Sex, Power, and Partisanship: How Evolutionary Science Makes Sense of Our Political Divide - Hector A. Garcia 2019
Differences in Social Rules between Females and Males
Is Conservatism an Extreme form of The Male Brain?
Developmental research finds that compared to girls, boys seem to be obsessed with rules. For instance, research has found that boys choose to engage in rules-oriented play more than girls, and when disputes arise they spend a great deal of time trying to renegotiate the rules and enlist the counsel of respected peers on rulemaking. On the other hand, girls usually spend more time playing turn-taking games that rely little on formal rules, and if those rules are broken, they often stop playing. Further, research finds that when boys and girls play together, boys stick to rules far more than girls, and while they quarrel more than girls, they appear to enjoy the quarrelling, especially when the point of contention concerns making, breaking, or following rules.64 Even when boys seem to be disregarding a particular set of rules, they are often following another set. One study found that while girls tend to respond to rules set by teachers, boys tend to ignore rules set by both teachers and girls but naturally form their own complex set of rules and follow them with intense focus.65 Joyce Benenson notes that not only have sports competitions involved complex rules for thousands of years (which are still predominantly the realm of men) but that even when men break the broader rules of society, they often follow a strict set of rules established by the criminal element or by militias.66 As I will discuss in chapter 5, this focus on rules is a by-product of the evolutionary pressure to form male coalitions.