Sexual Dimorphism and Sex-Role Behavior
If any human society--larger or small, simple or complex, based on the most rudimentary hunting and fishing, or on the whole elaborate interchange of manufactured products--is to survive, it must have a pattern of social life that comes to terms with the differences between the sexes.
Sex roles, the expectations surrounding them, and the ideological and ethical issues on their periphery, are important sociological topics. Although it has been called a "clearly indefensible hypothesis" ( Goldberg, 1991:4), it is safe to say that most sociologists still believe sex differences in behavioral traits and characteristics are quite trivial and mostly the consequence of social conditioning. Other scientists accept the notion of nontrivial differences between the sexes as axiomatic and mostly biological in origin ( Rossi 1977, 1984; Symons 1979, 1987; Ellis, 1986; Moir & Jessel, 1991).
The attitude of some mainstream social scientists to the mounting evidence of sexual dimorphism is analogous to the religious response to Darwinism in the nineteenth century: "Let us hope that it is not true; if it is, let us hope that it not be generally known." Some even use their positions as reviewers to try to prevent such information from becoming "generally known." Jo Durden- Smith and Diane de Simone ( 1983:20) related how one researcher's proposal for a book dealing with sex and the brain was dismissed by a reviewer with the words, "This book ought not be done." This was not a reflection of the reviewer's assessment of the researcher's scholarship but of his or her opinion that to explore the biological bases of sex differences is "sexist" and