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nature vs nurture

H.F.J.Bligh at vme.ccc.nottingham.ac.uk H.F.J.Bligh at vme.ccc.nottingham.ac.uk
Tue Jan 25 06:27:22 EST 1994

All that stuff about gender roles got me thinking about why we have children
in the first place. I suppose as biologists it should be obvious in the
sense that if our genes didn't give us this stron urge to reproduce then 
the Human race simply wouldn't be here. And to extrapolate further, the
males who manage to get their females to take on the burden of child
rearing then get to have sex with more females hence their genes are spread 
and increased in the gene pool. (I'm talking evolutionary timescales here!)
This probably explains how we got into the position of women being regarded as
child rearers in society and thus why Grad School with children is difficult.
However, as I can see very little evolutionary advantage to anyone in alot
of the things that we do eg keeping genetically less fit babies alive, this 
would suggest we can break the conditioning when we choose to. Breaking the
cultural mould of women as sole child rearers would seem to me a particulary
healthy goal of a civilised society.
Incidently I hope no-one thinks that I am advocating that keeping a child with a 
a genetic defect alive is a bad thing, on the contrary, I think that caring
for the less fit is what makes us civilised and apart from the rest of the
animal kingdom.
Away from the original gender posting idea I know, but I thought it might 
give some food for thought.

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