Gender differences; vertical and lateral thought processing

Posted by on Aug 7, 2012 in feature | No Comments

Gender differences; Men are hunters and women are gathers

While I may not be a writer or anthropologist or sociologist I do have the power of observation and deduction; this is part of that 3% difference between human and monkey DNA. From my personal background of technical observation and desire to empty out some of the over abundance of stuff in my brain I am now a writer.

The physical similarities between men and women are only separated by the introduction of the sexual differences between them; head, arms, blood, muscles, legs, heart, nervous system and the ongoing list. There is a lot more similarity than there are differences…

I will now introduce a word I use to define the similarity but difference between men and women; hieros. It is an inclusive word; in the letters of the word can be found; he, she, his and hers; so rather than say “is it his or her car?”, I can safely say “is it hieros car?” The word has a Greek origin and means, of all things; sacred. This is an inclusive positive word describing men and women in a singular context.

The hieros brain is similar; properties, same location, do the same job, have the same components located in the same places, looks the same, feels the same and other similarities.

BUT they interpret information in different ways; this is what this discussion is about.

  • What is it about the hieros brains that make men and women different?
  • Why is information evaluated in different ways?
  • Where did the difference come from?

As these are my questions I will also provide my answers….

Who is this animal we call humans? [or using my gender neutral word huhieros]

The earliest fossils that have been proposed as members of the hominine lineage are;

Each of these have been argued to be a bipedal ancestor of later hominids; while this can be debated by many I am using this a measuring tool that will be self explanatory in the latter part of this article.

Starting at the transition between the Middle to Upper Palaeolithic period, some 80,000 to 70,000 years ago, some hunter-gatherers bands began to specialize, concentrating on hunting a smaller selection of game and gathering a smaller selection of food.

  • The first proto-states, small family-based communities which transformed themselves into larger, more militarised, more centralised states developed about 6,000 years ago.

Using this timeline as a reference point, not a point of argument, we can be in agreement that huhieros the animal hunter gatherer existed anywhere from 200,000 to 500,000 years ago. It is conceivable to understand that the animal hunter gatherer huhieros was replaced by the modern huhieros by trading in the hunter gatherer nomadic way of life into the farming way of life at a single location which developed into larger communities and eventually towns. It is also fair to say that it is historically supported that the change over occurred about 10,000 years ago. The conclusion is that huhieros were hunter-gathers for more years than a modern huhieros with a residential location, farm and that;

  • We are children of the bush longer than we are children of the cell phone,
  • We were creatures of existence and survival longer than we are creatures of comfort,
  • We huhieros were hunters gatherers for a longer percentage of our existence than we are city dwelling modern huhieros paying taxes and service charges.


Now for the second part of equation; the cells in our body have retained coded memory. The memory of our long time as hunters gathers are still retained in the memory of the cells passed on from generation to generation. Each cell in our body is programmed to fight to stay alive; each cell has the retained memory of our forefathers buried in its construction. All the cells in our body remember those days and remembers 100k years ago we foraged in the fields, plains and mountains to keep alive.

Over the eons hunters gathers huhieros developed brain patterns unique to the both genders; the male were bigger and stronger and hence became conditioned to be the hunters, protectors and leaders; women were the source continuing the species and became mentally conditioned to be protected, pregnant and gathers. The roles of both hieros, male and female, have been conditioned to the roles as determined to continue to survive as well as the expanding the populace; and we, on the cellular level still remember.

A present day example which reflects this cell memory behaviour; as soon as the gunfire echoed through the hallways, the males threw their bodies over the female to protect her and the female threw their bodies under the males for protection.

This is not a behaviour learned in school, or from parents or is present in any teaching facility; it is part of that molecular memory that was transmitted from huhieros to huhieros through generations of learning how to protect each other over the 100 thousands of years of survival during our years of hunter gather. While there are many other examples I could use it is better just to leave the premise at this time and see where this is going.

As hunters men developed a vertical thought process; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc. Every step must be completed before the next step can be started.

1-in the cave; the meat level is depleting,

2-pick up the spear

3-leave the cave

4-get some buddies to go hunting

5-go down the hunting trail

6-kill the beast and bring it home


The process must be followed the same way every time; each step must be done before going to the next step in the process; if our hunter goes from step 1 to step 3 he does not have his spear; he must include step 2 into the process to be successful.

As gathers women developed a lateral thought process; 1, 4, 3, 6, 9, 7, 2, 3, 1 etc. It does not matter where the starting point is; the act of gathering is random and does not require following a predetermined process.


Imagine, if you can, this is a field of berry bushes. Bushes grew randomly, but I put a number to the bushes to demonstrate random assortment. Following lateral thought process; 1, 4, 3, 6, 9, 7, 2, 3, 1, we can see how it is possible and likely that it became the basis for woman’s understanding of the world around them. There is no need to follow a vertical process as all the bushes provide berries and the collection is random; note that although our picker was at bush 3 originally she perceived the berries from the point of view from bush 4; now she sees the bush from the different point of view of bush 2; there is different growth on the bush from that point of view. There is no need to follow any order; any method of selecting berries will work.

Male children gathered with their mothers until they arrive at the age they are accepted into the male adult part of the tribe; their first thought process training is based on the lateral method until as hunters they learn the vertical thought processes. Males have the benefit of both thought processes.

One process is not better than the other; they are beneficial in different applications. There is no right or wrong; just different. Vertical would not work efficiently for berry picking and the lateral process would not work very well in the hunting arena.

BUT here is an interesting perspective by utilizing this model;
for women- different is different, same is the same BUT different is the same,

For men; different is different, same is the same BUT different is not the same.

Look at the field of bushes; they are the same but they are different- the bushes are different but still the same. Look at the process for going hunting; the steps of the process are different but the process always follows a similar pattern of steps and remains the same.

Present day blueprint emerge from the hunter gather learned vertical and lateral thought processes;

  1. When facing an argument the man will naturally start at point 1 and move his disagreement through the logical sequence of approaching the final point 9.
  2. The woman, on the other side; may start the argument at point 5, since it is the different part of the same argument as well as being a same part of the same argument. It does not matter where she starts because it is all part of the same argument albeit different in parts.
  3. Whereas the man will want to follow the logical vertical thought sequence the woman’s mind is in the random lateral thought process. There is no intention of being judgemental of one process being better than the other; this is focusing on the differences between the two processes and the struggle of trying to understand each other.
  4. When the man realizes that the argument is not at point 1 but at point 5, he will adjust his attitude and go to point 5, but since it is all the same and different at the same time the woman has gone to point 9 of the argument.
  5. Once more the man realizes that the argument is not where he thought it was and will provide the adjustment to meet the place where she is now focused, but she has changed her position to point 2.
  6. Rarely will the man catch up to the woman’s point as her point is in flux and random. If and when he finally does catch up to her point, he start in his comfort zone and begin the logical vertical thought process to the argument; he has now lost her.
  7. In essence, if is easier for the man to concede than if is to try to follow her through her lateral thought process or argument, he will. BUT his concession now sets up the format and agenda for the next argument; she knows, whether consciously or unconsciously how to win.

There is no intention of being judgemental of one process being better than the other; this is focusing on the differences between the two processes and the struggle of trying to understand each other from different points of view established over the eons of years as hunters’ gatherers.

A modern form of hunting gathering can be analogical to shopping.

Typically men and women are still expressing and relying upon their hunter gather cell retained memory demonstrated through their differences in shopping styles; which can be defined in vertical and lateral thought processes.

Typically, when men shop they use their hunting instinct; go after the prey and return home as quickly as possible

Typically when women shop they use their gathering instinct; random direction, random collection and time is not a major factor; once she is loaded up she will return home.

There is the urban myth, I think it is, give a man and a woman $100 to buy a $20 pair of pants at the far end of the shopping center the man will return with the single item and $80 change whereas the women will return with a little bit of hand change and an armful of items.

No judgement, just pointing out a humorous difference.


  • Men will hunt for the shoes that are necessary for the particular job, specific shoes for the specific requirement and then return home. Men will use the shoes as required; this follows vertical thought process of going from one step to the next.
  • Woman will gather as many shoes as she can; they are all the same function but they all look different; different is the same, but the same is different. Similar to berry gathering thought process. Women are gatherers and will amass shoes and store them for future use.

House lighting;

  • Men will hunt for lights that work and are functional; then they will return home, “skin it” and mount it on the ceiling,
  • Women will gather lighting fixtures and will select the fixture that coordinates with the other household items she has gathered and store in the house for future use.

Baton-Cohen, an expert on autism at Cambridge University advanced a controversial theory that autism is the “extreme male brain” not great at understanding other people, but good at understand and building systems. The ratio of boys to girls with Asperger syndrome a high a functioning form of autism is approximately 10 to one.

Other differences between huhieros thought process include the gap in spatial ability; men are better at mentally rotating an object, a skill related to navigation and math. Now relate this learned behaviour to either the hunter or gather; which group required spatial ability for better survival; which group needed to learn greater spatial ability? In theory and historically when male huhieros hunted and wandered in search of prey used arithmetical cues such as distance and direction to navigate in unknown territory. Women huhieros stayed close to home taking care of children and gathered berries; they had less need for such spatial skills and could rely instead on familiar landmarks to find their way home.

Another task where men have an advantage is throwing accuracy. This advantage can be related to be better at mathematical reasoning originally used rock throwing process for hunting, protecting the community and self defense as a fighter. Male cells retain the memory of throwing from survival instincts, those males who were good survived better than those males who could not throw.

Sight; the anatomy of the eye is different in men and women, the retina is full of receptors for sex hormones, in males the eye is more sensitive to movement, while women have a greater sensitivity to colour and texture. []. A hunter needed to be aware of movement to hunt successfully, detect game, to survive and to stay alive. The gatherer needed colour to determine which berries were ripe and healthy to eat.


  • Hunters did not use speech to communicate; voice would frighten the game away, hand signals over distance is more understandable than shouting and by the way what was there really for men to talk about; there were no sports teams to discuss.
  • Gathers created language; “Hey Betty check the berries over here…” They shared space closer to each other; being in the same berry field. They had more information that needed sharing; how to take care of babies, where did babies come from…

An interesting aspect of having a theory is how to test the theory!!!

Something that I enjoy doing with my beliefs and propaganda is to put it to the test; I am not a very secure person and I continually question myself, my ideas and my thinking logical process.

I questioned myself as to how I could put this idea to the test.

I ended up in the clothing department at the Bay. I spoke to the manager of the clothing department and provided her and her assistant the outline of the theory. I said that if my theory is correct then it would be obvious in the department as men’s clothing will typically be displayed mostly in vertical and horizontal shelving whereas women’s clothing would be typically displayed in circular [berry] shelving.

So the next time you are in a clothing store; check the shelving and let me know…


does not speak to equality of worth

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