Yin and yang, masculine and feminine…the age old battle of the sexes. Stereotypes say that men are more dominating, vigilant and stable, while women are more sensitive, warmer and empathetic. In biological terms, men and women have different body structures, biological responses and sexual systems. So which sex is superior, men or women?
Some think that the clash between men and women was finally settled on a tennis court on September 20, 1973 in Houston, Texas. That was the year of the Battle of the Sexes, when tennis professional Bobby Riggs challenged top female players, most notably Billie Jean King, to a tennis match to settle the question. In spite of the fact that men are seen as having superior physical strength, Riggs lost to Billie Jean King. She started out strong and proceeded to win every game, and ultimately, the entire match. That year, there was no question that women were superior to men on the tennis court. Some think that women are unquestionably superior in other areas, too.
The Miracle of Birth
One of the most obvious differences between men and women is that women can give birth to the next generation. Of course, the man does his part, but the baby grows within the body of the mother. The baby and the mother form a profound bond, even before the baby is born. It has long been known that the mother passes nutrients and immunities to the baby, but a recent study suggests that cells of the mother may migrate to the fetus, and vice versa. In other words, cells from the developing baby enter the mother’s bloodstream through the placenta. This amazing connection is unique to the mother/child relationship.
No Pain, No Gain
In a related issue, many believe that to withstand childbirth women are endowed with a higher tolerance for pain than men. There are studies that show that women have evolved to experience pain differently from men, and even feel a higher degree of pain in similar circumstances, but they are better able to deal with the pain. Of course, since pain is subjective, it is difficult to measure in a scientific experiment. In addition, men may have been brought up to be “macho” and deny having any pain even when they do experience it. On the other hand, ask any woman about a man’s ability to cope with pain, and you will probably hear about how much of a baby he is.
Surviving on Less
Women, as a whole, can survive longer than men without food. That is because women typically have more body fat than men do and less muscle mass. This situation gives females a double advantage. They have the metabolic benefit of stored calories in the form of fatty tissue, and they have the advantage because fatty tissue requires fewer calories in the diet than muscle. You can also say that women are “greener” than men because they use fewer natural resources in order to survive. They need less air, water and food than their male counterparts.
Statistically, women live longer than men. By the age of 85 there are approximately only four men to every six women, and by the age of 100 there are two women for every man. The facts are undeniable. The question is, why? The answer may be a combination of lifestyle choices and biology. Males have a significantly higher death rate from the mid teenage years until the mid twenties, when they engage in reckless and violent behavior that can make them the victim of accidents, homicide and drowning. However, there are other reasons. Women typically eat healthier diets including fruits and vegetables, while some men prefer a meat and potatoes diet. Women also tend to take better care of themselves by getting screened for illness regularly for early detection, and they seek appropriate care if they do get sick. There is also some evidence that a male’s immune system tends to break down more quickly than a woman’s.
Many feel that women are poised to take over leadership roles in the workplace because of their superior social skills and emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence includes an array of attributes from self-mastery to interpersonal abilities. Women score extremely high in empathy, the ability to understand other people’s feelings and identify with their difficulties. On the other hand, women tend to have less self-confidence than men. They are typically less violent and aggressive, and commit fewer crimes. Females are also safer drivers by adhering to traffic laws more often and driving closer to the speed limit. The result is that women are less likely to be involved in risky driving, and they are involved with fewer fatal crashes worldwide.
The Genetic Advantage
Being endowed with not one, but two X chromosomes gives women a greater health advantage over her male counterpart. Women are less likely to fall subject to diseases that are linked to the X chromosome, such as color blindness, hemophilia and muscular dystrophy. This is because women have two X chromosomes, one from her mother and one from her father, and the healthy X chromosome can override a disease in the unhealthy chromosome.
The Debate Rages On
While women may be superior in certain areas, there are other areas where men have advantages over women. Males typically have more physical strength than women, and they can have children later on in life. When it comes to leadership, males are often superior in staying focused and motivated. Men tend to take more risks than women, and they are often better at spacial relationships. Keep in mind that every individual is different, and women can surpass males in some instances. Science is constantly coming up with studies to explain why men and women are different and predict their behavior. The bottom line is that men and women are different, but the energy of both yin and yang complement each other.