I am wondering if, with the advent of "political correctness", discussing relations between the sexes in a realistic way is still possible. It feels like a minefield in which no matter what one says there will be those who, whether they agree or not, are likely to object to any suggestion of difference. In the area of psychology, I have, over the years, been interested, among others, in the ideas of Carl Rogers whose system is commonly called person centred. The fashion of treating people as persons, irrespective of gender, has a value in the domain of social administration and civic rights. Nonetheless, it seems a lack in the person centred theory that it says virtually nothing about sex, sexual dynamics, sexual development or gender differences. Psychoanalysis, which got going rather earlier, and in East Europe rather than the USA, does, of course, say a great deal more. But where are we today with this matter?

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  • It is also difficult to know how much one can reply upon. Research results that do not fit with accepted norms are often not published and those that do or that challenge them in a trendy way get highlighted so it is difficult to arrive at a judgement, especially from what appears in the press. Anyway, as Carol says, there is plenty to go on from personal experience and common observation.

  • Don't worry about the English - your meaning is perfectly clear. Also, if you want to post partly in Spanish it's OK - I, or others, can translate.

  • Good morning at this  topic! Very interesting!

    Last week I learned in the newspaper that scientific studied brains of a lot of women and men and there are´nt thediferences that last time all we think because science said! Then what happens? I learned that in the core, if we go deep there is no diferences. Could be that we go to the other with expectations? That we are not going with our heart open?

    sorry for my English :)

  • I think we already have good existential/experiential "data." Phrenology used to be thought scientific too. The science is still far too primitive to be terribly helpful. Science makes a poor social validator anyway most of the time. There are any number of ways to say that women are similar to men and any number of ways to say they are different... But looking at what IS different is what is interesting, I think. Maybe we can start from the Buddhist three conceits and say: not better, not worse, not equal to... One place where science can be helpful as a model is the scientific stance of looking carefully with curiosity rather than with some entrenched desire to be right. It may take a while to see some meaningful gestalt emerge out of the chaos but I would really enjoy trying the experiment.
  • One area that is somewhat coming to the rescue of this debate is neuroscience, not that it is revealing a huge amount as yet (the research is phenomenally expensive) but it does give scientific validation to the idea that men and women are wired differently - and we all know that nothing can be true unless science says so so now that science has said men and women are different, we should be able to discuss the difference without being shot down too often. [p.s. I love science but hate the way that it is used as a social validator in this way].

  • This could be a lot of fun. Let's detonate a few bombs and see what happens. I'm a bit tired of the political correctness and the need we seem to have for putting men and women into boxes. Some candid reflections would be welcome — not women insisting that men are a certain way or men insisting women are a certain way, but what it actually feels like to be a man or woman, what challenges you have faced. Read a book a few years ago by a woman named Norah Vincent: she disguised herself as a man and spent a year seeing what it was like to live that way... Cuts through quite a few assumptions, I recall. And then there is communication between the sexes... Why does attempted communication about feelings and emotions often provoke so much confusion and misunderstanding? I sometimes wonder if men and women speak an entirely different language. It's left me hopping up and down in frustration at times; couldn't we learn how to translate for one another?
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