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Akisa
2013-12-22, 03:49 AM
Lets say we evolve/created to be hermaphrodites or basically one gender. Each person could impregnate or become pregnant. Would gender roles be developed, if so in what way? Would stuff like damsel in distress even develop?

Killer Angel
2013-12-22, 04:32 AM
Lets say we evolve/created to be hermaphrodites or basically one gender. Each person could impregnate or become pregnant. Would gender roles be developed, if so in what way? Would stuff like damsel in distress even develop?

With only one gender, I doubt we would have a thing as "gender roles".
"Damsel in distress", falls in the same cathegory... the trope would be covered by help the helpless (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/WeHelpTheHelpless), or similar.

Coidzor
2013-12-22, 04:56 AM
You'd still need division of labor, and pregnancy would still be physiologically inconvenient, so there's still... that... Can't think of anything else, offhand, that would remain intact.

Granted, my recollection of species that have true hermaphroditism is limited to snails and sea slugs, but I can see there potentially being some kind of stigma to being the impregnated rather than the impregnating.

Might very well keep pair-bonding from developing or at least developing into a clear marriage-analogue.

I see two main ways sexual ethics about consent might develop, either sexual assault and misconduct would be very harshly dealt with and a deep taboo or it'd be part of maintaining one's social standing to be able to stand against all comers.

Spiryt
2013-12-22, 05:03 AM
Seeing that it's pretty much not occurring things among mammals, it's hard to speculate.

But seeing like pregnancy and all looks in primates and other large mammals, I really suspect that some kind of division would in fact stay rather strong...

Simply, some would mostly to completely stick to either role, as performing both doesn't really strike as optimal - would consume a lot of more resources, physical and psychical energy and effort as well.

Probably some early socialization could group people, along with some pheromones/hormones released by adults to 'shape' the offspring.

Instead of just releasing the hormones in the womb.

SowZ
2013-12-22, 05:34 AM
Star Trek TNG examined this with great care in one of their alien species. After much examination from a physiological, philosophical, and anthropological level, it was finally concluded that everyone is lesbians.

Akisa
2013-12-22, 05:40 AM
Star Trek TNG examined this with great care in one of their alien species. After much examination from a physiological, philosophical, and anthropological level, it was finally concluded that everyone is lesbians.

Hmmm what episode is that I have the DVD collection (that I have yet to watch, as it was a gift and I have never watched Star Trek aside for occasional late night showings.)

Kalmageddon
2013-12-22, 05:42 AM
Seeing that it's pretty much not occurring things among mammals, it's hard to speculate.

But seeing like pregnancy and all looks in primates and other large mammals, I really suspect that some kind of division would in fact stay rather strong...

Simply, some would mostly to completely stick to either role, as performing both doesn't really strike as optimal - would consume a lot of more resources, physical and psychical energy and effort as well.

Probably some early socialization could group people, along with some pheromones/hormones released by adults to 'shape' the offspring.

Instead of just releasing the hormones in the womb.

I agree.
Also, gender would probably form on the basis of those that like to take the "active" role and those that prefer the "passive" one. Sure, with today's mentality this seems unlikely, but if the human race evolved from the beginning with this trait I think our need to have clear social distinctions would take over.
So yeah, my guess is that society would be different yet it would work by the same principles.

Proud Tortoise
2013-12-22, 02:04 PM
I think that society would be pretty much completely different. So much everything is based on gender that the world would be totally different.

SiuiS
2013-12-22, 02:27 PM
Lets say we evolve/created to be hermaphrodites or basically one gender. Each person could impregnate or become pregnant. Would gender roles be developed, if so in what way? Would stuff like damsel in distress even develop?

Yes, just not along physiological lines. If humans woke up tomorrow having always been physically hermaphroditic, there would still be wiring for differences on preferred self and presentation. Even removing that however, gender simply means kind, or type. Damsel In distress would still arise, but instead of "boy, us men sure have to save those women, huh?" It would be "boy, us white people/educated people/working class people sure have to save those nonwhite people/uneducated people/white colar snobs, huh?"

The question is 'if you remove an important but unassociated characteristic from humans would they still divide themselves?' And the answer is 'yes'.


Star Trek TNG examined this with great care in one of their alien species. After much examination from a physiological, philosophical, and anthropological level, it was finally concluded that everyone is lesbians.

No, no. You're thinking Mass Effect.

erikun
2013-12-22, 03:14 PM
On the one hand, gender roles wouldn't develop because there would not be different genders. On the other hand, there's always another reason to be unfairly biased against another person.

My first thought (especially if we're talking about humanity) is that the bias would occur between people who have become pregnant/had children and those who didn't. If anything, it might be stronger than the current male/female comparison we have now, as most people having children would be doing it from a concious choice. That could possibly reinforce the "stay at home, raise the children, need to be defended" stereotype alongside the "dependable breadwinner/guardian" stereotype.

In short, the problem is human bias, no genders. Removing genders doesn't remove the bias.

Coidzor
2013-12-22, 03:45 PM
Yes, just not along physiological lines. If humans woke up tomorrow having always been physically hermaphroditic, there would still be wiring for differences on preferred self and presentation. Even removing that however, gender simply means kind, or type. Damsel In distress would still arise, but instead of "boy, us men sure have to save those women, huh?" It would be "boy, us white people/educated people/working class people sure have to save those nonwhite people/uneducated people/white colar snobs, huh?"

Racial and class divides would tend to suggest something other than that, human nature being human nature aside from the whole lack of gender thing. :smallconfused:


The question is 'if you remove an important but unassociated characteristic from humans would they still divide themselves?' And the answer is 'yes'.

More like, "how would they divide themselves in the absence of gender?" Which is probably unanswerable beyond throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks.


No, no. You're thinking Mass Effect.

Ass Effect, even. :smallcool:

Spiryt
2013-12-22, 03:46 PM
I agree.
Also, gender would probably form on the basis of those that like to take the "active" role and those that prefer the "passive" one. Sure, with today's mentality this seems unlikely, but if the human race evolved from the beginning with this trait I think our need to have clear social distinctions would take over.
So yeah, my guess is that society would be different yet it would work by the same principles.

I guess it could be somehow postponed -

'Final' sex choice could occur during what we call puberty. Final hormonal/social shaping.

It's all purely speculative bro-science, but seeing as there are generally no hermaphrodites with more complicated breeding than snails. Who copulate, lay eggs, and that's it, basically.

Pretty much all mammals, especially large ones, have very strong sexual dimorphism and roles connected to such - so going into the other extreme of all specimens being involved in both child conceiving and childbearing would be way too difficult and resource consuming.

In most intelligent social animals, big part of socialization is acquiring social role that allows successful breeding, after all.

SowZ
2013-12-22, 03:49 PM
I guess it could be somehow postponed -

'Final' sex choice could occur during what we call puberty. Final hormonal/social shaping.

It's all purely speculative bro-science, but seeing as there are generally no hermaphrodites with more complicated breeding than snails. Who copulate, lay eggs, and that's it, basically.

Pretty much all mammals, especially large ones, have very strong sexual dimorphism and roles connected to such - so going into the other extreme of all specimens being involved in both child conceiving and childbearing would be way too difficult and resource consuming.

In most intelligent social animals, big part of socialization is acquiring social role that allows successful breeding, after all.

I disagree. If it is true that a passive-active role would develop, I see no reason at all why it wouldn't vary from partner to partner. As far as who has a greater leadership role, it happens even with set genders. In one relationship, Bob may take a more active role. In another, a slightly more submissive one.

Spiryt
2013-12-22, 04:03 PM
I disagree. If it is true that a passive-active role would develop, I see no reason at all why it wouldn't vary from partner to partner. As far as who has a greater leadership role, it happens even with set genders. In one relationship, Bob may take a more active role. In another, a slightly more submissive one.

Eh, I wasn't even thinking about 'submissiveness', that's somehow secondary indeed.

General reproductive strategies are way more complicated than that, from deers to hamsters.

In hamsters males may be more 'submissive' and weaker, generally, which doesn't change the fact that other things stay the same - inseminating the female has completely different demands than getting inseminated, bearing and rearing young.

DJ Yung Crunk
2013-12-22, 04:13 PM
This board's fascination and fixation on gender roles and gender identity continues to astound me. Although it could just be that I'm very much a traditionalist on the matter.

SowZ
2013-12-22, 04:20 PM
Eh, I wasn't even thinking about 'submissiveness', that's somehow secondary indeed.

General reproductive strategies are way more complicated than that, from deers to hamsters.

In hamsters males may be more 'submissive' and weaker, generally, which doesn't change the fact that other things stay the same - inseminating the female has completely different demands than getting inseminated, bearing and rearing young.

My point is that those sorts of roles traditionally defined as the masculine and feminine roles can shift based on who you are with. In an androgynous society,I see no reason why people who would usually want be the child bearer might not want that with someone else. Shoot, I don't see why two people who the idea of childbearing appeals to couldn't share childbearing.

Spiryt
2013-12-22, 04:21 PM
This board's fascination and fixation on gender roles and gender identity continues to astound me. Although it could just be that I'm very much a traditionalist on the matter.

Politics and religions are banned, and trolling/flaming is kept at absolute minimum.

So there's not much options left. :smallbiggrin::smallwink:

Mr.Silver
2013-12-22, 04:28 PM
The Left Hand of Darkness is a book that may be of interest to the OP. Although the hermaphroditism in that setting is a bit more specific, on account of there only being a specific period of the fear in which humans are fertile.


This board's fascination and fixation on gender roles and gender identity continues to astound me.
Yeah. So much so that one would almost think those are things that play a large role in various people's lives and their relations with wider society or something.



Although it could just be that I'm very much a traditionalist on the matter.
In what way? Because I've seen that term used for a few different viewpoints in the past.

DJ Yung Crunk
2013-12-22, 04:36 PM
Yeah. So much so that one would almost think those are things that play a large role in various people's lives and their relations with wider society or something.

If every message board or every corner of the internet was focused on it as this particular message board I'd be inclined to agree. I very explicitly made it clear that it was this particular board which emphasized way more than usual.

You know what else this board is into? Passive aggressive responses.


In what way? Because I've seen that term used for a few different viewpoints in the past.

Ah, but see, while I enjoy a good internet punchup as much as the next man, I'm aware my opinions are rather in opposition of GITP's consensus, and I'd rather not invite the negative attention. Open hostility does tend to be taboo here, so why stir up trouble?


Politics and religions are banned, and trolling/flaming is kept at absolute minimum.

So there's not much options left. :smallbiggrin::smallwink:

Really? If I don't know where everyone's politics are how do I know who to outrageously misrepresent and take out of context? Man, this blows.

BWR
2013-12-22, 05:37 PM
Ursula leGuin's Book "The left hand of darkness" has a hermaphrodite society. They have hormonal cycles that take them through male-neuter-female-neuter. It was kind of fun. People who are stuck in one sex all their lives are pitied and slightly reviled.

SowZ
2013-12-22, 06:07 PM
If every message board or every corner of the internet was focused on it as this particular message board I'd be inclined to agree. I very explicitly made it clear that it was this particular board which emphasized way more than usual.

You know what else this board is into? Passive aggressive responses.



Ah, but see, while I enjoy a good internet punchup as much as the next man, I'm aware my opinions are rather in opposition of GITP's consensus, and I'd rather not invite the negative attention. Open hostility does tend to be taboo here, so why stir up trouble?



Really? If I don't know where everyone's politics are how do I know who to outrageously misrepresent and take out of context? Man, this blows.

Yeah, people can be overly sensitive sometimes.

dehro
2013-12-22, 06:22 PM
I don't think it's really a secret that this forum has a substantial share, possibly more so than average, of members who are non heterosexually oriented (I'm sure there's a better way to include everybody in one definition, but I can't think of one now)... and that it has a longstanding tradition of welcoming debate, openess and acceptance, especially towards those who are at a point of their life where they are struggling with the issue. I have noticed that several people come to this forum pretty much exclusively for that reason... because this place acts as something of a safe haven for them... so.. I don't really see any reason to be surprised about it if the occasional sexuality themed thread pops up.
Since I'm pretty sure you've been around long enough to notice these tings too.. I'm left wondering who is being passive agressive here.

Proud Tortoise
2013-12-22, 06:29 PM
If every message board or every corner of the internet was focused on it as this particular message board I'd be inclined to agree. I very explicitly made it clear that it was this particular board which emphasized way more than usual.

You know what else this board is into? Passive aggressive responses.

I would say that response qualifies as passive-aggressive.

Also, the fact that there isn't flaming or rampant name calling makes it much less likely that aggressive traditionalists will attack people for their views on the matter. Also, it's a role-playing forum... so there's that.

Ravens_cry
2013-12-22, 06:32 PM
OK, play nice, everyone. It's rather an interesting question, it's just hard to really know the answer given how much gender roles have permeated our culture from the relatively small starting point of our varying biological inheritances. It's a lot easier to imagine what would happen if this happened overnight to our existing society. After a significant period of chaos and soul searching, some people would go back to their old habits, some people would experiment outside of their old bounds, many would be both, some would find the whole thing sublime, while others would find it utter torture.
Imagine you were a post-op transsexual and you suddenly woke up with . . . it, back. :smalleek:
Personally, I'd rather be a shapeshifter than a full time hermaphrodite.

dehro
2013-12-22, 06:35 PM
on a more practical note...
do we get boobs? because boobs are important!

BWR
2013-12-22, 06:38 PM
Us guys can get boobs too. Quite easily, without any surgery. Mine are coming along nicely (for certain values of 'nice').

DJ Yung Crunk
2013-12-22, 06:38 PM
Since I'm pretty sure you've been around long enough to notice these tings too.. I'm left wondering who is being passive agressive here.

Well the premise of my inquiry was that I had been around long enough to notice it was a hot topic. "Why" had eluded me, though.

Hey, two people can't be passive aggressive at once?


I would say that response qualifies as passive-aggressive.

Oh absolutely. What's your point?


Also, the fact that there isn't flaming or rampant name calling makes it much less likely that aggressive traditionalists will attack people for their views on the matter.

I guess. Makes sense, I suppose.


Also, it's a role-playing forum... so there's that.

You're gonna have to elaborate on that one.

Ravens_cry
2013-12-22, 06:42 PM
on a more practical note...
do we get boobs? because boobs are important!
If they did, it'd probably go down something like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwdggU_bLiw).:smalltongue:

Proud Tortoise
2013-12-22, 08:31 PM
You're gonna have to elaborate on that one.

Well, a lot of people (me included) like playing characters of the opposite gender. It can certainly turn your mind to the subject.

Hylleddin
2013-12-22, 08:35 PM
No, no. You're thinking Mass Effect.

Mass Effect did it too, but I think they're refering to the J'naii (http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/J%27naii) from the episode The Outcast (http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/The_Outcast_%28episode%29). Though, Asari are a better fit for "hermaphroditic lesbians".

SowZ
2013-12-22, 08:56 PM
Mass Effect did it too, but I think they're refering to the J'naii (http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/J%27naii) from the episode The Outcast (http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/The_Outcast_%28episode%29). Though, Asari are a better fit for "hermaphroditic lesbians".

Though Asari were
A. pretty clearly trying to be women and
B. weren't actually lesbians. In fact, two Asari getting together is often looked down upon similarly to how homosexuality is looked down upon. Asari are more accurately described as literal Pansexuals

DJ Yung Crunk
2013-12-22, 08:58 PM
Well, a lot of people (me included) like playing characters of the opposite gender. It can certainly turn your mind to the subject.

Oh, right. Fair enough. I do that too, actually.

Lord Raziere
2013-12-22, 11:07 PM
This board's fascination and fixation on gender roles and gender identity continues to astound me. Although it could just be that I'm very much a traditionalist on the matter.

ha! this is nothing compared to when you get rpg.net started on this kind of thing.

there? instant 50-page long threads of nothing but discussion about gender stuff,
just miles of discussion about it. this is pretty tame in comparison. :smallamused:

warty goblin
2013-12-23, 01:01 AM
This board's fascination and fixation on gender roles and gender identity continues to astound me. Although it could just be that I'm very much a traditionalist on the matter.
As the internet goes, this isn't even close to obsessed. I'd go so far as to rating it a healthy and strong interest, but quite a distance from obsessed. We're not obsessed, are we Precious?


If every message board or every corner of the internet was focused on it as this particular message board I'd be inclined to agree. I very explicitly made it clear that it was this particular board which emphasized way more than usual.

Yeah, not really, no. For one thing I don't recall any serious conflicts regarding pronouns. You know you're into the deep end of the gender pool when somebody announcing the birth of their son/daughter is greeted by cries to not gender the poor child and let it develop into whatever point along the gender spectrum it wants.


You know what else this board is into? Passive aggressive responses.

Precious doesn't let us be aggressive, oh no, we are nice.


Really? If I don't know where everyone's politics are how do I know who to outrageously misrepresent and take out of context? Man, this blows.
I try for a uniform level of offensiveness personally.

On the actual topic, since pregnancy is still a thing under this, what about hermaphroditic egg layers? Now you can get to some interesting places, since both partners could lay eggs, and incubation is an embarrassingly easy to share task.

SiuiS
2013-12-23, 02:06 AM
Racial and class divides would tend to suggest something other than that, human nature being human nature aside from the whole lack of gender thing. :smallconfused:


More, I was pointing out that ended doesn't mean what a lot of the replies seem to think it does, that it's hard wired in much the same way Type A or Type B personalities supposedly are but also separate from sexual dimorphism, and that the trope of Damsel In Distress is much less about gender norms along lines of sexual dimorphism and much more about the strong group conditioning the weak group to remain that way for the perks.



More like, "how would they divide themselves in the absence of gender?" Which is probably unanswerable beyond throwing things at the wall and seeing what sticks.

Well, not totally unanswerable. It's somewhat... Juvenile? Naive? I'm trying to find the least insulting word for it, so apologies, but we are using the arm-chair anthropology notion that despite this change, their society is as close to our own as possible.

Although that may be less a part of the question and more decades of conditioning and bias, come to think of it. I even chastised Soras for it on another thread, so... Yes, if we are shooting back a million years, merging the sexes and then progressing forward, then there's no way to know. No way to discuss it either, actually! I'm pretty certain gender roles come coupled and reinforced with primitive religion.



Ass Effect, even. :smallcool:

That would be terrible, it's a game based on a yo momma joke.
"So tell me again how we exceed light speed?"
"Well, when a body of sufficient mass exists in a single point, it causes a curvature in space-time, like—"
"We're friends, Garrus. Don't make me hurt you."
"—Your mother. I regret nothing!"


If every message board or every corner of the internet was focused on it as this particular message board I'd be inclined to agree. I very explicitly made it clear that it was this particular board which emphasized way more than usual.

Not so. It's been on the rise the last year or so, but before that, not so much. It's just a reflection of social trends and the fact that there aren't many other places to bring it up. Tumblr or twitter will get you flamed into oblivion, and you can't even start such talks elsewhere. Here however, it's a commonly visible enough topic that folks see they can ask their own questions. So they do.

Three, four years ago, that wasn't quite so big though.



You know what else this board is into? Passive aggressive responses.


You know, I don't believe that.

For one, Internet culture for the last ten years or so makes that about the standard humor value. That doesn't register as passive aggressive, just snarky. As well, other areas tend to allow a lot more straight aggression, so the over all amount of antagonism is greater, and any perception that there's more passive aggression here may be true, but only because of the greater amount of active aggression in the wider antagonism pool.


That said, aye, it's almost an art form in some circles.



Ah, but see, while I enjoy a good internet punchup as much as the next man, I'm aware my opinions are rather in opposition of GITP's consensus, and I'd rather not invite the negative attention. Open hostility does tend to be taboo here, so why stir up trouble?

Interesting. I can respect that.



Also, the fact that there isn't flaming or rampant name calling makes it much less likely that aggressive traditionalists will attack people for their views on the matter. ... so there's that.

I am worried and confused at this statement, in that it seems to say that traditionalists (ignoring that traditionalist has little inherent value because it must be attached to something to be traditional about) are bad people. I would hope that whatever our personal misgivings on a subject, we as sophonts capable of wisdom and enlightenment would extend the courtesy to one another of not assuming that any one person fits neatly into a box and that any one box cannot be neatly summed and dismissed as good or bad and then left alone.


Mass Effect did it too, but I think they're refering to the J'naii (http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/J%27naii) from the episode The Outcast (http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/The_Outcast_%28episode%29). Though, Asari are a better fit for "hermaphroditic lesbians".

My, that is certainly, uh, a thing.
Yep.



I try for a uniform level of offensiveness personally.

On the actual topic, since pregnancy is still a thing under this, what about hermaphroditic egg layers? Now you can get to some interesting places, since both partners could lay eggs, and incubation is an embarrassingly easy to share task.

Huh. How tongue in cheek is this?

And I dunno. I think getting to egg laying moves too far from the human base.

Kalmageddon
2013-12-23, 05:03 AM
If they did, it'd probably go down something like this (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwdggU_bLiw).:smalltongue:

Hey, that's sexist!
Oh yeah, shake those melons...

Skeppio
2013-12-23, 05:06 AM
You know what else this board is into? Passive aggressive responses.

It says you signed up in November 2012. It took you a year to figure what I quoted out? :smallsigh:

dehro
2013-12-23, 05:27 AM
Hey, that's sexist!
Oh yeah, shake those melons...

yes, but... boobs!

I don't think I'd be very good at the hermaphroditing..

ufo
2013-12-23, 06:01 AM
Hi kids, you ready for a lesson in the formation of gender roles and other oppressive elements of our society? (http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1884/origin-family/)

Basically, it has been observed that in earlier and contemporary primitive* cultures child care was/is largely a collective responsibility within each society. So I'm guessing in this hypothetical sexless society pregnancy would largely be regarded as a practical task to be carried out, either by those most fitting to do it, or those who (for some reason) would like the experience.

<3

*"Primitive" as defined by a Western European middle class healthcare-addict. No negative connotations intended.

dehro
2013-12-23, 06:28 AM
that's another idea.. I'm pretty sure most men are happy in the knowledge they'll never have to try and pass a bowling ball.. I mean, give birth...
what happens to the maternal instinct/desire for childbearing once we go the hermaphrodite way? does it get spread out? do former women lose at least part of their instinct on this matter? do they jump at the chance not to have to go through that ordeal and leave it to someone who wants to, leaving us with progressively less people inclined towards getting pregnant?

it seems to me that a civilisation that started out as hermaphrodite would have found a balance to make it work and skipped nicely around gender-normative roles altogether. A world in which I, you and everybody else suddenly wakes up equipped like a swiss army knife would rapidly descend into chaos. cultural traditions, social conventions, religion, the legal system, ... none of these things are prepared for such an occurrence and none of them change quickly enough to keep up with the incredible stress this change would bring to the system.

ufo
2013-12-23, 08:25 AM
Absolutely, for the purpose of this thought exersice (sp?) I assumed we were speaking of a human-like species with a sexless origin :smallsmile:

If every person, as you put it, woke up equipped as a swiss amy knife (lol'd) I can't imagine it going anywhere but apocalypse, just as any sudden radical change would in an unstable society. It's definitely an interesting idea, but the scenario is also very much something completely different!

banthesun
2013-12-23, 09:31 AM
Potentially, we could have seen a greater degree of sexual freedom earlier in our history. Society could be very different when 100% of the population could be seen as potential sexual partners (instead of just the portion of the gender(s) you're interested in who are interested in your gender). Perhaps there wouldn't even be an expectation of partnering up. When everyone can carry/raise babies equally well and potentially impregnate others as well there seems to be more room treat the entire society as a family.

As for who would carry the babies for a couple (or any other family configuration), there's the possibility of alternating pregnancies (or both impregnating each other, if the society is supportive enough). Perhaps society would even consider having a baby something everyone's expected to do at least once, perhaps as a rite of adulthood or something.

Just some ideas I'm throwing round, since it's an interesting thought experiment. It's a bit late here, so please excuse any nonsense in my post, I wanted to throw some ideas out there, and I'll probably come back to clean it up tomorrow.

tomandtish
2013-12-23, 11:56 AM
If we’ve truly evolved as a hermaphroditic species, then you simply have (for sake of convenience) “Donor” (the one providing sperm) and “Carrier” (the one providing the egg and carrying the child). This (of course) assumes that we’ve basically stayed the same species we are except having both reproductive systems. (All my comments are based on the assumption that we’ve turned out as close as possible to what we are with this exception).

As such, while you may have individuals who prefer one role over the other, as a species we’d probably generally prefer to take both during our life. Pregnancy produces way too many hormone changes. As such, if you consistently had sizeable portions of the population taking one role or the other exclusively, we’d never have developed into hermaphrodites in the first place (or at the very least we’d be evolving away from it). Therefore the “norm” would be to take both roles at some point during your life.

Those who couldn’t be functional in both fashions might be subjects of pity or scorn (“hey, let’s laugh at tomandtish because he lacks man parts!). Choosing to be exclusively a donor or a carrier might be seen as a curiosity (but no big deal), or it could be seen as a major deviancy and become a significant hot topic (but let’s make sure we don’t make it one here).

There probably wouldn’t be any stigma for anyone raising a child, but would probably be increased scorn for those who didn’t help raise their child without good cause. Assuming we stay as a relatively monogamous species (a BIG if) and keep the institution of marriage, I see a lot of potential fights over child bearing. IN RL these days, couples may fight over who is going to stay home and care for the child after birth (if they want one parent to do so), but there’s no real room for argument which parent is going to have the child (assuming they want a biological child of their own). However, in our new scenario, since either can have the child, that could lead to some nasty arguments.

You’d see a lot of social changes that you might not expect. For example, there’s no longer men and women categories in sports, acting, bathrooms, clothing, etc. Since everyone is the same in that regard, anyone can play for the Seattle Seahawks, be nominated for Best Actor, or walk into the closest bathroom. We all have the same parts (barring accident, surgery, or birth defect). You might see more categories based on size and age, but maybe not (remember, we’ve lost the inherent size difference).

Finally, some other thoughts. Women, you might get to know the joys of emptying your bladder while standing up (it is really convenient and saves on toilet paper). Of course snagging yourself when going commando and getting kicked between the legs both really hurt.

Men, welcome to the joys of breasts (including bra shopping, and lower back pain if you are too well endowed). But even more importantly, welcome to the joy of a menstrual cycle and labor pains. Needless to say, I think we badly lose in this exchange (and I’m sure it serves us right).

(I’m sure there are other “benefits” for both that I left out. It’s not an exhaustive list and is there for a little bit of semi-serious humor).

SiuiS
2013-12-23, 12:01 PM
what happens to the maternal instinct/desire for childbearing once we go the hermaphrodite way?

First, how much "maternal instinct" is actual instinct as opposed to socially conditioned behavioral expectations? Human beings have remarkably little in the way of instinct.

As for the desire for child bearing, a large number of men have it, and are just told that's weird and not to talk about it. I have only met maybe three handfuls of men who specifically wanted biological children in such a fashion that it was not a burden they would have to themselves go through.

Spiryt
2013-12-23, 12:14 PM
First, how much "maternal instinct" is actual instinct as opposed to socially conditioned behavioral expectations? Human beings have remarkably little in the way of instinct.


That may be completely true, but that doesn't actually matter much - about every instinct in more 'complicated' animals is probably conditioned to large extent.

Taking small animal, and rearing it in some 'unconventional' way, one can change it's instincts into something weird.

Doesn't change the fact that basic insticts are still basic, even with regional variation - oxytocin and other hormones influenced 'maternal instinct is one of them.



As for the desire for child bearing, a large number of men have it, and are just told that's weird and not to talk about it. I have only met maybe three handfuls of men who specifically wanted biological children in such a fashion that it was not a burden they would have to themselves go through.

:smallconfused:

If 'bearing' means carrying in arms, then maybe, otherwise how the hell.

SiuiS
2013-12-23, 12:22 PM
What, you've never wanted something without form or explicit description? You've never wanted to fly, or breathe underwater? People want things contrary to their biology all the time. Your confusion is silly.

And you kind of make my point for me. "How does the ingrained and completely natural desire to gestate progeny change?" It doesn't, because that desire doesn't come from instinct.

Spiryt
2013-12-23, 12:48 PM
What, you've never wanted something without form or explicit description? You've never wanted to fly, or breathe underwater? People want things contrary to their biology all the time. Your confusion is silly.


I guess, although in this case something like 'imagining' would probably be better than 'desire'...

As I have no real 'desire' to fly,

I may imagine it,

but I cannot even imagine how should I actually try to do it,, and given opportunity I would actually tense and move away from the surface I could fall from, probably kneeling/becoming more stable as well, quite naturally, if not exactly instinctively - by exact definition of instinct.

"Desire" or 'drive' being something that organisms actually feel urge to do and do biologically - fill the stomach due to hunger, move away from fire due to burning, conceive children due to having ovum in your stomach - or having the seed in your testes.

So the confusion here comes from semantics I guess - since most people including me, cannot define and tell 'drive' from 'instinct' and 'reflex' that well, and good ol' scientist are generally far from agreeing on more complicated parts.



And you kind of make my point for me. "How does the ingrained and completely natural desire to gestate progeny change?" It doesn't, because that desire doesn't come from instinct.

Well, going back few posts, the point here would be that hypothetical, imagined hermaphrodite human would obviously have different set of instinct and drives.

So 'something' would happen to progeny desire, hell knows what, since whole scenario is complicated.

Akisa
2013-12-23, 01:24 PM
A world in which I, you and everybody else suddenly wakes up equipped like a swiss army knife would rapidly descend into chaos. cultural traditions, social conventions, religion, the legal system, ... none of these things are prepared for such an occurrence and none of them change quickly enough to keep up with the incredible stress this change would bring to the system.

Actually I posted this topic if civilization started hermaphrodite, not if everyone suddenly woke up as one. As such there wouldn't be a chaos of sudden change, instead culture would grow up as one gender.


Assuming we stay as a relatively monogamous species (a BIG if) and keep the institution of marriage, I see a lot of potential fights over child bearing.

So what makes you think we wouldn't become a monogamous species? As of right now we didn't start out being monogamous, as old text describe polygamy as something that happened, even Abraham practiced Polygamy through polygyny.

erikun
2013-12-23, 05:35 PM
Hi kids, you ready for a lesson in the formation of gender roles and other oppressive elements of our society? (http://www.marxists.org/archive/marx/works/1884/origin-family/)

Basically, it has been observed that in earlier and contemporary primitive* cultures child care was/is largely a collective responsibility within each society. So I'm guessing in this hypothetical sexless society pregnancy would largely be regarded as a practical task to be carried out, either by those most fitting to do it, or those who (for some reason) would like the experience.

<3

*"Primitive" as defined by a Western European middle class healthcare-addict. No negative connotations intended.
Without reading through all of that before posting, I would like to note that a lot of "primitive" cultures tend to be far smaller than most "civilized" cultures and so the shared-family responsibility may have less to do with culture and more to do with the impracticality of doing so in a large enough population.

That is, just because sharing the work of raising a child with family/neighbors makes sense in a small society, it doesn't mean that sharing the work of raising a child with family/neighbors makes sense in a large society. If my neighbor just knocked on my door and asked me to watch their child, I would likely refuse. This is because I don't really know them, and they don't really know me - a product of being a large community of individuals free to move about as they wish, completely independent of genders. A society of the same size would likely have the same situation.

Akisa
2013-12-23, 07:59 PM
I now have the urge to make a scifi story about this race, though I might do some fleshing out before I start.

tensai_oni
2013-12-24, 05:42 AM
I'm going to second people who said "read Left Hand of Darkness". It's an interesting, well thought up, well-written take on the subject, without offensive stereotyping or unfortunate implications (the main character, who is not a hermaphrodite but a human from Earth, is a bit sexist - but that's IC, and Le Guin clearly disagrees with him OOCly).

And even if you take that away, it's just a good book in general.

SiuiS
2013-12-24, 08:34 AM
I guess, although in this case something like 'imagining' would probably be better than 'desire'...

As I have no real 'desire' to fly

That would, I believe, put you in the minority – I know of and have heard of far and away many more, humans who crave flight as a thing they can do.



"Desire" or 'drive' being something that organisms actually feel urge to do and do biologically - fill the stomach due to hunger, move away from fire due to burning, conceive children due to having ovum in your stomach - or having the seed in your testes.

You're conflating things that needn't be conflated, though.

The question was about instincts innate to a gender. The answer is, there is no instinct innate to a gender. There is desire which comes from a social group with a capacity for an action being told literally constantly they are defined by that action. Everything else you've said is irrelevant to that.

There is also a very easy difference between reflex and not-reflex. A reflex is an impulse which hits the brain stem, not the brain, and is changeable but not controllable. Pulling away from fire is a reflex because sharp pain makes you flinch. Kicking when hit in the knee is reflex. Physical preparations for coitus are probably reflex. Wanting to gestate a fetus inside you? Not reflex. Not instinct. Purely socialized, and closer to cannibalism addiction than pulling away from fire.



So 'something' would happen to progeny desire, hell knows what, since whole scenario is complicated.

People wanting to conceive is often a cerebral thing. I want my child because of reasons I thought through, not because of some innate drive or instinct. It is an easy if heuristic distinction.

Birds fly south in winter on instinct. People do not desire babies on instinct. They probably make babies on instinct! Completely separate though.

Kalmageddon
2013-12-24, 08:56 AM
stuff about instinct and biology

Don't go there, not on this forum.
Won't end well.

ufo
2013-12-24, 09:10 AM
Without reading through all of that before posting, I would like to note that a lot of "primitive" cultures tend to be far smaller than most "civilized" cultures and so the shared-family responsibility may have less to do with culture and more to do with the impracticality of doing so in a large enough population.

That is, just because sharing the work of raising a child with family/neighbors makes sense in a small society, it doesn't mean that sharing the work of raising a child with family/neighbors makes sense in a large society. If my neighbor just knocked on my door and asked me to watch their child, I would likely refuse. This is because I don't really know them, and they don't really know me - a product of being a large community of individuals free to move about as they wish, completely independent of genders. A society of the same size would likely have the same situation.

I can't blame you for not taking the time to read it this instant. But I implore you to do so at a time when you feel like it :smallsmile:

Basically, (and this is all based on my personal understanding of human nature and history, and thus represents my own opinion) I find it reasonable to believe that this hypothetical species* - with no blatant natural division amongst them, and the intelligence to be self-conscious and altruistic - in their pre-civilization state would handle child care and production in communion. When (RL) humans developed agriculture, private property was invented to divide land and establish a system which made sure a plot of land remained in the same family by passing it unto the patriarch of the family.

However, in a situation where there is no division amongst genders and no other clear distinction between Carrier/Donor (which is either a matter of choice or responsibility - either way, they are probably considered equal, and the roles could change) the historical evolution into monogamy and the concepts of private property won't result in a stable society for Hymans, because there isn't a reliable way for a part of the species to distinguish themselves and gain privilege to own and inherit.

Thus, I think that down the line, in the hymans' more developed society the concept of family isn't defined by biological heritage, but which local culture and network you're a part of. In short, I am rather sure that the inherent differences between hymans and humans would result in a hyman society almost exclusively based on collective ownership within large clusters of people - clusters that, for the hymans, would probably be emotionally equivelant to those we consider our family, albeit larger.


*Henceforth: hymans

EDIT: On the subject of humans and instinct: We have planes that can fly in space. Instinct is a myth.

Tengu_temp
2013-12-24, 09:15 AM
The whole reason why we have gender roles is because humans have two sexes. Therefore, a world where there's only one sex would most likely not have gender roles. It would probably be completely different from our society. Also, sexism and homophobia wouldn't exist, but they'd be replaced with other prejudices, because that's how humans are.


Ursula leGuin's Book "The left hand of darkness" has a hermaphrodite society. They have hormonal cycles that take them through male-neuter-female-neuter. It was kind of fun. People who are stuck in one sex all their lives are pitied and slightly reviled.

Spoiler alert:
The way those "abnormal" people are treated is an allegory for how LGBT people are treated in real life.

And yeah, Left Hand of Darkness is pretty great. Do note that the whole hermaphroditic society thing, while described pretty thoroughly, is not the book's main focus. It's the background for the actual story that's going on.

Frozen_Feet
2013-12-24, 09:22 AM
First, how much "maternal instinct" is actual instinct as opposed to socially conditioned behavioral expectations? Human beings have remarkably little in the way of instinct.

Nah. Like other animals, we have a huge share of instincts. The way you recognize human faces? It's an instinct, tied to specific sorts of cells, even. We just have even more of conditioned behaviour.

But that's besides the point. Chuck me into the bin of people recommending Left Hand of Darkness.

Most crucially, the one thing I feel the book gets absolutely right is matrilinearity: ie., only those children you have personally given birth to are really yours. Line of inheritance will be traced through the birth-giver, never the impregnator.

Akisa
2013-12-24, 09:33 AM
I can't blame you for not taking the time to read it this instant. But I implore you to do so at a time when you feel like it :smallsmile:

Basically, (and this is all based on my personal understanding of human nature and history, and thus represents my own opinion) I find it reasonable to believe that this hypothetical species* - with no blatant natural division amongst them, and the intelligence to be self-conscious and altruistic - in their pre-civilization state would handle child care and production in communion. When (RL) humans developed agriculture, private property was invented to divide land and establish a system which made sure a plot of land remained in the same family by passing it unto the patriarch of the family.

However, in a situation where there is no division amongst genders and no other clear distinction between Carrier/Donor (which is either a matter of choice or responsibility - either way, they are probably considered equal, and the roles could change) the historical evolution into monogamy and the concepts of private property won't result in a stable society for Hymans, because there isn't a reliable way for a part of the species to distinguish themselves and gain privilege to own and inherit.

Thus, I think that down the line, in the hymans' more developed society the concept of family isn't defined by biological heritage, but which local culture and network you're a part of. In short, I am rather sure that the inherent differences between hymans and humans would result in a hyman society almost exclusively based on collective ownership within large clusters of people - clusters that, for the hymans, would probably be emotionally equivelant to those we consider our family, albeit larger.


*Henceforth: hymans

EDIT: On the subject of humans and instinct: We have planes that can fly in space. Instinct is a myth.
Although one think of one way private property can be passed. The carrier can be the ones who pass down property. Noble lineage could be passed from carrier to carrier. If something similar to that happen I guess carrier may be the dominant family structure. But the family/clan system similar to those practice in the middle east could happen where extended family live together like you said.

Frozen_Feet
2013-12-24, 09:41 AM
...the historical evolution into monogamy and the concepts of private property won't result in a stable society for Hymans, because there isn't a reliable way for a part of the species to distinguish themselves and gain privilege to own and inherit...

Wrong. Tracing the line of inheritance through the mother (=birth-giver) is 100% reliable way. In fact, there have been multiple matrilineal cultures in existing history, most notably the Jewish people.

You are right that monogamy as we know it probably wouldn't exist, but the concept of property and inheritance definitely would.

SiuiS
2013-12-24, 09:55 AM
I can't blame you for not taking the time to read it this instant. But I implore you to do so at a time when you feel like it :smallsmile:

Basically, (and this is all based on my personal understanding of human nature and history, and thus represents my own opinion) I find it reasonable to believe that this hypothetical species* - with no blatant natural division amongst them, and the intelligence to be self-conscious and altruistic - in their pre-civilization state would handle child care and production in communion. When (RL) humans developed agriculture, private property was invented to divide land and establish a system which made sure a plot of land remained in the same family by passing it unto the patriarch of the family.

However, in a situation where there is no division amongst genders and no other clear distinction between Carrier/Donor (which is either a matter of choice or responsibility - either way, they are probably considered equal, and the roles could change) the historical evolution into monogamy and the concepts of private property won't result in a stable society for Hymans, because there isn't a reliable way for a part of the species to distinguish themselves and gain privilege to own and inherit.

Thus, I think that down the line, in the hymans' more developed society the concept of family isn't defined by biological heritage, but which local culture and network you're a part of. In short, I am rather sure that the inherent differences between hymans and humans would result in a hyman society almost exclusively based on collective ownership within large clusters of people - clusters that, for the hymans, would probably be emotionally equivelant to those we consider our family, albeit larger.


*Henceforth: hymans

EDIT: On the subject of humans and instinct: We have planes that can fly in space. Instinct is a myth.

I don't quite think instinct is a myth.


This is neat. I kinda wanna figure out what would happen if humans met them. The answer naturally being "slash fic". :smallbiggrin:

However;


The whole reason why we have gender roles is because humans have two sexes. Therefore, a world where there's only one sex would most likely not have gender roles. It would probably be completely different from our society. Also, sexism and homophobia wouldn't exist, but they'd be replaced with other prejudices, because that's how humans are.

I don't think this is true. I think it's a correlation/causation thing; yes, humans have two sexes, and gender is supposed to line up with those. However, human cultures have had more than two recognized genders, and still do to this day.

Human cultures also have separated by caste. Human culture separate, because that's hat they do. Human cultures where everyone has the exact same junk in the trunk/family jewels (pick based on how much you value them I suppose), would still segregate based on color, creed, aptitude and delineation. Those who farm would still be below those who fight would still be below those who direct the fighting.


Nah. Like other animals, we have a huge share of instincts. The way you recognize human faces? It's an instinct, tied to specific sorts of cells, even. We just have even more of conditioned behaviour.

Huge share? There's facial recognition, feeding, empathy (not sure if instinct; less behavior, more feeling?) and... What else?

Again, I'm not sure I would put a lot of 'instinctual' behaviors on the same level as auto-understanding of procreation technique or birds migrating.

Frozen_Feet
2013-12-24, 10:15 AM
Well, SiuiS, do you consider bird song to be instinct?

If yes, then by necessity human ability to speak is so too. It is even based on the same genes.

There's also a lot of instinctual stuff related to sensory perception. The way people recognize music, rhythm in particular? Genetic and instinctive. The way your body stays upright? Instinctive, it's just an instinct that takes a while to kick in (in the same manner, flight of birds appears "learned", because they are not born with all prerequisites for flight; but in truth, it is automatic given a healthy body.) Several responses to pain, sneezing, so on and so forth.

And what comes to procreation, well, we humans have our share of instincts on that field as well. For example, the well-proven response people have to color red, so on and so forth.

We could spend a night listing all examples of human instinctive and intuitive behaviour, really.

ufo
2013-12-24, 10:21 AM
Wrong. Tracing the line of inheritance through the mother (=birth-giver) is 100% reliable way. In fact, there have been multiple matrilineal cultures in existing history, most notably the Jewish people.

You are right that monogamy as we know it probably wouldn't exist, but the concept of property and inheritance definitely would.

First of all, you use a rather arrogant tone in your argumentation. I'm sorry if this seems snarky. I'm telling you because it makes it harder for me to inhibit myself when I'm discussing :smallsmile: It's hard to take your stance seriously when you present it as the definite truth, and address abstract topics with definite labels such as "Wrong."

Tracing inheritance through the carrier is 100% reliable, but as I said it is not stable, society-wise, because in a given relationship the role of carrier could change.

If we agree that monogamy most likely wouldn't exist, then I find it unlikely that inheritance (and thus private property) would have much meaning in this society. If polygamy and dynamic carrier/donor relationships are the norm along with private inheritance and property, it'd be a potential sociological disaster whenever a rich community member died.

Frozen_Feet
2013-12-24, 10:27 AM
Tracing inheritance through the carrier is 100% reliable, but as I said it is not stable, society-wise, because in a given relationship the role of carrier could change.

Why would it be unstable? Children that have already been given birth to don't magically disappear even if their birth-giver goes on to impregnate someone else. Their lineage remains verifiable and traceable; their parent changing roles in the interim doesn't need to influence it at all. Again, refer to Left Hand of Darkness: inheritance passes matrilineally. The father is not inherited.

SiuiS
2013-12-24, 10:28 AM
I would have to look into birdsong, actually.

I would say that making noise is going to happen. Controlling that noise is relatively automatic. Putting data into a high functioning computing system designed to generate and respond to patterns will generate patterns. We know that humans in groups who do not have a language will make one (several dead children kept together in a city developed their own sign language). But is that instinct?

I don't think speaking is instinct. I think it is an emergent property; speech comes from listening to others talk, from having needs, wanting others to cater to them, from needing a way to convey that, and attempting it. It's trial and error.

Birdsong. Do birds, raised away from parents who have certain song, maintain those songs? I do not know.

Response to color red; hypothetically possible physiological reaction because of cells in the eye, completely mechanical, no more instinctual than long lever having different force exertion than short lever. I don't know enough to say one way or the other though.

I would say that if you equate desire with instinct, then it works. But I think equating desire with instinct runs afoul of all the ways desire has been used. Is it instinctual to want to communicate? I don't believe so by the sense of it being preprogrammed, I think it arises from other processes. I also think it is so fundamental to what humans are, however, that it is difficult and/or impossible to make such a delineation, especially given the tendency of some researchers to find the distinction useless and this not make it.

Plugging that back in;

What of the "maternal instinct"?
If: maternal instinct is Instinct (preprogrammed function)
Then: would exist in all/most of these creatures

If: maternal instinct is Socialized Behavior
Then: Mu. No change, except as socialization changes, question should ask about changes in socialization and not about the end results of those socialization changes because very little can be reverse engineered from a hypothetical endpoint of which we do not know enough of to speculate.


Why would it be unstable? Children that have already been given birth to don't magically disappear even if their birth-giver goes on to impregnate someone else. Their lineage remains verifiable and traceable; their parent changing roles in the interim doesn't need to influence it at all. Again, refer to Left Hand of Darkness: inheritance passes matrilineally. The father is not inherited.

The idea being that if two in a couple have four children, two from parent A and two from parent B, then there will be problems if rich parent A dies and only those of their direct line, but not the other half of their line, get the inheritance.

I think the idea is incorrect though, as it is caught up in the idea that how much you care for children you sire and children you bear would have any bearing on basic legal proceedings. Either things would go only to those you bear, leaving sites children as bastards and of the other parent's line, not yours (basically, identical to our own history wherein a child is of the male line but the female's line is considered ended);

OR

inheritance would be strictly based in choice and not line, with their being only heirs design ant and no heirs apparent.

ufo
2013-12-24, 10:50 AM
But how could that structure ever evolve? The first time ever historically a hyman carrier claimed privilege, every member of hir's community would be raising the legitimate critique that every single one could be a carrier.

Furthermore, if this society is polygamous and carrier/donor relationships are dynamic, it would mean that offspring could be all over the community, leading to disputes. In history, these disputes were prevented because in case of doubt, you'd look at which relationship was 'sanctioned' (marriage), and legitimate heirs would be a product of that union <- that's where monogamy started. The technical solution is for heritage to always pass to the eldest, but in a polygamous society, there's potential for many more offspring and there'd develop a severe disrepancy in the distribution of wealth. Obviously, this isn't unrealistic, but I find it unlikely for a ruling class to arise when any division in the society would be completely arbitrary.

SiuiS
2013-12-24, 10:56 AM
But how could that structure ever evolve? The first time ever historically a hyman carrier claimed privilege, every member of hir's community would be raising the legitimate critique that every single one could be a carrier.

Privilege is the wrong word. No one is saying "since I gave birth, I'm better", they are saying "since I gave birth to A, A gets my things when I die".

Privilege arises out of your great, great, great grandfolks murdering others so that your right to claim that privilege came first out of fear, then out of habit and tradition. But you cannot combine privilege and caste with heritance. Unless I'm missing something. Property rights are separate from caste rights, even if caste rights often cover whether you get property.


Furthermore, if this society is polygamous and carrier/donor relationships are dynamic, it would mean that offspring could be all over the community, leading to disputes.

How would there be disputes? "These five came out of me, they get my things" is very simple. There is no dispute, except amongst the children themselves; and fighting for the inheritanvce is a separate thing entirely.



In history, these disputes were prevented because in case of doubt, you'd look at which relationship was 'sanctioned' (marriage), and legitimate heirs would be a product of that union <- that's where monogamy started.

Ah, no. See, the concern over legitimate relationships, and marriage sanctifying them, seems to have come specifically because without that sanctification, a Sire could never be 100% sure the kid was his. If you go instead by who gave birth to you, then you have that clarity and circumvent the need for a sanctified relationship at all.

The only possible issue is when multiple Male end partners are with a female-end parner, but that doesn't matter because regardless of the father, the child is still of the mother's line and who fathered them is irrelevant.

The eldest would never be in doubt because your eldest child came out of your body first. These problems only arise if you trace lineage through the father. You're slapping patrilineal issues onto a system that does not generate them.

Frozen_Feet
2013-12-24, 11:00 AM
In case of bird song, it varies based on species, actually; but the basic mechanics are the same as for humans learning languages.

By default, a bird learns the songs of its parents. However, if there are noises in the environment that, say, amplify or drown out certain notes, those notes are amplified or omitted from offsrping's song. In other words: birds have dialects.

Species of birds with low cognitive functions only ever learn a handful of songs, that they then repeat ad nauseam. More intelligent birds experiment and keep learning new songs, but only to a point; they eventually settle at a handfull of songs, and then are incapable of learning more. Some species, like parrots and lyre birds, keep learning new songs throughout their lives, but only a fraction of them is passed onto offspring.

There is homologous behaviour in humans. From 0 to 4 years old, a human child learns new languages very rapidly through mimicking other humans nearby. This can very reasonably be called a period of instinctively learning languages. After this, the process starts to slow down, and around physical maturity (21 years) stops entirely. As such, learning new languages through mimickry becomes harder and harder. Children who are exposed to a new language before 15 usually learn to speak without a noticeable accent; but people who learn a language after 21 usually keep a distinctive accent for the rest of their lives.

You see, what you said about trial and error is not quite true. Human languages have well-researched and universal building blocks, such as the subject-object-adverb structure. During the period of instinctive learning, the brain reroutes existing, instinctive structures to absorb the grammar and structure of the native language. This is why native speakers can intuitively form grammatically correct sentences without concscious understanding of grammatical rules. The sort of conscious trial-and-error learning you speak of only happens in adults past 21. Learning new languages is a fundamentally different process to adults, than children.

Even more interestingly, a human child who is robbed of human contact during the formative period of language faces great difficulty in learning any language, and usually can't learn any at all if brought to civilization past a certain point (11 to 15 years). Their emotional and intellectual development is irreversibly stuntend; no amount of trial and error will teach them to speak like normal. It's like trying to teach a wolf to speak. Similar experiences with eg. pet crows suggest that song birds, too, become entirely incapable of ever learning the forms of communication typical to their species.

As noted, humans and songbirds share a gene that explains this homologous behaviour to an extent. It is FOXP2. (http://www.ai.mit.edu/projects/dm/foxp2.pdf)

What you should gather from this is this: there is no neat distinction between "preprogrammed behaviour (instinct)" and "socialized behaviour (conditioning)". Conditioned behaviour is not possible (or it is, at minimum, very very hard) if an animal lacks the instinctual basis for it, and on the flipside, many instinctive behaviours fail to manifest if an animal is not allowed to grow in its typical environment. Humans are pack animals, so for us, the typical environment is with other humans. This is why deaf kids, with no input from adults, grow to have a shared language; and on the other hand, why wolf-children learn no language at all.

dehro
2013-12-24, 11:05 AM
Historically, Monogamy has more to do with the availability of resources than anything else.

Akisa
2013-12-24, 11:06 AM
If we agree that monogamy most likely wouldn't exist, then I find it unlikely that inheritance (and thus private property) would have much meaning in this society. If polygamy and dynamic carrier/donor relationships are the norm along with private inheritance and property, it'd be a potential sociological disaster whenever a rich community member died.

I disagree that monogamy wouldn't exist, it is possible that monogamy could developed with the rise of sanctioned marriage to respond for the need to settle disputes if a rich community member dies. When in doubt Person A and B were the married couple and Person C was just the concubine and thus has no right to inheritance, and thus future offspring of person C may look to be the married pair and look away from other pairs that are already married.

This could also be reinforced by a religious idea that only people can be a pairing. Another factor could be available resources that person A can only support one partner so she pairs up with Person B exclusively.

SiuiS
2013-12-24, 11:10 AM
In case of bird song, it varies based on species, actually; but the basic mechanics are the same as for humans learning languages.

Isn't this all covered in brain plasticity? That seems to cover it while allowing for instinct and conditioning to be separate. Minds are processors; they will process. Give them stuf to process when they are capable and they do, give them things to process when they aren't capable - when the structure of the brain is no longer fit fo rtaking in information so much as using what it has - and they wont do a good job.


Historically, Monogamy has more to do with the availability of resources than anything else.

Oh?

ufo
2013-12-24, 11:18 AM
Privilege is the wrong word. No one is saying "since I gave birth, I'm better", they are saying "since I gave birth to A, A gets my things when I die".

Privilege arises out of your great, great, great grandfolks murdering others so that your right to claim that privilege came first out of fear, then out of habit and tradition. But you cannot combine privilege and caste with heritance. Unless I'm missing something. Property rights are separate from caste rights, even if caste rights often cover whether you get property.

Probably completely correct, I'm not so sure on the terminology at all :smallsmile: Regardless, it doesn't render the point moot. Remember that this regards the transition from a collective ownership/hunter-gatherer society for a sexless species - the concept "my things" is probably restricted to, like, shoes, maybe jewelry.


How would there be disputes? "These five came out of me, they get my things" is very simple. There is no dispute, except amongst the children themselves; and fighting for the inheritanvce is a separate thing entirely.

Why do you consider dispute among the children irrelevant? For anyone who has been the carrier for more than one child, these disputes must necessarily have a greater relevance to the stability of the society, since it regards more people.



Ah, no. See, the concern over legitimate relationships, and marriage sanctifying them, seems to have come specifically because without that sanctification, a Sire could never be 100% sure the kid was his. If you go instead by who gave birth to you, then you have that clarity and circumvent the need for a sanctified relationship at all.

The only possible issue is when multiple Male end partners are with a female-end parner, but that doesn't matter because regardless of the father, the child is still of the mother's line and who fathered them is irrelevant.

The eldest would never be in doubt because your eldest child came out of your body first. These problems only arise if you trace lineage through the father. You're slapping patrilineal issues onto a system that does not generate them.

I think you're misinterpreting which issue I'm concerned with. I addressed that very thing, about the eldest, in the part right after the one you quoted :smalltongue:

Frozen_Feet
2013-12-24, 11:20 AM
Isn't this all covered in brain plasticity?

No. Brains would not be able to be plastic and adapt to situations, if they didn't have preprogrammed instructions to facilitate those adaptations.

An analogue from computer programming: just writing a piece of code on notepad won't make your computer do anything. No matter how powerful processor it has, no matter how many thingamajobs it has attached to it, it will not do a thing before a program, an algorithm to direct those various parts and to convert that text to machine language, is put in place.

SiuiS
2013-12-24, 11:24 AM
Probably completely correct, I'm not so sure on the terminology at all :smallsmile: Regardless, it doesn't render the point moot. Remember that this regards the transition from a collective ownership/hunter-gatherer society for a sexless species - the concept "my things" is probably restricted to, like, shoes, maybe jewelry.

Eh. Greed is sort of native to people outside of of society, I think? I know that some societies don't have stuff ever, but that's out of pragmatism; If you have a static locale, you have stuff. Children as young as 1 year old get angry when you take things they have claimed... Even things they pick up minutes before at someone else's abode. Wanting to have stuf is natural.



Why do you consider dispute among the children irrelevant? For anyone who has been the carrier for more than one child, these disputes must necessarily have a greater relevance to the stability of the society, since it regards more people.

Dispute among children is irrelevant to the issue of lineage as it is in question based on being matrilineal. It is not irrelevant in life, it is just not germane to the specifics of the point.



I think you're misinterpreting which issue I'm concerned with. I addressed that very thing, about the eldest, in the part right after the one you quoted :smalltongue:

Seeing that is why I editied in my response, yes. But your concern about Eldest is a non-issue. There can never be dispute over which child is eldest because the only way for you to have two children at about the same time is to have twins.

You are assuming a patrilineal issue (the ability for a male to impregnate two females simultaneously) would map to a matrilineal society, but it doesn't because no one gives a fig who stuck it to you, they don't count. It's not their child, it's yours (legally, and heritancely speaking).

Unless you mean to say that I, as a carrier, can give birth to two different children in two different cities at around the exact same time?


No. Brains would not be able to be plastic and adapt to situations, if they didn't have preprogrammed instructions to facilitate those adaptations.

An analogue from computer programming: just writing a piece of code on notepad won't make your computer do anything. No matter how powerful processor it has, no matter how many thingamajobs it has attached to it, it will not do a thing before a program, an algorithm to direct those various parts and to convert that text to machine language, is put in place.

Mm. This gets weird, but I have it on reliable enough to argue authority that this doesn't apply to brains. Sentience as an emergent property of both process and structure achieves things which cannot be modeled by any computer system ever.

Separate from that, however; A mind is a compiling engine. It does that automatically. Cellular metabolism is an action and process. Computers do not have an active process state; they differ from minds in this regard. it is actually impossible to stop a mind from processing, and it is fully possible to stop a computer from doing so.

I may well be fully willing to say "Compiling is an instinct", and will even say I already have, though not in so many words. What I am also saying though is that the results of those compiled things you pick up are not instinct by nature of my admittedly arbitrary definition of instinct.

I will also have to go find the gent I was discussing computer architecture and sentience with, because I may well be wrong entirely. he understood everything he said. I got the gist of it. XD

SowZ
2013-12-24, 12:26 PM
Wrong. Tracing the line of inheritance through the mother (=birth-giver) is 100% reliable way. In fact, there have been multiple matrilineal cultures in existing history, most notably the Jewish people.

You are right that monogamy as we know it probably wouldn't exist, but the concept of property and inheritance definitely would.

However, there is debate as to whether or not the matrilineality was changed post Mosaic times out of practicality or if it was always like that. And there are one or two sects that still trace patrilinearly, one or two more that think either parent is valid. So even then it can be a complicated issue.

ufo
2013-12-24, 01:11 PM
Eh. Greed is sort of native to people outside of of society, I think? I know that some societies don't have stuff ever, but that's out of pragmatism; If you have a static locale, you have stuff. Children as young as 1 year old get angry when you take things they have claimed... Even things they pick up minutes before at someone else's abode. Wanting to have stuf is natural.

In nearly every human pre-agricultural society, "stuff" didn't belong to individuals, but was collectively owned in recognition of the fact that ready access to tools, clothing and housing allows other members of society to help you. Basically, what we regard as a state of "sharing my stuff" was the status quo.

I recommend the book "Mutual Aid: A Factor of Evolution" by P. Kropotkin, available for your free reading pleasure (http://www.complementarycurrency.org/ccLibrary/Mutual_Aid-A_Factor_of_Evolution-Peter_Kropotkin.pdf).



Dispute among children is irrelevant to the issue of lineage as it is in question based on being matrilineal. It is not irrelevant in life, it is just not germane to the specifics of the point.

It is irrelevant to the issue of whether it is possible to trace lineage, but not whether it's a stable mechanism of the hypothetical society. My point is that even though matrilineal heritage could occur at some point, it's unlikely to become a fundamental part of the society because of the inherent instability.



Seeing that is why I editied in my response, yes. But your concern about Eldest is a non-issue. There can never be dispute over which child is eldest because the only way for you to have two children at about the same time is to have twins.

You are assuming a patrilineal issue (the ability for a male to impregnate two females simultaneously) would map to a matrilineal society, but it doesn't because no one gives a fig who stuck it to you, they don't count. It's not their child, it's yours (legally, and heritancely speaking).

Unless you mean to say that I, as a carrier, can give birth to two different children in two different cities at around the exact same time?


Okay, you lost me here. I hope it's okay if I quote myself (out of context for emphasis)

...
The technical solution is for heritage to always pass to the eldest, but in a polygamous society, there's potential for many more offspring and there'd develop a severe disrepancy in the distribution of wealth. Obviously, this isn't unrealistic, but I find it unlikely for a ruling class to arise when any division in the society would be completely arbitrary.

Basically, same argument as above: It could definitely occur, but is unlikely to become fundamental to the society because it is inherently an oppressive mechanism to the majority of the society, so there's no reason it'd persist.

Frozen_Feet
2013-12-24, 01:47 PM
I still don't get why you think matrilineality is specially unstable.

As for dividing the population among arbitrary lines, the are many non-arbitrary lines that might naturally emerge in a society. Two that crop up is the division between normal and antisocial people, and another between people who have the "warrior gene" and those who do not. Presuming these two could occur in our hermaphroditic population, they would be considerable dividing lines.

Antisocial personalities are known for impulsiveness, risk-taking, short-term relationships, inability to commit and conduct disorder. Meanwhile, those with the warrior gene are known for heightened agression when provoked, but also for heightened sense of justice and desire for retribution. They also show tendency to make greater sacrifices in order to punish wrong-doers for the group. I'd see these two groups fulfilling several roles that we think of as "masculine" in our situation; antisocials would (continue to) be overpresented among criminals, while warriors would be overpresented among warrior castes of all sorts (military, police, etc.). I'd also see them filling other, high-risk high-reward positions. I don't think it's a stretch for either of these groups to demand special priviliges based on doing tasks that other people find too dangerous or difficult.

ufo
2013-12-24, 02:52 PM
Hm, I think maybe my point needs some clarification. Looking back at my replies, I'm sorry if my tone has been uncomfortable.

The instability I predict isn't a supposed result of matrilineal inheritance, but rather because of the (from my perspective) irreconcilable relationship between the polygamic elements of society, and private property.

I believe that collective childcare and a (relatively) high birth rate are inevitable elements of a polygamous society.
I believe that as an inevitable consequence of this, inheritance by the eldest could not remain status quo, because of the sheer amount of people getting the short end of that deal.

Coidzor
2013-12-24, 03:19 PM
I still don't get why you think matrilineality is specially unstable.

If anything, matrilineality seemed like it might be the only line along which descent was drawn due to the potential for pair-bonding to not develop.

edit: That is to say, in many possible paths of societal development with this physiology in mind, drawing lines of descent from, for lack of a better term, the mother makes the most sense, at least primarily. And that in some schemas, especially without pair-bonding or the formation of something analogous to pair-bonding but with more individuals, solely-matrilineal descent seems like the only line of descent that could be drawn.

SiuiS
2013-12-24, 03:41 PM
In nearly every human pre-agricultural society, "stuff" didn't belong to individuals, but was collectively owned in recognition of the fact that ready access to tools, clothing and housing allows other members of society to help you. Basically, what we regard as a state of "sharing my stuff" was the status quo.

I'm aware of the basics of that, but I am also aware that what was considered stuff to have was different. We're talking concoidal knives, here, right? When we had people who would forage for a few hours for sufficient food, then sort of laze the day away until they had to move on?

When you get to the point of the best axe in the group, jewelry, ritual tools, etc., people start displaying a greater inclination for greed except where doing so is suicidal.

I'll totally read a book o9n it though! Being wrong is fun.



It is irrelevant to the issue of whether it is possible to trace lineage, but not whether it's a stable mechanism of the hypothetical society. My point is that even though matrilineal heritage could occur at some point, it's unlikely to become a fundamental part of the society because of the inherent instability.


Ah, see, there is no reason to think this inherent instability would be greater than the same in a patrilineal society. You're saying this other system could never work because kids would be greedy. I'm saying, kids are already greedy, and our current system works, so you'll have to be clearer or admit that's not true.



Okay, you lost me here. I hope it's okay if I quote myself (out of context for emphasis)

Basically, same argument as above: It could definitely occur, but is unlikely to become fundamental to the society because it is inherently an oppressive mechanism to the majority of the society, so there's no reason it'd persist.

yep, I went off on a totally different direction for some reason.

You're saying, that getting you inheritance from one parent, is an inherently oppressive-to-society mechanism? How so?


There really is not a potential for many more offspring; presumably, half the work force could be pregnant at one time. That's about normal. You could work off the theoretical basis that any remaining, non-pregnant members of the species would quickly get about impregnating themselves, so that at any point the remaining half will again, split in half, until three quarters are pregnant, then seven eighths, then, uh, fifteen sixteenths? Etc? But that runs into the problem of
- not everyone wants to have sex with everyone
- not everyone is willing to be pregnant right now
- not everyone is fertile right this instant
- people would quickly die off as their was an insufficient workforce to maintain that population growth
- wealth is rarely divided evenly amongst offspring anyway; You just end up with a few more people who have to make it themselves instead of getting it handed down. This happens fairly often; It used to be common to have eight to twelve children, and none of them but the lucky one who took care of the folks got anything at all.

I just don't see how you are assuming this case is in any way different from how society currently functions, except we'd be Carlsdottr instead of Carlson on the surname end. it is really that easy a switch.


Hm, I think maybe my point needs some clarification. Looking back at my replies, I'm sorry if my tone has been uncomfortable.

The instability I predict isn't a supposed result of matrilineal inheritance, but rather because of the (from my perspective) irreconcilable relationship between the polygamic elements of society, and private property.

I believe that collective childcare and a (relatively) high birth rate are inevitable elements of a polygamous society.
I believe that as an inevitable consequence of this, inheritance by the eldest could not remain status quo, because of the sheer amount of people getting the short end of that deal.

yeah, that doesn't make any sense to me.

With no gender, there's no gender divide. You don't have half the people staying home, you have everyone working. Family lines would be based on who came from the carrier. If anyone wants a legacy, they carry a child to term. Between any given couple, a family of four children is likely to be two for each parent, not four from one parent. Which means each parent must only divide their wealth two ways, rather than a household dividing it four ways.

That's a very easy problem to solve. Especially in an age where having more children meant bringing in more wealth, such as when everyone did manual labor.


If anything, matrilineality seemed like it might be the only line along which descent was drawn due to the potential for pair-bonding to not develop.

Aye. Although I believe humans to be pack critters, and form diads and triads within those packs. I think groups would form, they just wouldn't be limited to two.

Spiryt
2013-12-24, 04:03 PM
In nearly every human pre-agricultural society, "stuff" didn't belong to individuals, but was collectively owned in recognition of the fact that ready access to tools, clothing and housing allows other members of society to help you. Basically, what we regard as a state of "sharing my stuff" was the status quo.


?

And we can prove that how?

Archeology won't give really much insight here, connections with modern 'primitive' cultures can only tell us that much.

And still people have plenty of 'owned' stuff, weapons, tools, utensils of free man/woman.


Sounds like something linked Engels would wrote, to push his agenda, TBH.

Coidzor
2013-12-24, 04:07 PM
Aye. Although I believe humans to be pack critters, and form diads and triads within those packs. I think groups would form, they just wouldn't be limited to two.

The limitations of my vocabulary showing, sorry, as I have no idea what the proper equivalent term would be. x.x

Though without a relationship-group forming where there is a single, primary donor in the sexual dynamics of the group, then descent would still be muddied on the donor-side, it'd just have less possible individuals assuming fidelity to within the group.



More, I was pointing out that ended doesn't mean what a lot of the replies seem to think it does, that it's hard wired in much the same way Type A or Type B personalities supposedly are but also separate from sexual dimorphism, and that the trope of Damsel In Distress is much less about gender norms along lines of sexual dimorphism and much more about the strong group conditioning the weak group to remain that way for the perks.

I get what you're saying, I just don't see a non-sexually derived basis for such arising. Economic, caste, or racial oppression seem more readily applicable without the development of some kind of social group or caste that corresponds to sex-role and would create an analog to gender and potential for an analog to gender roles to form as well.


Well, not totally unanswerable. It's somewhat... Juvenile? Naive? I'm trying to find the least insulting word for it, so apologies, but we are using the arm-chair anthropology notion that despite this change, their society is as close to our own as possible.

Oh, I must have misread the OP then, whoops. I thought we were looking at how a society would develop if something developed to be like humans in intellect and mentality but without gender due to the hermaphroditism.

Maybe taking Paleolithic or Mesolithic humanity as the base, applying the changes, and seeing what happens from there. x.x


Although that may be less a part of the question and more decades of conditioning and bias, come to think of it. I even chastised Soras for it on another thread, so... Yes, if we are shooting back a million years, merging the sexes and then progressing forward, then there's no way to know. No way to discuss it either, actually! I'm pretty certain gender roles come coupled and reinforced with primitive religion.

To an extent. My understanding is that division of labor and gender roles played into one another and that became entrenched around the same time that mythologies shifted to give greater influence to the male/sky where before things had been more... balanced(?).


That would be terrible, it's a game based on a yo momma joke.
"So tell me again how we exceed light speed?"
"Well, when a body of sufficient mass exists in a single point, it causes a curvature in space-time, like—"
"We're friends, Garrus. Don't make me hurt you."
"—Your mother. I regret nothing!"

I thought it was based upon the fact that we'll bang, ok. (http://knowyourmeme.com/memes/well-bang-ok)

I think I've missed something here. <_<;;;


Not so. It's been on the rise the last year or so, but before that, not so much. It's just a reflection of social trends and the fact that there aren't many other places to bring it up. Tumblr or twitter will get you flamed into oblivion, and you can't even start such talks elsewhere. Here however, it's a commonly visible enough topic that folks see they can ask their own questions. So they do.

Three, four years ago, that wasn't quite so big though.

Tumblr and Twitter always seem like they actively oppose, confound, and undermine our ability to communicate with one another as a species as we adapt to the post-internet world. Hopefully I'm just a pessimist.

The times, they are a-changing. Maybe.


You know, I don't believe that.

For one, Internet culture for the last ten years or so makes that about the standard humor value. That doesn't register as passive aggressive, just snarky. As well, other areas tend to allow a lot more straight aggression, so the over all amount of antagonism is greater, and any perception that there's more passive aggression here may be true, but only because of the greater amount of active aggression in the wider antagonism pool.

We do love our Snark hereabouts on GITP. I still think the Dominic Deegan Threads are the gold standard in GITP-Snark, but the roleplaying sub-fora also have fairly respectable snark-chops.


That said, aye, it's almost an art form in some circles.

And who doesn't love the arts? :smallamused:


And I dunno. I think getting to egg laying moves too far from the human base.

I was thinking the same thing. I'm sort of conflicted about it, really. On the one hand, primates have internal gestation and live birth, that's just what they are. On the other hand, internal gestation and the limitations that most FAAB individuals experience while pregnant are generally agreed to have contributed to the formation of gender and gender roles/division of labor along gendered lines/division of labor(period?). On the third hand, it seems problematic as a method of reproduction to *not* lay eggs.

Don't ask me where I got the extra hand.

I suppose one thing would be to examine how much of a difference egg-laying (say, something like le platypi or le echidnae) would really make and then decide one way or the other? :smallconfused:

ufo
2013-12-24, 04:31 PM
I'm aware of the basics of that, but I am also aware that what was considered stuff to have was different. We're talking concoidal knives, here, right? When we had people who would forage for a few hours for sufficient food, then sort of laze the day away until they had to move on?

When you get to the point of the best axe in the group, jewelry, ritual tools, etc., people start displaying a greater inclination for greed except where doing so is suicidal.

I'll totally read a book o9n it though! Being wrong is fun.

It'd definitely come up, but I think that people are generally more loyal towards their cluster (tribe, family etc.) than objects.




Ah, see, there is no reason to think this inherent instability would be greater than the same in a patrilineal society. You're saying this other system could never work because kids would be greedy. I'm saying, kids are already greedy, and our current system works, so you'll have to be clearer or admit that's not true.

You're saying, that getting you inheritance from one parent, is an inherently oppressive-to-society mechanism? How so?


There really is not a potential for many more offspring; presumably, half the work force could be pregnant at one time. That's about normal. You could work off the theoretical basis that any remaining, non-pregnant members of the species would quickly get about impregnating themselves, so that at any point the remaining half will again, split in half, until three quarters are pregnant, then seven eighths, then, uh, fifteen sixteenths? Etc? But that runs into the problem of
- not everyone wants to have sex with everyone
- not everyone is willing to be pregnant right now
- not everyone is fertile right this instant
- people would quickly die off as their was an insufficient workforce to maintain that population growth
- wealth is rarely divided evenly amongst offspring anyway; You just end up with a few more people who have to make it themselves instead of getting it handed down. This happens fairly often; It used to be common to have eight to twelve children, and none of them but the lucky one who took care of the folks got anything at all.

I just don't see how you are assuming this case is in any way different from how society currently functions, except we'd be Carlsdottr instead of Carlson on the surname end. it is really that easy a switch.


Oh, I don't think that a matrilineal society is inherently more unstable compared to a patrilineal society. I don't think that this other system could never work per se, but I find it unlikely to remain for long because it is based on a mechanism that places power in a very small part of society, namely the eldest child of every carrier. I'm not saying that inheriting from one person is an oppressive-to-society mechanism, I am saying that there being one inheritor (lol, don't even know if that's a word) is. I realise that this goes for a matrilineal and a patrilineal society.

You make a good point about the workforce/birthrate relationship.



With no gender, there's no gender divide. You don't have half the people staying home, you have everyone working. Family lines would be based on who came from the carrier. If anyone wants a legacy, they carry a child to term. Between any given couple, a family of four children is likely to be two for each parent, not four from one parent. Which means each parent must only divide their wealth two ways, rather than a household dividing it four ways.


That is a good point, but you're implying that the heritage is split between children, which is rather different from inheritance by the eldest. It also seems likely that a lot of people involved in that process would feel cheated in the end: after all, mother's best plow isn't worth much if you literally divide it in two.

SiuiS
2013-12-24, 04:33 PM
Though without a relationship-group forming where there is a single, primary donor in the sexual dynamics of the group, then descent would still be muddied on the donor-side, it'd just have less possible individuals assuming fidelity to within the group.

This is true. I assumed the answer was "no one gives a fig who the father was", but as we approach modern sensibilities we get less and less out of that sort of sentiment.




I get what you're saying, I just don't see a non-sexually derived basis for such arising. Economic, caste, or racial oppression seem more readily applicable without the development of some kind of social group or caste that corresponds to sex-role and would create an analog to gender and potential for an analog to gender roles to form as well.

Honestly, Gender Differences are enforced personality differences. There would still be people whose processing methods and thinking patterns were primarily female, and those who are primarily male (oh! Unless those maps did indeed originate primarily in either sex. Huh.). basically, what Frozen_Feet said; Different attitudes will still cause people to segregate. You'd just have less forcing people to behave a certain way because they had X genitals. Probably more "Your mother was a [stereotype] so you are too" though/

Oh, I must have misread the OP then, whoops. I thought we were looking at how a society would develop if something developed to be like humans in intellect and mentality but without gender due to the hermaphroditism.

Maybe taking Paleolithic or Mesolithic humanity as the base, applying the changes, and seeing what happens from there. x.x

That idea isn't invalid, it's just not the (Seemingly) jumping point most of us took.

Assuming similar evolution of a different species, though... Too far outside my area of faux expertise to even have fun guessing.

To an extent. My understanding is that division of labor and gender roles played into one another and that became entrenched around the same time that mythologies shifted to give greater influence to the male/sky where before things had been more... balanced(?).

Couldn't tell you. I could go right now, and learn about the progression of the protoindoeuropean religions and myths and their cultural effects, and also learn about the societies and gender roles of such people, an not put together that these were parallel events. I'm really bad at figuring out multiple timelines; that is, I know a fair amount of European history, and a fair amount of Japanese, history, but I can't line them up to compare. My brain is weird like that.


Tumblr and Twitter always seem like they actively oppose, confound, and undermine our ability to communicate with one another as a species as we adapt to the post-internet world. Hopefully I'm just a pessimist.

The times, they are a-changing. Maybe.

Tumblr is frightening, and twitter is a purposefully designed hoof-in-mouth engine. "here, let's give you a life full of events you want to communicate, tell you all your friends are communicating, give you a medium which does not and cannot support intelligent, deep conversation without high degree of language literacy, empathy and finesse, and then not tell you the downfalls of the system so you can make an ass of yourself!"

Thanks, twitter.

We do love our Snark hereabouts on GITP. I still think the Dominic Deegan Threads are the gold standard in GITP-Snark, but the roleplaying sub-fora also have fairly respectable snark-chops.

Man. Those threads. I know some people found them funny, but they were toxic.

I was thinking the same thing. I'm sort of conflicted about it, really. On the one hand, primates have internal gestation and live birth, that's just what they are. On the other hand, internal gestation and the limitations that most FAAB individuals experience while pregnant are generally agreed to have contributed to the formation of gender and gender roles/division of labor along gendered lines/division of labor(period?). On the third hand, it seems problematic as a method of reproduction to *not* lay eggs.


It is my understanding, from the number of women who have reported on the issue, that the debilitating effects of pregnancy are greatly trumped up. I don't know which is chicken, and which is egg, but we have a society of women who think that being self-sufficient is a personal failing, who are psyched up to believe that pregnancy and childbirth are atrocious, horrible, and reasons to stay in bed for almost a year, on top o fbeing conditioned to not actually be at peak fitness and health...

I think the difficulties of childbearing might have been a hindrance for primitive ancestors, but nowadays are self enforced and perpetuated almost memetically. A woman who is in shape, has a good diet, and does not change her routine when pregnant can stay on her feet and in shape for eight of the nine months. Most women choose not to, because free vacation, but it's entirely possible.

That said, there are of course people for whom it is excruciating.




UFO Correct me if I'm wrong, but the only statement was that societies would be matrilineal and not patrilineal. The whole issue of semantic inheritance by the eldest only came up /after/ you said it could never work. I'm not interested in an ELDEST INHERITS THE EARTH thing at all, and you're focusing overly narrowly on a specific example to a specific question that was given in an offhand manner.

All that is important, on my side of things, is that a matrilineal society would most likely happen.

ufo
2013-12-24, 04:54 PM
?

And we can prove that how?

Archeology won't give really much insight here, connections with modern 'primitive' cultures can only tell us that much.

And still people have plenty of 'owned' stuff, weapons, tools, utensils of free man/woman.


Sounds like something linked Engels would wrote, to push his agenda, TBH.

Uhm, I don't know what to say much more than that archeology gives us some (albeit limited) insight, and connections with modern naturalist cultures tell us a whole lot. There are quite a few pre-/non-agricultural cultures that exist today. The science of anthropology is dedicated to these kinds of things. It's... really something that's rather well established, and contemporarily observable.

As far as I know, Engels hasn't written of mutual aid in primitive cultures. I linked a work of his earlier, in a different context. I have no particular interest in his other works, but if you'd care to read the book you'll find that it's not particularly related to his agenda, which I am well aware of, but which you know this forum frowns upon the discussion of.

You seem a bit triggered by the topic. If you'd like to discuss more freely, feel free to PM :smallsmile:

Tengu_temp
2013-12-25, 03:13 AM
Sidenote, but something that needs to be said:


This board's fascination and fixation on gender roles and gender identity continues to astound me. Although it could just be that I'm very much a traditionalist on the matter.

I'm not sure what exactly you mean by a traditionalist, but in general, a traditional view on gender identity is not a good thing. People with non-standard sexual identities are very much a real thing, and face all kinds of prejudice because of those identities.

SowZ
2013-12-25, 04:28 AM
Sidenote, but something that needs to be said:



I'm not sure what exactly you mean by a traditionalist, but in general, a traditional view on gender identity is not a good thing. People with non-standard sexual identities are very much a real thing, and face all kinds of prejudice because of those identities.

Someone could call themself a traditionalist and only mean that they themselves fall pretty well into established gender roles of masculinity or femininity, and that they are typically attracted to the same, but not feel uncomfortable by other sexual identities and not oppress them. Even strongly supporting their equal rights.

I think I would fit this description, and there is nothing wrong with fitting the established gender roles more than not and being drawn to members of the opposite sex who also fit their gender role moreso than not. (Of course, I'm not saying that you said anything that would disagree with that.) There is, however, something wrong with being hateful to people and depriving them of rights because they don't fall in with mainstream ideas.

Finn Solomon
2013-12-25, 05:00 AM
You know what else this board is into? Passive aggressive responses.

Probably to do with the site's strict rules. The board doesn't attract a 'better class of people' as you'll find some saying, it just forces its members to be more creative in their aggression.

Tengu_temp
2013-12-25, 05:14 AM
Someone could call themself a traditionalist and only mean that they themselves fall pretty well into established gender roles of masculinity or femininity, and that they are typically attracted to the same, but not feel uncomfortable by other sexual identities and not oppress them. Even strongly supporting their equal rights.

Fair 'nuff.


Probably to do with the site's strict rules. The board doesn't attract a 'better class of people' as you'll find some saying, it just forces its members to be more creative in their aggression.

That's entirely accurate.

SiuiS
2013-12-25, 05:24 AM
Sidenote, but something that needs to be said:

I'm not sure what exactly you mean by a traditionalist, but in general, a traditional view on gender identity is not a good thing. People with non-standard sexual identities are very much a real thing, and face all kinds of prejudice because of those identities.

I took it as finding value in traditional beliefs of what constitutes any given gender. That's fine; I myself put value on gender expression that's vaguely in line with tradition. It's the enforcement on others that's a problem.


Probably to do with the site's strict rules. The board doesn't attract a 'better class of people' as you'll find some saying, it just forces its members to be more creative in their aggression.

Well, yes and no. The amount of technically not catchable except through patterns antagonism that some people have is, as said, an art form. The ease with which they lure others into more flagrant disregard for the rules and thus win by getting their opponent in trouble is startling.

That said, there are people who just don't show up because they know that they can't truck it within the rules and just don't bother. And from what I've seen, everyone who has said "I wouldn't bother with the playground anyway" is not the kind of person we would want at the playground.

I've totally just talked myself into reporting on a hair trigger though, just so with some people who make a habit of baiting others into flame fights can have a paper trail of their patterns.

SowZ
2013-12-25, 05:52 PM
Fair 'nuff.



That's entirely accurate.

Yeah, but you do have a point, too. I still wouldn't call myself a traditionalist, as it would lead to lots of assumptions that I'm anti gay marriage and such. So yeah, it may not be the wisest turn of phrase and the earlier poster may or may not be uncomfortable with atypical sexualities.

SiuiS
2013-12-25, 06:29 PM
Respectfully, the exact point of of problems arising is when instead of stating your own keywords you begin to breakdown and dissect, and thereby judge, others.


Yung(?) said that they would call themselves traditionalist. They also said that it wasn't worth going into because judgement would cause problems. So don't judge. Don't critique. Let it be, let it go, as Corwin would say.

SowZ
2013-12-26, 01:15 AM
Respectfully, the exact point of of problems arising is when instead of stating your own keywords you begin to breakdown and dissect, and thereby judge, others.


Yung(?) said that they would call themselves traditionalist. They also said that it wasn't worth going into because judgement would cause problems. So don't judge. Don't critique. Let it be, let it go, as Corwin would say.

I don't get what you are saying, sorry. There's nothing wrong with going into different possibly meanings behind the use of a word and getting clarification.

Lady Tialait
2013-12-26, 09:12 AM
The idea of Inheritance being something passed down the one who gave birth to me is wrong.

The reason for this is war, and territorial disputes. We have a easy way of dealing with this issue in our two sex'd race. It's called 'Male Disposablity'. Really, it doesn't matter how many males die in a war, as long as the Females are safe. Twenty females and two or three males can repopulate after a rather brutal war.

In a hermaphroditic species you wouldn't have this convenience. Everyone could possibly be the person who gives birth. Hence, everyone would be less disposable. However, there would be the issue of fertility, and skill. Not everyone is a warrior or farmer or blacksmith. Not everyone has the fortitude to give birth (even among women, there are still those who have a hard time getting pregnant or giving birth.) It would be uncommon for both to be in the same person, someone who is a great warrior and a fertile child-barer. Such a person would most likely choose whatever they found most interesting.

Now we get to the reason why I don't think the one who gave birth to a child would be the way inheritance would work. Giving birth gives you a bond with the child that deeper then simply being the one who impregnated, and you would want to take care of the child. Making you a caretaker for at least that child. Assuming this is at least a 12-18 year process, you are looking at being screwed at amassing fortunes for that time. Or at least for the first five years. Most likely a good portion of your prime life. You would need someone to assist in feeding you and the child, and if we go to primitive times. One would not want to risk their life for a child, and then not know it is theirs. Monogamy would be born. Protecting those who give birth and care for children would be seen as noble as the wealth would be controlled by those who didn't do that. Soon you have a 'damsel in distress' kind of thing. Just based on fertility, and the 'weak woman' stereotype would be even greater. Given that having a child would be considered a task that takes up all your time and while you are at it why not have three, four, or even five?

So, while the divide between genders would not be apparent upon birth, they would quickly assume their position, as people were found as disposable due to low fertility and others were considered weak because of high fertility.


Then again, that is just my take on it....

Razanir
2013-12-26, 04:33 PM
So I think it's been agreed by now that there'd be no gender. However, I think the two gender-like archetypes of the strong warrior half of the population and the weak childbearing half would still exist. The population would still segregate itself along the lines of who wants to bear a child and who wants to sire a child.

The childbearing half of the population would experience many of the same stereotypes and gender roles as women have throughout history.

The siring half of the population would be available for battle more often. And thus they would experience history roughly as men have.

However, a few things would probably be different:

1) Inheritance would probably pass down matrilineally. Or rather, it would pass down through children you actually bore.
2) No sexual dimorphism means there would be no stigmas against same-sex anything. (Mainly because it wouldn't exist by definition. Or rather, there's no heterosexuality to contrast it with)
3) As a corollary to the above, some people might choose to sire a few kids then bear a few, or vice versa. Again, inheritance would be through the children they actually bore.
4) Because the bear/sire decision doesn't come until puberty or later, there would truly only be one gender in kids. They might have personality traits that would sway them to one or the other later in life, but in childhood, they would be free to act like either.
5) In contrast to the above, I think your role would be firmly decided once you enter adulthood. However, having personality traits or wearing clothes associated with the other role would be fine.

dehro
2013-12-26, 08:29 PM
isn't an archetype, something that somewhere along the line must be based on biologically and/or socially imprinted behaviour and recognition of a value assigned to it?
since these "roles" would be extremely fluid and not determined by a gender role, they would hardly have a gender connotation... they'd simply be placeholders to define a character or type.. the way we could group geeks, blondes, postmen, larpers or athletes.. simply a grouping of characteristics that are common to the people with a common interest. hardly a gender-normative quality.

you are assuming that there would be a definite split between those who are siring and those who are childbearing. for all we know people may decide take turns, or do neither.

for all we know, there might not be any stylistic difference (other than sizes) between clothes worn when bearing or siring, or in any other circumstance.

Razanir
2013-12-26, 10:36 PM
Okay. Let's go WAY back in time to cave-hermaphrodites. We just evolved larger brains and have the beginnings of a hunter-gatherer society. Because regardless of if there's sexual dimorphism or not, hunting and gathering are still two very common ways of getting food. Part of society starts focusing on hunting, and part of society focuses on gathering. This is primarily because it's more efficient. Division of labor.

These cavepeople begin to specialize. While the hunters are out getting meat, the gatherers are staying back getting berries to eat and doing a lot of the child raising. As a result, it becomes easier for the gatherers to be the primary child-bearers. That's not to say gatherers never sire. Just that it's a lot less common for hunters to bear.

As civilizations develop and grow more complex, we retain this division where some people choose to stay back and raise the kids. Eventually it grows into the division I described. Children are raises role-less, since they're too young to start families. Adults, however, wind up with sire and bearer roles, similar to stereotypical men and women.

So perhaps I am operating under an assumption that society would develop almost identically to how it has. But it seems a very natural way for it to progress, given the hunter-gatherer model I started with.

warty goblin
2013-12-26, 11:53 PM
Question: why would an individual choose to bear without also siring? It seems to me a very strange assumption that an individual in a hermaphroditic species wouldn't take full advantage of that capability, which non-reciprocal reproduction completely fails to do. Demanding that would increase an individual's ability to pass along its genetics, since each mating would potentially result in two offspring, from two mothers. This reduces the risk of offspring mortality killing off any individual's entire genetic line.

Now, depending on how fertility works in our hermaphrodites, it's quite possible that in a particular mating, only one individual becomes pregnant. Assuming they nurse and only the impregnated individual lactates, it's not completely unreasonable* to suppose that, for the time it takes to raise that particular child, the impregnated individual is responsible for caring for that child.

The development of binary gender roles however does not follow from this. Under reciprocal mating, any given individual who breeds has a very high probability of eventually becoming pregnant. Pretty much everybody will eventually end up as a caregiver in other words. Which suggests perhaps a gender-unary society, where an individual is either caring for offspring, or else probably going to be caring for offspring in the near future.

I also suspect that pair-bonding would not be a particularly sound strategy. If a pair mate, and one does not become pregnant, it's probably wiser for that individual to mate with a different partner, since that further spreads their genetic line.

Of course the invention of contraceptives make all this enormously more complicated.



*That is however rather cultural, and cultures can do a lot of different things. It is reasonable to suspect quite a bit of variation in this.

Razanir
2013-12-27, 12:15 AM
My theory is that binary gender roles would evolve from the hunter-gatherer system. It does make sense, binary gender roles or not, to use division of labor. Instead of training everyone to hunt and gather, you can specialize in one. From there, it would make sense to me to have binary gender roles develop. Being pregnant could be inconvenient while hunting, so it would make sense that the hunter-trained people would bear fewer children.

And over time, the stigma against hunters, the more active segment on society, not bearing children could evolve/mutate into binary gender roles. Just like the hunters don't normally bear children, the gatherers would sire fewer and fewer children. And thus, binary gender roles evolved out of a hunter-gatherer society.

However, you raise a good point. Is mating reciprocal? Can both people get pregnant at once, or could you specifically have one person try?

SiuiS
2013-12-27, 03:20 AM
I don't get what you are saying, sorry. There's nothing wrong with going into different possibly meanings behind the use of a word and getting clarification.

I worry that it's leaning far more, between your response and Tengu Temp's, toward judgement than clarification. It clarifies a point and then goes "and that is wrong because...", which is exactly why the subject didn't go into it.


So I think it's been agreed by now that there'd be no gender. However, I think the two gender-like archetypes of the strong warrior half of the population and the weak childbearing half would still exist. The population would still segregate itself along the lines of who wants to bear a child and who wants to sire a child.

Quote the contrary, I don't think it is agreed there would be no gender. Gender arises from brain architecture after all. It's just difficult to pin down correlation between sex and gender because we have nothing even vaguely akin to evidence about how they interwove.


The childbearing half of the population would experience many of the same stereotypes and gender roles as women have throughout history.

The siring half of the population would be available for battle more often. And thus they would experience history roughly as men have.

I dunno. History as men have experienced it (quite an odd phrase, that) is based on more assumptions than "available for war".


Okay. Let's go WAY back in time to cave-hermaphrodites. We just evolved larger brains and have the beginnings of a hunter-gatherer society. Because regardless of if there's sexual dimorphism or not, hunting and gathering are still two very common ways of getting food. Part of society starts focusing on hunting, and part of society focuses on gathering. This is primarily because it's more efficient. Division of labor.

These cavepeople begin to specialize. While the hunters are out getting meat, the gatherers are staying back getting berries to eat and doing a lot of the child raising. As a result, it becomes easier for the gatherers to be the primary child-bearers. That's not to say gatherers never sire. Just that it's a lot less common for hunters to bear.

As civilizations develop and grow more complex, we retain this division where some people choose to stay back and raise the kids. Eventually it grows into the division I described. Children are raises role-less, since they're too young to start families. Adults, however, wind up with sire and bearer roles, similar to stereotypical men and women.

So perhaps I am operating under an assumption that society would develop almost identically to how it has. But it seems a very natural way for it to progress, given the hunter-gatherer model I started with.

You're making a crucial mistake here, and that is that you assume an identity is in place already and that's how they get their identity. The thing about gender roles is they are prescriptive, in the common sense, but also descriptive. You see a woman, you tell her she is a woman, you force her to do woman things.

That cannot happen here. You see a hermaphroditic human, you cannot place what they are soon enough, and so you cannot force them into their role and the divide is a hazy one, assumed and unanalytical.

Let's say you're right, and we end up with a group of 100 of these folks. Fully forty five at any time are hunters and the remaining 55 gather and rear children. That's fine. What you cannot do is assume those forty five hunters are always the same individuals. Certainly at first, the slothful would gather and the active would hunt, but they would all be skilled in both, with various aptitudes. And as any one role took on social importance (hunting brings praise and glory, say) then you start to get more incentive to become good at it rather than sticking to to our natural inclinations. And since you cannot say "the women can't hunt" and you cannot say "the gatherers can't hunt" because there is no prescriptive tag for gatherers, you wins up with a very fluid population based more on cliques and in groups than broad social identity.


Question: why would an individual choose to bear without also siring?

That's a very good question. I assumed human anatomy standard, and inferred mechanics from there. These mechanics would normally preclude dual impregnation, especially as fatigue and afterglow hit.

Who knows though? Although given that hormones interfere with each other, I'm now interested in biology. Wouldn't these people require two separate, secondary vascular systems specific to each genital structure? You'd have shifted endocrine system tubing to make sure the testes or similar get only testosterone, and the uterus and such get only estrogen... The alternative is changing how the body systems react to hormone shifts, but I don't know if humans can operate like frogs. I don't know that they have the capacity. Highlights a lot of what I don't know. Always fun.

SowZ
2013-12-27, 04:00 AM
I worry that it's leaning far more, between your response and Tengu Temp's, toward judgement than clarification. It clarifies a point and then goes "and that is wrong because...", which is exactly why the subject didn't go into it.



Quote the contrary, I don't think it is agreed there would be no gender. Gender arises from brain architecture after all. It's just difficult to pin down correlation between sex and gender because we have nothing even vaguely akin to evidence about how they interwove.



I dunno. History as men have experienced it (quite an odd phrase, that) is based on more assumptions than "available for war".



You're making a crucial mistake here, and that is that you assume an identity is in place already and that's how they get their identity. The thing about gender roles is they are prescriptive, in the common sense, but also descriptive. You see a woman, you tell her she is a woman, you force her to do woman things.

That cannot happen here. You see a hermaphroditic human, you cannot place what they are soon enough, and so you cannot force them into their role and the divide is a hazy one, assumed and unanalytical.

Let's say you're right, and we end up with a group of 100 of these folks. Fully forty five at any time are hunters and the remaining 55 gather and rear children. That's fine. What you cannot do is assume those forty five hunters are always the same individuals. Certainly at first, the slothful would gather and the active would hunt, but they would all be skilled in both, with various aptitudes. And as any one role took on social importance (hunting brings praise and glory, say) then you start to get more incentive to become good at it rather than sticking to to our natural inclinations. And since you cannot say "the women can't hunt" and you cannot say "the gatherers can't hunt" because there is no prescriptive tag for gatherers, you wins up with a very fluid population based more on cliques and in groups than broad social identity.



That's a very good question. I assumed human anatomy standard, and inferred mechanics from there. These mechanics would normally preclude dual impregnation, especially as fatigue and afterglow hit.

Who knows though? Although given that hormones interfere with each other, I'm now interested in biology. Wouldn't these people require two separate, secondary vascular systems specific to each genital structure? You'd have shifted endocrine system tubing to make sure the testes or similar get only testosterone, and the uterus and such get only estrogen... The alternative is changing how the body systems react to hormone shifts, but I don't know if humans can operate like frogs. I don't know that they have the capacity. Highlights a lot of what I don't know. Always fun.

Hmm? I don't see that. I made a point that someone who identifies as a traditionalist could be perfectly accepting of others as there's nothing wrong with pretty much fitting into the gender roles and Tengu agreed. I mentioned that the term traditionalist is likely to lead to conclusions of things such as anti-gay marriage and such, though, so I wouldn't use the term myself even if it could be used to describe me. That's not judgmental. That's accepting that different terms have lots of baggage I'd rather avoid.

dehro
2013-12-27, 07:28 AM
My theory is that binary gender roles would evolve from the hunter-gatherer system. It does make sense, binary gender roles or not, to use division of labor. Instead of training everyone to hunt and gather, you can specialize in one. From there, it would make sense to me to have binary gender roles develop. Being pregnant could be inconvenient while hunting, so it would make sense that the hunter-trained people would bear fewer children.

And over time, the stigma against hunters, the more active segment on society, not bearing children could evolve/mutate into binary gender roles. Just like the hunters don't normally bear children, the gatherers would sire fewer and fewer children. And thus, binary gender roles evolved out of a hunter-gatherer society.

However, you raise a good point. Is mating reciprocal? Can both people get pregnant at once, or could you specifically have one person try?

@siuis... You can however say that hunters are no good at gathering and gatheres haven't trauned the skills needed for hunting. That would breed specialisation. Independently from my sex, I know for instance that I am only a mediocre Cook, so in a restaurant, the most sensible way to go would be to put someone else in the kitchen and let me do front of house. Prestige and status would be second fiddle to necessity and effectiveness.


That said, Razanir, what you are describing isn't a gender division as much as a caste system, within which gender would, for lack of there being more than one, play a much lesser role, especially because as soon as you get out of the pure hunter gatherer situation (pretty soon) you get multiple roles, artisans, entertainers ( both of the adult variety and the more social ones), religious figures, educators... Etc etc.
In fact a homogenous sexual nature, I believe, would push us towards a caste system all the harder. One determined by job and skillset, more so than by childbearing
"I'm high priest of Candyfloss, so shall my child be, because he'll inherit the position or I'll train him" "my child is born in the potters enclave, he'll become a good potter" "your child was born in the soldier caste. He'll never be allowed to train as a gardener or magistrate"


These considerations will soon matter a whole lot more than "I'm very good at hunting and have no time to waste bearing children"
Yes, initially practicality will tell people to leave the birthing to the individuals who least need to be mobile for their other tasks, but pretty soon it will dawn on members of one role/profession/caste, that they don't need to get their trainees/pups/offspring from other castes.

warty goblin
2013-12-27, 10:06 AM
My theory is that binary gender roles would evolve from the hunter-gatherer system. It does make sense, binary gender roles or not, to use division of labor. Instead of training everyone to hunt and gather, you can specialize in one. From there, it would make sense to me to have binary gender roles develop. Being pregnant could be inconvenient while hunting, so it would make sense that the hunter-trained people would bear fewer children.

I think you're putting the cart before the horse here. There's no reason to a priori assume a hermaphroditic species would operate as hunter-gatherers in the first place*. They may tend more towards societies that feed off of plant matter and small game.


*I also rather strongly suspect that the hunter/gatherer divide in such societies is nowhere near as absolute as you see to be implying.


And over time, the stigma against hunters, the more active segment on society, not bearing children could evolve/mutate into binary gender roles. Just like the hunters don't normally bear children, the gatherers would sire fewer and fewer children. And thus, binary gender roles evolved out of a hunter-gatherer society.
This makes no sense. If hunting is stigmatized, why would an individual choose to hunt? All they need do to not hunt is to mate with the possibility of getting pregnant (assuming pregnant/caregiving individuals don't hunt) enough times, and escape that stigma while also increasing their chances of successfully reproducing. Particularly if there is a bias towards reciprocal mating, refusing to do so in order to voluntarily assume a denigrated role requires a substantial fraction of the population to be complete idiots.


However, you raise a good point. Is mating reciprocal? Can both people get pregnant at once, or could you specifically have one person try?
In order for both individuals to get pregnant, each would have to exchange genetic information with the other. Assuming anything remotely like human anatomy, this seems like the sort of thing that certainly would be possible in any given encounter, but isn't necessary.

(Other question: would such a species be capable of self-fertilization? If so, would doing this be considered shameful in most societies?)



That's a very good question. I assumed human anatomy standard, and inferred mechanics from there. These mechanics would normally preclude dual impregnation, especially as fatigue and afterglow hit.

I don't think even reasonably human sexual mechanics would preclude reciprocal mating. Even if anatomical layout made simultaneous reciprocity impossible, sequential reciprocity is still quite plausible, since the refractory period is (in my understanding) mostly a feature of male anatomy. The partner receiving genetic information in the first step would be giving in the second, and vice versa.


Who knows though? Although given that hormones interfere with each other, I'm now interested in biology. Wouldn't these people require two separate, secondary vascular systems specific to each genital structure? You'd have shifted endocrine system tubing to make sure the testes or similar get only testosterone, and the uterus and such get only estrogen... The alternative is changing how the body systems react to hormone shifts, but I don't know if humans can operate like frogs. I don't know that they have the capacity. Highlights a lot of what I don't know. Always fun.
One would have to figure some reasonably different hormone systems.

dehro
2013-12-27, 10:16 AM
I think you're putting the cart before the horse here. There's no reason to a priori assume a hermaphroditic species would operate as hunter-gatherers in the first place*. They may tend more towards societies that feed off of plant matter and small game.
I thought that besides the swiss knife configuration in the sexual department, we were still talking about broadly human species. We would still remain large omnivorous primates with opposable thumbs, a tendency to stand on two feet and a slightly bigger than average brain.
The evolution of our placement in the food chain would most likely not stray too far from the current one.
Also, there's no way you are giving me periods and not giving me chocolate and bacon.

SiuiS
2013-12-27, 10:23 AM
My point Derho is that there wouldn't be prejudgment of "This child will grow up to hunter" or "this ones obviously a gatherer, you can tell by their genitals", and so the whole thing of 'no aptitude' and specialization goes out the window because children will play at doing both for the first ten years of their life.

Besides, neither hunting not gathering are that hard.

Razanir
2013-12-27, 02:29 PM
My point Derho is that there wouldn't be prejudgment of "This child will grow up to hunter" or "this ones obviously a gatherer, you can tell by their genitals", and so the whole thing of 'no aptitude' and specialization goes out the window because children will play at doing both for the first ten years of their life.

Besides, neither hunting not gathering are that hard.

And I'm saying that even if they aren't sorted into their roles based on genitalia, that hunters would still receive special training. Because hunting takes some amount of skill. Namely the ability to not get yourself killed. And if someone doesn't receive as much training, they would logically want to stay back home as a gather.

Again, it's a similar separation to normal, except sorted by individual preference, not by genitalia.

Coidzor
2013-12-27, 02:31 PM
The bigger question is how those social castes would change or not change with the advent of agriculture and animal husbandry.

warty goblin
2013-12-27, 02:51 PM
And I'm saying that even if they aren't sorted into their roles based on genitalia, that hunters would still receive special training. Because hunting takes some amount of skill. Namely the ability to not get yourself killed. And if someone doesn't receive as much training, they would logically want to stay back home as a gather.

Again, it's a similar separation to normal, except sorted by individual preference, not by genitalia.

This depends enormously on what you're hunting. Woolly Mammoth is a pretty dangerous game. Deer, elk, things like that? Not nearly so much. The skills required are mostly about tracking, knowing their movements and habits, good locations for concealment that have a good chance of giving the hunter a shot at prey. Once you have bows though, it doesn't take a particularly powerful weapon to take most game.

dehro
2013-12-27, 05:17 PM
Besides, neither hunting not gathering are that hard.

when was the last time you fed a family of 4 with berries and roots you collected in a wild/non farmed environment?.. or with prey caught with a spear and a bit of string?

Lady Tialait
2013-12-27, 08:39 PM
This depends enormously on what you're hunting. Woolly Mammoth is a pretty dangerous game. Deer, elk, things like that? Not nearly so much. The skills required are mostly about tracking, knowing their movements and habits, good locations for concealment that have a good chance of giving the hunter a shot at prey. Once you have bows though, it doesn't take a particularly powerful weapon to take most game.

There are also predators to kill the hunters. Overall, you wouldn't want those who hunt to bare children, the risk is too high.

Childbearing and raising would be those who needed protecting. They could gather some berries and roots, and pass down the lore of what is good to eat, and the history of the tribe, and the knowledge and such. However, such a resource would be too important to send hunting where some random mountain lion could eat them.

This is why I think the idea of Matralineal inheritance once we get to the Agricultural stages is silly. The childbearing from the cavemen part has caused the hunting portion to see themselves as those who won the land, and food. Their prize was the impregnate their choice of the population! They are the true masters of the land...who cares who bared their children, they are part of their great mountain of things.

Razanir
2013-12-27, 08:55 PM
There are also predators to kill the hunters. Overall, you wouldn't want those who hunt to bare children, the risk is too high.

Childbearing and raising would be those who needed protecting. They could gather some berries and roots, and pass down the lore of what is good to eat, and the history of the tribe, and the knowledge and such. However, such a resource would be too important to send hunting where some random mountain lion could eat them.

Exactly. From there the question is if society stratifies itself along that line, and if so, would it be reasonable for it to evolve into something similar to binary gender roles.

warty goblin
2013-12-28, 12:13 AM
There are also predators to kill the hunters. Overall, you wouldn't want those who hunt to bare children, the risk is too high.

Childbearing and raising would be those who needed protecting. They could gather some berries and roots, and pass down the lore of what is good to eat, and the history of the tribe, and the knowledge and such. However, such a resource would be too important to send hunting where some random mountain lion could eat them.

Funny thing about berries and roots; they're out in the same places the predators are. Same with the fish traps, the snare lines, and so forth, all of which are traditionally women's work in many hunter-gatherer societies. So far as I'm aware, the Innuit were never existentially threatened by the fact that bears fished the same streams and ate blueberries in the same fields that the women harvested from, or that wolves ran the same trails where they set the rabbit snares.


This is why I think the idea of Matralineal inheritance once we get to the Agricultural stages is silly. The childbearing from the cavemen part has caused the hunting portion to see themselves as those who won the land, and food. Their prize was the impregnate their choice of the population! They are the true masters of the land...who cares who bared their children, they are part of their great mountain of things.
And they get to mate with anybody else why? There's no sexual dimorphism at work, and the stay at home portion of the population is perfectly capable of reproducing itself without the hunter portion.

Lady Tialait
2013-12-28, 02:08 AM
Funny thing about berries and roots; they're out in the same places the predators are. Same with the fish traps, the snare lines, and so forth, all of which are traditionally women's work in many hunter-gatherer societies. So far as I'm aware, the Innuit were never existentially threatened by the fact that bears fished the same streams and ate blueberries in the same fields that the women harvested from, or that wolves ran the same trails where they set the rabbit snares.


There is a difference between gathering nearby your home, and hunting for days away from your home.



And they get to mate with anybody else why? There's no sexual dimorphism at work, and the stay at home portion of the population is perfectly capable of reproducing itself without the hunter portion.

While it is capable of reproducing without the hunter portion, it is not capable of hunting without the hunter portion.

It all for me comes down to the downtime from pregnancy. As someone who has gone through the whole thing, I will say the last month...even getting as far as the fridge can be a bother. There is a reason for Maternity leave from jobs, and not Paternity leave...You are effectively useless for a while at the end of the pregnancy and the child takes up all of your time for a few months afterward.

Who would be taking care of the childbearing? Why would they not see themselves entitled to something because of this?

After all, even with gender dimorphism as we do have, we have never married single mothers. Getting pregnant isn't really all that hard to do. It's actually fun. But, single mothers will go on and on about how much harder it is to take care of the child without a support network of another person. I see no reason this wouldn't be the case just because anyone could get anyone else pregnant. You would want to find someone who wasn't going to give birth to focus on helping you get your needs, and those who didn't want to go through the pain and exhaustion of child birth would look for someone to do that.

Basically, how I see it is that everyone who had a child would want someone to help them who wasn't having the child. The obvious choice would be the one who impregnated them. This is what creates Monogamy's baseline in this situation. As both sides would have it in their interest to keep connection to their offspring's parents this would have effects as the world moved from Hunter/Gatherers to Agriculture and property owning. As the child barer you would need someone else to take care of the land while you were drained, and those with land would need someone to take care of children while they were doing so.

Basically, you would end up with those who cared for the land, and those who cared for the family. As those who cared for the family would not have deep connection the property it would stand to reason the person caring for the land would want to see their line alone getting it. So, Monogamy stands, and the impregnation would be the way to track property.

That is just where my reasoning took me. Now, this changes as humans just spontaneously split into imperfect copies. Asexual production style...that would have much heavier changes.

warty goblin
2013-12-28, 10:04 AM
There is a difference between gathering nearby your home, and hunting for days away from your home.

Many, if not most, hunter-gatherer societies are at least partially nomadic. Hunting days away from home is rather stupid so far as I can tell, because it's damn hard to preserve the meat in order to get it home. Particularly if you're hunting a migratory species, it's easier by far to move home to the food than bring the food home.



While it is capable of reproducing without the hunter portion, it is not capable of hunting without the hunter portion.

It all for me comes down to the downtime from pregnancy. As someone who has gone through the whole thing, I will say the last month...even getting as far as the fridge can be a bother. There is a reason for Maternity leave from jobs, and not Paternity leave...You are effectively useless for a while at the end of the pregnancy and the child takes up all of your time for a few months afterward.
I wasn't denying that individuals which were pregnant or had just given birth would be unable to hunt. However that is not a permanent state of affairs*, thus I do not see why this would give rise to a permanent hunting class.


*IIRC most hunter-gatherer societies had fewer children per woman than agricultural ones. Poorer nutrition combined with nursing the child for longer leads to much lower fertility.


Who would be taking care of the childbearing? Why would they not see themselves entitled to something because of this?

After all, even with gender dimorphism as we do have, we have never married single mothers. Getting pregnant isn't really all that hard to do. It's actually fun. But, single mothers will go on and on about how much harder it is to take care of the child without a support network of another person. I see no reason this wouldn't be the case just because anyone could get anyone else pregnant. You would want to find someone who wasn't going to give birth to focus on helping you get your needs, and those who didn't want to go through the pain and exhaustion of child birth would look for someone to do that.
I think in this case, the other person would probably be most of the tribe. The nuclear family is to no small degree a modern invention, brought about by increased technology making it possible, and higher mobility isolating people from their extended families.


Basically, how I see it is that everyone who had a child would want someone to help them who wasn't having the child. The obvious choice would be the one who impregnated them. This is what creates Monogamy's baseline in this situation. As both sides would have it in their interest to keep connection to their offspring's parents this would have effects as the world moved from Hunter/Gatherers to Agriculture and property owning. As the child barer you would need someone else to take care of the land while you were drained, and those with land would need someone to take care of children while they were doing so.

Sure, the impregnated individual would need somebody else to work the land for a period of time. I still do not see where this follows that the split would be permanent. For one thing in subsistence level agriculture, everybody works the land as much as they can. Including the children. Ceding half the labor-force of a couple to childcare is not a particularly wise policy long-term.


Basically, you would end up with those who cared for the land, and those who cared for the family. As those who cared for the family would not have deep connection the property it would stand to reason the person caring for the land would want to see their line alone getting it. So, Monogamy stands, and the impregnation would be the way to track property.

Again, if you live on a farm, you work the farm.
That is just where my reasoning took me. Now, this changes as humans just spontaneously split into imperfect copies. Asexual production style...that would have much heavier changes.[/QUOTE]
Agreed, if an individual can in fact reproduce without a partner, inheritance gets very messed up.

Kalmageddon
2013-12-28, 11:39 AM
when was the last time you fed a family of 4 with berries and roots you collected in a wild/non farmed environment?.. or with prey caught with a spear and a bit of string?

Ninja'd.
I support the theory of distinction between hunters and gatherers.

SiuiS
2013-12-28, 01:24 PM
And I'm saying that even if they aren't sorted into their roles based on genitalia, that hunters would still receive special training.

And there is absolutely no possible way to differentiate hunters from gatherers until after they get this special training, rendering it moot. Noo one is born a hunter. No one is born a gatherer. There is no division point where you can pick which one goes where.


Because hunting takes some amount of skill. Namely the ability to not get yourself killed. And if someone doesn't receive as much training, they would logically want to stay back home as a gather.

hunting as you understand it takes skill, sure. But at the point in history we are at, the nomadic hunter-gather stage, hunting is "five of us are going to chase this stag until it drops dead of exhaustion. We will keep it away with pointy sticks", or "lure small game with food, hit it with projectile" or "set snare, check snare throughout day" or even "wait for predator to make kill, scare it off and take it's food".


when was the last time you fed a family of 4 with berries and roots you collected in a wild/non farmed environment?.. or with prey caught with a spear and a bit of string?

A family of four? About twelve years ago. I don't know why any society would do that though, that's stupid. Everyone works on food collection because you don't have anything else worth doing. And it's easy for one person to find food for one or two people. Which frees up about 40% of your population to work on equipment maintenance, clothing, etc.

Hunter gatherer societies are pretty diverse, but there are a few examples to go to quick. there is a native American tribe that was entirely nomadic and were criticized for spending their time doing nothing and not being productive. The truth was, they didn't need to be productive, because their lives were eating, finding things to eat, and chilling. The found enough food to keep them going, and they conserved energy so they could keep caloric needs down. And every one of 'em did the whole gatherer hunter thing.

There are also African tribes, which I know less about the peculiarities of, and other indigienous cultures. the farther abroad we go though, the less comfortable I get making statements because I don't know as much as I'd like.


There are also predators to kill the hunters. Overall, you wouldn't want those who hunt to bare children, the risk is too high.

there is no "home base" though. You don't have a place that's really secure from predators to stay behind at. No wall.s No solid buildings. No villages. You've got tents, and you've got people who are constantly oving because without farming you don't have a sustainable supply of plant food that can support a medium sized group.


Childbearing and raising would be those who needed protecting.

Which is why you get one or two children at a time, and everyone else continues hunting and gathering and protecting. We're not going to get a society where every Carrier is pregnant or raising a child all the time because you need a society with a consistent food surplus first.



While it is capable of reproducing without the hunter portion, it is not capable of hunting without the hunter portion.

Why not? Subsistence hunting is easy, and because there are no "women", everyone - EVERYONE - gets hunter training, even if they are phased out when they prove to be less skilled.

So you've got a population of people who can hunt but aren't batman wizard optimized for it, and you've got human nature, which likes putting the onus of work on other people and doing the minimum yourself, and that doesn't lead to the same place we are, now, in our modern world.


It all for me comes down to the downtime from pregnancy. As someone who has gone through the whole thing, I will say the last month...even getting as far as the fridge can be a bother. There is a reason for Maternity leave from jobs, and not Paternity leave

Aye, and that reason is sexism.

The number of women I've known who can handle pregnancy better than most people handle having a day job is pretty high. So, let's say you're right, and carriers who were in good shape before hand happen to have to sit out a single month. So?

One month. That's the time for a bone to heal. That's the time to fully recover from a really bad disease or wound. And it's not like that's a big deal? Your days consist of getting food, eating it, and then enjoying the other eighteen hours. What are you missing out on? What is so bad about that thirty day period that by not putting in your four hours a day, you're crippling the entire tribe?


You are effectively useless for a while at the end of the pregnancy and the child takes up all of your time for a few months afterward.

Why? recovery time after pregnancy is about a week, and since you only have a very few amount of children at a time - children who will begin learning the hunting and gathering skills to support themselves in about two years - you have an entire clan taking care of the child., There's almost no burden on the mother at all. She's even got a nice cache of fat to work on!



After all, even with gender dimorphism as we do have, we have never married single mothers. Getting pregnant isn't really all that hard to do. It's actually fun. But, single mothers will go on and on about how much harder it is to take care of the child without a support network of another person.

This has nothing to do with division of labor in a hunter gatherer society and everything to do with economics driven by wartime foibles that have continued into the modern day. There was, in recent enough history that people who were alive then are alive now, a society in America where it was possible for one person to work and thereby support a household of eight. Grandma watching li'l baby while momma works and daddy is conscripted to war was a thing.



Basically, how I see it is that everyone who had a child would want someone to help them who wasn't having the child.

entire tribe.



The obvious choice would be the one who impregnated them.

Without pair bonding, how do you know which one person impregnated them? We have women who get really bad stomach aches, then diarrhea, and find out oh that wasn't diarrhea I was pregnant and here is a baby, what a surprise. We have a hypothetical society which doesn't have the need for sire to claim their carrier because there is no line of succession the sire needs to be concerned with.

This line of thought becomes, basically, "by assuming the fallout of a patrilineal society, we can disprove a matrilineal one", which doesn't make sense.

dehro
2013-12-28, 04:02 PM
the number 4 was picked entirely at random. it's just to say that it's easy, maybe, to feed any number of people for a day or two simply on what you gather or hunt (again, with very basic tools).. not so easy to keep doing this for an entire season or two, maybe in bad weather, or in a harsh natural environment. Put simply, neither gathering nor hunting are "easy" in the long term period. both require extensive knowledge, training adaptability and very good integration with your natural environment.
I read people writing about hunting in rather absolute terms without taking into consideration the difficulties geography brings to the play. if you live in the outback, somewhere in the desert, in a tropical jungle or on an archipelago of small islands with few resources, you'll find that hunting, fishing or even just finding clear water, and doing so for any length of time, is very different from a stroll in the park and shooting with a rifle at anything that moves.
so... yeah, there would be necessarily some degree of specialisation.. then there's the elderly, or the phisically crippled/injured who would be put to different tasks altogether (such as, for instance, working the loom or cooking or whatever else have you...) in a society that doesn't have per sè a sexual divide, I am reasonably sure that other means of self-definition would be sought, the role in the society being one.. so, even in a hunter gatherer civilisation, shamans, carpenters and suchlike would develop quite early on, and most probably the job description would be a stronger social divide than anything else, and there is no reason to be sure that childbearing would by default fall on one "profession/caste" or the other. for reference, look at the castes in India. I may be wrong, but I believe that where the caste system is upheld, there's very little intermarriage between members of different castes.
Let's not forget that in very early/primitive civilisations, as soon as fertility was reached, one was eligible for marriage and childbearing... both of which would occur at a very young age (to today's standards). I can only assume that in a society where there isn't a sexual divide, this phenomena would be all the stronger, because you can't keep the boys separate from the girls like it happens in many primitive tribes, where the boys are kicked into hunter bootcamp and girls who reach fertility are isolated until marriage. This can simply not be done in a hermaphrodite society.
Since we agree that people aren't born hunters, carpenters or gatherers, I would assume that pregnancies would easily occur before one becomes a proficient hunter or gatherer or anything else.
The only way to prevent this would be to enforce rules that would bring about a divide well ahead of one's professional designation, by birthright, for instance... further instigating a caste system.

Coidzor
2013-12-28, 07:30 PM
Ninja'd.
I support the theory of distinction between hunters and gatherers.

The problem is less division of labor and whether hunters would become men.

Most of the stated argumentation on that point has seemed to be birthed out of the idea that we have no idea how a non-gendered society would emerge, so let's make sure to reinvent gender ASAP and proceed from there, except gender doesn't really work right if one doesn't have one until (functional) adulthood.

SiuiS
2013-12-28, 07:53 PM
the number 4 was picked entirely at random. it's just to say that it's easy, maybe, to feed any number of people for a day or two simply on what you gather or hunt (again, with very basic tools).. not so easy to keep doing this for an entire season or two, maybe in bad weather, or in a harsh natural environment. Put simply, neither gathering nor hunting are "easy" in the long term period. both require extensive knowledge, training adaptability and very good integration with your natural environment.
I read people writing about hunting in rather absolute terms without taking into consideration the difficulties geography brings to the play. if you live in the outback, somewhere in the desert, in a tropical jungle or on an archipelago of small islands with few resources, you'll find that hunting, fishing or even just finding clear water, and doing so for any length of time, is very different from a stroll in the park and shooting with a rifle at anything that moves.

Let's not forget that in very early/primitive civilisations, as soon as fertility was reached, one was eligible for marriage and childbearing... both of which would occur at a very young age (to today's standards). I can only assume that in a society where there isn't a sexual divide, this phenomena would be all the stronger, because you can't keep the boys separate from the girls like it happens in many primitive tribes, where the boys are kicked into hunter bootcamp and girls who reach fertility are isolated until marriage. This can simply not be done in a hermaphrodite society.
Since we agree that people aren't born hunters, carpenters or gatherers, I would assume that pregnancies would easily occur before one becomes a proficient hunter or gatherer or anything else.
The only way to prevent this would be to enforce rules that would bring about a divide well ahead of one's professional designation, by birthright, for instance... further instigating a caste system.

When we say hunting, we aren't really taking into a count how long the good you get lasts. Squirrel meat, lizards, snakes, small fish, they go a long way. Then you get into scavengers? Coyotes, wild cats, other assorted mammals. Insects, too; moths are delicious I hear, but I've always been too squicked out to try it. And those go a long way, because unless you're wasteful, that stuff goes a long way. And you don't prioritize neat, you prioritize forage. Dandelion soup, tubers, berries. Water is easy to find, takes a bit to clean and you're not going to find anything to hunt or gather very far from water anyway.

Check out the Hazda people, North American tribes, nomadic folks from the desert. All this stuff requires is not being shell-shocked. Did you know you can make a knife out of a rock? Well, duh. But do you know how? You can make a concoidal knife by banging a spherical/egg-shaped rock at an angle against another hard rock surface. The chip has a sharp edge. It's something everyone learns because everyone needs knives. And everyone needs to eat. The skills you learn for hunting and or gathering are passed on really, really early. I mean, kids play at hunting and gathering anyway – sword fights and kitchens and family make believe are the norm.


Marriage was a political tool. People were married off by other people. The concern about being married off and impregnated hinges on the preexisting gender divide and patriarchal society, doesn't it?

dehro
2013-12-29, 01:35 AM
You seem to have skipped the bit about early pregnancy/sexual promiscuity and focused on the marriage part. The real issue is intercepting early sexual development to belay child-bearing until one is educated enough to be of some use for the tribe other than the child-bearing itself, which would interrupt most educational process, and turn the young parent into a drain on the clan resources (this needs a benefits joke somewhere). To do so would require some sort of regulation, pecking order or institution... Specifically something of a social nature that anticipates educational development and therefore must come from the parents. In a mono-sexual society, what better way to give some sort of limitation than to "stick to your own kind and focus on learning the craft of your kind"? Ultimately, apprentice hunters, gatherers or craftspeople would stick together during their specialisation and, most likely, hook up with their most close relations, those friends they make during that time. Add rampaging teenage hormones, and you will have parental unions of some description forming mostly around people in the same trade.
Of course much then depends on whether the society develops the meerkat way where everybody, male or female takes care of everybody's offspring, or the bear way, where mama bear chases off anyone coming near her cubs.

SiuiS
2013-12-29, 02:02 PM
There is no minimum age to learning how to survive[/u]. A baby is born. It learns to talk. It learns to walk. It then immediately learns how to eat and deal with food and what not to eat and how to get food for the next five years. 3-8 is "you're now a hunter gatherer". By the time puberty hits, they're already proficient in both.

Pregnancy and birth aren't as draining as people believe, especially not for a culture already used to the rigors of this life. You may be out of work entirely a month (but then, you may not – the number of women who don't realize they are going into labor until the baby comes out is surprisingly large), and you may not chase an elk with a screaming child (but then again, you may, since you're going to run it down for an hour or so), but that's it. Mother can still work. Mother in fact, has to still work, because food doesn't come from anywhere but work and subsistence living means no surplus.

dehro
2013-12-29, 02:06 PM
so basically, the "sexual/social role" determined by being a "mother" or not being one doesn't hold water... which is what I've been arguing all along.
as for the fact that by the age of 8 people are proficient at hunting and gathering.. sorry, not buying it. Everything I've ever read or seen about primitive cultures and remote tribes and what have you tells me otherwise.
mind you, I'm not an antropologist, but I'm going to need a bit more convincing before taking your word for it.

SiuiS
2013-12-29, 02:17 PM
What kind of hunting are you thinking?

Are you thinking a group isolating and chasing an animal for hours until it collapses of exhaustion?
Are you thinking carefully stalking like a lion until you're close enough to put an arrow or spear into it?
Are you thinking launching a barbed stick into the water to catch a fish?
Are you thinking leaving dead falls and berries for rabbits and such to get caught in?
Are you thinking sending out a pack of dogs to run small game to ground?
Are you thinking stunning a squirrel or groundhog with a well-thrown rock and then clubbing it quickly?
Are you thinking diving and grabbing clams and crabs from the water bed and prying them open?
Are you thinking catching moths or grubs and eating them?

Because half of those are actual, honest to goodness children's games, and for a reason.


I'm also curious: do these cultures you've read about have rigidly endorced gender roles and gating mechanisms? Because using societal mechanisms to prove something is hard to prove the need of societal mechanisms is faulty logic. Makes the whole thing harder though.

dehro
2013-12-29, 02:57 PM
each and every one of those methods and more, since we're talking about an entire race on planetary scale.
yes, children play with bows and arrows.. I did too, when I was a child... with a toy bow, because a real bow would have been taller than me and I would have been unable to draw it. My targets would not be hidden or need to be scouted out for days because there's few of them to begin with. Most of my targets did not fight back or run away... except my sister, but lets not go there.

Yes, had I kept at it and had it been my primary mode of sustenance, I would have become better at it, eventually. Even so, I doubt I'd have made much of a contribution to the daily gruel until I got to the stage where I could actually use grown-up equipment and keep up with my prey.


Because using societal mechanisms to prove something is hard to prove the need of societal mechanisms is faulty logic.
I'm not sure I understand this phrase correctly.

As for gating mechanisms.. I don't have to look all that far away to find entire countries and/or religions that make it a point to separate nubile young women of childbearing age from interacting with males of any description outside of their direct family. Look at the middle east or, again, India for reference.
I don't want to overstep the boundaries of forum rules, but I'll relate what I learned when I went on holiday to Sri Lanka. In that country, any social interaction between local unwed youngsters must be chaperonned and anything that could lead to intimacy is frowned upon and, if necessary, must occur with open doors/in public. Taking a girl out for ice-creams after school does not happen unless her brother comes along or she's already been promised to you by arranged marriage agreements. This holds true irrespective of the religion practiced by the people in question, which will statistically be hindu, muslim or buddhism, if memory serves me well... not sure in which proportion.
I learned this from a local guy who was very surprised to find that I was traveling with a female friend without being married to her, or having any other relationship than a friendly one with her.
and that's today. Africa and the Amazon are full of initiation rituals for people who reach puberty that involve some degree of separation from the other gender for at least a while. These rituals are explicitly linked to reaching child-producing age and are often different in nature depending on the sex (think circumcision or infibulation, which are only the most gory examples, but not the only ones) I cannot quote specific sources because I've learned about these things over a couple of decades of random reading and watching documentaries.. and things may be conflating in my memory.. but I'm pretty sure I'm not making things up.
Anyway, all of these rules come into play per force of the genders of the people involved and their sexual development. I don't see how these mechanisms could ever develop and lead into different/separate roles and directions when everybody is of the same genre, unless it has less to do with sexual role and more to do with familial affiliation.

Lady Tialait
2013-12-29, 03:47 PM
Without the science we have to help with child birth, the process is not just draining, but has a higher rate of infant/mother death rate. As you have more children, the risks go down. When I say it's draining, i'm speaking from observation, and personal experience.

Or are you going to argue that infant/mother mortality rates have not gone down as we became more and more civilized?

Spiryt
2013-12-29, 03:51 PM
Or are you going to argue that infant/mother mortality rates have not gone down as we became more and more civilized?

'Civilization' and 'civilized' is not something that can be exactly quantified into 'more' or 'less' easily.

But yeah, obviously, up until like 20th century in first world countries, childbearing and pregnancy was always somehow risky.

In some periods and places it would obviously be worse, due to overall bad hygiene in large settlement, miserable food, illnesses spreading among masses etc.

SiuiS
2013-12-29, 04:13 PM
My targets would not be hidden or need to be scouted out for days because there's few of them to begin with. Most of my targets did not fight back or run away...

Oh, so you're talking about one very specific manner of hunting and expanding it to cover every possible variation if subsistence hunting? Because no, you're right; if the only way to hunt is to stalk something for days and shoot it with a bow and arrow longer than most folks are tall then that's not going to happen. But that's not all of hunting, is it?
Throwing rocks at squirrels is hunting.
Putting bait under a deadfall is hunting.
Diving for clams is hunting.
Making a short now out of branch and sinew and shooting birds is hunting1.
Chasing an animal with a stick is hunting.
Chasing a predator away from a kill is hunting.
Grabbing a fish out of a stream is hunting.
Snaring a groundhog when it comes up In the morning is hunting.

If your clan chooses to stalk an elk for a week and ignore all the food around you? You deserve to die out for stubbornness and let the actual hunter cultures take your spot.


I'm not sure I understand this phrase correctly.

As for gating mechanisms.. I don't have to look all that far away to find entire countries and/or religions that make it a point to separate nubile young women of childbearing age from interacting with males of any description outside of their direct family.[/quote]

Which is patriarchal chattel owning, and comes from gender roles being enforced as prescriptive. It does not cause what it comes from.

We also know that hiding something away causes a desire for it. Over separation for fear of intimacy causes that intimacy.


Without the science we have to help with child birth, the process is not just draining, but has a higher rate of infant/mother death rate. As you have more children, the risks go down. When I say it's draining, i'm speaking from observation, and personal experience.

How draining birth is is misleading. It's a spike. A healthy person who performs atheltically regularly and on a (pardon the term) paleo diet will recover faster and be down for a shorter period from a more draining health issue, than someone who is culturally inclined to stay weak (because mates find it appealing) and who has a terrible diet potentially linked to rising global health issues.


Or are you going to argue that infant/mother mortality rates have not gone down as we became more and more civilized?

This is called a straw man argument, because not only did I say nothing about mortality rates except they aren't relevant, but my answer to this question would have no bearing on any other argument in this thread so far.


Mortality rates of pregnancy would be exactly why pregnancy isn't a proble. For a hunter gatherer society. You get pregnant less often and there are fewer concurrent pregnancies because of the liability. A mother dying actually reduces the resource burden because that is one able bodied human being that does not need to be fed but doesn't reduce the income by much because any given person feeds themself but also produces a small amount of surplus. Very small, mind, but.

warty goblin
2013-12-29, 04:38 PM
each and every one of those methods and more, since we're talking about an entire race on planetary scale.
yes, children play with bows and arrows.. I did too, when I was a child... with a toy bow, because a real bow would have been taller than me and I would have been unable to draw it. My targets would not be hidden or need to be scouted out for days because there's few of them to begin with. Most of my targets did not fight back or run away... except my sister, but lets not go there.
I was shooting a bow perfectly capable of killing a rabbit by a fairly young age. Small game isn't hard to take, but can provide a substantial amount of food. We learn how to read and write, somebody growing up to hunt and gather learns to shoot a bow, dress a kill, harvest berries, set snares, etc.

Razanir
2013-12-29, 04:56 PM
So yes, modern science has made pregnancy fairly safe and convenient. But back in hunter-gatherer caveman times, it was still risky and dangerous for both the mother and the baby. Look even as recent as the Renaissance, and you'll still find high infant mortality rates.

Because of this, it still sounds reasonable, in a primitive hunter-gatherer society, to have women and children stay back as home, while the men go hunting. However, we don't have sexual dimorphism. So instead of having half of society automatically bearing children, and the other half siring them and doing the hunting, we let everyone choose which role they want.

People have argued that this would turn into a caste system, and not a more fluid version of traditional gender roles. But in a caste system, your role in society is determined by what caste your parents were in. So you can't have a childbearing caste without societal rules for switching to a different caste, such as through an apprenticeship. The other problem is that you typically have to marry within your caste. Except now you're limiting reproduction to those in the childbearing caste, unless there are different norms about extramarital sex.

So to me, the most logical system to evolve for a hermaphroditic species is still adults are either childbearers or sires (although stereotypes and clothes are very mutable), and kids can experiment with either, and don't have to decide until later in life (probably around puberty, or shortly afterward)

dehro
2013-12-29, 05:57 PM
@warty... you were an accomplished hunter at 5-8??
because Siuis insists that by the age of 8 we're going to be fully functional in the role of both hunters and gatherers..because they're easy.
I mentioned bow and arrow because they're the ones I had more exposure to when I was a kid living in the countryside. Likewise I could have mentioned being the first to get tired when as a kid I would stay home from school during the wine season and work the vineries harvesting grapes.
I was aged 8-13, back then.. the other harvesters would be adults and work faster and longer hours than me.. and not because I was a slouch.
I spent those years on a daily routine of feeding animals (horses), shovelling stuff and fetching the wood for the stove and fireplaces around the house. Still at the vineyard I would be unable to keep up with adult, practiced farmhands.
I tend to speak from direct experience, when I can.

Hunting is not only the act of setting a trap or shooting a weapon. It's knowing when, where and how to look for prey, it's tracking, orienteering (depending on the habitat, a child or an inexperienced hunter could get lost, no matter how sharp his aim his), it's knowing which bits of what animals are poisonous, how to treat wounds if the prey fights back, how to skin it if it doesn't, how recognize signs of larger animals and avoid those etc etc..
I agree that all of this is possible for children to learn, I gave it a shot myself, but for them to be proficient enough to not need on hands supervision and to call them full blown hunters, is going to take them straight past the 5-8 year old mark Siuis set them at.
The bulk of the hunting, or gathering, let's not forget that, is still going to be performed by adults, be they..let's say.. 15 or older, simply because they're going to be better at it than children and it's more efficient that way.
In most circumstances, young children are just going to slow them down.. when there are so many tasks that need doing and that don't require much physical strength or extensive knowledge.. i.e. fetching water, plucking feathers, cleaning pots, fetching wood, babysitting the newborn, working the loom or grass fibres into cloth, digging a cesspit... etc etc.

As for child mortality rates.. we don't need to turn the clock back. look at Africa and Asia. One of the reasons why so many parents in Africa have so many children, is because a good share of them won't get past the 1-2 year mark. This is however a sideline that takes away from the main discussion, I think. It's only relevant to determine if and for how long someone who is caring for the child once it's born is bound to stay at home to breastfeed (eww... would non-pregnant individuals be able to do that, as happens with female meerkats who produce milk even when they're not the alpha female?)...
The pregnancy itself may be manageable and slow down the hunter or gatherer only for a while, but the newborn is going to need to be fed and kept warm etc etc. that should count for some loss of "valuable work hours" too.

Anyhoo, to go back to the education progression in the various roles, I don't disagree with the possibility that these crafts are taught fairly early. I just set the age bar of sufficient proficiency a bit later, somewhere around puberty or even past that, depending on circumstances and habitat. It's not a casual thing that across the entire animal kingdom (I'm sure someone is going to bring forth an example or two to the contrary, but you get the idea) sexual maturity and the ability to find your own food come roughly at the same time. If animals started to procreate before they were able to fend for themselves and feed their offspring, they'd shag themselves into extinction.
Reversing this notion, I don't think that, despite the evolution of society in the last couple thousand years, we were originally as "ahead of the curve" as we can be now.
..and to back to my original point, in a world with only one gender, I think that certain separations that have naturally occurred in History by force of physical disformity, wouldn't occur simply because the sexual bias for it would not be there... so if separations should come forth, I think that rather than at hunter-gatherer stage and caused by a "temporary gender role a.k.a. pregnancy", this would occur a bit later... for instance by the time that such things as trade come up ... which is still very early in civilisation development and in turn is also inevitable because as we progress, some things simply cannot be made by someone who isn't a specialized craftsman, and since these things are/become necessary, you are going to have to barter for them.
Within too long after that process starts, you're going to have some degree of have Vs. have-not, even within a comunity that shares most of what they...have.

in short, there would be less of a "gender" bias (because as you tell us, Siuis, childbearing can be managed with relatively minor loss of ability to perform demanding tasks..and pregnancy could happen even to those hunters who currently aren't slowed down by fat ankles) and more of a necessity bias..leaving social divergences to be settled over what one has and can do, as opposed to over whether he incidentally got to that point bearing children or deciding not to do so.
Personally I think a caste system would be a more realistic development, at some stage in our history.. after all it is part of our history as much as the gender bias is, even with the distinction between males and females.
I just think that with only the one gender, the roles within each cast would be more fluid and not necessarily revert automatically to a male-female role, leaving social differences to focus more on role/profession/lineage/caste than on gender-role currently enforced... because after all, it takes one night of passion to flip that choice of role upside down.

Lady Tialait
2013-12-30, 11:07 AM
SiuiS your comment came off a little insulting to me, felt like a personal attack. But, maybe I'm misinterpreting you. Are you telling me i'm weak to attract a mate? Endangering myself? Or did I misinterpret that.


The apprenticeship in a strict caste system with division of labor could be chosen by the parents, if there were only two castes Childbearing and Warrior. Children would be children for the most part. Till well, I'd say about 5. At that point they would need some training. This choice would normally be made by what the tribe needed as I can see it. Perhaps something more complex like the parents of the child discussing their future. Either way, it'd be long before their sexual awakening. They would either go out and learn from the warriors what is good to catch, how to get it ready, so on and so forth. Or how to care for children, injured and elderly.

This isn't based on gender, but aptitude and choices (theirs or not). Those who ended up being around others to care for them, would end up with more personal time to give birth with, and thus be the ideal ones to do so. Those who took more dangerous roles such as defender and hunter would not.

Heavily pregnant, sickly, very young, or very old have a harder time being self-sufficient. Predators attack them? They would send those who were young and not with child. Those who do this get good at it? They shouldn't become with child...or old really. Assuming this status as hermaphrodite doesn't end up being impregnation from looking at each other, then there is one factor that can be controlled. Hint: It's not the age.

Razanir
2013-12-30, 05:34 PM
So what about this?

Still back in caveman times, we split everyone into hunters and caretakers, where the caretakers are also the primary child bearers. We've developed the foundations of a caste system, where people are split based on natural ability and interest. (Natural ability, because we'll still have some people just be stronger than others, for instance)

As we form civilizations, this split remains. Except we develop new castes, such as the artisans or the scholars. In the more active castes, pregnancy rates go up because they want a lot of kids to help with the work. In the more sedentary castes, they go up because more people have free time.

Now from here, there are multiple ways society could develop. In some parts of the world, it might become more strict. You work in and marry in whatever caste you're born into. In other parts of the world, it could start to look like modern Western society. People might begin to choose what field they enter. People get to choose whether they want to bear children, sire children, or maybe even both.

So now the question is, if we've decided there would be a caste system in caveman society, how would it evolve as we form civilizations?

SiuiS
2013-12-31, 02:13 AM
Derho: yes, by age 8 you could contribute to the stew pot quite handily.

Do you remember being eight years old? I do. I make a point of remembering my youth because it's apparently so rare for people to do so. I wasn't half as stupid as people thought I was, merely inexperienced.

Frozen_Feet covered the ability of a young mind to internalize things. Have you noticed kids who grew up throwing rocks have better innate ballistics than adults who pick it up? Kids who grew up with slingshots have a better skill with them? Why wouldn't a kid with a bow be better than you expect based on all the kids who don't even know that a now is just a bow and not a bow and arrow?


So yes, modern science has made pregnancy fairly safe and convenient. But back in hunter-gatherer caveman times, it was still risky and dangerous for both the mother and the baby. Look even as recent as the Renaissance, and you'll still find high infant mortality rates.

Birthing, not pregnancy. Pregnancy is variable and usually accepted to be based on the activity and fitness level of the mother. Athletically inclined women can and do continue to work up until their last week of pregnancy; young women can and do go about their lives so I encumbered they don't even know they are pregnant.

A medical procedure at the end of pregnancy having complications? Sure. But that doesn't speak about the pregnancy at all.



People have argued that this would turn into a caste system, and not a more fluid version of traditional gender roles.

On the contrary. Choice has never come up; folks have been saying you will be out into a caste. I've been arguing for fluidity this entire time.



So to me, the most logical system to evolve for a hermaphroditic species is still adults are either childbearers or sires (although stereotypes and clothes are very mutable), and kids can experiment with either, and don't have to decide until later in life (probably around puberty, or shortly afterward)

Why?

What makes it so that a childbearer cannot be a sire, and a sure cannot later bear children, other than "then they couldn't follow the roles I have decided they will be separated into"?


SiuiS your comment came off a little insulting to me, felt like a personal attack. But, maybe I'm misinterpreting you. Are you telling me i'm weak to attract a mate? Endangering myself? Or did I misinterpret that.

We are discussing the generality of a species. We are discussing the generality of a species whose sexual dimorphism is socially and culturally reinforced through misinformation and poor nutrition.

If I were talking about you, mme. Tialait, I would specify you. But a single specific instance isn't important; we have to deal with trends. And the trend is, since at least Victorian times, to not only tell women they are weak but to force them to act that way. This weakness doesn't speak of their potential at all though; many women have hard births because they've been softened by their culture. Many have hard births because they have hard births. The important point is whether or not one is trying to use a single subject to prove or disprove a species level condition.


So what about this?

Still back in caveman times, we split everyone into hunters and caretakers, where the caretakers are also the primary child bearers. We've developed the foundations of a caste system, where people are split based on natural ability and interest. (Natural ability, because we'll still have some people just be stronger than others, for instance)

As we form civilizations, this split remains. Except we develop new castes, such as the artisans or the scholars. In the more active castes, pregnancy rates go up because they want a lot of kids to help with the work. In the more sedentary castes, they go up because more people have free time.

Now from here, there are multiple ways society could develop. In some parts of the world, it might become more strict. You work in and marry in whatever caste you're born into. In other parts of the world, it could start to look like modern Western society. People might begin to choose what field they enter. People get to choose whether they want to bear children, sire children, or maybe even both.

So now the question is, if we've decided there would be a caste system in caveman society, how would it evolve as we form civilizations?

I am curious why your method is to assume a reason for current split to remain intact and then look for ways to reinforce it, rather than looking for what possibilities could arise from the variables.

Frozen_Feet
2013-12-31, 03:39 AM
There's also the possibility of a person's role changing through their life. I've not yet reached a conclusion of which would be more likely scenario: one where young people are made to hunt (because they are more fit) and older people give birth and take care of children (because they are more mature and have already accumulated resources), or another where young people are made to bear children (because they are more fertile) and older people go out to hunt (because they have more experience and giving birth older carries a higher risk of an experienced member of society dying). It's likely both would exists, perhaps as competing models, or at different points of cultural development.

In either case, I don't believe a hard divide between hunters and gatherers would form in the first place. We are talking about a sexually unimorphic species, and looking at ones we already find in nature (notably, birds), the overwhelmingly most common practice is to take turns.

It should be noted that even in existing nomadic cultures, it's been common for humans of both sexes to participate in both hunting and gathering. More to the point, the reasons why big game hunting and other hard labor have been male domains have to do with sexual dimorphism, namely the big difference in endurance and muscular strenght. I don't buy for a second that any other "natural inclinations" would create such a notably gulf. I already noted two groups that could assume some of the roles we traditionally consider "male", antisocials and warrior genes, but those traits are a) considerably rarer than "being male" is among dimorphic humans (the difference of 1% to 4% rate of occurrence Vs. 50% occurrence rate) and b) do not grant such a notable physical advantage.

In dimorphic humans, a man will always be notably stronger and more durable than a woman of similar size, nutrition and training. Men also are notably larger on average, further widening the gap. In unimorphic humans, such differences will be far less pronounced. Or rather, such clearly observable and significant difference in size and strenght only exists between mature, and immature inviduals - adults and children. No matter how you twist and turn it, you are not going to get two as distinct groups as men and women are among dimorphic humans.

SiuiS
2013-12-31, 01:09 PM
I believe the difference between men and women isn't quite as wide as folks are used to; it's socially reinforced and becomes bigger, but two people of opposite physical sex whereing physical sex is their only difference (similar genes, size, training, weight, etc.) will be much closer on average than people think. It's only at the top that it becomes big; a max-fitness male will be stronger than a max fitness female, but the passive increase from bone size due to slightly increased muscle mass throughout their life is a good but not insurmountable base.

Spiryt
2013-12-31, 03:14 PM
Women absolute, all time world records at track&run are casually matched and beaten by local (ex. polish) men juniors who for most part aren't going to ever matter much in high level professional sports.

http://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mistrzostwa_Polski_Junior%C3%B3w_w_Lekkoatletyce_2 012


And it's 'just' in running stuff, in contest that require dramatic strength, power, explosiveness, coordination between large groups of muscle, difference will become more dramatic.

I guess it depends on definition of 'top' - if two complete couch potatoes start training, then yes, sex won't have much meaning, the one who actually does more, willfully, will achieve more.

Slightly above that level, and hormonal differences, among other things, allow on average much quicker regeneration and compensation for average male.

As far as athleticism go, human sexual dimorphism is dramatic, like among most big mammals, and I don't see reason to deny it.


No matter how you twist and turn it, you are not going to get two as distinct groups as men and women are among dimorphic humans.

Yeah. Although weirder things had happened in nature, I guess.

If we assume humans could be hermaphrodites, it's not much wilder to imagine eusocial humans - like those blind mole rats. It would make things even more interesting. :smallbiggrin:

SiuiS
2014-01-01, 12:50 PM
But there's also a woman who is a foot shorter than me and can power lift three of me.

Track and field are as much about the technology as the athlete, too. Wasn't there an Olympic competition/famous run with a specific floor material that enhanced push off? A world record was beaten, most everyone set personal beats, but the material wasn't allowed again because someone falling would get seriously hurt or some such? And it's a sport where two seconds is a big deal.

The athelticism involved in subsistence living is lower in general, and the leeway for allowed mistakes is requirements aren't as stringent. It is more forgiving of low optimization. Doesn't ride the liminal edge.

Goodness I hate it when I forget the perfect sentence and have to cobble an idea together out of sleepy thoughts...

Anyway. I have been led to believe that casual levels of sexual dimorphism aren't half as severe as people like to portray. I didn't translate your page because I'm going to bed, but what level of optmization is involved? Is this one of those things where people of certain heights and bone structures need not apply? Or?

dehro
2014-01-01, 08:11 PM
But there's also a woman who is a foot shorter than me and can power lift three of me.

He's talking averages, you're pointing at exceptions/ extreme cases

Coidzor
2014-01-02, 05:13 AM
He's talking averages, you're pointing at exceptions/ extreme cases

And considering we're blending male and female, averaging the two together is probably the way to go, as at least part of the male form cannot be replicated in this species due to the necessary adjustment of the hips to accommodate a birth canal.

SiuiS
2014-01-02, 10:38 AM
He's talking averages, you're pointing at exceptions/ extreme cases

I'm actually interested in averages rather than averages of people who specifically attempt to excel in one arena. That's why in trying to rule out average the most successful people who are not by definition average.

But on a phone I don't have access to the level of data necessary to even say whether my idea is right or wrong, let alone prove or test anything.


And considering we're blending male and female, averaging the two together is probably the way to go, as at least part of the male form cannot be replicated in this species due to the necessary adjustment of the hips to accommodate a birth canal.

Hm? I can't think of anything that would need to be removed rather than rearranged. They even relabeled something in females to be a female prostate rather recently.

Coidzor
2014-01-02, 02:08 PM
Hm? I can't think of anything that would need to be removed rather than rearranged.

They even relabeled something in females to be a female prostate rather recently.

Well, the act of rearranging the physiology changes certain things, as that's the basic difference between male and female pelvises/hips on the whole, the bones are just set up differently due to female bodies having a concern which male bodies do not. I just can't remember, offhand, just what effect the wider pelvic assembly and different angle(?) of the hips has for women in terms of capability aside from being able to pass a brain case. But my point was that, aside from a few outliers or allowing for the possibility of recreating distinct sexes, on the whole, all individuals are going to be built for actually making use of the capability to give birth.

Throw in the bit where female is the default base of humanity what with fetal development and all, and it seems like a case could be made that we'd actually be discussing the fantasy world of a futanari fetishist. I suspect though, like the expression of Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, that it'd be something more complex than being a species built like human women with functioning male sex organs tacked on.

Huh. I'd always wondered what the heck that thing was supposed to develop into when female. Interesting, I'll have to look into that some then.

Frozen_Feet
2014-01-02, 03:39 PM
Anyway. I have been led to believe that casual levels of sexual dimorphism aren't half as severe as people like to portray.

The most "casual" level of dimorphism I can think of is the size difference between genders, which is always on, always noticeable, and contributes something like 10 to 20 of the observable differences in average strenght.

How severe do you consider the difference between a 163 cm / 60 kg person and a 175 cm / 70 kg person? At casual level of training, we can expect both to bench press around 75% of their bodyweight, and deadlift twice that amount, so it's 45 kg & 90 kg Vs. 52,5 & 105 kg. By all means, that not a huge difference in absolute terms, but it impacts a lot of things, raning from something as trivial as who needs to get a chair to reach the plates on the top shelf and who doesn't, to who makes the cut in combat diver training.

SiuiS
2014-01-03, 10:48 AM
The most "casual" level of dimorphism I can think of is the size difference between genders, which is always on, always noticeable, and contributes something like 10 to 20 of the observable differences in average strenght.

Poor phrasing on my part, that.


How severe do you consider the difference between a 163 cm / 60 kg person and a 175 cm / 70 kg person? At casual level of training, we can expect both to bench press around 75% of their bodyweight, and deadlift twice that amount, so it's 45 kg & 90 kg Vs. 52,5 & 105 kg. By all means, that not a huge difference in absolute terms, but it impacts a lot of things, raning from something as trivial as who needs to get a chair to reach the plates on the top shelf and who doesn't, to who makes the cut in combat diver training.

That depends; how much of the 163 cm /60 kg is from being female, and how much is from being prevented from having the same growth opportunities as the male because athleticism, strength, similar diet, similar hobbies, similar jobs etc. which would produce a broader and stronger muscle and bone base through youth were prohibited because "girls don't do that"?

I suppose I'll just have to bow out, I don't think it's possible to answer that satisfactorily. But the question for me has always been "how much of women being smaller is because women are smaller, and how much is because a slight size difference is exacerbated and reinforced by global cultural enforcement, and then bred for?"

Spiryt
2014-01-03, 11:22 AM
But there's also a woman who is a foot shorter than me and ca power lift three of me.


Without more data, this can be just called perfectly plausible.

However, for such a woman, there are guys of her weight, that can power lift five of you.

http://www.powerlifting.pl/wyniki/06mpjts_3.html


Just compare those. Differences are tremendous.

In polish, any name that ends with 'a' is girl one, and they're in upper part, so it's pretty easy.

Squat, bench, dead lift from left to right.




Track and field are as much about the technology as the athlete, too. Wasn't there an Olympic competition/famous run with a specific floor material that enhanced push off? A world record was beaten, most everyone set personal beats, but the material wasn't allowed again because someone falling would get seriously hurt or some such? And it's a sport where two seconds is a big deal.


Well, not really no.

And even if 'technology' was supposed to make such difference, it doesn't matter.

Woman record bearers, who make fat $$$, have Reebok deals, represent their country etc. have infinitely better 'technology' than Some Dude in Poland, that makes absolute peanuts out of his athletics, if at all.



Anyway. I have been led to believe that casual levels of sexual dimorphism aren't half as severe as people like to portray. I didn't translate your page because I'm going to bed, but what level of optmization is involved? Is this one of those things where people of certain heights and bone structures need not apply? Or?

I hoped that page wouldn't need any translation, because '4000 meters run' and 'bieg na 4000 metrów' are somehow easy to compare. :smallwink:

Though I guess it may make problems.

As far as 'bone structure' goes...

I think that your faulty assumption here is that you 'structure' height, sex, etc. suddenly start mattering at some point.

At some point it becomes absolutely crucial difference, yes, but it matters at any level.

Many people who train a lot can't throw a punch to save their lives.

While Myke Tyson could KTFO adult people when he was 13.

Many people may not like it, but world's brutal.

Similarly, someone with 80 IQ may sadly have problems with becoming renowned astronomer, no matter how you cut it.




I suppose I'll just have to bow out, I don't think it's possible to answer that satisfactorily. But the question for me has always been "how much of women being smaller is because women are smaller, and how much is because a slight size difference is exacerbated and reinforced by global cultural enforcement, and then bred for?"

no amount of 'breeding' can change the fact that woman are smaller, dunno where are you getting at there. Woman on average have smaller skeletons and rest, just like among other mammals.

As far as the rest, it's probably impossible to answer, but 'natural' difference is strong and is not going away.

Female athletes/physical specialist are being 'bred' to do it now, just as male. Mostly because of ambitious parents, like in many case.

Doesn't change the fact that they don't compete against male athletes, because they would have minimal chances.

Both sexes also take hormones that naturally occur in males in MUCH larger quantities. As PEDs of course. It's not coincidence.

Different levels of androgenic, anabolic, nerve stimulating etc. hormones trough whole life, starting from transfer of testosterone to fetus are probably responsible for most of this difference.

SiuiS
2014-01-03, 12:07 PM
Without more data, this can be just called perfectly plausible.

However, for such a woman, there are guys of her weight, that can power lift five of you.

http://www.powerlifting.pl/wyniki/06mpjts_3.html

We are talking two different things here, I think. I am fully aware that competitions will show a big difference.



I hoped that page wouldn't need any translation, because '4000 meters run' and 'bieg na 4000 metrów' are somehow easy to compare. :smallwink:

Pages don't always work well when you remember in on a cellular telephone.



As far as 'bone structure' goes...

I think that your faulty assumption here is that you 'structure' height, sex, etc. suddenly start mattering at some point.

I cannot reconcile this with the supporting sentences.



Similarly, someone with 80 IQ may sadly have problems with becoming renowned astronomer, no matter how you cut it.


This is true. There are hard limits.

Hunting/gathering is not master level astronomy though. It's knowing where the Big Dipper is. Which is accessible to someone with a mental handicap through more work and diligence.


no amount of 'breeding' can change the fact that woman are smaller, dunno where are you getting at there.

Really? Because I can find a slew of evidence with size running in the family and based on sex, down to families which have tall, broad bones women and slight-boned men.


As far as the rest, it's probably impossible to answer, but 'natural' difference is strong and is not going away.

See, I have yet to see anything that makes it both a big difference and a clear one.


Female athletes/physical specialist are being 'bred' to do it now, just as male. Mostly because of ambitious parents, like in many case.

Doesn't change the fact that they don't compete against male athletes, because they would have minimal chances.

Yes, the top 10% of masculine output is greater than the top 10% of feminine output.

I am not talking about the results of tests which are predisposed to show a bias towards maximum possible, because maximum possible and everyday value are not the same.

That is what makes this such a muddy issue. Yes, when women don't try at all and men try a little bit, the men come out ahead. Yes, when both try a lot the men come out ahead. But the numbers and growth patterns make it look like when they both try a little there is very little difference.

Is this correct? I don't know. I do know I can't find out because there is literally no data on it which is not anecdotal — in both directions. I won't accept anecdotal information that they would be close in output, but I won't accept anecdotal information that they would diverge by just as much either.

Does that make sense?

Astrella
2014-01-03, 12:11 PM
This study might be interesting, it compares expectations of an infants' physical performance by gender. I would imagine seeing how early the different expectations surface they would have an influence on what kids are encouraged to do according to gender. (http://steinhardt.nyu.edu/scmsAdmin/uploads/006/923/Adolph,%20K.,%20Mondschein,%20E.%20R.,%20Tamis-LeMonda,%20C.,%20Journ.%20of%20Experimental%20Chil d%20Psych.,%202000.pdf)

Razanir
2014-01-03, 01:03 PM
If we assume humans could be hermaphrodites, it's not much wilder to imagine eusocial humans - like those blind mole rats. It would make things even more interesting. :smallbiggrin:

Actually, eusociality gets a bit tough to imagine. To me, that would require human gestation to be a lot shorter or for multiples to be a lot more common.

Coidzor
2014-01-03, 09:30 PM
But the question for me has always been "how much of women being smaller is because women are smaller, and how much is because a slight size difference is exacerbated and reinforced by global cultural enforcement, and then bred for?"

I'm more curious as to how that would even have been possible without a level of coordination and active malice that wouldn't even be possible in the modern age.

Akisa
2014-01-03, 10:49 PM
I'm more curious as to how that would even have been possible without a level of coordination and active malice that wouldn't even be possible in the modern age.

Same way the Spartans in Ancient Greece were selectively breeding themselves for better warriors. Both mother and father were suppose to be fit, and each child (I believe just infants but could be possible for young children) were examined for properties before being allowed to live.

dehro
2014-01-04, 01:24 AM
Then there's the beauty standards... Women who respond to the beauty standards of the day stand bigger chances of getting pregnant and being "prized" than women who who don't. This leads to phenomena such as for instance binding feet to make them smaller, in China.
Women with naturally smaller feet would have the advantage. At times with high infant mortality rated and low life expectancy, such things might have a significant "breeding" impact.

Coidzor
2014-01-04, 01:49 AM
Same way the Spartans in Ancient Greece were selectively breeding themselves for better warriors. Both mother and father were suppose to be fit, and each child (I believe just infants but could be possible for young children) were examined for properties before being allowed to live.

That would work against the premise, however, and doesn't actually satisfy the problem of coordination of such a global conspiracy.

SiuiS
2014-01-06, 06:53 AM
I'm more curious as to how that would even have been possible without a level of coordination and active malice that wouldn't even be possible in the modern age.

I'm not sure I follow. What are you finding hard to grok?


That would work against the premise, however, and doesn't actually satisfy the problem of coordination of such a global conspiracy.

There's a fairly well established and nigh universal understanding that women are just "supposed to be" weaker than and reliant on men. The exact form differs, but women are encouraged and rewarded for being passive aggressive, manipulative, deferential, subservient, and reliant. Women aren't supposed to achieve as much as men, and are supposed to require men to achieve more than their allotment. This includes in physical output; men must carry bags because women are the weaker sex. Women needn't carry anything, and are actively told not to, up to and including bald-faced lies about how to get into shape ("don't actually exercise, run a lot, do exercises that only accentuate your sex traits, avoid developing strength because you will 'bulk up'," for example) and are told that not doing things, not being able to do things, and being able to get men to do things for you (which requires being small, soft looking, and not capable looking, which requires less over-all fitness and is actually hampered by higher levels of fitness) is the height of achievement.

Couple with smaller women mating more often, and the recurring social pressure because that's how it's always been, and the literal lack of useful information on how women can improve their health and fitness, and you've got a powerful, pan-national engine of sexism.

I am of course painting in broad strokes to make a point. It also occurs to me that my statement of 'fitness' is vague and general unclear. I'll have to quantify and reexamine that.

Spiryt
2014-01-06, 07:10 AM
Women needn't carry anything, and are actively told not to, up to and including bald-faced lies about how to get into shape ("don't actually exercise, run a lot, do exercises that only accentuate your sex traits, avoid developing strength because you will 'bulk up'," for example) and are told that not doing things, not being able to do things,
.

That's extremely limited example of certain cultures in certain times, generally not older than ~100 years at most.

Throughout the most of the agricultural history, women were carrying heavy damn stuff as regular part of their life.

Didn't make them "bulk up" in any way, obviously, it isn't nearly as easy for a woman, neither is for most of men, without very 'anabolic' genetics, anyway.

neither made them actually stronger than males, even if said males were mostly driving cart to far places as a matter of living, for example.

dehro
2014-01-06, 08:13 AM
More to the point it's a chicken and egg situation. How far is sexual dimorpohism to blame for societal development into female subservience and relative lack of status/consideration etc., and how much has societal development contributed to enforce and accentuate sexual dimorphism? Also, consider that those are very generic traits, you're representing. The notion of Big Strong men vs short and weaker women holds more truth in, say, northern europe, whereas in the mediterranean area men aren't all that much taller than women.
And even that is changing wildly, within the more recent generations. By little Brother who is half my age, is a head taller than me

SiuiS
2014-01-06, 10:32 AM
That's extremely limited example of certain cultures in certain times, generally not older than ~100 years at most.

Ancient china isn't that young.


Throughout the most of the agricultural history, women were carrying heavy damn stuff as regular part of their life.

This is true.



neither made them actually stronger than males, even if said males were mostly driving cart to far places as a matter of living, for example.

I don't know what this pertains to? I presume you're guestimating where I would be going with an argument and cutting it off?


More to the point it's a chicken and egg situation. How far is sexual dimorpohism to blame for societal development into female subservience and relative lack of status/consideration etc., and how much has societal development contributed to enforce and accentuate sexual dimorphism?

Oh thank goodness. This entire time I've just been worried that I couldn't express the question at all >_<

I lost it because I somehow closed my tab instead of hitting the save edit button, but I am speaking about bone width more than height; more active youth and more expected balistic activity generates broader bones with better muscular connections, which builds up over time. An active and aggressive childhood builds a broader and more muscular frame than the usual sedentary lifestyle people now experience, for example.

Frozen_Feet
2014-01-06, 12:31 PM
SiuS: at least 80 % of that size gap is purely genetic. I took the height data from Finland; as we are one of the better-off nations, there is no nutritional gap between sexes that would explain such a difference. As you can see, both persons also have same BMI, and their strength is in the same proportion to their weight; this suggests they have similar bodytype, with neither having proportionately more muscle mass.

So training and athleticism are both controlled. In fact, even sex is controlled: I omitted any assumption of men having proportionately more muscle; as such, we would expect the difference to be the same between two women of the listed sizes. An athletic, real man of that size would easily benchpress 60 kg and deadlift 120; that is the average given for actual fitness charts.

As for women being bred for feminity, recent evidence suggests the exact opposite for a long-time trend. Comparisons of bone structures between modern and classical women show that women have become more masculine. Also, as nutritional conditions have improved, women have grown taller and heavier - but so have the men. The gap has not closed, instead it has stayed proportionately close to same.

Spiryt
2014-01-06, 12:52 PM
More to the point it's a chicken and egg situation. How far is sexual dimorpohism to blame for societal development into female subservience and relative lack of status/consideration etc., and how much has societal development contributed to enforce and accentuate sexual dimorphism?


Both, likely, at least sometimes, sometimes only genetic, I guess.

Men are way more physically able, so in some cases, the enforcement of 'non-athletic' traits could be extreme.

Anyway, since human hierarchy and power is, all in all, way more nuanced than 'strength and dexterity', I wouldn't consider this particular part of dimorphism a lot as far as status etc. goes.



Also, consider that those are very generic traits, you're representing. The notion of Big Strong men vs short and weaker women holds more truth in, say, northern europe, whereas in the mediterranean area men aren't all that much taller than women.
And even that is changing wildly, within the more recent generations. By little Brother who is half my age, is a head taller than me

:smallconfused:

I'm not sure what it has to do with anything.

Height =/= size and strength, there's obvious correlation but that's all.

The fact that men are only a bit taller doesn't mean they aren't much stronger at average.

And yeah, those are genetic traits, that's mostly my point.




Ancient china isn't that young.


Hmmm, so?

I have no doubt, ancient China, and ancient anything 'aristocracy' or whatever, women abstaining for anything straining could be indeed strong trope.

But still majority of Chinese, or else, woman had to carry quite a lot of stuff, only we have less info, since stinky peasants are uninteresting bunch. :smallwink:


I don't know what this pertains to? I presume you're guestimating where I would be going with an argument and cutting it off?

This pertains to the fact that on actual Earth, homo sapiens males are on average MUCH more athletically able than females, and most of this is purely physiological.

I've never wanted to claim anything else.


Comparisons of bone structures between modern and classical women show that women have become more masculine. Also, as nutritional conditions have improved, women have grown taller and heavier - but so have the men. The gap has not closed, instead it has stayed proportionately close to same.

Well, that's some fascinating stuff, where do you find it?

I'm pretty sure that vast majority of actual bones from classical period can mostly allow you to say "yep, that's a bone" due to merciless time. :smalltongue:

Frozen_Feet
2014-01-06, 05:21 PM
Spiryt, there is plenty of plain causation between height and strength. When people get taller, their body volume also goes up, meaning mass also goes up, meaning more strength is required to move around. And that's before we get to fancier things like leverage. Between people of otherwise similar body proportions, the taller person is likely to be stronger in absolute terms, that is why my examples had similar BMI.

I'll get back about the bones once the library is open again.

BaronOfHell
2014-01-06, 05:29 PM
I think the norm would be for both parent to carry a child each, hence double child births would be expected.

Coidzor
2014-01-06, 09:27 PM
I'm not sure I follow. What are you finding hard to grok?

There's a fairly well established and nigh universal understanding that women are just "supposed to be" weaker than and reliant on men.

I'm wondering where this became a global conspiracy to not breed with strong women and deliberately breed with the weakest women possible in order to make sure that no strong women are born in order to ensure subservience. Considering that there was no ability to coordinate this except at times, like those of Mitochondrial Eve, where beggars can't be choosers due to almost dying off as a species, and the modern era, with its mass communication, where we clearly hate each other too much to band together against self-annihilation.

dehro
2014-01-07, 05:32 AM
I'm guessing that all those joke/comic panels with cavemen clubbing females on the heads and dragging them home by their hair would answer your doubts.
not to mention how abusive plenty of other animals get towards their females to keep them still during the act, or in line otherwise.
I'm guessing stronger females would be considered more trouble than they're worth/harder to catch in such a simplicistic mindframe. Maybe that's where it all started

warty goblin
2014-01-07, 10:11 AM
I'm guessing that all those joke/comic panels with cavemen clubbing females on the heads and dragging them home by their hair would answer your doubts.
not to mention how abusive plenty of other animals get towards their females to keep them still during the act, or in line otherwise.
I'm guessing stronger females would be considered more trouble than they're worth/harder to catch in such a simplicistic mindframe. Maybe that's where it all started

You know, I don't generally have much respect for evolutionary psychology as a field, but argument via Far Side is a new low even for it.

Spiryt
2014-01-08, 06:45 AM
Spiryt, there is plenty of plain causation between height and strength. When people get taller, their body volume also goes up, meaning mass also goes up, meaning more strength is required to move around. And that's before we get to fancier things like leverage. Between people of otherwise similar body proportions, the taller person is likely to be stronger in absolute terms, that is why my examples had similar BMI.


Well, not quite.

Height and strength will be correlated at most.

'Physical strength' can manifest in humans in many different ways, from pulling to pushing and hitting and all that with different amounts of dynamics involved (from completely 'static').

So it get complicated, but generally, bigger = stronger, so more muscle, joint and and ligament weight, the bigger force they are able to extent.

People get bigger somehow proportionally, so something with really big chest, hips, thighs, back etc. will be more likely to be pretty tall.

6'3'' 250 pounds, instead of 5'9'' 250 pounds.

But it's a correlation, and nothing more.

If someone actually IS 5'9'' 250 pounds in healthy, fit and dexterous shape, he is most likely to be actually stronger than the taller dude in many, many 'exercises'.

It all depends on particular build, if two people have similar proportions, and weight about the same, taller one simply has to be of leaner build, so weight can to stay the same.

dehro
2014-01-08, 07:02 AM
all I was hinting at was that there seems to be a notion of men being exhuberantly taller than women... which isn't as universal and common as some people seem to believe. Case in point most of the mediterranean area, where men don't "outgrow" women by all that much, on average.
Where this leads to, if anywhere, in terms of physical prowess/attributes, is something that we can debate endlessly, as there seem to be numbers in favour of just about any opinion on the matter.
what interests me in this is purely the aestetic/dymorphic rate side of things, although I'm now not really sure it means anything much.

that said, it seems to me that if we were all hermaphrodites, things would be ****ing different.

SiuiS
2014-01-08, 07:53 AM
, we would expect the difference to be the same between two women of the listed sizes.

Is it?

One of the key factors to my wondering this was a series of studies that demonstrated muscle was muscle; the presence of androgens will allow for faster muscle gain, but maintenance is pretty similar, and a cc of muscle will put out the same amount of work energy regardless of sex of the muscle's owner. If a man and woman with the same bone length and same mass in their thigh muscles were to move, they would generate the same force.

It's fully possible for muscle of the same sizes to have different outputs based on fitness and type of muscle, but everything I've seen says that is irrespective of sex.

So would not a man and woman of identical sizes have closely similar outputs? If not, is there some hereto unknown wuality of muscle tissue that is different? Can we sex someone by muscular biopsy regardless of hormonal content?


As for women being bred for feminity, recent evidence suggests the exact opposite for a long-time trend. Comparisons of bone structures between modern and classical women show that women have become more masculine. Also, as nutritional conditions have improved, women have grown taller and heavier - but so have the men. The gap has not closed, instead it has stayed proportionately close to same.

That makes sense, but seems to bely social pressures.



Hmmm, so?

So your statement that this was true only within the last hundred years is wrong. without further basis, anything predicated on it is also wrong.



This pertains to the fact that on actual Earth, homo sapiens males are on average MUCH more athletically able than females, and most of this is purely physiological.

Using the statement that males are stronger as a supporting point for why makes are stronger? That's just bad science.

Of note though, you changed this bit. I'll have to re-read it with the edit to be sure I'm giving your thoughts due consideration.



Well, that's some fascinating stuff, where do you find it?

I'm pretty sure that vast majority of actual bones from classical period can mostly allow you to say "yep, that's a bone" due to merciless time. :smalltongue:

Bones can be sexed by an expert by size and shape of muscular attachment sites, if memory serves.


I'm wondering where this became a global conspiracy to not breed with strong women and deliberately breed with the weakest women possible in order to make sure that no strong women are born in order to ensure subservience.

Oh, somewhere around the establishment if the protoindoeuropean patriarchy, I would imagine.

Mostly however, you're misreading because of the word conspiracy. That this seems to be the result is important, whether someone set out to accomplish it or not.

A worldwide social hierarchy which enforces certain standards and punishes deviation, which no one can point to the anchor of, no one can find a headquarters to fight, and no one will admit to, that has observable effects but cannot itself be observed? That sounds like a conspiracy in the colloquial sense to me.


all I was hinting at was that there seems to be a notion of men being exhuberantly taller than women... which isn't as universal and common as some people seem to believe. Case in point most of the mediterranean area, where men don't "outgrow" women by all that much, on average.
Where this leads to, if anywhere, in terms of physical prowess/attributes, is something that we can debate endlessly, as there seem to be numbers in favour of just about any opinion on the matter.
what interests me in this is purely the aestetic/dymorphic rate side of things, although I'm now not really sure it means anything much.

that said, it seems to me that if we were all hermaphrodites, things would be ****ing different.

Height of a civilization is usually linked to proximity to equator, isn't it?

I never said taller, by the by. Or if I did it was a footnote to 'bigger'. :)

Frozen_Feet
2014-01-08, 09:55 AM
Is it?

One of the key factors to my wondering this was a series of studies that demonstrated muscle was muscle; the presence of androgens will allow for faster muscle gain, but maintenance is pretty similar, and a cc of muscle will put out the same amount of work energy regardless of sex of the muscle's owner. If a man and woman with the same bone length and same mass in their thigh muscles were to move, they would generate the same force.

It's fully possible for muscle of the same sizes to have different outputs based on fitness and type of muscle, but everything I've seen says that is irrespective of sex.

So would not a man and woman of identical sizes have closely similar outputs? If not, is there some hereto unknown wuality of muscle tissue that is different? Can we sex someone by muscular biopsy regardless of hormonal content?

A man and a woman with the same muscle mass will be equally strong, but that rarely happens in men and women of same weight and height. If you put a woman and a man of same height and weight next to each other, the man will tend to have 1,1 to 1,2 times the amount of muscle, while the woman has correspondingly more fat.

Men are not stronger because male muscles are better. Men simply tend have more muscle for their bodyweight, and they tend to be taller and heavier also.

@Spiryt: I know what you're getting at, but you're still plain wrong if you claim height and strenght have no causation. Yes, height is not the only factor that influences strenght, but it is a factor. Increased height means greater body volume, means more muscle mass, means longer bones, means greater leverage - so on and so forth.

Now, you're right that if you try to look at it top-down and don't control for other factors, it will appear height and strenght are mere correlants. But look at it bottom-up, examining how physical strenght actually develops, and you will see clear cause links.

dehro
2014-01-08, 10:06 AM
I never said taller, by the by. Or if I did it was a footnote to 'bigger'. :)

I know.. I started the "bigger" thing. I was clarifying I meant taller with it.

Spiryt
2014-01-08, 10:27 AM
all I was hinting at was that there seems to be a notion of men being exhuberantly taller than women... which isn't as universal and common as some people seem to believe. Case in point most of the mediterranean area, where men don't "outgrow" women by all that much, on average.


Well, yes, you keep mentioning that, but it seems extremely fishy to me in the first place.

First of 'Mediterranean area' is very large and diverse place, genetically as well.

Secondarily, quick glance at Wiki data (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_height)

reveals really no such phenomena. In all roughly 'Mediterranean' countries, were height was actually measured, difference appears to be perfectly standard.

Actually, it seems that in parts of Turkey it's visibly larger than 'average'.

Do you have any better statistics?


I know what you're getting at, but you're still plain wrong if you claim height and strenght have no causation. Yes, height is not the only factor that influences strenght, but it is a factor. Increased height means greater body volume, means more muscle mass, means longer bones, means greater leverage - so on and so forth.

Uh, but increased height doesn't mean 'more muscle mass' - in fact plenty of tall boys look like absolute bean poles when they grow. Sometimes actual musculature needs years to catch a bit, if at all.

But yeah, I guess in actual, individual growth of one organism, there indeed maybe causation - when someone grows in length, he generally gets bigger in general, gains mass and volume as a result.


One of the key factors to my wondering this was a series of studies that demonstrated muscle was muscle; the presence of androgens will allow for faster muscle gain, but maintenance is pretty similar,


Maintenance is not the same.

Maintenance of muscle is very much hormonally driven as well - if someone somehow gains a lot of muscle mass, but 'inadequate' hormone profile will pretty quickly cause catabolism to more manageable shape.


A man and a woman with the same muscle mass will be equally strong, but that rarely happens in men and women of same weight and height. If you put a woman and a man of same height and weight next to each other, the man will tend to have 1,1 to 1,2 times the amount of muscle, while the woman has correspondingly more fat.

Men are not stronger because male muscles are better. Men simply tend have more muscle for their bodyweight, and they tend to be taller and heavier also.

That honestly doesn't explain the differences. In my powerlifting link, and any other I can find, say, 60kg men still appear to be stronger than 72 kg ladies, for example.

I have absolutely no idea what's exactly the catch, probably even specialists aren't sure.

Maybe different skeletal and ligament structure to accompany those muscles.

Different nervous control, most probably.

Different actual structure of a muscle maybe possible as well, no idea.

Hormones and hormonal responses of particular systems are different for sure.

SiuiS
2014-01-08, 10:37 AM
A man and a woman with the same muscle mass will be equally strong, but that rarely happens in men and women of same weight and height. If you put a woman and a man of same height and weight next to each other, the man will tend to have 1,1 to 1,2 times the amount of muscle, while the woman has correspondingly more fat.

Too many homonyms then. It began to look like there was an idea that completely equal people will still differentiate by sex.


I know.. I started the "bigger" thing. I was clarifying I meant taller with it.

But you're also complaining that others mean are saying men are taller?



Uh, but increased height doesn't mean 'more muscle mass' - in fact plenty of tall boys look like absolute bean poles when they grow. Sometimes actual musculature needs years to catch a bit, if at all.

Didn't say muscle mass. Said strength. Strength could be used to mean output of work energy. A taller person with a long lever will put out more work energy if they can accelerate that lever to the same speeds as someone with a shorter lever. Ie their power/strength is greater. Leverage.



Maintenance is not the same.


You're misapplying what I said.



That honestly doesn't explain the differences. In my powerlifting link, and any other I can find, say, 60kg men still appear to be stronger than 72 kg ladies, for example.

Mechanical support and mental drive. We've already pointed out that because of [Frozen Feet statement] a male of same 'size' will have thicker bones, which allow better anchorage.

Frozen_Feet
2014-01-08, 10:48 AM
The differences in bone structure and ligaments are well known, really. That is how archeologists (and forensic scientists, for that matter) can tell the sex of a mere skeleton. But as far as I know they do not contribute hugely to the difference in strenght.

Spiryt
2014-01-08, 10:58 AM
The differences in bone structure and ligaments are well known, really. That is how archeologists (and forensic scientists, for that matter) can tell the sex of a mere skeleton. But as far as I know they do not contribute hugely to the difference in strenght.

They do contribute hugely to strength....

I could be weightlifting, eating and roiding like crazy since I was 15, and I likely wouldn't be even decent powerlifter.

Too slight of a joint etc. structure, no matter what muscle mass.

Take a look at this guy: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mariusz_Pudzianowski

At his peak he was about 300 pounds, with minimal fat, and obviously PEDed trough the ruff trough most of his life.

He had huge success in "World Strongest Man" competition, but surprising flops in Arnold Classics, you can easily google it.

Arnold Classics had actual HUGE weights to lift, WSM were more repetition, speed, running around etc. centered.

He didn't quite have the 'frame'.

This dude (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svend_Karlsen) had way less muscle, for example (lighter, while having WAY more fat).

And was way stronger as far as pure lifts/pushes etc. went.

Actual ogres in 'the business', like Savickas, were generally even stronger.

But it's actually a lot of speculation here of course - someone would have to, from whatever reason, allow accurate joint, bone, attachments etc. measurement of his body.

For analysis by people who have no better hobbies. :smalltongue:

SiuiS
2014-01-08, 11:14 AM
The differences in bone structure and ligaments are well known, really. That is how archeologists (and forensic scientists, for that matter) can tell the sex of a mere skeleton. But as far as I know they do not contribute hugely to the difference in strenght.

It was my understanding that the reason a skeleton could be sexed was because increased androgens = increased muscle gain per activity = broader and stronger ligaments = delineated attachment sites.

It's late though, and I am going by memory.


speaking of going by memory, my memory is going. How did we get this far down along the road? I cannot quite trace it back...

Frozen_Feet
2014-01-09, 11:53 AM
Nah, the actually relevant things for identification are difference in hip structure, jawline, and teeth. Men have larger and more square jawbones and (relative to size) narrower hips and somewhat differently placed leg joints, to give examples. (Differences in lower body structure, unsurprisingly, are mostly related to birth-giving.)

Though now that I think of it, the differences in shoulders and ribcage would influence strenght. If i recall right, men tend to have a larger ribcage, one again increasing body volume as well as surface area for chest and shoulder muscles to attach to. Don't quote me on this, I'd have to read a medical book or two to actually verify it.

Coidzor
2014-01-09, 03:00 PM
Oh, somewhere around the establishment if the protoindoeuropean patriarchy, I would imagine.

And that somehow spread to their competition in Asia, Africa, the Americas, Oceania, and Australasia? :smallconfused:

Or was just spontaneously agreed upon by all of mankind roughly at the same time?

Seems far too convenient. Unless you have some evidence to suggest that the differences in height didn't occur in other populations until after contamination by an Indoeuropean culture?


Mostly however, you're misreading because of the word conspiracy. That this seems to be the result is important, whether someone set out to accomplish it or not.

The ubiquity of the result makes the conclusion that it was the result of conscious choices by humans suspect. That *all* humans exhibit sexual dimorphism with men being taller than women despite the fact that consciously weakening women weakens the tribe and its ability to compete with other tribes and unconsciously choosing weaker females for breeding decreases the likelihood of having fit offspring that survive childbirth and childhood suggests that either it happened long before humans had moral agency and is more an artifact of the animal than the person or that it's more nature than nurture.


A worldwide social hierarchy which enforces certain standards and punishes deviation, which no one can point to the anchor of, no one can find a headquarters to fight, and no one will admit to, that has observable effects but cannot itself be observed? That sounds like a conspiracy in the colloquial sense to me.

Before the domination of the world by Western Culture during the Age of Imperialism, considering the lack of ability to coordinate due to the languages and distances involved, the lack of willingness to coordinate due to the various enmities and tribal hatreds involved. Any conspiracy sounds far too implausible and unworkable to be given credence without some form of evidence, save for, possibly, an evolutionary psychology answer which seems like an asspull to argue that men are disposed to pick weaker mates because genetics.

Frozen_Feet
2014-01-10, 02:29 AM
Evolutionary psychology and biology both have a lot of interesting things to say of what men are "genetically predisposed" to look for in a mate.

None of them really translate to weakness, though. Or rather, they don't translate to any particular weakness. If you go by Thorstein Veblen's model, all sorts of inconvenient traits can make a mate desireable, but the whole point of Veblenian traits is that they're status symbols, signifying that a person is high-ranking enough to not need to be fit, or is fit enough to compete despite a trait. While the underlying psychology may be genetic, the particulars are not - Veblenian traits vary strongly by culture. It may be pallid skin, it may be low-hanging pants, but it's your environment, not your genetics, that dictate which.

Most other biologically attractive traits are related to good health and fertility, ie. the opposite of physical weakness.

Eldariel
2014-01-10, 02:51 AM
A worldwide social hierarchy which enforces certain standards and punishes deviation, which no one can point to the anchor of, no one can find a headquarters to fight, and no one will admit to, that has observable effects but cannot itself be observed? That sounds like a conspiracy in the colloquial sense to me.

Seems to me this has little to do with humans specifically; isn't it fairly common for one sex to be physically more able for most animal species with two sexes? I mean, I can't think of an animal species where both sexes would've evolved to the same physical output.

From what I've read in biology, males are usually larger in species where there's male-to-male combat for mating rights (so most mammals, among others), while females are generally larger otherwise (especially true for certain birds, frogs and most insects). In addition to humans, male chimps, bears, elephants, gorillas, lions, tigers, etc. are all significantly larger and stronger on average than their female counterparts.

Given how widespread the phenomenon is, the current physical differences between males and females are very likely to predate the time we actually became homo sapiens; any impact our culture would have on it is simply too recent to probably matter.

SiuiS
2014-01-10, 06:14 AM
Nah, the actually relevant things for identification are difference in hip structure, jawline, and teeth. Men have larger and more square jawbones and (relative to size) narrower hips and somewhat differently placed leg joints, to give examples. (Differences in lower body structure, unsurprisingly, are mostly related to birth-giving.)

Though now that I think of it, the differences in shoulders and ribcage would influence strenght. If i recall right, men tend to have a larger ribcage, one again increasing body volume as well as surface area for chest and shoulder muscles to attach to. Don't quote me on this, I'd have to read a medical book or two to actually verify it.

Then how would someone reliably sex a single femur? We are talking bones, not skeletons. Although I wouldn't put it past original sources to presume causation.



Or was just spontaneously agreed upon by all of mankind roughly at the same time?

Agreed?


Seems far too convenient. Unless you have some evidence to suggest that the differences in height didn't occur in other populations until after contamination by an Indoeuropean culture?


Height?



The ubiquity of the result makes the conclusion that it was the result of conscious choices by humans suspect.

Conscious choice?

I'm illustrating both that I didn't say these things and the inference is on your end, and also that you're taking it far too literally since directly before this I told you I was being colloquial and not to take it literally.


Seems to me this has little to do with humans specifically; isn't it fairly common for one sex to be physically more able for most animal species with two sexes? I mean, I can't think of an animal species where both sexes would've evolved to the same physical output.

From what I've read in biology, males are usually larger in species where there's male-to-male combat for mating rights (so most mammals, among others), while females are generally larger otherwise (especially true for certain birds, frogs and most insects). In addition to humans, male chimps, bears, elephants, gorillas, lions, tigers, etc. are all significantly larger and stronger on average than their female counterparts.

Given how widespread the phenomenon is, the current physical differences between males and females are very likely to predate the time we actually became homo sapiens; any impact our culture would have on it is simply too recent to probably matter.

I dunno. On the micro scale, culture can remove all traces of prototypical 'maleness' from a male. Why couldn't they instil prototypical "femaleness" in a female?

Frozen_Feet
2014-01-10, 08:43 AM
Then how would someone reliably sex a single femur? We are talking bones, not skeletons. Although I wouldn't put it past original sources to presume causation.

Uh, because femur is one of those bones that connects to the pelvis, and thus has structural differences related to sex that I just talked about? Also, male femurs tend to be longer and larger than female ones simply by the virtue of males being, on average, larger.

If you really want to get deep into human fetal development, then yes, androgens are the cause, because androgens trigger the metamorphosis from female default to the male template. But the differences are far less subtle than just differences caused by muscle growth. Contrast and compare. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_pelvis) You will notice the attachment points for femurs are not even of the same shape. Neither are the femurs: male femurs tend to have a more round and robust connection points. (The difference is not always clear cut, though.)

I mean, if you'd picked any other bone, I would've been in a pinch. I suppose there's always DNA testing nowadays, but if you'd asked me, say, how to sex an anvil bone in any other way, I wouldn't have had the faintest idea.


I dunno. On the micro scale, culture can remove all traces of prototypical 'maleness' from a male. Why couldn't they instil prototypical "femaleness" in a female?

Ho hum. What do you mean by "prototypical maleness" and what methods and measures do you include in "culture"? Because while I can agree you can remove all traces of stereotypical masculinity through surgery, conditioning and hormonal therapy, there is so far no medical operation, no therapy and no magic trick that will get a fully functioning female from a biological male - or vice versa, for that matter. Plus, such measures are rather extreme and invasive, and not inheritable.

Pretty much every time someone has tried to rear a healthy child of one sex as a member of another, the result has been either failure, or a psychologically maladjusted transgendered person.

And the same for the reverse: what do you mean by "prototypical femaleness"?

SiuiS
2014-01-10, 11:42 AM
Uh, because femur is one of those bones that connects to the pelvis, and thus has structural differences related to sex that I just talked about? Also, male femurs tend to be longer and larger than female ones simply by the virtue of males being, on average, larger.

Perhaps I shouldn't have defaulted to femur, then; ribs? wrist bones?


Contrast and compare. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_pelvis) You will notice the attachment points for femurs are not even of the same shape. Neither are the femurs: male femurs tend to have a more round and robust connection points. (The difference is not always clear cut, though.)

I don't know what Wikipedia looks like on your end, but I'm not seeing anything to compare?


Ho hum. What do you mean by "prototypical maleness" and what methods and measures do you include in "culture"?

Woah, there. Strictly physiology here.

Lifestyle can have a male grow up with a body that is grossly identical, in that it is lacking those exact traits discussed.

"given what I know of biology, males will always be bigger"
"But males can grow in otherwise healthy environments that are not bigger at all; would it not stand to reason that this could be part of why women are also small?"

Don't look too far into it, I was responding strictly to the context of the quote I was addressing.

dehro
2014-01-10, 01:26 PM
the wrist bone connected to the arm bone...
am I the only one who's singing this song now?

Frozen_Feet
2014-01-10, 02:35 PM
Perhaps I shouldn't have defaulted to femur, then; ribs? wrist bones?

As noted, male rib cages are larger on average, so that's one way to distinquish between them. It's not fool-proof if no other bones are found, of course. Ribcage of a woman could be mistaken for that of a slightly smaller man.

As for wrists, male wrists actually have lumps of bone that are atypical to women, and male hands tend to be proportionately larger, to the point where you can often identify post-op male-to-female transsexuals based on that fact. There is a great deal of invidual variance, though; some women have fairly masculine hands, and vice versa.


I don't know what Wikipedia looks like on your end, but I'm not seeing anything to compare?

The sidebar has illustrations of female and male pelves. I have no idea why you might not see them.


Woah, there. Strictly physiology here.

Lifestyle can have a male grow up with a body that is grossly identical, in that it is lacking those exact traits discussed.

"given what I know of biology, males will always be bigger"
"But males can grow in otherwise healthy environments that are not bigger at all; would it not stand to reason that this could be part of why women are also small?"

Don't look too far into it, I was responding strictly to the context of the quote I was addressing.

First, it should be noted there is overlap between height and weight ranges of males and females. It is possible to find fair few males who are close in size to average female of their nation, there just will be fewer of them than larger men. There is no "always" - the differences are in the averages and the extremes.

Secondly, nothing short of androgen immunity syndrome will completely prevent manifestation of masculine features, and even XY women resulting from said syndrome tend to be stronger and taller than the average woman. This is really strongly tied to genetics - the Y chromosome holds many male-particular traits and is thus at least partially responsible for the differences, and no normal woman will have that chromosome. So even an XY woman will have an edge in height and strenght when compared to the average woman.

Thirdly, while nutrition and lifestyle can cause great alterations in a person, those traits are not genetically heritable. No consistent selective pressure will thus apply, especially when it's so easy for people to cheat. A woman with genes for low muscle growth and height might get a lot of offspring in a culture that favors "weakness", but so will a woman with excellent genes for muscle growth and height who doesn't exercise and smokes a lot; both will appear weak.

Fourthly, finally found a reference to the study of convergent bone structure development. (http://news.ncsu.edu/releases/wms-ross-iberian/) So, whatever we eventually conclude of culture's effect on human genome, evidence suggests that modern sexual dimorphism can not be explained by modern cultural preferences. Women have been becoming more masculine, not less, and they are still notably shorter and weaker.

Lioness
2014-01-10, 02:48 PM
I think that if everyone could bear children, there wouldn't be defined genders. Bodies would develop relatively similarly to each other, hormonally, physically, etc

There may be distinctions based on strength, social class, and stuff like that, but I highly doubt there'd be all of the private/public, domestic/workforce split that society tries to maintain right now.

In terms of inheritance...definitely through the person who bears the child. It's possible that children would only have one "parent", and any close friends/relationships would be seen as a gender-neutral equivalent of aunts and uncles.

There would be less of a life-long earning gap, because childbearing would switch between "parents"...if there were even monogamous relationships in the same sense as there are today. Physical duties and careers could be divided evenly because there wouldn't be a biological thing where men develop muscle more easily than women.

SiuiS
2014-01-10, 03:12 PM
As noted, male rib cages are larger on average, so that's one way to distinquish between them. It's not fool-proof if no other bones are found, of course. Ribcage of a woman could be mistaken for that of a slightly smaller man.

Aye, apologies. I did see that after, and I didn't mean to imply ignorance of it. Just clarifying that my original point was not specific to any one bone.

[auote]
As for wrists, male wrists actually have lumps of bone that are atypical to women[/quote]

I did not know that. =O



The sidebar has illustrations of female and male pelves. I have no idea why you might not see them.

Odd, it listed them as both being male for me? Either a cache issue or a misreading.



First, it should be noted there is overlap between height and weight ranges of males and females. It is possible to find fair few males who are close in size to average female of their nation, there just will be fewer of them than larger men. There is no "always" - the differences are in the averages and the extremes.


Tunnel vision on my part. I was responding to the points without really thinking about the context of where it came from. Sorry.


Fourthly, finally found a reference to the study of convergent bone structure development. (http://news.ncsu.edu/releases/wms-ross-iberian/) So, whatever we eventually conclude of culture's effect on human genome, evidence suggests that modern sexual dimorphism can not be explained by modern cultural preferences. Women have been becoming more masculine, not less, and they are still notably shorter and weaker.

Neat! Nail in the coffin, that.

Although we still have "a kilogram of muscle is a kilogram of muscle, but men are just physically better for reasons we can't explain and that don't map to any observable mechanical difference", which seems to run counter to itself.

Spiryt
2014-01-10, 03:31 PM
Neat! Nail in the coffin, that.

Although we still have "a kilogram of muscle is a kilogram of muscle, but men are just physically better for reasons we can't explain and that don't map to any observable mechanical difference", which seems to run counter to itself.


Well, even if there's no actual difference in muscle tissue as such, very quick google check that testosterone has strong effect on nervous system in general.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2703518/

So it's quite possible than said testosterone also has effect on the way large groups of skeletal muscles are coordinated - there's without doubt difference, on average, in which female and male athletes, punch, dunk, throw a baseball, hit it with a bat etc.

Frozen_Feet
2014-01-10, 03:46 PM
One thing I don't think I remarked yet, related to testosterone, is the difference in explosive strength. If I recall my gym classes right, a man can exhaust chemical energy in his muscles much more rapidly than a woman. This manifests as temporary burst of strenght and consequent long recovery period. Women have harder time "giving their all", so they have to train more carefully if they want to reach same maximum strenght for same muscle mass.

SiuiS
2014-01-10, 04:42 PM
One thing I don't think I remarked yet, related to testosterone, is the difference in explosive strength. If I recall my gym classes right, a man can exhaust chemical energy in his muscles much more rapidly than a woman. This manifests as temporary burst of strenght and consequent long recovery period. Women have harder time "giving their all", so they have to train more carefully if they want to reach same maximum strenght for same muscle mass.

This is the first time I've ever heard this, even in classes discussing sexual dimorphism affecting Atheltics. Where could I look into this at?

Coidzor
2014-01-10, 04:50 PM
Agreed?

Height?

Conscious choice?

I'm illustrating both that I didn't say these things and the inference is on your end, and also that you're taking it far too literally since directly before this I told you I was being colloquial and not to take it literally.

You're the one positing that this was a choice made by all of humanity rather than a holdover from ape-dom or the result of selection pressures not born of humans being douchebags, and you give me **** about using loose language because you used loose language and I'm questioning your proposed origin of sexual dimorphism in humans?

Really. :smallannoyed:

Lioness
2014-01-10, 04:54 PM
This is the first time I've ever heard this, even in classes discussing sexual dimorphism affecting Atheltics. Where could I look into this at?

A quick Google brought up this (http://ajpendo.physiology.org/content/287/6/E1125):


Male skeletal muscles are generally faster and have higher maximum power output than female muscles. Conversely, during repeated contractions, female muscles are generally more fatigue resistant and recover faster.

SiuiS
2014-01-10, 04:59 PM
You're the one positing that this was a choice made by all of humanity rather than a holdover from ape-dom or the result of selection pressures not born of humans being douchebags, and you give me **** about using loose language because you used loose language and I'm questioning your proposed origin of sexual dimorphism in humans?

Really. :smallannoyed:

Ah, no. I was aiming for teasing, not mocking. I never said humanity as a whole made a conscious decision to do anything, and tried to correct you when that's what you inferred. I can't answer questions about why I said all of humanity made a conscious decision in any other way but saying 'I didn't say that'. I thought that rather than repeating myself verbatim you would appreciate some levity.

The social pressure may have originated from ape evolution. But once humans made it to human levels, aping apes (...there has to be a better term there) was itself ... Oh. Well Hm. If I say it was a choice I'm shooting myself in the foot, aren't I? I shall have to find a better way to frame it, but the idea is 'our predecessors did it so we do too' is not a thing that can get around responsibility for an action or series of actions. It may not have been a choice which the Quorum of Humanity sat down to, but it is still a trend people are responsible for, and should take responsibility for.


A quick Google brought up this (http://ajpendo.physiology.org/content/287/6/E1125):

Ah, well Hel's Belles. I suppose I should throw my hands up and walk away at this point. It's amazing how little they'll let people start to work knowing. :smallsigh:

Coidzor
2014-01-10, 05:10 PM
Ah, no. I was aiming for teasing, not mocking. I never said humanity as a whole made a conscious decision to do anything, and tried to correct you when that's what you inferred. I can't answer questions about why I said all of humanity made a conscious decision in any other way but saying 'I didn't say that'. I thought that rather than repeating myself verbatim you would appreciate some levity.

Could've clarified a lot sooner that you weren't being serious and that you didn't actually believe what you had postulated.

And, no, it doesn't scan as levity, SiuiS. It scans as something else.

Talya
2014-01-10, 08:18 PM
Self-pleasure could be much more fulfilling.

warty goblin
2014-01-10, 08:41 PM
Self-pleasure could be much more fulfilling.

The downside: this species is now completely deprived of risk-free sex acts.

Razanir
2014-01-11, 08:07 PM
So... I think we got majorly sidetracked talking about sexual dimorphism in biology. So what's the current opinion on whether we think society would divide itself into a hunting caste and a gathering caste early on?

Grinner
2014-01-11, 08:32 PM
So... I think we got majorly sidetracked talking about sexual dimorphism in biology. So what's the current opinion on whether we think society would divide itself into a hunting caste and a gathering caste early on?

I think the question is more complex than social division. Think about how central sex has been to societies throughout history. Now think about how sex is predicated upon sexual desire for the opposite sex, with the end result being reproduction. Now what if there is no opposite sex? How does sexual desire come about, then?

Also, I guess we're ignoring the fact that most hermaphrodites are sterile?

Frozen_Feet
2014-01-12, 07:24 AM
How does sexual desire come about, then?

Two likely answers: the first was used by Ursula Le Quin in Left hand of Darkness, and is common in mammals: heat periods. Basically, once within some unit of time, everyone gets hot and bothered and desires intimate contact with closest suitable person.

The second is how the case is among humans of today: everyone is in heat all the time. They desire and will have intimate contact with any suitable person. Your question basically boils down to "who is a suitable person?" Technically the answer is "anyone", but in practice personal preference will narrow it down. Since everyone is a potential birth-giver, I'd guess the most obvious attractive features would be what we consider feminine: wide hips and narrow waist. But other signs of health and physical prowess would also create attraction. Height and muscular arms, for example.

We might want to ask existing bi- or pansexuals what they consider attractive in people.


Also, I guess we're ignoring the fact that most hermaphrodites are sterile?

No, we're presuming that this species would be functionally hermaphroditic. In existing humans, hermaphroditism is a developmental anomaly, and they thus end up infertile. In this hypothetical case, hermaphroditism would be the default reproductive state of humans, and our biology would've consequently optimized for it.

@Razanir: my opinion still is that a hard divide would not form, because there would be no dimorphism to fuel it, and it hasn't been that hard of a divide even among existing humans. More importantly, among the more sexually uniform birds, the unquestionably most common practice is to take turns. Human nursing habits are already homologous to birds, so I think it'd be safe to assume for sexually uniform humans to act like sexually uniform birds.

Silkspinner
2014-01-12, 08:59 AM
This board's fascination and fixation on gender roles and gender identity continues to astound me.
Just thought I'd throw my two cents in.

D&D also is a mode of escapism. Much of "nerdery" is in fact. As those with non-average sexual preferences or biology have a much higher potential for social condemnation, there is likewise a much higher potential for them desiring some kind of mental release, such as fantasy/gaming etc, to aid them.

As this board is devoted primarily to modes of escapism, it would stand to reason that it draws those that have need of it.

Coidzor
2014-01-12, 03:27 PM
I think the question is more complex than social division. Think about how central sex has been to societies throughout history. Now think about how sex is predicated upon sexual desire for the opposite sex, with the end result being reproduction. Now what if there is no opposite sex?

How does sexual desire come about, then?

Also, I guess we're ignoring the fact that most hermaphrodites are sterile?

:smallconfused: People are capable of same-sex attraction, and these hypothetical creatures are all capable of breeding with one another, so if you've got to think of them as the same sex, you'll be well served to remember that they're all also the opposite sex at the same time.

Pretty much immaterial, really, since it can be brushed off as having been established as a holdover and thus non-essential to the model, much like sexual attraction in humans predates humans themselves. Since they're based off of humans, sex is highly pleasurable for the majority of individuals besides any other hormonal drives.

Hermaphroditism doesn't occur in humans, we just have intersexed people. As was mentioned (much) earlier in the thread, we don't have hemaphroditism in mammals to look at, so the closest animals we have to go to are snails and sea slugs.

Asta Kask
2014-01-12, 03:35 PM
We would have developed the art of penis fencing. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fx-YgcP8Gg) (SFW, unless you are a flatworm)

Coidzor
2014-01-12, 03:44 PM
We would have developed the art of penis fencing. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fx-YgcP8Gg) (SFW, unless you are a flatworm)

If Bonobos also were hermaphroditic as a result of this change, then it'd certainly add a new twist to their version.

Grinner
2014-01-12, 10:19 PM
We might want to ask existing bi- or pansexuals what they consider attractive in people.

An excellent suggestion.


:smallconfused: People are capable of same-sex attraction, and these hypothetical creatures are all capable of breeding with one another, so if you've got to think of them as the same sex, you'll be well served to remember that they're all also the opposite sex at the same time.

Pretty much immaterial, really, since it can be brushed off as having been established as a holdover and thus non-essential to the model, much like sexual attraction in humans predates humans themselves. Since they're based off of humans, sex is highly pleasurable for the majority of individuals besides any other hormonal drives.

Yes, I'm well aware that people are capable of same-sex attraction. Taking a broad view of history though, I think homosexuality tends to be overshadowed by heterosexuality; I'm not aware of any instances where raiders captured all of the town's gay men (though I suppose stranger things have happened). Meanwhile, women seem to rank high on any ancient invader's list of demands.

And as others have pointed out, there are more sorts of sexuality besides.

Really, I want to know why we have organized ourselves along gender lines. I want to know why our societies are divided based upon the shape of our genitalia. That will inform this process better than attempting to extrapolate from our own highly patriarchal values.

Lord Raziere
2014-01-13, 11:48 PM
Really, I want to know why we have organized ourselves along gender lines. I want to know why our societies are divided based upon the shape of our genitalia. That will inform this process better than attempting to extrapolate from our own highly patriarchal values.

very well, lets look shall we?

tell me, what is the biggest difference from you are likely to see in a person? at first glance, without any conversation or time to observe?

skin, clothes, hair, maybe height, but gender will definitely be up there on one of the top 5 things you see about people at a glance. and people tend to judge by first impressions. not just of people but of things in general: if your first impression of a phone is something that doesn't work right, you'll be more hesitant to get another because your impression of a phone is something that doesn't work.

so whats our first impressions of genders? mother and father. mother takes care of children, father goes somewhere else and....does something, you don't know, you don't see him much. but he is doing something important enough to do that he doesn't spend much time on you.

so it might be that it comes from our first impressions of what adult genders do all day. maybe, who knows at this point? but then again I may be extrapolating from said highly patriarchal values so...*shrug*

but really, I don't think we'll ever know exactly when or how the patriarchal value thing came about. or exactly when things started to be divided along gender lines. who knows? perhaps it started when gender started existing at all, and produced better DNA variance than asexual reproduction, and thus made it more likely to resist disease. we don't exactly have a lot of examples of matriarchal or equal-gender society to draw from.

do we have any examples of animals that are matriarchal? it might've started there, before human thought.

Eldariel
2014-01-14, 12:13 AM
do we have any examples of animals that are matriarchal? it might've started there, before human thought.

Like I said earlier in this thread, vast majority of mammals are male-dominant (and yes, in animal kingdom the larger sex is basically always stronger and the stronger sex is usually dominant). The assumed reason is, males are stronger in species with male-to-male competition over females.

Some frogs, many insects, predatory birds and basically all spiders are female-dominant. Spotted hyena is among the few exceptions of female-dominant mammal (yeah, it's the one where females have pseudo-penises through which they among others give birth).

Elephants are an interesting case: they have this interesting sort of organization you could call matriarchy; females live together with the young and the matrilinear family group while males are driven away by the females as they mature, and males live either as lone wolves or in small packs (and older males control the aggression of the younger males to prevent the creation of gangs). Adult females and males only come together for reproduction. Saying they're female dominated might be wrong (since they basically just have female groups and males/male groups), but females do drive the males out so in that sense it's true (and evolutionarily it kinda makes sense). This is also one of the cases where males are the stronger sex but don't dominate the females.

SiuiS
2014-01-17, 01:06 PM
We would have developed the art of penis fencing. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fx-YgcP8Gg) (SFW, unless you are a flatworm)


If Bonobos also were hermaphroditic as a result of this change, then it'd certainly add a new twist to their version.

NOPE.

*throws up hands, walks away*

warty goblin
2014-01-17, 02:40 PM
We would have developed the art of penis fencing. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fx-YgcP8Gg) (SFW, unless you are a flatworm)

Wait, you're saying we haven't?

Damn, all that time working on my thrust from Posta de Donna wasted...

Dire Moose
2014-01-17, 02:45 PM
We might want to ask existing bi- or pansexuals what they consider attractive in people.


Well, it obviously varies considerably from person to person, but I'll offer my take on it.

Most of us do have a slight preference for one sex or the other; I personally prefer females but will date a guy if I find him attractive enough. On the other hand, though, I'm more interested in male genitals than female ones. I also find androgyny in both sexes attractive. I also think slightly overweight is more attractive than really thin.

I doubt most of this could be applied to the central argument of this thread, but it's a start.

Coidzor
2014-01-17, 04:28 PM
As for wrists, male wrists actually have lumps of bone that are atypical to women

I did not know that. =O


More than the adam's apple, which can actually be disguised, the wrists, if one knows what to look for, are the clearest indication that someone is a drag queen, at least in art depicting drag queens. One of my friends' mothers collected such art, mostly paintings. The story of how she came to collect it and other things were amongst the many, many stories that she swore never to share with us while we were impressionable youths.

SiuiS
2014-01-17, 04:40 PM
More than the adam's apple, which can actually be disguised, the wrists, if one knows what to look for, are the clearest indication that someone is a drag queen, at least in art depicting drag queens. One of my friends' mothers collected such art, mostly paintings. The story of how she came to collect it and other things were amongst the many, many stories that she swore never to share with us while we were impressionable youths.

Neat! I trust you're no longer an impressionable youth?

Akisa
2014-01-20, 09:05 PM
Another thought popped up about military through the ages. I would imagine arm forces would be a lot more stringent on fraternization. Otherwise you can have situation where military can find itself loose a large portion of its force from pregnancy. Imagine an Alexander the Great Army being forced stop before Persia because majority of her army was out of action due to pregnancy due to fraternization.

SiuiS
2014-01-21, 07:28 AM
Conversely, without worries of a 'weaker sex', it's possible there would be less consideration for pregnant mothers. You'd get rotated to the desk section and if you couldn't handle it or routinely got yourself this sort of vacation, your contract wouldn't be renewed.

zilonox
2014-01-22, 10:42 AM
"Commitment Hour" by James Alan Gardner has an interesting take on the sexes: people in one small town alternate between male/female on their birthday until their 21st year, when they must then chose one sex to remain as for the rest of their lives. I know that doesn't really sound like it addresses hermaphroditism or it's affects on society, but the background that unfolds during the tale and it's conclusion fit the topic nicely in my opinion. I've probably given too much of it's plot away already, so I won't say anything more than "go read it".

(Note: This book is apparently the second in a loosely connected series that takes place in the same universe. I've not read any of his other books, so I can't speak to his stance an transgenderism as a whole. But I did enjoy this book)