Biological Determinism (con’t)
A few more thoughts on the matter of biological determinism.
When it comes to issues of sexism and gender, I know a lot of progressive people who buy into the notion of biological determinism. I often hear the same people complain about sexism one moment and then muse upon the ways in which women and men are “wired differently” during the next.
I have a question for folks like that. When you ponder the horror of racism, do you ponder how the relationships between people of differing ethnicities are entrenched in biology and evolution? Do you quietly dismiss the possibility of racial equality as biologically implausible? Do you dismiss the possibility of social change as running counter to a biological reality that leads different races into behaving in different ways?
I’ll bet you don’t. I’ll bet you’d consider someone who engages in such thinking as backwards, retrogressive bigots. You are open minded. You aren’t prejudiced. You could never bring yourself to believe in such notions, right?
Well, if you believe that the differences in women’s and men’s behaviors are governed by biology, how many steps away from generalizing these notions to race and ethnicity are you?
Think about that for a while.