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Biologically, women are superior to men?

  1. May 25, 2015 #1

    Suraj M

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    i honestly don't want to start a debate hear, i just encountered this question in a recent test, i decided notto answer it.
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Assertion (A): Biologically, Women are superior to men.
    Reason(R):The female takes care of the developing foetus, females also provide nourishment for their offspring through milk. (the sentence might be a bit different, i dont have the exact question, but the first statement is exactly how it was given.)

    A)Both A and R are true and R is the reason for A.
    B)Both A and R are true and R is not the reason for A.
    C) Both A and R are true
    D) A is true, R is false

    2. Relevant equations
    --

    3. The attempt at a solution
    i know that R is true so looking at the the options A is also true! how?
    could someone help me with this.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 25, 2015 #2

    mfb

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    That problem statement and the possible answers do not make sense at all.
    What does "biologically superior" even mean?
     
  4. May 25, 2015 #3

    ShayanJ

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    I don't understand the meaning of being superior here! It doesn't make sense at all. Superiority is only defined when there is a purpose and something serves that purpose better than something else. The purpose of human body is to maintain life and I've never heard anywhere that female bodies does that better than male bodies or vice versa.
     
  5. May 25, 2015 #4

    mfb

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    In addition, they are both necessary for reproduction.
     
  6. May 25, 2015 #5

    ShayanJ

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    Yeah, and considering that, the question becomes even more meaningless. Its like asking "which is superior, hammer or nail?".
     
  7. May 25, 2015 #6

    atyy

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    What was the course about? If it is a biology course, the question is nonsense. If it was a course in propositional logic, then you must state the question exactly.
     
  8. May 25, 2015 #7

    epenguin

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    It seems to me like saying the liver is superior to the lungs.
     
  9. May 25, 2015 #8

    micromass

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    Lol. What kind of test is this?
     
  10. May 27, 2015 #9

    Suraj M

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    Thank you for criticizing the question and the course i have chosen.
    I'm in 12th grade, And yes I encountered the question in a biology test.
    I asked my teacher, he said that this question appeared in a recognized entrance exam. He said that the answer is option B. He said that the reason is female infants have a higher chance of survival then male, also woman have better resistance, and live longer than men. I am not able understand why.
    He also said that in a perfect world, with no unnatural deaths, (caused by other reasons other than an individual's itself) the ratio of female to male would be close to 60:40.
    Is this true? Could have anyone verify.
    PS not that i doubt my teachers, but just want to be sure.
     
  11. May 27, 2015 #10

    Borek

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    No idea where he got these numbers from. Assuming no unnatural deaths there would be slightly more males at birth, and slightly more females in older age groups: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_sex_ratio
     
  12. May 27, 2015 #11

    Zondrina

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    Your teacher must love them females. His/Her claim seems completely irrational.

    I will say though, females tend to excel academically more so than males on average. They also seem to live longer on average.

    I wouldn't deem this to be a cause of biology, but it is more likely due to societal influences and everyday decisions. Many males at a young age find it difficult to excel academically due to all of the societal pressures. They tend to have shorter lifespans because of personal health decisions.

    That's not to say a male can't make good decisions!
     
  13. May 29, 2015 #12

    WWGD

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    Please ask your teacher to supply the data he took from the perfect world -- and the address to the ideal world; is that world anything like "Fantasy Island" TV show? What is an "unnatural death" ? And by all means _do_ doubt your teachers (and/or anyone who says something that does not fully convince you -- including myself, of course), although do so in a civil way.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2015
  14. May 29, 2015 #13

    micromass

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    Even if true (and granted, women do live longer than men, so that part is true), does that really mean biologically superior? Is that a good definition of biologically superior? That would mean that "Lonesome George" (a Galapagos giant tortoise) is biologically superior to humans, and that humans are biologically superior to dogs.

    From an evolutionary perspective, one could say that someone is biologically superior if he produces a lot of offspring (and hence gets a lot of chances to spread his genes). Sure, it is still not a good definition, but it is at least as arbitrary as the definition by the teacher. In that sense, one could argue that males are intrinsically superior to females, because females can only produce a very limited amount of children, while males can in principle produce a lot more. For example, Genghis Khan had so many children that 8% of asians are related to him: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Descent_from_Genghis_Khan#DNA_evidence

    Anyway, I think "biologically superior" is not a very useful term in biology.

    Doubting your teachers is a good thing, especially in this case.
     
  15. May 29, 2015 #14

    DaveC426913

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    That's a faulty analogy.

    Your example of the tortoise is kind of kind suggesting I can't find an Indian rubber ball to be "ball-ly superior" to a ping pong ball because a Saturn V rocket is more superior than both. No, it is implicit that I am comparing types of balls.

    It is implicit that the aspect of biological superiority is a comparison between two (and only two) like things.
     
  16. May 29, 2015 #15

    DaveC426913

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    Not sure why you're having trouble with this. It is pretty commonplace to examine statistics of mortality based on type of death (natural/unnatural, or other criteria). And I'm pretty sure unnatural death is a definable term. Insurance companies do this all the time.
     
  17. May 29, 2015 #16

    DaveC426913

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    Reduced infant mortality and longevity certainly sound like contenders for biological superiority to me.

    I can't think of many other traits that deserve top spot.

    This is a hot button issue. I would be so bold as to suggest that people are conflating the term "biologically superior" with the broader and more contentious term "superior". I think it is possible to establish a mutually agreeable (and quantifiable) definition of biologically superior.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2015
  18. May 30, 2015 #17

    WWGD

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    I think you cannot just use longevity, since men have taken more risks, maybe because of testosterone, who knows, than women. For the most part, e.g., women have not, for the most part, fought wars, and, despite many claims of exploitation/discrimination (some, but not all valid, many greatly distorted IMO), they have been spared from many of the harsher aspects of life. Now, start giving women equal prison sentences, equally -dangerous jobs, have them go to fight wars in a proportion similar to men and then you can use unqualified longevity. You need to qualify longevity, and I do not see how to effectively control for the many variables that may be shaping this difference.
    You could also argue, conversely, superiority of men in terms of discoveries, etc., the flip side of taking more risks --higher risk, higher reward, higher death rate. But then you would also have to control for the variables that may contribute to a higher rate of discoveries. And I don't see how to do this in a reasonable way.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2015
  19. May 30, 2015 #18

    vela

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    Perhaps, but I doubt it. In any case, the question as posed is too vague to answer because there's no widespread agreement on what exactly "biologically superior" means.
     
  20. May 30, 2015 #19

    russ_watters

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    I realize this is a few days old, but the thread is still active and nobody pointed this out:
    Even if any/all of those are true, none of them are included in the logic statement, so they can't be part of the justification for any answer. So as worded, the question is not answerable. "R" may be true, but it doesn't say anything one way or anouther about whether "A" is true unless somewhere else you are given a definition of "biologically superior" that includes those traits.
     
  21. May 30, 2015 #20

    russ_watters

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    Unnecessary for the OP's question: Teachers are entitled to dictate terms/definitions/criteria to their students, and agreement is not required. So, what is required here is knowing whether the teacher provided such criteria/definition before the test. Then we could say whether the question has a right/wrong answer in the context of what the students were taught.

    If we want to expand it generally to say if we agree, that's a different issue. Personally, the things listed in the question don't appear to carry any value weight for making a determination of superiority.
     
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