Yvan Eht Nioj
The Guys and Gals Syndrome

Are you a Male or Female?  To find out, take this scientific quiz:

Dave Barry  Reader's Digest

1  You're on a tight deadline for developing a big salse proposal, but you've hit a snag.  You want to go one way; a co-worker named Bob strongly disagrees.  To break the deadlock, you:
  (a) Present your position, listen to the other side, then fashion a compromise
  (b) Punch Bob.
2 Your favourite team is about to win the championship, but at the last second the victory is stolen away by a terrible referee's call.  You :
  (a) Remind yourself that it's just a game, that there are far more important things in life.
  (b) Punch Bob.

How to score:  If you answered "b" to both questions, then you are a male.  I base this statement on an article  in the New York Times about the way animals, including humans, respond to stress.  According to the article, a group of psychology researchers have made the break-through discovery that- prepare to be astounded- Males and females are different.
The researchers discovered this by studying both humans and rats, which are very similar to humans except that they are not stupid enough to purchase lottery tickets.  The studies show that when males are under stress, they respond by either fighting or running away- the so-called "fight or flight" syndrome.  Females respond by nurturing others and making friends- the so-called "tend and befriend" syndrome.
This finding is big news in the psychology community, which is apparently located on a distant planet.  Here on earth, we've been aware for some time that males and females respond differently to stress.  We know that if two males bump into each other, they'll respond like this:
First male:  Hey! watch it!
Second male:  No, YOU watch it!
First male:  Oh, yeah?
*they deliberatly bump into each other again*
Two females in an identical situation will respond like this:
First female:  I'm sorry!
Second female:  No, it's my fault!
First female: Say, those are cute shoes!
(They go shopping) 

If the psychology community needs further proof of the difference between the sexes, i invite it to attend the party held in my neighbourhood each Halloween.  This party is attended by several hundred small children who are experiencing stress because their bloodstreams- as a result of the so-called "trick or treat" syndrome- contain roughly the same sugar content as Cuba.  Here's how the sexes respond:
  • The females, 97 percent of whom are dressed as either a ballerina or a princess, sit in little social groups and exchange candy
  • The males, 97 pecent of whom are dressed as either Batman or a power ranger, run around making martial arts noises and bouncing violently off one another like crazed atomin particles

Here are some other gender based syndromes that the psychology community might want to look into:

  • The "laundry refolding" syndrome: This has been widely noted by both me and my friend Jeff.  The male will attempt to fold a piece of laundry.  When he is done, the female, with a look of disapproval, will immediatly pick it up and refold it so that it is much neater and smaller.  "My wife can make an entire bedsheet virtually disappear,"  Jeff reports.
  • The "inflatable pool toy" syndrome:  From the dawn of civilization, the task of inflating inflatable pool toys has fallen to the male.  It is often the femail who comes home with an inflatable pool toy the size of the Hindenburg, causing the youngsters to become very excited.  But it is inevitably the male who spends two hours blowing the toy up, after which he keels over, while the kids who have been helping out by whining impatiently, leap joyfully onto the toy, puncturing it immediately.

I think psychology researchers should find out if these syndromes exist in other species.  They could put some rats into a cage with tiny pool toys and miniature pieces of laundry, then watch to see what happens.  My guess is that there would be fighting.  Among the male researchers, i mean.  It's a shame, this male tendancy towards aggression, which had caused so many horrible problems such as war and hockey.  It frankly makes me ashamed of my gender.

I'm going to punch Bob.


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