In a short paper on nature vs nurture, what is a good way to react to the excerpt below?
Expectation-states theory does not
provide a complete explanation of status
ranking. In particular, it does not handle
resource control and exchange processes
extant in social systems. Yet, resource
control does seem to influence status
ranking, and the socially assigned resource
difference between males and
females has been identified as a situational,
intervening variable between
biological sex and sex-status ranking
(Collins, 1971; Gillespie, 1971; Rodman,
1972). Requirements of the research setting
forced the random assignment of resources
to subjects. Thus, the assumption
that males and females differ in socially
determined resource control cannot be
tested in this model. Nevertheless, resource
control differences were extant in
the research setting, though not sexrelated,
and their direct and indirect
(through participation-performance) contributionswere hypothesized and assessed
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It will be somewhat difficult to react to this particular excerpt because it is the beginning of a description of research. It does not really say anything about what the research found. This makes it harder to have a response that would be helpful to you in a paper about nature versus nurture.
The first part of this excerpt is telling us about the author’s view of expectation states theory. He is critiquing this theory because it does not account for who controls the resources in a given society. He says that men seem to control more of the resources and that that control of resources helps to create the situation in which women are ascribed a lower status than men.
It appears that the author is then moving on to a description of his own research on the subject. In his research, he randomly gave various amounts of resources to various subjects. In other words, he did not give men more resources than women. Therefore, he could not test whether society gives men more resources than women. He does not tell us what his study actually finds.
Because no findings are discussed, it is hard to react to this excerpt on its own. You could try to react to the idea that society gives men more resources than women. You could try to identify resources that you believe are made available to men and not to women simply because of their sex. If there are such resources, their existence would help to show that differences in outcomes and behaviors between men and women are more a result of nurture than of nature.
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