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Response to Bonobo (Original post)

Mon May 4, 2015, 12:54 PM

2. Sometimes I wonder

Sometimes I wonder how much of the lower male life expectancy is due to the
relative (to that given to females) regard for male safety. Brings up a lot of

I agree with all sides on the point that we should work for equality, work against
what is unequal. On that count, we would have to consider shorter lifespan a
way in which males are disadvantaged and unequal, right?
Which comes to two things, either this disadvantage is because of societal
causes (environment in general) or part and parcel of being male (biological
in general). I think voicing the concern in either of these ways would be
poorly received...lukewarm at best.
The idea of males being disadvantaged in any way seems to be generally
unwelcome as a topic of discussion, and it seems quite often that such
times it is discussed, the blame or root up such problems is put on the
males themselves ("violent, testosterone fueled men. you bring it on
yourselves.". There is little consideration that the causes of such behavior
(whether that is a legitimate characterization at all), or that the
causes may be societal or biological (or both). If it is societal, with
society pushing males into situations that lower life expectancy or
otherwise generating such situations disproportionately for males, then
we are all to blame (society as a whole). Well, not to blame, but we
are all (male/female/etc....society) implied stakeholders and part of
the body to fix the problem. As is the same with any societal
disadvantages for women. Social justice is society's problem.

On the other hand, if really is something inherent to males, biological,
that either outright shortens our lifespans, drives us into situations, or
generates situations which disproportionately endanger us, then we
are faced with a peculiar situation in which it is accepted that
male and female are different. Astounding right! But it is, somehow,
astounding...because when it comes to how we talk about male/female,
we seem (society in general, I suppose) to draw lines at certain points when
stating what is different and the same in m/f. Gross biology, we accept
generally....mental traits, perhaps not so much. It seems though, that what
we are prepared (generally) to split is the idea that males are naturally
violent and impulsive and women are caring and thoughtful. Society in
general accepts this, whether it blatantly states it or not. Often it does.
But in that case, why stop there. Maybe entire mental functions differ,
(insert slippery slope discussion here).

....the point is, often, the discussion of male-ness goes to that place...
"well men are just (violent/impulsive/testosterony/etc) and that's why..."
As well, we may even hear this from people who avowedly deny such explanations
when it comes to intelligence, etc...or it comes to females.
So why? I don't know, but it's not the best situation. It often leaves us
in a position where explanations are that "male disadvantages are their own fault/
the fault of their genetics." Does this satisfy anyone?

I think the reasonable person (I like to think I am one...if that's not unreasonable)
would say that somewhere in the middle is truth. Male and female are
closer than we might think, not as close as we might hope. Environment/society and
biology probably both play important roles in what we see. In this case, shorter
male lives.

but I think at the end I cinched it all together.

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