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Biology is Destiny As early as the 4th century BC, Aristotle (384-322 BC) declared that "women were women by virtue of a certain lack of qualities". His predecessor the Greek historian and army general Thucydides (c. 460-400 BC) had some advice for women.


Early thinking about the difference between women and men was based on essentialist ideas about gender which maintained that women's and men's differences are a result of biology. The belief that biology is destiny suggests that, in comparable situations, men exhibit "masculine" psychological traits such as aggressiveness, rationality and assertiveness, whereas women will exhibit "feminine" traits such as gentleness, intuitiveness and sensitivity. These differences, it was believed, translated into particular patterns of thought, feeling and behaviour specific to I each gender. 5

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