Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Bulletins from the gender wars

"Parents Won't Say if Tot is a Boy or a Girl ... because they believe gender is a social construction. ... A Swedish couple's decision to keep their toddler's gender a secret is stirring debate, especially now that the parents are expecting a second child...'Pop' is 2 ½ years old, but so far only those who change the child's diapers know whether the youngster is a boy or a girl."

The kindest thought that comes to mind is that we have all heard of perfectly mainstream parents who have also messed up their kids. And I am still convinced that procreating should not be subject to licensing or other state sanction.

In the June, 2009 Journal of Economic Literature, there is Rachel Croson and Uri Gneezy's "Gender Differences in Preferences". The authors survey the evidence from a large number of controlled economic experiments and report "robust differences in risk preferences, social (other-regarding) preferences and competitive preferences."

Many of us had thought all along that men and women are different. Croson and Gneezy cite nature and nurture influences.