Thursday, June 10, 2010

How it works: The Social Processor. Part 1.

As mentioned before, the social considerations of a woman's thinking are weighted to a far greater degree in her overall cognitive processing than in a man. Woman are genetically wired to be "other focused" and constantly evaluate their actions with the consideration of others and exeternalities in mind. They do this in a way that men just don't. It needs to be understood that this is not a choice a woman makes rather it happens naturally. This does not mean however that women are incapable of being self absorbed, rather female selfishness is the selfishness of competition; male selfishness, the selfishness of neglect.

The effect of this greater weighting of externalities on woman thinking is that externalities exert a powerful effect on a woman's mood. Now, it's a well known fact that women suffer from higher degrees of anxiety than men, and in her natural resting state, the average woman is intrinsically more anxious than a man. Women, just like men, wish to avoid the unpleasant sensation of anxiety and will try to engage in behaviours which limit it. One of the strategies employed is seeking safety in numbers: women endeavor to be part of the group. This does not mean that a woman can't think logically, it's just that an independent logical conclusion won't "feel" as right as group consensus. Women seek consensus out of a desire to avoid internal stress and being out on limb is more stressful for a woman than for a man. (Some women can handle greater degrees of stress than others, but given that the "anxiety mean" is greater in women than men, these women will be few). It's also why shaming is a more powerful behavioural modificant in women than logical argument. Shaming exerts a powerful capacity to generate anxiety than argument.

A classic example of this thinking in operation is with regard to fashion. Women are far more fashionable than men, the question is why? The greater "other focus" in female minds and inherent anxiety makes a woman both aware of outside customs and her conformity to them. When the mass of women take on a "style" the women feels "pressured" to adopt out of fear from being outside the group norm.

In fact, one of the common complaints many women make is with regard to social pressures to conform. However, what they mistake is the locus of this pressure. The pressure to conform is not from without, from the patriarchy or from the media, the pressure to conform is from within the woman herself. Women intrinsically feel more uncomfortable going alone, they are "wired", so to speak, to want to belong to the group.

This involuntary susceptibility to perceived group norms raises profound implications sociologically.

1) Women are far more more influenced by by perceived group norms than men. Therefore the way to convince women to change their behaviour is to give the perception that other people are doing it. (Whether or not it's true is totally irrelevant)

2)Appeals to a female's reason will be less successful than shaming or peer adulation.

3) In modern urban societies, where people live relatively isolated lives with small groups of friends, percieved group norms are going to be provided by the media.

4) He who controls the media controls female behaviour.

Here's an interesting article from the BBC

Here's how it works.

1)Firstly provide a TV show that's enjoyable and get everyone to watch it.

2)Make all your lead female characters genetic freaks with toned BMI's of 18.

3)Constantly portray the said freaks positively.

4)Girl compares herself against beautiful and positively presented freaks.

5) Internal anxiety is generated---> over a long term,constant anxiety generates depression.

6)Woman engages in behaviour to make her fit the perceived group norm.

7) Anorexia or bulimia, since calorie restriction is unrealistically portrayed as a fail safe method to achieve beauty( Outcome dependent on character traits). Never mind the woman's genetics.