In my opinion (granted I’m merely a layman) one of the most important studies performed in terms of explaining societal interaction is this one. You can get the full report (pdf) here. It is called “Gender Differences in Automatic In-Group Bais: Why Do Women Like Women More than Men Like Men?” by Laurie Rudman and Stephanie Goodwin. Unfortunately, I believe its authors (and most of academia) have drawn the wrong conclusions from it.
I think their error was one of starting position. In the first few paragraphs they reveal the ideological lens through which they will interpret their findings.
Around the world and throughout history, men have enjoyed higher status than women.
Later on in the opening :
In short men are culturally valued more than women.
It is for this reason, in my opinion, that they then misinterpret the results of their experiments. The authors lay the groundwork for realizing the truth but ultimately explain it away as an anomalous deviation from the expected.
Indeed, considerable evidence suggests that people who belong to the most socially valued groups strongly and automatically favor their own group.
The authors then go on to briefly summarize several other in-group bias experiments that provide evidence for the above quote. The authors then (again this is only my opinion folks) proceed to ignore this correlation.
However, gender groups are a proven exception to this rule,
because men are less likely than women to show automatic in-group bias (i.e., own gender preference).
A proven exception? Unfortunately, the authors do not actually substantiate that bold assertion in the text. Indeed, they describe this “exception” as mysterious.
These findings add mystery to the phenomenon of men’s weaker in-group bias.
I argue that they do not add mystery. In fact they make perfect sense if one looks at the results through the lens of male disposability.
Women are inherently valuable in a society due to the biological facts of human reproduction. Women are the ones who create human life inside their bodies and thus are tied to the survival of the species. Having only a few men available hardly impacts species survivability at all since relatively few men can supply enough sperm to keep the population thriving. A group that has relatively few women, however, can die out much more easily.
These biologically evolved biases, I argue, give rise to virtually every social convention throughout history. Many much more eloquent people have written and spoken on these conventions and the mechanisms by which they arose than I could do here. One such speaker and writer is Karen Straughan. I’m sure most of readers are aware of her, but one you may not be aware of is Paula Wright. Paula is interested in what she calls “Darwinian Gender Studies“, an evidence based examination of the gender dynamic in human societies.
Paula deviates from modern academic feminist thought in that she bases her conclusions on the data and embraces the science of evolutionary psychology. Modern feminist thought is all predicated on the dogmatic (and evidence denying) Patriarchy theory ( or the “New Coke” called “kyriarchy” or “intersectionality”), and as such is unable or unwilling to incorporate actual scientific evidence which conflicts with their paradigm.
In my opinion, Ms Wright and her ideas should be supported by all people who advocate for true gender equality. Only through incorporating all of the evidence can we truly begin to understand the ways in which the sex differences affect society. Only through understanding can we make strides to improve that society.