Ratings: Last Man Standing Stands Tall, Ringer Rebounds, Parenthood Perks Up

Last Man Standing may have the last laugh. Despite receiving decidedly mixed reviews, the Tim Allen vehicle premiered to 13 million total viewers on Tuesday night, while scoring a Glee-like 3.5 demo rating. That amounts to ABC’s most-watched 8 o’clock comedy premiere since September 2004, and the highest-rated one in five years. Plus, it was up 9 percent versus No Ordinary Family‘s year-ago performance in the same slot.

Exclusive Ringer Q&A: Did [Spoiler] Murder [Spoiler]?!

Other Tuesday headlines include The CW’s Ringer (1.72 mil/0.8) rebounding from last week with a 17 percent bump in viewers and a 33 percent increase in the coveted 18-49 demo. (Thanks, MIA New Girl?) Also, Parenthood (5.3 mil/2.1) popped some 5 percent on both counts, besting Body of Proof‘s demos in the 10 pm hour.

Going hour-by-hour….

8 pm | NCIS (18.7 million viewers/4.0 rating) was Tuesday’s most-watched and highest-rated program, down just a hair week-to-week. Placing third in all hours, Fox’s coverage of the ALCS Game 3 averaged 7.94 mil and a 2.4. The Biggest Loser (5.5 mil/1.9) dipped a bit, while 90210 (1.54 mil/0.7) gained some eyeballs and held steady in the demo.

Dancing With the Stars Results: Did the Right Couple Go Home?

9 pm | Gaining 10 percent versus last Tuesday, Dancing With the Stars (16.6 mil/3.2) led the hour in audience, while NCIS: Los Angeles (15.4 mil/3.3) eked out a win in the demo.

10 pm | CBS’ Unforgettable (11.8 mil/2.3) dipped a smidge in the demo but saw an uptick in total viewers. Body of Proof (9.4 mil/1.9) slipped 5 percent.

What were you tuned into this Tuesday?

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. Mika says:

    Maybe the US has a flavor for nostalgia. This sitcom seems more like something that would air on TVLand along with “Hot in Cleveland”. I thought TV comedies had advanced far beyond this type of format. Next up, bring back Jim Belushi.

    • Joey says:

      SHHHH!!! Don’t you dare joke about bringing back Belushi! Someone might hear you!

    • ryanandhobbes says:

      I completely agree. I find it hard to digest anything with a laugh track these days. You know, because it’s not 1997.

      • satirex says:

        The big difference for me between the multi-cam/audience/laugh track sitcoms and the single-cam/no laugh track ones isn’t the laugh track. I seldom even notice the laugh track (usually only when they overuse it, pumping it for every line, funny or not). The difference is the way the traditional shows are always on the same old front door-living room with staircase-dining room-kitchen-backdoor set. The single cam shows can go anywhere: indoors, outdoors, into real restaurants (instead of the 3 table restaursnt we were used to), into actual supermarkets instead of 2-aisle fake ones, or in real churches instead of 3-pew tiny ones. When the characters are sitting at a table, they don’t have to all sit on one side of the table.

      • Amber says:

        I completely agree with you, I feel like shows such as Arrested Development should have saved us from multi-cam/laugh track sitcoms and ushered in the new era of single cam/creatively shot comedies. We really should be out of that since it’s not the 90s anymore, and those kinds of shows usually don’t have very good writing anyway. However, one show that is an exception is The Big Bang Theory. I’m not sure how they pull it off, but I never even notice the laugh track on that show, and it’s got pretty funny writing as well. But generally I do take single cam shows like Modern Family, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Cougartown, and Community over any comedy that uses a laugh track.

      • amy says:

        i agree..that’s why i watch Community, Parks and Recreation and Cougar Town

    • Trista says:

      Yes the show was very nostalgic. It was a retro comedy that goes back to the days of family values, fathers and mothers who are smarter than or as smart as their kids and where average every day things become funny.

      If that is nostalgic – bring it on. I am sick of the so-called comedies like Two and Half men where the male lead is promiscuous and foul-mouthed or like animated comedies that look like they should be for children but are worse than regular shows.

      Thank you Tim Allen for remembering that there are people in this country who like to laugh at baby proofing the house or ding a ling boyfriends who can’t change a tire.

      • Tracey says:

        I agree 100%

        I also think it’s funny that I have seen so many liberals be so offended by this show. There has been far more offensive comments made against conservatives on shows EVERY day, than the meager “offensive” comments made against liberals on this one.

        The media has seemed to make it their mission to stamp out conservative thought as “outdated”, when the truth is there is still about as many conservatives as there are liberals, with a good deal of people in-between. Not everyone is thrilled with Obama. Not everyone is thrilled about homosexuality (or even cares). Not everyone is even thrilled about how it’s politically incorrect for a man to be a man anymore, or even for a woman to be a woman (Thank you feminists. I’m all for votes and whatnot, but the sexist thing has gone way too far). I’m glad someone “spoke up”, and I hope there are more comments like that to follow. Nothing too over-the-top, but some good old fashion ribbing, yes.

      • Becky says:

        I agree. However, did I hear Kristin right? At the end of the pilot, she is frustrated because she’s tryingnto get into something that has been baby proofed and it sounds like she yells mother f***! is that right?

    • Helen says:

      I love Jim Belushi! Watch reruns almost every night, and they never fail to make me laugh.

  2. Kyle says:

    I thought it was much better than what the critics’ reviews showed.

  3. Tim says:

    I thought the show was entertaining. It was formula, but it was light, no heavy political sub text, and it was positive. I have a feeling there will be no continuing story line you have to follow by watching every episode. Not everyone is looking for the next “LOST.” I was concerned about the show going up against NCIS, but apparently “Last Man” did well. I think it will and should survive. If it fails, what is ABC going to do, program another 8 hours a week of “Dancing with the B List Stars?”

  4. Sam says:

    1. Jim Belushi had a pilot ordered for a new sitcom; I think it was bought by ABC.

    2. I love that at least one network has sitcoms about families… ABC’s Modern Family, The Middle, and Now Last Man Standing are great shows for the entire family to enjoy and likely relate to… Props to ABC and Tim Allen.

    3. Parenthood was just incredible last night. It’s consistently an enjoyable show to watch, but last night’s episode was just all-around great.

  5. Andy says:

    Love Ringer, but if it gets canceled it’s because of the target demographic. It’s definitely a show that appeals more to female, and yet it’s on the bottom of cw shows watched by women. Then it leaves us with men, and a male target audience (that watches mainly because it reminds them of SMG in Buffy) doesn’t exactly want to see two women having lattes and talking about fashion, and boys. OF course there’s much more to it, but the show itself is much more appealing to women, so don’t get why more of them don’t watch.

    • Gerald says:

      No offense but I completely disagree. Ringer is completely different from most of the CW show and is nothing like 90210, Gossip Girl or Hart of Dixie (which in my opinion are much more female oriented).
      The problem with the show, is that just like Nikita it doesn’t fit with the CW as a whole….

      • E says:

        Gerald is right on the money about Ringer and Nikita. The CW is known for gearing towards young adults (typically female teens). Ringer and Nikita are geared towards a more broader audience. They took a risk trying to break away from teen dramas with these more adult oriented shows. Problem is, many people think of The CW as strictly catering to a younger audience. They wouldn’t necessarily go there looking for new shows if they don’t fall into those demos. Both Ringer and Nikita are great shows and I could see them getting plenty more viewers if on a different network (Nikita, especially).

    • ChrisGa says:

      I would hate to see Ringer get cancelled; the last two eps have been fantastic. I don’t know what kind of ratings threshold the CW is adhering to; all of their shows seem to hover around the 1.5 to 2 million range viewer-wise(the exception of course being The Vampire Diaries which, which I think is closer to 2.5 or 3 million) which seems to put them all on pretty equal footing. I guess the ultimate determining factor is production costs/salaries.

  6. Jason says:

    How about 90210 ratings?

  7. tp says:

    I enjoyed Last Man Standing. It was a positive funny show about family. I agree with Tim, not everyone is looking for the next Lost, or even Parenthood. I like all types of shows. This is something me and my kids 19 (almost 20) and 16 watched and laughed at. Yes it is very predictable but so are a lot of shows. Doesn’t make it less enjoyable. Light and funny. I need that after all the crime shows I watch…lol.

  8. Amanda says:

    Loved Ringer last night but worried about The New Girl. Luckily I have a PVR so I can watch both but will people go back to New Girl in November?

  9. Jimje says:

    LMS was full of sexist and gender stereotypes. It felt like the early 90s all over again.

    Oh hey, lets laugh at the gay guy for being sensitive! How funny.. Not.

    • tp says:

      I missed the first half because I was cooking. Was the blond guy supposed to be gay? I thought he was dating the daughter? Or was it somebody else?

    • Lisa says:

      I thought Last Man Standing was entertaining. I like how Tim Allen plays a character that isn’t afraid to say what’s on his mind about real life stuff. I’m so tired of everyone being made to feel afraid to say anything out of fear of being vilified. In addition, I think the show offered some very good real life lessons to be learned regarding his daughters safety and work ethic.

      • tp says:

        I agree about the life lessons. I felt the same way about my daughter working. I worried about her coming home late. I guess it’s good if you can relate. I also agree with people being afraid to say something. I like the view of the “traditional” home. I like that the kids weren’t perfect. I am going to watch it again and hope it stays good.

  10. cj says:

    i have a soft spot for time allen for sure, but as the first commercial break came up i immediately thought “this is actually pretty good”, and that’s rare for me. and after reading this article i thought, “OH NO, how am i going to watch this AND new girl???”

  11. Marie says:

    Matt, you were right. Parenthood was really very good last night. It made me cry and laugh (mostly at Peter Krause/Adam Braverman’s scenes).

    • DL says:

      Go Parenthood! Last night’s ep was awesome, and great to see the return of John Corbett. Peter Krause’s scenes were hilarious and touching at the same time. He is such a smart and subtle actor. And the Amber/Max subplot was really fun! So happy it got a nice ratings bump.

  12. bmo says:

    i wish the writing was a lot better, but if two and half men is on the air, why can’t this show?

  13. Rebecca says:

    Are you sure about those Ringer numbers? Both TV By the Numbers and Deadline say it got a .8 in the demo.

  14. Dee says:

    I liked Last Man Standing. Yes, it was a bit predictable. Yes, it is light-hearted. It’s a sitcom. It was exactly what I was expecting. However, IMO it was different than most sitcoms on nowadays because the actors were actually good. All of them. It seems like in so many shows there is one or two good actors and the rest are just window dressing.

  15. Snapy says:

    I loved Home Improvement but I’m not interested in Tim Allen outside of that. What will it take to get an HI reunion movie-of-the-week??

  16. mookie says:

    LMS was home improvement 2.0. which is just fine by me. tim allen was playing mike who was really just tim, trading out the tool company for the sporting goods company. his kids are daughters instead of sons, he still drives a vintage car and laments the lack of masculinity. and there’s no wilson.

    again–just fine by me.

  17. Annie says:

    I enjoyed LMS, it was good to have Tim Allen back on TV….my only suggestion,lose the laugh track and go the way of Modern Family & The Middle…let the “funny” stand on it’s own.

    PHood, was wonderful, was anyone else reminded of the ending of the movie Parenthood when they were all in the room passing around the baby?…

  18. Brenda says:

    Last Night Standing was anything but comfort food for those people who just want to veg out in front of the television. I particularly didn’t like that it seemed like I’ve watched this type of comedy almost twenty years ago. There was nothing new at all. In fact it reminded me too much like Home Improvement except replace the boys with girls. I can’t stand the laugh track. You would think television comedy would had matured from that. Too much like TVland and not innovative at all. Once is enough for me with this show.

  19. Hols says:

    It was pretty much as bad as I thought it would be. I watched ten minutes and turned it off. There’s no accounting for what people will watch though… I mean, how long has Two and a Half Men been on the air?

  20. Lisa says:

    I like Nancy Travis

  21. mas says:

    I disagree with the people on here stating that Last Man Standing was a ‘throw back’ – to what? More modest television? More family oriented programming that was entertaining to watch and not overly politicized?
    True, there were some elements I wouldn’t want my pre-teen asking about but hey – it’s the 21st century. The “family unit” is much different now that it was 10, 20, 30 and definitely 40 years ago! This was good fun. I get enough brain-food from educational programming. I enjoy everything from Walking Dead to Rubicon (AMC’s loss there. that was a fantastic show!) and Alphas to MythBusters.
    I’m glad to see someone and something try and get away from the deluge of so-called “reality TV” (which is typically anything but). I watch my TV and movies for one thing – escapism. Not voyeurism.

  22. Shiloh says:

    I watched NCIS last night and would’ve watched “Last Man Standing” had I remembered it was on. I’m glad it did well. I like Tim Allen. NCIS was great last night. I actually wasn’t looking forward to it too much but it turned out to be a great episode. The only boring parts were about Abby and her dna tests, etc., and that wasn’t the whole time. Actually the end and the whole speech about family were great. Perfect wrap to the episode and spoke of a big reason I love NCIS in the first place. They actually all care about each other like a family. The case was very interesting-I liked it even better than last week’s-and I liked the twists and turns. My favorite part about it though?: Ziva was hot and a total BAMF last night. I love it when she gets all bad a**. It’s kinda awesome. Oh, and do you know, Matt, if they’re going to do anything with Tony and Ziva and their relationship this season at all? They need to. Tony and Ziva are good together.

    • Alicia says:

      Agreed; last night’s NCIS was especially great and next week looks good as well! And I second the Tony and Ziva scoop request, mainly because I hope EJ and Ray fall off a cliff–the manufactured romances have got to go!

  23. Amy says:

    Yeah Phood!

  24. jeriwho says:

    I also liked Last Man Standing. And I’m amazed that some people who go on and on about respect demand a sitcom that depicts only people who agree with them. Lighten up, people. The Tim Allen character clearly lives in the past, but I think that’s supposed to be the joke. The show was decidedly “light,” but light’s okay. I think the show needs—and will get—a lot of tweaking. But it’s got great actors. And you can build nice quick, light, frothy dialogue off of familiar situations and settings. I am hoping that this team can make it work, but I think it’s off to a good start. Did anybody else notice that the baby is Harrison from DEXTER?

  25. Aidan Williams says:

    This is good news for Last Man Standing i am so happy with the ratings. It was a really funny show.

  26. Sal says:

    Not that big of a fan of Allen’s. He is okay. The woman always carry his shows. NT is golden. Showcase her more and they have a hit.She should have been a nom for GA last year.

  27. hate ashton says:

    one thing i dont understand is that, if you guys hate the new look of two and a half men, why dont you guys stop watching it. you want CBS to bring back charlie? then work for it. watching the show and thus increasing its viewer count wont bring back charlie as CBS dont care if you watch ashton with love or hate. as long as you watch the show and thus watch advertisers, they will keep the status quo. you want results, please do what im doing. stop watching the show during its regular time or on dvr. if you so want to see how bad this show is doing, you can always watch it on youtube or download it via torrent but please dont give satisfaction to CBS by watching the show.

  28. GC says:

    Below is part of a presentation by Christian scholar and psychology professor Dr.Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen of Eastern College.

    Trinity 2007

    Opposite Sexes or Neighboring Sexes?

    C.S. Lewis, Dorothy L. Sayers, and
    the Psychology of Gender
    Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen

    Gender and Modern Social Science

    C. S. Lewis was no fan of the emerging social sciences. He saw practitioners of the social sciences mainly as lackeys of technologically-minded natural scientists, bent on reducing individual freedom and moral accountability to mere epiphenomena of natural processes (See Lewis 1943 and 1970 b). And not surprisingly (given his passion for gender-essentialist archetypes), aside from a qualified appreciation
    of some aspects of Freudian psychoanalysis (See Lewis 1952 (Book III, Chapter 4) and 1969). “Carl Jung was the only philosopher [sic] of the Viennese school for whose work [Lewis] had much respect” (Sayer 102).

    But the social sciences concerned with the psychology of gender have since shown that Sayers was right, and Lewis and Jung were wrong: women and men are not opposite sexes but neighboring sexes—and very close neighbors indeed. There are, it turns out, virtually no large, consistent sex differences in any psychological traits and behaviors, even when we consider the usual stereotypical suspects: that men are more aggressive, or just, or rational than women, and women are more empathic, verbal, or nurturing than men. When differences are found, they are always average—not absolute—differences. And in virtually all cases the small, average—and often decreasing—difference between the sexes is greatly exceeded by the amount of variability on that trait within members of each sex. Most of the “bell curves” for women and men (showing the distribution of a given psychological trait or behavior) overlap almost completely. So it is naïve at best (and deceptive at worst) to make even average—let alone absolute—pronouncements about essential archetypes in either sex when there is much more variability within than between the sexes on all the trait and behavior measures for which we have abundant data.

    This criticism applies as much to C. S. Lewis and Carl Jung as it does to their currently most visible descendent, John Gray, who continues to claim (with no systematic empirical warrant) that men are from Mars and women are from Venus (Gray 1992).

    And what about Lewis’s claims about the overriding masculinity of God? Even the late Carl Henry (a theologian with impeccable credentials as a conservative evangelical) noted a quarter of a century ago that:

    Masculine and feminine elements are excluded from both the Old Testament and New Testament doctrine of deity. The God of the Bible is a sexless God. When Scripture speaks of God as “he” the pronoun is primarily personal (generic) rather than masculine (specific); it emphasizes God’s personal nature—and, in turn, that of the Father, Son and Spirit as Trinitarian distinctions in contrast to impersonal entities… Biblical religion is quite uninterested in any discussion of God’s masculinity or femininity… Scripture does not depict God either as ontologically
    masculine or feminine. (Henry 1982, 159–60)
    However well-intentioned, attempts to read a kind of mystical gendering into God—whether stereotypically
    masculine, feminine, or both—reflect not so much careful biblical theology as “the long

    arm of Paganism” (Martin 11). For it is pagan worldviews, the Jewish commentator Nahum Sarna reminds us, that are “unable to conceive of any primal creative force other than in terms of sex… [In Paganism] the sex element existed before the cosmos came into being and all the gods themselves were creatures of sex. On the other hand, the Creator in Genesis is uniquely without any female counterpart, and the very association of sex with God is utterly alien to the religion of the Bible” (Sarna 76).

    And if the God of creation does not privilege maleness or stereotypical masculinity, neither did the Lord of redemption. Sayers’s response to the cultural assumption that women were human-not-quite-human has become rightly famous:
    Perhaps it is no wonder that women were first at the Cradle and last at the Cross. They had never known a man like this Man—there never has been such another. A prophet and teacher who never nagged at them, never flattered or coaxed or patronised; who never made arch jokes about them, never treated them either as “The women, God help us!” or “The ladies, God bless them!; who rebuked without querulousness and praised without condescension; who took their questions and arguments seriously; who never mapped out their sphere for them, never urged them to be feminine or jeered at them for being
    female; who had no axe to grind or no uneasy male dignity to defend; who took them as he found them and was completely unself-conscious. There is not act, no sermon, no parable in the whole Gospel which borrows its pungency from female perversity; nobody could possibly guess from the words and deeds of Jesus that there was anything “funny” about women’s nature. (Sayers 1975, 46)
    It is quite likely that Lewis’s changing views on gender owed something to the intellectual and Christian ties that he forged with Dorothy L. Sayers. And indeed, in 1955—two years before her death, Lewis confessed to Sayers that he had only “dimly realised that the old-fashioned way… of talking to all young women was v[ery] like an adult way of talking to young boys. It explains,” he wrote, “not only why some women grew up vapid, but also why others grew us (if we may coin the word) viricidal [i.e., wanting to kill men]” (Lewis 2007, 676; Lewis’s emphasis). The Lewis who in his younger years so adamantly had defended the doctrine of gender essentialism was beginning to acknowledge the extent to which gendered behavior is socially conditioned. In another letter that same year, he expressed a concern to Sayers that some of the first illustrations for the Narnia Chronicles were a bit too effeminate. “I don’t like either the ultra feminine or the ultra masculine,” he added. “I prefer people” (Lewis 2007, 639; Lewis’s emphasis).

    Dorothy Sayers surely must have rejoiced to read this declaration. Many of Lewis’s later readers, including myself, wish that his shift on this issue had occurred earlier and found its way into his better-selling apologetic works and his novels for children and adults. But better late than never. And it would be better still if those who keep trying to turn C. S. Lewis into an icon for traditionalist views on gender essentialism and gender hierarchy would stop mining his earlier works for isolated proof-texts and instead read what he wrote at every stage of his life.

    Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen is Professor of Psychology and Philosophy at Eastern University, St. Davids, Pennsylvania.

    This essay originally was presented as the Tenth Annual Warren Rubel Lecture on Christianity and Higher Learning at Valparaiso University on 1 February 2007.

    The Cresset


    Evans, C. Stephen. Wisdom and Humanness in Psychology: Prospects for a Christian Approach. Grand Rapids: Baker, 1989.
    Gray, John. Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. New York: HarperCollins, 1992.
    Hannay, Margaret. C. S. Lewis. New York: Frederick Ungar, 1981.
    Henry, Carl F. H. God, Revelation, and Authority. Vol. V. Waco, Texas: Word, 1982.
    Lewis, C. S. The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Vol. III. Walter Hooper, ed. San Francisco:
    HarperSanFrancisco, 2007.
    _____. The Discarded Image: An Introduction to Medieval and Renaissance Literature. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1964.
    _____. The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Vol. I: 1905–1931. Walter Hooper, ed. San Francisco:
    HarperSanFrancisco, 2004a.
    _____. The Collected Letters of C. S. Lewis, Vol. II: 1931–1949. Walter Hooper, ed. San Francisco:
    HarperSanFrancisco, 2004b.
    _____. “On Three Ways of Writing for Children,”[1952] Reprinted in Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories, ed., Walter Hooper, 22–34. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1975.
    _____. “Priestesses in the Church?” [1948]. Reprinted in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, ed. Walter Hooper, 234–39. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970a.
    _____. “The Humanitarian Theory of Punishment,”[1954]. Reprinted in God in the Dock: Essays on Theology and Ethics, ed. Walter Hooper, 287–300. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1970b.
    _____. “Psychoanalysis and Literary Criticism,”[1942]. Reprinted in Selected Literary Essays, ed. Walter Hooper, 286–300. Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1969.
    _____. [N. W. Clerk, pseudo.] A Grief Observed. London: Faber and Faber, 1961.
    _____. The Four Loves. London: Geoffrey Bles, 1960.
    _____. Till We Have Faces. London: Geoffrey Bles, 1956.
    _____. Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life. London: Collins, 1955.
    _____. Mere Christianity. London: Collins, 1952.
    _____. That Hideous Strength. London: John Lane the Bodley Head, 1945.
    _____. The Abolition of Man. Oxford: Oxford University, 1943.
    _____. A Preface to Paradise Lost. Oxford: Oxford University, 1942.
    The Cresset
    _____. Perelandra. London: The Bodley Head, 1942.
    Martin, Faith. “Mystical Masculinity: The New Question Facing Women,” Priscilla Papers, Vol. 12, No. 2 (Winter 1998), 6–12.
    Reynolds, Barbara. Dorothy L. Sayers: Her Life and Soul. New York: St. Martins, 1993.
    Sarna, Nahum M. Understanding Genesis: The Heritage of Biblical Israel. New York: Schocken, 1966.
    Sayer, George. Jack: C. S. Lewis and His Times. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1988.
    Sayers, Dorothy L. “The Human-Not-Quite-Human,”[1946]. Reprinted in Dorothy L. Sayers, Are Women
    Human?, 37–47. Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity, 1975.
    Sayers, Dorothy L. Gaudy Night. London: Victor Gollancz, 1935.
    Sterk, Helen. “Gender and Relations and Narrative in a Reformed Church Setting.” In After Eden: Facing the Challenge of Gender Reconciliation, ed., Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen, 184–221. Grand Rapids:

    Eerdmans, 1993.
    Copyright © 2007 Valparaiso University Press http://www.valpo.edu/cresset

  29. GC says:

    I have an excellent book from 1979 written by 2 parent child development psychologists Dr. Wendy Schemp Matthews and award winning psychologist from Columbia University, Dr.Jeane Brooks-Gunn, called He & She How Children Develop Their Sex Role Idenity.

    They thoroughly demonstrate with tons of great studies and experiments by parent child psychologists that girl and boy babies are actually born more alike than different with very few differences but they are still perceived and treated systematically very different from the moment of birth on by parents and other adult care givers. They go up to the teen years.

    They also show that surveys show that boys are overwhelimingly prefered over girls,(sadly nothing has changed and shirts (and other sexist anti-female ads,pornography,etc do too) like these both reflect and contribute to this injustice.They also explain that when people guess if a pregnant woman is having a girl or a boy,and they list a whole bunch of false unproven old wives tales,that assign all negative characteristics to a woman if they think she’s having a girl,and the imagined girls or given all of the negative characteristics.

    For example they say that author Elana Belotti(1977) explained these examples, The man and woman each take hold of one end of a wishbone and pull it apart.If the longest part comes away in the man’s hand,the baby will be a boy. If you suddenly ask a pregnant woman what she has in her hand and she looks at her right hand first ,she will have a boy;if she looks at her left hand it will be a girl.If the mother’s belly is bigger on the right-hand side a boy will be born,and also if her right breast is bigger than her left,or if her right foot is more restless.

    If a woman is placid during pregnancy she will have a boy,but if she is bad-tempered or cries a lot,she will have a girl.If her complexion is rosy she’s going to have a son;if she is pale a daughter. If her looks improve,she’s expecting a boy;if they worsen,a girl.If the fetal heartbeat is fast,it is a boy;if it is slow it is a girl.If the fetus has started to move by the fortieth day it will be a boy and the birth will be easy,but if it doesn’t move until the ninetieth day it will be a girl.( Belotti 1977,pp.22-23)

    Dr.Brooks-Gunn and Wendy Schempp Matthews then say, now rate each of the characteristics above as positive or negative. A woman expecting a girl is pale,her looks deteriorate,she is cross and ill-tempered,and she gets the short end of the wishbone,all negative characteristics. They then say,furthermore ,a girl is symbolized by the left-the left hand,the left side of the belly,the left foot,the left breast. They say,left connotes evil,a bad omen,or sinister,again the girls have all of the negative characteristics. They then say,that sex-role stereotypes about activity also characterize Belotti’s recipes:boys are believed to be active from the very beginning and girls have slower heartbeats and begin to move around later.They then say,the message although contradictory(girls cause more trouble even though they are more passive) is clear in that it reflects the sex-role stereotype that boys “do” while girls “are” and the belief that boys are more desirable than girls.

    I once spoke with Dr.Brooks-Gunn in 1994 and I asked her how she could explain all of these great studies that show that girl and boy babies are actually born more alike with few differences but are still perceived and treated so differently anyway, and she said that’s due to socialization and she said there is no question, that socialization plays a very big part.

    I know that many scientists know that the brain is plastic and can be shaped and changed by different life experiences and different enviornments too and Dr.Mary Stewart Van Leewuen told this to me too when I spoke to her 12 years ago.

  30. GC says:

    Also, there is an ecellent thorough book,Myths Of Gender:Biological
    Theories Of Women And Men by Brown University geneticist and biolgist Dr.Anne Fausto-Sterling that examines in great details these very claims and shows that for most of these gender differences claims,there is little or no evidence but a lot of sexist,woman-hating and racist prejudices by both women and men scientists and psychologists.

    Sadly popular sexist gender stereotyped gender myth re-enforcing TV shows like this one,and mainstream movies,ads,pornography,and TV commercials etc all re-enforce all of this!