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Differences of passions between genders


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#21 Christina M.

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 04:33 AM

Significant as they may be they are already skewed as some one else noted. Men do not tend to report abuse by women for fear of rejection and humiliation.

I agree with this. But like I said above, even if most male cases are not reported, there is still an abundance of reported cases. In the majority of those reported cases, the offender is still male by a long shot.

Pedaphiles are an extreme case and we should not taint the results with extremes.

Here you have betrayed your own point, because it is well known that most pedophiles are males. Why shouldn't we taint the results with extremes? If both sexes were equal, then the extremes would show 50% male and 50% female. Pedophilia is nothing other than a sexual passion. Because the great majority of pedophiles are male, this shows that they generally have more passion.

You can't two-step alone.

Whatever, man. Ed's monachos was doing the tango all alone.

#22 Brian Patrick Mitchell

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 01:38 PM

It would seem that males and females share most passions equally, but lust really does seem to be something different.


Christina, this is where you run into trouble and why your question has provoked the responses it has. You are basically saying that men are more troubled than women, which suggests that they are also more sinful. This is just as wrong as insisting that men and women are equally passionate about sex. Women are more inclined to other passions, just as bad. St. John Chrysostom bears witness to this in the passage I mentioned above.

Many other saints could be quoted on the typically female failings of women. I didn't quote more of them because I didn't want to seem to be attacking women. Rather, I hoped you would reflect what passions of women counterbalance, so to speak, the passions of men. Instead, like a woman, you have continued to focus of the typically male failings of men while remaining oblivious to the typically female failings of women. Simply put, you are asking the wrong question.

#23 Nina

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 03:20 PM

Many other saints could be quoted on the typically female failings of women.


Father, I agree, but even the Saints would be surprised today to see how much women have advanced in their failings and have included even more. Maybe because they were gatherers they have gathered even more negative things today in the character in part fueled by the media. I mean let's not go to the times of St. Chrysostom, but to consult St. Kosmas Aetolos who is even a more recent Saint (couple of centuries from us). He praised *blushing* and said it is a virtue for women. But today blushing is considered as lack of self-esteem. This is how little by little virtues are attacked and vices are praised today.

#24 Brian Patrick Mitchell

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 04:54 PM

Father, I agree, but even the Saints would be surprised today to see how much women have advanced in their failings and have included even more. Maybe because they were gatherers they have gathered even more negative things today in the character in part fueled by the media. I mean let's not go to the times of St. Chrysostom, but to consult St. Kosmas Aetolos who is even a more recent Saint (couple of centuries from us). He praised *blushing* and said it is a virtue for women. But today blushing is considered as lack of self-esteem. This is how little by little virtues are attacked and vices are praised today.


Indeed. I see no reason not to expect that the vices of men vs. women vary with the culture, with our culture tending to accentuate the vices of women. What is plain in the Fathers is that one sex is not spiritually superior to the other by nature and that our fallenness manifests itself differently in the sexes.

#25 Nina

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Posted 26 April 2011 - 09:40 PM

Indeed. I see no reason not to expect that the vices of men vs. women vary with the culture, with our culture tending to accentuate the vices of women.


Oh no. I never intended to say that. And I never thought about that actually since media spreads vices (and some time virtues) all over the world instantly in our days.

What is plain in the Fathers is that one sex is not spiritually superior to the other by nature

Of course not. St. John Chrysostom made a point about it (I paraphrase): "God did not create the woman from the bones of the head of the man showing thus that she is not superior, neither from the bones of his feet showing thus that she is not inferior, but from the middle/his ribs to show that He created them equal."

#26 Brian Patrick Mitchell

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 02:15 PM

I see no reason not to expect that the vices of men vs. women vary with the culture, with our culture tending to accentuate the vices of women.


On second thought, I think the story of the Fall is a good basis for believing that when one sex goes bad, the other goes bad with it, just not always in the same ways. And so, while today's culture seems to bring out the worst in women, it might also be bringing out the worst in men. That seems to me to be the safer assumption.

#27 Christina M.

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 03:22 PM

You are basically saying that men are more troubled than women, which suggests that they are also more sinful.

Father, I disagree that if men are in general more predisposed to the passion of lust, this "suggests that they are also more sinful." I shall prove my point using a story from the Fathers (this is paraphrased):

There was a young monk who had a terrible warfare of the flesh, and his elder asked him: "My child, do you want me to pray that God takes away this passion from you?" The monk replied: "Elder, although these temptations are troubling me very much, I am noticing great benefit in my soul from the struggle, so I would prefer if you would not pray that God takes this away from me." And from this the elder understood that his disciple was more advanced than him.

Here we can see that just because someone is more passionate, doesn't mean he/she is more sinful.

And there is another similar story which has a similar lesson (paraphrased again):

A young monk went up to his elder and said: "Elder, I think I might have attained dispassion. I haven't had any troublesome thoughts or warfare against the passions for a long time." The elder replied: "My child, beg God to take this dispassion away from you! You will not make any progress without warfare."


Rather, I hoped you would reflect what passions of women counterbalance, so to speak, the passions of men. Instead, like a woman, you have continued to focus of the typically male failings of men while remaining oblivious to the typically female failings of women.

Father, I didn't realize that this is how my writings looked, and it is definitely not what I intended. Those who know me know that I am very much against feminism. It's just that there seems to be a big difference in general in the passion of lust between the two genders. The statistics I have shown above is a great indicator of that. If someone tries to indicate other differences of passions between the sexes, I don't think the difference will be as noticeable. For example, one might say that women are more vain (in general) by nature, but there are too many examples of men being vain as well. And also there would be no statistical evidence to show that one sex is more vain than the other, and even if there were, it wouldn't be such a huge gap such as shown above for the passion of lust.

I must repeat (not directed towards you, Father), that we are talking "in general". Of course a lustful woman might have more lust than a dispassionate man. I had a feeling that someone might say: "You are judging the entire race of men over a few statistics. Stop judging people."

What is plain in the Fathers is that one sex is not spiritually superior to the other by nature and that our fallenness manifests itself differently in the sexes.

This is a great statement, Father. I completely agree with this, and I don't think I have written anything above that would indicate otherwise.

#28 Christina M.

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 04:44 PM

Someone sent me a feedback comment that reminded me of more evidence that shows that men are in general more lustful than women: Pornography. I think this is very self-explanatory, so I shall leave it at that. If someone demands statistics, though, I will come back and give you statistics.

#29 Brian Patrick Mitchell

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 05:54 PM

Text deleted.

Edited by Brian Patrick Mitchell, 27 April 2011 - 06:23 PM.
Unintentionally posted.


#30 Nina

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 06:03 PM

I do not know if you guys read/have read Cosmopolitan and the likes (I used to read it in the past), but women are taught by modern media to engage in watching porn as to get the attention of their partner!!! Not to mention things printed (images, texts) sometime in these magazines are borderline soft-porn. So the modern world is encouraging women to behave this way which is contrary to their nature.

Also in Europe porn magazines are sold in stands where not only women and people walk by daily, but also families with little children. And in Europe there are huge banners, printed adds and other things in stores, buildings etc. with many things like soft-porn and right in middle of neighborhoods with young families.

#31 Brian Patrick Mitchell

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 06:22 PM

For example, one might say that women are more vain (in general) by nature, but there are too many examples of men being vain as well. And also there would be no statistical evidence to show that one sex is more vain than the other, and even if there were, it wouldn't be such a huge gap such as shown above for the passion of lust.


How many billions of dollars do women spend on cosmetics, which men do without entirely? How many more billions of dollars do women spend on clothes? How many more pairs of shoes does the average woman own, compared to the average man? Why must working women have a different outfit for each day of the week, instead of alternating suits as men do? When does a man worry about wearing the same suit or tie as another man? Why do women suffer eating disorders much more often than men? How many more diet books, exercise videos, and fashion magazines cater to women instead of men?

Really, Christina, I don't think you've thought things through very well. Perhaps you are very young. Or perhaps you are just female. "Women are unstable, prone to error, and mean-spirited," says St. Epiphanius. The woman is "somewhat talkative," "fond of ornament," and "in some sort a weaker being and easily carried away and light-minded," says St. John Chrysostom. "The sex is somehow weaker and needs much support, much condescension," he adds; the sex is "weak and fickle." Their "weak and vacillating minds, if left to their own devices, soon degenerate," says St. Jerome.

That's what the Fathers say, and I think most men would agree. Sorry to be so blunt, but you really have been asking for it.

#32 Christina M.

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 06:28 PM

To save myself some trouble, I'm going to just quote a passage from my book The Scandal of Gender: Early Christian Teaching on the Man and the Woman (Regina Orthodox Press, 1998). After citing Chrysostom's Homily 30 on Matthew (quote above), I wrote:

My goodness, Father! You should've mentioned earlier that you wrote an entire book on the subject!! :) LOL! That was surprising.

You seem though to have left off the rest of your final quote, because you left it off on an empty "but"... Can you please quote the rest of that paragraph if you have time, and if it is relevant?

I tried to find your book on Amazon.com, but I guess it's not sold there (I only like to order from Amazon... probably because I'm lazy and I only have to press one button to have it come to my house in 2 days with free shippiing). I would have liked to take a look at it, since I think the topic is interesting.

#33 Christina M.

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 06:32 PM

How many billions of dollars do women spend on cosmetics, which men do without entirely? How many more billions of dollars do women spend on clothes? How many more pairs of shoes does the average woman own, compared to the average man? Why must working women have a different outfit for each day of the week, instead of alternating suits as men do? When does a man worry about wearing the same suit or tie as another man? Why do women suffer eating disorders much more often than men? How many more diet books, exercise videos, and fashion magazines cater to women instead of men?

Really, Christina, I don't think you've thought things through very well. Perhaps you are very young. Or perhaps you are just female. "Women are unstable, prone to error, and mean-spirited," says St. Epiphanius. The woman is "somewhat talkative," "fond of ornament," and "in some sort a weaker being and easily carried away and light-minded," says St. John Chrysostom. "The sex is somehow weaker and needs much support, much condescension," he adds; the sex is "weak and fickle." Their "weak and vacillating minds, if left to their own devices, soon degenerate," says St. Jerome.

That's what the Fathers say, and I think most men would agree. Sorry to be so blunt, but you really have been asking for it.


Father, I think you are correct on the vanity issue. Also, it is very obvious that you know more about this subject than most of us here (and definitely more than me), so I respectfully step down from the discussion. Thank you for providing those quotes, because I find them interesting.

Christ is risen!

#34 Brian Patrick Mitchell

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Posted 27 April 2011 - 06:50 PM

On the characteristic weakness of the fallen woman, observed by the Apostles and the Fathers, here's a passage from my book The Scandal of Gender: Early Christian Teaching on the Man and the Woman (Regina Orthodox Press, 1998):

In our own day, we have seen bizarre examples of weak women who allow themselves to be deceived and led astray by evil men. Famous actors have their obliging fans, and rock stars their “groupies.” Manly rogues in prison, even, receive offers of marriage from women they have never known. Men as odious as Charles Manson find women who will shave their heads, tattoo their faces, and attend their trial every day to show support, in a satanic parody of the Holy Myrrhbearers.

. . .

A look at popular culture confirms the intense craving of women for companionship. The fashion industry shamelessly exploits the desire of women to command the attention and approval of others, while soap operas, romance novels, and romantic movies (“chick flicks”) provide women escapist fictions to fill a need that no real man can. It seems indeed that women crave company the same selfish way that men crave copulation. Seen in this light, the many forms of literature and drama offering women images of rapturous relationships correspond to the many magazines and movies offering men images of naked women. Both offer a fruitless indulgence in self-centered fantasy to take the place of actual experience with a real man or woman in the real but fallen world. Both encourage men and women to misplace their desires for the opposite sex and to expect too much or the wrong thing from sexual relationships.

The delusion of many women in our own day is seen in other ways as well. Women make up the gullible readership of the trashy tabloids and voyeuristic gossip magazines that glamorize the personal lives of celebrities. The vast majority of psychics, mediums, astrologers, palm-readers, and fortune-tellers are women, as are the bulk of their clientele. The so-called New Age movement is a largely feminine phenomenon. Feminism itself, in its academic, anti-rational, goddess-worship modes, attests to the capacity of women for self-deception.


The book is unfortunately out of print, but maybe someday I'll be able to correct that, God willing.

Indeed He is risen!

#35 Jan Sunqvist

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 05:51 AM

What do the Fathers say about the difference between genders on a spiritual level? Does the soul of a man differ from the soul of a woman, and if so, how?
Much about this seems mysterious to me...

#36 Fr Raphael Vereshack

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 01:18 PM

What do the Fathers say about the difference between genders on a spiritual level? Does the soul of a man differ from the soul of a woman, and if so, how?
Much about this seems mysterious to me...


Well, one very important teaching is that the soul is not generic. Rather it is personal and has its own personal characteristics which it retains from its creation through eternity. Now along with these personal characteristics the human soul is also distinctly characterized as either male or female.

In other words it is never correct to think of the human soul as generic as if its personal characteristics are just external clothing to what it really is. Instead what the human soul really is- is personal each with its own personal characteristics and distinctly either male or female.

By the way we also see this when we look at icons where we see people portrayed as they really are meant to be. In icons the personal does not fade away nor does the male & female distinction.

In the Risen Christ-
Fr Raphael

#37 Brian Patrick Mitchell

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 02:01 PM

In speaking of the nature of the man and the woman, as opposed to the way we find individual men and women in the fallen world, the Fathers mostly stress the likeness of the sexes — "bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh" — while admitting a largely undefined difference. In his commentary on 1 Cor. 11, St. Cyril of Alexandria writes that the woman is "the image of the image and the glory of the glory," saying she bears the image of God "in a sense through the man, because the nature of the woman differs in some small way."

This small difference is a mystery. The Fathers do not have a lot to say about it. Mostly they speak of a bodily difference. Clement of Alexandria speaks for the consensus of the Fathers in his Stromata:

We do not say that woman's nature is the same as man's, as she is woman. For undoubtedly it stands to reason that some difference should exist between each of them, in virture of which one is male and the other female. Pregnancy and partuition, accordingly, we say belong to woman, as she is woman, and not as she is a human being. But if there were no difference between man and woman, both would do and suffer the same things. As then there is sameness, as far as respects the soul, she will attain to the same virtue; but as there is difference as respects the peculiar construction of the body, she is destined for child-bearing and housekeeping.



So though spiritually the similar, the man and the woman are physically different, and their physical difference destines them — indeed, ordains them — for different roles in life, each with its own strengths, weaknesses, burdens, and passions.

Edited by Brian Patrick Mitchell, 28 April 2011 - 02:16 PM.


#38 Brian Patrick Mitchell

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 02:13 PM

Well, one very important teaching is that the soul is not generic. Rather it is personal and has its own personal characteristics which it retains from its creation through eternity. Now along with these personal characteristics the human soul is also distinctly characterized as either male or female.


Good point, Father. This is an important qualification to what I have written above. Furthermore, the soul is itself a mystery, as is the body even, and the connection between them is so close that it is not always easy to say what belong to one and not the other. Many psychological differences are biologically based. Men and women do often think differently, and their different ways of thinking suit them for their different roles.

But thinking itself, though biologically based, is not biologically determined: The man or the woman must still respond in spirit to what God has ordained, and God has not ordained androgyny.

#39 Nina

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 03:42 PM

Who is the Saint who said "Passions are energies of the soul which have taken the wrong direction."?

This quote paired with what Father Raphael mentioned above shows us that it is on a personal level regardless of gender.

#40 Bryan J. Maloney

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Posted 28 April 2011 - 03:43 PM

As someone who is very "good" at thoroughly unedifying argument, I wonder how it is edifying to compile a "Passions scorecard" of one sex vs. the other. Why is it important to "prove" that men are more prone to entertaining lust or women more prone to entertaining envy?

Just wondering?




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