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  • ​The Reason for the Difference between Men and Women


    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    Wednesday, July 25, 2012 9:06 am Email this article

    ​The male species :-) evolved from stone age hunters practicing persistence hunting in midday in hot Africa. Working as a team, shouting, the men would flush a large animal. The animal would easily run away, a distance and stop. The men would catch up and flush the animal again, persisting until the animal, unable to lose heat except by panting, developed heat exhaustion and stopped trying to escape. The men did not overheat because they, unlike every other animal on earth, lacked body hair and sweated on their whole body surface. Persistence hunting is the reason human beings lack body hair and sweat.

    The legacy of persistence hunting is that men, unlike women, can focus and concentrate, shutting out distractions. Don’t believe me? Name one great modern female chess player. Men can parse spatial relationships seen in the distance better than women. Men are bigger and stronger and their hips better adapted for running. BUT the emphasis on persistence hunting also led to the penchant for men to follow a leader and the restriction of male verbal skills to giving and taking orders.

    [It is possible some of you don’t know what evolution means, so let me explain that the men most successful at hunting brought home more meat, so their families were healthier and more of their children survived. This selective process over a long period caused male traits suitable to hunting to be preserved and traits unsuitable to hunting to be muted.]

    Meanwhile, back at the camp, women in small groups tended the fire, cleaned the cave and took care of children and old parents. Women developed better dexterity close to the body. They can multitask, and read body language and emotions in other people. They developed a stronger sense of smell and taste. Their language skills improved. They made decisions by consensus, a better but slower method of decision-making. Male hunters had less opportunity for consensus-building.

    Huge parts of the difference between men and women are genetic, hard-wired. Not learned, as Americans think. Thomas Jefferson wrote, “All men [and women] are created equal.” Maybe so, but they are not created the same. After an initial period of adjustment, most marriages settle into a state where the wives, frustrated with trying to persuade their husband verbally, resort to giving orders, the language the husband understands. Call it persistence arguing :-) The husbands, with their different agenda, outmatched by their wives’ debating skill, accede to following orders or resort to guerilla warfare. Only patience, intelligence, love and civilization can avert misunderstanding.

    My main sources have been two wonderful books The Blank Slate by Steven Pinker and You Just Don’t Understand by Deborah Tannen and many PBS broadcasts on the Discovery Channel.

    Articles on the same subject can be found here:


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