Instigator / Pro
10
1604
rating
19
debates
71.05%
won
Topic

Biological women are psychologically better suited than biological men to raise and care for children.

Status
Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

Arguments points
3
3
Sources points
4
2
Spelling and grammar points
2
2
Conduct points
1
2

With 2 votes and 1 point ahead, the winner is ...

Novice
Parameters
More details
Publication date
Last update date
Category
Science
Time for argument
One day
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
15,000
Contender / Con
9
1484
rating
1
debates
0.0%
won
Description
~ 295 / 5,000

Psychology:
The scientific study of mind and behavior.

Psychological:
Affecting, or arising in the mind; related to the mental and emotional state of a person.

Suited:
Right for a particular purpose or situation, because of having all the qualities that are needed

Burden of Proof:
Shared

Round 1
Pro
Thank you Yabbie for accepting this debate. 

Definitions
Restated definitions included in the description that CON (by default) agreed to by accepting this debate:

Psychology
The scientific study of mind and behavior.

Psychological
Affecting, or arising in the mind; related to the mental and emotional state of a person.

Suited
Right for a particular purpose or situation, because of having all the qualities that are needed

 Better (Suited) 
Of a more excellent or effective type or quality.



in addition,

Raise/Rear (to raise children
Childrearing refers to the overall process and effort involved with raising children, including the basics, like feeding them and keeping them healthy, as well as other aspects of nurturing them and teaching them how to behave.


Care

the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something.


Child

a young human being below the age of puberty or the legal age of majority.


Resolution and BOP
The resolution of this debate is "Biological women are psychologically better suited than biological men to raise and care for children". To win this debate I, taking the PRO position, must prove that on average biological women have certain psychological characteristics that make them better suited to raise and care for children as compared to biological men. If CON does not prove this to be false, CON has lost the debate. 

Men and women exhibit various phycological differences. These distinctions to varying degrees biologically innate and evolutionary.
I am NOT claiming or arguing that:
1) women should stay at home and raise children 
2) women belong in the home 
I AM arguing that on average the phycological differences between biological men and women make women better suited and equipped to raise and care for their young. 

Parents are tasked with taking their youth, and developing them socially, emotionally, and hygienically. Young children need empathy, attention, and comfort. Women are on average, better suited to provide this to the young. 

C1.
A large meta-analysis comparing sex differences in interests between men and women illustrates that men have a preference towards working with objects while women have a preference for working with people.


Technical manuals for 47 interest inventories were used, yielding 503,188 respondents. Results showed that men prefer working with things and women prefer working with people, producing a large effect size

To be better suited to raise children, must one not have an innate phycological tendency and preference to work with fellow human beings? This study illustrates that men are more interested in physical objects, and that is not to say that they dont care for people, but women have a greater tendency to do so. 

C2
Large sex-comparing cognitive studies have concluded that on average, women have more empathic thought patterns, while rational thought is more prevalent in men. 


Other studies have suggested that rational thought trumps empathy in men’s brains more than in women’s brains. For instance, a 2003 article in the journal Neuroreport found that when women were asked to identify other people’s emotions, their brain activity indicated they were truly feeling the emotions they saw. Men, by contrast, showed activity in brain regions associated with rational analysis, indicating they were just identifying the emotions and considering whether they’d seen them before—a more objective position.


Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Young children need empathy in their lives, because they are tender, emotional, and make bad choices because they aren't socialized. A parent's job is to guide their child, into making good choices. In order to do so, they must be tolerant and understanding.


C3
On average, women are more likely to care for their elderly parents, while less likely to abuse and abandon their young children. 

they are more likely to be mentally retarded—than women; men are more likely to abuse and abandon their children, and less likely to take care of their aging parents.


This is again, not to suggest that all men abuse children, but considering the studies presented above in addition to this one, to illustrate that women have more tolerance and emotional care for children on average. 


Conclusion 
Women and men to varying degrees have different psychological tendencies. These differences favor women in their ability to provide emotional care and nurture children over men. 

Please vote CON.

Sources
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19883140/
https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/women_more_empathic_than_men
https://www.thegreatcoursesdaily.com/analyzing-gender-differences-in-psychology/
https://www.dictionary.com/browse/childrearing
Other definitions are from google (Oxford) 


Con
The tasks necessary to raise and care for children include:
A. Providing food and feeding child in the early years before they can feed themselves
B. Providing shelter, with space to play, and avoiding threats such as fire, storms, strong electricity
C. Socialising child within the relevant culture. 
D. Interacting with child, conversing. 
E. Providing resources such as clothes, medicine, and education. 
F. Responding to unforseen problems such as headline and depression. 
G. Keep child clean, which requires changing diapers in early years, but otherwise access to shower facilities. 

Therefore to provide adequate care to raise a  child needs both time and money.  In regards to the latter, men have traditionally had more access to financial resources in patriarchal cultures such as our own.  Spare time is also dependsnt on economic circumstances.  Therefore, if anything, men are better suited to raise children, on average, than women.  This may not have to do with biological sex so much as with cultural gender privilege though.

In any case, I do not need to prove that men are better suited to caring for children.  Rather, my opponent needs to show that women are biologically better suited than men to the tasks described above. Given that men prepare food, engage in social behaviour, build houses and aquire resources all around us, it seems on the surface that the sexes are equally suited to those tasks.  I look forward to my opponent's argument therefore.

A NOTE ABOUT VOTING
if formal voting is too complex, just vote in the comments.  Thanks! 
Round 2
Pro

Thanks, Yabbie. 

Resolution and BOP
This debate resolves that Biological women are psychologically better suited than biological men to raise and care for children. 

  • To win this debate I, as PRO, must prove the resolution.
  • As this debate stands, I have proven the resolution

Unfortunately, nearly everything CON has said in round one is irrelevant. 
CON seems to be arguing whether men or women are better suited to raise children regarding things like "financial resources and patriarchal cultures," which has nothing to do with whether they are psychologically better suited, a mistake on his part. Having said this, the voters can almost discard CON's entire round 1 case. 

CON claims,
In any case, I do not need to prove that men are better suited to caring for children. Rather, my opponent needs to show that women are biologically better suited than men to the tasks described above.
  • OBJECTION, CON claims I must prove that women are biologically better suited than men to raise children. This is false.
  • The resolution states that biological women are psychologically better suited than biological men to raise and care for children. While biology and psychology are related to varying degrees, they are not synonyms, and should not be used in this way. 
  • I am making a specific distinction between the terms to prevent attempts of using the logical fallacy of equivocation, which occurs when a key term or phrase in an argument is used in an ambiguous way, with one meaning in one portion of the argument and then another.
  • CON is accurate in stating he does not need to prove that men are BETTER suited than women.
  • CON must, however, contend and refute the resolution by refuting evidence presented that women ARE psychologically better suited to raise children. CON once again makes a statement irrelevant to the debate. 
CON argues,
Given that men prepare food, engage in social behavior, build houses, and acquire resources all around us, it seems on the surface that the sexes are equally suited to those tasks.
  1. The statement, "men engage in social behavior" is true but so do dogs and cats. The point being that CON does not explain how this is relevant. 
  2. CON does not include anything to substantiate a psychological claim, and it is unclear as to whether he has made one. CON is unable to show how any of these claims relate to the resolution. 
  • CON must therefore drop this baseless argument.


I extend all of my round one arguments. 
  • CON has presented no evidence.
  • CON makes baseless points, with no substantiative meaning
  • CON fails to address any of the large studies I have presented.
  • CON has made no claim relevant to the resolution. 
  • CON drops all of my round 1 arguments

C2.1
Bodies of research show that women are more likely to offer praise, and be less inappropriate. This is important because children need positive reinforcement in their development. Men are also more aggressive on average and have higher rates of unprovoked aggression. This is to reinforce the idea that women are psychologically more tender and have a greater capability ot be tolerant towards children.

Girls are also more likely than boys to offer praise, to agree with the person they’re talking to, and to elaborate on the other person’s comments; boys, in contrast, are more likely than girls to assert their opinion and offer criticisms (Leaper & Smith, 2004). In terms of temperament, boys are slightly less able to suppress inappropriate responses and slightly more likely to blurt things out than girls (Else-Quest, Hyde, Goldsmith, & Van Hulle, 2006).

With respect to aggression, boys exhibit higher rates of unprovoked physical aggression than girls, but no difference in provoked aggression (Hyde, 2005).

Conclusion
I have proven that Biological women are psychologically better suited than biological men to raise and care for children. 
CON fails to address any arguments made in round one. 

Please vote PRO. 

Sources
https://www.txstate.edu/philosophy/resources/fallacy-definitions/Equivocation.html
https://open.maricopa.edu/makingconflictsuckless/chapter/gender-and-conflict/



Con
Raising and caring for children requires completing several basic tasks, which I listed in the previous round.  Our society is structured around caring for the young, and so these tasks seem basic, but actually each of them involves complex psychological functioning.  Buying clothes for children, for example, requires perception, memory, planning, coordination and comparison.  Therefore, when I said that parenting requires time and money, I did not mean to imply that time and money would be sufficient on their own.  A fern or a simple robot would not make adequate parents of human children no matter how much money and time they had.  Rather, for human parents, money and time are constraints on how well they can provide for their children.  It's better to be born rich than smart.

Obtaining resources also requires complex psychological functioning.  Holding down a job or running a successful business is not easy at all and requires learning, responding, planning, social skills and all manner of executive functions.  Therefore, my opponent's suggestion that managing financial resources has nothing to do with parents' psychology is simply untrue.  

My arguments from round 1 stand.  The basic tasks of parenting listed in the previous round require psychological functioning that both men and women are capable of, on average.  Several of the tasks, such as obtaining resources for the family, have traditionally been better performed by men than women.  Therefore there is no reason to conclude that women are better suited to raising and caring for children than men are.

I will now address my opponent's arguments.

Pro's argument 1: Women's career preferences are more social than men's are.

Pro argues that women like to work with other people and because children are also people, women must therefore like raising children.  Actually, though, the responsibilities of parenting take women away from social situations, and the loneliness of motherhood has been well documented.  In any case, social orientation is not the only career interest mentioned in Pro's source.  It also states that men have more realistic interests than women do, which could suit them to the practical aspects of raising and caring for children.

Pro's argument 2: Women are more empathetic, men are more rational

Pro argues that children need to learn to make good choices, and so they need an empathetic parent (mother) rather than a rational parent (father). Without further explanation, this seems counterintuitive - surely, a rational parent would be best placed to teach good decision making.  In any case, the idea that women are empathetic while men are rational is an old-fashioned stereotype.  Pro's own source concluded that “almostall humans, regardless of sex, have the basic ability to cultivate empathy”.

Pro's argument 3: Men are more likely to abuse and abandon their children, they are less likely to care for elderly parents

To support this argument, Pro cited an opinion article that mused on the weaknesses of men: their tendency to criminality, homelessness, their propensity to abuse and abandon their children, their neglect of elderly parents.  However, as the article makes clear, men are better represented on the extremes of almost every measure.  They are the best and the worst.  For every criminal there is an outstanding law-abider.  For every homeless abuser, there is a kindly hero in a lovely house.  In this way, the average for men and women is roughly the same. 

It should also be noted that having the responsibility for caring for old people is a constraint on financial and time resources and would make women less rather than more suited to the competing responsibilities of caring for children.

Pro's argument 4: Girls are more likely to offer praise in the playground 

My opponent cited research on young children at school that found girls offered more praise to their peers than boys, and boys were more likely to offer opinions and criticism than girls.  These early playground behaviours would lead to similar behaviours 20 years later, the argument seems to be.  However, so many changes occur between the ages of 10 and 30 that this seems too big an assumption.  Further, it is not obvious why tendency to praise would make someone better suited to raising children than asserting opinions.  Sometimes parents need to be firm, for example, to tell their children not to grab strange dogs in the street, and according to Pro's argument, men should be better suited to do that and keep their children safe.

Conclusion
We live in a diverse society and there are many ways of raising children.  The main tasks of parenting, however, such as providing food, shelter, resources and education, are within the psychological capacities of most adults, men and women, provided they have sufficient money and time.





Round 3
Pro
Thanks, Yabbie.

CON made a series of points and "refutations," and most of them are strawmen or easily refutable points.
Unfortunately, I dont think any of them work. I will tear through them and extend my own case. 

I) 
Raising and caring for children requires completing several basic tasks, which I listed in the previous round. Our society is structured around caring for the young, and so these tasks seem basic, but actually each of them involves complex psychological functioning. Buying clothes for children, for example, requires perception, memory, planning, coordination and comparison. Therefore, when I said that parenting requires time and money, I did not mean to imply that time and money would be sufficient on their own. A fern or a simple robot would not make adequate parents of human children no matter how much money and time they had. Rather, for human parents, money and time are constraints on how well they can provide for their children.  It's better to be born rich than smart.
CON argues that buying clothes for children "requires perception, memory, planning, coordination and comparison" as psychological processes, but thats a logical leap. I'll breifly explain this.
  • CON argued, in round 1, that men are better suited BECAUSE they have financial resources.

Therefore to provide adequate care to raise a child needs both time and money. In regards to the latter, men have traditionally had more access to financial resources in patriarchal cultures such as our own (CON round 1) 
  • First CON says men are better suited to be parents because they have more money which of course is irrelevant, then CON says actions buying clothes involves aspects of psychology. What's missing here? The evidence that men have any of these aspects in greater psychological tendencies perhaps?
    Also buying clothes for children really isn't all that indicative of avidly raising a child. You can buy a red shirt and not a blue one and still be a good parent
CON then contends,
Therefore, my opponent's suggestion that managing financial resources has nothing to do with parents' psychology is simply untrue.  
  • OBJECTION, CON uses the straw man logical fallacy, an intentionally misrepresented proposition that is set up because it is easier to defeat than an opponent's real argument. let's revisit round 1:

In regards to the latter, men have traditionally had more access to financial resources in patriarchal cultures such as our own. (CON round 1)
  • And my round 2 response:

CON seems to be arguing whether men or women are better suited to raise children regarding things like "financial resources and patriarchal cultures," which has nothing to do with whether they are psychologically better suited, a mistake on his part. (PRO round 2) 

As you can see, beyond a reasonable doubt CON has set up a position to refute. I argue that having financial resources alone has nothing to do with psychology, it's just stating that a person has money. The ability to manage resources was not mentioned by either of us.
  • CON has shown no evidence that men are better at managing resources than women
  • In fact, research shows that women are generally better at managing financial resources than men. 
Compared to men, women tend to be more cautious. Women are a bit more considered in their approach when taking risks and when profiled, tend to be more risk averse. Women weigh up pros and cons and are more thoughtful about potential costs. As a gender, women tend to take fewer risks and when this translates to managing money women are not as likely to lose their savings in risky, or higher risk, settings.

According to a recent BMO poll, men are more likely to get into debt. About 33 per cent of the male respondents had more than $100,000 in debt as opposed to only 22 per cent of women. 
  • While CON argues a strawman position, the argument they make of it is still incorrect. How amusing. 
The source and point on the idea that people that have money to succeed are completely irrelevant, and it really seems like CON refutes their own argument once again. How are men better suited to care for children if they work much more?

CON further argues, 
Several of the tasks, such as obtaining resources for the family, have traditionally been better performed by men than women.
Take note of this, CON links an article explaining the gender pay gap here. One of the largest factors of the gender wage gap is the fact that men work more hours than women. 

But this gap doesn’t take into account the fact that on average, men work more hours than women. According to U.S. census data, men spend an average of 41.0 hours per week at their jobs, while women work an average of 36.3 hours per week.
Secondly, CON's own source claims,

Mothers with children younger than 18 were more likely than fathers to say they needed to reduce their work hours, felt like they couldn’t give full effort at work, and turned down a promotion because they were balancing work and parenting responsibilities. 
CON's own source says that female parents are more likely than male parents to reduce their work hours due to parental responsibilities. So we have drawn two facts from CON's own arguement. 
  1. Men work more hours than women
  2. Women are more likely to take time off work to parent 
This is interesting because it actually supports my case and goes against CON's. Mothers are more likely to feel they can not give a full effort at work due to parenting young children. 





II) 

Pro argues that women like to work with other people and because children are also people, women must therefore like raising children.
  • OBJECTION, strawman. 
  1. I argued that women prefer working with people and men prefer working with objects. 
  2. I never said because of this "women must therefore like raising children" this is a complete strawman, but I will assume CON made a mistake just to be charitable. 
I wouldn't claim ALL women like raising children, thats not a good argument, and not one I am interested in making. However, women do on average have a greater tendency to prefer working with people, and that is very relevant to the resolution of the debate, because on average, the men would be more interested in working with objects and not people. 

Most mothers with children actually do prefer, or would much rather raise them according to a large study of 323,500 U.S. adults.

54 percent of mothers with children under the age of 18 say they would rather be at home than in the office, and only 40 percent of mothers with young children say they are employed because they prefer to be.
So when women have children, most of them would prefer stay at home and raise them. 
CON fails to even touch this argument. 





III) Empathy
Con argues,


In any case, the idea that women are empathetic while men are rational is an old-fashioned stereotype.
Okay? Just because something is a stereotype, does not mean it has no psychological reality. I'm afraid this is an irrelevant claim.


Pro's own source concluded that “almost all humans, regardless of sex, have the basic ability to cultivate empathy”.
Yes, I agree! Every human has the capacity for empathy, but what point does this prove? The argument was that women on average have a greater tendency to be empathetic than men, I never claimed that men arent empathethic. This is simply CON pointing out the obvious.

Without further explanation, this seems counterintuitive - surely, a rational parent would be best placed to teach good decision making
Rationality is important in cases, but Children need empathy in their development. Experts have concluded that this is integral to socializing children and preparing them for interactions with others in the real world. It is integral to their ability to perform basic aspects of communication. If women have the best capacity to display this, this is a benefit to the child. 

Experts agree that empathy is an important tool for children to have in their emotional toolbox. Empathy is important because it can help people build connection, regulate emotion, and promote helping behaviors. For kids, empathy can prevent bullying, help them make friends, and help them receive help from others.
Empathy also allows women to be more patient with their young, and this is backed by research as well. 

Recently, Rubalcava, Teruel and Thomas (2009)find that women are more likely to spend their income on investments in children, and theylink these allocations with direct measures of inter-temporal preference, which indicate thatwomen are more patient than men.

IV) 

To support this argument, Pro cited an opinion article 
Hold on, says who? It was an unbiased article analyzing research on psychological differences between sexes, written by Mark Leary, (Ph.D., Duke University) from the lecture series: Understanding the Mysteries of Human Behavior. Seriously, where does it indicate this being an opinion article? That would be like saying the CDC reporting the results of research is an opinion article. I'll let the voters observe how ridiculous this claim may be. 




V) 
My opponent cited research on young children at school that found girls offered more praise to their peers than boys, and boys were more likely to offer opinions and criticism than girls.  These early playground behaviours would lead to similar behaviours 20 years later, the argument seems to be. 
Why wouldn't they? Many differences between men and women are evolutionary or psychologically innate. CON shows no evidence that differences PROVEN to exist between girls and boys suddenly disappear after a few years. 

Further, it is not obvious why tendency to praise would make someone better suited to raising children than asserting opinions.  Sometimes parents need to be firm, for example, to tell their children not to grab strange dogs in the street, and according to Pro's argument, men should be better suited to do that and keep their children safe.
Sure, parents should be firm at times, but that has nothing to do with the claim at hand. Praise nurtures a child's confidence and sense of self.
Studies show that Children with more positive self-worth do better academically. 

Children with positive self-worth tend to make better grades in school, do not get discouraged easily, and have more productive lives overall.

Conclusion
I commend CON for attempting to refute my arguments, but CON has obviously failed to do so. I have proven that women are better suited to raise children as a matter of their psychology. 
Please vote PRO! 

Con
It's winter, inagine a child is hungry and cold, dressed in a thin shirt only.  Parent A is tender and really feels the child's distress. Parent B makes the child put on a thick coat and gives them a sandwich in a brisk and unemotional manner.  Parent C sends the child to high quality daycare which has central heating and provides healthy meals and stimulating activities. Which parent is doing a better job caring for and raising the child?  According to Pro's argument, it is parent A, according to mine, it is parent B or C. 

Kids need food, medicine, education, resources, not just "tenderness" and "empathy". Possibly, a sense of empathy might motivate a parent to provide practical care for a child, but Pro did not make this argument.  Rather, my opponent tried to dismiss the importance of practical care altogether. Indeed, fathers working to support the family was held against them. They would be better parents if they quit their jobs and came home to gaze empathetically on their shivering children, according to Pro. 

Most mothers with young children would rather not be at work, Pro noted.  And yet they do work   That's because those mothers realize the importance of resources for raising kids. 

Little girls are more likely to offer praise than little boys, pro's argument goes (and why wouldn't we assume that those differences are sustained into adulthood? ) and praise is linked to heightened self esteem!  To prove it, Pro links us to the assertions made by "family builders" who, for a reasonable fee, can teach such skills to parents.  Maybe those opinionated and critical fathers coukd enrol in this course!  Although if they didn't learn anything in the 20 years since they were in the playground, it's probably optimistic to think a course could help them say "good job" to their kids. 

Empathy and praise are nice, but they are certainly not the only psychological attributes that contribute to raising kids. Planning skills, fortitude and reason are also important.  Therefore, Pro's arguments are self goals.

Thanks for the debate.