Masculine Logic and Feminine Logic

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greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
I'm sure you've heard this before. The man will say, "I can't believe how illogical that woman is. She can't see one single step in the argument." The woman will reply, "I can't believe that he is so slow that he can't see what is so blindingly obvious to ANYONE who could put two and two together." To quote someone famous, "What we have here is a failure to communicate."

Men think in a line, step by step, usually. Of course, everything in this post is pretty general, and has lots of exceptions. But men are, in general, linear thinkers. They like things spelled out in order. Skipping steps usually makes them uneasy, not to say discombobulated.

Women, on the other hand, are usually more intuitive. They don't have a problem skipping steps in the argument, and jumping right to the conclusion. They couldn't always tell you how they got there, but they often come up with these amazing leaps that seem almost superhuman to most males. Sometimes men call this a sixth sense, or a woman's intuition.

Men need to realize that a woman is not necessarily being illogical when she makes the leaps. It is merely that the woman doesn't feel she needs to spell out all the steps by which she arrived at her conclusion. Of course, sometimes the woman jumps to the wrong conclusions because she left out a few key distinctions/steps/factors that might have changed the conclusion. This is where the man can patiently explain to the woman how to reach the proper conclusion.

Women, by contrast, can help men increase the speed of reaching the conclusions, because sometimes it is important to reach a conclusion quickly, and spelling out all of the steps is not always necessary or desirable. Women also need to understand that men may not be slow and stupid just because they can't move at the dizzying pace of intuition that the woman can.

The difference is probably due at least in part to the way the brains are set up. In the womb, the boy receives a washing of testosterone that disconnects parts of the brain from one another, making intuitive leaps more difficult. The girl in the womb does not receive this, and so the connections are much more instantaneous. God's marvelous design is evident here, because men and women therefore complement each other very well. Sometimes the linear thinking of the male is more helpful (for instance, in engineering, where 98% of engineers are male). One does not want steps left out of the process in building a bridge! On the other hand, intuition is often extremely helpful in relationships, where one often needs the ability to read between the lines to be able to put oneself in the other person's shoes. Women are often much better at this than men, who often can't seem to put 2 and 2 together fast enough to be able to make the necessary leaps. So, men and women, rather than calling each other stupid, simply need to realize that there is often a different kind of logic at work, neither better or worse than the other, but often suited better to different tasks. Men and women, if they realized this better, would be better able to communicate with each other, and help each other in the areas where they are stronger.
 

Tripel

Puritan Board Senior
I don't know you, but I'm going to assume you are new to this country. Men and women are supposed to be the same.
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
Help me out here, Daniel. Was this meant to be funny? I need a few more steps laid out so that my linear mind can follow what you're saying. :p
 

Ex Nihilo

Puritan Board Senior
I think these things are generally true, but it's also important not to make women feel unfeminine if they are good at algorithmic types of thinking, and not to assume that any particular woman isn't good at what we would think of as "male logic." I've seen men and women who were very good at both, though perhaps more oriented towards one or the other. I see it as more of an overall complementarity rather than one that is true in every single case, though I don't mean to suggest that this isn't what you're saying! As an example, I am much more like the "feminine logic" you describe (though I think I'm also good at connecting the steps), but my best female friend in law school is far less prone to intuitive leaps. I think we've learned a lot from one another, and I definitely don't think she's less feminine because she's different from me.

It is also extremely refreshing to read the differences described in such a nuanced way, rather than the (as often incorrect as not) distinction of "men are rational, women are emotional."
 

greenbaggins

Administrator
Staff member
I think these things are generally true, but it's also important not to make women feel unfeminine if they are good at algorithmic types of thinking, and not to assume that any particular woman isn't good at what we would think of as "male logic." I've seen men and women who were very good at both, though perhaps more oriented towards one or the other. I see it as more of an overall complementarity rather than one that is true in every single case, though I don't mean to suggest that this isn't what you're saying!
I would agree completely. It may not have been completely clear, but I was thinking more of overall complementarity, and certainly don't want any man who is able to make intuitive leaps feel feminized, or a woman who can think linearly feel masculinized.
 

Wannabee

Obi Wan Kenobi
This marks one of the reasons why women should not be in combat. It also shows how she is better equipped by God for the glorious role He has given her as a help meet. My wife has saved my tail on numerous occasions when I was being "too logical." I can tend towards bluntness. She sees the relational aspects of things more clearly. My foot has been caught by her just inches from my mouth more than once.
I've also seen this "intuition" lead to a host of errors in the church though. "Miss Valerie has the gift of discernment, so we should ask her." Then she's viewed as some sort of prophetess. Recently a family visited our church where it was clear that the woman held her husband under her thumb with just this type of reasoning. Because she was gifted of God and he wasn't, he needed to listen to her. And listen to her he did. They left the church because I wouldn't listen to her...
 

Augusta

Puritan Board Doctor
Thanks for this Lane. You just described me and my husband. He is a computer science major and very precise. I am a really rapid thinker and highly intuitive and thus wrong often and not always as patient as I should be when we have to take the long route around a problem. I confess my eyes glaze over and I say with my autistic son "we are all done talking about that." :lol:

I love the Puritans and they pick things apart so finely and sometimes I just want them to get to the point right now! It takes me a while to read one of their books. It is really good for me to slow my thoughts down and go carefully.
 

tdowns

Puritan Board Junior
I've seen this....

I've also seen this "intuition" lead to a host of errors in the church though. "Miss Valerie has the gift of discernment, so we should ask her." Then she's viewed as some sort of prophetess.
Boy, have I seen this one around, and when the logical mind points out the factual error of the past discernment as a way to suggest that they may want to reconsider their "gift"....ROCKETS!!!!
 

Knoxienne

Puritan Board Graduate
This marks one of the reasons why women should not be in combat. It also shows how she is better equipped by God for the glorious role He has given her as a help meet. My wife has saved my tail on numerous occasions when I was being "too logical." I can tend towards bluntness. She sees the relational aspects of things more clearly. My foot has been caught by her just inches from my mouth more than once.
I've also seen this "intuition" lead to a host of errors in the church though. "Miss Valerie has the gift of discernment, so we should ask her." Then she's viewed as some sort of prophetess. Recently a family visited our church where it was clear that the woman held her husband under her thumb with just this type of reasoning. Because she was gifted of God and he wasn't, he needed to listen to her. And listen to her he did. They left the church because I wouldn't listen to her...
Thank you! I appreciate your perspective a lot.
 

LawrenceU

Puritan Board Doctor
Re: the OP.

One of the few Focus on the Family broadcasts that I can remember dealt with this issue; especially the brain changing it wiring in the womb. They also discussed the brain hemisphere issues. Fascinating stuff.

What I find amazing is how God does this in his creation. Adam was never in a womb to have his brain washed with testosterone. Yet, he was still incomplete and needed a wife.

Being a right brained male I find the topic fascinating. It explains much of the weird way I'm wired.
 

Ex Nihilo

Puritan Board Senior
This marks one of the reasons why women should not be in combat. It also shows how she is better equipped by God for the glorious role He has given her as a help meet. My wife has saved my tail on numerous occasions when I was being "too logical." I can tend towards bluntness. She sees the relational aspects of things more clearly. My foot has been caught by her just inches from my mouth more than once.
Probably so, though I would think the biggest (besides physical strength differences) is that women are not wired to be physically aggressive, at least not in the same way.
 

Scott1

Puritanboard Commissioner
A couple of things often get lost in discussions like this.

One has been rightly pointed out- there are lots and lots of exceptions to general behavior. That helps make life interesting.

Today my wife was talking about a certain characteristic she finds commonly among women she does not like. As she was describing it, I pointed out there are women who do not have that characteristic and in fact, are gifted toward the opposite. We both came to talk about women we know who do seem to have this general (positive) trait.

Honestly, I find these kinds of propositions fruitless (fine to talk about it, only from my own standpoint) because there are so many exceptions. It often degenerates into mere display of pride (using that word in its sin-prone context)

But more than that, it is a good thing there are differences. Men need women and women need men, as God made them. It is a beautiful thing when they compliment each other, not try to change each other to make them something they are not. Appreciate how God made them to be.

It takes both to make life better, and God pronounced His creation, male and female good.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
This marks one of the reasons why women should not be in combat.
Ummm, I'm going to have to disagree! Intuition can be very helpful in dangerous situations. My intuition sometimes helps me in seeing that my patient isn't doing well. Their vital signs might be ok etc, etc, but there is just something that isn't right! Now call the MD on that one and they...well, they really don't appreciate it very much especially during the night. But I once saved a woman's life just because of my intuition. I finally got the MD to move her to the ICU where she coded. Most everything about her seemed normal but there was one little thing that kept nagging at me and so I kept nagging the MD. So I'm sure that intuition could be very helpful when one feels something isn't right in a combat situation. I would have to agree with another commenter who stated that maybe they shouldn't be in combat due to strength I think that's the key...but I'll not judge a woman who does enter the military. :2cents:
 

Knoxienne

Puritan Board Graduate
This marks one of the reasons why women should not be in combat.
Ummm, I'm going to have to disagree! Intuition can be very helpful in dangerous situations. My intuition sometimes helps me in seeing that my patient isn't doing well. Their vital signs might be ok etc, etc, but there is just something that isn't right! Now call the MD on that one and they...well, they really don't appreciate it very much especially during the night. But I once saved a woman's life just because of my intuition. I finally got the MD to move her to the ICU where she coded. Most everything about her seemed normal but there was one little thing that kept nagging at me and so I kept nagging the MD. So I'm sure that intuition could be very helpful when one feels something isn't right in a combat situation. I would have to agree with another commenter who stated that maybe they shouldn't be in combat due to strength I think that's the key...but I'll not judge a woman who does enter the military. :2cents:
Yes, intuition is one of those things that can be either a blessing or a curse, depending on whether or not we are walking with the Lord - and the same would go for those things men are strong in. If we are in God's Word daily and seeking his will and seeking to mortify our flesh, I believe that intuition can be a very valuable thing. We are helpers, so it makes sense that intuition is something that we need as helpmeets and as life bearers and nurturers. We need to just "know" in order to help in many different situations, as the one you spoke of Sister Sarah. We just need to look at our intuition in the light of the principles of scripture.
 

Marrow Man

Drunk with Powder
When I think of the difference in logic b/t the sexes, I think of this:

[video=youtube;6Y9BukEBI9c]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Y9BukEBI9c[/video]
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
This marks one of the reasons why women should not be in combat.
Ummm, I'm going to have to disagree! Intuition can be very helpful in dangerous situations. My intuition sometimes helps me in seeing that my patient isn't doing well. Their vital signs might be ok etc, etc, but there is just something that isn't right! Now call the MD on that one and they...well, they really don't appreciate it very much especially during the night. But I once saved a woman's life just because of my intuition. I finally got the MD to move her to the ICU where she coded. Most everything about her seemed normal but there was one little thing that kept nagging at me and so I kept nagging the MD. So I'm sure that intuition could be very helpful when one feels something isn't right in a combat situation. I would have to agree with another commenter who stated that maybe they shouldn't be in combat due to strength I think that's the key...but I'll not judge a woman who does enter the military. :2cents:
Yes, intuition is one of those things that can be either a blessing or a curse, depending on whether or not we are walking with the Lord - and the same would go for those things men are strong in. If we are in God's Word daily and seeking his will and seeking to mortify our flesh, I believe that intuition can be a very valuable thing. We are helpers, so it makes sense that intuition is something that we need as helpmeets and as life bearers and nurturers. We need to just "know" in order to help in many different situations, as the one you spoke of Sister Sarah. We just need to look at our intuition in the light of the principles of scripture.
Sister Sarah? Yikes!...that gives me bad memories which I'll have to PM you about some day! :lol:
 

Ex Nihilo

Puritan Board Senior
This marks one of the reasons why women should not be in combat.
Ummm, I'm going to have to disagree! Intuition can be very helpful in dangerous situations. My intuition sometimes helps me in seeing that my patient isn't doing well.
I do not mean to start a huge debate on the role of women. However, the usefulness of feminine thinking in a lot of professions -- including nursing and law -- suggests to me that a Priscilla/Aquila couple business, with the wife helping the husband in the trade as he chooses, may be at least as ideal as the "traditional" idea that women are to be involved in domestic concerns only. To me, this biblically accounts for why many women are attracted to and talented at business, and provides a biblical structure in which her talents can be utilized for the family's good. Of course, coordination of skills isn't possible for every couple, so I also do not want to suggest that this is the only way to do things. I am sure there are many ways to be a good helpmeet.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
....and many woman are "coupled". Anyway, I really don't find too much wrong with women being in combat. If it is mostly men in the group, then one woman here or there isn't going to hurt anything as far as needing physical strength. I work with a woman who is just as or stronger than most men. I always go get her when I need help lifting a heavy patient. I don't see any Biblical reason why women cannot be in combat. But now I'm off :offtopic:
 

Ex Nihilo

Puritan Board Senior
....and many woman are "coupled". Anyway, I really don't find too much wrong with women being in combat. If it is mostly men in the group, then one woman here or there isn't going to hurt anything as far as needing physical strength. I work with a woman who is just as or stronger than most men. I always go get her when I need help lifting a heavy patient. I don't see any Biblical reason why women cannot be in combat. But now I'm off :offtopic:
I do not think it's explicit at all, but I've heard (and I'm sure the military guys here can say much better) that there are real personality differences between the sexes that do affect behavior in the heat of battle. Not to mention the possible distraction of gender mixing -- similar to the argument against gays in the military.
 

OPC'n

Puritan Board Doctor
Well, this will be my last comment since it has nothing to do with the wonderful OP. My pastor and church supports a military woman who is a member of our OPC church. We think she does us a great service and needs our prayers as she lays down her life for our country. But each to their own thinking on this. I of course would be swayed differently if Scripture stated othewise...otherwise it's just mankind making up rules which make them feel better about a situation. :banghead:
 

Ex Nihilo

Puritan Board Senior
Well, this will be my last comment since it has nothing to do with the wonderful OP. My pastor and church supports a military woman who is a member of our OPC church. We think she does us a great service and needs our prayers as she lays down her life for our country. But each to their own thinking on this. I of course would be swayed differently if Scripture stated othewise...otherwise it's just mankind making up rules which make them feel better about a situation. :banghead:
My understanding is that the U.S. military does not put women in combat positions. I think women are obviously very good at many other tasks in the military! I am thankful for their service, too.
 

py3ak

They're stalling and plotting against me
Staff member
Maybe you could start a thread on the topic, Sarah. Given the current of egalitarianism, if a draft were reinstated it might well include women, and if it did it would be good for churches to know what their position on women in combat is.
 

Theognome

Burrito Bill
Well, this will be my last comment since it has nothing to do with the wonderful OP. My pastor and church supports a military woman who is a member of our OPC church. We think she does us a great service and needs our prayers as she lays down her life for our country. But each to their own thinking on this. I of course would be swayed differently if Scripture stated othewise...otherwise it's just mankind making up rules which make them feel better about a situation. :banghead:
The Trinity isn't explicit, either- but it's there. I'll be happy to present a biblical argument concerning women in the military later on (in another thread, of course).

On a pragmatic level and speaking as a combat veteran, I certainly would not want intuition and nurture in such a situation. Give me straight, linear 'just do your job' thinking any day.

Theognome
 

Theoretical

Puritan Board Professor
....and many woman are "coupled". Anyway, I really don't find too much wrong with women being in combat. If it is mostly men in the group, then one woman here or there isn't going to hurt anything as far as needing physical strength. I work with a woman who is just as or stronger than most men. I always go get her when I need help lifting a heavy patient. I don't see any Biblical reason why women cannot be in combat. But now I'm off :offtopic:
I do not think it's explicit at all, but I've heard (and I'm sure the military guys here can say much better) that there are real personality differences between the sexes that do affect behavior in the heat of battle. Not to mention the possible distraction of gender mixing -- similar to the argument against gays in the military.
And there's the fact that women are easily the best targets for a sniper (shot to kill slowly/painfully), because of the fact that men's instinct to protect the women around them then causes them to take unnecessary risks and become targets.

This is referring strictly to combat situations.
 
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