Psychological Self-Help

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746
Gender Issues: A Woman’s Place---
In addition to needing love, as we grow up we identify with older
people, primarily of our own sex, and internalize many of their
attitudes and values. Anne Schaef (1981) asked people to first
describe God and humankind in relation to each other, then describe
males and females. She got these responses: 
God
Humankind Male
Female
male
childlike
rational
emotional
powerful
sinful
powerful
weak
all knowing
weak
brave
fearful
ever
present
dumb
good
sinful
eternal
mortal
strong-
like
children
The conclusion? It would appear that in the eyes of many people,
males are to females as God is to humankind. That is, man is regarded
as superior and women as inferior. If these sexist beliefs are
internalized by boys and girls at an early age, what an awful burden
for both sexes. Given this image of differences between the sexes, no
wonder men are always competitively striving for superiority. No
wonder women accept subservient, self-depreciating roles. 
Where does this idea of male superiority come from?
Anthropologist Boyce Rensberger (1979) suggests that humans started
pairing because two could care for the offspring better than one and
because physiologically we evolved into sensual beings interested in
full-time sex, not just when the female is in heat like other animals. In
addition, human males seem to be more interested in co-parenting if
they are confident that they are the biological father; this can only be
known if the female has only mated with them; thus, pair-bonding and
love evolved as a method for the species to survive and thrive. Sex
(enjoying it frequently), a bigger brain, and uprightness (to carry food
to our family) may also have been vital to the development of human
life in which males and females lived in pairs. 
The history of gender roles
But, when, how, and why did males become dominant? Interesting
questions. We don't know the answers. Apparently some primitive
form of humans existed 4 million years ago, but the current human
brain developed very recently, perhaps only 35,000 years ago. It is
thought that humans lived in groups of 15 to 25 until 12,000 to 15,000
years ago. These groups wandered long distances looking for available
food. About 10,000 BC, some groups learned to cultivate crops, stored
grain, developed weapons for killing larger animals, domesticated
animals, settled in one place, and built more permanent shelters. The
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