Central Snark

Does Sex Matter? by Snuppy
Wednesday, 26 September 2007, 6:20am
Filed under: funny...


Go ahead….click the picture, you know you want to!

Now before you get your knickers in a knot and claim that it is nobody’s business, it’s not really that kinda post.
When I flew back to Iceland from America the other day, I buckled up and put my carry-on in the overhead compartment. Not my first flight you know! At that point I usually prepare for a relaxed state of mind and try to unfocus from my surroundings. It comes easy. The captain’s voice came on the speakers and I bolted upright. It was a woman’s voice and the icelandic suffix of –dottir in her name, confirmed my startling. After congratulating myself on such quick deductive reasoning I came to wonder why I bolted. I, a woman, in particular should have felt a sense of pride and acknowledge the brave woman trying to enter the male world, knowing that they are equally capable. My mind said one thing, my body another.

Sociologists today make a clear definition between sex and gender. The former implying the biological characteristics that distinguish men and women. The latter conveying social and cultural characteristics that distinguish between what we conceive of as female or male. (pay not intention to the ordering of the gender in the last sentence, I swear it is almost purely arbitrary!)

So I asked myself how much of our beahvior is actually genetically predisposed and how much is culturally reinforced. The sex is clear upon conception, if the sperm (yes, I said sperm!) gives an Y chromosome we will have a boy, if it does not a girl will bring the house down in about 9 month. I can’t help but wonder if it is the rarity of the Y- chromosome that made someone think up the idea of it therefore being more precious and superior. Seems to me that “someone” really wanted to have the X chromosome to get through. I kid!

In 1977 (the year I was born, sorry any excuse to bring that up!) a WOMAN called Shirley Weitz conducted a research. Yes, her name really was Shirley. She had people observe a boy and a girl in the same environment (toys, room, time…), except that they were of course dressed according to the gender roles and mommy’s somehow inconceivable preference for pink and blue. The results clearly showed that the audience deemed the boy way more agressive, determined and strong in his play while the girl came off as gentle and caring and sweet. Little did they know they were observing the same baby dressed differently.

Apart from male sex hormone levels in the second trimester, that seem to have an effect on both genders and brain development, sociologists have come to agree that although biology does play a part culture plays an even more crucial role in developing concepts about ourselves.

What can I say to my captain the other day? That I am culturally conditioned to assume a man would fly my plane, because up to that day a man always did. That I assume in her mother’s womb a higher level of male sex hormones swam alongside the fetus? I can promise her though, that next time a baby is born into my family I might consider the color green a lot!

Ok, all of you who made it this far…you deserve a treat. Not from me though…you have to consider that all I am reading lately is human anatomy and it is just not that funny-unless I imagine a skeleton in a top hat, smoking a cigar and dancing tango *giggles*.

~Penguin off!

Who let the Dawg out?:

A man’s study of gender differences:

Two cohorts, one male and one female will be given a survey in which
they are asked to respond in fifteen minutes to a list of seven
questions, with the answers quantified to determine, within a 95%
confidence interval, if there are important gender differences in
attitudes. The questions:

1. Logic is always useful in solving problems. Circle One!

Highly Agree, Agree, Neither Agree Nor Disagree, Disagree, I have
nothing to say to you.

2. Verbal communication is the most essential feature in a

1 2 3 4 5

3. Sex is the most important feature in a relationship.

Highly Agree, Agree, Neither Agree Nor Disagree, Disagree, Please?

4. Are you gonna finish that?

Yes No

5. Women and men are roughly equal in intelligence.

True False (Circle one. No, just one)

6. My phone number is :___________________________

7. OK, dudes. The chicks will never get this far. Who’s my wingman?

A woman’s sociological study design:

Two groups, one male and one female will each be given blank pieces
of paper, several colors of magic marker, pastel chalk, glue and
glitter. Both groups will be asked to draw pictures illustrating
their feelings about the opposite sex. The results will be
interpreted by a focus group composed of both cohorts over herbal tea.

~ Dawg out!

There are plenty of gender representatives at humor-blogs. Don’t come crying to me if you get confused though!

31 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Hmmm, does sex matter? It’s like air. It doesn’t matter until you don’t have any.

As for female pilots, I would trust them. But. In my two summers of taking flying courses I trained with about 60 males and 5 females. Over the two years, there were two accidents, both times involving one of the female pilots. *shrug* True story.

(No one was hurt. Except the planes.)

Comment by I Dive At Night

Oh and… FIRST!

Comment by I Dive At Night

Morgan, I ahve no theory for that. I do think that our biological make-up gives us similar abilities, but that our raising allows different access to different things, so I guess in time our brains develop certain abilities better. I’d make a lousy physicist, not necesarily becuase I am more stupid than any physicist out there, but because I never bothered to look into it.

Oh and guys…feel free to click teh picture, it is quite cute!

Comment by Penguin

that picture? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. (truly inspired, where on earth did you find it??)

this post??? what can i say? i LOVELOVELOVED it. damn girl, who knew spending so much time with your nose in a book would make you even more clever and/or entertaining than you already are. wait… that didn’t make sense. uh, what i meant to say was i found this post to be both thoughtful and enjoyable, and, yes, quite hilarious.

that “sociological studies” part? hah! i started cracking up at “verbal communication/12345” and didn’t stop until i got to “herbal tea”. was that really contributed by our favorite curmudgeonly Dawg. ‘cuz, damn, that wasn’t just impressive, it was freakin’ hysterical.

did i mention i loveloveloved this post? or you and/or your friendly cohort? or ALL you kids for making yesterday sooooooooooo special?? suffice to say i do, i do, and i do!! 🙂

Comment by snuppy

OK, but tell the truth. At Keflavik the plane was parked on a fire hydrant.

Comment by Walela

snuppy, thank you for teh both of us. Yes, my cohort was Doug in this case, he kindly offered to assist me and I thought it would be fun to have both a female and a male voice in this 🙂 He’s hysterical!

Walela, this better have nothing to do with women’s parking, but rather that her co-pilot needed to mark his territory! Woof!

Comment by Penguin

by the way, my veryverysmart sister decided to get her pilot’s license while her veryverysmart hubby got his doctorate (after which, she went on to get her own damn doctorate, thankyouverymuch) and she was fabulous. well, most of the time…

she did her first “solo” flight on Hallowe’en, and listened to everyone else in the air calling in to the tower make Werewolf and/or ghost noises — until she became so distracted she got lost. so then she had to call the tower to tell them she didn’t know where she was. (“Uh, tower? Yeah, I’m up here flying solo for the first time, and I’m lost That’s right, Roger, i said lost. Aieeeeeee. Please tell me how to get back over the airport before I start flying “so low” I’m driving.”) fortunately, in the area she lived in at the time, the ground was flat, and the Kmart easy to recognize. that’s right, she had to reorient herself via large markets. oh yeah, once she accidentally bumped into a hanger with the tip of the plane’s wing while taxiing, but that’s only because she got bad directions (seriously, the guy told her to make a sharp turn, and she did.)

still, she was terrific, and i never worried about flying with her. not even on the day we were making a hop from San Francisco to Woodlake, and she discovered mid-flight that we were “kind of” out of gas. oy.

did i mention she’s a doctor? and veryverysmart? 😉

Comment by snuppy

i agree, Doug’s addition helped balance out this post, nicely! and now i’m just laughing at thoughts of that male pilot “marking his territory”. hahahahahahaha. 🙂

Comment by snuppy

Whattya get when you cross a Penguin with a Dawg? A fun Snark post!

FYI, the results of a psych study I once read suggest that men can accept women as pilots, provided they’re kinda ugly.

(I had nothing to do with this, as I was in the control group.)

Comment by al

I don’t believe that there are many natural differences between male and female, other than the sex organs. But there are certainly some important differences. Mostly it’s upbringing and society doing the dirty work that makes men the things they are. They do cause the wars,and most violence, etc. Just sayin’.

If women are such bad drivers, how come most accidents involve MEN?

Good post.

Comment by tlp

“If the world were a logical place, men would ride side-saddle.” Rita Mae Brown

And more women would be pilots. I ain’t ascared of no box cutter.

Comment by tlp

Penguin, I believe I was told that there are structural differences between men’s and women’s brains. Is this true?

And I have ZERO problems with women pilots… because I know I can take over for those difficult parts like landing and parking. 😉

Comment by I Dive At Night

Ahem. To the forever young and lovely TLP:

Blah blah blah guys cause wars and violence blah blah… Hey! it wasn’t some guy’s face that launched a thousand ships.

(Everybody knows Hitler was a cross-dresser. Or was that Hoover…? Oh, never mind.)

Comment by al

snuppy, your sister is smart, smart people make mistakes…wanna see my own list? *grins* and yes, that was a good comeback, wasn’t it? And it is hard to top the dawg sometimes 🙂

al, really…I think that might be true for many competitive work environments, women that are less attractive than our blonde, hourglass shaped stereotype, seem to get more respect, probably based on the assumption that they did not sleep their way into the position and therefore must have a few neurons banging together 🙂 (these puns just keep on coming!)

TLP, most accident sare caused by males between 18-25…when testosterone, boyish stupidity and show-off symptoms seem to be overwheliming. A study of women and men at teh age of 40-50 revealed that there are no major differences in driving skills. By that time men have gotten over most of their hormones and women have gotten used to sit behind the wheel, so their original hesitancy disappears.

Of course, I have not supervised any of these studies 🙂

Ok, penguin back to class, I love it that we have a computer room, right here at the hospital now!

Comment by Penguin

Oh, I forgot:

“Head on over to humor-blogs.com, where 60% of the men dress right and the women aren’t very funny.”

Comment by al

A female pilot!

My understanding is that in their brains men and women are as similar as chandeliers and coffee makers.

One quiestion, though, it is the female or the male group that is supposed to answer question No.6?

Comment by ariel

Morgan, I am not quite there yet…I am not sure about teh anatomical structure being different, teh brain activity however in each structure is very different. Maybe soem size-difference sas well…
Did you know that an adult human being had 206 bones, but children have more than 300? I have to know all their names:) Lucky me!

Al, way to stand up for the other half of this species :)And Al, we are a part of Humor-blogs as well…no reason, just pointing it out 🙂

ariel, I think if a guy presses a paper into your hand, one of the questions asking for your number, you’d smash that thing in his face and proceed unmoved 🙂

Comment by Penguin

You people have a real problem with science, don’t you?

Comment by Walela

Oh, okay. There are huge natural differences between men and women. There. I said it.

Women are just naturally smarter and nicer. We live longer too. Plus we don’t pee on the floor. Most importantly we have more orgasms. You guys are just pitiful in that regard. Other than that, we’re just like you men, only prettier.

Comment by tlp

I have no wish to lower myself to equality with males, thank you! What were the women’s libbers thinking? We had men totally convinced to do all the work while we sat home polishing our nails and watching soaps. (Okay, I don’t watch TV, but my point is ….)

Comment by QuillDancer

Great post, and wonderful picture:) I’ve never had a female captain on the air OR on a cruise ship. Ha! Cruise ships are such male-run affairs. That’s a tradition that goes way back. But I’m off the trail.
This subject reminds me of a nonfiction book called As Nature Made Him, about a boy who was raised as a girl from infancy–and it didn’t work.(He’d been castrated in an accident, as a baby) I suspect that the culture-biology importance ratio may vary with the person. If that makes any sense.

Comment by actonbell


This gal could be a navigator already.

Comment by tlp

Walela, not that I know. I cnaðt say I am very partial to it though 🙂

TLP, if ever I wanna become a feminist…I’ll climb up that hill to your house and get our commandments 🙂

Quilly, those were the times…here I am 50 years later…trying to live my life…what the hell is all that about? It is so much easier to live it for soemone else! *opens her fridge and notice nobody lives here that would put bacon in it* *take out a jar of chocolate instead and wonders if she shoudl whip cream*

actonbell, It makes perfect sense! I know about that baby (and teh doctor’s accident as well) If we are talking about the same baby, it underwent hormone injections in adulthood…re-changed to manhood and is married now…are we talking about the same man??? This is a wonderful case for the significance of gentics! I guess testosterone was hard to overcome in this one 🙂

Comment by Penguin

LOL on the evolution cartoon.
While I don’t disagree with the 1977 study and its implications, there have been a lot of studies lately that show very early and persistent differences between the sexes.
That was funny, Doug. I don’t mind a little herbal tea now and then, but the rest of the “female” part is just icky.

Comment by weirsdo

I wouldn’t mind a female pilot. It’s the male stewardesses that freak me out.

Comment by Diesel

weirsdo, absolutely and I by no means menat to underplay that role, but in my mind applied culture enforces the biological differences immensely. What’s tehf irst question we ask when a baby is born…Boy or Girl? and our mindset goes from there. Never heard anybody ask if it had all its 11 fingers…I don’t mean to say that a baby comes tabula rasa into the world, but at that age I guess the only thing that differentiates them-apart from teh obvious constructional differences in teh lower section is the pink or blue hat…otherwise teh eat, sleep and poop. *has a hard look at herself and realizes not much has changed*

Diesel, perfect gender role application…why would a guy serve you food, and how come a woman can handle a stick?

Comment by Penguin

While I’m sure that we women can do anything men can do, we will probably approach it from a different angle, not a better angle, just a different one. The question is, do we want to do everything men do? The first thing I thought of after reading this post was the boy raised as a girl that Actionbell mentioned. Not only did the experiment fail, it seems he finally committed suicide. There have been many similar cases, and the majority didn’t turn out well. In the past, boys born without a penis were usually raised as girls, but most of them didn’t adapt well. Up until around 18 months babies behave similarly, but that changes afterward, regardless of the environment they are raised in. (Sorry, it’s just the psychologist in me that can’t help but come out). Loved the cartoon, that was a great laugh for a Thursday morning (yes, I am very late, as usual).

Comment by Theresa

Hey! Maybe you think that boy and girl amoebae look and act alike …!! 😉

Women have always been able to do more than men. When’s the last time you saw a guy gestate? Or lactate? Hmmm? In fact, according to some people’s thinking, it’s precisely because guys can’t do this stuff that they get pushed into doing all the heavy lifting, ditch digging, gun toting, all that. Guys are expendable. One guy can repopulate the planet. He’d be a little tired, but he’d pass out happy. One gal would have a wee bit more difficulty in making up a people shortage. Curling up in front of the telly curing toenail polish evolved from the need to protect reproductive investment.

So now we have a world in which most households have to have at least two full-time jobs in order to make ends meet. And this is an advance on civilization how?


Comment by oceallaigh

Yeah, funny thing, feminism. Now women are working twice as hard as they did before it. Somehow, I get the feeling that feminism was the brilliant idea of some guy out there who thought it would be nifty if his wife did all the work around the house and brought home the bacon.

Comment by Theresa

Actually, Theresa, I suggest a close rereading of James Thurber’s The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. I suspect feminism arose from the sentiment that, like Mitty, men are at least as useless as they appear, and, if you wish a job done right, you’d better do it yourself.

So now, a good percentage of male college students flunk out ’cause they’re incapable of doing anything but sitting in their dorm rooms playing video games. Sigh.

Comment by oceallaigh

Theresa, I clearly meant to draw a distinction between sex and gender…and it was only gender I was talking about. Although the enis is lacking, doesn’t mean that the testosterone level and all otehr hormones in his body are gone, just some chunk of muscle…so his brain gets the same messages…which I guess in turn is another argument for the biological view.
And sweety, for the longets time, I have now felt that emancipation just gave us twoce teh work and made even bigger couch potatoes out of our male counter parts…

Oc, in that regard I think you are right, but physically you are stronger, you run faster and have the emotional age of a napkin. Which makes you good hunters, persuers of careers and if something matters you will drive it all teh way through.

Comment by Penguin

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