Sexual differences and biblical roles

(Reggie O'Donoghue) #62

HuffPost has a very liberal bias, which will include support for feminism

(Randy) #63

yes, they do (in my impression anyway), but the article is not actually a feminist one. It actually says we’re equal in intelligence. But you may see some things that seem more in favor of women.

I do think that women do better with emotional perception; but the article actually says men do better with keeping check on their emotions (staticstically). I bet it changes a lot from culture to culture. I think that @Jay313 put an interesting post up once that showed how different cultures maintain physical distance.

(Jay Johnson) #64

Once was enough for me.

(Mervin Bitikofer) #65

“Intelligence” strikes me as a hopelessly loaded concept unless you zoom in to specify extremely specific things such as “how good is your memory of people’s names”, “how good are you at arithmetic”, “how long could you survive plopped down in a forest with only the clothes on your back (or in an inner city neighborhood!)”, or “who is the most emotionally clued in on what another person is feeling”. We could all begin to flesh out our relative rankings on such specific questions; but to just flat out ask “how intelligent is someone – much less a whole class of people” is not only way too vague, but then on that same score will become ideologically pre-loaded with whatever it is the “asker” deems most important. I.e. it seems that of all the potential “intelligences” or “literacies” we could concentrate on, the ones we choose to focus on as self-appointed gatekeepers to that enviable club nearly always turn out to be what we ourselves value or possess and hold up, then, as “what it means to be intelligent”. So in that sense I think the word is hopelessly freighted; or to put it another way, the way we discuss intelligence probably reveals more about us than it does about our presumed subjects.

(Randy) #66

Sorry, no need to re post it! I was just reminding it as it was interesting. Thanks.

(Randy) #67

That’s a good point. Sorry if I stuck my foot in my mouth. I remember an Andy Griffith show in which he asks his friend, “how could that big foot get all the way up here into my mouth?”

(Mervin Bitikofer) #68

People like me who “think out loud” quite frequently in forums like this have developed quite flexibly expansive jaws by now. :scream:

(Jay Johnson) #69

Haha. No, I meant that once, a long time ago, I had an interesting post. But that was the end of it. I’m a one-and-doner.

(Randy) #70

Ah, subtle but corny. Good one. I think my emotional intelligence in perception is at a low. I like it! Thanks.

(Mark D.) #71

I’ve always assumed that the reason men lead and women follow in dancing is that following is just a whole lot harder to do.

You know, ‘leading from behind’ in a household might be something else that is a lot harder to do … especially for the sex infused with the most testosterone. So I suppose you could see a biblical endorsement of a male dominated family model as a work-around for male limitations.

(Reggie O'Donoghue) #72

Women are more prone to negative emotions, according to Jordan Peterson (take that as you will, but Peterson is a psychologist)

(Mark D.) #73

I wonder which ones are the negative emotions? Probably anger would be in there but I can’t think of another.

(Reggie O'Donoghue) #74

I tend to associate anger and aggressiveness with men.

(Reggie O'Donoghue) #75

Some interesting conclusions here:

(Mark D.) #76

I will take a look at it. But it reminded me of this theory I used to hear batted around, that men’s intelligence is just more variable than that of women, both on the high and low ends.

(Reggie O'Donoghue) #77

Which gender is more prone to lust? Typically we assume it is men, but historically (until relatively recently) women were assumed to be.

(Mark D.) #78

I would have assumed men would be more prone to lust but I don’t really have much basis for an opinion.

The article you recommended confirms my own experience in teaching math to 12 to 14 year-olds. I never noticed any reason to think one or the other sex had more aptitude for math, but I did notice that the girls on average were more mature and better able to bring sustained attention to a task.

Oh and another generalization I noticed is that girls were more prone to doubt themselves while boys were more prone to overestimate their abilities. Teaching advanced math sections it wasn’t unusual for a girl who got an A- on an assessment to express doubt about belonging in the class. At the same time, a boy who never got more than a C on any assessment might go right on seeing himself as one of the more insightful and capable kids in the class. I have to think, if true, this says more about the way we nurture the sexes than any innate difference in capacity.

(Christy Hemphill) #79

Which I’m sure is rooted in their biology and has nothing at all to do with being expected (in pretty much any culture you study) to spend their whole lives navigating social structures that are to a large extent defined and controlled by men for the primary benefit of men.

In my opinion, none of these cited studies definitively prove anything about some ideal “created order” or biological reality. They all reflect how males and females are socialized differently, for better or worse. Teasing out the nature from the nurture is a hopelessly arbitrary and subjective exercise.

(Christy Hemphill) #80

Christianity Today’s May issue was dedicated to men and the church. One of the articles talked about how churches that want to grow are being encouraged to gear everything toward attracting men, on the premise that if you get men in the doors, women and children will come too, and presumably won’t really care that everything is focused on males.

From the article: "Meck also targets men in its marketing and platforming. Every picture in their visitors’ guide features an under-40 guy or children. “We started this on day one,” said founding pastor Jim White. “You attract what you platform, whether that’s the people parking cars or at the door or on stage.” Or in the kids’ ministry, where nearly half of their volunteers are men.

At all these churches, however, targeting men also extends to the sermons. Messages are concise, 23–33 minutes, and replete with sports metaphors, workplace wisdom, and practical theology. (“I have the biblically illiterate, f-bomb dropping guy in my head with every talk I write,” Jim White says.) Services last an hour and offer unvarnished truth, bluntly calling congregants to step up.

“Friends,” I heard Jim White preach at Meck, “the church is a ship designed for battle, not for a cruise. We’re a combat vessel. If you want to be in on that, you’ll change the world. If not, I suggest you find a pool deck somewhere.” The guy next to me nodded in unison with his teenage son.

Christ’s Church of the Valley (CCV) in Phoenix, one of the largest congregations in America, has been a man-friendly church since its inception in 1982. Teachers there are called coaches and “an adventure with Jesus” is preferred to “personal relationship with Jesus.” The church’s original red-and-black logo was designed by juxtaposing ads from men’s magazines. Its décor is all earth tones and hardwood.

For a while, founding pastor Don Wilson replaced floral arrangements in the lobby with three Harleys. “Seeing the motorcycles,” he laughed, “men started to think ‘this is a normal place.’ ”

This, too, makes it “normal”: CCV’s sprawling café looks like a sports bar, sans the suds, with a different game on every television. Some guys hang out there Saturday after Saturday, sacrificing footlongs at the altar of ESPN before eventually braving the sanctuary.

Wiping mustard from my lips, I grabbed a nosebleed seat in the service and learned about world-view through Super Bowl commercials. The upcoming series might also tempt café dwellers: “See how Jesus wants you to look at the adventure of your life through his eyes, the eyes of a lion.”

I have my strong opinions about this kind of thing, which I will spare you all from. But it seems like a classic case of confusing description with prescription. Just because gearing churches towards men is effective in getting men in the door, does that make it good? Does anyone care about what happens psychologically and spiritually to girls who grow up in these churches, rarely or never hearing sermon examples about women or analogies or metaphors drawn from more feminine spaces? How could they not help but internalize that the male spiritual experience is normative and superior after years of this kind of stuff? I know that is what happened to me, and at my church it was just by default that women were kind of always in the background, it wasn’t some kind of conscious strategy. It took me years to unpack all those subtle ways I had been taught (and subconsciously believed) that men are just better Christians than women and God loves them and uses them more.

(Mark D.) #81

I don’t think of aggressiveness as an emotion as much as a behavioral tendency or trait, probably one triggered by the emotion of anger.

Rather than ask who is more emotional, I think I’d rather ask who is better at recognizing the emotions they are feeling. Definitely not something I have excelled at, though I like to think I’ve made progress. Years of internalizing the need not to show emotion may lead to not registering or even recognizing them when asked. Though I’ve certainly known women who were as stunted as so many of us men are in this regard, I think emotional intelligence is an area where I see more women excelling. It is an important skill to acquire.

Whoever said women are more emotional may have mistaken their keenest for recognizing their emotions for their actually having more of them. Men can be said to excel at ignoring their emotions. But that isn’t really much to brag about it really doesn’t help anyone to shame them out of their emotions. Anyone who makes a virtue out of having less emotions is probably guilty.