I didn’t expect it! Animals don’t know gender.

Beijing time on September 7th, according tomedia reports, animals do not have sex, although it has been widely accepted by researchers studying gender, but others are still very confused about it. The confusion stems from the fact that many species of males and females have systematic manifestations of different behaviors. The most basic example is probably mating behavior. For a species, having different genders simply means having different variants to form different sizes of matching sons (such as sperm and eggs). This usually also means that different body types adapt to each other to effectively bind these matching sons. Of course, different body shapes require different mating strategies.

I didn't expect it! Animals don't know gender.

In some parts of the animal world, gender differences also extend beyond mating. Sometimes, only one sex raises the cubs. Other species have gender-based mating and courtship strategies, such as male gorillas protecting their families, and courtship dances. But there are other species whose male and female social interactions are also different. Big-horned goats, for example, live separately between males and females.

How are these behaviors different from gender? Why aren’t these behaviors seen as gender? To answer these questions, we first need to figure out what gender is, and that’s a bit subtle. The term “gender” has been widely used. That in itself is fine. Gender is complex and multi-faceted, and there is no doubt that different aspects of the term gender are articulated in different ways. (It’s just that the complexity of gender also seems to have created the confusion that this article wants to discuss – whether animals are gendered or not.) Return to the subject, how do we understand gender?

It wasn’t until the 1950s that psychologist John Mani began using the term “gender role” to refer to things related to biological sex, but the two were not the same. Since then, the theoretical differences in gender have emerged: the term sex is used to indicate biological sex, while gender is cultural in nature. Gender involves a range of codes of conduct that shape men’s and women’s behavior, set out their behavior, and specify what it means to be a man or a woman, respectively. These codes of conduct are a result of cultural development and are passed down from generation to generation through cultural learning. (Please note that the gender here is gender in the context of the gender system.) )

Previous gender theorists such as Judith Butler and Anne Fausto-Sterling have suggested that sex and gender cannot be completely isolated. Our biological gender influences gender-related cultural norms. The two complement each other. (For example, in many cultures, it is generally believed that work requiring upper limb strength is done by men, i.e. males.) However, despite this constant connection, peacocks still have no gender. Because peacocks have no culture.

So how do we know that gender is more than just a biological fact? What makes gender cultural, not just gender-specific as animals? Here are some key evidence. Like any other animal, gender behavior between different genders in humans varies widely from culture to culture. In this culture, things that are considered suitable for women may turn out to be the opposite in another culture. Even the number of genders can vary according to culture. While most cultures tend to have gender systems linked to physical sex, there are other cultures that accept three or more genders.

Relatedly, gender-related rules and patterns change over time. At the beginning of the last century, for example, American women couldn’t wear pants, but now there’s no such rule. Also, in the Western world, pink tends to be associated with women, but this association has only recently emerged. In other words, gender is very casual. Gender is flexible and can be defined in a variety of ways. This, of course, means that it is culture that determines the fundamentality of gender.

However, there are still some mysteries to be solved. First of all, animals have no culture? Second, even without culture, can’t animals have sex? Culture depends on the generational transmission of knowledge and information, so that the stable pattern of useful behavior can persist after the emergence, and also enables us to accumulate these cultural knowledge passed down from generation to generation. Some animals can participate in this type of learning in a limited way. For example, killer whales can learn how to hunt each other, and different groups of killer whales will have different ways of hunting. In another famous case, a group of Japanese macaques learned to wash sweet potatoes after one of the female monkeys started washing them.

However, real examples of animal culture are relatively rare and do not involve gender-related behavior patterns and learning patterns like those of humans. For example, we don’t see any killer whale population where females learn only from females and teach skills only to other females. Even if it can be observed, this gender-biased behavior lacks many of the key characteristics of the human gender system. Most importantly, the human gender system also involves healthy normative behaviour – not only are women’s behaviour influenced by the cultural education they receive, but we as a society agree that they should. But there is no such element in animal culture.

Another question is, if gender is a cultural construct, why is it so common? Why do every society studied have some patterns and norms of behavior in men and women? Will there be cultures that don’t have gender? If so, is that gender closer to life than we think it is?

The answer to these questions is that gender development is so widespread because it is of great use to the human division of labour. In the process of cultural development, human beings gradually acquire important survival skills, but learning these skills is often difficult and time-consuming. In traditional culture, these skills may include making ropes, collecting and processing food, building houses, and burning pottery. Gender provides a set of rules for selecting different categories of people and then letting different groups of people do different things. Of course, we can also use other ways of division of labor, but physiological gender differences make gender a particularly convenient way of division of labor. We don’t need to use gender to solve the division of labor, but it’s so convenient and easy to use that basically every culture has developed some form of gender division of labor. Once the division of labor between the sexes is formed, rituals, meanings, expectations, norms and other cultures will gradually accumulate.

All this brings up a more intractable problem. If gender is culture-based, can it explain all the differences between men’s and women’s behaviors? Do humans behave as differently as animals? This question is difficult to answer because it inevitably involves more issues of sexism, prejudice and inequality. If there is a congeneso difference in behavior between men and women, then there is reason to say that we do not have to treat men and women equally. A typical example is that women are not inherently as competitive as men, so a relatively small number of women as CEOs is not a problem.

There may indeed be innational behavioral differences between human men and women, but the extent of these differences is actually very difficult to measure. Cultural influences shape the gender behaviour of everyone on the planet, meaning that we cannot measure congenescing gender differences in a hasty way without taking cultural factors into account.

This goes back to the original question: Why is it important to recognize that animals don’t have sex? We can’t simply think that these behavioral differences stem from innology physiological differences, as we did in animals. When the little boy refuses the doll, we can’t infer whether they have the innocation to take care of the baby. On the contrary, we need to look at such human behaviour from a completely different perspective. We need to be aware first that our cultural system has an important influence in determining the behaviour of men and women, boys and girls. (Uniform)