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Thread: Gender differences in sexual attraction: An illustration of the complex nature -nurtue interaction

  1. Top | #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TSwizzle View Post
    I am not sure that for men age is as big a factor as being made out. There's a lot more to it than age. I think weight and height are play a bigger part in attraction than age.
    The data make it clear that age is a massive factor men of all ages. That doesn't mean men don't have additional criteria. It just means that most men of all ages that are seeking companions are using young age as a prerequisite before other factors are used to narrow the pool even further. Bear in mind that in this data men are not allowed to state preferences under age 18. That means the possible ages can only be 3 years below the average but up to 30 years above it. So, in order for the reported average preference of several million males to be 21, there would have to be only a tiny % of males stating preferences over age 30, with the vast majority of males of all ages stating preferences in the low 20s.

    Of course, that doesn't mean those men would take any 20 year old over any 30 year old. But it means they default to 20 year olds unless other factors override the strong initial importance they place on her being young.

    And again, I'm not trying to cast moral aspersions on men for their preference. That's a different thread. I wanted to point out the stark differences in age preferences as a fact that creates stark differences in the social environments that males and females deal with, which in turn would create psychological and behavioral differences that we might otherwise misattribute to being the result of innate brain differences. It's kind of a thought experiment to highlight how one initial gender difference can impact socialization to produce many gender differences, thus leading to an underestimation of the role of social environment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    And again, I'm not trying to cast moral aspersions on men for their preference. That's a different thread. I wanted to point out the stark differences in age preferences as a fact that creates stark differences in the social environments that males and females deal with, which in turn would create psychological and behavioral differences that we might otherwise misattribute to being the result of innate brain differences. It's kind of a thought experiment to highlight how one initial gender difference can impact socialization to produce many gender differences, thus leading to an underestimation of the role of social environment.
    That's turning a bit grey for me. Can you give an example of a psychological or behavioral difference that can only be attributed to culture, and not biology?

  3. Top | #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    And again, I'm not trying to cast moral aspersions on men for their preference. That's a different thread. I wanted to point out the stark differences in age preferences as a fact that creates stark differences in the social environments that males and females deal with, which in turn would create psychological and behavioral differences that we might otherwise misattribute to being the result of innate brain differences. It's kind of a thought experiment to highlight how one initial gender difference can impact socialization to produce many gender differences, thus leading to an underestimation of the role of social environment.
    That's turning a bit grey for me. Can you give an example of a psychological or behavioral difference that can only be attributed to culture, and not biology?
    It's not about any particular behavior being "only" attributed to culture. It's about influences of "culture" or social environment that could get attributed to biology, simply b/c there are other innate differences that play a role in creating social environment/culture.
    I gave potential examples in the OP. Suppose it was the case that older women are more critical of younger women's sexuality than older men are of younger men. There would be a tendency for those looking to use their evolutionary hammer to see this as a evolutionary nail, and think that this psychological tendency in older women is genetically determined and selected for, especially if the tendency was observed across cultures. But if the age preferences differ between genders for biological reasons, this would create a stable cross-cultural difference in the social environments that cause older women to lose their mate's to younger women to a degree not true for older men.

    Other people's behavior is a part of the environment that shapes behavior. Thus, any behavior that is genetically determined is an environmental factor that will interact with features of the environment (e.g., limited members of the opposite sex) to become an environmental impact on other behaviors. So, one reason that a behavioral trait can be highly stable across time and societies is because some aspect of biology produces a particular behavioral tendency that then shapes the social environment, and then the social environment shapes many other behaviors, even though there is nothing innate in the people's genes or brains that predisposes them to those other behaviors. On one hand, this means that biology can have an influence in more ways than people realize, because it impacts the environment and thus is a part of "nurture" effects. OTOH, many of those biological influences are indirect and distal, with the proximal and direct influence being the social environment. And such biological influences can be altered without altering innate biology, if deliberate efforts are made to create social contingencies that have a stronger impact on those social environments than those indirect biologically based tendencies. Monogamous marriage is an example of such a cultural practice that reduces the impact that gender differences in age preferences have on the social environment. It reduces the degree to which men can easily follow their age preference and switch to a younger women every time their mate approaches 30. Obviously, men do still often cheat or leave their marriage for younger women, but that behavior and it's impact on the social environment would be far more extensive without cultural norms that hinder it.

  4. Top | #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    And again, I'm not trying to cast moral aspersions on men for their preference. That's a different thread. I wanted to point out the stark differences in age preferences as a fact that creates stark differences in the social environments that males and females deal with, which in turn would create psychological and behavioral differences that we might otherwise misattribute to being the result of innate brain differences. It's kind of a thought experiment to highlight how one initial gender difference can impact socialization to produce many gender differences, thus leading to an underestimation of the role of social environment.
    That's turning a bit grey for me. Can you give an example of a psychological or behavioral difference that can only be attributed to culture, and not biology?
    It's not about any particular behavior being "only" attributed to culture. It's about influences of "culture" or social environment that could get attributed to biology, simply b/c there are other innate differences that play a role in creating social environment/culture.
    I gave potential examples in the OP. Suppose it was the case that older women are more critical of younger women's sexuality than older men are of younger men. There would be a tendency for those looking to use their evolutionary hammer to see this as a evolutionary nail, and think that this psychological tendency in older women is genetically determined and selected for, especially if the tendency was observed across cultures. But if the age preferences differ between genders for biological reasons, this would create a stable cross-cultural difference in the social environments that cause older women to lose their mate's to younger women to a degree not true for older men.

    Other people's behavior is a part of the environment that shapes behavior. Thus, any behavior that is genetically determined is an environmental factor that will interact with features of the environment (e.g., limited members of the opposite sex) to become an environmental impact on other behaviors. So, one reason that a behavioral trait can be highly stable across time and societies is because some aspect of biology produces a particular behavioral tendency that then shapes the social environment, and then the social environment shapes many other behaviors, even though there is nothing innate in the people's genes or brains that predisposes them to those other behaviors. On one hand, this means that biology can have an influence in more ways than people realize, because it impacts the environment and thus is a part of "nurture" effects. OTOH, many of those biological influences are indirect and distal, with the proximal and direct influence being the social environment. And such biological influences can be altered without altering innate biology, if deliberate efforts are made to create social contingencies that have a stronger impact on those social environments than those indirect biologically based tendencies. Monogamous marriage is an example of such a cultural practice that reduces the impact that gender differences in age preferences have on the social environment. It reduces the degree to which men can easily follow their age preference and switch to a younger women every time their mate approaches 30. Obviously, men do still often cheat or leave their marriage for younger women, but that behavior and it's impact on the social environment would be far more extensive without cultural norms that hinder it.
    Ok yea I generally get your meaning now.

    I'd just add that the ability to conform to social norms itself is a huge selection pressure - one is much more likely to produce children if their psychology is conducive to a) working successfully b) obtaining a mate c) fitting in with a group. And so we shouldn't necessarily see innate neurological differences for specific behaviors (although certainly there are some), but we should see a general plasticity to adapt to any given culture. Not neural capacity to carry out the ipso facto behavior necessarily, but a neural capacity to accept social customs as non-arbitrary and real, and then further to internalize them.

    So yea, I'd agree that, pending on culture, behavior is quite plastic, but I would think that ability to perform normal cultural roles is selected for. I'd also think that in the case of gender specific behavior, there should be many aspects of our psychology that are very important for performing our cultural specific roles.

    For the most part, I'd say that culture is more of a reflection of our biology, with a feedback loop on our evolution. As such it's quite a bit more plastic than biology itself, but most cultures should have core and unchanging components. So I don't think the environment should be understated, but I don't think it should be overstated either. Actually, I don't know how much it should be stated, but for as scientific as a post on a message board can be I'd call biology the primary influence on our behavior.

  5. Top | #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post

    It's not about any particular behavior being "only" attributed to culture. It's about influences of "culture" or social environment that could get attributed to biology, simply b/c there are other innate differences that play a role in creating social environment/culture.
    I gave potential examples in the OP. Suppose it was the case that older women are more critical of younger women's sexuality than older men are of younger men. There would be a tendency for those looking to use their evolutionary hammer to see this as a evolutionary nail, and think that this psychological tendency in older women is genetically determined and selected for, especially if the tendency was observed across cultures. But if the age preferences differ between genders for biological reasons, this would create a stable cross-cultural difference in the social environments that cause older women to lose their mate's to younger women to a degree not true for older men.

    Other people's behavior is a part of the environment that shapes behavior. Thus, any behavior that is genetically determined is an environmental factor that will interact with features of the environment (e.g., limited members of the opposite sex) to become an environmental impact on other behaviors. So, one reason that a behavioral trait can be highly stable across time and societies is because some aspect of biology produces a particular behavioral tendency that then shapes the social environment, and then the social environment shapes many other behaviors, even though there is nothing innate in the people's genes or brains that predisposes them to those other behaviors. On one hand, this means that biology can have an influence in more ways than people realize, because it impacts the environment and thus is a part of "nurture" effects. OTOH, many of those biological influences are indirect and distal, with the proximal and direct influence being the social environment. And such biological influences can be altered without altering innate biology, if deliberate efforts are made to create social contingencies that have a stronger impact on those social environments than those indirect biologically based tendencies. Monogamous marriage is an example of such a cultural practice that reduces the impact that gender differences in age preferences have on the social environment. It reduces the degree to which men can easily follow their age preference and switch to a younger women every time their mate approaches 30. Obviously, men do still often cheat or leave their marriage for younger women, but that behavior and it's impact on the social environment would be far more extensive without cultural norms that hinder it.
    Ok yea I generally get your meaning now.

    I'd just add that the ability to conform to social norms itself is a huge selection pressure - one is much more likely to produce children if their psychology is conducive to a) working successfully b) obtaining a mate c) fitting in with a group. And so we shouldn't necessarily see innate neurological differences for specific behaviors (although certainly there are some), but we should see a general plasticity to adapt to any given culture. Not neural capacity to carry out the ipso facto behavior necessarily, but a neural capacity to accept social customs as non-arbitrary and real, and then further to internalize them.

    So yea, I'd agree that, pending on culture, behavior is quite plastic, but I would think that ability to perform normal cultural roles is selected for. I'd also think that in the case of gender specific behavior, there should be many aspects of our psychology that are very important for performing our cultural specific roles.

    For the most part, I'd say that culture is more of a reflection of our biology, with a feedback loop on our evolution. As such it's quite a bit more plastic than biology itself, but most cultures should have core and unchanging components. So I don't think the environment should be understated, but I don't think it should be overstated either. Actually, I don't know how much it should be stated, but for as scientific as a post on a message board can be I'd call biology the primary influence on our behavior.
    I largely agree with this, except that I don't think it's productive (or scientific) to make general claims about biology or environment being "the primary influence on our behavior." The point of the OP is just one example of the infinitely complex interactions that occur between the biology a person is born with and the environmental context in which behaviors manifest. These make such assertions about % variance due to biology, including those based on twin studies, invalid because some of the variance that such studies would attribute to genes is more directly and proximally caused by environment. For example, studies on race and IQ. If IQ tracks with the child's skin color rather than which parent's raised them, then that variance gets attributed to genes. However, such studies do not control for the effects of living in a racist society or the long term cultural effects of historical slavery/racism. If two black twins are separated and raised by families of different SES that doesn't mean that any similarity in their IQs is biological. Because, if they still both live in a similarly racist culture, then this will cause their IQs to converge with each other and diverge from those of other races, leading to an overall correlation of IQ and "race" that is actually caused in part by cultural racism and how it connects biological skin color to intellectual development.

    It is also important to note that because, as you point out, people evolved to be adaptive to culture and culture can and does change, that means that arguments that refer to what is "natural", "biological" or "evolutionarily adaptive" have little to no relevance to discussions about what kinds of cultural, moral, or legal norms we should create or change. As you said, selection pressures have wired people to conform to whatever the norms are and to adapt to norms, which includes to changing norms. So, outside of norms that are biologically impossible, we should ignore what is "biological" when setting or changing our culture, and create whatever norms cohere with our ethical principles and people will adapt to them.

  6. Top | #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by TSwizzle View Post
    I am not sure that for men age is as big a factor as being made out. There's a lot more to it than age. I think weight and height are play a bigger part in attraction than age.
    The data make it clear that age is a massive factor men of all ages.
    The data comes from OK Cupid, a dating website. I wouldn't put too much stock in the significance of that small unscientific slice of virtual life. Almost all information on that site will be bullshit. I would think most men (married men in particular) would prefer a younger woman to an older woman, particularly on dating sites but that's hardly news.

    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    That doesn't mean men don't have additional criteria. It just means that most men of all ages that are seeking companions are using young age as a prerequisite before other factors are used to narrow the pool even further.
    "Seeking companions" ? Are you having a laugh ? It's a hook up website. There would be no companionship.

    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    And again, I'm not trying to cast moral aspersions on men for their preference. That's a different thread. I wanted to point out the stark differences in age preferences as a fact that creates stark differences in the social environments that males and females deal with, which in turn would create psychological and behavioral differences that we might otherwise misattribute to being the result of innate brain differences. It's kind of a thought experiment to highlight how one initial gender difference can impact socialization to produce many gender differences, thus leading to an underestimation of the role of social environment.
    My own theory here is that some women are genuinely using OK Cupid to find a companion and dirty old men are using it to find young chicks to bang.

  7. Top | #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post

    It's not about any particular behavior being "only" attributed to culture. It's about influences of "culture" or social environment that could get attributed to biology, simply b/c there are other innate differences that play a role in creating social environment/culture.
    I gave potential examples in the OP. Suppose it was the case that older women are more critical of younger women's sexuality than older men are of younger men. There would be a tendency for those looking to use their evolutionary hammer to see this as a evolutionary nail, and think that this psychological tendency in older women is genetically determined and selected for, especially if the tendency was observed across cultures. But if the age preferences differ between genders for biological reasons, this would create a stable cross-cultural difference in the social environments that cause older women to lose their mate's to younger women to a degree not true for older men.

    Other people's behavior is a part of the environment that shapes behavior. Thus, any behavior that is genetically determined is an environmental factor that will interact with features of the environment (e.g., limited members of the opposite sex) to become an environmental impact on other behaviors. So, one reason that a behavioral trait can be highly stable across time and societies is because some aspect of biology produces a particular behavioral tendency that then shapes the social environment, and then the social environment shapes many other behaviors, even though there is nothing innate in the people's genes or brains that predisposes them to those other behaviors. On one hand, this means that biology can have an influence in more ways than people realize, because it impacts the environment and thus is a part of "nurture" effects. OTOH, many of those biological influences are indirect and distal, with the proximal and direct influence being the social environment. And such biological influences can be altered without altering innate biology, if deliberate efforts are made to create social contingencies that have a stronger impact on those social environments than those indirect biologically based tendencies. Monogamous marriage is an example of such a cultural practice that reduces the impact that gender differences in age preferences have on the social environment. It reduces the degree to which men can easily follow their age preference and switch to a younger women every time their mate approaches 30. Obviously, men do still often cheat or leave their marriage for younger women, but that behavior and it's impact on the social environment would be far more extensive without cultural norms that hinder it.
    Ok yea I generally get your meaning now.

    I'd just add that the ability to conform to social norms itself is a huge selection pressure - one is much more likely to produce children if their psychology is conducive to a) working successfully b) obtaining a mate c) fitting in with a group. And so we shouldn't necessarily see innate neurological differences for specific behaviors (although certainly there are some), but we should see a general plasticity to adapt to any given culture. Not neural capacity to carry out the ipso facto behavior necessarily, but a neural capacity to accept social customs as non-arbitrary and real, and then further to internalize them.

    So yea, I'd agree that, pending on culture, behavior is quite plastic, but I would think that ability to perform normal cultural roles is selected for. I'd also think that in the case of gender specific behavior, there should be many aspects of our psychology that are very important for performing our cultural specific roles.

    For the most part, I'd say that culture is more of a reflection of our biology, with a feedback loop on our evolution. As such it's quite a bit more plastic than biology itself, but most cultures should have core and unchanging components. So I don't think the environment should be understated, but I don't think it should be overstated either. Actually, I don't know how much it should be stated, but for as scientific as a post on a message board can be I'd call biology the primary influence on our behavior.
    I largely agree with this, except that I don't think it's productive (or scientific) to make general claims about biology or environment being "the primary influence on our behavior." The point of the OP is just one example of the infinitely complex interactions that occur between the biology a person is born with and the environmental context in which behaviors manifest. These make such assertions about % variance due to biology, including those based on twin studies, invalid because some of the variance that such studies would attribute to genes is more directly and proximally caused by environment. For example, studies on race and IQ. If IQ tracks with the child's skin color rather than which parent's raised them, then that variance gets attributed to genes. However, such studies do not control for the effects of living in a racist society or the long term cultural effects of historical slavery/racism. If two black twins are separated and raised by families of different SES that doesn't mean that any similarity in their IQs is biological. Because, if they still both live in a similarly racist culture, then this will cause their IQs to converge with each other and diverge from those of other races, leading to an overall correlation of IQ and "race" that is actually caused in part by cultural racism and how it connects biological skin color to intellectual development.

    It is also important to note that because, as you point out, people evolved to be adaptive to culture and culture can and does change, that means that arguments that refer to what is "natural", "biological" or "evolutionarily adaptive" have little to no relevance to discussions about what kinds of cultural, moral, or legal norms we should create or change. As you said, selection pressures have wired people to conform to whatever the norms are and to adapt to norms, which includes to changing norms. So, outside of norms that are biologically impossible, we should ignore what is "biological" when setting or changing our culture, and create whatever norms cohere with our ethical principles and people will adapt to them.
    As far as twin studies go, I believe most experts would agree that similarities between them are going to be mostly genetic, especially as it pertains to IQ. Essentially, their brains would be genetically equivalent, and only save some extreme type of socialization a lot of their traits would turn out the same. So socialization does play a part, but I think you're off base here and understating genetics. Chemically, twins are the same person, which has a much more profound influence than socialization, which has been borne out by twins raised in different environments (check out Google Scholar here.. or Pinker's The Blank Slate).

    When I say biology is the primary influence on behavior I'm not just talking genetics, though, I'm also talking about the profound influence of biology on culture itself. It's a given that culture is plastic, but culture is also a reflection of our biology and psychology. This is a critical point because if cultural realities ultimately originate from our physiology, then those influences are constrained by the same reality.

    - How about a society where some form of partnering doesn't exist?
    - A society that doesn't prize youth in females?
    - A society without some form of religious or idealistic beliefs?
    - A society where members don't compete for resources?
    - A society where men aren't naturally aggressive
    - etc

    And so it's not just genetic behavior per se, but the reality of being human, in a human built society that dictates most of what we do. It's kind of a false dichotomy to contrast genetic/environmental influence, because our genetics build the environment in the first place.

    In your second paragraph you mention we should change norms that aren't biologically impossible, so I think you're on base with this, but I'm more or less of the opinion that those mold-able parts of our culture are actually much more rigid than you, which seems to be the main difference between our arguments. As far as ethics go I don't know if you can consciously shape that, outside of the natural evolution of a community that's building scientific knowledge and increasingly protecting human rights. And even then a sizable component of any community are likely going to be self-serving, one way or another.

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    Does anyone want to argue there are no inherent behavioral differences between males and females?

    As to IQ and race from my experince working with people from around the world those with similar backgrounds and education generally perform the same.

    Culture does matter. Back in the 80s I went through training at a high school for a kids at risk mentoring program. We were told by a teacher to never single out a kid from a traditional Native American culture even for praise when in groups. The culture deemphasizes the individual.

    Sexuality is also cultural. There is a Pacific island culture where both men and women go bare breasted, except in tourist areas. In that culture the exposed thigh is consdered sexualy provactive. Back in the 70s when I lived with coed roomates once youget over the novely nudity becomes routine.

    I have been watching old movies and TV shows from a newer perspective. Shoving and slapping women is common. Typicaly there is a line for real abuse, but the women accept it as normal. Women exist to be seduced, they want to be seduced and saying no is part of game.

    The old cowboy show Gunsmoke is riddled with what today we conder abuse of women, portrayed as a norm in the culture. Noy all men are portrayed as abusive but within the culture an amount of abuse is considered normal.

  9. Top | #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post

    I largely agree with this, except that I don't think it's productive (or scientific) to make general claims about biology or environment being "the primary influence on our behavior." The point of the OP is just one example of the infinitely complex interactions that occur between the biology a person is born with and the environmental context in which behaviors manifest. These make such assertions about % variance due to biology, including those based on twin studies, invalid because some of the variance that such studies would attribute to genes is more directly and proximally caused by environment. For example, studies on race and IQ. If IQ tracks with the child's skin color rather than which parent's raised them, then that variance gets attributed to genes. However, such studies do not control for the effects of living in a racist society or the long term cultural effects of historical slavery/racism. If two black twins are separated and raised by families of different SES that doesn't mean that any similarity in their IQs is biological. Because, if they still both live in a similarly racist culture, then this will cause their IQs to converge with each other and diverge from those of other races, leading to an overall correlation of IQ and "race" that is actually caused in part by cultural racism and how it connects biological skin color to intellectual development.

    It is also important to note that because, as you point out, people evolved to be adaptive to culture and culture can and does change, that means that arguments that refer to what is "natural", "biological" or "evolutionarily adaptive" have little to no relevance to discussions about what kinds of cultural, moral, or legal norms we should create or change. As you said, selection pressures have wired people to conform to whatever the norms are and to adapt to norms, which includes to changing norms. So, outside of norms that are biologically impossible, we should ignore what is "biological" when setting or changing our culture, and create whatever norms cohere with our ethical principles and people will adapt to them.
    As far as twin studies go, I believe most experts would agree that similarities between them are going to be mostly genetic, especially as it pertains to IQ. Essentially, their brains would be genetically equivalent, and only save some extreme type of socialization a lot of their traits would turn out the same. So socialization does play a part, but I think you're off base here and understating genetics. Chemically, twins are the same person, which has a much more profound influence than socialization, which has been borne out by twins raised in different environments (check out Google Scholar here.. or Pinker's The Blank Slate).

    When I say biology is the primary influence on behavior I'm not just talking genetics, though, I'm also talking about the profound influence of biology on culture itself. It's a given that culture is plastic, but culture is also a reflection of our biology and psychology. This is a critical point because if cultural realities ultimately originate from our physiology, then those influences are constrained by the same reality.

    - How about a society where some form of partnering doesn't exist?
    - A society that doesn't prize youth in females?
    - A society without some form of religious or idealistic beliefs?
    - A society where members don't compete for resources?
    - A society where men aren't naturally aggressive
    - etc

    And so it's not just genetic behavior per se, but the reality of being human, in a human built society that dictates most of what we do. It's kind of a false dichotomy to contrast genetic/environmental influence, because our genetics build the environment in the first place.

    In your second paragraph you mention we should change norms that aren't biologically impossible, so I think you're on base with this, but I'm more or less of the opinion that those mold-able parts of our culture are actually much more rigid than you, which seems to be the main difference between our arguments. As far as ethics go I don't know if you can consciously shape that, outside of the natural evolution of a community that's building scientific knowledge and increasingly protecting human rights. And even then a sizable component of any community are likely going to be self-serving, one way or another.
    I don't know that " our genetics build the environment in the first place" is a meaningful thing to say, and I'm not seeing much of an argument that it is.

  10. Top | #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jokodo View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ronburgundy View Post

    I largely agree with this, except that I don't think it's productive (or scientific) to make general claims about biology or environment being "the primary influence on our behavior." The point of the OP is just one example of the infinitely complex interactions that occur between the biology a person is born with and the environmental context in which behaviors manifest. These make such assertions about % variance due to biology, including those based on twin studies, invalid because some of the variance that such studies would attribute to genes is more directly and proximally caused by environment. For example, studies on race and IQ. If IQ tracks with the child's skin color rather than which parent's raised them, then that variance gets attributed to genes. However, such studies do not control for the effects of living in a racist society or the long term cultural effects of historical slavery/racism. If two black twins are separated and raised by families of different SES that doesn't mean that any similarity in their IQs is biological. Because, if they still both live in a similarly racist culture, then this will cause their IQs to converge with each other and diverge from those of other races, leading to an overall correlation of IQ and "race" that is actually caused in part by cultural racism and how it connects biological skin color to intellectual development.

    It is also important to note that because, as you point out, people evolved to be adaptive to culture and culture can and does change, that means that arguments that refer to what is "natural", "biological" or "evolutionarily adaptive" have little to no relevance to discussions about what kinds of cultural, moral, or legal norms we should create or change. As you said, selection pressures have wired people to conform to whatever the norms are and to adapt to norms, which includes to changing norms. So, outside of norms that are biologically impossible, we should ignore what is "biological" when setting or changing our culture, and create whatever norms cohere with our ethical principles and people will adapt to them.
    As far as twin studies go, I believe most experts would agree that similarities between them are going to be mostly genetic, especially as it pertains to IQ. Essentially, their brains would be genetically equivalent, and only save some extreme type of socialization a lot of their traits would turn out the same. So socialization does play a part, but I think you're off base here and understating genetics. Chemically, twins are the same person, which has a much more profound influence than socialization, which has been borne out by twins raised in different environments (check out Google Scholar here.. or Pinker's The Blank Slate).

    When I say biology is the primary influence on behavior I'm not just talking genetics, though, I'm also talking about the profound influence of biology on culture itself. It's a given that culture is plastic, but culture is also a reflection of our biology and psychology. This is a critical point because if cultural realities ultimately originate from our physiology, then those influences are constrained by the same reality.

    - How about a society where some form of partnering doesn't exist?
    - A society that doesn't prize youth in females?
    - A society without some form of religious or idealistic beliefs?
    - A society where members don't compete for resources?
    - A society where men aren't naturally aggressive
    - etc

    And so it's not just genetic behavior per se, but the reality of being human, in a human built society that dictates most of what we do. It's kind of a false dichotomy to contrast genetic/environmental influence, because our genetics build the environment in the first place.

    In your second paragraph you mention we should change norms that aren't biologically impossible, so I think you're on base with this, but I'm more or less of the opinion that those mold-able parts of our culture are actually much more rigid than you, which seems to be the main difference between our arguments. As far as ethics go I don't know if you can consciously shape that, outside of the natural evolution of a community that's building scientific knowledge and increasingly protecting human rights. And even then a sizable component of any community are likely going to be self-serving, one way or another.
    I don't know that " our genetics build the environment in the first place" is a meaningful thing to say, and I'm not seeing much of an argument that it is.
    It's one of those things that you're not going to see a scientific study done on, because it's not really something that would be the object of a study. But if you understand anything at all about neurophysiology then you basically just need to look around.

    Or just use logic - how could every aspect of human cultures not be tied back to human nature, somehow? Where else would it originate?

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