(read aloud, to the accompaniment of a distant trumpet ) The following is a collection of generalizations, of natural tendencies; not strict fact based on evidence, but anecdotal observation founded on persistent patterns of human interaction evolving over tens of thousands of years. Men are mean, rough, but not tough; sensitive, but not always empathetic. Women are strong. They have endurance; they can withstand the pain of childbirth. Women are typically supportive, nurturing, compassionate. Men are weak. Women are steadfast. Men are whiners (especially when sick). Men talk too much to their partners (about themselves), seldom to others. After work, men like to relax, to forget. Women are doers. Women are also talkers; they can talk and do at the same time. Men can do and not talk, talk and not do, but can not do and talk simultaneously. Men produce quick bursts of energy, separated by eating or resting, whichever occurred last. Men often act out, exhibiting childish behavior; men are neotanous creatures. Women are more responsible; they maintain social equilibrium. (short pause) None of this should come as any real surprise. (long pause) The cause of these behavioral anomalies, although often blamed solely on the division of labor within prehistoric hunter-gatherer tribes, can be linked directly to genetic differences in males and females. There are significantly fewer genes in the ‘male’ Y chromosome than in the X or ‘female’ chromosome. The X chromosome contains some two thousand genes that give expression to a variety of female traits. The part of the Y chromosome that is responsible for the generic nature of ‘maleness’ produces a total of no more than two dozen genes. Although the ‘male’ genes on the Y chromosome form a palindrome (the genes read the same both forward and backward), which probably acts as a safeguard against excessive mutations. (short pause) Of course, there are exceptions to the general tendencies governing gender differences in humans. And there is a spectrum of gender variations to match. If there is a moral, it is that nature can be biased, and we must refrain from making judgments too casually regarding the behavior of our closest friends and family.
A Collection of Writings on Nature, Science, and Art by John Holland