This is the second piece in a two-part review of the recent BBC documentary ‘No More Boys and Girls: Can Our Kids Go Gender Free?’
It would appear that the documentary’s host ‘Doctor’ Javid Abdelmoneim’s doctorate is probably not in anything scientific or academic, else he would’ve noticed us humans are sexually dimorphic and this dimorphism is exacerbated following childhood thanks to a process known as puberty.
Thusly, a crash course in human sexual dimorphism and basic sex differences is warranted, I suspect. To all postmodernists, feminists, gender-socialists and any all-round idiot who may still be present, please leave. You won’t enjoy the triggering.
Women’s bodies are designed for reproduction (controversial!) and men’s bodies are designed for work (whoa!). It is no accident that male upper body strength is greater than female upper body strength or that females naturally lactate from their mammary glands and males do not (human males can, but only under certain, abnormal circumstances) or that women possess a uterus and men do not.
Men are generally better at visual-spatial reasoning (which is useful for hunting) and women are generally better at colour recognition than men (which is useful for foraging). Sex differences in mental rotation ability have been linked to differences in brain structure.
As mentioned before, our brains are different (check here for a superior discussion). As Simon Baron-Cohen would say: men are better at systemising and women are better at empathising.
Women tend to take a more cautious approach to spatial exploration so as to avoid physical harm, while males will have larger range sizes and often outperform females in navigation-related tasks. Women also exhibit greater risk aversion than men (women with higher levels of testosterone exhibit lower levels of risk aversion).
Men are, on average, fifteen percent larger than women (it varies between nine and twenty-eight percent).
These fundamental differences between men and women accumulate together and are the reasons why men and women choose different careers. It’s why they want different things in life. Yet, despite the science being very much out in the aether about this, Abdelmoneim still treats a lot of these differences as if they are socially constructed rather than inherent to our physiology.
These physiological differences helped to drive our cultural and social differences as well. We perceive men as stronger because they are. We perceive women as natural care-givers because they are.
The children in the school seem to grasp all this better than ‘Doctor’ Javid Abdelmoneim does. Maybe it’s because of his blind ignorance why he continues with his crusade to teach the children that “it doesn’t have to be this way”. How? Does he plan on physiologically engineering them as well? How else will he remove their inherent biological differences?
Still not content, Abdelmoneim ran an experiment where he dressed babies in the wrong gender’s clothing and gave them to adults, so they could play with toys together (the adults were unaware the children were not the gender they were dressed up as). Naturally, the boys dressed as girls were given dolls to play with and the girls dressed as boys were given mechanical toys to play with. What’s funny is how we can see the children either rejecting these toys in favour of the gender conforming toys or showing little signs of interest – this is not remarked on by Abdelmoneim.
One of my favourite “WTF!” moments was when he ‘researched’ gender differences in emotional health and learned men are the majority of the imprisoned, commenting “the prison numbers don’t lie … simply being born a boy means you’re much more likely to end up in prison”. I link this article here which shows how gender bias and discrimination in the so-called justice system is unjustly imprisoning men and releasing women. He also mentions the pay gap which I have gleefully tackled before.
One variable that Abdelmoneim appears to have overlooked, is the impact of basic in-group/out-group bias. We can see the effects of this towards the end of the show when we see across the classroom and, save for the odd exception, the children are sitting round the tables in groups of boys and girls. They are collecting together based on sex. It would appear that, despite all the social re-engineering, boys like hanging around with boys and girls like hanging around with girls. Who would’ve guessed?
In conclusion, this ‘doctor’ knows less about sex and gender than a classroom of seven year olds (Noel Edmonds, eat your heart out). He instantiates this when he says “I’m worried that all I’ve done is upset a load of kids and none of this is having a slightest effect.” I could not have put it better myself.