RE: memes and sexuality

From: Vincent Campbell (
Date: Wed Apr 18 2001 - 13:30:53 BST

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    Subject: RE: memes and sexuality
    Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2001 13:30:53 +0100
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            <According to John Stossel ("Give Me A Break" on 20/20), in
    households that do
    > not provide infant boys with toy guns or any kind of toy weaponry
    > (politically
    > correct pacifists we assume?), the boys use bananas, cucumbers, sticks, or
    > any
    > object that can be used to point as a substitute for a gun. They aim and
    > add
    > sound effects. They do this despite conditioning against it. As this
    > behavior
    > could be prompted by genetic rather than memetic cues, I suspect it
    > illustrates how genes help to direct memes.>
            Hmm... but, and here I'll risk contradicting myself a little (in
    relation to the suicide stuff) we shouldn't forget the informational
    environment. Unless that is completely removed of images of guns also, one
    would not expect the absence of toy guns to stop kids playing with imaginary
    ones (and yes, one could include the media in this).

            I don't see, however, how guns, or gun use could be genetically
    determined (surely, even if it was, then mistaking a banana for a gun would
    be rather non-adaptive :-)).

            <I suppose language skills comprise some components of gendered
    memes, since
    > females are better at language than are males. Furthermore, genetics may
    > play
    > important roles in determinining resistance to certain memes. For example,
    > cursory observation reveals men have a higher threshold to religious
    > propaganda, but once they fall for it, they go whole hog. Sexual
    > dimorphism
    > seems to me to extend to memetics quite readily. But maybe I've fallen
    > prey to
    > the sexism meme. τΏτ>
            Again, hmm... not sure here.


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