Women, Marriage, & Children

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  1. gmwilliams profile image84
    gmwilliamsposted 2 years ago

    According to conservative pundit & radio show host Tommy Sotomayor, women have children for two reasons: (1) either to trap men into a relationship or marriage or (2) because her friend has children & she doesn't want to be left out.   Mr. Sotomayor went further to elaborate that women get married because of competition from her friends-in essence, she gets married in order not to be ......left behind.   Your thoughts?

    1. dashingscorpio profile image87
      dashingscorpioposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      He may be 20% correct.
      There are a small group of women out there who do see having a child by a man as way of having a permanent connection to him.

      However I suspect the biggest motivator is our (culture and traditions).
      There's also an optimum window of time for women to have children.
      We as a society plant the seeds during the formative years of girls.

      Most girls first Christmas toy is a "baby doll", stroller, or Easy Bake Oven.
      Society indoctrinates girls early on with toys that involve them taking care of babies, using toy vacuums, and other things to (emulate their mothers).

      Next comes fairytales, princess gowns, romance novels, and Hollywood movies  which often tell a story about a handsome guy sweeping a girl off her feet in a romantic way and them living "happily ever after".

      Even many successful independent women still dream of having a man get down on one knee to ask for her hand in marriage. They'd rather stay in relationship (waiting to be proposed to) than to propose to a man they love! Simply put that's not how the "fairytale" was written/read to them.
      It's tough to shake off culture & tradition. Most women don't want to!

      In fact the wedding gown is almost symbolic as being an actual princess!
      When the bride enters the church {everyone stands up}.
      On the other hand the groom is primarily a prop. LOL!

      The wedding is about the woman and making sure (her dream) is perfect.
      There are no TV shows called "Groomzilla". smile

      Toys for boys are water pistols, cap guns, remote control cars/trucks/planes/boats, anything with flashing lights and loud noises, along with games they can compete with their male friends.

      They're not given "tea sets" or Ken & Barbie's dollhouse to decorate.

      Little boys are NOT given toys to "nurture" or pretend to be husbands & fathers! They're not enamored by the idea of someday getting married.


      1. mrpopo profile image70
        mrpopoposted 2 years agoin reply to this

        There's been studies that invalidate the cultural influence hypothesis, at least to the extent you're claiming.

        The first one I can think of is the rhesus monkey study, which demonstrated that socialization (culture + traditions) was not the factor for the gendered preference in toys. Male monkeys preferred wheeled toys like trucks, while female monkeys preferred plush toys: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2583786/

        There's another monkey study that predates the above one, with vervet monkeys. The outcome was the same: female monkeys preferred the doll and the cooking pot, while male monkeys preferred the police car and the ball: http://www.ehbonline.org/article/S1090-5138(02)00107-1/abstract

        There's also been human studies demonstrating gender-based toy preferences in infants as young as 3 months old. It's unlikely that an infant will have been affected by socialization in such a short period of time: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19016318, http://link.springer.com/article/10.100 … -z?LI=true

        A better explanation is different exposure to hormones. The previous study I linked found that a more masculine digit ratio (a marker for androgen exposure in utero) resulted in boys looking at 'boy' toys longer. Another found that girls who were exposed to greater amounts of androgens in utero preferred 'boy' toys as well: http://pss.sagepub.com/content/3/3/203.short

        I also vaguely recall hearing about a study that had infants play with toys stereotyped for the opposite gender (girls playing with trucks, boys playing with dolls). The results were that the boys used the dolls as cars and guns, while the girls had tea parties with the trucks.

        Not sure if that's true, but I think there's plenty of evidence to suggest the biggest motivator is biology, not culture and traditions.

        1. dashingscorpio profile image87
          dashingscorpioposted 2 years agoin reply to this


          It still is difficult to compare the socialization and behavior of monkeys with a human civilization where parents decide prior to bringing a child home whether to wrap it in a pink or blue blanket.

          Dating back in many cultures there are examples of men taking young boys in the tribe on hunting trips "teaching them how to be men" while women take their daughters underneath their wing to instruct them.

          However even with all that said in our society there are some boys who are defined as having feminine qualities or interests and girls with masculine qualities and interests. Some of them grow up to be a part of the LGBT community. Nevertheless most parents and society  do try to influence the raising of children based upon their gender.

          In fact many parents try to discourage children who have a natural curiosity to explore things that are not traditionally associated with their gender. "Boys don't cry" , "Stop acting like a sissy", "Women shouldn't pursue men", A "real man" or "real woman" does ...etc

          Our society constantly tells us how to behave based on gender to be accepted by the majority.

          Another factor is religious upbringing. To my knowledge (monkeys) don't have to contend with any religious dogma that instructs them to choose a lifestyle based upon their gender in order to get into heaven.

          We'll never know how mankind would be if everything was left up to the child to choose whatever toy or activity (they) wanted without being (influenced) by peers, cultural environment, traditions, & expectations.

          We see in some cultures where pre-marital sex is almost a given while other cultures still place a high value on remaining a virgin until marriage, or not getting divorced, women walking 5 paces behind a man, or women not being allowed to go to school or participate in other activities simply because of their gender, along with arranged marriages...etc

          All of the above are examples of decisions not made by the "individual" but rather by their (traditions, religions, and culture).

          Gender and sexual orientation {discrimination} are tools used by society to attempt to (force people) to continue living their lives according to their culture, religious beliefs, & traditions along with "stigmas" and "double standards". Our mores have a major bearing on our lives.

          Who is to say if their culture accepted or tolerated promiscuity, cohabitation, and unwed parenthood their people's behavior wouldn't change. The more liberal and free a society is the more people feel (safe) to be who they truly are and do whatever it is THEY (really) want to do.


          1. mrpopo profile image70
            mrpopoposted 2 years agoin reply to this

            It's not difficult at all. If you assume that the socialization of monkeys regarding trucks and dolls is near 0 (because these aren't existing concepts in monkey culture) then the factors associating their gendered preferences will be biological, not cultural. If our closest relatives have gendered differences in toy preference primarily based on biological factors, so will we. That's not to say that culture has no effect, only that you are overvaluing the effect of culture and undervaluing the effect of biology regarding toy selection.

            I'm not sure why you're bringing up religion and monkeys. Obviously they're not connected, and that's the very point of the study. Monkeys are a population isolated from human socialization effects like society and religion. Thus the primary effects on monkeys will be biological. Despite having never been exposed to trucks and dolls, monkeys still had gendered preferences that mirror human preferences. Can you explain that, in light of the fact that monkeys are not expected to follow societal norms or religious obligations?

            You are correct that other cultures have had gendered roles, most in fact. This is again explained by biology and evolution, not culture. The cultures that placed men at risk were better at propagating their genes to the next generation than the cultures that placed women at risk, because eggs are the limiting factor in reproduction, not sperm. This factor is not really relevant today, but when human communities were small it made all the difference between surviving or being wiped out.

            I'm again at a loss why you're bringing up religious customs. Yes, traditions, religions and cultures influence human behaviour. They do not influence whether a child prefers a truck or a doll, which was the crux of your post and what I was replying to.

            I'm aware that there are exceptions. I'm speaking of trends, not absolutes. Most boys will prefer things that are stereotypically boyish, and most girls will prefer things that are stereotypically girlish. The stereotypes do not cause the preferences, the preferences create the stereotypes.

            Norway is an example of a liberal, free and equal society (top 3 in the world, from the measures I'm seeing) and it still cannot overcome these biological tendencies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5LRdW8xw70

            It's true that the more liberal and free a society is, the more people feel safe to do whatever it is they want to do. It turns out that what men want to do and what women want to do tends to be stereotypical male and female behaviour.

            1. dashingscorpio profile image87
              dashingscorpioposted 2 years agoin reply to this

              I brought religion not so much as a connection with monkeys but as a major difference between comparing them to human beings!
              It's just one of the things that mankind contends with that animals do not which often has a bearing on gender behavior and expectation of society.

              When I brought up toys that one just one example about our culture that is given to children during their formative years. I don't believe it's possible to really compare monkeys and their cultural versus human beings and their cultural when there are too many other variables like religion or parts of the world where customs and traditions play a major role in behavior.

              Peer pressure, discrimination, and various stigmas are employed in a lot of areas to "shame" people to conform or make it difficult for those who don't.
              There was time when a woman who never married or had children was called an "Old Maid" or "Spinster".

              Maybe Mr. Sotomayor is dating himself by thinking back to an era where some women got married just to avoid being labeled with such names.

              I suppose one could say "stereotypical" male and female behavior is nothing more than one's society and cultural "norms" or expectations. smile

              1. mrpopo profile image70
                mrpopoposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                You're still missing the point of using monkeys as a study group. The fact that they do not have the same cultural, religious and societal expectations that humans do is why they're being used. It is not meant to be a comparison of monkey culture and human culture.

                Monkeys are a study group that have a very rudimentary and underdeveloped culture, if at all. Their culture will have no references to human girl toys or boy toys.

                Why did the male monkeys pick stereotypical male toys? Why did the female monkeys pick stereotypical female toys? It's not culture or socialization, so what is your explanation?

                1. dashingscorpio profile image87
                  dashingscorpioposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                  You're saying even if we didn't have the cultural and religious dogma boys and girls would still naturally make the same choices because that is what monkeys do. In other words environment, parenting, tradition, culture and religion are not the deciding factor in how gender make choices.

                  I'm saying people aren't monkeys and there is no way we can imagine what our lives would be like not operating on the plane we do with our societal conformity rules, cultural, religion, and gender expectations.

                  Essentially it's like comparing apples to oranges!


                  1. mrpopo profile image70
                    mrpopoposted 2 years agoin reply to this

                    I'm saying it's very likely for that to be the case. In science we often use inductive reason to come to probable or likely conclusions. In this particular case it would be unethical to isolate a human from society, culture, religion and other influences which may affect their choice output, to then observe their toy selection over months or years. Observing our closest animal relatives who are isolated from such effects is a much better compromise.

                    Either way, that's only part of the reasoning. I've also given you evidence in observing human variation. Greater testosterone in boys resulted in a greater preference for "boy" toys. Greater testosterone in girls also resulted in a greater preference for "boy" toys. And very young infants who are (probably) not influenced by socialization effects also display the stereotypical preferences. These infants are young enough to not even be aware of what gender is.

                    You're ignoring all of the above for your socialization hypothesis, which you've provided 0 evidence for.

                    If it's culture that's causing the gender differences, can you explain why monkeys engage in the same gendered choice behaviour? Can you explain why testosterone masculinizes toy choices in both girls and boys? Can you demonstrate how society affects toy choices in girls and boys who are too young to even know what a gender is?

                    Even if there is a societal effect (which I've already granted as a possibility) there's enough biological evidence to suggest that this would happen in humans whether or not they were socially conditioned to do so.

  2. Live to Learn profile image83
    Live to Learnposted 2 years ago

    My thoughts? Tommy Sotomayer is ill informed. But, you said he's a radio host. I think that says it all. They get more play when they say stupid things.

    1. profile image0
      calculus-geometryposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      We are having the same thought.

  3. colorfulone profile image82
    colorfuloneposted 2 years ago

    It does sound like a way to create controversy, ad views, and silly arguments online.   Each to their own, I guess.  Hard to believe anyone thinks that way. 

    Love happens and women do have biological clocks, its normal.

    1. Marisa Wright profile image95
      Marisa Wrightposted 2 years agoin reply to this

      Not all women do have biological clocks - or maybe we do, but some of us don't tick!

      I've never felt a desperate longing to have children (which is just as well as my first husband didn't want them and I'm too old now I'm with my second), but I do know that for some women, the longing is deep and very real.  It only takes a small amount of research to convince yourself of that, so Mr Sotomayor hasn't even bothered to research the matter, he's just spouting his bitterness.

      By the sound of it, he's been at the wrong end of a relationship breakup - and maybe the woman in question WAS a bitch who just wanted to trap him into marriage.  They do exist, just like there are predatory men.  If so I'm sorry it's twisted his outlook.

  4. Kathryn L Hill profile image79
    Kathryn L Hillposted 2 years ago

    Women have children:
    (1) To trap men into a relationship (?) or marriage. 
    (2) Because her friends have children & she doesn't want to be left out.
    (3) Because the creative urge to produce a child strikes after a she is married or can afford it on her own.
    (4) Because after after a couple of years of work or marriage, she feel a sense of emptiness.
    (5) Because her mother or mother-in-law wants a grandchild.
    (6) To provide an heir.
    (7) To carry on the family name and hopes for a son.
    (8) Because she had a boy first and wants a sibling for the poor lonely first born.
    (9) Because she imagines her household will be happier if there is just one more child.
    (10) Because she wants a girl and already bought a bunch of girl's stuff.
    (11) Because she wants a boy and already bought a bunch of boy's stuff.
    (12) Because she is working and can afford it.
    (13) Because she has a supportive husband and they both agree it would be a beautiful thing.


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