Are Males & Females Opposites?

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I am currently reading Three Daughters of Madame Liang by Pearl S. Buck. at one point, one of the characters is explaining the concept of ying and yang (see 2 Ne 2). He used several examples of opposites to illustrate: light and dark, sweet and bitter, cold and hot. But then he used the example of male and female.

Are males and females really opposites like dark and light are?

20 thoughts on “Are Males & Females Opposites?

  1. Yes, I know… it was a lame attempt at a joke.

    As far as gender and being opposites, sure. We use terms like “the opposite sex” all the time.

    Opposite in thinking, physical attributes, etc… perhaps not. There are probably more similarities than there are differences. It’s just that the differences are pretty big.

  2. I don’t think male and female are opposites, but they do have “otherness” in relation to each other.

    I think when people switch from what they label a “masculine” mode to a “feminine” one, or vice-versa, they’re talking about doing something another way, not really an opposite way.

  3. Have any of you ever read the book…”Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus”? That is the first thing that I thought of when I saw your question. I look at it as that we are an opposite sex, and we see things in a different manner. Gender plays a big role in how we react in situations, and how we behave.

    So I can see how someone would use Males and Females in comparison to a Yin/Yang theory.

  4. Dar,

    While some men and some women may respond to situations differently, do they respond to them oppositely?

    For example, if a father dies, does his daughter laugh with happiness while his son cries with sadness?

  5. No, not unless that daughter has a twisted way of dealing with death, or couldn’t stand her father…

    I still think that where the opposite comes in, is when people refer to men and women as members of the “opposite sex”.

    I don’t think that they would respond in an opposite manner to a situation, perhaps just differently than each other. Especially in regards to relationships, communication, emotional needs, and stress.

  6. I still think that where the opposite comes in, is when people refer to men and women as members of the “opposite sex”.

    Which is the point of my post. Are we opposite sexes? I don’t disagree that some men are different from some women, but I don’t know that I would go so far as to say men and women are opposites.

    Another example: men are portrayed as logical thinkers, and women are portrayed as emotional thinkers. Are logic and emotion opposites?

  7. In a binary system, each entity is the opposite of the other. In that sense, male and female are opposites since there really isn’t a third gender.

  8. I think the real question is would a man and a woman be any more different than two men or two women.

    I would submit that the differences are as great or greater than the similarities among the sexes as are the similarities.

  9. I was waiting for that.

    Personally, I reject that position. If we have gender X and gender Y, a combination of the two doesn’t make a gender Z with Z having different and separate attributes than X and Y (for instance, the ability to procreate asexually). Our gender spectrum still only goes from X to Y with combinations and variations between them.

    Personally, I believe these to be physical differences and not spiritual. Spiritually, I believe all of us to be either X or Y.

    If you can show me a gender W or a gender Z, with mutually exclusive gender attributes, then I would be able to accept that ther would be a third, fourth, etc… Other than that, I accept that we have a binary gender system.

  10. Our gender spectrum still only goes from X to Y with combinations and variations between them.

    How can you have a binary system and a spectrum at the same time?

  11. Alright mr. smarty pants. I stand corrected. But still, even within a spectrum between X and Y, you don’t get Z.

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