Why Men Rule

Infobox Book |
name = Why Men Rule
title_orig =
translator =

image_caption =
author = Steven Goldberg
cover_artist = Todd Sanders
country = United States of America
language = English
series =
genre = Non-fiction (Sociology)
publisher = Open Court Publishing Company
release_date = 1993
media_type = Print (Paperback)
pages = xii+254
isbn = 0-8126-9237-3
preceded_by = The Inevitability of Patriarchy
followed_by =

"Why Men Rule" is a book by Steven Goldberg, published by the Open Court Publishing Company in 1993. The hypothesis proposed by Goldberg is that social institutions like patriarchy, that are characterised by male dominance, can be explained by the biological differences between men and women. Thus, in his view, male dominance is quite possibly inevitable.

"Why Men Rule" is Goldberg's second book on this subject. The library of congress cataloging-in-publication data consider it a revised edition of the first book.


* Acknowledgements
* IntroductionPart I: The Inevitability of Patriarchy
# A Question and Some Ground Rules
# Anthropology and the Limits of Social Variation
# Differentiation of Dominance Tendency
# Physiological Differentiation
# Social Conformation to Psychophysical RealityPart II: Objections and Implications
# The Inadequacy of a Non-Physiological Explanation
# Confusion and Fallacy in the Environmentalist Analysis
# Common Objections to the Theory of Male DominancePart III: Cognitive Differentiation
# Possible Sexual Differentiation in Cognitive Aptitudes
# High Genius in the Arts and SciencesPart IV: The Meaning of Male and Female
# Male and Female
* Appendix: Alleged Exceptions to the Universality of Patriarchy and Male Dominance
* Index


As can be seen from the table of contents above, Goldberg divides his presentation into four sections. The first section is the main section and presents a case for the theory of male dominance. The second section claims to considers "all" the objections actually raised against this theory. ["It is possible to respond to all [this] criticism with a generic list of fallacies and errors and the questions that expose them."Why Men Rule" (Open Court: 1993), p. 155.] It also considers the implications that would follow were the theory true. The third section considers the area of cognitive differences between men and women. These lie between basic biological differences and the high-order social differences. Less information is available regarding this area, but its broad correspondence with the others is considered. Finally, the fourth section provides more philosophical reflection on the meaning and significance of "male" and "female". [Steven Goldberg, "Why Men Rule", (Chicago: Open Court, 1993).]

There is a lengthy appendix, with detailed bibliographic data regarding ethnographic reports of societies that have been claimed by some to be matriarchal. In every case the ethnographers record sufficient information to establish Goldberg's point – that these societies are actually patriarchal, not matriarchal. For a similar list at Wikipedia see the appendix to the patriarchy article.

Part I: The Inevitability of Patriarchy

In this section Goldberg presents his main case. It has three steps.

Step One. The first thing Goldberg considers is the historical evidence of all known human societies, as observed (or written about) at different times and places, by people of both sexes and various ideological pursuasions and cultural backgrounds. As yet, out of a couple of thousand different known cultures, he believes that all demonstrate male dominance. ["Ibid"., pp. 13 ff.]

Goldberg notes that:

# There may have been cultures before recorded history without male dominance; but we just can't know.
# There may be cultures in the future without male dominance; but again we just don't know.
# Nearly all societies have dominant women from time to time; but they are exceptional.

Many societies have been put forward as demonstrating either male dominance or no dominance at all; the reader is referred to the appendix (mentioned above).

Step Two. The second thing Goldberg considers is the results of medical research into human hermaphroditism, and the biological research into sexually dimorphic behaviour of animals. In both cases, there is a clear correlation between hormones and social behaviour.POV-statement|date=August 2008 ["Ibid"., pp. 77 ff.]

Step Three. Goldberg's final step is to explain observed male dominancePOV-statement|date=August 2008, as social reinforcement of patterns of behaviour prompted by biological predispositions, some of which are mediated by hormones. ["Ibid"., pp. 103 ff.]

Part II: Objections and Implications

In this section Goldberg considers criticism of his theory as originally published.

Firstly he clarifies precisely what the evidence is, that needs some kind of explanation (this is taken from Part I above).

* He claims that anthropology shows all known societies to express male dominance.
* Hermaphroditism shows traditional gender differences in behaviour are correlated with biological differences.
* Sexual dimorphism in the behaviour of social mammals is influenced by biology. ["Ibid"., p. 121.]

Then he provides two alternative (biological, but not hormonal) explanations offered by his critics.

# Men are physically larger and stronger.
# Women have been too busy as mothers to compete. ["Ibid"., p. 125.]

He considers these inadequate because:

# Small and physically weak men are frequently found in dominant positions (certainly more often than women).
# It is only recent, wealthy societies that have freed some women to full-time motherhood. Most women have always been workers. ["Ibid"., pp. 125 f.]

He notes that these alternatives are less common among his critics than a "technological" argument, which claims male dominance is no longer necessary for the good of society. Social issues that previously needed brute strength for resolution will be solved by more efficient methods in future.

To this Goldberg answers that we have to "wait and see." The historical evidence, in his opinion, suggests men have taken on the responsible roles in hierarchies due to psychological preference, rather than due to practical necessity. Even were necessity no longer an issue, psychological preference will remain; therefore, so will male dominance. ["Ibid"., pp. 127 ff.]

This section is extensive and very thorough.Or|date=August 2008 One of the subsections is titled "Twenty-five Questions to Ask about Any Criticism of the Theory of Male Dominance". What has been summarized so far is sufficient to give an accurate impression of the nature of the section.

Part III: Cognitive Differentiation

In this section Goldberg considers the most interesting, but least understood aspect of male-female differences.

Goldberg makes it clear that even were there no cognitive differences between men and women, it would not change the factPOV-statement|date=August 2008 that men dominate socially, and they do so for biological reasons. ["Ibid"., p. 197.] However, Goldberg notes there "is" evidence to suggest that there are significant differences in male and female ways of thinking. ["Ibid"., pp. 198 ff.] So, if research uncovers more of these differences, and demonstrates the influence of biological factors more convincingly, these could well provide "additional" evidence for or against the biological foundation of male dominance.Lopsided|date=September 2008 In fact, there have been such findings since Goldberg wrote (see the literature below).

Part IV: The Meaning of Male and Female

In this section Goldberg moves from scientific sociology to philosophical sociology – from facts to significance. In other words, if the theory is true, what use is it? ["Ibid"., p. 223.]

Goldberg suggests that occupational roles find their significance in a wider set of values. In other words, changing occupational roles do not challenge society as deeply as changing values. However, in this section, Goldberg does not argue that American society has "changed" its values regarding gender differences, rather he argues that it has "abandoned" its values. This produces, in Goldberg's opinion, an unsatisfying and unsustainable social structure. ["Ibid"., p. 224.]

Goldberg concludes the section and the book dramatically.


* [http://www.narth.com/docs/politics-gender.html 'The Politics of Gender'.]

From back cover of Open Court, soft cover, first edition, 1993.

* "Splendid—one of those rare books that changes one's mind about a profound issue. ... A book that has endured and is even more imposing than when it was first written. ... Goldberg has one of the keenest minds in the social sciences today." Joseph Adelson
* "Iron clad." William Kephart
* "... persuasive and accurate. It is true, as Professor Goldberg points out, that all the claims so glibly made for societies ruled by women are nonsense. We have no reason to believe that they ever existed. ... men everywhere have been in charge of running the show. ... men have always been the leaders in public affairs and the final authorities at home." Margaret Mead
* "Coolly, tightly, cogently, even brilliantly reasoned." Morton Kaplan
* "Absolutely plausible and a sound corrective to the psuedoscientific fad that tries to disregard genetic and hereditary influences." "Journal of Sex Research"
* "Intellectually challenging." Rosemary Campbell, Washington Post
* "The most significant work on sex differences in decades." Murray Rothbard
* "A classic." Daniel Seligman
* "A classic." Ernest van den Haag
* "A classic." George Gilder

ee also

* "When Wish Replaces Thought"
* "Fads and Fallacies in the Social Sciences"


Further reading

* Baron-Cohen, Simon. "The Essential Difference: The Truth about the Male and Female Brain". New York: Perseus Books Group, 2003.
* Brown, Donald. "Human Universals". New York: McGraw Hill, 1991.
* Brizendine, Louann. "The Female Brain". New York: Morgan Road Books, 2006.
* Mead, Margaret. 'Do We Undervalue Full-Time Wives'. "Redbook" 122 (1963).
* Moir, Anne and David Jessel. "Brain Sex: The Real Difference Between Men and Women".
* Pinker, Steven. "The Blank Slate: A Modern Denial of Human Nature". London: Penguin Books, 2002.

External links

* Goldberg, Steven. " [http://www.amazon.com/Why-Men-Rule-Theory-Dominance/dp/0812692373 Why Men Rule:] A Theory of Male Dominance". Chicago, Illinois: Open Court Publishing Company, 1993.
* Seligman, Daniel. ' [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_n6_v46/ai_14987616 Why Men Rule:] A Theory of Male Dominance'. "National Review", April 4, 1994.

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