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The Malleability of Male Morality?

Here’s a piece of red meat for you to chew on over the weekend.

The Institute for Research on Labor and Employment at UC – Berkeley has released a new pair of studies on sex differences in formulating ethical standards. This has obvious implications for the sexual marketplace, as it suggests that men and women may hold very different views on what constitutes deceptive or manipulative behavior. 

From the online research and policy blog Pacific Standard:

When it comes to negotiating a deal, “Males more readily justify moral misconduct by minimizing its consequences or otherwise excusing it,” write Laura Kray of the University of California, Berkeley, and Michael Haselhuhn of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Their study finds “a robust pattern by which men are more pragmatic in their ethical reasoning at the bargaining table than women.”

“Men’s competitive behavior, more so than women’s, appears to be motivated by situational threats to their masculinity,” the researchers write in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. “When men feel like they have something to prove or defend against, they become more aggressive and competitive.”

From the study Male Pragmatism in Ethical Decision Making:

Men are more accepting of ethically questionable negotiation tactics (Lewicki & Robinson, 1998; Robinson, Lewicki, & Donahue, 2000) and engage in more deception than women in strategic interactions (Dreber & Johannesson, 2008). 

 

The researchers hypothesize the key difference between men and women:

  • Men:  We expect men’s achievement goals to guide their ethics.
  • Women: What benefits them personally and what helps them to accomplish their goals are expected to be irrelevant to their ethical standards.

Study 1

In the first study, 96 MBA students (64M, 32F) read this reader question from Randy Cohen’s Ethicist column in the New York Times:

I have an opportunity to buy the property of my dreams. The problem is that the elderly couple who have lived there for more than 40 years love the house and assume that I will maintain it. I intend to tear it down and build a more modern house on this beautiful property. If I reveal my plan, they may refuse to sell me the house and the land. Am I ethically bound to tell?

(Note: The Ethicist advised the Reader that withholding this information that the sellers considered paramount amounted to tacit deceit and was unethical.)

Men were generally more inclined to approve withholding the information, but more interestingly, their position depended on whether they represented a theoretical Buyer (Don’t tell!) or Seller (You should probably tell.) Conversely, more women advised telling the truth to the Sellers, regardless of which party they were representing.

Full Disclosure: As a former MBA student, I would absolutely not tell the Sellers of my plans to tear down their home. I always felt that Randy Cohen had a hair trigger on ethics questions, and this is no exception. So I’m with Team Man on this one.

 

Study 2

In the second study, 411 MBA and undergrad business students particpated (53% M, 47% F). Two surveys were administered. The first measured the particpants’ Implicit Negotiation Beliefs. The second was the Self-reported Inappropriate Negotiation Strategies (SINS) scale (Robinson, Lewicki, & Donahue, 2000), which gauges the perceived appropriateness of ethically ambiguous negotiation tactics. Areas include:

1) traditional competitive bargaining

2) attacking opponent’s network

3) false promises

4) misrepresentation

5) inappropriate information gathering

Men rated the ambiguous tactics as more acceptable than women did. The authors conclude:

We began by asking whether a hypothetical Bernadette Madoff would have committed the same infamously unethical actions as the real Bernie. The current research suggests not and, importantly, offers an explanation as to why not. Though men and women may share common social and achievement motivations, they appear to differ in the extent to which their experiences and beliefs are called upon to set ethical standards. By relying more heavily on their motivations, men derive considerable leeway in setting ethical standards, rendering them more vulnerable to ethical lapses.

 

In recent comment threads here at HUS, there has been considerable debate about the ethical responsibility of men in being honest about their intentions with regard to sex. Though I have always defined a cad as a male who uses deceit to get sex, it’s important to note that men and women may define deceit differently. In addition, they may differ in their views with regard to the responsibility of the other party to detect deceit.

In the context of sex and relationships, women might keep this in mind. At the very least, the studies suggest that men may decide with a clear conscience that they are not required to divulge their true motivations or level of interest in you other than sexually.

In view of this, relying on a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach is especially foolish. Even asking questions outright may not be sufficient to suss out true motives. The only sensible approach from a female point of view is to delay sex until you have the true measure of the man  – as defined by his actions rather than his words.

And oh yeah, you might want to avoid MBA types. Or grow a pair.

 

C0mpletely off topic: It’s Cinco de Mayo tomorrow! Here’s a great recipe for margaritas:

Cook’s Illustrated Best Fresh Margaritas

  • Jimmy Hendricks

    At the very least, the studies suggest that men may decide with a clear conscience that they are not required to divulge their true motivations or level of interest in you other than sexually.

    In view of this, relying on a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach is especially foolish. Even asking questions outright may not be sufficient to suss out true motives. The only sensible approach from a female point of view is to delay sex until you have the true measure of the man – as defined by his actions rather than his words.

    I don’t disagree with this advice at all. I’d say the same thing to any female relatives or friends who were looking for advice.

  • Jonny

    I’m sorry. I’m also an MBA graduate and I felt the examples doesn’t prove anything. What’s ethically at stake is the value paid and the amount of pressure applied. I always felt the debate over whether women our men are more moral depends on how willing someone will violate their established morality. My belief is women are much more maleable, while men are intentionally unethical.

  • Sassy6519

    Option 2: Buy a portable polygraph machine.

    I kid, I kid!

    Once again, solid advice Susan.

  • Matt

    Modern business schools train people to behave like sociopaths.

  • ExNewYorker

    “In view of this, relying on a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach is especially foolish. Even asking questions outright may not be sufficient to suss out true motives. The only sensible approach from a female point of view is to delay sex until you have the true measure of the man – as defined by his actions rather than his words.”

    Gotta agree with this. Just repeating what Jimmy Hendricks said. Again, it’s the type of advice we give the women in our lives. The cads that I’m familiar rely most heavily on the the “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach, since it’s hard to keep track of lies. The easiest to deceive are those that want to be deceived…

  • Chris_in_CA

    First off, I agree with Matt. I know a couple guys fresh out of business school. Their every action’s geared toward screwing SOMEONE over.

    Now, to the commenting.
    The study seems keyed more toward the fields of negotiation and business. In this respect, applying it to dating & relationships may not make for a 1-to-1 transfer. Men don’t always apply the same kind of reasoning to a potential competitor across the conference table that they would a potential girlfriend across the dining table.

    (I do think the line of reasoning itself appears sound.)

    What I’m seeing is a suggestion that male morality is bent toward achieving competitive goals in an ‘ends justify the means’ manner. Entirely plausible.

    However, men *shouldn’t have to view dating as a competition.* We don’t LIKE competing with our mates. We want them to be a complement to us, someone we can (try to) relax around.

    Even if the whole “combat dating” problem validates the study’s application, this line just makes me laugh:
    “At the very least, the studies suggest that men may decide with a clear conscience that they are not required to divulge their true motivations or level of interest in you other than sexually.”

    Women should suspect men are deceiving them, because the men don’t actually believe they’re being deceptive. Make them wait and see if they see their own deception.

    And the number of relationships just keeps plummeting off the cliff…

  • Abbot

    ““When men feel like they have something to prove or defend against, they become more aggressive and competitive.”
    .
    Ah, then if its not something worth defending, something of lesser value, there is much less competition for it and men will not aggressively pursue. Beyond sex with a promiscuous woman, men are not bashing down the door to take her off for a ride into the sunset before the other guy does. Now it all makes sense.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    Regarding study #1….it is HIGHLY questionable whether an individual’s response to a purely theoretical question, with purely theoretical money at stake, reveals how someone will act in a real situation with real money at stake. It’s entirely possible that a significant number of those who said “tell them” were acting on what they thought was socially-acceptable, and that those people would be the MOST likely in a real situation to bow to social pressure within a real-estate firm and *not* tell the couple.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @David Foster

      That’s a good point. It may be that women are more likely to conform to expectations about ethical behavior. Honestly, why should the old couple get to decide what happens to the property after it’s sold?

      Around 12 years ago we sold our house, and it was utterly bizarre – we got five letters from families telling us how much they wanted to raise their children in our house and no other house. Clearly, they were being advised by realtors to write these letters – but only a fool would be swayed. We went with the highest offer, of course!

  • GudEnuf

    Well there you have it: the male rationalization hamster. This is a depressing post.

    One thing I learned with my philosophy degree is that men and women draw their morality from different sources. Generally, men tend to base their morality on objective rules, women tend to base their morality on relationships. Men do what is just, women do what is kind.

    Carol Gilligan wrote a feminist theory of morality called the “ethics of care”. She believed that moral theories based on justice only considered the male view of morality, and that you needed to see the female view of morality to have the full picture.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @GudEnuf

      Ugh, I cannot stand Carol Gilligan. I saw her speak, and found her to be a total megalomaniac. She’s notorious for not letting any of her research be subject to peer review. Of course, that doesn’t mean she’s necessarily wrong. But it’s shady behavior for an academic. She wreaked great havoc on the education system in this country, shaming boys.

  • http://4stargazer.wordpress.com/ Anacaona

    Regarding study #1….it is HIGHLY questionable whether an individual’s response to a purely theoretical question, with purely theoretical money at stake, reveals how someone will act in a real situation with real money at stake. It’s entirely possible that a significant number of those who said “tell them” were acting on what they thought was socially-acceptable, and that those people would be the MOST likely in a real situation to bow to social pressure within a real-estate firm and *not* tell the couple.

    Is funny I was thinking the same thing but my conclusion was that the people that say “don’t tell them” were too quick. If a nice elderly couple over biscuits and tea tell them the story of how their first dog was buried on the backyard and their kids still come every year to plant flowers on their tiny grave and that their second children painted the whole room with crayons for mother day and the decided to keep it like that and still is…there will be people that will bond with the house’s history and will tell them the truth, funny were I went to. I know I’m naive someone has to. ;)

  • GudEnuf

    Susan: Oh wow, I didn’t know that stuff about Carol Gilligan. When did she shame boys?

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Oh wow, I didn’t know that stuff about Carol Gilligan. When did she shame boys?

      It’s interesting. From an article in Salon back in 2001:

      Gilligan’s work has been influential in the increased focus on the different learning styles of boys and girls, as well as in the creation of educational programs designed to correct the perceived damage done to girls by an educational system that some say favors male learning styles to the detriment of girls, who become second-class citizens.

      It would probably not be an overstatement to call Christina Hoff Sommers, author of “Who Stole Feminism?” Gilligan’s nemesis. Sommers, also the author of “The War Against Boys,” strongly disagrees that girls are treated as the “second sex” in schools. In fact, says Sommers, after 10 years of feminist-influenced curriculum aimed at righting the perceived educational biases against girls, it is boys who have become the second sex in America’s schools.

      In her book, Sommers seeks to refute that the “girl crisis” ever existed. She challenges the methodology used by researchers such as Gilligan and William Pollack and claims that boys lag far behind girls in reading and writing skills, and are less likely to go to college.

      http://www.salon.com/2001/03/09/sommers_2/

      That 2001 prediction turned out to be extremely prescient.

      In short, Gilligan identified a “crisis” for adolescent females in school that upended the entire educational system to cater to their special needs.

  • Brendan

    This seems to run counter to Carol Gilligan. Interesting. Not my own anecdotal experience (which is that men like rules more than women do, in theory, whether they obey them or not), but interesting nonetheless as one more data point.

  • JQ

    My single (albeit large) problem here is as follows: because the authors have explicitly taken sides in the debate about what is ethical in the course of framing their study, they have distorted a compare and contrast opportunity into a chance to cast judgment upon (as it turns out–not trying to say they intended this) men. I completely concur that the best course of action is to note the difference exists and adjust behavior accordingly.

    It is equally possible to conform highly to either of two distinct and different (conflicting, even) ethical systems. It is clear facially that the authors of the studies disagree with the ethical system held by the average male participant as revealed by said participant’s actions, advice, or negotiating tactic preferences.

    Having reviewed part of the writeup for the real estate advice study, the authors clearly coded not only honesty but upfront honest full disclosure as the ethical answer in the real estate scenario.

    This sort of behavior is ultimately distorting because rather than trying to characterize the kinds of ethical structures held by men and women, the study simply casts men as on average “less ethical” than women. Better minds than mine have taken both sides of the debate over whether rules or outcomes should govern ethical standards. That the authors disagree with a morality more focused on outcomes than rules does not change either the fact that:
    1) It exists, or
    2) It tends to be held by men more than women (at least according to the authors of the paper), or
    3) calling such a system unethical does not make those who espouse it by word or deed less likely to do so.

  • modernguy

    Now let’s have a study that measures the consistency between what women say they would do and what they actually do when fantasy is replaced with reality.

  • Dale

    You can’t trust what women say either. I’ve had a women (girlfriend’s friend) tell me haw whe was going out with a guy for dinner she had no other interest in (and wasn’t telling him). And another who was available for sex when her boyfriend (later husband) wasn’t around.

  • Abbot

    “women subscribe to whatever an alpha tells them to believe in ”
    .
    Then how do they manage to respect their non alpha husband down the road?

  • J

    Honestly, why should the old couple get to decide what happens to the property after it’s sold?

    I’m about 95% on the side of saying they don’t. Once it’s sold, it’s sold, and their interest in it is over. I don’t know that I’d feel obligated to tell them my plans to tear down the house, but I wouldn’t promise to take good care of it for them either.

    I would emphasize though that this moral problem, which involves property and not a relationship, is not analagous to the Tom and Jane story–lest anyone feel obligated to draw a parallel.

  • J

    @SW

    I’ve never met Carol Gilligan, but I have studied her. Her major contribution to the field was expending on Lawrence Kohlberg’s stage theories about how children develop moraliity and in demonstrating that girls and boys develop differently. She points out some positives about girls, reframing a lot of traits that earlier generations of psychologists thought of as deficiencies. For example, she redefines as “cooperative” some behaviors that used to labeled as “dependent” and lauds cooperativeness as a “feminine” virtue. I suppose that followers of hers could call “independent” male behaviors “uncooperative,” but I don’t recall reading Gilligan and then feeling that she shamed boys. I know that the ‘sphere tends to castigate Gilligan, but I think that has more to do with people misapplying her work than with what she actually said. I’m curious as to what you’ve read or what she said when you heard her speak that created such a negative impression.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @J

      My objection to Gilligan is not her work acknowledging hard-wired differences between girls and boys. It was her use of that research to promote a “correction” in education, redefining standards for learning and even behavior in the classroom to accommodate female traits. By comparison, normal male behaviors and learning styles came to be viewed as inappropriate or disordered. For example, conflict resolution in classrooms, even as young as kindergarten, reflected a “hug it out” approach, with no verbal disagreement or argument permitted. This allowed girls to resolve differences relationally, while leaving boys without an outlet for their own voices.

      In middle school, when boys are indeed more likely to throw their hands in the air or shout out the answer, that behavior was now characterized as insensitive and disrespectful to girls. I could go on and on – schools in the Boston area were essentially Gilligan’s personal laboratory in some ways. She was just one of several women from the Harvard Graduate School of Education whose reforms were first implemented enthusiastically here.

  • J

    @Doc

    any man with a brain will get a paternity test as a matter of course when his wife/girlfriend turns up pregnant – the majority of the time, it won’t be his, no matter what she may say.

    Statiscally that’s not the case. Check out this article:
    http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/articles/8308/to-have-and-to-cuckold

    Despite your experience, the overall rate of cuckoldry appears to be ab0ut 4%. On several measures, it’s about a third in cases where the husband is suspicious the child may not be his, but 2-3% where the husband feels sure the child is his.

  • Odds

    Both of these studies are surveys with no real-world consequences, and both are applied to the business world, not to interpersonal relationships. They’re interesting, and I’d certainly agree that men are more willing to actively side against their own morals when the payoff is right (mostly because women’s morals change depending on the payoff; men are generally at least honest with themselves about whether they are acting in the right or in the wrong), but I’m not sure of the applicability of these studies to dating.

    That said, your conclusion is correct: girls, if you don’t make a man be explicit about his intentions, he won’t tell you that you’re just a lay to him.

  • Days of Broken Arrows

    The first line of the abstract is “Why do men have more lenient ethical standards than women?”

    It seems as if they’ve done the biggest scientific no-no, which is drawing your hypothesis up first, then making your data fit the conclusion you already arrived at. Who was it who advised not to do this? Sherlock Holmes? I forget that.

    Beyond all that, these agenda-driven scientists seem to have forgotten that it was MEN who devised the whole justice system to begin with.

    Also, aren’t things like makeup, heels, push-up bras, etc. all forms of deception? Why is there no study looking at how simply presenting as female in America is a form of lying.

  • INTJ

    Somewhat off topic, but speaking of MBA and ethics, what’s your opinion on all the business schools summarily rejecting anyone who had used a back door to access their admissions decisions?

    http://www.boston.com/news/education/higher/articles/2005/03/28/divide_grows_on_treatment_of_students_in_online_breach/?page=full

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @INTJ

      Wow, talk about a gray area. That’s a tough one. If I had to pick a side, I’d go with the universities. Anyone who finds a hack online and uses it knows they’re getting access to data the school doesn’t want them to have yet – it’s a form of theft. I don’t see how kids applying to Harvard Business School can claim they didn’t know they were doing anything wrong.

  • Jon

    I thought this was the whole point of shit tests.

    Women know they can’t trust what men say because men will say anything to get laid, so they have to devise tests to figure out where they really stand.

    Of course, a large part of game is learning to hack the shit tests…

  • http://date-masters.com/how-to-pick-up-girls/ John Robie

    In view of this, relying on a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach is especially foolish. Even asking questions outright may not be sufficient to suss out true motives. The only sensible approach from a female point of view is to delay sex until you have the true measure of the man – as defined by his actions rather than his words.

    Hope the blockquotes work. Anyway, this advice applies to GUYS as well, especially guys who are interested in identifying, dating and keeping an Amazing Woman of exceptional beauty and accomplishment who’s totally into them. People love to talk about themselves and their opinions. So rather than asking unprompted questions outright about a date’s intentions (does she just want a free meal and attention, or is she genuinely happy to be on this date with me?), guys would do well to open up their senses, listen to what she says, ask follow up questions and watch what she does (actions over words). Likewise, one sensible approach for men looking for high value women who are genuinely into them is to delay sex until she initiates it and jumps them… All while paying extremely careful attention to her actions to get a true measure of the woman before his brain circuits are fried by the sex. Be Amazing,
    JR

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @John Roble

      Likewise, one sensible approach for men looking for high value women who are genuinely into them is to delay sex until she initiates it and jumps them… All while paying extremely careful attention to her actions to get a true measure of the woman before his brain circuits are fried by the sex.

      I agree! I’ve known women who were literally driven crazy by a guy’s not escalating, wondering if he desired them, when he would make a move, etc. I think that requires some pretty tight Game, though. It means detaching from the outcome of having sex – more easily done for the female than the male.

  • http://triggeralert.blogspot.com Byron

    “Generally, men tend to base their morality on objective rules, women tend to base their morality on relationships. Men do what is just, women do what is kind. “

    And both, obviously, are needed, though I would say women’s morality is considerably more malleable than men’s, partly because women have always been exempt from bearing responsibility for the wider effects of their actions, & so generally focus their attentions on the personal sphere & their own immediate concerns (“I think of a man. Then I take away Reason & Accountability” – As Good As It Gets).

    So it is that the only female-created contribution to the history of philosophy & politics – feminism – reflects this blinkered self-interest just as much as the women’s social groups of the past. Women as a group are generally more concerned with both self-preservation (me&mychildfirst) & also what the group thinks about something, & falling into line with that, rather than whether it is objectively right or wrong.

    Again, that’s both good & bad. And this is not to say men can’t be greedy, selfish, manipulative or dishonest – because clearly they can – but reason, logic, justice, heroism, & self-sacrifice for the greater good are all traditionally male attributes, repeatedly & overwhelmingly demonstrated by men throughout all of history.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Byron

      I was thinking about the results of this study, having come out on the more malleable side myself. Regardless of the morality in question, it’s pretty clear that men are better negotiators than women. While there is the question of whether the ends justify the means, it seems pretty clear that men are going to get the optimal outcome far more often than women do. This may explain why business and politics will never have 50% representation at the senior levels. It’s not just that women step off the track to have kids. They may not be wired as efficiently for those roles.

      Not sure what this says about Thatcher and Hillary Clinton – maybe they’re so high testosterone their sensibilities are male.

  • Lavazza

    Byron: Amen!

  • Lokland

    I’m with JQ.

    They knew what they were going to find before they even started the data collection.
    That just screams of wrong.

  • Brendan

    I was thinking about the results of this study, having come out on the more malleable side myself. Regardless of the morality in question, it’s pretty clear that men are better negotiators than women. While there is the question of whether the ends justify the means, it seems pretty clear that men are going to get the optimal outcome far more often than women do. This may explain why business and politics will never have 50% representation at the senior levels. It’s not just that women step off the track to have kids. They may not be wired as efficiently for those roles.

    Not sure what this says about Thatcher and Hillary Clinton – maybe they’re so high testosterone their sensibilities are male.

    In my own anecdotal experiences in quite a lot of stressful negotiations, I have seen women be rather effective in them, but these generally fall into two types: (1) the high-powered kind of “mannish” type like Hillary (doesn’t really come off as a woman, so acts as one of the boys) and (2) the “good cop” or “voice of reason” element in a good cop/bad cop routine, or otherwise in a contentious negotiation in general.

    I’ve been in many different kinds of negotiations, and not all of them have been involving a lot of game playing, but sometimes you do get into ones that require a large degree of that. Women seem less comfortable with that, I think, in the setting of business negotiations. I can remember one particularly irritating series of negotiations with some Israelis where my client and I (who are both rather reserved guys) had to scream and pound our fists and swear and so on so that the Israelis, who were clearly trying to test our mettle by their own behavior, didn’t run us down — a bit inauthentic, but something I’m more than willing to do to get a better deal for my side of the table. I haven’t personally seen women as willing to do that, or as comfortable doing that, in the business setting. It may have something to do with dynamics between the sexes in general as well — women seem to generally be less comfortable getting down into the mosh pit in a negotiation with a bunch of guys who are going at each other (with the exception of the type 1s, who do it as “one of the guys”), so they remain more aloof from that and more conventional in their approach. Again, here is where a type 2 can be effective and appear more “moral”, when it’s really just sex and personality adaptive more than anything else.

    I do question, however, how much of this applies in the personal relationships area. In that area, I think women are generally much more open to ends justifying means behaviors, manipulative behaviors, and so on, than they seem to be at the negotiation table. It could be that these areas are of more personal importance to them, and hence due to the personal importance of the ends, the means become more malleable than they “feel” to be at the negotiation table. Men are variable in this area, with some embracing an approach similar to the one women do (the natural casanovas generally do, as do the men who learn Game), and others feeling less comfortable doing so in this setting than in the business setting (the larger group of guys who is leery of Game, etc.).

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Brendan

      I do question, however, how much of this applies in the personal relationships area. In that area, I think women are generally much more open to ends justifying means behaviors, manipulative behaviors, and so on, than they seem to be at the negotiation table.

      I don’t doubt this claim – feminine wiles are devious by nature – but I’m wondering if you have specific stratagems in mind. Obviously, men value sex highly, and may be willing to go to great lengths to get it. Are you thinking of female gold diggers? Or the woman who cuckolds her husband?

      My own sense is that men are more likely to be comfortable being hardasses with one another – your description of the negotiation with the Israelis highlights this. I agree that women wouldn’t be as likely to get that tough, and if they did, I think they’d likely be viewed as “shrewish” rather than effective. The study did refer to this flexibility in ethics as pragmatic, and we live in a society where pragmatism is very valuable. If you were able to remove cunning from commerce, the economy would tank!

      Anyway, the reason I linked the topic to relationships is the recent ongoing debate here about cad behavior. The questions we don’t seem able to resolve definitely split into gender camps:

      Is it ethical for a male to pretend more interest than he feels to gain access to sex?

      Where do we draw the line on tacit deceit or lies of omission?

      What is the responsibility of the female gatekeeper in detecting the man’s true character? Is it entirely hers regardless of age, experience, etc? Does a woman get any “mulligans” – say, burned by a cad or two – or should she be held fully responsible for any and all decisions to have sex (except rape)?

      Personally, I find these questions very difficult to answer unequivocally and fairly. My own focus goes to intent – I’m willing to judge a person with intent to harm via deception harshly. I tend to focus less on the responsibility of the “target.” This goes for both sexes, btw.

  • FeralEmployee

    Whereas shit tests may be the woman’s tool to uncover the true intentions of a male, I’ve always assumed that withholding commitment is man’s tool to uncover the true “nature” of a woman. By observation I would see if a woman’s actions live up to her words.

    This study focuses on a priori morality. There’s also a posterior morality, to be researched by means of statistics. Now, a dirty little trick would be to think that because women score better on the a priori test, any unethical outcomes on the a posterior test would be mishaps or a consequence of “the patriarchy”. This renders a woman’s ethical standards more malleable than those of men. Whereas discarding the link between a priori and a posterior would mean woman’s ethical standards are not malleable, but more of a mask, covering their true standards.

    On SW’s remark of Gilligan not submitting her work for peer review: after the Diederik Stapel incident, psychology research has taken quite a hit. The people in those field have a nasty reputation, relative to others, of withholding data. Though not the same as peer review, it’d be interesting on how permissive Gilligan is with sharing any raw (= not pre-processed) research data.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @FeralEmployee

      Now, a dirty little trick would be to think that because women score better on the a priori test, any unethical outcomes on the a posterior test would be mishaps or a consequence of “the patriarchy”.

      I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear that Jezebel trumpeted this study as proof that women are superior.

      it’d be interesting on how permissive Gilligan is with sharing any raw (= not pre-processed) research data.

      Christina Hoff Sommers criticized her for this very thing, and she said it would be a breach of confidence to her research subjects to share raw data, even blindly. Gilligan claimed that because respected institutions (Harvard) and journals approved her work, no further review was needed.

  • Brendan

    I’m wondering if you have specific stratagems in mind. Obviously, men value sex highly, and may be willing to go to great lengths to get it. Are you thinking of female gold diggers? Or the woman who cuckolds her husband?

    I guess I was thinking of the overall approach. It seems to me that women are more likely on *average* to view the dating thing as a kind of game than the non-cad men are (more about the latter in a minute). This is a part of the disconnect, I think. Certainly this is even more true for gold diggers or cheaters, but I think also in general for all kinds of dating there is a kind of gamesmanship (e.g., “The Rules”, Cosmo, numerous dating advice sites) that women seem to take for granted in dating more than the non-cad guys are (or were, perhaps changing now) inclined to do. Some of that gamesmanship will involve being less than fully candid — it’s a part of the game — also from the female perspective. Playing hard to get when you really want to have sex with him is an example of this, but there are quite a few others as well.

    Now, on to the cads …

    Is it ethical for a male to pretend more interest than he feels to gain access to sex?

    Where do we draw the line on tacit deceit or lies of omission?

    Obviously not an easy question. I think in these kinds of questions the context is important. In my view, if the context is a “pick up” one (e.g., bars and clubs, frat parties, other venues where casual sex is normal), I think “all bets are off” other than slipping someone a drug or raping someone. I think that’s kind of a moshpit, and so you just kind of have to expect that there are very few rules.

    Outside of that, it depends, but there are clearly lines. In a context where you are outside of a clear casual zone, and you may have reason to believe that the other person is on a different page (i.e., wanting more rather than less), actively misleading them by commission or omission is ethically problematic, I think. It’s rather typical behavior of a cad, I think, but the key is having reason to believe the other person is on a different page and then actively deciding to deceive/conceal/manipulate either by saying or not saying that is the key to making this unethical — again, provided it’s outside the moshpit context.

    What is the responsibility of the female gatekeeper in detecting the man’s true character? Is it entirely hers regardless of age, experience, etc? Does a woman get any “mulligans” – say, burned by a cad or two – or should she be held fully responsible for any and all decisions to have sex (except rape)?

    I think the first question is best approached by assessing what her goals are. If she really is interested in something more rather than something less, it’s a good idea for her to dig more, detect more, and so on, before proceeding, as a matter of self-protection. I don’t think it mitigates the guy’s responsibility to act ethically if he has reason to believe she is looking for more, but it can lead to him concluding that she isn’t. In other words, the game currently calls for both parties to hold off on expressing any interest like that in order to maintain maximal control and flexibility. When a woman does that despite her interest in more, however, she can create an impression in a guy that she really isn’t interested in more, which then ethically frees him to behave accordingly.

    On the second question, I think a person’s response is going to be flavored to quite an extent by personal moral rules and ideas. Having said that there are very few men who insist in perfection as a standard in this area — the ones who do are going to be looking for a long time, or are going to be looking for non-standard women (either not conventionally attractive or women who have a very particular set of moral rules themselves).

  • BroHamlet

    I’m of the belief that any study that asks people about situational behaviors instead of putting them in situations and surveying actual behavior isn’t worth much. You need to remove ANY chance for people to say they would do what they think is the right thing.

  • Thoth

    This doesn’t jive with my experience. From what I’ve seen, men (in general, there are plenty untrustworthy among them too) generally stick to what they feel is “moral” or “right” (as dictated by the moral code they picked up from wherever, religion, culture etc.) than women, who seem much more flexible and prefer going by what “feels right”. The rationalization hamster is not a meme without reason. Women can make themselves believe whatever they do is the “right” thing.

  • Brendan

    This doesn’t jive with my experience. From what I’ve seen, men (in general, there are plenty untrustworthy among them too) generally stick to what they feel is “moral” or “right” (as dictated by the moral code they picked up from wherever, religion, culture etc.) than women, who seem much more flexible and prefer going by what “feels right”. The rationalization hamster is not a meme without reason. Women can make themselves believe whatever they do is the “right” thing.

    I think it’s a bit different from that. Men are quite capable of breaking the rules, and do so quite a bit. The difference, I think, is the mindset which is generally applied (there are exceptions in either sex). It’s the difference between thinking “I know this is breaking the rules, but I’m going to do it anyway because I want to do it, and let’s see where the chips fall afterwards” as compared with “I know this might seem like it breaks the rules, but because of context X I don’t think it should count as breaking the rules in this context, so in my book I’m not breaking the rules”. Two different mindsets about very similar behavior, and it leads to a literal crapton of misunderstanding between men and women, I think. Yes, the latter view is more of a rationalization, but men also rationalize, just are less likely to do so in the context of moral thought — but that doesn’t mean they are less likely to transgress the rules.

  • A Definite Beta Guy

    “Is it ethical for a male to pretend more interest than he feels to gain access to sex?”

    No, but look at the freakin’ society we are living in. If the world were full of Susan Walshs and Hopes, then MAYBE I could condemn men.

    Instead we live in a society where women call into radio stations to talk about their “wimpy” husbands because they go grocery shopping, cook, and clean. Or where they call in to brag about how they lie about their number count to their husbands.

    In that society?

    Yeah, it’s hard to blame guys who go weapons grade-PUA and Cad-out. It’s pretty tempting to me, too, because I finally have a few cards to play and I happen to be a pretty decent liar.

  • Cooper

    I don’t think women sex be considered more ethical and less malleable than the men.

    If we are all unethical at some time or another when we seem fit, then that makes the more ethical sex, more malleable.

    I think men seem to be more accepting of our unethical tendencies; more so than most men would be willing to admit.

  • http://4stargazer.wordpress.com/ Anacaona

    “I know this is breaking the rules, but I’m going to do it anyway because I want to do it, and let’s see where the chips fall afterwards” as compared with “I know this might seem like it breaks the rules, but because of context X I don’t think it should count as breaking the rules in this context, so in my book I’m not breaking the rules”. Two different mindsets about very similar behavior, and it leads to a literal crapton of misunderstanding between men and women, I think. Yes, the latter view is more of a rationalization, but men also rationalize, just are less likely to do so in the context of moral thought — but that doesn’t mean they are less likely to transgress the rules.
    Mmm hypothetical question: I personally love rules (I could marry them if I wasn’t married already) but I had broken rules that I think make more harm than good after implementing them for a while and getting to know more or less the purpose of them and that in the long run benefits the best and biggest amount of people, not me particularly I had screwed myself several times when I break the rules and confess even if I wouldn’t had been caught, and don’t affect the system. Or at least that was my assessment.
    Is that a male rationalization or a female one?

  • Brendan

    Mmm hypothetical question: I personally love rules (I could marry them if I wasn’t married already) but I had broken rules that I think make more harm than good after implementing them for a while and getting to know more or less the purpose of them and that in the long run benefits the best and biggest amount of people, not me particularly I had screwed myself several times when I break the rules and confess even if I wouldn’t had been caught, and don’t affect the system. Or at least that was my assessment.
    Is that a male rationalization or a female one?

    Ana —

    I didn’t quite follow that. Is it that you saw that the rules were beneficial in general, but decided that they did more harm than good in your personal case, and therefore decided to break them?

  • http://4stargazer.wordpress.com/ Anacaona

    I didn’t quite follow that. Is it that you saw that the rules were beneficial in general, but decided that they did more harm than good in your personal case, and therefore decided to break them?

    More like in some specific cases not necessarily personal, but something tha I have to make the choice.

  • http://triggeralert.blogspot.com Byron

    “Not sure what this says about Thatcher and Hillary Clinton – maybe they’re so high testosterone their sensibilities are male”.

    I’m sorry, but the fearsome vision of a Margaret Thatcher in the urgent grip of a high testosterone counts accompanying super-high sex drive is making the whole topic too disturbing for me to dwell on right now.

  • Brendan

    More like in some specific cases not necessarily personal, but something tha I have to make the choice.

    I think that sounds more female typical than male typical, although it depends on how one interprets it. The more typical guy doesn’t get to the level of justifying the transgression morally, but simply does it because he wants to — doesn’t say “it’s ok”, but does so anyway. There are exceptions to this among men, too, of course, who will rationalize away this in moral terms as well. But I think in general terms it is more common for women to conclude that a rule that is generally good is not good for them, and therefore not necessarily immoral for them to break it — whereas the more generally typical male view would be that the rule is good and applies to them (whether it benefits them or not), and so they decide to break it anyway (more of a “fuck it” mentality than a “it’s okay in my case” mentality … more rebellion/individualism than justifying the actions to the group).

  • Rum

    This so called study is just an exercise in circular reasoning. The authoress is merely asserting that virtue equals having lots of warm, comfortable emotions and that if giving away valuable information for free tends to cause them to well up inside women negotiators, it must be virtuous..
    If one defines virtue in negotiations as finding a way to a price that both parties will freely accept and that keeps the most money in the pockets of the parties whose interests you are obliged to look after (yourself and/or your clients) then a different kind of metric would apply.
    When I was a kid, we played all sorts of games and frequently argued about the RULES in every single one of them. However, most of the important rules were never even stated. There were things you can do and things you couldn’t. You were just supposed to know that in advance.
    One of the big things guys that guys understand without being taught is that you are all there to win; or more accurately, to be on the side that wins. That is what makes it fun even when things get rough. It is business; not personal. Feelings have nothing to do with it.
    However, if you cross certain lines you will get a general beat-down. But don’t take it personally.
    Nothing about this is “malleable”.

  • Lokland

    @Ana

    I’m not B. but that would be female like.
    You rationalized why it was okay/right to break the rules.
    Men don’t bother, we know its wrong and do it anyway.

    Women cheats on her boyfriend because ‘he wasn’t treating me right.’
    Man cheats on his girlfriend because ‘boooooobs!!!!’

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    It would be interesting to change Case #1 in a way making it more nuanced and also more directly relevant to MBAs. Instead of buying “the property of your dreams” for yourself, you’re buying it for a commercial real-estate firm where you run the local office. If you don’t get the property, a major development plan falls apart. You won’t get the bonus you and your spouse were counting on and, moreover, the office, which hasn’t been doing all that well, may be closed…you may possibly be reassigned elsewhere in the company, but the closing will result in the unemployment of 10 people you have hired and who you mostly like, in a very difficult job market.

    In this scenario, it seems to me that people who are relationship-driven in their view of ethics will choose not to tell the couple about the true plans, precisely because they have a relationship with their employees and with their spouse and kids, but no relationship with the elderly couple.

  • Wudang

    “Generally, men tend to base their morality on objective rules, women tend to base their morality on relationships. Men do what is just, women do what is kind.

    Carol Gilligan wrote a feminist theory of morality called the “ethics of care”. She believed that moral theories based on justice only considered the male view of morality, and that you needed to see the female view of morality to have the full picture.”

    I highly agree with this. The two types of morality needs to be in about 50/50 balance to achieve the best results IMO. However, I also believe they belong in different spheres to a large degree. Justice more so in the public sphere and the ethics of care more so in the private sphere.

  • Wudang

    If I have to choose between a man or a woman to trust a bag of money or to trust to be unselfish when it comes to business I will choose the woman. If I have to choose between a man or a woman to trust with a secret or in some way not stab me in the back and not be selfish in a personal matter I will choose the man.

    I think the genders are constructed to bend ethical rules the most in the areas that have been where their most important evolutionary battles have been fought. The battles that have most deceided a mans evolutionary fate have been outside of the private sphere of intimate relationships in whatever has been his work life at the time so he is more willing to bend the rules there. For a woman her key battles have been fought in the private sphere so she is more willing to bend the rules there.

  • Wudang

    Susan, about boys and girls in school. I recently read about a study done in England that found that at age 4 girls had internalized that they where superior to boys (paroting reasons given for this by adults) and that large groups of boys in the first few grades of schools had a clear perception of girls beeing seen as better and that boys that where exposed to high levels of boy shaming and girl elevation did significantly worse than boys who where not exposed to this. This study was just mentioned in a newspaper article with no name of the researchers so I haven`t been able to find it but with some creative googling it might be dug up. Also I read about another study at the advice for a young patriarch blog that found homeschooled boys did exactly as well as homeschooled girls.

  • Sassy6519

    @ Wudang

    If I have to choose between a man or a woman to trust a bag of money or to trust to be unselfish when it comes to business I will choose the woman. If I have to choose between a man or a woman to trust with a secret or in some way not stab me in the back and not be selfish in a personal matter I will choose the man.

    I think the genders are constructed to bend ethical rules the most in the areas that have been where their most important evolutionary battles have been fought. The battles that have most deceided a mans evolutionary fate have been outside of the private sphere of intimate relationships in whatever has been his work life at the time so he is more willing to bend the rules there. For a woman her key battles have been fought in the private sphere so she is more willing to bend the rules there.

    I like this. This makes a lot of sense to me.

  • Brendan

    I think the genders are constructed to bend ethical rules the most in the areas that have been where their most important evolutionary battles have been fought. The battles that have most deceided a mans evolutionary fate have been outside of the private sphere of intimate relationships in whatever has been his work life at the time so he is more willing to bend the rules there. For a woman her key battles have been fought in the private sphere so she is more willing to bend the rules there.

    Very close to what I think as well.

    “All’s fair in love (women’s view) and war (men’s view).”

  • sweetsue

    Gender not withstanding – people given the chance will act in their own interests. Even “selfless” actions have a positive benefit for the person doing it. It is consistent with their believes. Pay attention to what a person does – without regard to what they say. Actions speak louder than words. Actions and words are both subject interpretation. Actions may require words for clarification – but that is merely an opportunity to see if the actions match the words said before and after the actions taken. Words by themselves are just words. Actions speak louder than words but make sure they all synch up with a solid gut check. Pay attention to what is not there. If you give it time, look, listen and pay attention all will be revealed.

    This “study” starts off with a conclusion and works from there to prove it. Talk about paying it forward – essentially serving the originators interest and validating the hypothesis and therefore the ability of the originator.
    All this shows is that the women in this study care more about what people think of them and their actions – again self serving motive – to be approved of and accepted and the men in this study are more inclined to be true to what their values are – validating that they have principles and adhere to them consistently rather than tell the originator what they want to hear. The study questions are written poorly and it is clear what the expected answer is from the wording. The men refused to follow expectations.

    Translation to dating – find out what a persons standards are by paying attention to what they say by what they do. Cross check actions against words and look for patterns of inconsistency over time. If a person tells you about themselves by what they do – believe them.

  • J

    @SW

    Thanks for your answer. It shed a lot of light on your opinion of her.

    I took a grad course about 5 years ago about stage theories of moral development that focused on Erickson, Fowler, Kohlberg and Gilligan. A stage theory, for those who arent into this, is one that says that there are stages that ALL normal children go through in a set order. Children who do not go through the stages in the prescribed order are abnormal according to the theory. During the era that Freud and his disciples held sway, many normal female behaviors were categorized as “neurotic.” Some of this was refleted in Erickson’s work. Kohlberg and Gilligan were the next generation. Kohlberg sort of refines Erickson, and then Gilligan points out that girls develop differently than boys and that is normal for them.

    My objection to Gilligan is not her work acknowledging hard-wired differences between girls and boys.

    That makes sense in terms of your writing. It surprises me that any in ‘sphere or those webspaces adjacent would object to that.

    It was her use of that research to promote a “correction” in education, redefining standards for learning and even behavior in the classroom to accommodate female traits.

    I personally could not tell you how much Gilligan promoted and how much was promoted by people using her work to promote their agenda. In my mind, though, Gillian’s work could jst as easily be used to promote single-sex education. I know of a few traditional women’s colleges that have adopted methodological changes that Gilligan would approve of, and they have had great success in educating a lot of non-traditional female students who would not have succeed in school otherwise.

    By comparison, normal male behaviors and learning styles came to be viewed as inappropriate or disordered.

    You know, I’ve read Hoff Sommers, and, while I dislike the rhetoric, I agree that school is not always a great place for boys. That is a condition though that precedes feminism. The purpose of public schools, and I say this as a former educator, is sadly not to promote the happiness and development of individual kids; it’s to socialize them to find productive work, bolster the economy and function in a representative democracy. Every parent who wants to advocate for his/her kid should know that.

    Schools favor kids who are quiet, compliant and tolerant of tedium
    (which my sons incidentally aren’t.) Most students who fit that bill are female and from middle class families, but in most UMC school districts there are more than enough boys on the honor roll to prevent allegations of gender discrimination. It’s lower SES boys who really suffer, often from a system whose goal is turn them into “college material” no matter what theior real abilities are. OTOH, a lot to the pressure for that comes from parents. Everyone wants to think their kid can grow up to be pres

    For example, conflict resolution in classrooms, even as young as kindergarten, reflected a “hug it out” approach, with no verbal disagreement or argument permitted. This allowed girls to resolve differences relationally, while leaving boys without an outlet for their own voices.

    In middle school, when boys are indeed more likely to throw their hands in the air or shout out the answer, that behavior was now characterized as insensitive and disrespectful to girls. I could go on and on – schools in the Boston area were essentially Gilligan’s personal laboratory in some ways. She was just one of several women from the Harvard Graduate School of Education whose reforms were first implemented enthusiastically here.

  • http://footpole.wordpress.com Inlone

    I’m writing this too quickly, so I hope it makes sense.

    Like a couple other commenters I don’t see the translation from business marketplace (which exists in the real world) to sexual marketplace (which is a metaphor). Or, that is, from business negotiations to relationships. I think it’s too great a leap for Susan to make. Apples and Oranges.

    And study is not really a “study” as much as it is a survey. It depends on the participants being honest about themselves and knowing themselves. And I think the men in the survey are in a way simply more honest about what they’d do in the scenario presented to them than the women in the survey said they’d do. The study relies on self-reporting (and a certain degree of self-awareness). As many guys can attest, what a woman says she’ll do and what she actually does do, are often two different things, and she herself often doesn’t notice any incongruence. I entirely could see the women in the study who claimed it was unethical to screw over the elderly couple fully believe that that’s how they would behave; but if faced with such a scenario in the real world, I bet many of those gals would screw over grandma and grandpa in a heartbeat while denyiing there was anything unethical about it. And if you were to remind them of how they responded in the study, they’d deny it and get mad at you.

    Even if there is merit to extrapolating from this survey that men are less likely to to commit or be honest about their intentions,

  • J

    Sorry, I lost power and had to get a power cord. I was saying that everyone wants their kid to be president, no one wants a plumber.

    For example, conflict resolution in classrooms, even as young as kindergarten, reflected a “hug it out” approach, with no verbal disagreement or argument permitted.

    I have to say that I’ve never seen this, either as a professional or a parent. I believe you, but I’m also surprised as this is culturally insensitive to those who may not want that much physical contact between kids.

    This allowed girls to resolve differences relationally, while leaving boys without an outlet for their own voices.

    In middle school, when boys are indeed more likely to throw their hands in the air or shout out the answer, that behavior was now characterized as insensitive and disrespectful to girls.

    Again, I personally have never seen any one call this insensitive girls, just disruptive to the classroom or possibily disrespectful to the teacher.

  • Wudang

    I think what I said in this thread here:

    “I think the genders are constructed to bend ethical rules the most in the areas that have been where their most important evolutionary battles have been fought. The battles that have most deceided a mans evolutionary fate have been outside of the private sphere of intimate relationships in whatever has been his work life at the time so he is more willing to bend the rules there. For a woman her key battles have been fought in the private sphere so she is more willing to bend the rules there.”

    Can be connected with what I said about men and women over at theprivateman:

    “Men seek challenge, difficulty, and excitement outside of relationships in work, in war, in sports etc. and are ok with and often want this to be difficult and challenging. But their personal lives they want to comfortable and not so difficult and challenging. Women are the reverse preferring work to be more comfortable and their love lives to be filled with the challenges. Men like real life risk and dislike relationship risk/emotional risk. Women dislike real life risk and like relationship/emotional risk.”

    I think men and women tend to have oposite functioning adrenal systems or that there is something in how our psyches handle feelings of risk in the realms of emotions vs the more impersonal life of business/society/war/politics. The feelings of discomfort men feel about consequences in those realms are less or we are more able to tolerate them. The feelings of discomfort women feel about consequences in the realm of emotions and personal intimate relationships are less or they are able to tolerate them better. Morality is not just about what we feel is right and and our sort of isolated moral strength in holding to what we feel is right but it is also in large part about our fear of consequences and rationalizing that our fear of conseuqences is actually not fear but a moral judgment. This can be momentary but it can also be a long term process so that because of fear over time we get a solidified morality that can function even at times when the fear is removed. Someone who has less fear will be less inclined to make such rationalizations in a given choice situation and to have built a morality founded in fear over time. So less fearfull individuals in terms of “public” consequences will tend to be willing to break moral rules more often and bend their own morality in that “sphere” and less fearfull indivuduals in terms of “private” consequences will tend to be willing to break moral rules more often and bend their won morality in that “sphere”.

    I saw a programe on TV about gender differences a few years ago that had some relevant information on this. The researcher in the show claimed that men got measurable much higher releases of stress hormones during an argument with their wife than their wife did and they claimed the reason men tended to break of arguments and block the wife out and not talk to her/refuse to listen or go for a walk etc. was to get these levels down. But what would happen if the risk was getting caught for fraud or getting intoa fight? I am sure the stress hormone profiles would be oposite again.

    Some other research I have read claimed that men were far more able than women to handle a hostile workplace environment with lots of conflict between the workers. On the other hand women where far more able to handle psychological trauma such as gried after someone dying or a break up. I have also read research that who experience a physical disaster where amny die such as a plane crash, a terrorist attack, a ship sinking handle this far better afterwards than women do. This would be a type of event that is similar to what men historically have experienced a lot of. In this context men handle grief after people dying better than women do (perhaps this is only the case where people they don`t know or collegeus or friends die but not if family members die). All of this research indicates the same split in the ability to handle undesired consequences in our respective “fighting realms”.

  • Wudang

    Ha! Somehow when reading about Gilligan it made me remember a study about the life “scripts” envisoned by boys and girls (11-12 or so I think). Girls tended to write that they would get an eduction, work for a while and then meet prince charming and they would sort of merge into an entity or she would enter his life sort of. This meeting of the man of her dreams and their merging was the key life defining event and what everything built up to. THe boys tended to write life scripts where they went on great adventures or missions or built stuff/where preocupied with important doings. THen they would meet a woman and they would sort of bring her along while continuing doing the exact same stuff sort of bringing her along on the adventure and there would be no change in direction and no sort of merger of two. In other words the boys at that age had the whole thing about having a mission in life and letting that be the most important and not changing that for a woman but bringing her along down already (naturally I think). If you combine that with the fact that boys naturally know that the best way to win a girl is not to compliment her or give her candy but throw a snowball at her or something (Roissy would be proud) those are two good arguments that boys start out with quite good natural instincts when it comes to attracting women. It seems that it is more in the teen years and after things are messed up as a combination of societal messages and desperation created by extreme angsty teenage horniness creates aproval seeking behavior.

  • http://4stargazer.wordpress.com/ Anacaona

    But I think in general terms it is more common for women to conclude that a rule that is generally good is not good for them, and therefore not necessarily immoral for them to break it

    and

    You rationalized why it was okay/right to break the rules.
    Men don’t bother, we know its wrong and do it anyway.

    Mmm I want to use the example I was thinking to see how men would had reacted working for the government the rules say that we should be there 8 to 4. In my department I used to contact writers and publishing houses but I could never find anyone till after 10 am because most of the runners had a different time frame and I noticed that if I stayed late (2 to 3 hours) I could improve our efficiency (the authors will deliver the notes and articles easier because I was there at the time they will be working on them and delivering them) and given that I didn’t had much to do till I could call anyone I decide to come later 9 am to 9 30 and stay later 7 pm to 9 pm. This ended up improving our printing rate my boss never objected it and aside from HR bothering us once in a while the big boss was pleased with the results. I most mention that this was not personal advantageous (except for the part were I could do my job) because going out of work too late is dangerous for a woman in my country (risk of getting robbed or/and raped) and there was a robberies in our job place that I was interrogated for almost every time being the last one to leave the building almost everyday.
    Now what would a man do? He would had followed the rules even if there was a more efficient way or he would had done something similar? And if he did would had done it for the long terms benefits or just because?

  • Brendan

    Now what would a man do? He would had followed the rules even if there was a more efficient way or he would had done something similar? And if he did would had done it for the long terms benefits or just because?

    Not followed the rules and get promoted, I think.

  • Wudang

    “You know, I’ve read Hoff Sommers, and, while I dislike the rhetoric, I agree that school is not always a great place for boys. ”

    If the school functions as disciplined as an army and is also competetive there is a lot in that that conects to what is natural for boys. If a female teacher tells a boy to sit quietly because that is what is “nice” and he needs to be “nice” it apeals far less to him than if male teacher with a military background just tells him to sit with calm and strong authority.

    A school in England has completly eliminated the gender gap in grades by changing the teaching so it clearly cahnges focus every 10-15 minutes a go. What they found was that boys have no problem focusing intensly they just have problems focusing intensly on the same thing for long periods of time. So if you chop up everything that needs to be focused on into stuff that seems tobe or is clearly different enough from each other each focusing period in a 45 minute class is perceived as different enough to varant a new round of concentration. This combined with systematically singling out boys mroe for questioning in a way that made sure that they felt that at any time they could be asked questions that revealed wether they paid attention or not resulted in the boys getting as good grades as girls year after year.

  • Wudang

    “For example, conflict resolution in classrooms, even as young as kindergarten, reflected a “hug it out” approach, with no verbal disagreement or argument permitted. This allowed girls to resolve differences relationally, while leaving boys without an outlet for their own voices.”

    Another example of a female paradigm conflict resolution scheme in schools is the atempt to broker between the bullies and the bullied and try to make them become friends. I study I read about found that this just didn`t work at all. What did work was just to punish the bully swiftly. As an example to article where I read about this used a girl that had been bullied by the same person for many years and in al those years the teachers had tried and tried again to use conflict resolution techniqes and try to make them geta long etc. Once instead the bully got hard and consistent punishments all bulling stoped.

  • http://4stargazer.wordpress.com/ Anacaona

    Not followed the rules and get promoted, I think.</i?

    Heh I did got promoted but years after the fact I still think that I broke the rules and what that says about me…Thank you for answering. :)

  • Dogsquat

    David Foster said:

    “It would be interesting to change Case #1 in a way making it more nuanced and also more directly relevant to MBAs.
    _________________________________

    One million percent agreement.

    This sort of read like one of those problems in an introductory physics class:

    “You’re in a spaceship accelerating at 5.2 meters per second squared. While taking a dump in a frictionless toilet, you produce two perfectly spherical turds with masses of 200 grams each. You’re also crapping in a perfect vacuum for some reason. If both turds travel with an initial velocity of 3 m/s and strike the bowl with a 25 degree angle of incidence blah blah blah….”

    Yeah, the math is interesting….but it doesn’t tell me much about real life.

  • Dogsquat

    Wudang said:

    “I think the genders are constructed to bend ethical rules the most in the areas that have been where their most important evolutionary battles have been fought.”
    ___________________________

    This makes a lot of sense to me.

    Wudang said:

    “The researcher in the show claimed that men got measurable much higher releases of stress hormones during an argument with their wife than their wife did and they claimed the reason men tended to break of arguments and block the wife out and not talk to her/refuse to listen or go for a walk etc. was to get these levels down. But what would happen if the risk was getting caught for fraud or getting intoa fight? I am sure the stress hormone profiles would be oposite again.”
    _____________________________

    Just a little anecdotal support here:

    I’m a paramedic, and sometimes I cover an area of my city with a lot of nightlife. The response men and women have to personal violence is interesting.

    A 20-something yuppie female who’s just been mugged or in a fight is (again, anecdotal) more likely to exhibit signs of shock (low blood pressure, altered mental status, increased respiration, weak, thready pulse, etc.) than a 20-something yuppie man is – even if their injuries are roughly equivalent.

    It’s also interesting when I think these folks have to go to the hospital – the guys will often argue with me. I’ve practically begged a guy who couldn’t pronounce b’s, p’s, or v’s because of an 8cm long facial laceration that bifucated both lips. He was an accountant or something, but still wanted to stick around at the scene and find the guy who cut him.

    The women tend to be much more compliant. A simple,”Come on, ma’am. Lets have you sit right here. We’re going to take you over to Big Hospital and get you all fixed up.” Weak nod, some sobs, and she sits right on my gurney.

    The arguments tend to come from the woman’s friends – “You need to take her to Far Away Hospital! And all of us are riding in back with you! Tell the guy in front to drive faster! And you better give us a ride right back here when we’re done, and blah blah blah…”

    I used to think that was due to different socialization regarding violence – women, on average, are less used to being punched in the face.

    Again, this is on average, and anecdotal to boot – but I wonder if there isn’t something biological going on. Interesting – I’ve never thought of it before.

  • Dogsquat

    Ana said:

    “Now what would a man do? He would had followed the rules even if there was a more efficient way or he would had done something similar? ”
    ________________________________________

    Some guys would get into a pissing contest about schedules and rules, and enjoy penalizing people who were late. Some kind of dominance thing, I suppose.

    Some women would do that, too, I’m sure. Still, I think it’s a lot easier to charm a woman into bending the rules a bit. Less luck with men in that regard, but then again I lack boobies or long eyelashes to flutter.

  • Lokland

    @Ana

    I’m with DS. Some dipshit might be a prick about it but in that case the rule was simply illogical.

  • Deacon Blues

    Lies, damn lies, shenanigans, et al. The essential difference is that men being men, and women being women, perceive what benefits themselves differently.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    Anacaona…re your story…Paul Graham, a successful entrepreneur and now a venture capitalist, wrote about what he looks for in company founders. Note item #5, “naughtiness”…

    “Though the most successful founders are usually good people, they tend to have a piratical gleam in their eye. They’re not Goody Two-Shoes type good. Morally, they care about getting the big questions right, but not about observing proprieties. That’s why I’d use the word naughty rather than evil. They delight in breaking rules, but not rules that matter.”

  • J

    @SW

    OK I’m back. I think this is salient; “… schools in the Boston area were essentially Gilligan’s personal laboratory in some ways. She was just one of several women from the Harvard Graduate School of Education whose reforms were first implemented enthusiastically here.”

    I would imagine that schools in university towns on both coasts would be the likeliest places for this sort of experimentation. I’m further inland. The craziest implementions of these theories have worked their way out of the system before it gets to my area.

  • J

    @Wudang–Nice post!

    If the school functions as disciplined as an army and is also competetive there is a lot in that that conects to what is natural for boys.

    That’s why military school is a popular alternative for some boys, though I’m not sure every boy would thrive there.

    If a female teacher….

    Not a personal jab at you, but in general we should bear in mind that female teachers may be the majority in early elementary, but the male -female ratio in upper elementary and high school is about 50-50.

    A school in England has completly eliminated the gender gap in grades by changing the teaching so it clearly cahnges focus every 10-15 minutes a go. ….focusing period in a 45 minute class is perceived as different enough to varant a new round of concentration.

    This is great for kids with shorter attention spans, be they male or female. You’d be surprised how many female students, conditioned by various media, now need this as well.

  • J

    @Byron

    women tend to base their morality on relationships. Men do what is just, women do what is kind

    And both, obviously, are needed, though I would say women’s morality is considerably more malleable than men’s, partly because women have always been exempt from bearing responsibility for the wider effects of their actions

    OTOH, women tend to take more responsiblity for the welfare and harmony of the group. They tend to be less focused on rules and principles in maqking decisions and more worried about how relationships and group cohesion will be affected by those decisions. Male malleability is more influenced by pragmatic self-interest than group interest.

  • J

    Another example of a female paradigm conflict resolution scheme in schools is the atempt to broker between the bullies and the bullied and try to make them become friends. I study I read about found that this just didn`t work at all.

    My anecdotal experience in working with kids concurs. Conflict resolution strategies only work with people who already care about one another, not with bullying. I’m not sure why you call it a “female paradigm” though. A lot of this stuff came, not from the feminist movement, but from the aftermath of the anti-war movement.

  • Bobley

    @Wudang, re: post 62:

    “Men seek challenge, difficulty, and excitement outside of relationships in work, in war, in sports etc. and are ok with and often want this to be difficult and challenging. But their personal lives they want to comfortable and not so difficult and challenging. Women are the reverse preferring work to be more comfortable and their love lives to be filled with the challenges. Men like real life risk and dislike relationship risk/emotional risk. Women dislike real life risk and like relationship/emotional risk.”

    That is absolutely brilliant. I have been aware of that difference for many years, but you summed it up so well. It explains so much about relationships and why they go south so often.

  • http://4stargazer.wordpress.com/ Anacaona

    Some women would do that, too, I’m sure. Still, I think it’s a lot easier to charm a woman into bending the rules a bit. Less luck with men in that regard, but then again I lack boobies or long eyelashes to flutter.
    My HR was straight and female I did tried to make a case of changing our schedules but she was scared that if she allowed it officially people will take advantage of that to work less or be late in departments that was actually needed so it was easier just to sent us letters once in a while. Cest la vie.

    I’m with DS. Some dipshit might be a prick about it but in that case the rule was simply illogical.

    That is what I though and evidence probe me right but I still feel that I’m not different than an asshole Alpha that breaks rules and I hate Alphas so yeah I will break the rules if I think it makes sense but I will not be happy about it like never.

    “Though the most successful founders are usually good people, they tend to have a piratical gleam in their eye. They’re not Goody Two-Shoes type good. Morally, they care about getting the big questions right, but not about observing proprieties. That’s why I’d use the word naughty rather than evil. They delight in breaking rules, but not rules that matter.”
    Interesting definition I do feel sometimes bad about my scarse rule breaking but then I remember something that happened to someone more stricter than me and maybe having some flexibility is a good thing.

    I have a female friend who got a job as maid in a cruise line, now this doesn’t sound glamorous but with a base salary, tips, not spending money on food and only wearing the uniform people can save a lot of money for school and opening a business in a relative short time. My friend calculated that in the 9 months working there she could get 1 million pesos (like 30,000 dollars). They trained her to be able to clean a cabin in 25 minutes and she won the highest grades during the training she was the star child of the class. Now once in the ship she got 24 cabins assigned to clean daily and her shift was of 6 hours if you do the math you can see that is impossible so her comrades improvised they stick to cleaning the bathrooms and changing the sheets and then do a review of what else needed cleaning and move on to be able to fulfill their daily duties. She couldn’t, she had to follow her training to the T so in order to be able to do so she skipped meals and sleep time and stalked the passengers to go and clean when the left their cabins even if her shift was over. She overworked herself to a point that she had a nervous breakdown at the 4 month mark, that ended with her slicing one of her wrists. It was a very troubling situation but I guess it does show that some people can’t break the rules no matter what and that is not always the best, YMMV.

  • http://date-masters.com/first-date-advice-for-men/ John Robie

    I agree! I’ve known women who were literally driven crazy by a guy’s not escalating, wondering if he desired them, when he would make a move, etc. I think that requires some pretty tight Game, though. It means detaching from the outcome of having sex – more easily done for the female than the male.

    Agreed that guys do have to run a tight ship to get all the liquid fire running in their veins under control… Although I wouldn’t call it ‘Game.’ As I see it, ‘Game’ is dudes chasing girls by trying to persuade them to have sex with them. And for some guys with enough practice it works… But at what cost? For how long? How efficiently? And can he keep the women he actually likes around for more than just a fleeting hook-up?

    Love the commentary here, thanks for the thoughtful replies and keep up the good work.

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com/ Bastiat Blogger

    Wudang, re: male stress levels. John Gottman has reported very similar findings from his “Love Lab” in Washington. Men become flooded with stress markers and generally take a much longer time to physiologically come back down from arguments with their partners. Naturally men will want to avoid confrontations and escape from those emotionally-charged talks that will surely venture into controversial, relationship-defining territory.

    In general terms, men are equipped to quarantine and compartmentalize: think of an emotional cascade as a line of dominoes. If you can set the interval between dominoes wide enough, then knocking over one will not cause its neighbor to also fall and kick off a runaway chain reaction (engineers would say that a system with these safety tolerances was “loosely coupled”). A critic might say that this person had a limited emotional range and would have difficulty connecting with others; a champion would say that this was the mindset of a stoical high performer who could avoid neurotic self-absorption under stress conditions.

    However, a loosely-coupled emotional domino system could become more tightly-coupled (and dangerous) over time as the person learned to be concerned about his or her partner’s capacity for negative emotionality and developed sensitivities to trigger topics. Like money, a stable emotional system is a resource that some will want to exploit via regular vampire-feeding type domestic arrangements.

    Inner serenity must be cultivated and protected—Batman has his cool cave, Superman has the Fortress of Solitude, etc. I think that the happiest men I know have mastered the ability to compartmentalize their lives into little organizational blocks, with different blocks serving different purposes.

  • Ted D

    Wudang and BB – brilliant stuff.

  • Maggie

    “I would imagine that schools in university towns on both coasts would be the likeliest places for this sort of experimentation.”

    My experience was quite different. I live in a very progressive university town on the east coast. My son was always encouraged to speak up. Actually, when he was in high school he had problems because he was too quiet and like a lot of boys he was falling through the cracks. The school was going to implement a program to help boys like this, the quiet, “good”, underacheiving boys. Unfortunately, the funding wasn’t there.

    Single -gender schools would probably solve a lot of these problems but these schools are just not PC.

  • http://photoncourier.blogspot.com david foster

    Emotional conflict probably has a stronger impact on men because throughout most of history and prehistory, it was likely that emotional conflict could escalate into physical conflict, with fatal or very damaging consequences. This was less-likely for women…words can hurt emotionally, but they can’t kill you.

  • http://bastiatblogger.blogspot.com/ Bastiat Blogger

    Precisely, David. The male emotional-alarm system may be optimized for dramatic situations that are definitively over in, say, 90 seconds or less (approximately tracking the metabolic capacity of the body’s two anaerobic energy systems)—one way or another. You kill the dire wolf or it kills you, but either way it is a fairly straightforward interaction.

    Leaving a man in an unending, unresolvable, inescapable “shit test” environment runs the risk of slowly poisoning him with stress response chemicals.

  • http://4stargazer.wordpress.com/ Anacaona

    This was less-likely for women…words can hurt emotionally, but they can’t kill you.

    Totally that is why Mean Girls are in the rise you have no physical way to stop them the way you could stop a kid that pushes others and is so subtle that you have to be in the middle of it to notice. So is easier for girls to have terrible emotionally draining wars under the nose of adults that is for boys.

  • J

    @BB #82

    I love Gottman and have learned a lot from him on how to handle confict with my husband. I’ve discussed this elsewhere in the ‘sphere and would strongly recommend his work to anyone, male or female, who wants to understand and get along better with the opposite sex. It’s truly helpful stuff.

  • J

    @Maggie

    My experience was quite different. I live in a very progressive university town on the east coast.

    Good to hear Maybe it’s more of a Boston problem then. I was sort of surprised that Harvard was ablt to use an entire school system as a lab, but then again, it’s Harvard.

    The school was going to implement a program to help boys like this, the quiet, “good”, underacheiving boys. Unfortunately, the funding wasn’t there.

    There never seems to be funding for good, quiet kids.

    Single -gender schools would probably solve a lot of these problems but these schools are just not PC.

    There are many religiously affiliated single-sex schools. Some public school systems will experiment with single sex education or offer single-sex magnet schools.

  • J

    This was less-likely for women…words can hurt emotionally, but they can’t kill you.

    Unless they drive you to suicide, which happens occasionally too with girls.

  • Maggie

    @J
    “There are many religiously affiliated single-sex schools”

    LOL .. . That was not an option. I went to Catholic school and years later I’m still terrified of the nuns…..

  • Ceer

    My personal opinion is that this issue is more of an alpha/beta one, rather than male/female. I have a particular talent in putting in lots of information when I communicate to someone. But I don’t really have lots of negotiating experience.

    About the property sale issue in the OP… The elderly couple certainly have the right to ask what the purchaser has intended for the house and land after the sale. They also have the right to reject the sale if it’s not an answer they like.

  • Nikki

    Another article that shows off the difference between men and women. We just go to accept that men are men and women are women. We are created individually and we do things that are actually different from each other.

  • http://www.whomom.com Laura

    I caught myself nodding all the way down to the very end, when reading your post. You nailed it Susan! :)

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Just catching up after the weekend. I like the idea of morality in public vs. private realm, but I have my personal doubts about it.

    On the original house scenario, I think if that many sentiments were attached to an object like a house, the old couple should not sell it and should keep it in the family, or have a relative buy it, or why not live in the house until they pass away? Plenty of people do that.

    Also, how does the buyer know for sure the sellers love the house that much? My mother-in-law didn’t really care that much for the old house she reared her son in, and she built her new, dream retirement home on a remote land living off-the-grid.

    My husband sometimes drives past the old house he grew up in with his mom, and says the new owners did nice things to it. He doesn’t care about it as an object. It’s the people and relationships that matter, not the thing itself.

    It just doesn’t make too much sense to put this up as a theoretical scenario. Everybody knows once you sell a piece of property, it’s no longer yours and the other party can do whatever they want to it.

  • http://www.rosehope.com/ Hope

    Speaking purely for myself, I cannot stand emotional conflict. I do not even like seeing situations where others yell at each other or are upset at each other. I don’t have nightmares about being beaten or physically harmed, but about being emotionally blackmailed or trapped in situations, or having yelling / screaming fights.

    I react with a lot of apprehension to situations that involve negative, angry and tense emotions. I would always seek to de-escalate than escalate such situations. Ever since I was young, I never wanted to insult other people or make them feel bad on purpose. Jokes are fine and light-hearted, but I do not want real malice behind words.

    So I don’t know 100% that this is a sex difference. It may be more of a personality difference. My husband is like me in this regard, and we basically don’t have fights or arguments. For us, negative emotions also have a negative physical impact. But we can also consciously try to create positive emotional landscapes.

    In negotiations we would probably both go the opposite route of tough and impersonal, to be as cordial, likeable, charismatic and persuasive as we can be. The persuasion is also a balance of logical arguments and feel-good stuff. Instead of forcing the other person to change his or her mind, we would get that person to see the reason to change and make the decision him or herself. If that is impossible, we probably wouldn’t bother and would just walk away from the negotiation table, which is perhaps in itself a power play, but for us it’s not about power, but about a satisfactory outcome for everyone.

  • Jones

    @Susan (11):

    “Ugh, I cannot stand Carol Gilligan. I saw her speak, and found her to be a total megalomaniac….”

    I hate to say this, but your response was quite ironic in light of what GudEnuf was saying. Your response launches right into an ad hominem. Though, this brings in another side of the issue as well. Why is ad hominem argument considered straightforwardly fallacious? That implies a bias against “relationship-based” reasoning of the sort that you used.

    (I don’t want to deny that, if it’s true – it’s so shocking I don’t fully believe it yet – that she didn’t subject her work to peer review, then that’s a good reason to doubt her work.)

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @Jones

      I think ad hominems get a bad rap. :)

      I understand that they are not legit in logical argument. However, my criticism of her was just an aside. She was very self-congratulatory when she spoke, and conveyed a strong sense of female supremacy. I found her unpleasant and egotistical. This was before she moved to NYC, probably 10 years ago. Anyway, I did go on in other comments to explain my objections to her work.

  • Orion

    Interesting. But what can we take away from the study? Nice guys that are completely honest about their intentions often get dumped by women. Not so nice guys that leave as much as possible up to the imagination of the woman’s rationalization hamster will continue to have more success with women. The fact that ethics are more flexible amongst the men women prefer is no more shocking than gambling at Cafe American.

  • http://thedatingnook.com Liza207

    “Nice guys that are completely honest about their intentions often get dumped by women.”

    In my experience, “nice guys” are more likely to hide their intentions. They often resort to supplicating behavior as a way of winning a woman’s affections, instead of directing expressing his romantic interest (deceitful and manipulative, in my opinion). This is a page right out of the “nice guy” playbook. Moreover, yes, they are often dumped because most women do not want to sleep with a guy who has put himself in her friend zone. Many “nice guys” shoot themselves in foot like this all. Of. The. Time.

    At least with the not-so-nice guys, they are often not afraid of telling women what they want (of course, I am referring to sex) soon after meeting them. And, I can respect that to a certain extent. This way I can immediately decide whether I want to go further.

  • http://areallthegoodnamesgone.blogspot.com Ted D

    Liza – “At least with the not-so-nice guys, they are often not afraid of telling women what they want (of course, I am referring to sex) soon after meeting them. And, I can respect that to a certain extent. This way I can immediately decide whether I want to go further.”

    That may be all fine and well if the guy is shooting for sex first and whatever comes after later. Those of us that are looking for some emotional connection BEFORE having sex are at a real disadvantage.

    The first few times I’m out with a woman, although I may be thinking about how attractive she is, I am NOT thinking about escalating sexually at all. For me that doesn’t come until after I’ve decided I’m willing to emotionally invest, which can also take awhile with me. Basically, I don’t know if I want to have sex with her until after I’ve decided I could be serious with her. I certainly decide if I would EVER have sex with her pretty early on (meaning she passes the physical attractiveness threshold) but I really don’t feel the desire to actually have sex until after I know her better. Her body may grab my attention, but her personality is what builds my desire for her.

    I used to joke that I have sex with personalities, not bodies. I sometimes find bodies very attractive, but I don’t feel sexual desire for only the shell. It is what is on the inside that actually causes my desire to increase. I can appreciate the physical reaction triggered by a really hot woman passing by, but I have no desire to act on it because I don’t know her.

  • http://thedatingnook.com Liza207

    Hi Ted,

    I was referring to “nice guy” behavior, really. Like them hiding their true intentions for sex and intimacy by using supplicating behavior to get it. Why not be up front about your intent instead of behaving as if you just want friendship (I knew a guy who tried going to route to get me to sleep with him. Guess how that turned out?) and risk putting yourself in the friend zone. What gets me is that these “nice guys” become very disgruntled when they are rejected for sex and intimacy. They pretty much set up the framework to be rejected.

  • Ramble

    @John Roble

    Likewise, one sensible approach for men looking for high value women who are genuinely into them is to delay sex until she initiates it and jumps them… All while paying extremely careful attention to her actions to get a true measure of the woman before his brain circuits are fried by the sex.

    I agree! I’ve known women who were literally driven crazy by a guy’s not escalating, wondering if he desired them, when he would make a move, etc.

    This is most easily accomplished when you have at least 1or 2 other girls very interested in you and you are not investing that much in the girl in question.

  • Ramble

    Is it ethical for a male to pretend more interest than he feels to gain access to sex?

    Is it ethical for a girl to play “hard to get”?

    If she is playing this, then her feelings are different than that which is being expressed.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      Is it ethical for a girl to play “hard to get”?

      If she is playing this, then her feelings are different than that which is being expressed.

      Yes, but the man in that scenario pays a much lower price than the woman does if she has sex with an insincere man.

  • SayWhaat

    This is most easily accomplished when you have at least 1or 2 other girls very interested in you and you are not investing that much in the girl in question.

    Or by just, you know, by being a high-value guy in general. Doesn’t matter if there are or aren’t any girls in his vicinity, so long as he’s the kind of guy that can attract a girlfriend when he wants.

  • pvw

    Susan:

    While there is the question of whether the ends justify the means, it seems pretty clear that men are going to get the optimal outcome far more often than women do. This may explain why business and politics will never have 50% representation at the senior levels. It’s not just that women step off the track to have kids. They may not be wired as efficiently for those roles.

    What is the responsibility of the female gatekeeper in detecting the man’s true character? Is it entirely hers regardless of age, experience, etc? Does a woman get any “mulligans” – say, burned by a cad or two – or should she be held fully responsible for any and all decisions to have sex (except rape)?

    Personally, I find these questions very difficult to answer unequivocally and fairly. My own focus goes to intent – I’m willing to judge a person with intent to harm via deception harshly. I tend to focus less on the responsibility of the “target.” This goes for both sexes, btw.

    My reply:

    Hi,

    I’ve been lurking on this. I’m with you on this. I thought about this in light of an essay I read recently about a woman discussing her experience of “date rape,” and I can see how we can result in date rape situations, not that I didn’t know about them before, where the context becomes muddy: “She let me in her room, what did she expect? Of course, I was going to do whatever I had to to get sex.” Or, “She went to the frat party and was drinking; why was she surprised at what happened?”

    Young women need to read essays like this and realize what they are dealing with, that is if they never learned before, ie., if their female relatives never clued them in when they were younger.

  • OffTheCuff

    Liz: “Like them hiding their true intentions for sex and intimacy by using supplicating behavior to get it.”

    In all honesty, I would guess it is more miscalibration, or fear, instead of outright intentional deception (“hiding”). If he’s too up front or overt with your intentions, then he will get blown out. (“Hey baby, nice tits, wanna come home with me” is being clear about intentions, but not likely to work. However, those us who are clued in know that it’s far better to be too aggressive, than passive.

    But if you don’t escalate fast enough, then it’s “hiding intentions”. Even if you fail to escalate out of fear of rejection, out of ignorance, or any multiple reasons.

    Straddling the line is difficult, and each woman is different. In fact, the same woman is different when in different social contexts. She might be DTF for casual one night when in a club and drunk, but require dates when approached at work. Men have to learn this. It takes time.

    I think both of these failure modes (they are so close together, we can’t call them “extremes”) are just symptoms. The real underlying cause is *inexperience* with women, which is the fatal mistake.

  • INTJ

    So what does everyone think of Charlie and Ray in the latest episode of Girls? Most commentators are ripping Charlie for the invasion of privacy and for making a public scene out of Hannah’s diary. Personally, my respect for him just went up dramatically.

  • Iggles

    INTJ – My respect for him went up too. But honestly, I think he should have dumped her outright after. In the previews it looks like they’re going to argue about it in the next episode.

    I think Ray is the most awesome, realest guy in the cast. He calls it like he sees it, whereas Charlie and Adam are two extremes.

  • J

    So what does everyone think of Charlie and Ray in the latest episode of Girls?

    I have mixed feelings. On one hand, I’m happy that Charlie now knows the score. Now he and Marnie can either fix things or move on. OTOH, there was an invasion of Hannah’s privacy, by Ray, who first opened the diary, not Charlie.

    I think the sad, but also comic thing is that poor Hannah got left holding the bag. She was embarrassed unnecssarily by the public scene, and her BFF is got angry at her. That moves the plot along in an intersting way, but if this were a real life situation, it would have been better handled in private between Marnie and Charlie.

    • http://www.hookingupsmart.com Susan Walsh

      @J

      I think I may have to start posting about Girls. Every time I watch it I want to take notes. In fact, I’m going to watch episode 4 again right now.

  • OffTheCuff

    I think I’m going to have to take a look at this show. My favorite SMP-realistic TV show is (somewhat obviously, given my avatar) Californication. Super-alpha Hank Moody wins “muthafuckaaaaaaaaaa”.

  • J

    I would enjoy reading a post on Girls and furthur discussing it. It’s an interesting show, not just because of how it illustrates Game principles, but, at least from my point of view, what it says about young women and promiscuity. I’ve seen episode four twice now. One thing I noticed is that Hannah may have had her first orgasm. She shows up “pink and glowing” at the club to watch Charlie and Ray. Two things about the incident jump out at me. One, this is the first time, any of the girls actually sex. Two, we don’t get to see it. We see all manner of awkward and meaningless sex, including Shoshanna’s rather forced attempt at losing her virginity. We see Hannah nude in every episode, but we don’t get to see Adam give her an orgasm. Instead there’s a Rhett and Scarlett moment where Adam carries her to the bedroom ….and cut! I find it interesting that it is only after asserting her wants and needs, that Hannah gets Adam to try to please her. It’ll be interesting to see where this takes their relationship.

    I’m curious as to your impression, SW.

  • Schala

    “It seems as if they’ve done the biggest scientific no-no, which is drawing your hypothesis up first, then making your data fit the conclusion you already arrived at. Who was it who advised not to do this? Sherlock Holmes? I forget that.”

    It’s called begging the question. I’ve seen it done before. Mostly by pseudo-scientists who wanted to demonstrate stuff like “all gay men really are feminine, deep down”, or “trans women are really men, because they might have sexual feelings”. It’s amazing that they got grants for this crap though.

  • Schala

    “While there is the question of whether the ends justify the means, it seems pretty clear that men are going to get the optimal outcome far more often than women do. This may explain why business and politics will never have 50% representation at the senior levels. It’s not just that women step off the track to have kids. They may not be wired as efficiently for those roles. ”

    My theory is more about men needing the income (and to often be the primary or first income) much more than women.

    Women can do the job as a hobby, with time off, with flex time, not even because they’ve got kids, but because they’ve not been conditioned their whole life to be success objects and providers. Guys who do that are called slackers.

  • http://www.bukowskiquotes.com Bukowski Quotes

    This isn’t terribly surprising to me. It makes sense evolutionarily. I think it will even out over time.