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Women are always going to have a physiological disadvantage in they they have children. This is often seen as limiting, because if you hire a woman with no children there is always the possibility that she will get pregnant and have them. If the woman already has children, they might be a distraction. When will we get past this? I don't know. Personally, there are times when I wish I did not have some womanly features. In some ways, men have it easier.
You have asked a very dangerous question, and the reason why it is so dangerous is that the study of sociology will argue that actually many of the perceived essential differences between the genders are not actually real, but have been socially constructed by society based on the idea of what women and men should and shouldn't do. Sociologists look at different societies and the different ways that gender is acted out there to argue that our conception of gender differences is actually not based on reality. Therefore it is very difficult to answer your question.
I believe that there are some inherent differences, such as structures in the brain and chemical/hormonal balances and releases, but overall, I believe that any major gaps we may have seen in regards to the widely accepted beliefs that men are better in Math/Science/Logic and women are better in regards to Language is mostly cultural and based on the individual's characteristics, not necessarily their gender.
(Traditional) boys toys are different and require them to construct things and take things apart. This improves their spatial reasoning. Girls' traditional toys are geared towards nurturing and communication.
Also, if we are to really look at some of the latest statistics regarding women and science, we would see that there has been a huge increase of women in fields (medical doctors, Pharmacy, Optometry) that were once completely dominated by men.
I also think men are capable of being equally nurturing. I do believe that if the mother is strongly present in the child's life, that she will in many cases end up being the primary caregiver and nurturer. For me it's by choice. Though I am married and my husband is strongly involved, I still choose to do the extras and handle the intricate details for our child.
But if a man happens to become a single father, he can be as equally nurturing and handle the extra parenting details just as well. And sad to say, there are many women who are not into the mother-role at all.
Boys and girls are treated differently from the moment the ultrasound reveals the gender, so I think the different treatment is the major cause of the majority of the differences between women and men begin.
One of the things I see as different between men and women is the difference between girls and boys at certain ages. As my students come from middle school, the girls are generally far more capable writers but are also far more concrete and less interested/capable of working in the abstract.
This changes to some extent but the boys appear to develop (generally speaking) more of an ability to get past the literal to the figurative particularly when it comes to non-fiction and rhetorical analysis.
Every stereotype can and will be proved wrong with exceptions to the rule...there are physically weak men just as there are women who body build and have amazing physical strength. There are some women who are very strong emotionally and spiritually, and just as many who are emotionally unstable and lost.
For the most part, women are considered skilled in language and communication...verbal, nonverbal, tone of voice, etc.
Men are more lauded for their logical and mathematical skills.
However, having said that, there are many men who are very skilled in oral and non-verbal communications, just as there are women who are great at math and figuring out abstract concepts.
Strength is not defined according to gender, but it is a stereotype. Men are presumed to have a great physical strength, and women are considered to be more emotionally strong. These might prove true in some cases, but it is not true in all cases. Nor should the genders be judged if they show strengths in non-stereotyped was.
Are you asking us what women and men (respectively) are good at and bad at? If so, it is my opinion that the differences that we see between what men and women are good at are generally caused by culture. In other words, I do not believe that there are inherent differences in what men and women are good at or bad at.
Of course, there are exceptions. Women will, for example, never be as good at men, on average, in tasks that require physical strength. This difference between the sexes is not debateable.
However, I believe that the other differences we see in terms of aptitude are cultural. There is no reason that makes sense to me that would explain why women cannot be as good as men at math or science. There is no reason that I can see that men cannot be as good at child-rearing (though I may be biased on this because I am the primary care giver in my family). Therefore, I do not believe that men are naturally good at math and women are bad or that women are naturally better at nurturing their children and men are inherently worse.
I believe that most of the sex differences we see are based on culture, not on nature.
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