Men & Women: The Vital Meaningless Identical Differences

 

You may have read that the American Psychological Association recently excreted something they called, “Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Boys and Men.” This remarkable document was written by academic psychologists, who were not known for their excess of (or even understanding of) masculinity, even before this paper was published. This won’t help their reputation. They included the requisite tut-tutting about the “harmful” ideology of masculinity, marked by “stoicism, competitiveness, dominance, and aggression” together with “anti-femininity, achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk, and violence.” I like the “anti-femininity” part. I’m not sure why people who don’t like men can’t figure out that men do like women. Have these people never met a man before? Or a woman?

My favorite line from the paper would be hard to choose, but this would probably be it: “Indeed, when researchers strip away stereotypes and expectation, there isn’t much difference in the basic behaviors of men and women.” Which might lead one to wonder why they just wrote an enormous paper about “Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Boys and Men.” Wouldn’t the paper be better named, “Guidelines for Psychological Practice with Boys and Men and Girls and Women. And Trans-sexuals. And Intergenders and Androgynes. And Bigenders. And Pangenders and Genderfluids. And Aliagenders.” And so on. And so on and so on, because Tumblr lists 112 different genders, and other social media sites recognize different numbers of different differences which describe different gender differences.

Of course, that would seem like a lot of unnecessary work, since according to the esteemed American Psychological Association’s recent paper, “…there isn’t much difference in the basic behaviors of men and women.” Perhaps they just did a lot of work for nothing.

So there’s really no difference between the genders. Except that one is harmful, marked by dominance, violence, and aggression. So there’s that.

But the important impact of this paper is that psychologists now know how to treat patients based on their gender, because what gender you’re born with determines your psychiatric fate. You can be dominant and aggressive simply because you’re born that way. Except, of course, that you can change your gender if you choose, so you can be different if you feel different, regardless of how you were born. Which wouldn’t matter, because men and women are basically the same. So it actually doesn’t determine your, um, hang on a second…

I often say that I’m conservative because I’m not smart enough to be progressive. This stuff makes my head hurt.

Until recently, psychologists were people who had an unusually profound understanding of human nature. Now, understanding human nature is absolutely forbidden in psychology. That’s one thing when it comes to writing papers. But, one would think, that would make the actual practice of psychology difficult. How can you help people if you don’t understand them? If you refuse to understand them? That can’t work.

Unless, of course, this is less about helping people than it is about changing people. If you don’t like people, or if you don’t like yourself, you don’t need to examine yourself to figure out what your problem is. You just change everybody else. And denigrate those who refuse to change. Much easier. And healthier for everyone involved. Well, healthier for everyone except for everybody other than you. Well, it’s not that healthy for you either. So never mind.

This psychology paper is not about the psychiatric illnesses of patients, it’s about the psychiatric illnesses of the authors. Anyone who has ever met another person, and can see, well, this – that person has real problems. And if that person seeks to inflict their pathologies on others, and is allowed to do so – actually, encouraged to do so – by the powers that be, then the rest of us have real problems as well.

This should not be chuckled at and ignored. This should be actively eradicated from our academic and public discourse. It seems funny, but it’s really not. As such ideas become accepted and mainstreamed, then reality becomes more of an inconvenience than a, well, a reality.

There are some who don’t care for reality, and I can understand that. Reality can be unpleasant at times. In fact, without faith in God, reality can be absolutely dismal sometimes.

But ignoring reality is dangerous. Trying to alter reality is even more dangerous. We should not encourage those who do so.

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There are 21 comments.

  1. The Reticulator Member

    Dr. Bastiat: You just change everybody else. And denigrate those who refuse to change.

    I get mixed up. Is change good, and do people need to get over their fear of change? Or is climate change bad? 

    • #1
    • January 10, 2019, at 5:26 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  2. Larry3435 Member

    Dr. Bastiat: Until recently, psychologists were people who had an unusually profound understanding of human nature.

    Recently? When, exactly, was that? Not in my lifetime. Here, let me fix it for you: “Until recently, psychologists [novelists] were people who had an unusually profound understanding of human nature.”

    • #2
    • January 10, 2019, at 5:27 PM PDT
    • 10 likes
  3. Doctor Robert Member

    Bravo. Bravo. Well said.

    • #3
    • January 10, 2019, at 6:06 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  4. MarciN Member

    This is a fantastic post and an accurate portrayal of the insanity of the American Psychological Association. That these insane people are judging the sanity of others is truly upside down and inside out. 

    It is easy to understand why Jordan Peterson is so popular now and what motivates him to write and speak on this subject. 

    • #4
    • January 10, 2019, at 6:22 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  5. She Thatcher
    She

    MarciN (View Comment):

    This is a fantastic post and an accurate portrayal of the insanity of the American Psychological Association. That these insane people are judging the sanity of others is truly upside down and inside out.

    Indeed it is.

    It is easy to understand why Jordan Peterson is so popular now and what motivates him to write and speak on this subject.

    Yes it is.

    As for the APA article, I don’t suppose we’re misreading it, and they were just vying for this year’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor?

    No, probably not. Oh well.

    • #5
    • January 10, 2019, at 7:12 PM PDT
    • 8 likes
  6. JudithannCampbell Inactive

    Dr. Bastiat: Now, understanding human nature is absolutely forbidden in psychology. That’s one thing when it comes to writing papers. But, one would think, that would make the actual practice of psychology difficult. How can you help people if you don’t understand them? If you refuse to understand them? That can’t work.

    In theory, psychotherapy might work: the idea of talking to someone who is detached from you and your life, and getting their opinion and hearing their perspective, knowing that they are sworn to secrecy, is really not a bad idea, and in theory it could be-and sometimes is-a very good thing. As long as the people involved, including the psychotherapist, understand that the therapist is only human and should not be blindly obeyed.

    Unfortunately, most therapists don’t seem to understand this: I struggled with depression for a long time and was diagnosed with schizophrenia in my early 30’s. I have seen more therapists can I can count. Most of them are very authoritarian; several therapists dropped me when I told them that I didn’t like feminism. With the others, I felt like I was talking to a brick wall: I would tell them that I never had any interest in a career, and they would all say, “But you are so smart, you would do so well in career!” to which I would respond, “But I don’t want a career”, to which they would say, “But you are so smart…..” It was really, seriously like talking to a brick wall. 

    Also, there are many therapists who have no interest in dealing with those who have real mental illnesses: One therapist worked with me for a little while, spent the whole time trying to convince me that my conservative beliefs were wrong (he was a protestant minister as well) and then when I had a psychotic episode, he started calling my husband, leaving many messages in which he urged my husband to leave me. My husband had to send him a cease and desist letter. I repeat: when I was in the psych ward, trying to recover from a severe psychotic episode, the therapist I had been working with was trying to convince my husband to leave me. In hindsight, we should have reported him to somebody, but we were distracted with other things.

    Like I said, psychotherapy sounds great in theory, but it attracts some very strange people. My husband calls psychologists “The New Priesthood” and that is exactly what they have been for a while now. Hopefully, that is starting to change.

    • #6
    • January 10, 2019, at 7:35 PM PDT
    • 17 likes
  7. Franco Member

    Judithann,

    Thank you for your comment. There are some horrifying therapists out there and it is criminal what too many of them do.

    My wife is a therapist (old school psychoanalysis) and I’ve heard some stories from her – not as bad as yours- but a few therapists who have had sexual relations with their clients and other boundary transgressions. 

    She also has taken on the more difficult patients in her clinics over the years since, as you say, many don’t want tough cases. She has a high interest in schizophrenia having studied Spotnitz. She has one schizophrenic patient she’s seen for 20-plus years ( for a very low rate) and she’s the reason he’s not institutionalized. How do I know? Well, I believe her since I know this woman and have listened to many hours of her talking about cases and educating me. (Of course I don’t know who any of these people are, nor do I care to know.)

    Also, therapists should not be dispensing advice . The most a therapist should do is ask questions. My wife is a real talker in real life, but I hear her side of phone sessions sometimes and she’s just listening and rarely says anything. I’ve asked he in jest what her rate for me would be. I’d pay anything for her to listen to me like that!

    I’ve had a few therapists myself and, while I never had a bad one, I only had one good one who actually helped me. I was prescribed psychotropic drugs some years ago but I stopped because I felt they were doing psychological damage while they helped in one area, they hurt in new ways. I’m not a believer in that stuff unless absolutely necessary. It’s freaking quackery in many cases.

    I believe it helps if you have a good one and hurts if you have a bad one. 

    • #7
    • January 10, 2019, at 11:51 PM PDT
    • 9 likes
  8. Full Size Tabby Member

    Dr. Bastiat: They included the requisite tut-tutting about the “harmful” ideology of masculinity — marked by “stoicism, competitiveness, dominance, and aggression” together with “anti-femininity, achievement, eschewal of the appearance of weakness, and adventure, risk, and violence.” I like the “anti-femininity” part. I’m not sure why people who don’t like men can’t figure out that men do like women. Have these people never met a man before? Or a woman?

    In partial defense of the APA’s statement, men do like women, and generally like femininity in women, but not necessarily femininity in ourselves.

    By saying “anti-femininity” is a problem, they are also saying that “femininity” is the good or maybe ideal. Upon what basis do they come to that conclusion?

    • #8
    • January 11, 2019, at 5:37 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. Full Size Tabby Member

    Dr. Bastiat: My favorite line from the paper would be hard to choose, but this would probably be it: “Indeed, when researchers strip away stereotypes and expectation, there isn’t much difference in the basic behaviors of men and women.”

    I hope the paper has mountains and mountains of data to back up that very bold conclusion (I am too lazy to look it up). 

    • #9
    • January 11, 2019, at 5:40 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  10. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat Post author

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Dr. Bastiat: My favorite line from the paper would be hard to choose, but this would probably be it: “Indeed, when researchers strip away stereotypes and expectation, there isn’t much difference in the basic behaviors of men and women.”

    I hope the paper has mountains and mountains of data to back up that very bold conclusion (I am too lazy to look it up).

    That really is an incredible statement. What on earth? 

    • #10
    • January 11, 2019, at 5:59 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  11. Full Size Tabby Member

    Dr. Bastiat: Unless, of course, this is less about helping people than it is about changing people. If you don’t like people, or if you don’t like yourself, you don’t need to examine yourself to figure out what your problem is. You just change everybody else. And denigrate those who refuse to change. Much easier. And healthier for everyone involved. Well, healthier for everyone except for everybody other than you. Well, it’s not that healthy for you either. So never mind.

    The ideology that began in the late 19th Century and became known in the early 20th Century as “Progressive” (and has become prominent again in the very late 20th and early 21st Century) is based on the premise that “experts” can, by properly using levers of policy, alter human nature over the course of a relatively few years. 

    Accepting that premise, however, requires the “experts” to ignore 5,000 years of recorded human history that is full of various unsuccessful attempts to alter human nature.

    The nature, urges, and tendencies of the humans described in the book of Genesis are remarkably similar to the nature, urges, and tendencies of the humans of AD (or CE) 2019.

    The nature, urges, and tendencies of humans in “Western Civilization” are remarkably similar to the nature, urges, and tendencies of humans in civilizations that have had little to no contact with “Western Civilization.”

    The men go out to hunt, to compete, to conquer, and to accomplish. The women nurture others and create comfort. There are exceptions, but they are notable because they are exceptions. And there are variations, but the broad generalities hold throughout history and across cultures. 

    • #11
    • January 11, 2019, at 6:01 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  12. Songwriter Member

    Dr. Bastiat: I often say that I’m conservative because I’m not smart enough to be progressive. This stuff makes my head hurt.

    Doc, I suspect you are smart enough. the problem is, you’re not foolish enough. Elite Progressives are often very smart fools, in that they have high IQs and little to no common sense.

    • #12
    • January 11, 2019, at 6:42 AM PDT
    • 6 likes
  13. Songwriter Member

    Full Size Tabby (View Comment):

    Accepting that premise, however, requires the “experts” to ignore 5,000 years of recorded human history that is full of various unsuccessful attempts to alter human nature.

    This. This is the gaping hole in the Progressive ideological wall that should be attacked at every opportunity. All these very smart Progressives (They have the credentials to prove how smart they are!) can look at 5,000 years of recorded human history and — completely ignore it. 

    Human nature in 2018 is not one bit different than human nature at the dawn of history. We are a little better organized. We’ve tamed ourselves somewhat. And we dress considerably better. But if a giant EMP ever hits, and our technology disappears, we’re gonna see a whole lot of old-school human nature crop up real fast.

    • #13
    • January 11, 2019, at 6:52 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  14. GrannyDude Member

    JudithannCampbell (View Comment):
    Also, there are many therapists who have no interest in dealing with those who have real mental illnesses:

    This should be written in big giant capital letters…that is, shouted from the rooftops. 

    • #14
    • January 11, 2019, at 7:17 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  15. James Gawron Thatcher

    Dr.,

    I’m shocked yes shocked! You don’t mean to imply that The American Psychological Association is full of cr%p, do you? Because if you did then I want to give you an award.

    Regards,

    Jim

    • #15
    • January 11, 2019, at 8:20 AM PDT
    • 5 likes
  16. Vance Richards Member

    Hormones impact the brain and that can impact behavior. Don’t believe me? Notice any changes in attitude when kids go through puberty? Ever live with a menopausal women? And if hormones matter then should it matter that men and women have much different levels of testosterone and estrogen? Anyway, who are the science deniers?

    • #16
    • January 11, 2019, at 9:43 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  17. Henry Castaigne Member

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Hormones impact the brain and that can impact behavior. Don’t believe me? Notice any changes in attitude when kids go through puberty? Ever live with a menopausal women? And if hormones matter then should it matter that men and women have much different levels of testosterone and estrogen? Anyway, who are the science deniers?

    To become more female, male to female transpeople take estrogen. Ftm transpeople take testerone. Testerone gives you masculine traits and estrogen gives you female traits. This is way easier to understand and prove than climate change.

    But the left since Marx has always used science to shut down debate rather than prove anything.

    • #17
    • January 11, 2019, at 9:57 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  18. Joseph Stanko Member

    JudithannCampbell (View Comment):
    In theory, psychotherapy might work: the idea of talking to someone who is detached from you and your life, and getting their opinion and hearing their perspective, knowing that they are sworn to secrecy, is really not a bad idea, and in theory it could be-and sometimes is-a very good thing.

    Indeed, we Catholics were doing so long before Freud came along. Confession is considerably more affordable than psychotherapy as well.

    • #18
    • January 12, 2019, at 9:16 AM PDT
    • 2 likes
  19. Henry Castaigne Member

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    JudithannCampbell (View Comment):
    In theory, psychotherapy might work: the idea of talking to someone who is detached from you and your life, and getting their opinion and hearing their perspective, knowing that they are sworn to secrecy, is really not a bad idea, and in theory it could be-and sometimes is-a very good thing.

    Indeed, we Catholics were doing so long before Freud came along. Confession is considerably more affordable than psychotherapy as well.

    But you believe that G-d listens to you. That changes everything.

    • #19
    • January 12, 2019, at 9:26 AM PDT
    • 1 like
  20. Joseph Stanko Member

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Indeed, we Catholics were doing so long before Freud came along. Confession is considerably more affordable than psychotherapy as well.

    But you believe that G-d listens to you. That changes everything.

    Indeed. It’s no coincidence that psychotherapy has risen to such prominence during a secular age when a culture that rejected belief in a God who died for our sins tried to invent some alternate means to alleviate anxiety and guilt. 

    • #20
    • January 12, 2019, at 9:50 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  21. Dr. Bastiat Member
    Dr. Bastiat Post author

    Joseph Stanko (View Comment):

    Henry Castaigne (View Comment):

    Indeed, we Catholics were doing so long before Freud came along. Confession is considerably more affordable than psychotherapy as well.

    But you believe that G-d listens to you. That changes everything.

    Indeed. It’s no coincidence that psychotherapy has risen to such prominence during a secular age when a culture that rejected belief in a God who died for our sins tried to invent some alternate means to alleviate anxiety and guilt.

    Brilliant point, @josephstanko

    • #21
    • January 12, 2019, at 10:55 AM PDT
    • 1 like