Monkeys and their toys, and what it means (and doesn't mean) for us
Somewhat surprisingly, Francois Tremblay is surprised by the results of a new study on primates that finds male monkeys prefer some kinds of toys over others. This suggests that "gender" differences may have some basis in sex after all.
I say "surprisingly" because scientifically speaking this conclusion is not at all a surprise or even really news. The research points overwhelmingly to innate differences between males and females, and anyone who follows this topic will already be familiar with it. The bulk of the resistance to the idea that there are innate sex differences seems to me to be motivated by non-scientific factors.
He muses: "What does this means for Anarchist views on gender relations, I wonder." This doesn't seem like a huge problem for me, since it already forms a part of my understanding of the world that there are real, innate differences between men and women other than the shapes/functions of their genitals. Everyone still has the right to live freely—science doesn't (and can't) challenge the moral basis for our system.
Of course, not every difference between men and women is innate. Our body of scientific knowledge leaves room for "gender" being distinct from "sex," we just need to remember that there are some biological bases for behavior. If our systems of thought don't acknowledge these kinds of facts about the world, we're in trouble. We can still fight the systematic oppression of women when we find it, because the shape of the bell curve for female intelligence has zero bearing on their rights.
Note: I can already see some of the objections that people will have to this, so let me have it and don't pull any punches.