Sex Exist, Races Don’t

Yes, I know this was your smartass way of suggesting that African-Americans are simply naturally more criminal than white people. It is okay, you don’t need to sugarcoat it. I will call you a racist anyway. I can hear your dog whistle very well and I can read between the lines.

I know you must feel awefully clever. I wonder how long time you spent coming up with this analogy. Only there is a minor glitch, which makes your whole analogy fall on its face. Sex is actually real. Men and women have different concentrations of hormones and other biological differences that affect behavior such as risk taking. Which also naturally tends to lead to more violence and crime.

Races in contrast have no biological meaning. They are social constructs. Men and women on the other hand are related to real biological differences on many levels. Having different skin color isn’t a significant biological difference. It is not like black and white people have different hormones.

But of course the difference between genders is also amplified by society. It is not all natural. We start from early on the encourage and discourage different behavior between men and women. The behavior that is more likely to land men in prison is also behavior that we are often encouraging in men. I also believe the school system is not always good at catering to boys. School is often centered on being obedient, sitting still and paying attention. A lot of boys mature later and have more problems sitting still and paying attention. They crave wilder and more action filled play which society often discourage.

I am sure the male overrepresentation in prison could in fact be reduced by socializing men different, although there are real biological differences you could most likely not erase. You are not going to inject people with different hormone cocktails.

But this is not different between blacks and whites. African-Americans are placed in violent neighborhoods with poorer schools. Of course that will lead to a different socializing and different outcome. That is a legacy of things like red lining forcing blacks to live in bad neighborhoods.

If you want to change people, you need to change their environment. That applies to both men, women, blacks and whites.

But that sounds to hopeful doesn’t it? Much more comfortable to think all traits are immutable and forever fixed. Then we don’t need to put in an effort to effect change.

Written by

Geek dad, living in Oslo, Norway with passion for UX, Julia programming, science, teaching, reading and writing.

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