It’s amazing how men ad women can be considered the same but yet be so very different. On the outside they may look alike- two eyes, two ears, a nose, mouth, hands, and so on, but they could not be more different. So the saying goes, “men are from Mars and women are from Venus”. The question is why though? Is it because of nature or because of nurture?
One difference is that men are extremely more aggressive than women due to higher testosterone levels. It was believed that how your raise the child and the role of society were the main factors that determined the outcome as male or female. However, with the case of David Reimer this proved to not be true. David was going through a routine circumcision when he was eight months old that went terribly wrong. Doctors decided to turn him into a girl as an experiment, to prove that reassigning a sex was easy because nurture determined their psychological make-up. However, today being thirty-seven years old, the angry David is proof of how wrong they were. He had a tortured childhood, and has had to go through many surgeries to try to gain back his manhood. The biological sex of a child will always prevail, now matter how they are raised.
Though aggression is due to testosterone in men, it is not the only reason. The aggression in men is further implied in he way they are raised and how society teaches them to act. From childhood, boys are taught to be tough- to “be a big boy” and not cry. They are taught that boys should play sports like football, wrestling, and other violent sports. Men relate to each other through physical interaction. For men, words are less important in developing relationships; they are all about taking action. Our society teaches men to think that “actions speak louder than words”. On the other hand, women do relate with words. One of the most important things to a woman in a relationship is being able to talk about problems. Women care more about the thoughts and feelings behind the action. Emotional intimacy, and closeness, is the most important goal. Being honest and open is what shows love.
Though the case with David Reimer shows that you can’t change the biological sex of a child, a child could pick up some characteristics of the opposite sex. For example, if a girl, with multiple brothers, is raised by her father with no mother figure around, things such as football and fighting would be of more interest to her, and she would be considered a ‘tomboy’. She would want to be one of the guys.
Men and women are different in many more ways than the obvious physical ones. I believe that the differences are both nature and nurture, and that you can’t have one without the other. However, I do believe that a majority of the difference depends on nurture, due to the fact that society today has set so many standards as how men and women should act.
“ED and Intimacy”
“Boys Will Be Boys: Nature vs. Nurture”. Ninemsn, 60 minutes. Copyright 1997-2003