After working through the steps above, we try to assess when Ridgeway's approach does a good job explaining how gender influences behavior in our chosen setting, and when her approach seems to fall short. Our central goal here is to explain how and why gender organizes interactions in our chosen example. If we believe the answer is yes, then we consider how and why. The starting point of most causal analyses is a comparison. In this and other societies, women and men commonly dress differently. Some Lessons from Sports "" Sociological Forum, The clothing characteristic of each sex varies greatly across societies and time.
From the early stages of childhood we attribute causes, building a vision of the social and physical world that makes it understandable. To the degree that we can, we want to try to think of different kinds of causes based on varied ways of framing the causal question. For this task, we choose some familiar to us setting or type of interaction where women and men typically engage each other. Whenever we try to explain patterns like this, we want to consider the exceptions. For example, with the gender distinctive clothing question, some ways to better specify the question and look at it through comparisons are: Then we consider how their actions might differ between opposite-sex and same-sex encounters. In this and other societies, women and men commonly dress differently. The clothing characteristic of each sex varies greatly across societies and time. Here the primary comparison is between contexts with greater differences in the expected clothing and contexts with lesser differences. When we apply a systematic logic to the analysis, we usually do not want to write about all the possibilities we think about. The remaining notes for this analytical task look at some analytical steps that allow us to think through this problem effectively. A Unified Framework for the Social Sciences. The purpose of this exercise is to get us thinking about causality. But we will not identify those telling possibilities unless we systematically work through all the relevant possible influences. If we are trying to explain some phenomenon, X, then we need to identify variations in the likelihood of X or the rate of X, and look for potential causes that 1 vary across the relevant circumstances in a way that could explain X and 2 that we can connect to the outcomes for X in some way. For example, in the same setting, a person seeking sex will commonly act differently than someone trying to curry favor or sell a product. While considering how to explain the differences in the ways women and men dress, it can also be helpful to think through ways that this pattern could be considered an example of a larger pattern. For example, does gender influence cordial interactions differently from the ways it influences confrontations in our setting? The gender differences in dress could be considered as one example of a wider range of behavioral differences between women and men such as rules of proper decorum, speech patterns, or displays of sexuality. Here the basic comparison is between people who conform and those who do not, or between the reactions of people to conformity and nonconformity. We want to ask ourselves if the gender aspect of the interaction will be influenced by these other circumstances that seem relevant to interactions. Why are gender differences in dress greater in some circumstances than in others? Why and when do women and men act differently? Systematic steps in the analysis. Using a typical setting where women and men meet, assess how Ridgeway's framing approach helps explain the role of gender in these interactions and where it might fall short. We casually refer to causes and effects in normal interactions all the time.
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Dr Diana Fleischman on Evolutionary Psychology, Men & Women & Effective Altruism
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