Animal Research and Human Love
Attachment Guru in Chico

The New Feminism

Okay, there's been a new flavor of feminism announced every few years. But this article by Siri Agrell in Canada's National Post does a nice job of arguing that there's a new way of thinking about women's place in the world that acknowledges gender differences while rejecting gender roles.

Agrell writes,

And in almost every realm of corporate America, women occupied or vacated top jobs this year without making excuses. Oprah Winfrey continued her role as U.S. moral compass without being married, Katie Couric delivered the network news in sweater sets and lipstick, while Elizabeth Vargas gave up her anchor job to deliver her second child.

Perhaps most remarkably, of two leading Democratic presidential possibilities -- Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton -- it is not the woman's electability that is garnering the most debate.

Neuroscience has now identified differences in brain structures between men and women, as well as differences in its processing of thoughts, memories and emotions. On the neurotransmitter level, these differences are expressed by the different levels of testosterone and oxytocin in the male and female brains.

Society is coming to accept that oxytocin's influence tends to make women more collaborative, more socially engaged and more nurturing, while testosterone tends to make men more aggressive and more driven by sexual desire. (CAVEAT: This is a generalization about tendencies, not a statement of fact about any individual.)

As we come to accept our animal natures and the profound influence of biology and genetics on our thoughts and emotions, I believe we'll be able to be happier and more productive.