File this under “researchers rediscover the obvious”:
There are chemical differences in how male and female brains regulate aggression in response to stress, Georgia State University scientists suggest. …
In a study of hamsters, the research team found serotonin promotes and AVP inhibits aggression and dominance in females. The reverse effect was found in males, with AVP promoting and serotonin inhibiting aggression and dominance. The serotonin reuptake inhibitor fluoxetine, one of the most prescribed drugs for psychiatric disorders, was also found to increase aggression in females while inhibiting it in males.
Inasmuch as I lack specific expertise on these hormones’ effect on the body, take this as an amateur summary for the purpose of illustration, but if I’m understanding the implications correctly, when a chemical transmitting information throughout the body increases, women become more aggressive and men become less aggressive, and when a chemical pushing blood throughout the body (preparing it for action), men become more aggressive and women become less aggressive.
To take the amateur generalization a bit further, when new information is flying, a man will step back and take it in then, when the brain and body send the muscles the signal that it’s time to act, the man will be less open to instruction and feel more urge to give it. Women, presumably, would generally react in the opposite way.
Imagine a nuclear family (husband, wife, and children) facing some science-fiction calamity. As the initial sparks fly, the husband will want to take in information while being less inclined to assert his will, while the wife will be more-immediately inclined to dominate. Asks he, “What’s going on here?”; commands she, “Let’s get out of here.” As the situation focuses on some particular threat — zombies, because they’re fun — and both switch from information transmission to action, the husband (generally larger and stronger) will tend to begin issuing the commands, while the wife will become more amenable to accepting them.
Whether this conclusion about behavior accurately reflects the ways in which men and women react to the same chemical processes is incidental; the opposite could be the case without affecting the underlying lesson. The key point is that those of different sexes will respond to stimuli in different ways. Like male chauvinists before them, feminists will insist that one or the other is objectively better, but reasonable people should understand that each is better under different circumstances. That is to say that they are complementary, and fundamental units of social organization (i.e., families) will generally do better with both.