Would World Affairs Be More Peaceful If Women Dominated Politics?

Topics: Violence, War, World War II Pages: 4 (1524 words) Published: October 31, 2005
Would World Affairs Be More Peaceful If Women Dominated Politics?

A recent addition to the study of international relations is the idea of gender and the difference it may have on political beliefs and actions. The argument is rooted in the concept that women are not as prone to violence and war as men, and therefore would lead the world in a more peaceful direction than it is currently going. To make this assumption, one would have to suppose that there are fundamental biological differences between men and women and that these differences result in behavioral variations as well. This is exactly what Francis Fukuyama does in his article "Women and the Evolution of World Politics" in the Taking Sides text. For the counter side of this issue in an essay entitled "The Myth of Women's Pacifism," Mary Caprioli disagrees with Fukuyama and contends that should women dominate the political world, they would act as aggressively as men in the present situation. Caprioli also maintains that Fukuyama's argument is based mainly on assumptions that have gone unproven. In addition to Fukuyama and Caprioli, there are others who also hold positions on this controversial topic such as Barbara Ehrenreich and Katha Pollitt. They have all asked the question: would a world ruled by women be more peaceful?

As an introduction to his essay, Fukuyama discusses primates, namely chimpanzees, their behavioral tendencies, and the similarities they exhibit with respect to humans. He declares that chimps are man's closest relative and thus one may compare behavioral and relational tactics between the two. In accordance with Fukuyama's argument that women are naturally less aggressive, he states that in studies of chimps the males are the ones who commit the violent acts while the females do not participate. Fukuyama contends that all humans are "hard-wired" to act in certain predictable ways; this predictable way that a woman will act is passive, nurturing, and less violent...

Cited: Bardwick, Judith M. Psychology of Women. Harper and Row Publishers, New York: 1971
Ehrenreich, Barbara, Katha Pollit, et al. Fukuyama 's Follies: So What if Women Ruled the World? Foreign Affairs, January/February 1999.
Garlick, Barbara, et al. Stereotypes of Women in Power. Greenwood Press, Connecticut: 1992
Rourke, John T. Taking Sides. McGraw-Hill/Duskin, Connecticut: 2004
Yeoman, Barry. Bad Girls. Psychology Today, November/December 1999.
Zalewski, Marysia, and Parpart, Jane. The "Man" Question in International Relations. Westview Press, Colorado: 1998
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