Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Battle of the Sexes - viii

Maybe this genetic study can be taken as a prototype to understand cultural traits too. How man created things like male god/s have negative effect on females or how patriachal ideals get perverted expression among females.

This battle, observed across many species and known as intralocus sexual conflict, happens when the genes for a trait which is good for the breeding success of one sex are bad for the other -- sparking an 'evolutionary tug-o-war' between the sexes.
 It has previously been thought these issues were only resolved when the trait in question evolves to become sex-specific in its development -- meaning the trait only develops in the gender it benefits and stops affecting the other.
However, a new study by the universities of Exeter (UK), Okayama and Kyushu (both Japan) published Nov. 4 in Current Biology shows this doesn't always bring an end to conflict -- as even when the trait becomes sex-specific, knock-on effects can still disadvantage the other sex.
Kensuke Okada, also from Okayama University, said: "The view that sex-limited trait development resolves this kind of genetic battle of the sexes is based on the assumption that traits are genetically independent of each other, which is frequently not true.
"What we're seeing here is that genetic architecture can provide a general barrier to this kind of conflict resolution."
Via Science Daily


Maju said...

You may be right in this case but it's difficult to assess because the dynamics is completely different than in the biological tug-of-war. Unlike in reproduction, in cultural aspects we have many different people interacting almost simultaneously.

But I presume that if a given trait, say submissiveness is considered good for women and dominance good for men in a given society (I'm taking a patriarchal example), very dominant males may create dominant females in their daughters, with lower social fitness, by inadvertently transmitting their own personality. However it is probable that in such markedly sexist societies, the differential treatment given in infancy to either gender causes each to approach the correct archetype.

This can also happen across class lines for example, it does not need to be limited to gender polarity at all. Low class people will be taught, even violently, since early years to be submissive, while high class ones to be dominant.

Yet other aspects, such excessive privileges and disconnection with the majority when young, can weaken the personality of the privileged offspring, causing regular changes in the ruling class. This can also happen across the gender divide to some extent: too arrogant males may be at the end of the day less fit than others which may be more humble but also cunning, for instance.

So I guess dynamic equilibrium is always at play, in society too.

manju said...

If something involves force from a section of males then that does not belong here. So, the class system can be removed from this. But the caste system can be considered to a certain extent. The hierarchies of the castes need not always mapped to their economic or political might. But again when it came to dependent lower and outcastes it was enforced thro' force.

manju said...

When it comes to females how a traditionally instilled fear for supernatural would express in their devotion to male gods (with their male specific attributes) is something of interest.