Are our gender (sex)-based behaviors innate? Example: Are we naturally masculine if we're born male?

Asked by: Negotiate
  • I saw this documentary the other day

    About how a kid had a botched circumcised penis, who was mentally transformed by his parents and doctor into a girl. However, a issue arose when the kid continuously showed masculine actions debunking the doctor's theories that telling the kid he's a girl will give the notion that he is a girl. The doctor theorized that if he kept mentally forcing the notion that the kid was a girl, the kid would truly believe, act, and behave like a girl- this was not the case. Instead, we now theorize that at such a old age as the kid was at the time, if a kid learns that he is a boy or girl, that is the notion for the rest of their lives- telling us that a kid who learns he's a boy will naturally act masculine, just like a kid who learns she's a girl will naturally act feminine.

    It's a rather unfortunate name of the documentary but I would highly recommend it: "Dr. Money and the Boy With No Penis." Link:

    Hopefully this all makes sense and feel free to reply or debate me on this. Other than that, thanks and have a great week everyone!

  • Nature makes our core, our parents shape it.

    Yes, people can behave in a different way. There are many cases where a boy will be more feminine or a girl will be more masculine, but the truth is that a boy is much more likely to be masculine than a girl. Yes, if the mother is a strong headed feminist who insists on having control all the time, a boy may feel underpowered and start acting more feminine, or a girl to start acting "more like mommy" and be more masculine. The truth is that for better or worse a male is more likely to be naturally masculine, a female will have to be taught and can be shaped to be masculine but it won't come as naturally.

  • We are a sexually dimorphic species and that includes our brains so yes.

    The whole reason that we like most species are sexually dimorphism is because I’m an evolutionary sense it is advantageous to specialise for specific roles. Similarly to how a production line is made more efficient by having each person perform an individual task and move it down the line as opposed to each person individually assembling a car themselves, humans were better able to gather resources and propagate when tasks were divided between them. Sex just happens to be a convinient way to do this since pretty much by definition they are already fulfilling different roles as far as reproduction is concerned. This is why we can observe physical differences such as men having on average more muscle mass or women having on average stronger immune systems. The brain is just as much a physical organ as anything else and as a result can just as easily show differences based on sex. In fact one instance of this is that the menstrual cycle is controlled by the brain demonstrating that their certainly are biological differences between male and female brains. Since men and women have adapted to fulfill different roles we would expect behavioural differences which developed to help them perform optimally in those different roles, such as men being more aggressive as they would have had to fight to defend their tribes. This is not to say that social factors have no effect but simply that on average men and women have different predispositions.

  • From my observations and from historical documents, I would have to say no.

    I know many people who don't demonstrate the behaviors typically associated with their genders, My sister is a tough as nails cop, who has never had any problems with taking someone down, even when we where kids. (in fact I always kind of thought of her as a brute, not in a bad way but still a brute)

    On the other hand my best friend is about as tough (physically) as a marshmallow, seriously I would not trust him to protect or be much help at all if we got caught in a dark ally.

    These are just 2 examples of the people that I have come across in my life to convince me that their is more than just biology that is in play when it comes to our personalities. (I chose those 2 examples because they are two of the people that I am closest to)

    If you look though out history you'll find that their are plenty of examples of women doing extraordinary things that would have been considered a "mans role"

    Take Mbande Zinga, and her army. She was the queen of Ngola (today Angola) She took up arms against the Portuguese, after the Portuguese broke a treaty she lead her mainly female army against them, and forced the Portuguese into reinstating a different peace treaty with her. You got to remember that back then Portugal was a major power, and for them to have been forced to make a peace treaty with an African woman with less weaponry back then would have been seen as inconceivable. But still her and her mainly female army did it, and their not the only society that has been able to show that this idea of masculinity being an inherent trait for males to be flawed. This concept seems to have to many exceptions to be declared fact.

  • I didn't do a lot of scientific research on this, but from I can tell, no.

    For one thing, trans people exist. While there is debate about being transgender, I don't want to get into that right now. It's a different argument. The point is, if someone's born female and is trans, then he's probably a lot more masculine then feminine, despite his physical sex. Same thing with trans girls. That's not to say that there aren't examples of people's sexes matching up with the stereotypes of their gender, for example I'd consider myself kind of masculine, but I still like a lot of girly stuff, like dresses (not wearing them, but I like how they look) and the color pink. The point is that there are also a lot of guys who like dresses and the color pink. You could also ask what defines certain things as masculine and feminine.

  • We can't be certain.

    Although, yes, men do have more testosterone than women, it doesn't necessarily make them more violent. And more the point, how much of this is just society? For instance, there are adverts for building firms with MEN in hard hats, or maybe a princess costume with a little GIRL in it. Little girls are nicknamed "sweetie", or "love", whilst boys are "fella", or "bro". I'm not saying that men and women aren't different, I'm just saying, the environment they grow up in plays a huge role.

    Posted by: Tib
  • NO they are not innate

    If you have a trans man, can you say he is masculine. No you cannot because he is not masculine. Even if you belie that being trans is bad, you cannot deny that trans and other LGBT people do not support the idea that sex based behaviors are unchangeable. Case closed

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