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Author Topic: Men's Liberation: An Overview and Discussion.  (Read 1771 times)

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Offline Ephiral

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Re: Men's Liberation: An Overview and Discussion.
« Reply #25 on: November 06, 2014, 07:42:38 AM »
To add on to my earlier point, ethnic, racial, sexual orientation, and cultural diversity are hugely stressed nowadays in public K-12 classrooms - which is a great thing. 

However, what is noticeably absent from the gender diversity curriculum is gender diversity.  The public school system is filled an educational ideology that stresses that gender differences are the result of socialization processes only, so any efforts thus far have focused on "training" male children to learn and to behave as their female classmates.  This is despite the fact that studies have revealed differences in brain function between males and females (See table below from link above). 

For example, even though data confirms that the majority of female children read sooner and better than their male classmates, the public school system continues to demand that males follow similar developmental pathways.  If they don't, they will likely be labeled learning disabled or something similar (which is only made worse with standards-based assessment).  Combine this with recess being removed in many elementary schools (and its withdrawal used as punishment for 'bad behavior'), and you have a recipe for male developmental issues.


Val, have you got another source for this article? The one you linked blanks out the page after about 30 seconds for me, and everything else I can find is behind a paywall.

What I'm looking for is if there's any clear and empirically-supported connection from cause to effect in that chart. Evo-psych has a huge problem with reasoning backward from conclusion to premise - supposedly rigorous articles in the field have found evolutionary and biological causes for why girls prefer pink and boys prefer blue, for example. I'd like to make sure that's not the case here.

Also, a point: Perhaps the solution isn't to break things down into "male" and "female" educational standards, but make education more generally responsive to individual needs? I, for one, would have been failed just as badly by anything you might propose based on "biological differences between the sexes" as I was by the existing educational system: The way I learn does not match what your models would predict of me. Rather than sorting into "male" vs "female", I would say it would be better to recognize that two (or more?) broad paradigms of learning exist in kids, and file them based on where they seem to fall in those categories.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Men's Liberation: An Overview and Discussion.
« Reply #26 on: November 06, 2014, 08:28:03 PM »
Val, have you got another source for this article? The one you linked blanks out the page after about 30 seconds for me, and everything else I can find is behind a paywall.

Try this link below, and then click the download article PDF box - it is free access.  It is a pretty interesting read.

http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/springer/ehpp/2008/00000010/00000002/art00003

If that doesn’t work, try going to google and typing in:

"boys and the american education system" ingentaconnect

Then click on the first link, and click download PDF.  Sometimes it works from a google search, but not a hotlink.

Also, I agree with your statement about making education responsive to individual needs.  As Caehlim pointed out, those conclusions refer to 'averages' and should not be used to make assumptions about males or females purely based on that.

Online Silk

Re: Men's Liberation: An Overview and Discussion.
« Reply #27 on: November 08, 2014, 02:50:40 PM »
As someone who is currently training in Psychology I thought it would bear mentioning here. The biology between males and females is shady at best and the final factors as to why these are (such as different hippopocampus sizes) are still yet known. Also there is supposedly more variation within the sex's than there is between them. It's a bit hard to explain but let's say on a scale of 1-10 Women score 4-8 while males score 5-9. Although the differences are noted, it's important to keep in mind that there is a wider difference within first.

Or as least that's what were being taught. xD

Offline Hemingway

Re: Men's Liberation: An Overview and Discussion.
« Reply #28 on: November 08, 2014, 03:04:19 PM »
Silk, might it be accurate to say biologically differences in sexes follow closely overlapping bell curves? I've seen it represented as such, with the extremes of the bell curve being much farther apart, than the two curves are from each other.

Online Silk

Re: Men's Liberation: An Overview and Discussion.
« Reply #29 on: November 08, 2014, 04:16:33 PM »
That would make sense yeah.

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: Men's Liberation: An Overview and Discussion.
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2014, 04:43:39 PM »
Biological sex is, still, a terrible way to look at things due to the assumptions it makes. We should avoid it whenever possible.

That said, using biology to tailor curriculum could be good.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Men's Liberation: An Overview and Discussion.
« Reply #31 on: November 08, 2014, 05:13:30 PM »
Well, that really depends on how you're approaching it.

Judging individuals purely or primarily on the basis of their biological sex is not very useful. However, the differences are not so small that they won't show up in statistics. Globally, males are more likely to be involved in risk-taking behavior. To the extent that this is because they have a penis, it's probably because society has a way of telling people with penises that they should or can behave in certain ways. It almost certainly isn't the reason for that statistics. There's a strong correlation, however.

I don't have the time right now to look up relevant research, so I won't speculate about the possible explanations, but it's unlikely it's just one.

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: Men's Liberation: An Overview and Discussion.
« Reply #32 on: November 08, 2014, 05:30:08 PM »
So not what I mean.

Biology exists. No two ways about it.

But sex as a binary of male and female are so dissolute as to have next to no actual meaning. When TERFs come at me with a list of criteria of what it means to be a woman it always comes down to biological essentialism and I run through the list. Hell, when I explained I was trans to my twin sister she said "You can't be a woman if you don't have a uterus" at which point I looked my mother dead in the face and said "Mom. You're not a woman."

I go through every item they've got one what it takes to be a woman and point out exceptions to each and every one of them, which causes them to backpedal and wheedle about how some are more essential than others or how you need some hypothetical minimum number to be a "Woman" or whatever the hell other reason they come up with.

Eventually it comes down to Genetics at which point I get into Epigenetics and genetic expression and they wince and wail when the last line of biological sex is rendered moot.

"Biological Sex" is, essentially, a number of physical and psychological traits that fall into a range of one of two broad categories that make for massive exceptions so long as the person arguing for a given biological sex definition is willing to make those exceptions and still declare their assumption correct regardless of how hollow the resulting definition is.

It's functionally useless and shouldn't even be considered. Now physical traits themselves are a reasonable item to discuss. The list presents larger or more active brain structures or the presence or absence of a certain range of chemicals as having an effect on learning. Discard sex from the discussion and utilize those biological traits, themselves, to create criteria.

That's my suggestion.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Men's Liberation: An Overview and Discussion.
« Reply #33 on: November 08, 2014, 05:48:02 PM »
I'm either completely missing your point, or you're glossing over too many details for your explanation of why biological sex is 'functionally useless'.

If anything, it's the other way around: It's a crude and perhaps ill-defined way of dividing people into groups, but functionally it does serve a purpose.

Online Silk

Re: Men's Liberation: An Overview and Discussion.
« Reply #34 on: November 08, 2014, 06:10:47 PM »
At a Fundamental level, understanding the biology between the sex's is important. Matters such as Testicular/ovarian cancer for example are VERY Biological sex exclusive. Just because situations are not always so clear cut does not mean it's bad to be aware of the statistical differences for predictive measures.

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: Men's Liberation: An Overview and Discussion.
« Reply #35 on: November 08, 2014, 07:04:52 PM »
Okay. What is the Biological Sex definition of a male?

Has a Penis? Well yes, except for intersex people, people who've had their penises amputated, people whose penis formed in a manner not considered "Normal" and so many more varieties.

Has Testicles? Well yes, except for intersex people, people who've been castrated, people whose testicles formed in a manner not considered "Normal" or whose testicles are internal and caught in a state of transition between ovaries and testicles and other varieties of tissue density, functionality, and more.

Has more testosterone? Well sure, except that "More Testosterone" covers a large number of "Biological Women" who have ovaries that don't produce as much estrogen, estrogen blockers, glands that produce larger than considered average quantities of testosterone, etc etc etc.

Genetics? Well there's XXY and XYY genetic patterns and all of it is epigenetics which is about as set in stone as ice cream in that temperature, stress, and radiation can all have profound effects on it...

Any milestone of "Biological Sex" is a waste of effort because of all the exceptions to it. So we create this elaborate web of "X Variables must be met or not the subject is not Y biological sex" when we should just be looking at the traits themselves. People with Testicles have a lower chance of ovarian cancer than people with ovaries, yes. But Male and Female as terms are socially loaded and effectively useless.

We call testicles and ovaries male and female sexual organs because it's conversationally convenient based on a shitload of racist, sexist, ignorant ass white scientists who died three hundred years ago or more.

Seriously. The way of determining whether an intersex person is going to be male or female when they're given surgery as a fucking infant before they have the ability to decide for themselves is to take a ruler to their little clit/penis structure and measure it. If it's not a certain length or longer it gets cut down into a clitoris. If it's above that length they stitch up the vagina and call the person a boy. That shit is -fucked- up.

Pluto ain't a planet and Biological Sex is pointless.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Men's Liberation: An Overview and Discussion.
« Reply #36 on: November 08, 2014, 07:22:04 PM »
Steampunkette, you're erecting and setting fire to straw men ( setting up absurd oversimplifications nobody here has brought up, and then dismissing any argument on the basis that your own pseudo-definitions don't work ) - and being a little unpleasant while doing so ( "ignorant ass white sciensts" ). I like a lot of what you've written in other topics, but I see that any sort of discussion here is pointless.

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: Men's Liberation: An Overview and Discussion.
« Reply #37 on: November 08, 2014, 07:29:04 PM »
So give me an argument, Hemingway. No one has. If you want me to discuss a specific point or a suite of them I'm willing to, but you asked for "Points" and I'm trying to provide them. Of course they're going to look like Straw Men because you asked me to show you what I meant without any input of something in particular on your part.

My premise is this: Biological Sex is a social construct of a binaristic organization of hundreds of traits, each of which has hundreds of exceptions so that people can still organize things into two rough categories."

The counter I've gotten to that position is one point on "Predictive Measures" that has nothing to do with the broader categories and only relies on a single trait (whether the individual has testicles or not). So you can see my conundrum.

Offline Hemingway

Re: Men's Liberation: An Overview and Discussion.
« Reply #38 on: November 08, 2014, 07:43:51 PM »
If I may, I'd suggest that next time you decide to attack definitions of sex - find some actual definitions from reliable sources. I did a cursory search, and there's not exactly a shortage of sites that will give you a definition. I did notice once thing a lot of them had in common, though: most of them included male, female and intersex.

More to the point, I think you're missing something essential. Which is that the lack of a clear definition which fully captures all members of a certain group, and none of another, is impossible. And not just in sex or biology, but in just about any discipline - physics included. But that doesn't necessarily mean that the definition is 'wrong', should be discarded, has no value, or is of no use. There's a reason the first half of most scientific papers is dedicated to explaining what exactly is meant by the terms used in those papers. To say nothing of everyday use, where we interpret freely what other people mean by words they use all the time, generally without any ill effects.

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: Men's Liberation: An Overview and Discussion.
« Reply #39 on: November 08, 2014, 07:51:40 PM »
The whole thing that brought up this topic is trying to resctructure school curriculum so that everyone has a better chance of scholastic excellence on the basis of biological traits.

If we're going to talk about doing that I suggest we skip right past "Boy and Girl" and work into the actual traits themselves and organize things in such a way as to sincerely give people tailored educations to give them the best possible chance.

Rather than creating two forms of education through which a large number of people are still left behind due to biological traits that were only loosely grouped for. These people would perform poorly in "Girl" schooling or "Boy" schooling when a hybrid of both scholastic measures would give them the best education.

Because if we're seriously discussing re-designing curriculum around biological traits we should go whole hog, not just ham.

Online Silk

Re: Men's Liberation: An Overview and Discussion.
« Reply #40 on: November 08, 2014, 07:58:59 PM »
Good luck trying to cater to every single individual child's specific needs 100% of the time, there is only so many teachers and teaching assistants to go about. As it stands our best bets is to try and target as many subsets individual needs rather than every individual needs, because it's a great deal more practical than to expect 1 teacher and maybe 2-4 teaching assistants to be able to cater to 20-30 students needs but having two teaching assistance dedicated to 15 apiece that share a collective of common traits is a great deal more viable and does them more justice in the long run.

Just to note, your examples for intersex are largely flawed, because they are all examples where a penis was previously present, which means the biological makeup that lead to a penis being formed still remains even if the penis doesn't.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2014, 08:00:49 PM by Silk »

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: Men's Liberation: An Overview and Discussion.
« Reply #41 on: November 08, 2014, 08:15:19 PM »
Oh, sure. Maybe we can't cover every single child's individual needs. But we can do better than 2 simplistic groups.

Maybe we could do 5 groups based on personality clusters to better attend a larger number of characteristic variances beyond 2.


Offline Valthazar

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Re: Men's Liberation: An Overview and Discussion.
« Reply #42 on: November 08, 2014, 08:34:15 PM »
Rather than creating two forms of education through which a large number of people are still left behind due to biological traits that were only loosely grouped for. These people would perform poorly in "Girl" schooling or "Boy" schooling when a hybrid of both scholastic measures would give them the best education.

Just to clarify, no one in this thread (and certainly not the author of the article I linked) was suggesting "two forms of education" based on biological sex.  Rather, it encourages educators to keep in mind that the vast majority of well-thought, progressive curricula found in school districts today is frequently not taking into account all factors of difference between boys and girls.  The educational model found in public schools today believes that on a biological level, the net average of boys and girls are identical in learning style and competence, and that any differences are purely due to factors of socialization and ingrained gender roles. 

There is certainly merit to this, and socialization likely plays the major influence.  However, for a holistic understanding, it is negligent for educators to not be aware that biological differences do play a role (even if only a small role) when comparing the "average" learning style for boys versus the "average" learning style for girls.  There will always be outliers, and teachers are given training on identifying and helping these students.

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: Men's Liberation: An Overview and Discussion.
« Reply #43 on: November 08, 2014, 08:43:20 PM »
Just to clarify, no one in this thread (and certainly not the author of the article I linked) was suggesting "two forms of education" based on biological sex.  Rather, it encourages educators to keep in mind that the vast majority of well-thought, progressive curricula found in school districts today is frequently not taking into account all factors of difference between boys and girls.  The educational model found in public schools today believes that on a biological level, the net average of boys and girls are identical in learning style and competence, and that any differences are purely due to factors of socialization and ingrained gender roles. 

There is certainly merit to this, and socialization likely plays the major influence.  However, for a holistic understanding, it is negligent for educators to not be aware that biological differences do play a role (even if only a small role) when comparing the "average" learning style for boys versus the "average" learning style for girls.  There will always be outliers, and teachers are given training on identifying and helping these students.

What could we do to mitigate that issue?

Perhaps we could send boys to school a year later than girls, so that their developmental processes are more closely aligned?

Or should we gender-segregate our school systems, or create Gender-Specific learning regimens that would likely result in more active-time for boys and leave them in school for longer than girls?

Though that does leave trans-umbrella students standing in the cold, doesn't it? How would we handle that issue?

This is where things diverged. I asked for alternatives to a system that leaves boys behind. At which point we started talking about trans people being wired "One way or the other" and then I started in on the greater implications of the loose groupings of physical traits we think of as physical sex.

Though if we're talking about educators being "Aware" we're talking about a massive amount of training being added to teacher college curriculum and courses for remedial education for future accreditation.

Offline Valthazar

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Re: Men's Liberation: An Overview and Discussion.
« Reply #44 on: November 08, 2014, 08:56:25 PM »
This is where things diverged. I asked for alternatives to a system that leaves boys behind. At which point we started talking about trans people being wired "One way or the other" and then I started in on the greater implications of the loose groupings of physical traits we think of as physical sex.

Though if we're talking about educators being "Aware" we're talking about a massive amount of training being added to teacher college curriculum and courses for remedial education for future accreditation.

It's a tough issue, since on principle, we all want to live in a society where everyone is measured and judged based on the same standards.  At the same time, the focus should really be on training teachers and other educators to acknowledge certain behaviors in young boys as developmentally normal, and not aberrant (while similar behaviors may indeed be aberrant among the average constituency of their female peer group). 

Skills like sitting quietly at a desk and communication skills develop sooner when looking at an average female population.  Male students who don't achieve these benchmarks on the same timeline are often given poor marks, or labeled as developmentally challenged.  As I mentioned earlier, it's alarming when 80% of students categorized as emotionally disturbed are male - which has a prolonged effect on academic performance and behavior.

This is largely an academic issue that professors should study further, and explain as "something to keep in mind" when training future teachers.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2014, 09:01:26 PM by Valthazar »

Offline Primal

Re: Men's Liberation and the descent into Anti-Feminism.
« Reply #45 on: November 08, 2014, 09:25:17 PM »
Feminists want to bring about equality. And right now, that means elevating those who are politically and economically below white cisgender heterosexual abled men up to equality with those guys.

Personally, I'm wary about statements like this.  If you don't mind, I'd love to get some clarification (since otherwise, commenting further would involve presumption on my part).  When you speak of "elevating those who are politically and economically below white cisgender heterosexual abled men", by what means are you looking to achieve this?  Spreading awareness through education and all that jazz, or enlisting the state for legislation to somehow redistribute 'equalness'?

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: Men's Liberation: An Overview and Discussion.
« Reply #46 on: November 08, 2014, 09:45:07 PM »
More the former than the latter. But sometimes legislation works as a way to help speed things up and act as a way to protect people's rights, or at least give them the ability to fight back when those rights are impinged upon.

Like the Civil Rights and Voting Protection acts. Or protection from discrimination on gender, sexuality, race, and so forth as relates to work, civil liberties, service, and such.

Offline Primal

Re: Men's Liberation: An Overview and Discussion.
« Reply #47 on: November 08, 2014, 10:40:04 PM »
More the former than the latter. But sometimes legislation works as a way to help speed things up and act as a way to protect people's rights, or at least give them the ability to fight back when those rights are impinged upon.

Like the Civil Rights and Voting Protection acts. Or protection from discrimination on gender, sexuality, race, and so forth as relates to work, civil liberties, service, and such.

Cool, thanks!  While I'm not a huge fan of anti-discrimination laws (because I'm a whack-job Libertarian!), I think its a perfectly reasonable thing.  There's plenty of things I disagree with but recognize that dissenting views are often quite valid in their own right.  I decided to ask you about the aforementioned statement since I've seen a lot of social justice warriors advocates that passionately advocate intense government regulation and oversight in these matters that (in my opinion) borders on tyrannical insanity and Orwellian Thought Police.  Clearly that's not you, so all I can say is that I find your viewpoint very reasonable and I'll move along :)

Note: I'm not sure if "social justice warrior" is a normal term or if it's used as a pejorative term.  I don't think it's the latter, but if so I apologize for using it (my intent was not to use a term that makes fun of any group).  I'm pretty sure it's a normal term, right?

EDIT: I learned social justice warrior is a pejorative term.  Hence my strike-throughs and substitution with "advocate".
« Last Edit: November 09, 2014, 12:19:43 AM by Primal »

Offline Caehlim

Re: Men's Liberation: An Overview and Discussion.
« Reply #48 on: November 08, 2014, 11:11:59 PM »
Note: I'm not sure if "social justice warrior" is a normal term or if it's used as a pejorative term.  I don't think it's the latter, but if so I apologize for using it (my intent was not to use a term that makes fun of any group).  I'm pretty sure it's a normal term, right?

It's generally pejorative and I expect the way you used it there almost certainly would be interpreted in that fashion by many people.

Offline SteampunketteTopic starter

Re: Men's Liberation: An Overview and Discussion.
« Reply #49 on: November 08, 2014, 11:46:35 PM »
I'm glad to know my particular brand of Social Justice Sorceress (We're not all warriors, after all.) is acceptable to your sensibilities and that my Orwellian Re-Education is not as offensive as full on Thought-Policing.

(The above is meant to be humorous. I do want to express, however, how frustrating it is to be patronized in such a way. I'm happy to help and educate but I'm really not here for pats on the head about how I am an "Acceptable" SJW.)