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Old 10-20-2004, 04:32 AM   #7
ian's Avatar
Dojo: University of Ulster, Coleriane
Location: Northern Ireland
Join Date: Oct 2000
Posts: 1,654
Re: Different dojo populations...

From a biological perspective, you are right in that male primates usually have a strong hierarchy, whereas female status is often achieved through association with high status males. Also, human males tend to be more confident in expressing how good they are (maybe because this is sometimes necessary to achieve status?). I would say this pattern is more pronounced in young males, because they have little status through age/income/experience and they are still competing for mates (which is why I believe young males fight more).

I think men and women treat each other differently. Men are naturally very competitive and for women to enter a male dominated arena (esp. young males) it can be intimidating. However I doubt if the treatment is much different than being a low status male, except it is likely that they are more polite to the females. Therefore I think it is important that sensei and the students work hard to ensure it is not a male dominated dojo (by either more female recruitment or through setting a good example).

I think in many cases of sexual discrimination, women tend to occupy the middle to lower ground, with high and low status males either side. (which has an evolutionary advantage for women, because they can select the high status males. For example, although women want equal pay to men, in several polls women say they find partners who earn more money than them more desirable.)

Therefore I think it is worth remembering, that splitting people into male and female categories, and which benefit the most, omits the facts that the person at the bottom of the pecking order is the real loser, whatever the sex.

If it's a case that they don't respect you abilities and you feel you can't learn, then definately best to leave! Go where you can gain something useful!

(P.S. I'd like to say that although I believe in differences between men and women, these are generalities and in reality there is a large overlap in behaviours and abilties in real populations).
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