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|Pt. 1||Nature matters|
|1||Androgynous parenting at the frontier||8|
|Pt. 2||Men don't get headaches|
|5||The sexual revolution||96|
|Pt. 3||Men want their way|
|6||Aggression, dominance and competition||134|
|7||Sports, aggression and title IX||159|
|Pt. 4||Women want their way, too|
|8||Nurturing the young||190|
Posted July 1, 2007
A good presentation of the latest social science research confirming the differences between the sexes, despite the political pressure to ignore or efface them. The author, however, is too hopeful that science can overcome perhaps the single most powerful prejudice of Western democracies, the attachment to equality.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 10, 2005
'Rhoad's [sic] book confirms common sense and experience rather than attacking it!' says one enthusiastic reviewer./P/ Nonsense. Let's not forget that upon experiencing sunrises and sunsets over the course of eons, generations of metaphysicians surmised that the sun revolved around the earth. Earth, they reasoned, is the center of the universe. When the Catholic Church based Christian theology on this empirically true assumption in the middle ages, they, like Rhoads, merely 'confirmed common sense'./P/ Likewise, Rhoads' 'common sense' interpretation of empirical data constructs a male-centered universe. This is problematic in and of itself, but let's examine what that means for men, really, starting with Rhoads' main assumption./P/ Men, hardwired to act on primal urges because of testosterone production, are aggressive, intimidating, insecure, impulsive, immature, immoral, violent, weak-willed--you name it. If it's generally at odds with and potentially hostile to a civilized society, men are it. That's why, according to Rhoads, men make up the majority of criminals--they're born that way./P/ That kind of thinking takes the onus for civilized conduct off men, essentially giving men an uncontestable pretext, if not a prescription, for bad, even criminal behavior--nevermind an all-out excuse for not lifting a finger to help with the housework. But that's not the worst part. The worst part of an I-can't-help-it-I'm-hardwired ontology is that it renders men incapable, by virtue of being male no less, of existential free will and moral agency--two requisite conditions for self-government./P/ In other words, an ontology that doesn't posit free will or moral agency makes men not only psychologically and spiritually impotent; but utterly unqualified for governing either themselves or others, and unfit for political or spiritual freedom. Period./P/ Implicitly, we, as a society, should institutionalize these uncivilized primates as soon as trouble is detected, and indeed, civilization offers choices like loony bins, prisons, and, of course, organized sports. On that point, Rhoads agrees. But he, like a lot of us, would like to see men commit far fewer crimes and avoid the kind of institutionalization that makes exiles of them. Always the policy wonk, Rhoads' book reads like a mission statement to save men from those fates. How? By compelling them to submit to the institution that affords them the greatest social acceptance: Marriage (to a woman)./P/ Wives, it stands to reason, thereby become their husbands' keepers. Babysitters and ego-strokers, is more like it. Indeed, according to Rhoads', the reason men should be afforded esteem or authority at all is not because they're superior; rather, it's precisely their innate inferiority that society should elevate men--so they feel better about themselves. The better they feel about themselves, goes the notion, the better they're likely to comply with the norms and mores of a civilized society./P/ The fallacies of Rhoads' philosophy are many, but here's one: Unsupervised testosterone-producing folks everywhere, young and old alike, including unmarried men, actually do transcend or avoid altogether a perpetuity of adolescence. That some don't, even if they're the majority, doesn't mean they can't (barring neurological, physiological or psychological deficits), and if they can't certainly doesn't mean no man can. Moreover, if what Rhoads believes about men is true, why on earth should women want to take them as their husbands? In their homes and around their children? As heads of households, no less? Because, Rhoads might say, women have a vested interest in and a duty to abide by what's best for men. Better to marry one man than meet two in a dark alley, as the saying goes./P/ There's no dispute over the fact that Rhoadian psuedo-men exist. The dispute is in Rhoads' interpretation of empirical data which renders all persons with penises unfit for self-governmWas this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.