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Female Dominance?

Inexorable Username

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I know this is a weird subject, but I wonder if any of you have come across female dominance, and what traits there are that you may have noticed?

I believe there's dominance in humans, even though I don't really believe in the "alpha male" concept. We simply don't have that kind of hierarchy, as humans. Male dominance is commonly discussed, but I don't know that female dominance really is.

I've been trying to understand myself better, these days, and I've been wondering about dominance. Could that be the reason that I don't connect well with fellow females? I seem to have stronger connections with men, as opposed to women. I also seem to butt heads a lot with men, because apparently I can come across as arrogant, assertive, whatever. What I find really strange, though, is that I definitely would expect that I have very high levels of estrogen. I have a very strong nurturing streak, my face is quite childish, and the way my body stores fat is highly indicative of high levels of estrogen.

We normally associate testosterone with dominance, and we normally consider testosterone and estrogen to be, in a sense "opposites". Rationally speaking, if I have high levels of estrogen, I should be more submissive - but I don't feel like a very submissive person, and I don't know that I act very submissively. It's true that in relationships, I'm very content with being supportive, and even catering to, my mate - but psychologically I view this as a moral obligation, not a lack of the ability to stand up for oneself.

This is kind of a slightly weird topic of me to voice...because I worry that people will think I'm some kind of aggressive feminist. That fear is actually constantly in the back of my mind. I don't like aggressive modern feminists because they don't respect the male sex, and I think that both sexes should be respected equally...But anyways. It's been bothering me. It's been nagging at the back of my mind. I normally would take the time to process this myself in isolation, but at the moment, I have things to do and this worry is distracting me from my work.

It occurred to me that maybe men have an easier time spotting signs of dominance in women, because its something that men value. So I'm curious to hear from you guys - you men (mostly), if you've ever noticed that some females appear to be more dominant, and why it is you drew that conclusion.
 

Inexorable Username

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I think there may be a part of me that, over time, has become biased against the concept of dominance. I feel like, potentially, society has influenced me to view dominant behavior negatively. If so, I'd rather not have that bias. I don't want it to interfere with my objective analysis.

Also, though, I really think that maybe if I actually have this quality, and I recognize it in myself, more things about the way I interact with other humans might make sense to me. At the moment, there's certain things that really confuse me. For instance, I don't understand why anyone would think I'm a cold person...I don't think I'm a cold person. I also get frustrated when people think I'm stubborn...I do change my opinions - all of the time - but not until someone makes a reasonable argument to refute them.

Perhaps there's a quality of dominance in females that I'm just overlooking. If I could identify that quality and frame of mind, I might have more success correcting my behavior.
 

Elen

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What, like BDE but for women? Calm, cool, and confident?

I don't really understand what you are asking. I know lots of women who are strong willed, energetic in getting what they want, and I guess therefore dominant? Usually they get called bossy or bitchy. Or Boss Bitch.

Or do you mean in the context of romantic/sexual relationships?
 

Inexorable Username

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What, like BDE but for women? Calm, cool, and confident?

I don't really understand what you are asking. I know lots of women who are strong willed, energetic in getting what they want, and I guess therefore dominant? Usually they get called bossy or bitchy. Or Boss Bitch.

Or do you mean in the context of romantic/sexual relationships?
I'm not sure what I mean...that's a weird thing for me. I almost always know what I'm talking about. But when it comes to issues I personally may have...I feel like a fish out of water.

Uhm...I would say that I'm strong-willed and energetic. I hope to god I'm not bossy and bitchy though - I really try hard not to be that kind of person.

Romantic/sexual - I feel I would be categorized as "submissive" in this aspect. I don't really enjoy being a "leader", per say, but I love the feeling of being protected and taken care of. Its not something I usually get. Especially from mates. I'm typically the person that gets things done....I guess I just wish I didn't have to play that role.

Is that rational? I feel like I'm not really being logical here.

I feel very insecure about this whole topic. I didn't even realize I had such insecurities, but I feel like I'm standing here in my underwear. This is a very personal issue for me...I almost feel like....like maybe - it's something about my personality that's caused me to have unsuccessful relationships....and worse, to have relationships with psychologically ill people. These circumstances are weird, because they are uncommon. At least, that is my understanding based on what I'm able to observe.
 

peoplesuck

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Skype me inex, I will tell you if you are dominant :P
you don't come off dominant through chatting.
 

Cognisant

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Society isn't patriarchal because that's the natural way of things but rather because it is a successful meme. Because the subjugation of women consolidated power with whoever held a monopoly on violence. Leadership does not equate to dominance, a leader inspires followers, dominance is the purview of the tyrant.

Women are perceptive of the needs of others and men are not but men are goal oriented and take pride in their ability to do things, to be capable, to be useful, it's perfectly natural for women to tell men what to do indeed I believe a great deal of modern male neuroticism is due to men not being ordered about and praised by the people whose opinion matters most to them.
 

Adaire

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We normally associate testosterone with dominance, and we normally consider testosterone and estrogen to be, in a sense "opposites". Rationally speaking, if I have high levels of estrogen, I should be more submissive - but I don't feel like a very submissive person, and I don't know that I act very submissively. It's true that in relationships, I'm very content with being supportive, and even catering to, my mate - but psychologically I view this as a moral obligation, not a lack of the ability to stand up for oneself.
Testosterone and estrogen don't inhibit or cancel eachother out. For example if a man takes testosterone, his body will produce extra estrogen to match; so the male in question typically ends up building up both additional muscle AND breast tissue. This is highly documented. You could easily have high estrogen and high testosterone at the same time. Plus timidity is not a known side effect of estrogen. I suppose the closest thing regarding estrogen and personality... well it could cause mood swings if you have abnormal fluctuations or memory issues if too high. Women typically have the lowest levels of estrogen when breastfeeding if you're looking to make observations about how estrogen affects personality.

Ultimately, the interplay of hormones in the body is incredibly complicated. There are a lot of terrifying consequences to playing around with it haphhazardly. It blows my goddamn mind that melatonin is an over the counter product in the US and that hormonal birth controls is treated as not a big deal, considering both can really wreck your shit. So can imbalances in testosterone, progesterone, cortisol, or thyroxine. The list is long. Heaven fucking help you if you have a thyroid disease.

I consider the individual hormone profile to be a sort of unique chemical finger print. It's an integral part of who we are as individuals and it is not sufficiently understood by modern medicine. If you've ever observed the treatment of anyone with endocrine issues, you'll know what I mean. You could drive someone (or yourself) out of your mind with unwise modifications.
 

scorpiomover

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I know this is a weird subject, but I wonder if any of you have come across female dominance, and what traits there are that you may have noticed?

I believe there's dominance in humans, even though I don't really believe in the "alpha male" concept. We simply don't have that kind of hierarchy, as humans.
Dominance is an odd word. Generally, when people say things like that someone is dominating a conversation, it means that you can't get a word in.

When someone is being submissive in a conversation, it normally means that the person is saying "Yes.", "I agree", "Uh-huh", but not much else. They're basically letting you say everything and they aren't really contributing anything of their own. Kind of encouraging you to dominate the conversation.

Apart from that, I don't really see a use for the term "dominance". The best type of conversations and relationships, are when both parties contribute what they are good at to increase the other, so that the whole is much better than the sum of the parts.

Male dominance is commonly discussed, but I don't know that female dominance really is.
It's a thorny issue. Discussing things like dominance means discussing when dominance is good, and when it's bad, as things like dominance tend to not be so good some of the time. But generally, if people start saying that women aren't good, or are even bad, some of the time, a lot of feminist men and feminist women seem to start saying that's misogyny and an attempt to impose patriarchy on them. So that kills half of the conversation. The other half is just "you go girl!", which is really what people are doing anyway when they are being dominant. So there's not really much that can be said there.

I've been trying to understand myself better, these days, and I've been wondering about dominance. Could that be the reason that I don't connect well with fellow females? I seem to have stronger connections with men, as opposed to women.
I noticed that INTP women and INTJ women seem to say that. I also noticed that ISTJ women seem to get on very well with men, but have few women friends.

You strike me as being a very strongly classical INTP, except that you seem to get a lot of things done.

So I think that it's probably more your personality type.

I also seem to butt heads a lot with men, because apparently I can come across as arrogant, assertive, whatever.
I've posted back and forth with a lot of women online. You are most definitely not arrogant, or aggressive. You're assertive, and polite, and very respectful and considerate of men's feelings.

It's common for men to butt heads with other men in conversation. It's just the way male culture operates, because traditionally, males had to do the dangerous jobs, like going to war, or lumberjacking, or being a fireman.

E.G. I was watching one of those programmes where they put people through Marine-type training. This programme was with a top guy in the Russian equivalent of the Marines. One of the guys left his gun just lying there, while he went for a whizz. The guy really laid into him. But on camera, he explained that if that had been for real, say, he wa in combat and left his gun lying there, some kid could have picked up his gun, and shot all of his comrades. So it was a very serious issue.

So traditionally, male conversation is not all that agreeable, because often men are, or are going to be, doing things that have extremely serious repercussions for them, and other people, including women and children, and often, lives will be on the line. So there's more of a need to be more aggressive sometimes to make it very clear how serious the matter really is.

Often, however, men will take it easy with weak men. Those are the men that they deem to not be capable or competent in doing a serious task, and so don't lay into them, because there's no point, as they'll never be given any serious responsibilities.

So if you're butting heads with men, that's a good sign, as it means they respect you.

I know, however, that's the opposite with women, women have a culture of generally being supportive, and so when a woman is not being supportive, often it means the man has lost her respect.

But you were speaking about men, and male culture is different, for the reasons that I stated.

What I find really strange, though, is that I definitely would expect that I have very high levels of estrogen. I have a very strong nurturing streak, my face is quite childish, and the way my body stores fat is highly indicative of high levels of estrogen.

We normally associate testosterone with dominance, and we normally consider testosterone and estrogen to be, in a sense "opposites". Rationally speaking, if I have high levels of estrogen, I should be more submissive - but I don't feel like a very submissive person, and I don't know that I act very submissively. It's true that in relationships, I'm very content with being supportive, and even catering to, my mate - but psychologically I view this as a moral obligation, not a lack of the ability to stand up for oneself.
I don't think that hormones are that clearly connected with stereotypical male and female behaviours.

I'm generally extremely soft as a man. But when things get physically real, I tend to go "Alpha". Like, when guys have hit me in the past, I just laughed, or got annoyed that they broke my glasses but didn't care a jot that they punched me in the head. It's like my testosterone is through the roof, when it's a real situation. But when it's all imaginary like emotional criticism, then I go to pieces like I'm full of oestrogen.

This is kind of a slightly weird topic of me to voice...because I worry that people will think I'm some kind of aggressive feminist. That fear is actually constantly in the back of my mind. I don't like aggressive modern feminists because they don't respect the male sex, and I think that both sexes should be respected equally...But anyways. It's been bothering me. It's been nagging at the back of my mind. I normally would take the time to process this myself in isolation, but at the moment, I have things to do and this worry is distracting me from my work.
Honestly, you seem to be somewhat anti-feminist to me. I'd suspect you believe in equal pay and all. But you don't seem to be turning around and saying that "all men are rapists" or that "women do twice as much work as men for half the credit" or "women need men like a fish needs a bicycle" and things like that.

It occurred to me that maybe men have an easier time spotting signs of dominance in women, because its something that men value. So I'm curious to hear from you guys - you men (mostly), if you've ever noticed that some females appear to be more dominant, and why it is you drew that conclusion.
I've seen women being more dominating. I knew couples in my youth, when it was clear the woman bossed around everyone in the family, and the man just kept quiet for an easy life.

But apart from that, it's not all that clear.

Personally, I prefer professional attitudes in women, because that's about not bringing your feelings about your personal life into the workplace.
 

Marbles

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There are so many more factors influencing dominance than testosterone, and like Darth @Adaire said, it is possible to have both high testosterone and high estrogen. Testosterone, cortisol and estrogen are all produced in the adrenal gland, so if you stimulate the gland, all three are likely to rise. In any case, women very rarely have testosterone levels similar to those of men, yet there are dominant women.

I'm not sure whether you want to be dominant, so in danger of stepping on your toes, I'll say I don't find you to be. I think you already know that's my opinion (and it has not changed just because we had a debate :P). Dominance is about forcing yourself on others, which you don't tend to do? I don't even think you're particularly assertive, you just like to communicate your thoughts?

Anyway, it's easy to check your testosterone and oestrogen levels, but I wouldn't read too much into them. These things are interesting when studying group differences, but don't tell you too much about an individual.

Why are you so worried what people think of you? I don't mean that rhetorically; do you have any specific examples? You are well liked here on the forum, so it seems whatever issues you encounter in your daily life don't arise when you communicate in writing. Or maybe you just get along better with fellow INTPs.
 

The Grey Man

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It seems to me that what you're calling dominance is really decision. If you know what you want, when you want it, and aren't afraid to tell people about it, you'll inevitably be perceived as aggressive by and "butt heads" with people whose intentions are not aligned with yours. It only becomes a question of dominance vs. submission when a crisis escalates the head-butting to outright violence.
 

redbaron

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there's so many different contexts where power dynamics apply that it doesn't seem pertinent to apply a uniform label or to try and figure out 'dominance' based on hormones


i think there's a lot of nuances in the power struggles of human interaction where people's general preferences can be worked out. aversion to conflict, preference for diplomatic solutions and willingness to compromise etc.
 

Inexorable Username

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So, I've read everyone's thoughts, and I'd like to give an in depth reply later, if I'm able - especially to you, @scorpiomover, because I appreciate the thoroughness of your response and there's several points I feel like I can provide elaboration on.

@Marbles - I had to laugh when you talked about stepping on my toes. Really, you don't need to be worried about that. I actually like when people give me information that contradicts my worldview enough to be somewhat negatively stimulating. It means that there might be something I've missed or overlooked, and that maybe, there's a significant life-changing perspective to discover somewhere amongst those feelings. I think emotions often express subconscious truths that we recognize exist, but which we aren't consciously aware of, or have never thought of. It's where ambition comes from, and it's where I get my passion. So on the very rare occaision that something someone says actually hurts my feelings a bit, I very quickly shift from "sensitive" to "objective" mode, in an effort to discover where that feeling is coming from. It might even be a somewhat subconscious defense mechanism, because the pre-frontal cortex has a bit of a stifling influence on the limbic system, so we can ease feelings of depression, anxiety, etc. by applying more analytical and objective reasoning.....

Wait. I'm getting sidetracked. Where was I? Oh.

No, wait - I had something to add to this.

As far as dominance is concerned...I don't see dominance as a person forcing themselves on another in some fashion. That to me is more akin to aggression or assertiveness. While I don't believe in the alpha male I do believe in dominant males, but the dominant males I've seen don't have to try to be dominant. It's a natural level of comfort and confidence that other people pick up on and orbit around.

The issue is that when two such males contradict one another, its perceived as more of a challenge or more of a threat...I think due to having respect for another, insofar as you perceive admirable qualities within them that you strive to embody yourself. When a person lacks the qualities you value in yourself, they can still be worthy of your respect in some ways, but the best they can achieve in other ways is neutrality. So if there are two men, and one values strength, and the other is weak, the strong man will feel that he has dominance. If there are two men and both value strength, and both are strong, then each will be driven to test the other's abilities in other aspects that they value....because if you encounter someone who possesses that which you value, but it ends up that they do it better than you do, then you might not be the person you thought you were, subjectively speaking. Perhaps you thought you were strong because you're able to lift 40 lbs dumbbells, but when someone else comes along and easily does 50, and you value strength as being intrinsic to your worth as a person, then you will, and should, feel as though you have a lot of work to do.

OH MY FUCKING GOD....I just realized I AM arrogant! Noooo. ;_; I try so hard!!

But if this philosophy is true, and I think that it is...then it means that I think I have values that I've realized better than other women.

And I think that's true. I definitely think that's true. ._. Oh no.
 

Inexorable Username

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And further to this...it likely means that I think I have values that I've realized better than some of the men I've encountered....

And that's definitely true as well.

I'm trying to think back now on the times people have acted as though they thought I was arrogant...or called me such. I think I've only been expressly called arrogant once, but other people have demonstrated behaviors that suggest they believe I am arrogant, or said things to suggest such. Few people are rude enough to just outright say that.

The first time, I was dealing with someone in a business sense, and they refused to acknowledge the rational arguments I was presenting. They ignored them entirely, in favor of their "gut instinct" - to my detriment. This was a person I trusted, and thought relatively highly of, and I lost my job as a result. Which frustrated me, because it seems distinctly unfair to lose your job for "no reason".

While this person didn't expressly call me arrogant, I later came to appreciate that when people absolutely, flatly refuse to debate/discuss with me, it's apparently likely because they believe I'm arrogant, stubborn, and aggressive. Ie: that I can't be made to see sense.

In this situation, I didn't value the person's decisions to use emotions over logic. It's not something I value in myself. It's not a reason I would use to act or think disrespectfully of another person, because other people have different values and I believe people should live in accordance to their own values. That is what is most important. So when others have different values, I don't see it as a sign that they don't deserve to be respected. But I consider this frame of mind to be "willful ignorance", and since it isn't something I value in myself, I don't know that I can necessarily relate to another person as my "true equal" (in a sense? I don't know how to phrase that), if they don't demonstrate fluency in that value...

How else can I phrase that so it makes more sense...

I guess I don't see that person as someone who can help me to grow, or someone who, together as a team, I can discover new information with. So because of that, the things they might feel very passionate about are not highly significant to me. If I saw the person as even better at not being willfully ignorant, then I would see them as someone who could teach me a thing or two.

So in that regard, people are right. If you want to oversimplify it - no, I don't really value your opinion. At least, not as much as you would like me to.

And that's arrogance. Isn't it?

I mean....I see everyone as an opportunity to learn. But I don't see everyone as a teacher. Many people, I see as having observational value, or anecdotal value. For instance, I like to ask my grandma about what times were like back in her day. Her opinions and the way she describes these memories helps me to understand the way her generation thinks and feels, which is of observational significance to me.

And I also think that, even children, can notice things about the world that other people have overlooked. It pretty much doesn't matter who you are or what walk of life you come from, you have information. It may be subjective, it may be objective...but your data is special.

But saying that now...I can see how objectified my own philosophy has become. I'm really considering this person's objective value. Not their subjective worth as a living, breathing, quite incredibly human being. Often times, I am probably even overlooking a lot of valuable qualities in a person that I could learn from, because I'm disqualifying them based on a cherry-picked piece of information that contradicts my personal definition of what it is to be the best human.

So I think we're getting to the heart of the matter here, maybe.
 

Inexorable Username

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Ironic.

The very thing that I've criticized in some modern men is something that I demonstrate on probably a regular basis.

Lack of applied empathy, devaluing the ability to relate to another, objectifying humans, and lack of respect for life, itself.

@Marbles you mentioned that it seems like I don't want to be dominant. And that's true, although, it's not something I bothered to stop to think about. When I was younger, I would have been proud to be dominant. Now, however, I think if I really look at the way I see dominance....I think I see it as ignorance. Delusion. A false sense of self-importance.

That's why I don't value dominance. Because it contradicts my desire to be as close to the truth as possible, and as unbiased as possible, and to really understand the bigger picture of life, and the world, in almost a "buddhist" fashion really. How we're all in this together, and we all affect one other, and the greatest state of human maturity is when independent people become co-dependant on one another (a Steven Covey philosophy I'm fond of).

Intellectually, I believe that. But instinctually, I don't think I practice that. I read about a philosophy in one of my buddhist books once, that if you don't practice a realization, you didn't actually learn it. Because when you truly believe in your realization, your behavior will change accordingly, and until you truly believe it, you have not learned the truth of it in its entirety. Something like that. Obviously, I'm paraphrasing. Uhm, poorly. Because I think paraphra...paraphrases (correct plural?) are supposed to be succinct. God what is wrong with me. Why can't I stop typing.

That's another issue. Failing to think before I speak. Another value I chronically abuse.



......
 

Inexorable Username

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You guys, this message probably sets a world record for how much a person should type when posting on a forum. So if you're tagged, I suggest you CTRL+F your name to avoid wasting your time.

I really wanted to answer everyone who was kind enough to provide me with input about this issue I've face. You were all incredibly helpful to me and I've made a massive amount of progress. There were also some beliefs I thought I would share...because I've been slowly revealing who I am as a person on this forum, and I'm enjoying that. A lot of times, you guys really seem to understand me in ways other people have not. I feel privileged to feel so accepted by this community, and I also feel excited about some of the conversations we might have regarding some of my unconventional, rarely voiced opinions and beliefs. I've made a lot of progress as a person here in a massively short amount of time, so I'm eager for that to continue.

That's why I've typed so much in this reply. Sorry to overload!
Pretty soon, I'm going to get a better handle on it. I might even do more infographics.

----------------------------------------------
Here starts the original message
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I'm addicted to this type as you think thing though. Because it feels like progress. Often times if I overthink it, I end up writing nothing at all.....

That's besides the point Inex. Return to the point. (okay)

Okay I think I'm going to respond to what people have said, even though I didn't set out to spend that much time on it. My brain is on this train track now and there's no stopping the train. (sigh)

Cognisant

Leadership does not equate to dominance, a leader inspires followers, dominance is the purview of the tyrant.
Intersting point. I generally tend to be the unwilling leader. It's sort of a strange contradiction I have. I don't like the spotlight, and I don't want it. Even when I was a kid, I never, ever wanted to be famous. Perhaps it's also why I don't necessarily care to be wealthy.
But somehow, I always end up taking leadership roles. Thinking about it now, I don't think it's that I want to...but it's like...the people around me are just too wishy-washy to do it and it makes me feel distinctly awkward that nobody is taking charge of the situation, so I feel like I have to.
But then again, in situations where I have been able to pass the gauntlet...thinking about it now, I haven't wanted to, because...wow this is going to sound so conceded...it's because I just don't trust other people to do what they have to do as well as I do it. -_- How awful is that? I even have this issue in a professional context. I don't like working in teams because my team mates don't put the effort in. When I hire people, I get frustrated with the lack of quality of their work. I get annoyed, too, when people won't take tactful criticism to heart and revise their behavior on subsequent attempts at the task.

All of this probably demonstrates arrogance.

But I don't think I'm rude. I think I probably used to be quite a bit ruder than I am today...but I know today, I make every effort not to be rude. Although, maybe I just can't see the rudeness in myself. That's a distinct possibility.

Can arrogance sometimes be a good thing? The very nature of the word, itself, is bad...but why? Why does our culture believe arrogance is bad? The only thing I can think of is that it would stem from the values outlined by Christianity, such as to be humble, and not to have pride.

My grandma made a good point on this front. She said that back in her day, people would say they are "pleased", not "proud". If your child does well, you are pleased with them, and they should be pleased with themselves.

I think, perhaps, that little bit of anecdotal wisdom hints at the origins of arrogance. I think it's somewhere in discovering the real difference between being pleased, and being proud. Being proud suggests a subjective hierarchical dominance in some sense. Being pleased is an objective emotion. Perhaps this is one reason why we have so many power struggles between the sexes in this day and age. My mother's opinion is that it is because people simply don't demonstrate the manners that used to be expected of us. In making minor changes like pleased > proud, perhaps that has affected the way we assess and value others.

men are goal oriented and take pride in their ability to do things, to be capable, to be useful,
I've heard that...as a distinction between men and women...but whoever made that distinction (and I think Jordan Peterson is guilty of it in part, potentially), I don't think really stopped to actually think about women. They just spoke on behalf of what drives men. (Jordan Peterson is definitely guilty of that...rarely stopping to think about the female aspect.)

I take a lot of pride in my ability to do things. It's what makes me good at my job. I love to be capable, and I see being useful as a responsibility. I think most women also share these feelings. The only thing that changes is the role of the person. If your role is a housewife and child-rearer, then you tend to take pride in your ability to cook, clean, and understand your children. Or, especially, women take pride in their ability to organize and maintain routines and schedules, or plan meals around the nutritional needs of their family. These women absolutely take pride in being "capable". They view themselves, often, as the only ones who are really capable of providing the home they provide. And when it comes to being useful, I think most women love to be useful. Its why women will often go out of their way to help their family members. In my grandma's day and age, women managed household finances as well.

I think sometimes we jump too quickly into assuming that men and women have something that distinguishes them from one another. I often find that a lot of these things we think of as a "man thing" or a "woman thing", are, quite frequently, a "both" thing. (Like being afraid of rejection, for instance.)

I believe a great deal of modern male neuroticism is due to men not being ordered about and praised by the people whose opinion matters most to them.
This was funny. But actually, I think you're 100% spot on. However, I think that the issue is that young males are not receiving this. Children, specifically. A lot of kids are growing up these days without the consistent application of their parent's values and beliefs. A lot of kids are growing up "by default". A lot of parents hire babysitters, for instance, or put their kids in daycare, and there, adults do what they can to make sure the kids don't kill each other, and they try to teach some generic principals of society, like "don't cheat on board games". It's not the same as having an intimate, deep, moral discussion with a parent.

A lot of our young boys, I think, are very confused as to what is the right way to view the world, and who they should be as people. Without a mother or a father to be the end-all be-all opinion of that, they're left having to choose between contradictory values in society, which leaves a person struggling to find themselves. When you're young, you can't really decide which value is more important, and the rationalities behind why a moral or a value makes sense...you need a parent to give you the fundamentals, so you have a strong structure to build on.

When it comes to women, and their children, I think that women these days are failing to have healthy, deep, meaningful relationships with their kids - but especially, their boys. Boys seem to require that relationship much moreso than girls do, because boys are pressured into repressing their empathy. Without a healthy relationship with the mother, I think many boys lose the ability to view women as people - that is, as being "just like them". It causes boys to misinterpret female behaviors, objectify female intent, analytically search for reasons as to why the sexes are "so different", and become more and more disassociated with females. In response, females feel attacked, belittled, unappreciated, misunderstood, and even somewhat threatened by males, and when they sense objectification, disassociation, or otherwise a lack of respect for their sex and for life itself (a consequence experienced by males that devolve in this way), they do not want to allow that male into their life. Which makes men feel confused, and frustrated, and which makes them return to the process of analyzing, objectifying, and generally misinterpreting the problem. It's a nasty cycle. It leads a man to the conclusion "You're too complicated to figure out. There's no answers at all. Life doesn't even make sense. I feel so frustrated."...and it also leads a male to the conclusion that something about his physical demeanor or appearance is the problem. Which, from what I can tell, is seldom the case - but because men value women based on physical qualities, they expect to be valued in this way, in return. And they will die trying to find science to prove it. (Sorry for the melodrama! That was overblown.)

A healthy relationship with a person's mother can make all of the difference here. When boys are young, they look to their mothers for information, and they believe her opinions and value her perspective. Once men get to a certain age, if they've come to the conclusion that women are manipulative and deluded, and slaves to their emotions, they will devalue the input women give that contradicts their worldview. They automatically assume the woman has an agenda regarding the sex power struggle, and that she is either being dishonest, or refusing to listen to science, or that she is deluded about her own gender. That's where the sheer lack of respect starts to come into play.

So yes, very long story short, I 100% agree with what you're saying.



Adaire


I suppose the closest thing regarding estrogen and personality... well it could cause mood swings if you have abnormal fluctuations or memory issues if too high.
I definitely had memory issues when I was younger. I wonder if that's why. I think, possibly, my testosterone has increased as I've aged, but it's really hard to say...

Women typically have the lowest levels of estrogen when breastfeeding if you're looking to make observations about how estrogen affects personality.
That's a great example. I know that testosterone-related behaviors tend to be less anxious/stressed, more confident, more secure, vaguely happier. Relaxed. That's why I don't think of aggressive men as having more testosterone...Aggressive men seem to have a lot of pent up energy, anxiety, and hostility. What I read about testosterone would suggest that a person with naturally high testosterone naturally has higher dopamine as well. So the more distressing emotions are probably more in the realm of estrogen. Unfortunately.

I guess that touches on the whole "alpha male" belief. Far too many people seem to believe that dominant, hotheaded, "bad boy", arrogant, aggressive, "rapey" sort of guys are somehow more "alpha". However, the men I've met that I would say have qualities of leadership or dominance are also the same men that never seem to feel the need to prove it. In fact, those men that I've met actually have more respect for women, and even some low-key level of fascination/admiration for the female sex. They enjoy women behavior, and being around women, and being flirtatious in a genuine way. They also seem way better at relating to women. Higher EQ, probably.

If you think of it, it makes sense. If a man has higher levels of dopamine, then he probably has a higher tendency to want to try to empathize with other people, because when we are happier we tend to be more understanding and laid-back. So if dopamine is correlative with high-testosterone, then it might actually be the more empathetic males that have higher levels of testosterone. Or more likely - more balanced levels of testosterone. With many biological systems, when something increases to a degree to which it is too high, it starts to display the same symptoms of being too low....So yeah. It could just be that the kind of "dominant, leader" males that people would call "alpha males", are just more hormonally balanced. Whereas males with high levels of testosterone may demonstrate behaviors that would be common in low-testosterone males...

What is your opinion on this? You seem to have done quite a lot of research.
If you're like me, then you've probably come across certain men that just exude a respect-worthy sense of self. Men that are very likable, intelligent, easy natured, and respectful of life and of women in particular. Or...maybe you haven't. Maybe that's just me.

It blows my goddamn mind that melatonin is an over the counter product in the US and that hormonal birth controls is treated as not a big deal, considering both can really wreck your shit.
Considering that they contaminate our water supply, too, which affects our children.


Scorpiomover


Apart from that, I don't really see a use for the term "dominance". The best type of conversations and relationships, are when both parties contribute what they are good at to increase the other, so that the whole is much better than the sum of the parts.
I think there's a use for the term "dominance". I definitely think that dominance is a real human behavior, and I think we're lying to ourselves when we try to pretend that it is not. Almost all mammals display dominance. It's insane to me to think that humans are any different.

But much as you indicated, human dominance is often expressed socially, I think. We have dominant groupings, dominant pairs...dominant political parties, or presidential regimes. There are many chief officers for one company, and as a group, they will almost always be more dominant than a single individual. So yeah, the epitome of human dominance would be when independent people with qualities of dominance or leadership join into a co-dependent grouping. That behavior is seen in chimpanzees, unless I'm much mistaken.

Dominance is just who calls the shots, I think. Who is the chief, and who is the Indian. Who leads and who follows. I think it's the nature of human ambition that we are driven to establish this kind of social hierarchy. It allows us to peacefully co-exist in situations where our diverse opinions may have lead to social unrest.

But generally, if people start saying that women aren't good, or are even bad, some of the time, a lot of feminist men and feminist women seem to start saying that's misogyny and an attempt to impose patriarchy on them.
I think that's an oversimplification based in frustration. It's not always the case, but it often seems to be the case to me that men get frustrated because they voice a controversial opinion about genders, and women get offended, but rather than explaining the validity behind why they are offended, they just say "Don't patronize me." or something to this effect.

It's really obnoxious when you offend someone but they won't tell you why it is that they're offended. The consequence is that men feel like they just can't say anything at all, because they don't understand the rationality behind what is offensive and what is not. There's "rules" - but they're invisible, and not discussed, and they appear to change constantly, which is enough to drive a person up the wall.

I can identify with almost everything that feminists are upset about. In most situations, I know exactly where they're coming from. I'd be a feminist myself, but modern feminism has reached a point where women are no longer satisfied to champion better treatment of women, and instead, are looking to be "repaid in kind". A lot of pretty toxic feminists beliefs seem to stem from a very deep since of anger and bitterness, and a desire for "justice" (or more accurately, for vengeance, because they apply these philosophies to people who did nothing to hurt them). The consequence of this corrosive behavior is that the children have to pay for it. Our little boys are being told, in some cases, that they should be ashamed that they are a boy. That boys are bad. That their feelings are bad. That it isn't okay to be themselves. Very few things bother me. That attitude makes me literally want to attack someone. Obviously, I won't. But that's how extreme my feelings can be regarding how our little boys are sometimes being treated by women who have developed a hatred for men, more or less. I try very hard to respect most people, but I find it extremely difficult to respect people who bully children or animals. It's sick.

Anyways....that's my relationship with feminism. That, and the fact that many of the things a small minority of women are advocating for are not changes the majority of women want to see. Or believe exist. It's fine if you want to advocate for something dumb like female urinals - but don't brand the rest of us with your twisted dogma. Don't call it "feminism" - it's not. Its your weird little personal power struggle with you gender-related issues. It's what's caused the feminist movement to become so ridiculous and disorganized. So many nasty little women who fancy themselves to be humans rights warriors, pressing some kind of absurd agenda, and calling it "feminism". What it does is undermine the feminist movement, and make it so that a woman can't voice real concerns regarding female rights without being leapt upon by a pack of aggressive, defensive men. Figuratively speaking, of course. There's even a small minority of nasty little men, patrolling the internet, waiting for the chance to find a feminist and be extremely rude and nasty to her for no real reason. Pathetic. Those men need to grow up. Bullying in adults is not attractive.

The other half is just "you go girl!", which is really what people are doing anyway when they are being dominant. So there's not really much that can be said there.
I think that's more of a submissive thing. Cheering someone on. Those are women who don't know how to "fight the food fight", so they just try to encourage other women who seem to be doing it, so they either don't have to, or won't lose.

So I think that it's probably more your personality type.
That would be a comforting thought.

You're assertive, and polite, and very respectful and considerate of men's feelings.
Aww, thank you! That's quite the compliment. I think you give me more credit than I deserve though.

So if you're butting heads with men, that's a good sign, as it means they respect you.
Hmmm...I don't think that's the case, because usually when I butt heads with men, they don't want to discuss my opinions. They would rather just say I'm stupid, I don't know what I'm talking about, or just that they don't want to discuss it (but I'm wrong anyways). If they respected me, they would want to discuss the talking points I bring up.

Very few men want to hear what I have to say, and a lot of times when they do, it makes them defensive and angry or bitter, and I can easily be branded as a feminist. You guys, here, are the exceptions. You actually listen to me.

when a woman is not being supportive, often it means the man has lost her respect.
Hmm...I think this is probably pretty true. But there's one thing I'd add...I think that respect for someone can come and go in waves. If your husband is being super lazy and won't take out the trash - you might feel a sense of disrespect for him, because you don't value laziness. However, when he sticks up for you when another man says disrespectful things, you might feel a wave of respect wash over you. Or when he admits to something that is deeply emotional. Again - respect. So its kind of circumstantial. I don't often see couples where a woman just completely has no respect for a man, regardless of circumstance. However, when I do, the man usually has this attitude of "women are impossible to please so why bother. Just let her words wash over you and pay them no mind. It's not like you're capable of listening to a woman anyways. She'll always win because she's illogical, because she's a woman." In which case - I think it's fairly evident that the lack of respect is mutual, and probably causative.

I'm generally extremely soft as a man. But when things get physically real, I tend to go "Alpha". Like, when guys have hit me in the past, I just laughed, or got annoyed that they broke my glasses but didn't care a jot that they punched me in the head. It's like my testosterone is through the roof, when it's a real situation. But when it's all imaginary like emotional criticism, then I go to pieces like I'm full of oestrogen.
I don't know what you mean by "soft", but as I was telling Adaire...the men I've known that other men consider to be "alphas" are not aggressive, agitated, forceful people. They actually seem to be pretty respectful and easy-going, and especially respectful of females in particular - in a genuine way. As in, they enjoy female company, and see females as people that are just like them.

But in at least one of those cases, the same man that demonstrated these qualities also responded to being hit in the face by laughing and belittling the event. And this guy would get the "crazy eyes" - like, sort of psychotic. Just completely devoid of fear and more...hmm...excited? Personally I can't identify with this too much. I don't know that I have that extreme of an adrenaline response.

It's true I never really saw a sensitive side in these men, either...but then again, I've only been intimate with three men that are like this, and one of them I don't count, because I think he was legitimately a sociopath. Which disqualifies him as a measure of generalized male behavior. So...it's very likely that these males just repress their feelings. One of them would definitely cry sometimes about a really traumatic past, but only if he was blackout drunk. Which suggests to me that these males have all of the same emotions, but that they are deeply, deeply buried.

I'd suspect you believe in equal pay and all.
Nope. I've not seen evidence to really indicate that women are paid unfairly simply due to their gender. Women are less assertive about negotiating working contracts, I would think. And depending on which stats you're looking at, women also have work absences relating to pregnancy, childbirth, child care and similar. So that influences the numbers. When someone presents me with a solid case regarding the gender pay gap, I'll reassess my opinion, but it isn't something I've spent time researching because I don't believe it actually exists. Mostly because of how many timid women I've known, and my own professional experiences...it doesn't matter if you're a male or a female, if you're excessively meek, you're likely to be taken advantage of by business people. Most business people are quite lacking in the ethics department.

"all men are rapists"
Definitely don't believe that. So you're right there. The fundamental philosophy of rape is irrational to me. I know the argument that rape is supposed to be "natural" sort of, and I'm aware of the argument that women fantasize about rape - (this is often true, actually). But I don't think that rape is natural, or rational from the standpoint of evolution. When it comes to passing on genes, you're not only passing on socially destructive genes that correlate with anger, frustration, and bullying behavior, but you're removing the female's role to "choose the most fit mate". So it doesn't make sense that rape is an evolutionarily rational action. Even Nietzche, with his "will to power", believed that insufficient humans will respond to a "lack of the right to breed" sort of a thing. Which, if I remember correctly, according to Nietzche, stifles a person's sex drive. (I think he was actually potentially right about that one...)

Women do fantasize about rape. But I think the reasons for that are misconstrued, because while many women enjoy being consensually dominated in the bedroom, women, obviously, don't enjoy rape. There are several reasons, in my opinion, as to why women (and some men of course), fantasize about being dominated and raped, even though they do not want that to happen to them in real life. Firstly, it's taboo, and things that are naughty are often sexy - there's a link between defying societal expectations, or rules, or laws, and feeling particularly animalistic, true-to-onesself, and free of social constructs. That's that sense of "badness" that can make things sexy. Secondly, people (especially many women, from what I've been able to gather), have a habit of fantasizing about horrific scenarios, often in a way which soothes or helps a person to come to terms with a possible event. We need to process these things in our mind and understand how we would feel, and what we might do, to not only appreciate the danger in a valuable, instinctual, subconscious fashion, but also to be able to cope with that understanding of danger, so our minds do not go out of control and turn a fear into a phobia, or anxiety. Another reason is that many women have very poor self-esteems, and the thought that a person may want you so much as to lose control over themselves would be a boost to a person's ego, but because they have a very poor level of self-worth, many of these women may also feel like they deserve to be attacked. It's self-destructive fantasizing. The last reason I can think of off the top of my head is that many, many women have been raped. Or molested - but often straight up raped. I think it's far more common than most people realize. And it's been psychologically documented that being raped or molested confuses a person sexually, especially if they were attacked when they were young, as most women are, I believe.

The point is, though, when you look at how rape affects a person psychologically, affects their sense of self-worth, affects their ability to thrive, and even to parent efficiently, and how victims display symptoms of trauma...its pretty unrealistic to go on believing that rape is a natural, healthy, instinctual sort of a thing. The information available just does not indicate that.

No....I think that men who rape do so out of very deep issues of self-worth, and a feeling of being emasculated by adults, but particularly, by women. I think that's why so many male rapists were abused as children. Psychologically, these male children seem to develop a definition of power in their mind, and they define power as being something you earn by taking by force. When these males feel bossed around, or bullied, or marginalized, or mistreated or forgotten by society, anger manifests, and in search for a victim, the male blames the female sex, because (A) The female opinion is a large portion of how he defines his opinion of himself, and (B) Because the body often responds to certain extreme emotions with arousal, and females are the ones that heterosexual males mate with. So between desperately wanting approval, power, and respect, and the confusing sensation of horniess, men can be led to desires to rape.

I don't think all male rapists were abused as children....but those who weren't appear to have been neglected. I think the instances where rape comes from a normal, healthy, well-adjusted male, are rare.

Anyways, this psychology is pretty easy to study. Aside from actual studies and psychology texts...you can just go to 4chan, and read what men say regarding raping women. Almost all of it is angry - but particularly angry regarding the way women judge and value things.

** As an aside. That applies to rape in the US, and particularly, to raping women who are awake and resisting. In some countries, there are uneducated boys in poor areas that don't really understand the consequences of rape and see an unconscious woman as a free dinner. **

"women do twice as much work as men for half the credit"
I actually believe that one XD....I'm sorry.
It just seems fairly evident to me based on most marriages I look at. At least when the family has kids. Women seem to be on the clock 24/7, and many women also work. Men, and husbands, seem to spend a lot more time relaxing. This is also evidenced by my marketing research, because men make up a majority of the populous that uses the internet and play video games.

Way, way back in the day, this attitude made some sense because men did very physically demanding labor, like constructing buildings by hand, and when a person works that hard, more physical respite is a necessity. Today, even construction work is far less demanding than it used to be, and most jobs don't require much physical exertion, but the behavioral pattern between men and women remains...and its something that many women encourage by coddling and being subservient to their mates - which their boy children then pick up on, and go on to believe is the right way to live.

But this is mostly referring to the US. I think that in other countries, many men come home from work and proceed to then do chores and help with the kids. Those men share the burdens of familyhood fairly with their partners.

"women need men like a fish needs a bicycle"
Well I think that's a weird way of putting it...but actually, I really don't think women need men. Again, I'm sorry about that. From what I hear from what people have told me, and from some more recent studies on the subject, it appears that women are actually much happier being single.

It makes sense if you couple this with the amount of work most women have to put in to family life. To include the whole "subservient" thing. Not only that, but society has a set of pretty unfair, unrealistic expectations for women...and yeah, there doesn't often seem to be much appreciation - or even much respect. Respect is a biggie. The role of housewife just isn't respected much anymore, by men and women both. And if a woman's only value lies in her beauty, then she's only valuable for a very short period of time. (About age 16 - age 27). Meanwhile, males pursue careers, which causes their value to grow over time. So many women, I think, feel much more valuable when they have professional experience to fall back on. Otherwise, all you get to do is feel belittled by being reduced to a person who is only good for cleaning dishes and whelping kids, while you stare in the mirror watching your looks fade away, wondering if your husband still finds you attractive. It's kind of sad.

Way, way back in the day, when rape, violence, etc. were more common - yes, women needed men for protection. Most of those women also weren't educated that well, or not in the right ways, to be able to cut it in the real world without the male's guidance.

These days, though, we're more civilized and, more importantly, we have guns, and similar. That tends to even the odds for women from a physical standpoint. Aside from that role, there just really isn't much that men can give women that a woman can't get for herself.

Kids. The role of a father. A spouse to help with the burden of a family. While its possible for a woman to do these things on her own, and many, many women do, it's not worth the cost to her physically and psychologically - in my opinion. It's too rough. At least with younger children, and considering the fact that people live very isolated lives these days whereby family members and relatives don't contribute to child rearing.

That's about it, as far as I can think of. I haven't heard any women voice to me yet that they require a man in their life to fulfill them sexually, for instance. Women seem to be more burdened by that then anything, as a whole...I don't think married people or people with long-term relationships generally feel much sexual fulfillment on either side of the gender line...but I think, in general, males tend to feel that they need sexual fulfillment more if they're to be happy people.

All that being said, I know that women want men, even if they don't need them. There's a special quality to the male gender, something women fantasize about when they imagine their perfect reality. Feeling valued, loved, protected, cherished. The feeling like someone really understands you, accepts you for your faults, admires your good qualities, and believes that you are unique, and special. Male love is a very idolizing sort of thing, and I think when it's genuine, it can be one of the most, if not the most empowering experience a woman will ever know. To feel that she, alone, is the only one for this male, and that this person she admires and respects - he chose her.

The male mindset also, I think, can help a woman to be stronger, more balanced, healthier, and less stressed....

But that's the ideal, and the romanticized philosophy of what men could be. In our society, that doesn't seem to be the manifestation of what actually happens. Partners sort of end up low-key hating each other, disrespecting each other, and causing each other more grief and stress than if the person was single. It's enough that Jordan Peterson's philosophy on this is that its our job as a couple to make each other uncomfortable and make each other feel like we need to better ourselves.

That kind of constant disapproval wears a person down, and when you couple that with the massive amount of work that is expected out of the modern woman, and the large amount of social scrutiny she faces regardless of how well she does - well its exhausting.

I think it's exhausting for men, as well. If for no other reason, then because they are the receivers of many women's frustrations, resentments, and their stress and fatigue, but many men are so empathetically challenged these days, they don't really know how to help. When you can't help someone you love, who is depressed, it really takes a toll on you. I think a lot of husbands just give up in the end, because nothing they do or say seems to fix it.

I've seen women being more dominating. I knew couples in my youth, when it was clear the woman bossed around everyone in the family, and the man just kept quiet for an easy life.
I mean, in most marriages that don't end in divorce, from what I've observed, the female is dominant. And she orders the male around. It not necessarily a bad thing, though. Women tend to have a better sense of ritual, organization, and (I think) management, tbh. Women focus on a lot of detailed things, whereas men often don't notice minor details, and when it comes to managing a house and a family, the devil is in the details. So it seems to be the controlling, bossy sort of women that seem to have the highest rates of marital success.

That's another reason why I don't really want to get married. That's not me. I don't like to be bossy, but I think being "submissive" - or more peaceable, helpful, etc - its not necessarily a great thing in long relationships, because at the end of the day, men are apt to be more resilient to criticism, and also less apt to being compassionate for another person's struggles...so if there's going to be a person that is the bosser and a person that is the bossee, it makes more sense for woman to boss.


The Grey Man


If you know what you want, when you want it, and aren't afraid to tell people about it, you'll inevitably be perceived as aggressive
You're definitely right about that. I agree.



Redbaron

there's so many different contexts where power dynamics apply that it doesn't seem pertinent to apply a uniform label or to try and figure out 'dominance' based on hormones
Based on hormones - maybe not. But I think that exploring the concept of dominance is relevant to analyzing human interactions.

willingness to compromise
This is something I definitely don't have XD....
I'm pretty firm about my beliefs, until someone gives me a good reason not to be. I'm not the kind of person though who will pretend to believe in something just for the sake of making the other person feel validated. I don't like to lie about what I believe.

This was an issue for me when I was younger and identified as an atheist. People would ask me "Can you prove that god DOESN'T exist?", to which, obviously, I would answer "no."....But then they would say "Well that makes you agnostic".
Still no...not to me. Because being unable to prove that god doesn't exist does not mean that I have any belief, whatsoever, that he does. Sure, its perfectly possible that I might be wrong, but I'm not going to pretend that possibility influences my beliefs...because my beliefs are something I don't consciously control. I influence them with thoughts, but at the core, I know what I believe and what I don't. And unless someone gives me rational reasons that make me subconsciously feel that a belief is wrong, because I feel like it no longer makes sense - well then whether or not I believe something - it's out of my hands. And to me, believing in god is absolutely, fundamentally based on the existence of faith. If there is no faith, whatsoever, there is no belief in god, and that is atheism.

However, later on in my life I have become more spiritual because I've come across data that indicates that there is...something. I still don't believe that there is a guy sitting in a chair staring at me (if he is, I bet he's an INTP), but I can comfortably now say that I identify as agnostic.

So I guess that just goes to demonstrate that I'm not very willing to compromise. It took me...hmm....maybe 22 years to become agnostic. XD....So yeah. 22 years of being extremely stubborn about my beliefs and refusing to change them. And to be brutally honest about it, I didn't even question them probably until about the last 2-3 years. I'm not always the person I wish I was.
 

Elen

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Okay, but why does the male/female dominant/submissive dynamic have to black and white? Talking about personal relationships like marriage why must one be more dominant than the other? I think we have a false dichotomy here.

In platonic friendships is one person more dominant? Does one have to be the submissive one?
 

The Grey Man

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human dominance is often expressed socially, I think. We have dominant groupings, dominant pairs...dominant political parties, or presidential regimes. There are many chief officers for one company, and as a group, they will almost always be more dominant than a single individual. So yeah, the epitome of human dominance would be when independent people with qualities of dominance or leadership join into a co-dependent grouping. That behavior is seen in chimpanzees, unless I'm much mistaken.
The dominance of human regimes and chieftains is nothing if they can't discipline their subordinates when they get out of line, and thus deter delinquency. For example, nation-states check each other with military power, and militaries check themselves with chains of command enforced by military justice systems. This is why I associate dominance with, if not actual violence, at least the potential to do violence in service to one's interests.
 

redbaron

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i don't think many relationships (platonic or romantic) follow a true dominant/submissive divide. few people are so linear and simplistic as to fall squarely into one category, though sure, those people do exist.

@Inexorable Username if you're interested in reading about social dynamics pick up a copy of something written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
 

Inexorable Username

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Okay, but why does the male/female dominant/submissive dynamic have to black and white? Talking about personal relationships like marriage why must one be more dominant than the other? I think we have a false dichotomy here.

In platonic friendships is one person more dominant? Does one have to be the submissive one?
I don't think that it does have to be black and white. I think it tends to end up that way though when it comes to marriage with children, because of the nature of the things that need to get done. It's really just an expression, in that context, I think, of who is in charge of what. When a person takes on the role of child-rearing and home management, there's a lot of micro responsibilities they have to manage.

If you think about it, in the traditional nuclear family, where one person is the breadwinner and the other the home-maker, it actually makes perfect sense that the homemaker would play a more authoritative role regarding the house and kids. Because how is the breadwinner supposed to know what needs to be done when they have been working all day? It isn't their responsibility to keep track of, for instance, whether or not there's milk in the fridge. It would be the homemaker's job to ask the breadwinner to pick up milk on the way home.

Most people don't take their work home with them. However, the person who raises the kids and cleans the house never clocks out. That person also has a wide diversity of issues to address, generally speaking. Children, food, house cleaning, scheduling, discipline, being aware of things that need to be fixed, or new rules or boundaries that must be established, what is going on with the Children's school work, etc.

So the scenario ends up being the the breadwinner comes home from work with a "to do list" of maybe 5 items, while the homemaker may have a to-do list of 10 or 20, and one person is off work, while the other is still working. In that situation, which I think is fairly typical, its natural that the homemaker would have various instructions/tasks to relay to the breadwinner to help mitigate the workload and prevent it from snowballing on subsequent days.

So one person ends up "bossy", and I think that tends to be the person that has the greatest number, and greatest diversity of responsibilities.

I don't think it has to be that way, but I think it would be really difficult for it to not end up that way. My understanding, based on the little interaction I've had with gay couples, is that such a role situation is also typically expressed in same sex marriages or relationships where the partners share living space. So I don't think it's a gender thing. Just a responsibility thing, really.

Plus...from what I've seen of couples, people tend to not have the same levels of energy or anxiousness about duty. In general, what I've observed is that one person tends to be calmer and more laid back....

As far as friends go...I don't think it's really all that common for one friend to be "dominant". At least, that's not what I've seen. I've seen a few guys that seemed to have "dominance" in their way...and they're not very common. So, no, I don't think that everyone has to fall into a hierarchy all the time. I also think that, usually, when they do, it probably has little to do with any kind of "dominance" and more to do with the fact that one person just cares a little more, is a little more outspoken, or whatever - so they tend to voice their opinions more than the other person.

I think when a person has these kinds of qualities that society tends to associate with dominance - what makes that personality trait somewhat unique is the way other people behave around that person. I think other people tend to act differently towards that person, and not necessarily as much like themselves. If that makes any sense.
 

Inexorable Username

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i don't think many relationships (platonic or romantic) follow a true dominant/submissive divide. few people are so linear and simplistic as to fall squarely into one category, though sure, those people do exist.

@Inexorable Username if you're interested in reading about social dynamics pick up a copy of something written by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Thanks! I will put him on my list.

I'm not sure what you would define as a "true divide". I think it would be hard to analyze what such a thing would be, because...at least to me, this idea of dominance seems to be highly subjective and variable. I don't really understand it that well myself because I don't spend much time considering it - but I believe it does exist.

I definitely think it would be very similar to qualities of leadership, but I think maybe the "dominant" kind of person is perhaps the kind of person who might not want a leadership role, or ask for one, but they're expected to adopt them anyways, and other people will often just wait around until that happens, because they sense that this person is somehow different. An alien. And they treat them differently because they pick up on that vibe.

These are really just musings...I need to put more thought, and maybe a bit of research into it. Dominance might not even be the correct word. Maybe it IS just leadership. I'm not sure.
 

Inexorable Username

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human dominance is often expressed socially, I think. We have dominant groupings, dominant pairs...dominant political parties, or presidential regimes. There are many chief officers for one company, and as a group, they will almost always be more dominant than a single individual. So yeah, the epitome of human dominance would be when independent people with qualities of dominance or leadership join into a co-dependent grouping. That behavior is seen in chimpanzees, unless I'm much mistaken.
The dominance of human regimes and chieftains is nothing if they can't discipline their subordinates when they get out of line, and thus deter delinquency. For example, nation-states check each other with military power, and militaries check themselves with chains of command enforced by military justice systems. This is why I associate dominance with, if not actual violence, at least the potential to do violence in service to one's interests.
I don't think we're talking about the same thing. I think you're talking more about objective dominance, rather than subjective dominance. Dominance imposed by social structures, rather than a personality trait of dominance that other people read and react to. I think the military is a pretty extreme example of that too. Few social structures are as violent as the military. Maybe prison.

I don't think that's how "dominant" people generally get their way, either. Being forceful, or aggressive, that is. That's not how respect works. Well...not unless your life is on the line, as it is with something like the military, or prison.

Respect comes down to trust. Trust is the difference between respect and fear. When you trust that police officers have your welfare at heart, and you're not made to fear them, then you respect them. However, if you fear that police might be brutal, you don't respect them. You might fear them. But behind their back you call them pigs and laugh.

Or, for instance...when you're training a dog. You can beat the dog to instill discipline, or you can work with the dog to establish mutual communication and trust. A beaten dog might fear its owner, but in many cases, the respect isn't there. From what I understand of animal psychology, animals don't tend to respect or trust a person who is volatile, unpredictable, aggressive, or otherwise unhinged.

Aggression...it's not as natural as people think, in my opinion. Humans are exceptionally aggressive mammals. Aggression doesn't make much sense in the animal kingdom. Being able to demonstrate that you have the capacity to be aggressive does, and in certain situations, as when rams are rutting, aggression comes into play to a certain degree...but even then, it's still pretty well controlled. Animals don't generally want to give, or sustain, potentially life-threatening wounds. Not unless they absolutely have to.

When I researched primates though, I did feel like they can demonstrate an almost unnatural degree of mammalian aggression. Baboons, for instance. I think chimpanzees as well....not bonobos as much, I think, because if I remember correctly, they have more matriarchal structures.

I think we're evolving to become less aggressive though. We certainly seem to be less aggressive than our ancestors. That would be another indication that this concept of the "alpha male", and how this man is the ideal mate that all women want to be with, even if it means cheating on their husbands to do so - is possible inaccurate. If that were the case, then the "alpha male" should be more apparent in society, something that should have been slowly realizing in our species over time - as evolutions will. From the history I've read, which admittedly isn't very much (and it's spotty), I would say that the opposite seems to be true.

If the concept of evolution via sexual selection is accurate, that would suggest that it is actually a stronger evolutionary adaptation to be a less aggressive, more passive male.
 
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