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SEXUAL DIMORPHISM: Are we biological creatures?

If our minds are biology based (not separate โ€œsouls&rdquo๐Ÿ˜‰ and there is no supernatural input, how can any part of our behavior not be biology based?

skado 8 Apr 9

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I think we are much alike as very young children and learned differences come about at a very young age. For example, both girls and boys play with dolls. Parents teach them that girls have a Barbie while boys have a G.I. Joe. Outside of our biology everything goes along something like that.

We can choose to believe what appears to be true, possibly what is comforting, or what scientific measurement reveals, which are often not the same thing.


Most of the brain is fundamentally the same between males and females. Therefore, many behavioural traits are actually put into young, pliable brains.
However, there is one major "wiring" difference. Males generally have more connections between the front and back of each hemishpere than females, giving them an advantage when it comes to physical skills, whilst females usually have more connections between the hemispheres than males, giving them empathy and multi-tasking skills. However, this is a general observation, with greater and lesser variation in individual cases.
(Research suggests that these connections tend to form under the influence of hormones.)

Thank you BBC4 for a fascinating series on the subject!


According to quantum physics everything we see ,touch or hear is a waves of energy with different frequencies so the soul involvement is very possible.


Great topic. In his TED Talk, Dr. Robert Sapolsky states:

"One thing that's clear, though, is you're not going to get anywhere if you think there's going to be the brain region or the hormone or the gene or the childhood experience or the evolutionary mechanism that explains everything. Instead, every bit of behavior has multiple levels of causality."

He gives eye-opening examples starting at the 04: 06-minute marker, through 09:41 where he concludes:

"Basically, what we're seeing here is, if you want to understand a behavior, whether it's an appalling one, a wondrous one, or confusedly in between, if you want to understand that, you've got take into account what happened a second before to a million years before, everything in between."

I'll leave a link that has both the video and transcript. The transcript also indicates the minute-markers.



Agreed, but we are a bit more complicated.
Given that we are now overpopulated, continued breeding of every individuals could wipe most out.
The chinese example of 1 child has done amazing things for the later generations, only one child the parents can afford more education, 2 lots of doting grandparents and so on.
Even in our society, many people who do not have offspring of their own, contribute to society as a whole.


I would say we are both biological AND cultural creatures. While we aren't the only cultural creatures, our cultures are the most complex and enduring of any other creatures. There's an excellent perspective available in two books by Yuval Noah Harari: Sapiens and Homo Deus. In them, he describes three levels of reality: objective (scientific); subjective (individual); and inter-subjective (cultural). Living in the intersubjective category are all the things that have no objective reality, but that we all agree upon anyway, like: money, national borders, and gender roles.

I select the last item to respond specifically to the title subject of the post. There is a lot about human gender expression that has little to do with biological differences, and a lot to do with things that have no objective reality, but that we agree upon anyway. These are the roles we have constructed out of our stereotyped perceptions of objective reality, comparing ourselves to other animals and so on. Most of the scientific research indicates, however, that there is much less objective sexual dimorphism among individual humans that our culturally-proscribed gender roles would have us believe.

All very well stated... so does culture arise from something other than biology?

@skado Well, ultimately no, but it interacts with the environment as an emergent property. For us, culture is like a beehive, perhaps.


It's just like the idea in physics that if you know the properties of a particle (mass, velocity, vector, etc.) and all the properties of everything else in the universe, the laws of physics will indisputably permit you to predict the future movents, location, "behavior" of said particle.

I'd posit that with biology there is a very similar underlying principle--but the predictive capacity becomes orders of magnitude more complex because living things (unlike particles) can be motile and responsive to environment.

I think some broad predictions (perhaps re: probabilities) could be made if you know things like a person's sex/gender/identity, socioeconomic class, education, health, etc. That's just sociology--e.g. you could probably broadly say something like a , , , person who was exposed to early in life and attains level of education has a X% chance of going to prison. The base of that pyramid is biology--and the next levels up (e.g. socioeconomic class, ACEs, etc.) can impact biology (e.g. epigenetics).

So, yeah: start with that light of "nature" and shine it through whatever filters of "nurture" apply.


It is biologically based..our personalities are contextual..based on our past experiences..


Had to google sexual dimorphism. Not sure what this has to do with a question about biological basis of behavior (other than sex related hormonal influence)? All behavior is initiated by a biochemical action.

Is male aggression a purely biological phenomenon?


This post was inspired by another discussion about male aggression and whether it is due to biology or ?something else? What else is there? Culture? Where does culture come from if not biology? Are men willfully evil? Does free will exist? Inquiring minds want to know.

skado Level 8 Apr 9, 2018

@Akfishlady OK, so where do we get these ideas originally, and why do we perpetuate them?

Women After All by Melvin Konner, MD: his hypothesis is that maleness is a kind of "birth-defect" or "chromosomal deficiency" (his language, not mine) that results in mental illness, violence, etc. It's all about the biology.

There is no free will. []

Biology and evolution are based on survival of the fittest. Given that and mammal mating instincts, the strong and the aggressive would have the advantage of mates and dominance over the lesser males for eons. As humans formed groups, either families or klans or villages, the aggressive males were often out hunting or warring, giving those less aggressive males opportunities to reproduce as well as make themselves useful in other ways. As human populations grew, these divergent personalities had to depend on each other in cooperative ways, creating cultures. While the aggressive male is still dominant, the culture has to a certain extent required him to be less so in order to maintain order. In societies where the dominant males still have the most control, you have situation like those found in the Middle East and much of Africa, where war and tribal fighting are ways of life. Itโ€™s late and I am not sure how much this is on topic or comprehensible, but I will throw it out there.

I'm female and I have a lot of internal rage and aggression and violent tendencies. I don't know if i was born that way but I've been that way at least since I was as a very girl.
You wouldn't know it by looking at me because I try to keep it very much under control so as not to hurt or kill anyone, including myself. Medication helps A LOT.
I also have always felt like I have a pretty strong masculine side so I'm not sure if that's got anything to do with it? It'd be interesting to be able to know for sure...

@ejbman I hear that a lot, from people I respect, but I donโ€™t understand it. The explanations donโ€™t make sense to me. I wonder if there is some esoteric definition of the phrase โ€œfree willโ€ that Iโ€™m just not aware of. One youtuber mentioned a difference between free will and just plain olโ€™ will. I have more to learn.

@Ginagm71 Yes, individuals vary, but the discussion, I think, is about group tendencies.


Actually, each of us is an amalgam of lots of different biological creatures. The unknown exists, the supernatural does not.


Our sexual dimorphism in regards to size is minimal compared with the other great apes.


It is difficult to separate emotion from just every day and random acts. As Spock would that is not logical. I have sat and just concentrated on the abstract it is possible to think with pure logic it, however, takes a ton of effort.


Our thoughts and emotions are triggered by chemical reactions in our bodies, so the answer is no.


Nature vs. nurture. Environment very important.

Yes environment helps mold our biology but isnโ€™t nurture itself ultimately biology based?


You are quite right, we are biology based. Which reminds me. I'm hungry. Hamburger steaks with fried onions and baked potato is in my future.

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