IGS Discussion Forums: Learning GS Topics: Gender question
Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Sunday, July 15, 2007 - 08:35 pm Link to this messageView profile or send e-mail

I'm curious. What are the extensional examples on which you base your "judgement" with respect to "male" "ego" and "masculine game-playing"? Your comments can hardly be described as "descriptive", as these are both names that require high level inferences in order to apply them.

How do you differentiate "male" "ego" from any other kind of "ego"?

How do you describe "ego" and what are examples upon which to infer that "ego" is, and I'm no sure how to word this, "behind the actions", "the more important factor to abstract from the observed actions", some other way of relating whatever "ego" is described as or defined as to the actions which serve as your basis for inferring the operation of "ego" as opposed to the operation of anything else? How does that differ from "female" ego? Any other kind of "ego"?

The "same" questions apply to "game-playing" - male or otherwise.

Would you consider this series of clarifying questions the beginning of some kind of "fire-storm"?

As for you suggestion that general semantics is "male" "top-heavy", I would refer you to the director of the institute for clarifying statistics. There might be a correlation between the percentage of women in the various professions and disciplines that are represented by the current and past membership in the institute. This seems like a question that just might have the beginnings of an extensional answer in the statistics of participation. In the absences of those statistics, on what do you base you conclusion that the "subject" "is" (should be) "male top-heavy". Do you have any qualified stastical measurements to present in support of your "claim"? Is it possible that the percentage distribution by gender is simply a historical accident?

Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Monday, July 16, 2007 - 10:34 pm Link to this messageView profile or send e-mail

As I think back to the Institute seminars I attended, I don't remember there being a significant gender gap in the attendance. As a past "sailor" who's quite aware of the fair sex, I think I would have remembered an obvious shortage. One might look at the photographs of graduating classes for a sampling.

With regard to participation on this forum, perhaps the women have better sense.

Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Tuesday, July 17, 2007 - 09:36 pm Link to this messageView profile or send e-mail

Hi Loel,
The received tradition holds that a long period of our evolution had men as the hunters and the dominant agressive cultural force while women were gatherers and the dominant socializing cultural force. The stereotypes abound in our culture. Unfortunately, a "stereotype" is essentially an abstraction that is rather "flat", but it does emphasize large tendencies at the expense of details and individual variance. There's usualy some statistical central tendency that stereotypes depict. Men compete for territory (actual and virtual - status and wealth) while women are more inclined to cooperate in building relations. If you want to abstract these to single words it is business vs family. It's "politically incorrect" to say such things. But that does not mean that the abstractions cannot be easily made.

So, applying that to the forums, one gets men each presenting even minor variations as significant, putting forth their own view, while the women read these views and pick and take and use what they can.

Of course, "men" and "women" fall on overlapping normal curves, so there are pugnacious women and conciliatory men. (Again, overlapping normal curves.) See my Sex Differences.

Cultural programming (aka "time-binding") tends to maintain relative invariance in the cultural roles and forms over millennia, and prior to written time-binding was "oral traditions" passed down from generation to generation.

In our rapidly evolving technological and information environment, together with democratic social values, we might see some more rapid role changes in recent and future generations.

Author: Ralph E. Kenyon, Jr. (diogenes) Wednesday, July 18, 2007 - 02:42 pm Link to this messageView profile or send e-mail

I became aware of the effect reported by the study back in the late '70's when I first made friends with a Chinese couple in Virginia beach. I noted at the time that jokes which answer a question at a level of abstraction other than the immediate context fell flat; "context" is significantly more important in understanding what is said. A factor that may contribut to this is the tonal aspect of Chinese and other oriental languages. A sylable may be pronounced with four different tonal aspects - rising, level, falling, or dipping. (Students of Zen may recall the answer given by the master when the student ask why words had such tones. The master answered with a single sentence consisting of one sylable used once each for the four tones.) Which of four possible different meanings depends on the tone, and the context becomes a secondary technique for disambiguating the appropriate meaning. Consequently puns in English, in my experience, fell flat when purpetrated on my oriental friends. I surmized that context was a more important factor in communicating among those using such Oriental languages than for English users. The study adds corroboration to my experience.