I am interested in the roots of masculine-feminine differences in nature and nurture. I want experts to tell me if I have this right or wrong. Cultural influences on where a person operates along the masculine-feminine continuum include norms, expectations, and approval/disapproval. One tends to do what he or she is encouraged and rewarded for doing. Repeated behaviors create and deepen neuropaths, creating habits. Cultural influences seem to reinforce physiological differences. Nature and nurture collaborate. The good news is we are not hard wired. We – and our brains – can change. Both men and women can learn and use both masculine and feminine strengths to be more effective.
The purpose of exploring the roots, in nature and nurture, of masculine and feminine differences is not to debate whether nature of nurture shapes us most. Nature and nurture collaborate. The purpose is not to suggest that men and women are “hard wired” and unable to “flex” their behaviors to the immediate situation. Our default preferences can be altered by things including emotional intelligence. The point is that the roots of these differences help us understand them. Awareness of the deep roots of these differences can reduce judgment of them.
We are continuing to explore how differences in masculine and feminine approaches to work are rooted in nature (physiology). In addition to differences in brain structure and hormones, Max and Fran (our prototypes for masculine and feminine ways of working) have differences in eye sight, tear production and smiling. We’ll see how these differences influence workplace behavior.
In a series of blogs exploring the roots of differences in men and women–so we understand differences at work–this blog focuses on hormonal differences. Hormones are behind differences in brain structure between Max and Fran (our prototypes for masculine and feminine). And the hormones testosterone and estrogen influence how we value relationships, manage conflict and even talk. Understanding these roots helps us understand and leverage difference.
Differences with men and women brain chemistry and make up are explained.