The short answer is no, it is not an official term within the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Sex-based Discrimination (6.2) is a legal term for the purposes of employment in the United States and Sexual Harassment is also defined by the EEOC. (6.6) Sexual orientation and gender identity are protected by Title VII under the category of Sex-Based Discrimination (6.2) but may not be as well known or as protected as other categories of harassment and job discrimination. It is worth learning about as an employer however because protection of LGBT workers is protected for Equal Opportunity employers even if state or local laws use differing language. (6.24)
Harassment and discrimination are similar but different and Gender or Sex-Based Discrimination & Sexual Harassment may involve either or both. Harassment may involve teasing or bullying while discrimination involves unfair employment practices such as hiring or pay inequality based on gender or due to other differences.
To give an example of discrimination consider the idea of hierarchy - who is more important in a group and why? In traditional and instinct-based reactions, men may be at the top of a power hierarchy, women, and then children.
In the current era of a politically correct United States, that also includes the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision which granted corporations personhood, so are they at the top of the power hierarchy now? It might also be politically correct to say that all citizens of the U.S. are equal except that the corporate tax rates may be more favorable. So should people incorporate themselves? That also leaves out the question of for-profit prisons and how we treat prisoners during and after their release, and leaving out the question of children born in the U.S. to people who weren’t citizens, immigrants, migrant workers and temporary Guest Workers and other groups with unclear status as citizens.
Why is a discussion of hierarchy important? Because it is linked to harassment and violence. Over fifty percent of violence is linked to the well-named “pecking order” - the rooster pecks a less dominant male or female, who pecks a less dominant female or chick. (citation needed, I read a lot & can’t find it yet) A discussion of violence in school children and the pecking order of dominance by both genders is available in a research article regarding school bullying: Who’s Who in the Pecking Order? (11.13) A discussion of social hierarchy in human and animal groups is available online from a book of collected papers on the topic of social hierarchy: (11.14)
Violence is more frequent between people who know one another rather than against random strangers however that also occurs. (11.92) People who use guns for violence do not tend to be mentally ill. Gun violence is associated more often with a history of being male, binge drinking, and having a history of child trauma. Guns are frequently used for suicides and shootings tend to involve other people known to the shooter rather than being random violence against strangers.
Domestic violence has been found to affect the children’s risk of violence as siblings, not just later in life. A childhood history of observing violence by more dominant members of the family has been found to be associated with an increased risk for sibling rivalry and use of violence against siblings. (11.94) While domestic violence can not be solved by parenting tips, some sibling rivalry issues can be prevented by starting out with more positive parenting strategies. A few ideas for helping reduce sibling rivalry when a new infant is introduced to the older children in the household are available on the Mott Children website in the article: New Baby Sibling. (11.95) Recognizing when lifestyles that your family considered normal aren’t considered normal to others can be difficult if you grew up with unequal communication and that was all you knew as normal. Tips for recognizing signs of a healthy relationship and an unhealthy one are included in a guidance webpage for people considering marriage. Are You Marrying the Right Person? Healthy Signs and Red Flags, (11.96)
Pregnancy can be a vulnerable time when more domestic violence occurs against women and as much as 70% of violence against a woman may occur after she leaves a relationship. Women may also initiate violence in an intimate relationship but statistics suggest significant injuries occur in women rather than men in relationships with domestic violence. A summary of reasons and excuses given is included in the article, (11.94):
"Abusers may aim to avoid household chores or exercise total control of family finances. They can be manipulative, often recruiting friends, law officers and court officials, even the victim’s family to their side, while shifting blame to the victim. They deny the violence and abuse or rationalize it and tend to use such types of defenses:
Perpetrators are usually concerned with their reputation and image in the community – among neighbors, colleagues, co-workers, bosses, friends, extended family, and therefore they use in the public the specific forms of denial:
Violence by or against groups may be associated with current or historical humiliation and persecution of members of the group. Children who grow up hearing about such a history may not have learned other ways to think about people from the other group. (11.93)
Why? Our instincts are likely involved. Males are expected to follow the instinct to pursue women more than women are expected to pursue a mate. women are more expected to protect the home and family. we also have instincts that may suggest who we can trust based on how much they are like ourselves, Us/Them or insider/outsider, and whether the person seems fair to their partner and family is important for both or all genders.
Fairness and insider/outsider, also called tribalism, was discussed in section 7, 8, 9, and is continued in section G.7: Fear and our Inner Child.
The question of where people who identify as trans-gender fit in the hierarchy of us/them trust is somewhat new to society and views about acceptance do seem to be divided by political or ethnic group and education level. (11.88) Bullying in schools and against adults is a physical danger transgender people have to cope with. Guidance for advocating for people who identify as transgender and non-conforming gender is available from a recent conference on the topic.Child custody and school policies including the need to enforce the EEOC guidance against sex-based discrimination or harassment is included. Issues that adult transgender people may need to consider when starting their own family are also included. Several papers and links to more school guidance examples are included in the compilation. (11.85)
What does not seem politically correct to discuss yet, is the underlying biology of why there has been an increase in the number of trans-gender people. Either it is a personal choice of identity - in which case the conservative discomfort might suggest, just choose differently then, or there is a biological reason and it isn’t a choice - but it doesn’t seem politically correct to discuss that either.
Research suggests it is a biological difference that occurs in the prenatal environment and which might be also affected by the hormonal environment during adolescence. Infants have DNA of female or male or sometimes a mixture that is called intersex, not clearly one or the other. Some infants have three sets of DNA or other differences that leave the external body parts unclear. In past history a medical decision would be made to surgically make the infant one or the other, however the older child might not identify as the gender chosen by the medical team. The hormones that a fetus is experiencing in quantity during the pregnancy have an affect on the brain that doesn’t always match the DNA. (11.97) (11.98) (11.99)
Estrogen mimicking chemicals from the diet or even from dental work may be over-flooding the prenatal environment compared to what a woman would normally produce during a pregnancy for a male baby and the extra quantity of estrogen like chemicals may be feminizing boys prenatally, however other factors also seem to be involved in gender identity. (11.91)
The effect might again be increased during adolescence when another increase in hormones would occur within the child’s body, if there continues to be excess estrogen like chemicals in the diet or water supply they might tip the child’s development more towards the opposite gender than their DNA and body parts would suggest. But currently we are all just unique and special and let’s not talk about that uncomfortable question of chemicals in the food or environment because we don’t have a solution, however that is likely why having more education is associated with more acceptance of trans-gender people. People who are more familiar with the risks and amount of toxins in the environment might be more aware of the biologic basis for transgender or people with more education might simply be more accepting of differences in general. (11.88)
More research is needed on acceptance as bullying and physical danger are real concerns for people who identify as trans or intersex. More research is also needed on why an increased rate of transgender and other sexual differences is occurring. Testosterone levels on average have been decreasing in men with more BPA exposure while the chemical was associated with increased testosterone in females. Guidance to avoid the chemical is included in a short article by a doctor who specializes in hormone replacement therapy. (11.90)
Endocrine disruptors are mentioned as a possible problem chemical for pregnancy in a medical article that provides guidance, however no guidance is provided for how to limit exposure. (11.87) The statistics on trans-sexualism which is the phrase used in an article on how to count and who to count as trans-gender/trans-sexual shows a clearly increasing frequency and a significant difference in the number of trans-women (people born with male DNA who identify as female) and trans-men (people born with female DNA who identify as male).(11.86) This increase in frequency and the difference in rate would support the theory that endocrine disrupting chemicals are involved as there are more estrogen mimicking chemicals than androgen mimicking chemicals in use, although some may affect both hormones as they are somewhat similar chemically. (11.89)
To repeat: Harassment and discrimination are similar but different and sexism may involve either or both. Harassment may involve teasing or bullying while discrimination involves unfair employment practices such as hiring or pay inequality based on gender or due to other differences.
So let’s return to the question of sex-based discrimination or formerly known as sexism. I worked in a female dominated career and so I didn’t experience much of what I’ve read about since, or experienced in the online world which could be described as sex-based discrimination. However there were a few years where I experienced non-sex based harassment or discrimination by a few co-workers and a manager so I am familiar with the stress that can be involved in having to work in a hostile environment. It also involved some mistreatment by clients by one of the co-workers and I did manage to work my way into a position where I changed policies to help prevent the mistreatment from occurring or making it less likely to occur.
The definition of “sexism” in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary (11.sexism) includes the phrase “discrimination based on sex” but doesn’t include the word “harassment”. The second part of the definition describes behavior that might be harassing to another person however:
A survey of physician-scientists revealed that females do report experiencing more gender bias and sexual harassment than the males included in the survey, (11.1):
In the ideal world the bedroom and boardroom would be totally separate places but the real world can intrude. Instincts or personal motives might lead to feelings and situations that interfere with work and can negatively affect reputations of individuals and businesses.
In that ideal world what helps one relax and let off tension in private may have nothing to do with abilities or business skills - and therefore looking only at a person’s business skills and ignoring private matters would be an open acceptance without being biased by a certain gender or sexual orientation.
Sexism instead might include expecting that certain styles of wardrobe or body language indicate certain personality traits or whether that person is likely to have business skills or instead need to be hidden away in the bedroom of the mind and dismissed from the boardroom due to being a distraction - that would be sexism and discriminatory in an equal opportunity program.
The impression a business gives within advertising campaigns can negatively affect a consumer's purchases or trust in the company. Discrimination of women within advertisements, portraying women or girls as sexual objects more than in real life roles, was found to negatively affect a viewer’s interest in buying the product and negatively affect their impression of the company. (11.2)
Businesses may fire employees for behavior that may be misconstrued as discriminating against others as a precaution against the risk of a negative impression for their customers.
A company fired an employee for writing a memo about gender differences having some basis in biology and that the amount of overtime and lack of family time was a factor in success for men. The employee was fired for the stated reason that the memo promoted gender stereotypes however the rights of women and men were discussed. Having clear guidelines in policies can help protect the worker and the business. The simple fact that internal company business was posted publicly could be a clear reason to fire an employee if that policy was in writing for the business and was made clear to the new employee in a staff orientation training session.
Retaliation protection laws can protect ex-employees from bad reviews after they are no longer working for the company so talking negatively about an employer or a staff member can lead to legal trouble in some cases. Before discussing any gender issues, some resources for businesses and employees help provide legal advice to prevent retaliatory lawsuits from occurring by having clear policies and procedures in the first place and for staff to be aware of the written and the unwritten policies or “unspoken rules” of the business and its employee culture; an example of Employee Culture: If most of the staff support a certain sports team, then it is a good idea to not show up on game day dressed in support of the other team - unless your goal is to set up some friendly rivalry - in which case it might help promote the friendly aspect of the goal to bring along some tailgate snacks for the whole crowd.
Some resources with legal advice for businesses and guidance for employees:
Firing someone for trying to share opinions and ideas seems somewhat discriminatory though, whether the memo is made public or not. Later in this section I address some of the same ideas that were brought up in the memo regarding overtime and the rights of parents of either gender and regarding basic biological differences with examples from hunter-gatherer culture and other groups from more recent history. The memo-writer is not alone either, another writer has commented on the pay of previously male dominated sectors of the computer programming tending to drop when more women are filling the role, read more: We Can Teach Women to Code but That Just Creates Another Problem: (11.9), and the trend has been noticed industry wide for the average rate of pay to drop after more women are filling a job role. (11.8)
A variety of statistics regarding gender and employment are available from the AAUW,The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap (Spring 2017). (11.10)
Motherhood; an overall tendency by women to not negotiate for higher salaries; and the overall tendency of businesses and managers to undervalue the work and abilities of female employees are three big reasons that the wage gap still exists according to an article from Fortune.com: Wage Gap: 3 Big Reasons It Still Exists on Equal Pay Day. (11.11)
History and common sense suggests that women may be better at precision detail work - at the level of the population average rather than for the individual. Men may be better at larger more physical action and strategic teamwork type of work - on a population average rather than for the individual. Size alone can be part of the specialization, a petite woman has petite fingers capable of fine precision.
When, at what age, a task is taught is also important, threading a needle can be difficult for an adult to learn compared to a child whether the child is a boy or girl. The task would be yet more difficult for a man with large hands to try to learn for the first time. While the larger size and arrangement of the hips and arms give the man extra strength and leverage to do large physical tasks which would be quite challenging if not impossible for the petite woman to perform.
Just pay both people well would be my goal, budget in advance if both jobs need to be completed then it should be at a livable wage. And pay both workers equivalently for the time they need to perform either job rather than “deciding” (aka: discriminating) that threading needles will be a poorly paid job and changing tires will be a highly paid job. Both workers should also be given reasonable personal time to spend with family whether a father or a mother or a single person.
Social contact is healing and helps us resist the negative effects of emotional and physical stress. Oxidative stress and its effects on the body and benefits of social contact are discussed in more detail in the Glossary section G3. Relaxation & Stress.
Hunters and gatherers were specialized in their roles based on gender. Think of the task of “gathering” berries, it is very precise and delicate work. The fruit is small, you have to coordinate your eyes and hands and not smash any over ripe berries. “Hunting” is more physical and might be boring while on sentry watch would be exciting during the physical chase and sometimes is would be an actual fight with the primitive tools that were available to slay an animal instead of having it end up hurting you while it was trying to protect itself.
Equality existed in that each gender were in charge of the management of their own roles - different leaders for the different areas of life. Inequality exists when the people who do the work have no autonomy, no right to control how they do the job or comment on how the recommended strategy is working. The Merriam-Webster definition of the word "equality" includes the phrase "sameness in quality, power, status, or degree" which would mean that employees should all have the same right to share opinions about the best ways to accomplish a task or to modify a procedure. The first part of the definition of equality, “a: sameness or equivalence in number, quantity, or measure,” would suggest a requirement for the same pay per hour or equivalent bonuses for all employees of a similar role no matter their gender or other legally protected differences. (11.80)
When workers feel they can’t speak up about a potentially unsafe or illegal issue then unsafe and illegal issues very likely won’t be reported. The topics of communication and autonomy are also discussed in more detail later.
Promoting workers based on who is willing to not have free time is discrimination against parents of either gender. Policies that promote workers based on their willingness to work overtime regularly or travel away from home frequently is discriminating against the rights of fathers and mothers to spend time with their family, and affecting children’s right to have quality time with their fathers or mothers.
Until what is happening is recognized it can't be changed as easily.
Parents need flexible time to be able to meet their child's emergency needs, in addition to maintaining their own health. There is also a natural desire to spend time with a partner and children as it gives the meaning and purpose to life to be able to share it - and it is physically healing to each of them to be able to share time and affection.
Oxidative stress causes negative chemicals to collect which touch and thoughts of a loved one can help detoxify - literally. See the glossary section G3. Relaxation & Stress for more on the topic. Depriving your employees of personal time with their families is depriving them of their personal health care at a metabolic level - that seems discriminatory or like bad economic planning - or both.
See the glossary section G5. Pre-eclampsia & TRP Channels to read more about what 8% or more of pregnant women might want to do each day for twenty to thirty minutes to help protect their infant and their own health. Relaxing in a yoga style position in the evening is easy but on a work break a private room might be nice. Pregnant women might have health benefits from some extra break time to reduce the effects of stress for the baby. Women could use the room designated to be set aside for the use of employees who are breastfeeding mothers. The room availability was a provision of the Affordable Care Act. (11.81) Pre-eclampsia can be life threatening for both the mother and the infant or cause prematurity which can have increased health care costs for the rest of the child’s lifetime.
There are biological differences between the genders. That is a fact.
Definitions and statistics from a presentation on Gender Equality by Anne-Maria Yritys, (78 page, 11. 73), plus a little math and additional statistics, provide a grim look at the disparity between the poverty rate for females and violence against females.
Inequality between genders can affect children and men also. What if a woman is the sole provider for a family with a father who has a disability and is unable to work? Poverty increases the risk of violence for women and girls. Economic stress in the household with a female as the sole provider for children and a male who is out of work or disabled might increase risk of violence for all of them due to the stress and possibly pride in a male who is unable to work or to find work.
Council of Europe, Safe From Fear, Safe From Violence:
CEDAW: The “Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was adopted in 1979 by the UN General Assembly,” (UN Women 2017), and 185 countries have ratified it. (Amnesty International 2017) The U.S. is the only industrialized nation that has not ratified the CEDAW. (UN News Centre 2015)
World Health Organization (WHO) Global Plan Of Action 2016:
The math: That would be 380,000 males and 95,000 females killed by homicide on an annual average basis, with 36,100 of the females being killed by an intimate or ex-partner. The global average, 96% of homicides were found to be by males (11.78), suggests that the 380,000 homicides of males are mostly (96%) by males rather than by females.
WHO Global Plan Of Action 2016, Consequences of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG):
Read more: Gender Equality Presentation, (78 page, 11. 73).
That is the existential question posed by Shakespeare in the play Hamlet, “To be, or not to be, that is the question,” to live or die? “To die- to sleep. To sleep- perchance to dream”? (11.82)
The question of who gets to decide who lives or die, or how they will live, is asked regarding the rights of women versus the rights of multiculturalism by a Pakistani writer, Khadija Khan, who is currently living in Germany. If the question is being decided by men or family and community members about another person’s ability to control her or his own life or even to live or die then it is a question that is plaguing everyone whether they realize it or not, whether it affects their dreams or not, because inequality of women affects children and the nourishment and prosocial or antisocial attitudes of the next generation.
Who do you want to be your caregiver if and when you are in a residential facility totally dependent on someone else for your every need?
Khadija Khan shares a concern about the safety of women and girls there and elsewhere where Islamic Law is being upheld. In more and more developed nations, within private courts that are separate from the nation’s own legal system, women and girls lives may be forever given over to a rapist who wants to marry his victim instead of receive a punishment - who is being punished? Allowing a nation’s citizens to go unprotected out of a respect for “multiculturalism” is not respecting the nation’s traditional culture or it’s own history of enforcing certain rights for its citizens and guests. Read more: Victimizing Women: Islamic Laws vs. Multiculturalism, (11.78)
To return to a previous section, group control of behavior is common around the world in primitive cultures and using modern technology does not make the behavior any less primitive. In the U.S. justice is supposed to be delivered in a court of law with a trial by a jury of peers not by private courts or family or community groups. Vigilante justice and lynch mobs are responding to group think and mob mentality, (7.39, 7.40), while honor killings are about the group or family not just about the individual and may even be without the individual’s knowledge or desire. The individuals may be in a Romeo and Juliet situation where neither family or social group approves.
Teaching children that shunning or ostracizing others in real life or within the virtual community is teaching them that bullying just up to the point of physical violence is socially approved and even expected - is that what we want to teach them? Research suggests that as a form of social control shaming individuals in a public or counseling setting actually does not work to help the individual change the undesirable behavior. (9.26)
Shaming one member of a group can serve to humiliate and control the group. Less equal societies, with a group of wealthy elite at the top, may be more likely to use humiliation as a control tactic. (9.24) Human sacrifice in ancient cultures was found in a recent anthropology study to be more common in societies that also had greater inequality between the rich and poor. (9.25)
Our modern competitive society has many cultural ways that single out a single “winner,” one individual who is most “deserving,” from many many contestants who also have exceptional skills. A more collectivist society might prefer a competition show with teams or a group project where the quality of the overall project is the deciding factor for the “win.”
From the previous section:
It has been noted in social science research that during times of economic or environmental stress there tends to be more violence against minority groups and women. The amount of infectious disease or other health problems in a group may also increase the risk of violence against minority groups.The instinct to protect against outsiders might be stronger during times that seem unsafe. (9.11, 9.12)
Dehumanization and mechanization are discussed again in the next section 12. Equal Opportunity Policy. When people are treated as machines or as animals they are being dehumanized. Denying that women are physiologically designed to be better on average at care giving and that there are real physical reasons for the difference in ability, on average, at care giving between the genders is dehumanizing women at biological levels. Specialization of tasks is a way to increase efficiency and nature specializes in being efficient, when things work biologically, they are repeated across the animal and plant kingdoms.
Our white blood cells are very similar to those produced in as simple an organism as the group of sea creatures called tunicates or they are also known as sea squirts. They have a freely moving tadpole like phase and then settle in one spot, lose their tail and grow into a funnel like shape that filters nutrients from the ocean water as it flows through the tunicates' body. (11.83) They are one of the only types of invertebrates known to have white blood cells that have some rudimentary immune functions. (page 958, 11.84)
Sea squirts and white blood cells can move around but the sea squirt is using a tail while its single celled white blood cells would be using a force similar to jet propulsion. It would be a little like letting a balloon loose after blowing it up without having tied it shut. The balloon will fly all over the room when you let it go. So then imagine filling the balloon with water and letting it loose in the bathtub - jet propulsion single cell style. Whether a white blood cell from an ocean invertebrate or from a human.
Going back in human history, let's take a closer look at how women, and men, have had parenting tasks taken over by industry. when industry takes over a task nature usually performs it is charging us to be human - it is turning us into profit widgets in a for-profit industry of some type:
To receive some types of government financial aid recipients have to perform a certain number of volunteer hours doing community service and if they have children then daycare will be paid for in order for the aid recipient to be able to perform volunteer labor in order to receive aid - if you are not dizzy yet, I don’t know why not.
My idea to fix that dizzying circle of wasted funding for the program and wasted gasoline and precious time with their child for the parent, would be to have day-care centers that provide the volunteer opportunities onsite so that the caregivers and children could stay together.The goal may be to motivate the recipient to maintain or improve their job skills by staying active in a job like role.
However, some people may never be capable of a typical job, but their child would only be young once. The zero to three year old stage is critical for forming many skills including the trust of a secure attachment style which was discussed in chapter 8: Trust is learned early. The importance of diversity in play and learning settings as a child and the ability to work comfortably with mixed gender groups as an adult is discussed later in this section.
Back to history review, it isn’t over yet, it is still being written though, so we could write some different pages in the policy book:
Laws about biological parenthood and who is left responsible when the baby is born with obvious birth defects is unclear in many areas. Surrogate mothers have become an industry of sorts in some foreign nations but the woman may be left shunned by her neighbors because she had an unusual pregnancy, and she may be left with an infant with birth defects if the couple that hired her or the agency refuse to take a baby that is born with health problems.
Whether surrogacy is increasing the surrogate mother’s health or risk of autoimmune disease is also an important question that may not have been investigated as carefully as the simpler “can we do it” rush to have a “medical breakthrough.” A medical breakthrough to me would be figuring out how to better prevent and treat preeclampsia so that as many as 8% of women and babies could have safer pregnancies. I’ve been working on this but there are only so many minutes in a typing day - there is more on autoimmune disease and the prevention of it, later in this section.
A very basic issue underlying why a society would invest in expensive technological substitutes for nature instead of helping women learn how to be healthier in the first place is the change in timing of parenthood. Our modern society has now set back parenthood to the thirties for professional couples. The twenties are reserved for education and career building and the business world does seem to reward workers who dedicate more hours of their lives to their career. Women without children earn more than women with children on average and males in the tech world have reported that it is the men who are willing to put in the large number of overtime hours who get ahead.
Biologically - nature would prefer the twenties for baby creation. It is too expensive in our current world to have babies and a job or schooling because daycare costs so much. Grandparents could help young adults marry and have children during their years of schooling by financially helping them more during that stage. Finding the spouse that will suit your interests after the four to eight years of school might be a problem there; the high school sweetheart may not be as “just right” as the person that might have been met in a college class years later if you had waited. Special summer sessions could be arranged for students with special skills or talents to spend time with other students with similar interests and talents. Giving teenagers a chance to meet a wider variety of people their own age and with similar interests sooner than their college years could help give them more opportunities to find Mr. or Mrs. "Right, For the long term" instead of "Right, of the people available right Now," or instead of putting it off until age 35 when fertility issues or prenatal complications become more of a risk.
Choices and priorities are good to think about ahead of time but it doesn’t always happen that way. The U.S. has about a 50% unplanned pregnancy rate, since family planning methods have been known since the prehistoric days of the hunter gatherers, that seems like evidence of a very ineffective health care and social system.
Back to the history of the dehumanization of women:
The hormonal changes that affect the development of all the body layers and organs require very sensitive timing and quantity, too much or too little at the wrong moment and birth defects may occur. If we care about a newly conceived infant’s right to life shouldn’t we also care about its right to be cared for as nature designed?
Not to leave anyone out:
People need a sense of purpose and joy in the next generation, traditionally it is a very important purpose for the entire community to support the next generation’s success - I’m not sure what happened with the 50% unplanned pregnancy rate but it is discussed in more detail later in this section. I suggest that the fault may be with the “Nice girls don’t” unspoken policy that monogamous women are protected and non-monogamous women and girls are left unprotected and are mistreated and shunned so that they will serve as an example to warn other women to remain monogamous and discreet or they too may be mistreated.
What if the two groups are simply different and some are being left at risk just because their biology is different? What if they don’t have the intelligence emotionally or intellectually to say “no,” or the impulse control to stop themselves from saying yes after which it can be more difficult to say “stop.” What if sexual relations is an important part of health? Why place so much shame and guilt on something that is emotionally and physically important? Providing adequate modern protection seems sensible instead of denying human nature.
Bringing us full circle back to the indiscreet point on the list:
Will there be a male version? For heterosexual women or for homosexual men? Or is this technological advancement likely only going to be available in a female version designed for heterosexual men?
Unspoken Rules of Society: “Nice girls don’t” because “love” isn’t “cheap” or “easy” or “for sale” - so Unspoken Results: we don’t pay women as well because mothers and lovers are doing it out of “love” while we pay men well because they are the “providers” and the “head of household.” - Except in our modern society women are the single head of household in a large percentage of the homes in which children are being raised on that single income.
Biologically from the hunter gatherer days of our past, men may be more adjusted to “working” a “business day” away from the camp to hunt small game in the local area or travel and be away on a an extended “business trip” while following large game for several days. Provisions would need to be carried on the trip as gathering nourishment along the way would slow down the pursuit. Dried meat as jerky and dried berries and would be an easy travel food that keeps well - hiking Trail mix was called “pemmican,” to indigenous travelers. See: Grandpappy’s Pemmican Recipe - A Native American Indian Survival Food, (11.19)
The women would be back at base camp gathering the berries to dry for more pemmican while the men were away hunting for the game to be used as the protein and fat sources for it. Gathering berries or other wildcrafting takes patience, observation and precise movements. Having smaller fingers can help with fine detail work. The hormones of mothering and lactation can promote a very strong instinct or feeling of “nesting” (p100, 7.22) and protecting against “outsiders.” (pp 271-272, 7.3) Oxytocin and its role in “love” and “pair-bonds” is discussed more later in this section.
Briefly though, it can cause very strong urges in a mother to love and to fight to protect those she loves. I was amazed at the feelings after delivering my first child, joy and euphoria but also a sudden feeling deep down that I would fight anyone “tooth and nail” to protect my baby against harm. The feeling was astonishing in part because I’m not a fighter. I’ve never purposely even slapped anyone, and yet this urge was intense and very true feeling - if there was danger I would do whatever I could to protect my baby. If there is a summary point there it would be, remember that some “Nice girls don’t” girls might be going through a phase where they are looking for the right person to settle down with and then once they do, they will be defenders of the “nest.”
Dopamine and its possible effects on unspoken urges to perform certain behavior patterns was discussed in section 7. When to Report? And the lifestyle of hunter gatherer society was also discussed in more detail in that section.
Dress codes and standards of expected behavior in the workplace can help however to promote a work mindset. Like a cold shower for the mind, good manners can help keep the anxiety center of the mind calmer. Stronger words or symbols that trigger emotions of fear or disgust stimulate that anxiety center, the amygdala, instead of being interpreted just in the language area of the brain.
Avoiding not safe for work (NSFW) topics in verbal or written media in the workplace and for work emails and phone calls is a good place to start but the definition of what is NSFW might vary in different nations or cultures. Businesses with international contacts may benefit from seeking more information about local customs and expectations for behavior between people of different genders or different levels of authority. Cultural competency is a term used for business training and research in social sciences in the area of understanding and respecting differences in order to work together more effectively and value the input of a diverse team.
International relations can require delicacy and knowledge of different customs. Just printing a photograph of a woman, a fully clothed respectable woman, and any part of her, even just an image of her hands is considered taboo to print in a newspaper in some more conservative cultures. (11.3)
Fashion and grooming expectations for women in western cultures can leave women's bodies fairly exposed but there is also an expectation that the woman will maintain control of any situations she may have with men. However some men may misinterpret something as minor as an uncomfortable smile from a woman as a sign that she is interested in him romantically. (11.4) These tendencies may go back to our evolutionary instincts.
The very phrase “respectable woman” is in itself discriminatory - who decides who is respectable and on what specific criteria? Is there a policy with objective measurable standards like old-fashioned school uniform rules about skirt length and the number of inches it can be from the knee? Is focusing on knees more important than focusing on education? Then the argument of what is fair or discriminatory for boys and their education, or for teachers and their right to a classroom environment that is professional, might enter the discussion. If school is the student’s job and is their training for job success in the future then it does seem reasonable to introduce and demand casual business attire standards for a dress-code.
Respect seems to be a pass/fail topic for many people rather than recognizing, accepting, and respecting that people generally have both strengths and weaknesses. A team can help maximize an individual's strengths and make up for their weaknesses by allowing other team members to take on responsibility for areas of the project in which their strengths excel.
Policies aren’t written over night; they are drafted based on whatever research is available on the subject and then tested and revised and retested in the real world environment of business. Policies and procedures are guides for how to do things on a day to day basis. Policies are somewhat similar to a general rule and procedures are more like the step by step guide of a recipe in a cookbook or instructions for assembling a kit. They include steps and a list of tools that are needed and ways to evaluate the finished product. Common questions and troubleshooting tips for commonly experienced errors may also be included in a thorough recipe or instruction manual.
Gender expectations from our past may be involved in the different rate of pay that is seen between genders in modern business and between the number of female and male managers and leaders, (11.5), and difference in number of women and men hired in some industries. (11.6) Changing pay rates and employment statistics won’t happen simply by hiring more females though, listening and following their decisions is also necessary.
Males and females tend to communicate differently and have different values regarding teamwork so differences in pay and in the number of leaders of one gender or the other may vary depending on those differing values and communication styles. Men may ask for larger salaries or bonuses as a signal of greater power or respect of one individual or company in comparison to others with a smaller CEO salary, while women valuing collaboration and family-time more, may ask for more flexible hours or onsite childcare.
Theoretically the ancient matriarchal style hunter-gatherer cultures shared leadership roles in different areas of expertise. While we can’t know what people did in ancient times, modern groups that still live primitively suggest that gender roles do naturally exist. Males were the more expert hunters and women were the more expert gatherers and caregivers for the younger children. The amount of calories provided by the gatherers was more consistent and plentiful than the occasional protein provided by the hunters, so respect for each other’s expertise was the norm in the early days of human history.
Nutrient analysis suggests that while intake would vary with the season, the nomadic lifestyle would follow where the best food was in season, and gathering may have provided about 65% of the calories and hunting provided about 35%. Protein availability could be a very large part of the diet at times of abundance, some excess could be dried and preserved as jerky. Protein made up 19 to 50% of calories at times and finding adequate variety of other types of foods with important trace nutrients was likely difficult. Cereal grains were not really used in primitive diets unlike in our modern diet. (11.7)
A merit based system would pay for the hours worked and value produced rather than the image an inflated salary or bonus might present to competitors. Women are paid less than men for equal roles but jobs that employ primarily women or start to employ more women also tend to become less well paid once more women are associated with the job. (11.8, 11.9)
More education for women doesn’t seem to help, the pay gap between females and males exists across the range of education levels. While women earn more when they have a college or professional degree the percentage that they earn in comparison to males with an equivalent amount of education actually worsens. Women with some college, a high school education or less earn 74% of their equivalent male counterpart on average while a woman with a four year or more advanced college degree earns on average 74% of her male counterpart. Other parameters are also presented graphically in a report by the American Association of University Women (AAUW), The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap (Spring 2017): (11.10)
However a closer look at how much women earn suggests that it might actually be mothers who are being paid less. A single career woman may earn closer to her male counterpart’s wage. Speaking up and asking and negotiating for a larger salary is also important for women to do. If paying a man a larger salary makes a company look successful then shouldn’t a larger salary for women also boost the company’s reputation as profitable enough to pay their employees well? (11.11)
Women valuing collaboration may think they don't need a larger wage, they care about the company's success, but they may benefit from trying to look at it from what might be a more masculine perspective - a larger wage might lead to more confidence and productivity for the worker and lead to even better success for the company.
Based on the hunter-gatherer’s contributions to their family’s nutrition it would make sense to pay mothers and women more - 65 cents for women and 35 cents for men out of every dollar. Before getting outraged though, as a nutritionist I would support the (alleged) matriarchal viewpoint that calories (or dollars) aren’t the only thing that is important and that both contributions are equally important, with a 50/50 split for the pay day. The reason nutritionally that both contributions are equally important is that they add up to a balanced diet. Either contribution on its own would not be as nutritionally complete.
The gatherers would have spent many tedious hours doing fine detail work gathering berries or digging starchy root vegetables for their contribution of 65% of the calories and they would be providing essential carbohydrates which provides energy in the form of starch and sugars. Trace nutrients in the form of a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidant phytochemicals would also be provided in the varied flavorful edible herbs and colorful fruits and vegetables.
The hunters would have had to work together in teams to look for large prey like deer while avoiding carnivores such as wolves in some areas, or in other areas they might travel solo looking for small game. Creativity and cunning would likely have been needed to trap or kill a prey animal with a primitive tool or avoid a larger carnivore.
The hunter’s contribution would provide essential fats and protein and a few trace minerals that would be less available in the gatherer’s plant based contribution to the hunter-gatherer diet.
Paying equally for differences, and valuing differences is my recommendation and goal; specialization has value, it saves time, adds efficiency and skill; nature is smart and repeats what works.
Biologically we have some differences that have value. But society hasn't been set up to pay equally or value those differences in the same way.
Bringing up history is not to suggest we need to be in a 1950’s gender role mindset because there are some differences - on average, not to be compared to one individual’s potential, but on average some biological differences exist between males and females. Valuing those specializations equally and paying for them equally would be my recommendation.
The economic problem is one of scale - fine detail work that takes many hands would be a large budget if paid as well as a single creative lead on a team might be paid. The argument for paying the lead more is that their’ “creative” contribution, assembling everyone else’s work, seems like a large task, it is bringing together a large task, however, could that creative lead possibly have done that large task exclusively by his or herself no matter what their gender? If the task involved many many people’s fine detail work putting together different parts of the project then how could one “creative” lead be responsible for the success of the whole project?
So just change the pay rates, change the priorities on which pay is based, and plan the budget in advance. More hours of the fine detail work is needed so pay for it, divide the total hours needed and budget a good wage and benefits for all of the staff needed. Then if one or two creative types are needed to assemble the whole project figure out what is left in the budget for their salary and maybe a “lead” bonus that will mean they are earning more than the larger number of workers, but the lead would also be getting some extra attribution and recognition of their creative role. Bonuses for the whole team at the completion of a large project or a party or some other ritual can help strengthen a team’s morale.(7.30)(11.34)
The creative lead would do well to remember the larger team's work made the "creative" whole a possibility and that they couldn't possibly have done the "whole" job all by themselves. In a collectivist culture, which is typical for many Asian nations, the "whole" team would be more likely to be celebrated or chastised as a group for a project’s success or failure and it would bring shame to one person to have attention be brought on their role instead of the attention being focused on an achievement of the whole group. (7.3)
While I will be the only one to have typed this project it was made possible with the help of all the academics and writers whose work is referenced in the footnotes included in the Links & References sections. The software designers who developed the website and ebook graphic design also helped prompt my writing or thought process at times. Over the years online courses and blogs dedicated to helping content marketers and business entrepreneurs or leaders improve their skills have also made a large difference in my skills and added to the variety of resources that are included in this website. My health has been helped by information I’ve learned, it has also been harmed by stress from communication difficulties with navigating in the online and real world communities.
Learning things the hard way can make it easier for everyone else to learn the easy way, if the information is shared. As our world has become more connected and larger with the addition of the virtual communities we are meeting more people and risk offending more people, but that can also be an opportunity to help or be helped by more people. Mixed communities of the future will include more diversity of cognitive skills as children with neurological conditions grow up and join the workforce.
Policies may need to be more blunt about expectations for behavior to help guide workers with less natural ability at social skills - and who might not understand and follow the social cues of “unspoken rules” - which can lead to upset coworkers - and a situation that might lead to harassment or discrimination against the worker who hadn’t grasped the unspoken expectations of their fellow coworkers and/or their management’s unwritten rules.
If you as a manager have rules - write them down, call it a policy, put it in a book or on a website and inform the workers - and -
“That would be great.” (9.9) Thanks.
An unspoken bias may exist that suggests men as a “head of household” should be paid well while a woman as a mother should be home with her children and that “love” is not something that is paid for or it is cheapened. We seem to have a society that wants equality while also having unspoken rules that there are two types of women - nice girls and unmentionable ones. (11.12) That is discrimination based on sexuality or sexual preferences. If it is occurring in a place of work in the United States, then it would be “Sex-Based Discrimination.” (6.2)
What we really have is two groups of women - mothers and non-mothers and we have a large group of children living in poverty with a single mother as the "head of household," so modern businesses need to support healthy families of the modern era and pay women and men equally for equal work. Valuing our biological differences, and simply paying for hours performed, could help restore balance.
Females may, on average, have patience and dexterity for precision, and for repetitious work - which may need to be performed by large numbers of workers - but who still deserve pay equal to the fewer numbers of workers needed for the larger picture, and who creatively put together all the detailed pieces at the end of a big project. (11.9)
Both types of workers are essential for the project - why shouldn't they all be paid well? Whether male or a non-gendered skillful person or a skillful female, shouldn’t all get paid for a job well done? Merit based systems would hire the one who was good at the job no matter what their gender.
Until women stop putting a price tag on themselves and other women it will be difficult to expect men to stop doing so. Which leads to a different aspect of trust, and love - oxytocin.
Returning to the list by anthropologist Donald Brown of cultural similarities found in common between groups around the world: "marriage," "kinship terms," "males and females seen as having different natures," "private sex," "distinctions between right and wrong, nepotism, prohibitions on certain types of sex, empathy, reciprocity, rituals, concepts of fairness, myths about afterlife," "prohibitions, gossip, binary sex terms, in-group favoritism," "symbolism," and "the linguistic concept of “and,”" (pp271-272,7.3) all might have something to do with a bias for monogamy.
It turns out that there may be two types of people; not just women, but people in general may vary in how likely they are to remain faithful to one other person in a long term monogamous relationship. In animal species the activity of oxytocin receptors in the female and of the vasopressin receptors in the male was the critical difference in whether long term pair bonds were formed.
When an emotional trust bond is formed between two individuals in the monogamous species an increased amount of oxytocin is generated and it has positive effects on mood. For the bonded pair more touch leads to more oxytocin and more good mood, so staying in close contact feels good - and more to the point without the emotional familiarity or whatever it is that is happening between two pair-bonded animals in the wild, they don’t get as large amount of oxytocin when touching other animals, so no feel good bonus - why bother straying?
In the species that don’t form pair bonds the increase in oxytocin occurred with any other member of the species rather than only with one pair bonded individual - if it feels good, why not? (pp 109-111, 7.3)
How does this help identify who is more likely to have more vasopressin receptors or more faithful ones? Do they like dogs? Are they good with pets and children in general?
Dogs also form emotional bonds and can have an increase in oxytocin with a familiar “loved one,” that they do not have with a stranger. (p 112, 7.3)
What is love? Trusting in someone enough to be able to release oxytocin or vasopressin when thinking about them or touching them? Cats also love and give affection but the difference may be in a "need" or "addiction" like response to the activity of the more monogamous species of animals or the dog's bond with a human compared to a cat's in that they seem to want the security at regular time intervals throughout the day, while a cat can leave for a few days and return again nonchalantly, or thin and hungry if it had been a few weeks.
The human species is not known for life-long monogamy as consistently as some other species. Some people may just be different in how they respond to others and diversity is a good thing, discrimination is not. Health and touch, emotional support and comfort are all good things. Social contact has health benefits. Why not look at those aspects of intimacy and discuss safety and health and emotional protection instead of focusing only on shame, guilt or the potential spiritual consequences?, (“myths about afterlife”? (pp 271-272, 7.3)
A rush of oxytocin can feel like “falling in love” even if you don’t know the person. Protection from one’s own hormones is also a good reason for avoiding being in a private setting with someone you don’t know well. Our urges can be strong and overpower common sense. Once the oxytocin increase occurs it can be too late to regain common sense until something too negative to explain happens to break the “falling in love” feeling. It can help to reduce the strength of an emotional response to be able to verbally put a label to the emotional feeling. (11.49)
The verbal and nonverbal areas of our brain don’t naturally communicate well with each other - that is where social learning theory is seen in action again. We learn civilized behavior from our caregivers and our peer group.
Prohibitions against promiscuity may have helped protect against autoimmune disease - using condoms would be a modern option.
Getting to know someone well before intimacy is better, as emotional pain can be just as physically damaging in some long term ways, as a physical assault might be in the short term if someone turns out to be unsafe. Taking more time to get to know someone before allowing yourself to be in a private situation with them may help prevent unsafe situations as time may have shown that the person isn’t trustworthy. Protection against sexually transmitted disease and pregnancy may also be helping to protect against autoimmune disease.
A cultural instinct or tendency towards pair bonding: “marriage,” and limiting sexual activity: “private sex,” and “prohibitions on certain types of sex,” (pp 271-272, 7.3); might have to do with promoting health for both the mother and infant by preventing disease in the short term in the form of sexually transmitted diseases, and in the long term in the form of autoimmune conditions that occur later in life but which may initially develop as a risk during a pregnancy.
Pair bonding may also promote the likelihood that a baby will be conceived. The male or female may produce antibodies against the sperm, which can increase risk of a spontaneous abortion occurring. (G.27)
The verbal and nonverbal areas of our brain don’t naturally communicate well with each other - that is where social learning theory is seen in action, more on that will be included in the next section 11.4: Diversity in Childhood & Trust. We learn civilized behavior from our caregivers and our peer group. People with limited social skills and/or limited exposure to civilized behavior may not learn what to expect from others or how to recognize when they are being treated poorly or are treating others in ways that aren't typical.
A few unspoken issues put into words so others may learn the easy way, learned from books and personal and professional experience. This list is not intended to represent any person:
We can learn a lot from each other if we listen to one another. Communication skills and the ability to understand the unspoken cues from others are learned during our early childhood from caregivers and from the peer groups with whom we spend time playing, learning, and doing chores or other work. Learning words to describe our emotions is an important task of early childhood and having the opportunity to share strong emotions and learn how to interpret them from more adult perspectives is easier to do as a child but helps later in life too.
Cognitive Therapy techniques are designed to help identify thought patterns that may once have helped protect a child in an unsafe or neglectful setting but which are no longer helping an adult navigate the daily needs of work and private life.
Communication, early childhood and trust, and gender differences in communication styles are discussed in more detail in the next section 11.4: Diversity in Childhood & Trust.
Good communication skills can help save lives. Men and women tend to have different styles of communicating and may misunderstand each other’s efforts to help as bossiness or meddling instead of helpfulness. Add a little social awkwardness and a stressful work day and an offer of help may turn into an incident. Having fun with a variety of childhood peers can help adults feel more comfortable with diversity in their coworkers. Understanding the subtle differences in communication styles may help whether you learned it as a child or have to learn it later in life as an adult. Whenever we improve our understanding of others and ability to communicate it is a win for both sides of the conversation.
Communication and leadership styles tend to differ between genders. Our biological instincts may prime men and women to listen to men and turn to them for advice as the authority figures and leaders of a group rather than turning to women.
In the short run, more day to day strategies that simply bypass some of the instincts might help move past them until new routines are established. Ideas for business strategies that might bypass our instincts and help facilitate a communication style that supports a diverse exchange of ideas without risk of censure are discussed later in Chapter 12. Equal Opportunity Policy. A Glossary and Resources section follows which lists the ideas that were discussed throughout the sections all in one place, along with few additional resources, therapy techniques, and definitions for the terms and concepts.
Within animal groups and reinforced by social research on human behavior, there is a tendency among males to work together well as a larger team and to naturally select and listen to one main leader. Dominance is achieved largely through displays of aggression & physical prowess rather than actual fighting. If the leader is challenged by a more aggressive junior male then one of the two is more likely to leave without ever fighting. (11.37)
In the animal world many species have dominant males who may protect their group's territory with the help of other males. Invading males would be warned off by the dominant male unless the invader proved to be more intimidating than the current leader. Males might never physically get into a fight but would instead just go through various displays of aggressive behavior to demonstrate their toughness until one of them left the fight. Females in many species would rarely be involved in protecting outer areas of a group’s territory but if threatened on their home turf would tend to go straight into fighting the invader with tooth and nail and frequently there would be wounds left on both combatants. Females are more likely to listen to the male leader that was selected by the group and to her own mate. (11.37)
Within a group of females it is more likely that a few more dominant females will work together with the group towards consensus agreements. while if one more dominant female tries to lead an initiative on her own, without supporters backing her, she is likely to be treated aggressively by the other females in the group. Males tend to talk less with each other and instead do more active things when in groups. (11.38)
Males and females may misunderstand each other’s different styles of communicating and get frustrated with each other’s apparent lack of interest or constant need to discuss the same topic in greater detail. Males tend to be more solution oriented and may interpret a request to talk as a request for help and if their offer of a solution to the “problem” isn’t accepted or appreciated they may get impatient with more discussion of the topic.
Females may instead be trying to talk in order to explore emotional issues and might feel hurt that a “solution” is offered instead of the comfort or commiseration they might have expected from a girlfriend. (11.38) A review of the book You Just Don’t Understand: Women and Men in Conversation is available online by another writer: (11.39) and an article by Deborah Tannen, the author of the book this material is summarized from, is also available online: (11.40)
Research has found that women aren't as likely to be listened to or as likely to have their ideas implemented as men, whether the women are in roles of authority in business or in political roles. (11.41, 11.40)
And yet better decisions with fewer problems seem to be generated by teams that include women and men. Women’s consensus style of communication may lead to better skills at negotiating for a win/win solution that helps both sides, while a man may be more likely to seek an "I win/you lose" solution. However too much focus on consensus can have a disadvantage of limiting ideas supported by a minority. (11.38, 11.40)
Having more women in leadership roles doesn't mean just hiring more, it means the team and shareholders all have to be willing to listen to the female leaders and not sabotage and undermine their work because of a instinctual distrust or sense of competition.
To have a diverse group of leaders as adults, we may need to have trusted a diverse group of leaders in our childhood peer groups. For a diverse group of leaders to be trusted and paid equally well, we may need to have been raised as children within diverse groups so we don’t learn at an innate level to fear surface differences because they trigger our sense of “unfamiliar stranger - an outsider.”
The success of the public television show “Sesame Street” suggests that children can become more accepting and trusting of others with educational media that presents diversity even if the child isn’t playing in real life with a racially diverse group of playmates. (11.28)
“Sesame Street” is public television children’s show developed to help promote acceptance of diversity. Research suggests that the show designed for preschool age children does help promote comfortable acceptance of racial and physical differences. The cast of humans and animated lifesize puppets includes a diverse group representing people from many different races and different types of physical and mental abilities. Song and dance and short animated educational cartoons are fun for children and parents to watch together. (11.28)
Research suggests that we need time for the next generation to be raised in mixed gender play groups and grow up to be adults who are more likely to work well within mixed gender work teams, rather than having strong expectations for their coworkers to fit within stereotypical gender roles. Raising children in separate gender groups tends to lead to their having more difficulties working together as adults. (11.29, 11.30)
Social learning may also help reduce the fear response in the brain when a child is raised with a racially diverse group of peers when they are young. The amygdala is an area of the brain involved in fear and anxiety. An increase in activity in that area of the brain has been noted to occur when people are shown an image of a person of a different race. This new research suggests, though, that the fear response that has been observed might simply be due to a childhood unfamiliarity with people of a different race. (11.31)
However there is also a natural tendency for children around age three to four years old to start seeking out and playing more exclusively with members of their peer group who have the same gender and sexual orientation. Children with non-traditional sexual orientation may be identified as different from the group and may be excluded or treated with ridicule by the other children. (page 18, 11.32) Children can also be very accepting of each other and parents may be the ones who pass on less accepting attitudes, at least according to one young transgender girl named Avery. She shares her story in a video embedded in an article about her being featured on the cover of the National Geographic magazine, January 2017 issue. (11.33)
Gender discrimination and discrimination against people with other differences are also similar and different. Men may naturally relate to other men of any ethnic background or religion better than with women of the same background because the gender is similar, and women may relate better with women of any background better than men. But we also have an innate instinct to prefer people who resemble ourselves - seen as early as infancy. Cultural rituals may also help unite the group and instill more trust in group members. (7.30) (11.34) However being raised with a racially diverse group of peers may help reduce the increase in activity of the amygdala, an area of the brain involved in fear and anxiety, that tends to occur when people are shown an image of a person of a different race. (11.35)
Simple dislike or lack of understanding a topic someone is trying to discuss may be involved in discrimination whether it is also due to lack of trust in the person or not. A research study found surprising results about university student evaluations of their professors -- quantitative math professors consistently got lower evaluation ratings than English professors and tended to get fewer promotions within their own department. (11.36) That is a mystery, indeed.
The problem with unspoken rules is that people with less skill at understanding social cues may not learn them and then may also miss the early guidance from their peer group to change their ways to fit in better with the group. In the hunter-gatherer groups there were also similarities seen in the way they would enforce the group’s expectations for “distinctions between right and wrong,” “reciprocity,” “concepts of fairness,” and not performing the “prohibitions,” any behaviors prohibited by the group. (p325, 7.3)
Harassment may occur against the offending member of the group and could increase in severity as a group tries to signal that the offender should change their undesired behavior by“collectively subjecting miscreants to criticism, shaming and mockery.” (p325, 7.3) Discrimination against the person might occur next if the offender continues the undesired behavior and the group moves to “ostracizing and shunning, refusing to share meat, nonlethal physical punishment, or expulsion from the group.” (p325, 7.3)
In modern society a trial by jury and imprisonment are equivalent legal methods for enforcing a group’s expectations for behavior. The death sentence is controversial and used in some areas. In primitive times the equivalent was “judicial killings.” (p325, 7.3)
Successful leaders and mental health counselors don’t let someone else’s bad day ruin their own good mood.
If as a modern business our goal is to overcome these natural instincts to trust those and want to be led by those who are more similar to ourselves than those who are different, then first it is necessary to simply admit that the instincts exist instead of suggesting that simply saying we are "equal" truly can make us equal to each other at an instinctual level. Remember we don't have to emotionally "feel" like family or best friends in order to complete a project with someone. Advice from successful leaders suggests not taking it personally, don't let your own emotions be affected by another person's mood, and remember that even difficult people can add value to a team.
Transference and countertransference of mood and symptoms is seen in the field of psychiatry and mental health counseling. The patient and counselor may form emotional patterns learned in their childhood and negative symptoms may develop in the counselor. The theory may apply to long term relationships formed in other areas of life:
Social workers are less likely to commit suicide than physicians.Social workers may commit suicide less often than physicians due to a difference in training about self care. Social workers are reminded to not become overly invested in the job or with a particular client’s troubles by having balance in their other roles in life. It did not seem to me that I was as good as the social workers whom I worked with at balancing my own life roles, but having role models who were good at it and who reminded me that it helps to have balance and variety in life, did help to let me know what is possible and worth working towards as a goal.
Resources for help or just someone to talk to:
Confidence has been found to be a trait that is perceived more in males than in comparably experienced females when presenting ideas to a group of business managers. A CEO shared that he advances projects based on how confident the presenter seemed. But are the managers and CEO correctly identifying “confidence” in women or do they only recognize “confidence” in males? (11.42)
A recent study based in Sweden analyzed how government venture capitalists spoke about the business men and women who requested financing from the agency. (11.42)
The results were significant, similar traits were described in more positive terms regarding male applicants and in more negative terms regarding female applicants; and male applicants were more likely to be approved and received a greater percentage of the financing they requested when approved:
Should female entrepreneurs have to hire a male actor to present her ideas? Maybe.
That idea has actually been tested in the area of pharmaceutical sales representatives and medical continuing education. Research found that a male actor could deliver a very confident “continuing education” session to a group of physicians and receive excellent ratings even though the material that was presented was not real and was written with the intent to be vague - possibly in the hope that the physicians wouldn’t be fooled. (11.43)
It has been known in the business world since the early 1900's that people skills may be more important for ideas to become implemented than the technical accuracy of the ideas. Research from the Carnegie Foundation published in 1918 found that 85% of a person’s success in the business world had to do with their interpersonal skills and only 15% with their technical knowledge. (11.44) Interpersonal skills and confidence may win contracts but if the contract is for a product that is only 15% technically accurate, then just who is the winner?
Overconfidence in a superior can be dangerous if it means employees in subordinate positions hesitate to share warnings. Conversations from the recording devices in airplanes that had crashed have revealed that some crashes might have been prevented if the warnings from copilots or other staff had been heeded instead of being dismissed by the captain. (11.40)
Testosterone levels may affect a person’s willingness to change their mind. An increase in testosterone has been associated in recent research with a tendency for the males in the study to be less likely to change their mind about an incorrect response (“their capacity to override incorrect intuitive judgments with deliberate correct responses.”). (11.45)
In a different study testosterone was found to increase in response to psychological stress in males but not in females on average. And a greater increase in testosterone levels in the males was associated with the personality trait of openness of experience. In other research, in males, having lower testosterone levels was associated with more anxiety and irritability. (11.46)
Many hormones can have positive or negative effects depending on the person's tendency towards aggression or peacefulness and the situation in which they find themselves. Being overly tired and hungry and frustrated from a long day's work can make losing one's temper easy, and it may make it easier for some people than others due to differences in emotional coping skills or physical ability to control impulses. (For more information on hormones and gender differences see pages 99-265, 11.14)
The ability for males to think clearly has also been found to be effected (on average; no study results about a group can predict an individual’s behavior) when they thinking about or being in the presence of a female they consider to be attractive. (47)
Perhaps it is women themselves who need to be allowed to come out of the closet or the kitchen. If biologically, the thinking ability of men can be reduced in the presence of an appealing woman or when thinking about an attractive woman, then hiding women from men may have been a strategy that helped protect men from their own body's effect on their thinking ability. However, limiting participation of women in business and in leadership roles is restricting the value that women might be able to provide to the greater community if they were allowed more equality in visibility and the right to be heard in management or leadership roles.
Links and Reference footnotes for
Chapter 11: What is Sexism?.