Advanced Search

Is there any reason to believe that one sex is biologically superior to the other in a generalized sense? I've heard it said that men are inferior to women because they don't live as long and, in every age group are more likely to die than women. Add to that the fact that men's immune systems aren't as resilient as women's, they invest much less in reproduction, more boys than girls have ADHD or autism, and (it has been argued) men's sexual and aggressive urges are the cause of most violence and suffering in the world. As a man myself, I find these notions deeply troubling, not least because I am not a violent person, but also because though the above facts are scientific, I've read other arguments that evaluative notions of 'superiority' and 'inferiority' have no place in scientific discourse. So if it's not for scientists to say whether or not one sex is superior to the other, which type of expert should we appeal to, if at all? Philosophers such as yourselves, who presumably understand value better...

The physicist Wolfgang Pauli apparently didn't have much patience for what he saw as nonsense. More than once, it seems, he dismissed an idea by saying that it was "not even wrong." I'll have to admit: the idea that one sex is superior to the other in any all-things-considered way strikes me as a plausible candidate for "not even wrong" status. Men and women are different. On average—though only on average—women may have some advantages compared to men, and vice-versa. I'm skeptical that there's some way to accumulate these sorts of on-average facts into some meaningful sense in which women are overall superior to men, or the other way around. And even if there were, there's way too much variation for this to tell us much of anything person-by-person. In any case, the kind of superiority you're concerned about is, as you suggest, not a scientific notion. The kind of superiority you're worried about has to do with whether one sex is in general "better" or perhaps even "nobler" than the other. We...

Is love confined to opposite sexes only? when we love someone we want to be with that person all the time,we want to see that person happy all d time,we treat that person most importantly in our life and want the same from his/her side.we feel jealous if he/she gives importance to someone else more than us.we want to share all our good and bad moods only with that person.The question is what if we feel all this for a person of same sex,means i am a female and i feel all this for my female friend.kindly explain this psyche? Is it right or wrong??

Love is not confined to opposite sex attraction, and in spite of what some people will tell you, there is nothing wrong with that. The reasons people give for saying that it is wrong just don't hold water. We could go over some of those reasons, but there's so little to them that it's not really a productive exercise. Some people are especially bothered by religious objections, but it's worth noticing that more and more religious bodies are changing. Just days ago, for example, the Episcopal Church voted to institute ceremonies blessing life-long same-sex commitments. For many of us, what's really convincing is what we see. I have far too many friends and loved ones in healthy, sustaining same-sex relationships to find anything convincing in the objections you sometimes hear. I don't know whether your friend feels the same way. If she does, good for both of you! If not, don't be discouraged. There are others who have the kinds of feelings you have and the days when people feel they need to...

I have a question concerning the gender of words that exist in many languages, except in English. What does the presence of grammatical gender in a language say about the mentality of its speakers? A different question is whether the features of a language reflect the characteristics of the societies where it's spoken in a largely unconscious and involuntary way. (Modern) Persian, spoken in Iran and Afghanistan, doesn't have the feature of grammatical gender (anymore), just as English. Many say that the languages that do have grammatical genders are sexist, and that they help to perpetuate the conviction that sex is a tremendously important matter in all areas. For Marilyn Frye, this is a key factor in perpetuating male dominance: male dominance requires the belief that men and women are importantly different from each other, so anything that contributes to the impression that sex differences are important is therefore a contributor to male dominance. Societies whose languages do not have...

You've several questions, though they're closely related. Let me start with the first one: "What does the presence of grammatical gender in a language say about the mentality of its speakers?" My answer is: "Darned if I know!" But I rather suspect that most of my co-panelists are in the same position. Whether the presence of grammatical gender in a language has an effect on the outlook of people who speak it is something we could only figure out by bringing to bear the reseources of disciplines like sociology, psychology, sociolinguistics and who knows what else. It would also call for refining the question itself to the point where we knew what counts as an answer. As you yourself observe, it's not exactly obvious that societies whose languages don't mark gender are less sexist than their grammatically gendered counterparts. If there is an effect here, one suspects that it's a subtle one, and not easy to tease out. It may well be that if the people in a society believe that men and women are ...