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Is it All Socialization?

A thought today:

What percentage of us is biological and genetics, and what percentage of us is socialization?

I studied sociology, which tries to make the case:

It is all social.

For example, the bias in sociology is that when it comes to gender (male vs female differences), it is 100% social. For example the notion that “boys are more violent than girls” as being social, not genetic. For example my 4 year old niece Amelia who loves to play-fight me, which is generally seen as “boyish” behavior.

Amelia monkeying around

Why sexism?

I’d wager that girls are discouraged from boxing, whereas boys aren’t discouraged from it (at least as much as girls)

Something I’ve always been curious about:

Why are the majority of workout classes often women?

For example in yoga group classes, weight lifting group classes, cardio group classes, bicycle group classes, etc.

Several thoughts. First of all, women are generally discouraged from lifting weights at the gym. The wrong bias that “women lifting weights will become like the she-hulk”. But the good thing is that this stigma is going away — nowadays I see almost as many women as men doing deadlifts and squats in the gym.

Hormonal differences

Testosterone differences

The fact is that men and women have different hormonal makeup in their bodies. For example a fact is that men have FAR MORE testosterone in their system than women. Sometimes as much as 10x.

Also one of the theories is that what determines our gender when we are in the stomach of our mother is testosterone levels:

How much do hormones dictate our behavior?

Obviously our hormones play a HUGE behavior in our lives. I don’t think we like to admit it though, because the American and western bias is:

We have 100% free will, all the time, and our mental faculties reign supreme over our “animalistic” hormonal-driven behavior.

But there are simple things. If I were a woman and pregnant, of course my behavior and mood would be different than if I weren’t pregnant.

Hormones play a HUGE impact on our behavior, mood, and lives.

What we value is socialized

This is the gender bias in society: men are more “rational and logical”whereas women are more “compassionate, social, and orderly”.

Rather than argue this point— perhaps better to ask is:

What are the supreme social attributes we desire in our modern society?

The bias in philosophy is this:

The apex of worthiness is in rationality, logic, and science. All irrationality, emotion, and subjectivity must be stamped out.

Therefore I wonder if sexism is the red herring here — perhaps instead of asking whether men and women are equally rational or not, we should ask:

Why do we value rationality over irrationality?


Why sexism against women in science?

There is clear sexism at play here. We are trying to make the claim that:

Women have a less innate and genetic-biological ability to be scientific, rational, and mentally rigorous.

This is obviously false because there are MANY great female scientists, coders, engineers etc out there. Like my friend Natalie Ma who just won Falling Walls for her biotechnology company, Felix.

All you need is one “black swan”to disconfirm a notion or bias.


Why I prefer to believe “it is all social”

I’m certain there are some underlying gender or biological differences between men and women, and certain races in the world. But I prefer to think that “it is all social”. Why? I believe in the power of willpower, and the power we can exert in order to direct our own lives. For me, it is far more positive to think:

Despite my genetics, I can do anything or attempt anything!

This is the ultimate liberating thought!

STEER YOUR LIFE!
ERIC

By ERIC KIM

Artist-Philosopher