“The researchers concluded that it came down to confidence, which testosterone has previously been shown to increase. “If you’re more confident, you’ll feel like you’re right and will not have enough self-doubt to correct mistakes,” Camerer says.”

“Why patriarchy and not some other word? Because, at least in the European historical lineage, which later affected many other cultures through colonial contact, the shift to separation and control coincided with making paternity central.”

Patriarchy is a social system based in a dominance hierarchy. It is a particular type of society — one that is only about 6 -10 thousand years old. For 97% of the time we’ve had human societies, we had a large degree of gender equality and cooperation. Society was very different than it is now.

These are the rules and properties of the patriarchy:

Might makes right and those who are strong control those who are weaker.

Men hold the bulk of both political and economic power as well as moral authority in society.

Traits that are considered masculine like control, competitiveness, and stoicism are more desirable for everyone than traits that are considered feminine like empathy, nurturance, and cooperation.

Little boys must be tough and action-oriented; little girls must be pretty and docile.

Boys and men must never embody anything remotely feminine because anything feminine is deemed as less-than.

“The core cultural ideas about what is good, desirable, preferable or normal are associated with how we think about men and masculinity.”

In a pyramid-shaped hierarchy, you must constantly dominate or risk being dominated. If you don’t win, you lose.

The rules are enforced through creating fear, the threat of pain, coercion and the ostracization of those who will not comply.

Patriarchy is generally not an explicit ongoing effort by men to dominate women. It is a long-standing system that we are born into and participate in, mostly unconsciously.

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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