to a conclusion that most people (at least most people I hang out with) know intuitively.

To wit: Women Talk Three Times More Than Men Says Study

My uncle has five daughters. I have two sisters. The first time Hubs, then just a Boyfriend, encountered all of us, he was absolutely shocked. There were at least three conversations going on around the table at any one time and I was keeping up with all of them. When he mentioned this fact, the other seven women looked at him and said, "What? You aren't?"

Hubs asked my uncle, who is taciturn by nature, how he coped with all this chatter. My uncle wisely said, "I just wait until they've finished and someone tells me what's going on and what I have to do."

And here's the best quote from the researcher who is a feminist at heart:

Dr Brizendine, whose book is based on her own clinical work and analyses of more than 1,000 scientific studies, added: "There is no unisex brain.

"Girls arrive already wired as girls, and boys arrive already wired as boys. Their brains are different by the time they're born, and their brains are what drive their impulses, values and their very reality.

"I know it is not politically correct to say this but I've been torn for years between my politics and what science is telling us. (emphasis added--ed.)

"I believe women actually perceive the world differently from men."

That's what's known in my family as a "Sherlock" moment (as in "No sh-t, Sherlock!"). Anyone who has ever had more than a passing acquaintance with males or females knows that boys and girls, men and women respond differently to the same situation.

But there are always the doubters:

"Other scientists, however, are sceptical about the effects of testosterone on the brain and say many of the differences between the male and female personality can be explained by social conditioning, with a child's upbringing greatly influencing their character.

"Deborah Cameron, an Oxford University linguistics professor with a special interest in language and gender, said the amount we talk is influenced by who we are with and what we are doing."

While I agree that upbringing can influence a child's character (kind of nice to have that acknowledged as well!), we humans are still subject to biological influences. Why is it acceptable to acknowledge that when speaking of gender identity and gender preferences but not when speaking of gender differences? There seems to be a quantitative difference between the amount of time women talk versus men and, while it may vary among individuals it seems there is a pattern between the genders.

As the French say, "Vive la difference!"