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Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance?
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SylviaSmile


May 23, 2012, 10:10 AM
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Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance?
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I am putting this thread in Ladies' Room simply because I think greater moderation wouldn't be a bad thing, but feel free to move it.

bearbreeder wrote:
its commonly accepted that men are more predisposed towards risk taking overall

kiwiprincess wrote:
My husband just tld me he saw a documentary about risk that said there is a difference in endorphines produced between the genders.

What data do we have to support (or refute) the thesis that men are more comfortable with risk or have a different physiological response?


lena_chita
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May 23, 2012, 10:25 AM
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Re: [SylviaSmile] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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Not climbing-related, but it does discuss gender differences in risk tolerance.

http://www.cer.ethz.ch/research/wp_00_17.pdf

http://www.iza.org/...ntreRes2012/7735.pdf

And this one touches on societal influence on risk tolerance disparity between genders:

http://richardronay.com/...licit%20Risk%20A.pdf

Another interesting one: risk tolerance and decision-making under stress.

http://www.plosone.org/...journal.pone.0006002


SylviaSmile


May 23, 2012, 10:50 AM
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Fascinating. I'm going to have to print these and give them a read-through!


granite_grrl


May 24, 2012, 5:46 AM
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Re: [SylviaSmile] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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I wonder how the risk tolerance between men and women would differ as you break it up by age too. It seems that yound fellas with a bit more testosterone pumping don't think things through, or at least don't think it could happen to them.

How can we even say that someone has a high risk tolerance if they're not fulling accepting that there is risk?


lena_chita
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May 24, 2012, 10:19 AM
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Re: [granite_grrl] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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I am pretty sure that risky behaviours of adolescents in either gender are well documented.

I totally agree that there is age component to risk tolerance and that both sexes trend towards more cautious with age.

granite_grrl wrote:
How can we even say that someone has a high risk tolerance if they're not fulling accepting that there is risk?

Taking calculated risk vs. doing something that you don't believe is risky at all is tricky to define. It isn't as if you know, before engaging in any activity, that this activity carries X% risk of death per hour of participation per person, or Y% lifetime risk, or whatever. A lot of it is just perception.

Ask a non-climber, and many of them will have a perception of climbing as very risky behavior, at any age, and for any gender.

Climbers would have a much more fine-tuned view of it, depending on the type of climbing, the experience of the person engaging in it, the location, etc. But still, it is not an exact thing. You don't tell yourself, O.K., the chances of this bolt failing if I fall are 0.000...something%, so I am taking a small risk, I draw a line at 0.0001%, I won't take a risk if the chances of me getting hurt are grater than Z. Tongue


kiwiprincess


May 24, 2012, 5:36 PM
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Re: [lena_chita] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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It seems that Risk Perception is greater in women but there is not as much difference in risk taking according to a 2011 Swedish survey.

That surveys show changes in time and racial groups it seems to be influenced by Social things more than biology even though there are some biological differences which may affect it.

One study (80's) seemed to think that In a mixed group women return to traditional gender roles and rate higher in risk taking and competitiveness in a same sex group. (business risks not sport.)

These studies though are on college students and That's very much a time where you are forming your identity and less confident, so more succeptable to conforming.

What to do?
Visualise you're with the girls and kick ass until it becomes programmed you can do it?

Self confidence is one of the most Important Precursors to success. Encourage others, Keep your internal dialogue positive.


Partner cracklover


May 25, 2012, 11:47 AM
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Re: [kiwiprincess] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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kiwiprincess wrote:
One study (80's) seemed to think that In a mixed group women return to traditional gender roles and rate higher in risk taking and competitiveness in a same sex group. (business risks not sport.)

This makes sense to me. It dovetails with the findings that girls both participate more and do better in math classes in girls-only classrooms.

IOW, it sounds like, in the presence of boys, girls are less likely to take risks, such as being willing to either give the right answer and sound egg-headed, or give the wrong answer and sound stupid. Or that some increase in competitiveness in a same-sex environment causes the girls to overcome some of those fears.

I think this is why things like women-only climbing clinics can be so successful. Granted, for some women, the presence of men may not have the above effect (or may even be the reverse). But clearly for some or even most, there is a real and positive effect.

As a side note I'll mention that as pretty typical guy, it's kind of complicated. On the one hand, when girls are around, we can get dosed up on our own internal hormones and do stupid shit. But on the other hand, boys in single-sex settings tend to egg each other on, while the presence of girls (often) provides a more moderating influence.

GO


Khoi


May 26, 2012, 11:36 AM
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Re: [SylviaSmile] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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If we are talking about physical risks then males tend to engage in that specific type of risky behaviour more often than females, and to a greater degree than females. Reasons of nurture (upbringing, social views, etc.) and nature (genetics, amount of testosterone, etc.) are involved.


drivel


May 29, 2012, 7:29 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
kiwiprincess wrote:
One study (80's) seemed to think that In a mixed group women return to traditional gender roles and rate higher in risk taking and competitiveness in a same sex group. (business risks not sport.)

This makes sense to me. It dovetails with the findings that girls both participate more and do better in math classes in girls-only classrooms.

IOW, it sounds like, in the presence of boys, girls are less likely to take risks, such as being willing to either give the right answer and sound egg-headed, or give the wrong answer and sound stupid. Or that some increase in competitiveness in a same-sex environment causes the girls to overcome some of those fears.

I think this is why things like women-only climbing clinics can be so successful. Granted, for some women, the presence of men may not have the above effect (or may even be the reverse). But clearly for some or even most, there is a real and positive effect.

As a side note I'll mention that as pretty typical guy, it's kind of complicated. On the one hand, when girls are around, we can get dosed up on our own internal hormones and do stupid shit. But on the other hand, boys in single-sex settings tend to egg each other on, while the presence of girls (often) provides a more moderating influence.

GO



This discussion is incomplete without at least some mention of the fact that girls' fears of speaking out or other behaviors that we're calling "risky" for the sake of this conversation are not irrational or abstract fears. There is very real gender policing that goes on with respect to how girls are "supposed" to act, and girls who speak out or act out of compliance with this suffer real social consequences.

This gender policing comes from both males and females, but it's not some inborn retiring shyness on the part of girls and women. It is largely learned behavior that has been reinforced while more assertive behavior has been punished.


wonderwoman


May 29, 2012, 8:07 AM
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drivel wrote:
cracklover wrote:
kiwiprincess wrote:
One study (80's) seemed to think that In a mixed group women return to traditional gender roles and rate higher in risk taking and competitiveness in a same sex group. (business risks not sport.)

This makes sense to me. It dovetails with the findings that girls both participate more and do better in math classes in girls-only classrooms.

IOW, it sounds like, in the presence of boys, girls are less likely to take risks, such as being willing to either give the right answer and sound egg-headed, or give the wrong answer and sound stupid. Or that some increase in competitiveness in a same-sex environment causes the girls to overcome some of those fears.

I think this is why things like women-only climbing clinics can be so successful. Granted, for some women, the presence of men may not have the above effect (or may even be the reverse). But clearly for some or even most, there is a real and positive effect.

As a side note I'll mention that as pretty typical guy, it's kind of complicated. On the one hand, when girls are around, we can get dosed up on our own internal hormones and do stupid shit. But on the other hand, boys in single-sex settings tend to egg each other on, while the presence of girls (often) provides a more moderating influence.

GO



This discussion is incomplete without at least some mention of the fact that girls' fears of speaking out or other behaviors that we're calling "risky" for the sake of this conversation are not irrational or abstract fears. There is very real gender policing that goes on with respect to how girls are "supposed" to act, and girls who speak out or act out of compliance with this suffer real social consequences.

This gender policing comes from both males and females, but it's not some inborn retiring shyness on the part of girls and women. It is largely learned behavior that has been reinforced while more assertive behavior has been punished.

When I was little, I told my mom that I wished that I was a boy. She was mortified and asked why. I remember telling her that it was because they got to do all the things that I got in trouble for doing.


Partner cracklover


May 29, 2012, 8:31 AM
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drivel wrote:
cracklover wrote:
kiwiprincess wrote:
One study (80's) seemed to think that In a mixed group women return to traditional gender roles and rate higher in risk taking and competitiveness in a same sex group. (business risks not sport.)

This makes sense to me. It dovetails with the findings that girls both participate more and do better in math classes in girls-only classrooms.

IOW, it sounds like, in the presence of boys, girls are less likely to take risks, such as being willing to either give the right answer and sound egg-headed, or give the wrong answer and sound stupid. Or that some increase in competitiveness in a same-sex environment causes the girls to overcome some of those fears.

I think this is why things like women-only climbing clinics can be so successful. Granted, for some women, the presence of men may not have the above effect (or may even be the reverse). But clearly for some or even most, there is a real and positive effect.

As a side note I'll mention that as pretty typical guy, it's kind of complicated. On the one hand, when girls are around, we can get dosed up on our own internal hormones and do stupid shit. But on the other hand, boys in single-sex settings tend to egg each other on, while the presence of girls (often) provides a more moderating influence.

GO



This discussion is incomplete without at least some mention of the fact that girls' fears of speaking out or other behaviors that we're calling "risky" for the sake of this conversation are not irrational or abstract fears. There is very real gender policing that goes on with respect to how girls are "supposed" to act, and girls who speak out or act out of compliance with this suffer real social consequences.

I wasn't trying to suggest that these fears are irrational. Without a doubt, they are at least as rational as the risks and rewards involved in climbing.

In reply to:
This gender policing comes from both males and females, but it's not some inborn retiring shyness on the part of girls and women. It is largely learned behavior that has been reinforced while more assertive behavior has been punished.

It stands to reason that it can't be inborn, otherwise where would the sudden ability to participate come from when the boys aren't there?

The interesting thing, at least from my perspective, is the fact that this policing into assigned gender roles can potentially break down when boys are removed completely from the equation.

GO


drivel


May 29, 2012, 9:22 AM
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cracklover wrote:
drivel wrote:
cracklover wrote:
kiwiprincess wrote:
One study (80's) seemed to think that In a mixed group women return to traditional gender roles and rate higher in risk taking and competitiveness in a same sex group. (business risks not sport.)

This makes sense to me. It dovetails with the findings that girls both participate more and do better in math classes in girls-only classrooms.

IOW, it sounds like, in the presence of boys, girls are less likely to take risks, such as being willing to either give the right answer and sound egg-headed, or give the wrong answer and sound stupid. Or that some increase in competitiveness in a same-sex environment causes the girls to overcome some of those fears.

I think this is why things like women-only climbing clinics can be so successful. Granted, for some women, the presence of men may not have the above effect (or may even be the reverse). But clearly for some or even most, there is a real and positive effect.

As a side note I'll mention that as pretty typical guy, it's kind of complicated. On the one hand, when girls are around, we can get dosed up on our own internal hormones and do stupid shit. But on the other hand, boys in single-sex settings tend to egg each other on, while the presence of girls (often) provides a more moderating influence.

GO



This discussion is incomplete without at least some mention of the fact that girls' fears of speaking out or other behaviors that we're calling "risky" for the sake of this conversation are not irrational or abstract fears. There is very real gender policing that goes on with respect to how girls are "supposed" to act, and girls who speak out or act out of compliance with this suffer real social consequences.

I wasn't trying to suggest that these fears are irrational. Without a doubt, they are at least as rational as the risks and rewards involved in climbing.

In reply to:
This gender policing comes from both males and females, but it's not some inborn retiring shyness on the part of girls and women. It is largely learned behavior that has been reinforced while more assertive behavior has been punished.

It stands to reason that it can't be inborn, otherwise where would the sudden ability to participate come from when the boys aren't there?

The interesting thing, at least from my perspective, is the fact that this policing into assigned gender roles can potentially break down when boys are removed completely from the equation.

GO

I didn't think you were trying to say it was irrational. I thought it was more likely that you just assumed we were all working off the same paradigm and it went without saying, but I thought it bore saying.


To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men. You don't mention if the studies were of elementary school-aged girls or adolescent and older girls and women, but I suspect it was older, like high school girls, because the information I've read says that in elementary school girls and boys are about equally interested in science and maths.

If girls believe their social status and acceptance is contingent upon desire from the boys in their class, it doesn't surprise me at all that removing the boys and their censure and sexual harassment improves participation in math and science classes. But that doesn't mean that girls and women don't gender-police each other. Slut-shaming and calling smart or assertive girls and women bossy or bitches or "attention whores" or "drama queens" is behavior that girls and women engage in all too often.


SylviaSmile


May 29, 2012, 11:14 AM
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kiwiprincess wrote:
It seems that Risk Perception is greater in women but there is not as much difference in risk taking according to a 2011 Swedish survey.

That surveys show changes in time and racial groups it seems to be influenced by Social things more than biology even though there are some biological differences which may affect it.

One study (80's) seemed to think that In a mixed group women return to traditional gender roles and rate higher in risk taking and competitiveness in a same sex group. (business risks not sport.)

These studies though are on college students and That's very much a time where you are forming your identity and less confident, so more succeptable to conforming.

What to do?
Visualise you're with the girls and kick ass until it becomes programmed you can do it?

Self confidence is one of the most Important Precursors to success. Encourage others, Keep your internal dialogue positive.

Where is this survey's findings?


kiwiprincess


May 30, 2012, 3:53 PM
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Away from my computer. I'll Look the links up when I get home


Partner cracklover


May 31, 2012, 9:47 AM
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I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO


(This post was edited by cracklover on May 31, 2012, 9:49 AM)


lena_chita
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May 31, 2012, 10:09 AM
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cracklover wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO

Unfortunately it IS really true.

And these messages are internalized very very early. I obviously am trying to do my best to raise a daughter who doesn't measure her self-worth in terms of how appealing she is to men.

BUT...

Here is a story from last weekend that made people laugh, and made me cringe while laughing.

I was climbing with my two kids and a few friends. Heading out at the end of the weekend, we had a long-ish hike, really hot temperatures, and an uphill walk towards the end of the hike out.

Nothing terribly hard, but my daughter (who has made that hike multiple times before, from the time she was maybe 3yo) was feeling tired after diving off rocks and swimming in the lake for hours. So when the trail started going uphill, she was looking for some help.

She does know by now, that while I would have offered sympathy, maybe would taken her pack and would have walked slowly with her, there was no way I would be carrying her, 45 pounds and all. So she sidled up to the two guys who were hiking out with us, and made her best pitch for help.

Of course, what do you know? In a blink of an eye, one guy was carrying her backpack, and the other one had her riding on his shoulders.

I tried to interject, "hey, hey, she can walk, she really is not THAT tired" (we are not talking a little toddler, after all, and there was only a few hundred yards to go, and yes, I am an evil mom, I have had many years to get conditioned against fake whine). To which one guy responded saying "oh, no big deal, really, she hardly weighs anything" and the other one commented, "how can you resist a face like that?"

My daughter, riding comfortably on the shoulders of a backpack-carrying guy, is still young enough to innocently add a comment to that discussion, "Oh, I am so glad I am cute!"

Everyone laughed. It was one of those candid moments, with a little kid saying something that older person might have kept to him/herself. And really, she is awfully cute.

BUT... where did this come from? This concept that she is cute, and she should be thankful for it, that it gives her extra leverage when asking guys for things?

I'd like to think that this didn't come from me. But it came from somewhere... And it doesn't exactly make me happy.


drivel


May 31, 2012, 10:50 AM
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cracklover wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO


...have fun living in fairy-tale land.


drivel


May 31, 2012, 10:55 AM
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lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO

Unfortunately it IS really true.

And these messages are internalized very very early. I obviously am trying to do my best to raise a daughter who doesn't measure her self-worth in terms of how appealing she is to men.

BUT...

Here is a story from last weekend that made people laugh, and made me cringe while laughing.

I was climbing with my two kids and a few friends. Heading out at the end of the weekend, we had a long-ish hike, really hot temperatures, and an uphill walk towards the end of the hike out.

Nothing terribly hard, but my daughter (who has made that hike multiple times before, from the time she was maybe 3yo) was feeling tired after diving off rocks and swimming in the lake for hours. So when the trail started going uphill, she was looking for some help.

She does know by now, that while I would have offered sympathy, maybe would taken her pack and would have walked slowly with her, there was no way I would be carrying her, 45 pounds and all. So she sidled up to the two guys who were hiking out with us, and made her best pitch for help.

Of course, what do you know? In a blink of an eye, one guy was carrying her backpack, and the other one had her riding on his shoulders.

I tried to interject, "hey, hey, she can walk, she really is not THAT tired" (we are not talking a little toddler, after all, and there was only a few hundred yards to go, and yes, I am an evil mom, I have had many years to get conditioned against fake whine). To which one guy responded saying "oh, no big deal, really, she hardly weighs anything" and the other one commented, "how can you resist a face like that?"

My daughter, riding comfortably on the shoulders of a backpack-carrying guy, is still young enough to innocently add a comment to that discussion, "Oh, I am so glad I am cute!"

Everyone laughed. It was one of those candid moments, with a little kid saying something that older person might have kept to him/herself. And really, she is awfully cute.

BUT... where did this come from? This concept that she is cute, and she should be thankful for it, that it gives her extra leverage when asking guys for things?

I'd like to think that this didn't come from me. But it came from somewhere... And it doesn't exactly make me happy.


yikes. I missed that episode. But that makes me cringe, too.


rmsusa


May 31, 2012, 1:20 PM
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In reply to:
And these messages are internalized very very early. I obviously am trying to do my best to raise a daughter who doesn't measure her self-worth in terms of how appealing she is to men.

In the human species, females attract, males approach and females decide. That's the way it works.

Attracting males is a fundamental part of being a human female. It wouldn't be surprising to me that there's a heavy biological component to the way that females measure their self worth. In some sense, social attitudes mirror biology (IMHO, at least).


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drivel wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO


...have fun living in fairy-tale land.

Just to be clear, we all have the same understanding of the phrase "contingent upon", right? It means that you are a sex object first and foremost, and can have absolutely no social standing or value to society unless you are willing to strut your stuff, and can demonstrate that men find you worth pursuing for sex. Only after passing that test can you have any additional value in society.

So, for example, you feel that no-one would be impressed if you could climb 5.14 if you're not "hot" too? That no-one would recognize your accomplishments in art, literature, science, or business, if you don't have a perky rack, and aren't willing to show it off?

I call BS.

Of course being attractive is a benefit in social standing. For both men and women - but sure - more so for women. But it is not the only determinant to your value as a person in society. Plenty of women who weren't head-turners have had major roles in society, have changed history. And they will continue to do so. To deny it, or to claim that society does not recognize them, is repugnant.

GO


Partner cracklover


May 31, 2012, 3:06 PM
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Re: [lena_chita] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO

Unfortunately it IS really true.

And these messages are internalized very very early. I obviously am trying to do my best to raise a daughter who doesn't measure her self-worth in terms of how appealing she is to men.

BUT...

Here is a story from last weekend that made people laugh, and made me cringe while laughing.

I was climbing with my two kids and a few friends. Heading out at the end of the weekend, we had a long-ish hike, really hot temperatures, and an uphill walk towards the end of the hike out.

Nothing terribly hard, but my daughter (who has made that hike multiple times before, from the time she was maybe 3yo) was feeling tired after diving off rocks and swimming in the lake for hours. So when the trail started going uphill, she was looking for some help.

She does know by now, that while I would have offered sympathy, maybe would taken her pack and would have walked slowly with her, there was no way I would be carrying her, 45 pounds and all. So she sidled up to the two guys who were hiking out with us, and made her best pitch for help.

Of course, what do you know? In a blink of an eye, one guy was carrying her backpack, and the other one had her riding on his shoulders.

I tried to interject, "hey, hey, she can walk, she really is not THAT tired" (we are not talking a little toddler, after all, and there was only a few hundred yards to go, and yes, I am an evil mom, I have had many years to get conditioned against fake whine). To which one guy responded saying "oh, no big deal, really, she hardly weighs anything" and the other one commented, "how can you resist a face like that?"

My daughter, riding comfortably on the shoulders of a backpack-carrying guy, is still young enough to innocently add a comment to that discussion, "Oh, I am so glad I am cute!"

Everyone laughed. It was one of those candid moments, with a little kid saying something that older person might have kept to him/herself. And really, she is awfully cute.

BUT... where did this come from? This concept that she is cute, and she should be thankful for it, that it gives her extra leverage when asking guys for things?

I'd like to think that this didn't come from me. But it came from somewhere... And it doesn't exactly make me happy.

Your story is funny, and cringeworthy... but it doesn't prove drivel's point. It shows that your daughter knows that being cute is an important factor, and she can exploit it to get her way. No-one would argue that *any* cute kid, whether a boy or a girl, wouldn't learn that lesson. What it doesn't show is that your daughter feels that it's the only important factor, or the only worth she has.

And, frankly, little kids really don't have very much else going for them, except their cuteness and the social standing of their parents.

As we get older, that changes, and we discover we have other powers. We don't have to always appeal upon our attractiveness to make our way in the world. Yes, I'll buy that for some girls, their transition into womanhood just feels like a transition of one type of cuteness to get their way into a new type of cuteness to get their way. But for many teenagers (and women) that's just not my experience of how they define themselves.

GO


drivel


May 31, 2012, 4:27 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
drivel wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO


...have fun living in fairy-tale land.

Just to be clear, we all have the same understanding of the phrase "contingent upon", right? It means that you are a sex object first and foremost, and can have absolutely no social standing or value to society unless you are willing to strut your stuff, and can demonstrate that men find you worth pursuing for sex. Only after passing that test can you have any additional value in society.

So, for example, you feel that no-one would be impressed if you could climb 5.14 if you're not "hot" too? That no-one would recognize your accomplishments in art, literature, science, or business, if you don't have a perky rack, and aren't willing to show it off?

I call BS.

Of course being attractive is a benefit in social standing. For both men and women - but sure - more so for women. But it is not the only determinant to your value as a person in society. Plenty of women who weren't head-turners have had major roles in society, have changed history. And they will continue to do so. To deny it, or to claim that society does not recognize them, is repugnant.

GO

I have neither the time nor the energy to fully deconstruct this for you.

Yes, we have the same value of understanding for the words "contingent upon." But note I said "socialized to believe" not "this is absolutely literally true and women are all slaves."

In a lot of ways, it IS true. For your climbing example, name one single pro climbing woman who isn't super conventionally attractive. For 5.14 climbers, who doesn't Josune get more press? Why did Lauren Lee get so much?

In science, on Wednesday, I attended/spoke at a symposium for cancer research. There were three scientists invited from outside of our institution as key speakers, two men and one woman. The woman's husband and marriage was noted in her introduction among her career highlights.

I watched my sister in HS be socially worthless and constantly be called a butch dyke lesbian because she refused to dress in a conventional way- she always wore ratty shirts and baggy pants. Not sexy. Not that it matters, but she's straight.

Do you want me to go on? Honestly, G, I know you're a good guy, but you seem pretty fucking clueless about the still-extant depths of sexism and cultural indoctrination about how women are supposed to be available to men.


Partner cracklover


May 31, 2012, 9:02 PM
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Re: [drivel] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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You can call me fucking clueless, you can say I live in fairytale land, but it none of that backs up your argument. Just admit it, your statement was hyperbole.

In reply to:
For your climbing example, name one single pro climbing woman who isn't super conventionally attractive. For 5.14 climbers, who doesn't Josune get more press? Why did Lauren Lee get so much?

Sorry, I don't follow pro climbers, so I can't really name more than a couple. Of course a pretty and outgoing one would sell more videos than the opposite, but I think that's true of both genders.

But lets leave the corporeal behind (no pun intended) for a minute. How about literature.

You claim that women are being indoctrinated from a young age to think that you must be sexy first and foremost, otherwise you are nothing and no-one.

So here's a question, actually, I'll pose this one for Lena: Let's say there's a book written for girls your daughter's age. Dust jacket photo of the author. She's a middle-aged sweet looking woman. What is your daughter's reaction? Is it "oh my god, she's ugly, I don't want to read this book"? Or let's say the dust jacket photo of the author shows a young woman in minimal clothes and lots of cleavage. Would her reaction be "Mommy, this looks like a good book, can I get this one"?

The point I'm making is that all girls understand that people have value for what they *do*. And children understand and value the character and personality of adults. Looks factor in, but I doubt it's to near the degree that Drivel is driveling on about.

And Lena, you may not be comfortable with it, but *all* kids are socialized to get the most from being cute. I mean, babies are such a tremendous amount of trouble, if we weren't so incredibly adorable as babies, most of us would have been bludgeoned to death by our parents before our third birthday! Cuteness and love is all kids have got keeping them alive!

GLaugh


Khoi


May 31, 2012, 11:05 PM
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Re: [cracklover] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO

What if we made a few slight changes:

"To be blunt: men are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as success objects."

You're a guy. Do you believe that?


granite_grrl


Jun 1, 2012, 4:48 AM
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Re: [cracklover] Are There Gender Differences in Risk Tolerance? [In reply to]
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cracklover wrote:
lena_chita wrote:
cracklover wrote:
I'm a bit surprised that this post has been up for a couple of days, and no-one has commented on it. It sure seems controversial to me, but do you all really feel that the following is such a no-brainer that it deserves no response?

drivel wrote:
To be blunt: women are socialized to believe that their value as persons and to society is contingent upon their value as sex objects. Of men.

To me, if the above is really true, it's horrifying, and I would never want to bring a female child into the world in such a society. Needless to say, *I* don't believe it. But I'm not a woman, so I have little insight into the messages you feel society is giving you.

GO

Unfortunately it IS really true.

And these messages are internalized very very early. I obviously am trying to do my best to raise a daughter who doesn't measure her self-worth in terms of how appealing she is to men.

BUT...

Here is a story from last weekend that made people laugh, and made me cringe while laughing.

I was climbing with my two kids and a few friends. Heading out at the end of the weekend, we had a long-ish hike, really hot temperatures, and an uphill walk towards the end of the hike out.

Nothing terribly hard, but my daughter (who has made that hike multiple times before, from the time she was maybe 3yo) was feeling tired after diving off rocks and swimming in the lake for hours. So when the trail started going uphill, she was looking for some help.

She does know by now, that while I would have offered sympathy, maybe would taken her pack and would have walked slowly with her, there was no way I would be carrying her, 45 pounds and all. So she sidled up to the two guys who were hiking out with us, and made her best pitch for help.

Of course, what do you know? In a blink of an eye, one guy was carrying her backpack, and the other one had her riding on his shoulders.

I tried to interject, "hey, hey, she can walk, she really is not THAT tired" (we are not talking a little toddler, after all, and there was only a few hundred yards to go, and yes, I am an evil mom, I have had many years to get conditioned against fake whine). To which one guy responded saying "oh, no big deal, really, she hardly weighs anything" and the other one commented, "how can you resist a face like that?"

My daughter, riding comfortably on the shoulders of a backpack-carrying guy, is still young enough to innocently add a comment to that discussion, "Oh, I am so glad I am cute!"

Everyone laughed. It was one of those candid moments, with a little kid saying something that older person might have kept to him/herself. And really, she is awfully cute.

BUT... where did this come from? This concept that she is cute, and she should be thankful for it, that it gives her extra leverage when asking guys for things?

I'd like to think that this didn't come from me. But it came from somewhere... And it doesn't exactly make me happy.

Your story is funny, and cringeworthy... but it doesn't prove drivel's point. It shows that your daughter knows that being cute is an important factor, and she can exploit it to get her way. No-one would argue that *any* cute kid, whether a boy or a girl, wouldn't learn that lesson. What it doesn't show is that your daughter feels that it's the only important factor, or the only worth she has.

And, frankly, little kids really don't have very much else going for them, except their cuteness and the social standing of their parents.

As we get older, that changes, and we discover we have other powers. We don't have to always appeal upon our attractiveness to make our way in the world. Yes, I'll buy that for some girls, their transition into womanhood just feels like a transition of one type of cuteness to get their way into a new type of cuteness to get their way. But for many teenagers (and women) that's just not my experience of how they define themselves.

GO

I have a 7 year old niece. she lives out in Nova Scotia and I don't get to see her much, but I hear all about her from my mother.

Oh, she LOVEs dresses, and doing herself all up and making her self pretty. She gets tons of praise for it too, puts on fasions shows for her Grandma (my mother).

This makes me mad. At 7 she is strongly building her self worth on how she looks. And this is pretty typical behaviour of little girls because of the VERY typical dehaviour of the adults around them.

This is not how "*any* cute kid, whether a boy or a girl" would be treated. When was the last time you heard a little boy be praised because they were pretty?

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