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Martians and Venutians

            Once upon a time martians and venutians met, fell in love and had satisfying relationships because they accepted and respected their differences. Then they landed on earth, and amnesia set in: they forgot they came from different planets. Using this metaphore in his book "Men are from Mars, women are from Venus", John Grey explained the differences between husbands and wives, and counceled married couples on how to manage their relationships.
             Men and women are different in ways other than the obvious anatomical ones. Women live longer, have better verbal abilities and are less violent (to name a few of the classic differences). Men have better spacial perceptions, are more competetive while being more forgiving of their competitors and more promiscuous.
             The differences between the sexes have long been debated in the scientific and social arenas. Anthropologists study the effects of bioligy (nature) as well as the environment (nurture) on human behavior. Biological determinists claim that human behavior and social organization are biologically ( genetically) determined. Cultural determinists on the other hand, assume that human behavior and our evolutionary success rest on adaptation to our environment, which relies on cultural learning. As Kottak describes "we can change our behavior more readily than members of other species can." (p.426).
             When discussing sex and gender, especially in the 21st century in which one may change gender at will (both physically and mentally), the nature vs. nurture debate emerges. In anthropology the definitions of sex and gender differ: sex divides between men and women genetically - women have two X chromosomes, men have an X and a Y chromosome. Gender, on the other hand, is defined to be the cultural construction of male and female characteristics. If we choose to look upon the trait of aggressiveness, for example, as it manifests itself in different cultures, we may come to a very interesting conclusion.

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