Gender roles and conformity exist only because of societal pressures
Debate Rounds (3)
Round 2: Main arguments
Round 3: Rebuttals/conclusion
My position is that traditional gender roles are promoted in society, and interests which the gender have exist only because of pressure to conform. I will be arguing that if men and women, boys and girls, were able to pursue their interests without pressure, there would be no pattern of women/girls going for traditionally "girly" things and no pattern of men/boys going for traditionally "manly/boyish" things.
The first thing I think which would be worthwhile to look at is children and their perception of gender conformity and gender roles. Young children are perhaps the more reliable ones for this since they would have had less pressure over all than a teenager or an adult. In a 2014 study with 45 girls and 41 boys, Britney G Brinkman, Kelly L. Rabenstein, Lee A. Ros"n and Toni S. Zimmerman, found that nearly all of the boys and girls when left alone in a room, will play with toys associated with both genders, while when they are in the room with other peers, they chose to play with only the toys associated with their own gender  This would indicate that boys and girls are not inherently interested in things just for boy or just for girls, but rather enjoy things that both genders are traditionally going to enjoy and that when with peers, they are pressured to play with only their own gender's toys. Following this study, they also talked with each of the boys and girls about gender conformance and what they believed causes them to behave like a traditional boy or a traditional girl. Each of them agreed that they felt pressured to act like a traditional boy or traditional girl from their parents, peers, and teachers. The girls had worthwhile conversations about how they felt pressured to be girly, to only like "pink" things, and to occasionally wear dresses and skirts. The boys had worthwhile conversations with them on how they felt pressured to wear pants and shorts, and never skirts or dresses, and to be boyish. 
In the book "Gender and Families", it is discussed how families also present a pressure to conform to gender stereotypes and gender roles. It's perhaps, the first time boys and girls are introduced to gender roles by seeing their father who acts traditionally manly and their mother who acts traditionally womanly. Not only that, but parents often instill roles into their children inadvertently by encouraging them to pursue interests only representative of the traditional gender role of their specific gender. 
So from first growing up in a family, to going to school, boys and girls are instilled at a young age to act and be like a traditional boy or traditional girl. Both want to do things the opposite gender does, and want to do their own thing, but feel they cannot due to pressures.
One may wonder what is the problem with men and women being assigned gender roles they are supposed to fulfill? Well, the problem lies with the fact that women are going into different careers that result in a earnings gap between men and women. I trust I don't need to cite any source for the earnings gap(I call it that since wage gap is not necessarily accurate since I don't know of instances where women are paid less for the same exact position that a man has) since it is very widely known about. At any case, in another study conducted by Lisa M. Dinella, Megan Fulcher, and Erica S. Weisgram, it was found that gender roles and gender itself had a very large influence on the careers women and men go into  And since gender is instilled into us at such a young age, where boys and girls are supposed to have certain interests, as shown above, it was essentially determined at a young age that men and women would be going into different careers based on their gender roles from a young age since they were given different interests at a young age rather than allowed to pursue their own interests, whether it was boyish or girly to do so.
What is even sadder is that for those of us who are gender non-conforming, we are at an increased risk for depression and suicidal tendencies due to bullying and victimization. It is highly ingrained into our society for boys to be boyish and girls to be girly, and those who go outside of these unwritten and unfair rules, it's a painful road. In another study, it was found that 26% of nonconforming participants had at least mild to moderate depression, compared to 14% of the gender conforming peers.  There was significant correlation between this increased rate of depression and the fact that the gender non-conforming people went through bullying and victimization throughout their life 
In conclusion, gender is so ingrained in our society that we are taught about it at such a young age and pressured to conform, and for those of us who are trying to be authentically ourselves, we are bullied and denigrated. People resort to bullying tactics to get people to act in the preconceived way a man/boy or woman/girl is supposed to act. However, as the first study showed, boys and girls want to be themselves, but they can't and have to conform to society's expectations, and if they are themselves, they are at an increased chance of being depressed.
 Coltrane,Scott; Adams, Michele "Gender and Families" 2008, Lanham, Md. : Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2008; 2nd ed
There is a vast amount of literature available on gender differences. Maccoby and Jacklin (1974) was an important comprehensive study on psychological differences. Contrary to what Roberts (1984) said about this study, there have been many advances since then in psychology to further refine the research on psychological differences. Maccoby and Jacklin (1974) pointed out two major gender differences; hostility and empathy. With respect to hostility, there was overwhelming evidence that men scored higher than women on most forms of expression of aggression. With respect to empathy, even though women scored higher on this trait than men the evidence was not conclusive. Since then studies by Antill (1983) and Wheeler et. al. (1983) provide very strong evidence that women have greater capacity for interpersonal relations and empathy than men. The works of Bem (1974, 1927, 1981), Spence et. al. (1975) Markus and Crane (1982) with respect to measurement of sex role self-concept and androgyny are an evidence of the recognition of the gender differences with respect to these two traits.
As for your experiment I have heard about this study before and it is not news to me. The problem with this study is the fallowing:
1.The children being tested were 6-12 years old, children of this age have no clue what gender identity is or gender conformity.
2.When they ask why they chose to play with those toys and why they don"t play with them around other kids, the children did not say peer pressure or gender roles. They SPECIFICLY asked them if it was because of peer pressure or because of gender roles and the child just responded with a "yes" most of them probably not even having a clue what was going on.
3.If you lock a child in a room and leave him with only 3-5 toys to play with over a period of 30 minutes" chances are they will have played with all of them"
4.The experiment failed to tell us what toys they played with FIRST and what toys they were more interested in.
5.The experiment failed to describe HOW the child played with them and what they did with the toys.
6.The experiment was gathered from a total of 86 children" yeah"
7.The experiment was only conducted in Colorado, there results (however weak) could simply just have been a product of the area they live in.
8.We are talking about toys" toys" playing with toys or literally doing anything for entertainment is a pass time activity, just because you play with a toy, dose not explain your background as a child what toys your use to or anything that.
9.The point is that they are making the toys they play with, the dependent variable in this experiment. There are so many independent variables that this experiment. (age, race, environment, environment raised in, culture, experience with toys, ADD, ADHD, level of intelligence, level of maturity, reason for playing with the toy, how the child played with it, what the child is accustom to playing with, introvert or extrovert, etc") having so many independent variables makes this experiment absolutely meaningless.
"Both want to do things the opposite gender does, and want to do their own thing, but feel they cannot due to pressures."
So your saying that women don"t go into most of the science field because they feel they shouldn"t and not because men actually take up most of the population with higher than average IQ.
So your saying that women don"t have jobs that involve operating heavy machinery because we tell them not to and not just because we actually tell everyone not to because those kinds of jobs tend to not have very good pay.
So your saying that more men end up operating heavy machinery because they feel they have to and not just because they actually would rather be doing something else but it turns out they didn"t graduate with a high GPA because men also take up most of the population with a lower than average IQ.
So your saying that it is our fault that we don"t have more women in the sciences and it"s not just a because LESS women WANT to be in the sciences.
Or are you saying that more women aren"t in the sciences because we discourage them?
Well frankly if you want to be in science go for it but if you have such little conviction that you could be discouraged by someone telling you that you aren"t supposed to be one, chances are you are doing us a favor by not becoming a scientist because then you end up with stupid bias experiments like the one you were talking about earlier.
Oh St, oh S#&t, oh you mother F&$%ing C0%k Sucking piece of S%#t the wage gap! Are you serious? I just got done disproving the wage gap in another debate! How does this crap keep coming up! Wait" earnings gap? The gap being based on career performance and career choice and not based on sexism? I take everything I said back, congratulations your probably the first person in the history of the world that has b1ched about a wage gap and didn"t blame it on sexism, males, or white supremacy. We can be friends now.
No but seriously, he does bring up a good point that the wage gap is a result the difference in career choice" what my point is" what"s your point? What does making a different amount of money have to do with it being societies fault? Yes there are gender roles, and yes gender role favor different careers for different sex"s (the two different sex"s"two different sex"s...only two"two sex"s"only) but what prof do you have that it is societies fault and not just the physical, psychological, and biological differences in the (two) sex"s?...
"it was found that 26% of nonconforming participants had at least mild to moderate depression, compared to 14% of the gender conforming peers."
again, yes if you are a woman and you decide to shave your head to have an army haircut yeah you"re going get bullied or teased about it" because it looks F$ing gross" but again that is my opinion, based off of my attraction to women, which again is based off of biological urges and not peer pressure.
Also the scientists who worked on this study (in my opinion) are idiots, I mean they got the date completely backwards. They didn"t prove that Non-conforming people are more prone to depression, they proved that people who are depressed are more prone to be non-conforming, there"s a difference.
Also again this study has to many independent variables.
Also AGAIN, even if being non-conforming results in depression, that still doesn't prove that gender roles are a product of society and not a product of the REAL differences in gender...(the two of them)
"People resort to bullying tactics to get people to act in the preconceived way a man/boy or woman/girl is supposed to act."
Uuuuum, no".no, no, no, no...no...no......no..........no. people bully other people because bulling makes you feel big, and makes you look big, bulling is a form of self-defense that you inherited from your environment. When someone picks on you it is not because they don"t like how you look, it"s not because they don"t like how you act, and its not because they don"t like anything about you. Non-conforming individuals who are picked on are not picked on because we don"t like them. They get picked on because when a bully wants to pick on someone, they pick on the people who stick out the most. They don"t pick on you because they don"t like the way you act, they pick on you because the way you act singles you out and makes you a target.
Bullying and gender roles are not in any way connected in a bias form it is completely based on you being different and being different makes you a target, they probably have nothing against you, because bulling is not about you, it"s about them.
In conclusion I hope next time you sight some sources that don"t take about the results of gender differences and instead actually try to prove that the gender differences are actually a result of society, and not a result of evolution. I suggest sighting something that shows that women or men want a profession more than the other, however the opposite gender ends up in that profession. Except you can"t because there is no such profession. You want to know why? Because if there is a profession that both genders want equally then biology will determine who gets it. In order to prove me wrong I will tell you exactly what to do. Find a profession that women want more than men, and that men don"t want, then show me a statistic that proves that men end up in this profession (remember women have to want it, and men have to not want it, and you have to have statistic that men get it more than women, also remember that people are likely to change their ideal profession 3 times in collage so make sure that the test results are from people out of college, if you can find this for me then I will forfeit the debate)
I have no qualms with your second paragraph, these are what I consider to be biological differences between women and men. As a psychology major, I know about all this very well. What I'm asserting is that gender roles are reinforced and exist primarily due to cultural pressures. The only way that these biological differences that you are listing would matter is if you linked them to why women and men choose the interests they have, and that these biological differences cause women to be interested in womanly things, and causes men to be interested in manly things. You haven't sufficiently proven that these biological differences drive men and women to those interests, you've merely stated that the biological differences exist. I suppose you will have another argument left to link these biological differences to gender roles and gendered interests, so use that wisely.
I'll address each of your problems with the study over children:
1. I'd have to challenge you on this. I had a pretty good grasp of what gender was, even when I was 6 years old, and I imagine most kids do too. They understand conformity, while they may not necessarily be able to define the word, they know what it means to act like everyone else does instead of acting how you want to. After all, children are taught rules at a very young age, and etiquette. All of this is conformity, so they would in fact have had a lot of experience already with conforming. Also, it should be noted from the study: "The average age of the participants was M = 10.8, with a range of 10 to 13 years of age." [1, pg. 839] So, it wasn't children 6-12 years old, but rather 10-13. I imagine that makes a difference with whether they would have a better understanding of gender conformity and roles.
2. These are the questions asked: " What did you learn about yourself from this activity? What did you
learn about how to treat other people from this activity? Before this program, did you ever think about this topic? What made you think about this? What do you think now? Have you had any experiences where you were treated differently or badly because you were a boy or girl? Do you think there are things boys can do that girls should not do? Do you think there are things girls can do that boys should not do? If you had an audience of kids your age, what would you tell them about what you learned today?" [1. pgs 840-841]
3. I'm not finding anywhere in the study which states the number of toys that were involved in the study, so this may or may not be a problem
4. The study suggests that the children were interested in both kinds of toys(both "blue" and "pink" toys) yes, it fails to mention which one each child played with first, but I don't think this is all that relevant since they played with toys traditionally associated with both genders anyways
5. The study says that they played with the toys in the appropriate way they are to be played with when alone, but played with the toy associated with their own gender in a gender stereotypical way when peers were in the room[1, pg 838]
6. In statistics, a sample of 86 would have a confidence interval of plus or minus 18%. Since all of the 86 children played with toys of both genders, this means there is a 95% chance that 82-100% of all children in Colorado will play with toys associated with both genders if they believe they are alone.
7. That's possible, but what exactly makes Colorado that different in this specific case? I suppose gender stereotypes may not be promoted as much in Colorado as they are in strictly conservative states, and they would be more promoted than in very liberal states like California or New York.
8. There is more in the study than just toys, that was just one thing I focused on personally. The questions above were asked of the children, and many children offered up ways on their very own on how they felt different for having interests that were not traditionally part of their gender. They offered up examples where people were surprised when they acted differently or how they were bullied [1, pg 842]
9. The age and race of the children are listed in the study. It was mostly a random sample of kids in Colorado. So, we can say, at least, that it would be in generally representative of kids in Colorado, perhaps not everywhere, but I fail to see how these independent variables would change a whole lot.
I'll address both of these comments from you:
A: "So your saying that women don"t go into most of the science field because they feel they shouldn"t and not because men actually take up most of the population with higher than average IQ."
B: So your saying that more men end up operating heavy machinery because they feel they have to and not just because they actually would rather be doing something else but it turns out they didn"t graduate with a high GPA because men also take up most of the population with a lower than average IQ.
Yes, there is no difference in general IQ between women and men, and many studies have confirmed this     
"So your saying that women don"t have jobs that involve operating heavy machinery because we tell them not to and not just because we actually tell everyone not to because those kinds of jobs tend to not have very good pay."
If you've ever had a job at a warehouse, both men and women are employed there some times. In my experiences with warehouses, it's always the men who are asked to operate heavy machinery, and the women are asked to do other, less physically intensive tasks.
"So your saying that it is our fault that we don"t have more women in the sciences and it"s not just a because LESS women WANT to be in the sciences."
I'm saying it's society's fault that less women want to be in the sciences. Less women want to be in the sciences because of the fact there is pressure not to be. They give up on it and think they shouldn't go into such careers. Society conditions women to NOT want to go into the sciences. That is what I'm arguing and I believe a lot of this has to do with the belief that women are incompetent in "masculine" fields. For example, "...researchers found that when success in a male-type job was ambiguous, a woman was rated as less competent than an identically described man, although she was rated equally likable. When individuals working in a male-type job were clearly successful, however, women and men were rated as equally competent, but women were rated as less likable and more interpersonally hostile (for example, cold, pushy, conniving). This was not found to be true in fields that were "female" or gender-neutral."[7, pg 82] This indicates there is clear bias against women in STEM fields, and in addition to this there is implicit bias against women, as the implicit
association test (IAT) with Anthony Greenwald shows. This test has been taken by over half a million people, and 70% of them were able to more readily associate male with science and female with arts than the reverse.[7, pg 76] And finally, the work of Shelley Correl shows that girls tend to rate themselves lower in math skills than boys rate themselves, even when both are equally performing excellently in math, and this belief lead them to deciding against going into a math field. [7, pg 44]
As for your final paragraph, there is no such profession because of the last point I showed above. I could use engineering as an example. Women don't WANT to go into that career because they perceive themselves as not as good as males, even when they are as good as a male in that subject. If you don't think you will be successful in something, you usually don't go after that. So, I would argue that MANY more women would want to go into engineering, math, and science careers if they weren't pressured into believing men are better at those areas than women.
In conclusion, due to the many gender stereotypes and roles presented to us at a young age, boys and girls are predestined to go into certain interests. Girls will think they are not as good at math, science, and engineering, while boys will have an inflated opinion of themselves. This is a study I didn't cite because I can't find it now, but there is also indication that parents will praise their male children more for math achievements than they will for female children. And the reverse is true in English and arts. At any rate, these biases cause men and women to WANT to go into different areas, because no one wants to go into an area they think they would do poorly in. Finally, because my opponent has yet to create a link between biology and gender roles, and I have shown indication that boys and girls boyish and girly, respectively because they are pressured to, it should be concluded by the voters that gender roles are a result of societal pressures. I'll end it here since I'm actually running out of characters. Somehow I've nearly used 10,000.
It was a good debate, and thank you to con for debating with me.
The flaw in the studies you have given as that that they are mistaking IQ for general intelligence. When I say men have a higher IQ than women, you assume that what I mean is that men are smarter than women, and they are not, you and your sources are correct in saying that there is no prof or solid evidence pointing to a difference in general intelligence between the sexes. this I believe we can all agree on, however the g factor is a construct developed in psychometric investigations of cognitive abilities and human intelligence. YOUR sources say "males outperformed females on the factors Working Memory and Perceptual Organization, and females outperformed males on Perceptual Speed. These sex difference on the level of the first order common factors were however not attributable to sex differences in g." this is because mental skills from both genders are included in a G score.
The male brain is characterized by systemizing tendencies (to use Baron-Cohen"s term) and mechanistic thinking (to use Crespi and Badcock"s term). "Systemizing" is the drive to analyze, explore, and construct a system.
In contrast, the female brain is characterized by empathizing tendencies (to use Baron-Cohen"s term) or mentalistic thinking (to use Crespi and Badcock"s term). "Empathizing" is the drive to identify another person"s emotions and thoughts, and to respond to them with an appropriate emotion.
Women tend to score as the medium in IQ tests because the mental talents they have limited uses for testing something like IQ, not to say they aren"t a smart but to say that women intelligence is not measured accurately because of the format of an IQ test; therefor limiting their mental resources and there for making them score at generally the same level. (forming a medium)
Men tend to score higher or lower because the IQ test was meant for a male brain; therefore, not limiting the male"s mental skills which allows for a more accurate assessment of intellect. Resulting in men taking up the higher and lower score population.
Men do, score higher and lower than women on IQ tests, not because of a difference in G but a difference in thinking patterns. Nobody says that men are better than women at math, science or engineering, men simply tend to dominate those areas because the thought patterns that males have are more applicable to the work force than women thought patterns.
However, you claim that these differences between men and women were developed because of society? Well guess what, society didn"t tell women how to evolve, you didn"t, I didn"t, nobody did and nobody can. As TheShaun said "Our design does not reflect society, society reflects our design." (TheShaun stop stealing my lines go make fun of idiots somewhere else, it"s my turn XD)
Our society was built based off the mental and physical advantages and disadvantages each gender had. Yes men and women are encouraged to do different things, but they are encouraged as a result of societies outlook on the two genders, our outlook on the two genders is biased on what science and experience has told us men have been successful at things women are less successful with so men are encouraged to do those things instead of women, yes that is society teaching gender roles but those gender roles have bean taught to society, we didn"t just make them up.
In conclusion this is a simple argument of Nature vs Nurture And which is more responsible of us. This has an easy answer. In this situation the Nurture factor is that society raises us to believe in gender roles and the Nature factor is that the science that we have so far is in total support that male and female skills are useful for different positions in society. The reason this is easily Nature is because the Nurture factor in this situation is actually a product of Nature, we are being Nurtured to conform to what Nature has taught; therefore, no matter were you start, you will always be the result of society and society will always be the result of design and science has proven that there is a difference in design and you have admitted that there is a difference; therefore, there is a design; therefore, you are a result of design.
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