The Barbie Movie and Primate Mating Systems

Today Dr. Josh Stout talks about male and female stereotypes without biological sex in the Barbie Movie and resource based mating patterns in the Great Apes.

The Barbie Movie and Primate Mating Systems
Let's talk about gender and the Barbie Movie and primate mating systems

The Barbie Movie and Primate Mating Systems
Dr. Josh Stout

Eric 0:00

Today is also Friday, January 19th. We're doing a double record here because we took such a long, long hiatus. And this is. This is episode three of season two. Hi, Josh. (Hi, Eric.) Careful in the minefield. 

Dr. Josh Stout 0:12

Yeah, indeed. So today I'd like to talk about gender and the Barbie movie and primate mating systems. Originally, I'd been thinking about talking about how the mating systems of the great apes influence modern gendered society. And then I saw the Barbie movie and said, Oh, well, as a society, we're talking about this. And it was it was it was much more fun than I thought. I had expected something very lightweight and and just sort of a girly lightweight, kind of whatever it is. And that is not what it was. 

Eric 0:55

No, no, Greta Gerwig is not a lightweight. 

Dr. Josh Stout 0:57

And it was it was much more interesting than I'd expected. It didn't it didn't really extend the conversation, particularly in most ways. I think it was mostly covering well-trodden ground. 

Eric 1:09

Enabled the conversation. 

Dr. Josh Stout 1:10

It definitely enabled conversations. And what it really did was focus on gender stereotypes, which is a little bit different from what I was thinking about with the primate mating systems, which was sort of gendered society, gender, social relationships and the Barbie movie was more focused on personal gender stereotypes, like how you are as a person, as a person with a gender. And it's a little bit different, but I thought it would go well together since it was, you know, they're both roughly plus at the same time. 

Eric 1:43

At the end, she actually becomes physically gendered. 

Dr. Josh Stout 1:48

Well, she eventually has a vagina. Is that the same as gender? And that's sort of what's being explored the entire time. 

Eric 1:56

Yes. That is the issue, isn't it? 

Dr. Josh Stout 1:58

Yes. And this this this is sort of where things become problematic and there's an entire minefield. And it's difficult to talk about something that is linguistically a binary. And we now no longer live in a society that is defining gender in a binary terms, necessarily. Yes, the larger society certainly still does. But those of us who are progressively minded are realizing that that is a limiting way to look at the world. And it is what I would call overly determined that things are too much one thing or another, and the world isn't really like that, and that a less determined set of genders in the world, I think actually reflects reality better than a purely binary one. And this is coming as a biologist. So, you know, as as as a biologist, I understand that there are that there are males and females, right? So we have this, you know, perfect binary situation, but it is in no way really that right. These are sets of behaviors and their sets of physiology. 

Eric 3:09

I mean, well I mean there's, there's an egg and there's a sperm. 

Dr. Josh Stout 3:13

Exactly. And that's. And that's like hard fact. Physiology binary. Male, female. But you know there is, there is, there's many sort of intersex kind of things. These are rare. You can be sex. Why, why, why. 

Eric 3:27

We are not eggs. 

Dr. Josh Stout 3:28

Right. Right. All right, people. So we have we. So there's there's there's chromosomal differences. But but it's it's. It's well, well beyond that. So, for example, my female dog acts like a female dog. I mean, that's a misnomer. Female dog is like dog means male. But whatever my bitch is, is is a female and she acts like a female dog because that's how they do. They, they, they, they squat to pee and they, you know, I will will, you know, lower their hind end submissively. That's, that's a female behavior. But if I lie on the ground suddenly she acts in a much more masculine way and starts trying to jump my head. You know, this is a male activity. Female dogs will sometimes raise their leg in a male activity, so the actual behaviors for animals are much less fixed than we normally think of them and that they're somewhat dependent and society influenced. So for example, hyenas. 

Eric 4:34

The way we interpret them, are society. 

Dr. Josh Stout 4:36

No, no, no, no, no, no. These I, you know, you know, the actual like when a dog grips your leg and starts humping your leg, that is an absolutely male activity that is not interpreted. That is a biologically determined. Okay. It is what you do if you have a penis. Right. And you want to put it in a vagina. Right. Okay. That is an only male, you know, purely binary kind of situation that my female dog does. She's I wouldn't say that's a trans behavior. It's just she's doing what dogs do. And there's, there's a variety of behaviors that dogs can have. Yeah. And we generally put them into this binary system, but it's not nearly that cut and dry. 

Eric 5:21

That's what I meant. The way we interpret it. 

Dr. Josh Stout 5:22

The way we interpret it, and that this is normal, that that these kind of non-binary behaviors are normal in the animal world, In the animal world, which is fundamentally binary, it's sort of a chromosomal level, but not even necessarily that I for example, when there are dyes, I got a twins and one is male and one is female. Not only are there hormonal influences each twin on each other in the uterus, but they have found y chromosomes in the brain of the mother. So some of the fetal tissue is not only getting through the placenta, which it's not supposed to do, but then getting all the way to the brain, which it's really not supposed to do, mother of the mother. 

Eric 6:16

And crossed two barriers that it's not supposed to. 

Dr. Josh Stout 6:20

That it's not supposed to. And she becomes a chimera. So these are things that have only being able to be done with with the way modern genetics works. If you want to look for something, you put in a primer for it and it makes you know, it's it makes, you know, billions of copies of whatever that thing you're looking for. And so even very small amounts can be amplified to the point where you can find it. And so if you put a Y chromosome in, no one would ever do this for a female. But they started trying and they found y chromosomes in the brains of mothers who had had male children. Wow. And they found it was partially protective against Alzheimer's. So it's not just that this exists, but there's an actual physical like benefit to it to having this Y chromosome and your brain starts to change the way proteins are encoded in the brain. So this this even even at a at a very, very basic cellular chromosomal level, things are not perfectly cut and dried. And when you get to where you're looking at actual mating behavior. So for example, if you know the interesting situations where due to some pollution, some endocrine receptors, all the males were no longer interested in the females and you know, a group of gulls in New Jersey. So the females started cohabitating and laying all their eggs in the same nest. The researchers were counting gull eggs and they discovered that suddenly they doubled the number of gull eggs and had zero chicks. And they were going, What the heck's going on? And they realized what had happened is the females had just adjusted their behavior because they needed a partner to nest with. Right. It didn't work out biologically for them, but it but it satisfied their behavioral needs now they had a partner to nest with. So there's a ton of flexibility at essentially every level within the biological world. And gender is both biologically and societally determined and evolutionarily determined, but it's not fixed. It tends to be binary, but there is a lot of grey areas and movement within it. So for example, hyenas, the female hyena is the dominant member of her group of hyenas, her her pack, I would guess I would call it, I don't know, really. Goat cats have prides wolves have packs. Hyenas are sort of halfway between the two quarter pack. Okay, I think it's a pack of hyenas. All right? I mean, she not only has stereotypical male behaviors, but actually develops what it's called a pseudo penis. It looks like a penis and looks like a scrotum just from, you know, her own anatomy is now formed. This thing that looks like one. So when she goes and dominates the other hyenas, she's going to mount them and press against them with her pseudo penis and act like a male. And so this is part of her whole dominance display. It's part of her dominance behavior. So sex and gender is not always about reproduction. It's also about dominance relationships. It's about position in a hierarchy and relationships. And so concept of biological gender can include hierarchical relationships and is also fluid where where, you know, it's often accusation about a dominant woman appears masculine because we associate dominance with masculinity. And this is this is something that's part of biology. And these associations are, you know, absolutely part of the way. 

Certainly vertebrates, higher vertebrates work within a, you know, biological duality that there is there is much more fluidity. So anyway, let's get to the Barbie movie. I want to talk about what gender stereotypes are for me as a biologist. The interesting thing was that you have these extreme gender stereotypes without any sexuality, so they have no genitals. And that that's that's important for Barbie. But it was really important for Ken, and it became sort of part of the analysis of their relationship was, you know, he could only have a good day if she looked at him. And that was really, really clear. And so what that what that made me think of was was incels who are, you know, basically miserable people because a woman won't have sex with them and that he lives in a world of of of essentially pure desire with no gratification. And he's always, always wanting that gratification from Barbie, but it's never going to last beyond. She looked at him that day and there's no further to it. And the other interesting thing is, after removing the sort of I am sexual male female relationship aspects, he started looking really gay in a way that friends of mine, when they saw the movie before me, said, Look, as a gay man, this is really interesting to me. And that the people were talking about the the they feminism aspects of the Barbie movie, but there was a whole other level which wasn't being talked about and that so so my neighbor was saying you should watch this and look for this when you see it. And I found it really interesting so that when they go into the, into the real world, Ken and Barbie are both having people look at them. It makes Ken happy and it makes Barbie uncomfortable. And Ken mentions, yes, it's men and it's it's men who do this, this gazing the male gaze at men and at women and made it was making Ken comfortable and happy and it was making Barbie less comfortable and less happy. So it was really interesting to see almost like a Greek take on homosexuality as a relation, a manly relationship between men in a manly way, that this was an ultimate, manly, dominant kind of way, so that suddenly the pinks and the fuchsias in his costume were were were bright and assertive and not how we normally think of. I know homosexuality is as, as being feminine, you know, male homosexual is seen as being somehow lesser because they're more feminine and this is seen as lesser. And he was saying, no, I am the ultimate man. And so when they went back to Barbie land and he took over, he took over as relationships between men didn't need women anymore, entirely left them out, it seemed very much like the way, you know, the marshal spirit of Greece would have taken these things. Fascinating. Women just lower your manliness. And so we don't need them. And so what are we going to do? We're going to have a giant non-lethal fight with each other where we wrestle around on the ground. And this is great. And and it seemed like paradise. They seemed really happy doing that. And, you know, you can you can you can see the sort of incel paradise in some ways of, you know, long No, you don't need sex. You just need men. And there's everything you need is there? And it was just a very interesting take on how genders are derived, the way we think about gender. I don't really have a larger point to that. It was just something I was observing that the movie was covering that hasn't been discussed much. And the the, you know, the aspects of of the difficulties with are you, you know, trying too hard to be pretty Are you pretty? Are you not pretty? All of these things that women deal with on a daily basis was covered, I think, very well. And, you know, shown by the Barbie movie. What was happening to Ken? I don't think his is as has been as well described. There are some people who describe the entire movie as too binary. But I start to wonder about that because by removing sex and just dealing with gender stereotypes, you start being able to have stereotypes not be attached to sex. And so you could you can move stereotypes around. Yeah. And as costumes that dolls can wear essentially. And so so it actually undercuts the binary system in a certain way. 

Eric 15:28

It's fascinating. And they moved through every single costume 

Dr. Josh Stout 15:31

Every single costume. 

Eric 15:32

They showed every every one. 

Dr. Josh Stout 15:33

Yeah. Magic earring Ken. It was delightful. The whole thing. Yeah, I think so. Yeah. So I found it interesting in both defining and undermining gender stereotypes and a discussion of, as I was saying, personal stereotypes. What I've been doing, looking at evolutionary history, like deep evolutionary history, is how gendered societies form. So I know in the great apes there are different ways that groups of great apes can form, and they involve males and females and they usually have a dominant male and then some sort of groups of females. But there's one group of great apes that has monogamy. They do not have a dominant male. They have a male and female who are just together. These are these are the givens. The male is not larger than the female. They're the same size. And it has to do with the resource. So their resources are distributed all throughout the forest. There's no way to defend them because they're not located in a particular place. And there's a small amount of fruit in each tree. So when you get to the tree, you just eat, you eat the fruit. If there's another gibbon in the tree, you don't worry about it. And then you move on to the next tree that that resource is going to be depleted before it's worth defending. And so they they don't need large groups. They have relatively small families. So it's basically a nuclear family, male and a female, and then a few juveniles moving with them in a group. And that's it. Interestingly, when I was in in Java, when we went to Penang and Darwin went to this forest there where they had the sea among which are a kind of gibbon, and this man had access to the garbage dump. Again, just like the. 

Eric 17:33

Garbage dump here, we dump you. It's always a garbage dump. 

Dr. Josh Stout 17:36

Well, it changes the amount of resources in a society. And so for them, they weren't they weren't coming up with some sort of gibbon paradise because they were already in a relatively non-hierarchical society. What they had now was a defendable resource. Right. And so instead of just these two gibbons and a couple of juveniles, I saw troupes of 2030 gibbons. It would be really interesting to see if they are starting to make hierarchies in this defendable resource. How is it working? I didn't see any conflict. 

Eric 18:04

Between them that defendable resource is still there. Is that garbage dump still a garbage dump? 

Dr. Josh Stout 18:08

Knowing Indonesia? Yes, probably. 

Eric 18:10

It might be worth going back to take a look. 

Dr. Josh Stout 18:12

It would be a place to do a really interesting study because it's it's there's the garbage cans that you throw your garbage in right before or right after you leave the forest. And so it's just the garbage cans right there. And then a couple other it's not a major garbage dump. It's just sort of like garbage. So it's if there's any tourists going in and out, this is it. It tends to accumulate there. And they don't always make it into the cans. So there's a bunch of like bags and things and there's strewn stuff and they have access. 

Eric 18:40

To a 20 to 30. Gibbons You think. 

Dr. Josh Stout 18:43

That's what I saw? I saw a troop that should not have existed and I couldn't I couldn't make out the hierarchies. But I'm sure if you spent some time there, it would be a lovely place to go. The great hotels right there definitely recommend it too. Pangandaran. 

Eric 18:58

It was in Pangandaran. Yeah. Okay. 

Dr. Josh Stout 19:01

That's great. Yeah. Love that town. I love that town and great place to do a study. Anyway, there is. There is this there's this study waiting to go on on a on a given society that has never been seen before. So anyway, resources are essentially what determines the kind of society that then grows up. So I was I was giving the example of the gibbons with monogamy because they they they don't defend a particular set of resources. They just sort of travel around the forest as opposed to this, let's say, a gorilla. A gorilla has distributed resources of leaves, but they're actually going to guard the females. So the females become their resource. And so the male guards, the females, and they move around the forest, they're not guarding any one particular set of food because it's all leaves. But the male is going to be guarding all the females. Now, the females want to be with the male because any new male is basically going to rape them as soon as he can. And so as long as they stay with that, that male, they're safe and so the male protects them is the only one who gets mating opportunities. As soon as they come into estrus, he gets to meet with them. Boom, it's over. Very easy for them. Not a lot of violence. The females happy. Everything is done with. He has a very small penis and very small testicles. No competition, not really about anything other than just quickly mating and you're done. And so the females are highly incentivized to stay with the male. And the male is obviously he gets all the mating opportunities. He's twice as big as the females because to be that dominant silverback gorilla is tremendously important. Evolutionarily, you're the only one who gets the mating opportunities. And so he has to be the biggest possible gorilla to to to win and basically get a heron. And so that is one form of of of primate polygamy. There's a very similar one that orangutans do, orangutans the male is also twice the size of the female. But what the orangutans are doing is the females are each essentially in their own little patch of forest. So they're living in, say, a bunch of durian trees and they'll be a female and she'll move around maybe ten trees in a small area that are producing a lot of fruit. And she's actually guarding her area. And there'll be a bunch of different females in these little patches and they're each guarding their patch of fruit against the other females and then the male is guarding all of them. So like the silverback gorilla, he has maybe ten or 20 females and a territory. But instead of moving around through leaves, which are all sort of the same value, each one of these females is guarding a high value area and he's guarding all of them. So it's another form of polygamy. The male is also twice the size of a female, but it's a slightly different arrangement. And so these are generally male centered polygamy, where the females are coming in are going to be related to other ones in this group. And then the male comes in from the outside. So a group of females that a male is guarding tend to be related to each other, and then the male is coming in from the outside. So this that, that, that sort of, you know, male male centered polygamy like that. In chimpanzees you have what is called multi male polygamy. So chimpanzees the the the males are brothers and they're all guarding a very large territory because in this territory are lots of fruit trees and other, you know, worthwhile sources of food. It's able, but it's pretty big and you need help. So one male can't guarded on his own. And so he needs to work with brothers. And the reason you want to work with your brothers is because they have your same genes. And so even if you don't get invading opportunity by guarding this large, this large area with your brother, you're supporting your brother's genes passing. So they have multi male communities that are much larger. So these can be 60, 80 individuals. So you'll have a large number of males guarding a large number of females and a large. 

Eric 23:28

It's basically the mafia. 

Dr. Josh Stout 23:30

It's something like the mafia. 

Eric 23:32

The family runs it. 

Dr. Josh Stout 23:33

Family runs it, but it's, but it's, but it's the males are all related as opposed to say in the, in the, the gorillas or the, or the orangutans where the females are related and a big male comes in and this the males are there, females come in from the outside and so a female comes in. 

Eric 23:50

Genetically, don't you always have to have someone from there? 

Dr. Josh Stout 23:53

Someone has to come from the outside. But there's different ways it can be Right. 

Eric 23:55

Right, right. 

Dr. Josh Stout 23:56

And so in this case, the female comes from another troop usually is going to be accepted in when she is reproductively ready. So she goes into estrus, she has a giant pink sexual swelling that everyone can see. She is accepted in every male has sex with her in the troop, every single male, every single male, multiple times. And then she's accepted into the troop and there's there's there's there's, there's yeah, she has to accept the females just accept with males there's some, you know, going back and forth. But mainly the initiation is a gang bang to be initiated into the group I and this happens to the junior females, the more senior females form alliances with each other and with the males, and when they start coming into estrus, they sneak into the woods and we'll have a friend that they've been helping up through the hierarchy. So they'll, they'll back a male to move up through the hierarchy, become more powerful. And so that male will be high in the hierarchy and then they'll sneak away together. And so she won't have to have sex with every single male in the group. She will be able to just pick who she wants, and then that person can protect her because he's higher in the hierarchy. So this is very much sort of Machiavellian toing and froing where you are. And if you're at the bottom, you have sex with everyone and the males at the bottom also have fewer opportunities. So it's mostly. 

Eric 25:22

In the fact that as they get older, they change. That means they don't like that. 

Dr. Josh Stout 25:26

They don't like it. They never liked it. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. So these are the systems that we are based on. We are sort of amalgams of these things. When we moved on to the Serengeti males were twice the size of females. When we became Homo Erectus hunters, males were about 20% bigger than the females, about the same distance difference between male chimpanzee and a female chimpanzee. So we went from vegetarians, essentially, who had to guard a group of females and the male got all the mating. So we went from gorillas to chimpanzees. We started as chimpanzees. We transition to a more gorilla like lifestyle and we transition back to a chimp lifestyle. So these are all flexible ways of living that we can change in response to our environment. We can change evolutionarily, actually change our size over time, but also behaviorally. And so this is, again, what I'm talking about with the sort of flexibility of of of gendered stereotypes. But now I'm talking about a more of a societal level. And I like to think about it in terms of the kinds of organizations we make for ourselves. So the dentist office or the doctor's office classically is one big silverback gorilla doctor and a whole bunch of nurses and secretaries working under them. And it's almost always that situation now, very frequently as time goes on, that doctor retire often be replaced by a female. But she will now be a female silverback gorilla. The whole hierarchy remains the same. Very few males at the lower end no matter what. So that the shape of the hierarchy essentially remains the same. Whether you have a male or a female like X, Y, or Z, sex doesn't really matter because they're essentially filling that same societal gendered stereotype. So it's the same kind of thing where there is there's there's flexibility, but you haven't really changed the entire idea. 

So that's one form of sort of way that society can work. We can have we can have the big silverback at the top with a bunch of females under them. And there are many organizations that sort of amount to that. My classroom is somewhat similar to that at this point. I have I have mostly female students. I'm the male at the front. Now, obviously there are female teachers. I think there's maybe almost exactly the same number as male teachers. I haven't done the math, but we're not a we're not a diverse department. But in in in terms of like a primate behavior, it's very much like this one big male at the front and the females all learning, even if those females are male and even if that male is a female. So, you know, these these these these are societal stereotypes that we work within that have nothing to do with our personal genders and I think they need to be addressed in a similar way that we're addressing our personal gender. I don't know how to do that, but I think that these create artificial hierarchies. They make us comfortable, right? So they make they make us feel good that we're protected by the silverback gorilla. I think this is what a lot of people are running to Trump for. He's the silverback gorilla and we all want to feel comfortable and we want him the big daddy, to tell us what to do. And he's literally a large guy and he's going to protect us from all of these things, particularly weirdness with gender and all of the things that make us feel uncomfortable. He's he's he's going to be this really big daddy protecting us all. So this is something that we seek in our lives for stability. What other kinds of gendered societal organizations do we have? Think about all the things that call themselves a band of brothers. Okay, This is the chimpanzee society. So armies, gangs, football teams, all of these things, they tend to be really rapey. Think of frats, okay? Frats literally means brothers. Okay, so the new female coming in gets abused by the whole group. I suspect this is why frats have hazing. The new person coming in isn't literally a female. They're. They're the new person. They're the pledge or whatever. But there is an abused by the entire group to make them part of the group. This is something that's very deep in our psychology, is the way we move into these brother brother groups. Brother Hoods. Yeah. So, so for example, Silicon Valley has tried to be very un hierarchical. They have to have open floor plans. Everyone's working at the same, then sort of in the same open area. They tend to be very masculine and they tend to be really abusive of women coming into this situation. I suspect if a woman has been there for a while, then she gets accepted into the group, she works herself into the hierarchy. She could figure out a way to no longer be abused and have made alliances with certain of the males there so that she can fit into the entire group. I suspect that we are playing out these same gender societal stereotypes over and over and over again, and we seek them out because they make us feel comfortable, but that these can be addressed the same way we do our our personal stereotypes, you know, not just moving a female into a male situation and then just it's the same situation. It just happens to be a female. But actually looking at these hierarchical relationships, how are we dealing with each others? Are there ways to be closer to, say, the Gibbons? Right. So Gibbons really have equality between males and females. They're literally the same size. They have the same access to resources. They don't have no one's raping anyone. They make an alliance and they're the same size because you can't physically dominate the other. And while we still have sizes between the sexes and this is definitely historically been something males do, right? We dominate females by raping them. We dominate societies by raping the other society. It is absolutely sexual violence is part of dominance and it is part of something that is done on purpose. And we have been doing this for a long time. 

Eric 31:48

Definitely on purpose. 

Dr. Josh Stout 31:49

Yes, we need to think about this in a more egalitarian sort of sexual stereotype role in terms of the way the Gibbons are, where we have equal access to these resources and we become comfortable as essentially monogamous units. I would really like to see what these Gibbons are doing. And Pam and Darren, are they now comfortable with each other in a larger group? Can pairs of gibbons as long as they don't have to fight for the same resources, have this non-hierarchical relationship in a larger organization? I don't know what be really interesting to find out. Yeah, I think it's something as humans that we could work on. I think we can be, you know, dyads seem to work very well with humans. Multiple dyads start to get complicated, you know, five, six people in a group. Yeah, I think things things, things can things can get weird, but I think it is possible to have groups without a leader who is either a silverback or a bunch of male rapists. You know, those are basically are two models right now. Yeah. Yeah. And the other other model that we have in our lineage is, is monogamy with equality between the sexes. And it's right there. We just don't know how to make that into a larger organization with more resources. 

Eric 33:07

Especially while fighting an entire culture and civilization that is against it. 

Dr. Josh Stout 33:13

Well, the males are still larger than females, and polygamy is one of the most common human mating systems. It's not the one that most people are doing, but it is one that if you just count the number of societies monogamy versus polygamy, there are more polygamous societies than there are monogamous males. Just in terms of numbers of societies, not numbers of people in them, because many, many traditional societies are polygamous and there's lots of traditional societies. However, there is there from a sort of economic standpoint, there are destabilizing and automatic inequalities built into polygamy. So in societies like Sudan and Northern Sudan, older males tend to have multiple wives. Mm hmm. This causes an automatic instability in the entire society. One, it means that younger males do not have a wife, any wives, and they then tend to go and try and steal them from South Sudan. And so we have this constant battling between, you know, the Janjaweed and groups groups in southern Sudan where they're trying to essentially steal women from, partly created simply by their particular polygamous. 

Eric 34:39

System, literally going to steal a woman and hold her captive to be your wife. 

Dr. Josh Stout 34:44

Yes. Yes. This this was probably the first resource that could be easily stolen. So once you have farming, you know, you can steal whole grain silos. But before farming, the main source of conflict would have been stealing women. And you see that in pre farming societies still. And it's a destabilizing factor. As soon as you have polygamy, you have young men who either need to be killed or find a wife. So they might as well go fight for one. Yeah. And and so that that that's what a lot of human history has been. And it's you could imagine groups of young men working together like brothers to go bring wives in. Or you could imagine one really strong one going and getting a bunch of females is usually within a group. The strong one gets the females from the group, and it's usually a group of young men working together to go to depose that, to cloak to another group and steal their women. Yes. And so those group of that group of young men working together tends to go with a chimp model. Mhm. Tends to be rapey and tends to be brothers and related. 

Eric 35:55


Dr. Josh Stout 35:56

And the, the, the model for within the society tends to be the king. Right. He's the silverback gorilla and he's got his hair. And so those are sort of the two ways we generally exist and neither one of those systems is egalitarian or is good for women, that's for sure. But, but I don't think it's good for men either. I think an egalitarian system is is more efficient in every way and is less stressful. 

Eric 36:22

An abusive system is not good for the exact cause or the. 

Dr. Josh Stout 36:25

Exactly exactly to be to be one of those, you know, young men who has to either get killed or die, l go into a battle and then live with something they acquired through rape. You know. 

Eric 36:39

None of it sounds good. None of it rape. 

Dr. Josh Stout 36:41

Rape literally means to carry away. It's not it it's actually not sexual. It's just that assumed. But the rape of the savings, like literally, you see them picking up the women and running off with them rapacious. You know, the idea of grabbing raptor, the claws of the raptor, grabbing something. Yeah, it's all the same word. Anyway, I just wanted to talk a little bit about sort of our deep history and relate it to I the personal sexual stereotypes within Barbie and then talk about societal ones. 

Eric 37:13

And you know, you say that the the, the, the possible seeds for change are also in our evolutionary history. 

Dr. Josh Stout 37:21

Absolutely they are. 

Eric 37:22

You you what was the what was the prior podcast where we discussed the the the other garbage dump. 

Dr. Josh Stout 37:29

Right right right when we talked about that was that was just the hierarchy of the baboons. And we were talking about it. 

Eric 37:34

Was a whole baboon civilization. 

Dr. Josh Stout 37:35

Baboon civilization was. 

Eric 37:37

Isolated right from from the others and lived completely differently. 

Dr. Josh Stout 37:42

And they and they, they ended up with a matriarchal system where the where the women were deciding who got to bite, who so. 

Eric 37:47

So, so much of much of what we see as our evolutionary, evolutionarily defined behaviors are actually not just they're not it's not immutable. It's it's. 

Dr. Josh Stout 38:01

Sort of. 

Eric 38:01

It's based on environment combined with personality. 

Dr. Josh Stout 38:06

Its resources and and how the society works. 

Eric 38:10

The resources change the environment. 

Dr. Josh Stout 38:12

Changing all. 

Eric 38:13

Can change behaviors. 

Dr. Josh Stout 38:14


Eric 38:15

Even in the animal world. 

Dr. Josh Stout 38:17

Even in the animal world, these are not fixed. None of this stuff is fixed. It has. 

Eric 38:21

To be possible to change these things that we see is completely. 

Dr. Josh Stout 38:24

Out of that. So I guess that's sort of what I was trying to get at with with this whole thing is, is how I we we're now exploring, changing personal stereotypical gender behavior. We need to do this at a societal level and understand how we're doing it. 

Eric 38:40

But what you're talking about is that to be able to to to have a completely different societal mode of behavior, we need to somehow change our environment or change something fundamental in the things that we're reacting to and have to live with. Like, well, we. 

Dr. Josh Stout 38:53

Have changed our environment. You know, we women started going to work. They have access to to all the resources. We're not we're not fighting for women. That's not you get a woman. You don't need to be bigger than the other men anymore. Being bigger than women is not the only way you have sex with them. So we really have changed our environment and we can change and we and we move more towards monogamy. Right? So in many ways, we're moving towards a more gibbon like society, but we tend to do it at the individual level we form these little dyads, we form nuclear families. We need to we need to think about this on the larger societal levels. 

Eric 39:32

But I love the, I mean, the message of almost every episode that we've done is that, you know, we need to understand evolution, to understand why sometimes we do things that are that seem against our best interests, right? Because of evolution. But but what you're saying here is that evolution also will - can show us a path to be different. 

Dr. Josh Stout 39:58

These are flexible behaviors. Absolutely. And what seems to be written in stone is not and never has been. 

Eric 40:05

That's great. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's a lovely message. Thank you, Josh, Thank you. All right. 

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