The Human Sexes

The Human Sexes

1997, Sexuality  -   77 Comments
Ratings: 6.24/10 from 213 users.

The Human SexesWill boys always be boys and girls always be girls? Will we ever really understand each other? You may be shocked by your conclusions.

Prepare yourself for an intimate, erotic examination of physical differences between the sexes, from body fat to brain power.

See Turkish men demonstrate their suitability as mates by wrestling in olive oil. Celebrate Mardi Gras in New Orleans, where women bare their breasts to entice men to reward them with strings of beads.

1. Different But Equal. Observe women who flaunt their femininity as exotic dancers, and female body builders who develop their muscles to the point of masculinity. Examine brain scans that show that men and women even think differently about the same problems. Different But Equal explores whether the amazing differences between men and women are based on biology or history.

2. The Language Of The Sexes. How does boy meet girl? Is finding a mate ever easy? How do you send out a signal that you're available? There are as many ways to speak the Language Of The Sexes as there are cultures. The Japanese build shrines to the male phallus. many Muslim women live behind veils. Ethiopian tribeswomen enlarge their lips with ceramic plates, and some Chinese used to crush women's feet to keep them tiny and delicate. Compare all this to America, where women practice gender amplification with silicone breast implants, collagen lip injections and tight high heels. It's easy to see why the Language Of The Sexes is so hard to understand.

3. Patterns Of Love. How far would you go for love? Get ready to be amazed as you see people go further than you ever thought possible. Patterns Of Love will take you to a brothel in Nevada, love hotels for married adults in Japan and a bachelor auction in Alaska. You'll meet pop star Mongo Faya of Cameroon... and his 58 wives. Visit Istanbul's Topkapi Palace where the Sultans keep harems of hundreds of wives. Fly to Moscow with a group of American men hoping to bring home just one wife. And check out technology's answer to a troubled marriage: an automatic divorce machine that accepts all major credit cards. Patterns Of Love may change your definition of love.

4. Passages Of Life. Morris catalogues the ways human cultures mark, honor, and celebrate the biological transition from childhood to puberty, and how such rituals distinguish men from women. Highlights include a theory that circumcision originated in ancient Egypt as part of a snake religion strategy for achieving immortality.

5. The Maternal Dilemma. In today's world' is it tougher to be a mother... or a father? Will it ever be possible to balance work and motherhood? No matter what you currently believe, The Maternal Dilemma will surprise you with new insight. See working mothers in Japan and England who leave their children in day-care centers. Discover the 'granny solution' in Greece. Explore the 'paternal solution' with stay-at-home fathers in America. Have dinner with a man from Utah who has several wives: some have children while others pursue careers. Compare women who work in fields with babies at their side, to Western women trying to balance kids with a career. It'll soon become clear that The Maternal Dilemma is something everybody shares.

6. The Gender Wars. Do you know what side of the Battle Of The Sexes you're on? You might be stunned by this eye-opening look at the recent struggle for equality between the sexes. Originally, there was a primitive balance between the sexes, but when people left the village for the city, the natural balance disappeared. Find out the origins of honeymoons and other tools of male dominance like wedding rings and female circumcision. Travel to Finland for the annual wife-carrying contest celebrating the capture of women from other villages. follow the rise of feminism, from turn-of-the-century suffragettes to the National Organization for Women. Visit the front lines of the gender wars with female stock traders and female firefighters who parachute into blazing California forests. Pay attention: what you learn here may just help you survive The Gender Wars.

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77 Comments / User Reviews

  1. dleet

    Achem's and Frasdebois, I was about to comment on the religion nonsense but your comment is equally deserving of my recommendation. Aesop offers better fables and can't really piss anyone off. The documentary is good, but his footage of the cave painting might confuse some in America since they were painted 11,000 years ago and their fable tells them Adam wasn't made from mud, earth. and a breath for another 5,000 years. btw, another book of stories by Rudyard Kipling called Just So stories are great too.

  2. AnimusInvictus

    It is very difficult for me to accept the fact that many of these comments emphasizing the divide between males and females, and the subsequent stratification of males over females, were posted within the last decade. The main reason why it is so difficult for me to accept this is because I have come to accept the differences between the biological and mental male and female through learning of our capabilities and shortcomings.
    This "gender war" is a classic example of the centricity on both sides, their idealizations of these roles and statuses and the operation of the fundamental attribution error.
    Humans can be dominated by the situation without one's awareness of the situational forces in the social context.
    My view is achieved by blending major and minor schools of thought regarding how and why humans interact to bring a more applicable framework to the interactions of humans on many scales, even though I realize there are many exceptions in many situations. And this fact always keeps me in my place as a smaller part of a larger whole with dynamic systems of relation.
    Man... we are so misguided...

  3. crud4444

    In "The Maternal Dilemma" (And I admit I didn't watch the others. My stomach rebelled at so much condescending attitude towards women.)
    The very careful phrasing that implies it is a woman's job to care for the children, all those "natural" thrown around... the ambitious women that chose career over caring for their children, the breastfeeding comment, ... And they chose a woman in a burka as a woman leading a 'wonderfully satisfying existence'? In Yemen? In 1983?

    Was anyone bothered by how sexist this is?

    Also, the author of this was a sociobiologist. Basically it tries to explain society through biology. Sociobiology is a bit... well, among sociologists it's criticized to be overly simplistic, deterministic, and personally I find it paints a very insulting picture of humanity (humans proving to being able to overcome their animal instincts, to form society and civilization, and all).

  4. Glen Hale

    Man is so stupid its a wonder we have got this far. Spending money on wars, religions, worship money,smoking, drugs, hate, fighting etc and nothing will change for the next 100 thousand years if we last that long.

  5. fraisedesbois

    The basis of civilization is gender roles and its perfect dynamics.
    Destroying gender roles is destroying civilization.

    1. Samuel Morrissey

      Civilisation? that sounds like a neat idea. Maybe we should try it some day.

    2. TheThinker44

      If societies strict roles of gender were natural there would be no need to heavily enforce them.

  6. umar faruque hussain

    men will be men,women will be women.
    no matter what it may be perceived,Almighty created MEN for work,WOMEN for housekeeping.Although Women have started to take control of woking for bread.The maternal instinct suppresses everything....They see men as there guardian....Her Children are their treasures....Gifted to her by husband..

    1. Desley M

      except for those many women who never get married and have no desire whatsoever to have kids.

    2. Desley M

      oh yes, and women are the ones who gift husbands with children. Get a clue.

  7. PavolvsBitch

    Desmond Morris (eugenicist) actually said that there were 600,000,000 of us on the planet. Rather a leap to the oft quoted 6BN .....

  8. PavolvsBitch

    It opens with a stupid woman applying full makeup to her reluctant toddler - is this supposed to typify parental behaviour? Bitch should have stuck to barbie dolls.

  9. Coach_Dan

    Sorry JB but It's easy to tell you are 21.
    If you would double check who desmond moris was, you might have realized that you spouting nonsense. He is a legend in zoology and anthropology. Calling desmond moris weak anthropologist, is like calling Einstein a science enthusiast. It reaffirm gender roles , because they are based on biology and culture play only some role. Men are programed to like curves, and women know it.

    Age of documentary plays no part in its accuracy. It is actually more accurate than politically correct world we living in now. It would be much harder to see this kind of documentary made in this day and age. Your comments is a perfect example of why.

    As for who i am? I am a well know Dating Coach in US and seeing someone like 21 year old "know it all" critic work of Dr. Desmond Moris is laughable.Oh i am sorry , you probably 22 now. And for those who agree with JB, just shows how little you know.

    Here is a list of Work by Desmon Moris, i hope you can bring same amount of knowledge as Mr. Moris when you come back to argue.

    * The Biology of Art (1963) - a look at the paintings of primates and their relation to human art
    * The Mammals: A Guide to the Living Species (1965) — a comprehensive and compelling listing of all mammal genera, all non-rodent non-bat species, and additional information on select species.
    * The Naked Ape (1967) — an unabashed look at the human species. The book is notable for its focus on humanity's animalistic qualities and our similarity with other apes. Reprinted many times and in many languages, it continues to be a best-seller.
    * The Human Zoo (1969) — a continuation of the previous book, analysing human behaviour in big modern societies and their resemblance to animal behaviour in captivity.
    * Intimate Behaviour (1971) — this book examines and analyses any physical contact acted out by human animals. From clapping, to having a hair cut, to hand jive, to patting on the back, to hugging, to babe suckling, to copulation...
    * . (1978. First published 1977), Manwatching: A Field Guide to Human Behaviour, St Albans, Hertsfordshire, UK: Triad/Panther Books, ISBN 0-586-04887-1 Reprinted 2002 by Vintage as Peoplewatching. ISBN 9780099429784
    * Gestures: Their Origin and Distribution (1979)
    * Animal Days (1979) — Autobiographical
    * The Soccer Tribe (1981)
    * Pocket Guide to Manwatching (1982)
    * Inrock (1983)
    * Bodywatching – A Field Guide to the Human Species (1985) — Hundreds of photos analyzing the human body from hair down to the feet.
    * Catwatching: & Cat Lore (1986) — a study of one of the most popular of household pets across the centuries.
    * Dogwatching (1986) — an in-depth study of "man's best friend".
    * Horsewatching (1989) — subtitled "Why does a horse whinny and everything else you ever wanted to know"
    * Animalwatching (1990)
    * Babywatching (1991)
    * The Human Animal (1994) — book and BBC documentary TV series
    * The Human Sexes (1997) — Discovery/BBC documentary TV series
    * Cat World: A Feline Encyclopedia (1997)
    * The Naked Eye (2001)
    * Dogs: The Ultimate Dictionary of over 1000 Dog Breeds (2001)
    * Peoplewatching: The Desmond Morris Guide to Body Language (2002)
    * The Naked Woman: A Study of the Female Body (2004)
    * Linguaggio muto (Dumb language) (2004)
    * The Nature of Happiness (2004)
    * Watching (2006)
    * The Naked Man: A Study of the Male Body (2008)
    * Baby: A Portrait of the First Two Years of Life (2008)
    * Planet Ape (2009)

  10. Janos Hefko

    In the part "Gender Wars" its disgusting how they carefully avoid talking about how perfectly East European socialist countries achieved equality many many decades ago. How typical of the English to so much readily look to the far East first than ever to the almost next door neighbors.

  11. Mole

    Only the first part is working. I'd love to see the rest.

  12. JB

    I will not go as far as to accuse that the documentary is illogical or that the narrator is a liar. However, I contend that these documentaries are mostly reiterating gender differences and supporting them using ideologically-laden pseudo-science rather that trying to explain gender differences.

    As with all documentaries, we as the audience will probably have to think twice about accepting the "fact" that these documentaries presents or we risk getting ourselves brain-washed into accepting the set of ideology presented to us.

    First, it blurs the sex-gender distinction. Although sex and gender are mutually reinforcing, they are entirely different concepts. Sex is biological, in the sense that one is born a male, female, hermaphrodite or otherwise. Gender is a culturally-dependent interpretation of sex (whether one is seen by his/her culture as masculine or feminine or androgenous. Note: It is dependent on culture!)One adopts a gender identity and performs gender roles in accordance to how his/her society defines it to be. This documentary, the first episode in particular, is rather ethnocentric, in the sense that it ignores cultural variations in gender roles. It also tries to explain sex (and gender differences) from a white, middle-class, urbanista perspective.

    The first depisode tries to explain gender differences in biological terms, which is a rather back-dated explanation coming from a sociological point of view. It reaffirms gender roles in accordance to the white, middle class, patriarchal society perspective. For example, it tries to explain reiterate that males are born to be muscular and this is why men engage in sports. The inverted statement that "men engage in sports and this is why they are more muscular" seems to make more sense to me. Furthermore, the documentary seems to get our attention on the points that it tries to prove. E.g. on the part explaining masculinity in clip 1, a muscular man with long hair is playing by the beach (near 6:00, is long hair macho?), and a few seconds later we see some men wearing coloured loincloths running in a line (near 7:50, read: coloured, pink, red,..., flamboyant and not exactly macho). So please avoid over trusting such "evidence" and feel free to challenge what the documentary presents you with! :)

    The "bicycle/bike" argument in previous posts is rather interesting as well. The point put forward by the documentary is that men are genetically-predisposed to have higher spatial-logical awareness as compared to women. The documentary attempts to trace it back to the hunter-gatherer societies where men are assumed to be hunters and women are assumed to be care-givers and gatherers. This is built on weak anthropological evidence. More recent findings (for the past three decades I dare say) has it that women in such societies perform almost the same tasks as men, and they devote less time to childcare. The documentary's biologically-based explanations seem to assume that women are pregnant, child-rearing or menstruating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for their entire lives. Besides, in ancient Southeast Asian societies, women are known to be traders, warriors and sea-farers. As such, the documentary's exaggeration on gender role specialisation is largely ethnocentric and it only reiterates gender biasness of the "public male-domestic female" of many present society.

    There are some parts of this set of documentaries that are less ethnocentric and more factual. However, some parts are clearly doubtful if you stop and think about it. As such, I challenge YOU viewers to think about what you watch and listen through documentaries and not wholly accept it as an unbiased, factual, and non-political piece of work. Cheers!

    (I am a 21 year old male. Any comments or criticisms are welcome)

    1. G M Gabriel

      Thanks for your comments, JB.

      Unfortunately the first part of the documentary was frustrating to watch and immediately thought it must be an old outdated documentary. however later i decided it was leaving me with a banging headache... as i tried to rationalize the info .... i'm afraid, i did not continue watching which is a little unusual...

      In light of this, as you clearly articulated below.

      ......biologically-based explanations seem to assume that women are pregnant, child-rearing or menstruating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year for their entire lives. Besides, in ancient Southeast Asian societies, women are known to be traders, warriors and sea-farers.....

      Bearing these points in mind, thanks for being able to take into account a broader perspective of cultural socio history. Many of the points you raised were valid....the ethnocentric views and perspectives need to be considered more fully. and you indeed raised the questions. Sadly i really was looking forward to hearing and viewing a very well researched, unbiased account of the human sexes, but appear to be a somewhat disappointed. subsequently, it was indeed a breath of fresh air to read your critique.

    2. Ricardo

      What you seem to forget that mammalian biology is with us to determine our behavior for some 200 million years since mammals exist, whilst your feeble socio whatever reasons to govern us for the last 200 000 years if we are talking about humans, but the one's with actual societies I would say a couple of 10 000 years. Do the math and then come back with red embarrassed face and tell yourself the same utterly disgusting feminist brainwashing rhetoric again to the mirror without spitting yourself to the face because of such a propagandist fact-distorter filth you are.

    3. Pascal-Olivier Premont

      Vulgarity goes in pair with ignorance and stupidity...

    4. Ricardo

      yeah right, cause name calling without making any case for your arguments is better

    5. Adriana Bardolet Capdevila

      Totally agree, JB!! I had the same feeling since I started watching it, and I was wondering if it is because this documentary is kinda old. They barely talk about the influence of culture in humans (ever heard of socialization?).

    6. Janos Hefko

      The keyword you are missing called testosterone. Look it up.

    7. Jurij Fedorov

      I would love to hear your opinion on this topic once you finish your university degree. Have you read evolutionary psychology books on sex differences since your comment?

  13. ASHU

    These series of documentary need one more, related to very current time.

  14. dadas

    excellent ,very informative work

  15. dadas

    Could be please all agree to say BIKE – who the hell uses the word bicycle anyway

  16. dadas

    This is a trully good series of documentaries. thanks Desmond morris.

  17. Dudesabide

    This is a trully good series of documentaries. thanks Desmond morris.

  18. oTTo

    @The unknown one

    You are forgetting that Women are just as much a fool as any Man. Women can create and destroy as any man.

    Men aren't the only ones who create war and pollution, both genders are very capable of destruction and so forth, I'm starting to think you are sexist to the Male gender.

    We are supposed to be working together not fighting one another to prosper in life. You probably fear males from what I'm feeling from the post you made.

    1. fraisedesbois

      Actually ,women destroy MORE than men because they destroy FAMILY.
      Women file for divorce , are adulterous and don't give a damn about Fatherhood. They don't even love their children since they deprive them of their fathers.
      War destroy men and fathers but not only. When women are given 'rights' ,they are disgraceful ,selfish ,immoral , malicious , sleep around and act like a decay in their bones. They're as destructive as wars .
      Anyway ,it is women who have waged the gender war ,not men.
      But men are guilty to let this happen. If they kept women in check ,this would stop .

    2. Achems_Razor


      Ha, Ha, I'm not even going there!

    3. dewflirt

      Anyone would think you don't like women, funny!

    4. Samuel Morrissey

      errr... OK, do you know the word misogynist?

    5. ProudinUS

      Hey Samuel. By God, I'll answer it for em'.
      misogynist- the hatred of women.
      example: " I can't stand the fact that women can think they can just walk around as if they have the same rights as a real person!" lol

      " Get in there and do the dishes like your suppose to!" (and mean it)

      Here's some that wouldn't mean that:
      " I hate the fact that the ex got everything and she wasn't punished for theft!".
      " How did she get away with everything in front of everybody? What more evidence needs to be shown?"
      " You need to get up and at least some me some respect and do a 10 min house cleaning!". That would only apply after you come home from work of course

      That's example wouldn't be misogynist. That just means the (ex-only) women the man was with was......scandalously and morally evil.

    6. fraisedesbois

      Precisely ,women are scandalously and morally evil when they let 'rights' lord over duties. That's why giving women 'rights' means letting society engulf in more and more evils of all kinds and making things upside down and out of control.
      We're heading to disaster.

    7. Guest

      I think you've been eating the wrong strawberries.

    8. TheThinker44

      Men do the same, sleeping around, etc., and diminish motherhood's importance just as there are many men and women who don't. In your emotional state you have stated irrational thoughts.

  19. Scapegoat

    The idea of equality is vague nonsense. How would one construct a scientific test to determine whether one human is perfectly equal to another? The idea is pure rhetoric. It may be poetic. And it may have application in law. In other words, "under the law all people ought to be considered equal." But I doubt even identical twins are equal in every respect. Can you imagine Congress enacting a law requiring all football teams to hire as many female players as male? Can you imagine doing away with the "draft" in which teams get options to choose a particular player, because all men are "equal" to one another, and which are also equal to all women? LOL! Yeah, right.

  20. Peter

    excellent ,very informative work.

  21. sharan

    Different But Equal

    its more of a theory rather than actual fact.its more of an idea or thought

  22. The unknown one

    Hi all

    You seem to have all forgotten the real point of the documentary. We are the beings that nature created us to be; to forget this is to be delusional.

    Womanhood is magnificent; not because it is capable of mimicing men but because it has a sacred worth of its own. Men may create or destroy but that is of no consequence to a natural woman.

    Her great magnificence is in her maternity. Everything is pointless without her contribution. What men achieve is nonsense in the real scheme of things. Great mothering is the greatest gift to humanity; there lies all peace, all justice and all cooperation.

    Why do we only value what men achieve when all it leads to is war and pollution? Men are fools and all who mimic them are fools. It is only those who value the suffering in creating life that are determined to protect it.

    This documentary is not old fashioned it is just inconvenient in a world that know longer knows right from left.

    Happiness can only be found in being your natural self. There is no way of hiding from this truth.

    Best wishes to all

  23. ex-muslim

    to waqas,

    in islam u can marry 4 women but u can "buy" endless number of enslaved women "odalisques"...

    it is legal that a Muslim can have sex with unlimited number of women if he had money of course, so praise "Allah" for this.

    An ex-muslim

  24. beanz

    by the way,.,dont bother wasting your time correcting spelling and grammar mistakes.i know i made some so dont need teaching.

  25. beanz

    well well well ,.,lol.the old relgion dispute. im not going to get into a big grammar/spell check/idiology and philosophical debate. however, i am christian, so to speak. that beng said, there are just as much horrid histories within the christian debacle. i wont go into it to much, but im pretty sure as far as persecution goes, christians are vile themselves. i was brought up roman catholic, in ireland no less, and its an absolute disgrace. i have also read numerous accounts of sexual abuse within all protestant,methodist, presbyterian and other christian faiths. then there is jehovas witnesses, they have beliefs about not allowing certain medical care to there members, i.e blood transfusion and the likes. then there are our lovely jewish counter parts, spieling from a similiar book and belif system to that of islam and christianity. they are however involved in a distasteful persecution of innocent muslim and christian people in palestine. look that up guys, an intersting truth about religious bullying. and before you start with the whole,oh the palestinians are terrorists and suicide bombers, lets look at what options their left with. f all..oh and my lovely evangelical friends in the states, what a beautiful crowd of fk wits you are, nice man that ted haggard is, demonising homosexuals, while all along he was a meth head gay man himself, not even a decent gay man, but someone who hired male prostitutes and then went home to sleep with his wife. he was christian. now as for the islamic baddies, there are plenty and no islamic man or woman can deny that. there have been beheadings and there have been legitimate reasons for people to turn against you, so deal with the reason you have been shown in a bad light, the reasons sit on your side of the fence. i am in no way statin alegiance to any faith because according to all your faiths im either going to hell or no inherting the kingdom of god because i am gay myself. well to be fair, if all you bigoted christian, muslim, jewish bible/qu'ran/(jewish equivalent),BASHERS are going to heaven.,then i would gladly go to hell with all the innocent homosexuals..

    anyway end of my rant,,i didnt even bother my ars e to watch this doc, not even intersted n it,.but this conversation annoyed me,.,i might go and start a few rants on some religious ones now lol,.,

    peace to all

    ps,dopnt be so absurd as to treat somone as less as an intelect because they cannot speak or write correctly in there second language. before you judge, try learn a language guys.......oh and also just as an endnote, some of the most illiterate and un articulate english speakers i have ever come accross,.,are in england,.,so is is something not worth boasting about..

  26. Jaded

    The problems aren't with whether or not to cover, or shave your head once married, covering your hair, etc The issue is that almost all religions set women up as second class citizens. ie. " to honor and obey", taking your husbands name, covering themselves to protect men from their lust, treating women as objects (as virginal rewards in the afterlife). I'm sure there are more examples but my point is that many religions tenants are written down by men and none that I am aware of treat women as equals. All of them subvert woman's power in some way and subtly give the message that men have a god given right of power over women.

  27. sam

    @yawanna and all
    i have read ur comments.and i am sure i cant win over u on a battle of words.u seem i am not here to fight.just to share what i came to know.and what i expect from u is just to show patience to the sites and videos that i mention in the below paragraph.
    i also have heard a lot of such opinion against islam.and do u knw what did i do.i tried to learn.and when i started learning,it became more interesting.i've found much more ppl like u.they make websites with tons of EDITED quranic verses and all, to spread their biased opinions.their sites seem islamic.even if u look closer u wudnt understand is it islamic or anti-islamic.because such sites qoute from quran but they qoute only one side of the verse.they wont qoute what it really means or the background of the verse.we cant understand quran just with its translation.its possible only with a quran with meaning and commentary.i have read one of its kind and after some time reading it,i found myself was indescribable.try to get 1.
    there is no room for an ignorant in there is no room for a terrorist in it either!unbilievable? u'll bilieve when u study.ask questions to the learnt.its no wonder why islam grow up this fast even in the educated areas of the western world.its logic.
    and i found a gud islamic site: there we can ask questions to scholars.
    and there r some guys who take awsome luctures on true islam: yusuf estes,khalid yaseen, zakir naik etc. all these available in youtube.just search their names.
    it is very important to learn things is natural human selfishness that we will feel angry to those who does not bilieve in what we bilieve.but it is civilization and education that should lead us to make our intelligence overcome the instincts.

    gud luck to u and all.

  28. Sof

    Safa: well, yeah it is my are completly correct.
    If it is not too much trouble for you; would you please tell me,in your own words, why you do chose to veil your self and why you beleive you feel more free when you are covered up? I would find it, as an socialanthropologist student, very interesting...
    Live well,

  29. Safa

    Well Sof, that's YOUR opinion about having to wear a veil for the rest of your life. And please people, unless you know why we Muslim women wear a veil, do look it up.
    As for me, I feel more free when I am covered rather than not. What everyone else thinks of it is honestly not my concern. Everyone is entitled to freedom of speech :).

    Enjoy the documentary everyone! :)

  30. Sof

    For Safa.
    It is just as much oppression for women to have to wear make up to go out, to have to shave their armpits and look spotless every time they are in public areas...I agree with you...but that doesn't make the oppression to have to wear a veil for the rest of your life any less of an oppression. The femenist movement in the west still has a lot of issues to deal with when it comes to how women percieve them selfs and the ideas of 'what a woman really is'....we still have a long way to go...BUT still, you cannot say that you cant see what a beating the idea of freedom takes when, weather it is chosen or not, one has to wear a black veil for the rest of their life.

  31. safa

    I totally agree with waqas. I myself am a Muslim woman, and I cover aswell. I felt that the narrator was biased against Islam and its laws. If women chose to cover their sexuality rather than flaunt it in every way possible, it is to be respected, not labelled as "opressed". Alot of Muslim women who chose to cover themselves own and run businesses, work and carry out everyday activities with a normal pace with peace of mind. They don't have to worry about what to wear or what makeup to do when they go out of their house, compared to women who obsessively worry about their looks and bodies up to the point of making themselves plastic, rather than living with the beauty that God sent down a woman with. If and when people understand Islam from the root up, they will realise that a Muslim woman covering herself is a choice, not a traditional or a cultural influence. This guy seriously needs to get his facts straight before he goes international.

  32. Achems Razor

    @ Sof:

    It is apparent that all religions are basically male dominated.

    Especially Christianity.

    Even though I am a man, men know how much power women have, that is why they want to subjugate them.

  33. Sof

    I enjoyed this very much, every part of it.
    Just so you know know where I come from Ive studied gender and culture for some time now at my university.
    I also live outside of my home town in the "immigrant" part of the city and I encounter Islamic women all over dressed in black veiles from top to toe. Ive studied Islamic culture and Im understand why they wear them. I also know how afraid men in the past has been of the woman, (the other); the nature bound mother with mysterious powers to give birth. And, unfortunatly, in Islam this connection to nature through our uncontrolled menstruation made men so afraid of the woman that they felt a need to tame her and place her under a veil. Those who cant see what an oppression of the personal liberty it is to constantly be under a black veil for the rest of your life after puberty is not beleiving their eyes. Of course there are explanations in the Quoran why women should wear this veil but one must also remember that Islam is a male dominated religion.
    Im an agnostic and hold as much criticism to christianity as I do to Islam or Judeism...All male founded religions.
    I hope we one day can live in peace with each other, respect our differences and that the women of this world will be free of the oppressions of this world; make up, high heels, shaving our armpits, being under a veil or the ideas that we might not be as competent as men.
    Peace, love and understanding

  34. Dan

    Gotta love that combover!!

  35. KT

    First of all this was a very neat documentary. Do note he says as a VERY first thing "I will try my best to make this documentary scientific" not in exact words but same meaning. Htried his best I believe and if someone feels like looking more into it there might be more to find or different opinions.

    It is a documentary not a new bible.

    As for Islam I have no hate for them. I will look up for the differenses the first poster said for educational reasons, but truly be not afraid that intelligent people will judge a whole society on a single documentary. I feel like the narrator had no desire at all to belittle any society.

    In the end this was a very interesting watch and I recommend it. No documentary is flawless and this one has a great point to make. Debate as much as you wish

  36. Hardy

    It's funny - whatever doc you watch on this site, you find a discussion about religion below it :-)

  37. Nad

    lovely doc, enjoyed it very much

  38. Me

    this guys attempt to appear objective and un-biased is failing so hard. but why not generalize? why not glorify? its always been the superiority conscious that have declared themselves . . superior. But the ones with the balls openly exposed will flaunt their parts and decree the ones anatomically "safe" as meek.. or gentle etc etc. just as the white skin superiority is "predominant" although it is far more likely to contract cancers and skin disease. the roles we have adjusted historically have depicted our anatomical adaptation. Mothers .. caring and communactive .. try putting that mothers child in danger. Conclusively our bodies physcologically revert back to fetal posture in danger. His differentiation.. his evolutionary reasoning is far more erroneous. We had much more to look at. Different civilizations. Egalitarian? He has very little to base judgement on such an enormous scale and with so little experiment.

  39. Yavanna

    Achems its a reasonably decent doc, entertaining at least. Seems far older than it's 1997 tag but the Des Morris always seems from the 50s anyway so hard to tell. My only grudge is some of the comments. Any slight inaccuracy where it concerns the "do not touch the subject Islam" equates to an over reaction by those self appointed Muslamic police! We all bash the Christian sycophants for stupidity and ignorance. People seem to be scared of challenging the supposed legitimacy of Islam. I'm not. Jihad me.

    "Stupid " - maybe frame your question a bit better - I R confused.....

  40. stupid

    you know women reacts on bouth side of the brain emotional and rational man only rational.!!!'????' maybe!!

  41. Achems Razor

    Quid pro quo, Clarice>

    Now you piqued my interest, will watch doc, and read comments.

  42. Yavanna


    I really don't see how anything I have said is out of context. If someone like Waqas spouts a bunch of nonsense; especially about Britain then I will as I have argue that in context.

    As for my "outrage" - I`d prefer to call it frustration and I feel the same way when Christians cannot see the wood for the trees.

    I am aware that Islam is projected in a bad light but a lot of Muslims don't help with alleviating that. I am aware there is good and bad in all cultures.

    Good luck with your studies.

  43. Mawia

    Thanks so much for advicing me to learn english.By the way i am student of english and will definitely learn to improve my english.Even though english is not my mother tongue ,I learnt it that much and definitely master it one day.
    It is your mother tongue and you are speaking it from the day the very first word come out of your mouth and i dont see you have won the world if you write an error free para in your mother tongue.How can some one boost so much on writing his own mother tongue unless or until his own level of expectation from him/herself is really low!!!
    And for your outrage against Islam ,your very first post was out of context and as I have mentioned in my previous post ,your heart and mind is so much full of biased view and you are so much frustrated that a given a chance you left no stone unturned in oozing out all of your narrow minded view of Islam.I hope there is still a room left for your view to get broad and you can see the thing not from the biased projection of Islam which has been taking of place for quite a while and unfortunately you are not the only victim.Best of luck for that!!

  44. Yavanna


    May I first thank you. I do love comedy and quite frankly your post made me pee a little!

    I`m pretty grown up thanks for asking (several times) but if we can get away from the casual insults for a moment lets look at your post.

    First I had to re-check my own post - Hmmm nope nothing out of place there - all true......... No spelling mistakes or bad grammar either which leads me to your post......

    "you refuse to accept very petty logic"

    CORRECT! Islam is very petty and there is no logic. I utterly refuse to accept anything that even as you admit to is very petty logic.

    "frustation and hatred against islam"

    Your words not mine. If the chip on your shoulder gets too heavy, then be so kind as take your head out of your ridiculous plagerised book. A whole world exists that is in direct contradiction of your blessed contaminated illogical pile of BS leaflets. I could supply you with a wealth of web-links but that would be a crime wouldn't it? To educate yourself with knowledge that contradicts the Qu'ran? To question it's teachings is to be infidel; hence apostasy punishable by death. (I do love logic.....especially when I get to be 'petty 'with it)

    But in fairness and in answer to what you conceive as an attack against me - No I do not feel frustrated by Islam (It's spelt with a capital 'I' by the way) No more am I frustrated by dog doo. My hatred? Well fair enough you got me there. Repugnant pile of cr^p. Evil distasteful, uncivilised, backward - but you are being too generous in allowing me this opportunity to properly describe your vile religion and I am too much of a gentleman to abuse your hospitality to go further.

    "be broad-minded and start seeing thing with open eyes"

    Oh baby these old eyes have seen things you wouldn't believe and you wouldn't believe how broad-minded I can be - I am literally open to all suggestions - I am not bonded by your close set fragile religious mind set. It is you my dear that is limited. Me? The world is my oyster. Be careful of what you wish for; I might decide to teach you some things. If you were ever to be so lucky (wink wink x)

    The thing is these "open eyes" see things your mind controlled nugget of a brain can only dream of. It is generally referred to as truth and reality.

    "i hope you are literate enough"

    Well Quid pro quo Clarice! (I know YOU wont get the reference but others will.) If I might give you some advice. Should you ever again decide to attempt a sentence or a paragraph in English I suggest you learn how first. I am indeed literate in English. Not only is it my first language. I actually live in England!!! (amazing I know - not just a fairy towel (deliberate misspelling) your elders told you about!)I even have higher qualifications! Not just in language but its literature!

    "you hv zero knowledge of islam"

    That tells me so much more about Islam that you probably wished. However I do have "some" knowledge. Obviously I don't spend all day reading the Qu'ran - I actually have a life! But from very fast, intelligent and critical searching I can get the gist. It's not as if someone other than an illiterate liar put it to print was it? It's not rocket science to get to grips with Hansel and Gretel either.

    Well that's seven and a half minutes of my life I`ll never get back! But hell! It's been a blast!

    Thanks again Mawia! Smiles all round here!

    PS (get a spell check and don't write angry!)

    PPS if you really want to be offended go read what I said about your Muhammed in the doc about him - It's filled with lot's of holy book references for your pleasure. You'll be astounded by my astute insight into Islam and want to come straight back here and applaud my profound knowledge!

    PPS - this was a sociological doc about human genders, does anyone else find it strange that the slightest mention of Islam in a doc can invoke such a vile response from people? It's as if certain types scan everything for things to be offended by.

  45. Mawia

    hey,you seem to be pretty ignorant,and one whose mind has been poisened against islam so much so that you refuse to accept very petty led to you to ooz out all of your frustation and hatred against islam given any chance or platform,even when there was absolutely no necessity of it.I will advice you to grow up a bit,be broad-minded and start seeing thing with open eyes and try to know things before commenting on them and specifically Islam.from your long useless text all i can guess is that you hv zero knowledge of islam and your views are based on 'hear and say'.
    grow up.i hope you are literate enough to understand things without being biased upon before hand.

  46. stanislas bohic


  47. Phat Phil

    I'm not sure what you are all so riled up about. This docu doesn't proclaim anything as definitive, it only shows examples and explains contexts in which each takes places.

    I felt that they did a great job at showing both sides of the spectrum, being that the sexes are different and similar at the same time. Obviously there is a separation between the sexes, but this docu gives us a deeper understanding on what that separation is and how we often have a biased understanding.

    I think it demonstrates how amazingly beautiful our world is. Lifes' complexities are simple and the reasons are imaginable, and in the end, this all comes together perfectly in some sort of beautiful cosmic dance that we are all unknowingly taking part in.

  48. Yavanna

    Could be please all agree to say BIKE - who the hell uses the word bicycle anyway!

  49. Yavanna


    I respect what you are saying, and yes no one can deny it is an unfair experiment, however again I must say - that was the point. You don't have to build a bicycle to know what it looks like. The point of the experiment was that males give a cr^p how the bicycle is made. It wasn't a drawing exercise. What I took from this experiment is that males care how things work and take notice. Females would probably prefer to make the bicycle more aesthetic and so long as it works they don't give a cr^p. You are probably going to see this a sexist attitude - however if the sexes accentuate each other to make things technical and beautiful is that such a bad thing?

  50. Natalia

    "Patters of Love" and "Passages of Life" are very informative and eye-opening in regards to other cultures. I found these two to be very interesting.


    Judging from the old-looking film I realize that it was made decades ago. Therefore, in those days many activities that are okay for women to engage in today were not very accepted then. So, although women most definitely were riding bicycles around their hometowns, I doubt that many of them tried to build bicycles, fix or remodel them in their spare time. Seeing a bicycle and having constant exposure to it are two completely different things.
    I do not wish to come across as harsh as you. The point I am trying to bring across is that to make such a general conclusion (that males are better in dealing with technical topics) merely based on an experiment of whose drawing of a bicycle is more accurate is, in my opinion, illegitimate. Comparing drawings drawn by males vs. females is a weak supporting evidence for the statement made in "Different But Equal."

  51. Yavanna


    I`m male. It's interesting that this doc attracts the females though.

    By the way one thing I found in this doc that was really distasteful - the toddler "beauty queens" It turns my stomach that there are mothers out there who see no wrong in this.

    As for the mirror - too scary agreed!

    1. crud4444

      I love the irony of your username and your gender & overall comments.

  52. stanislas bohic

    where are the men s comments.....? ARE WE afraid to look in the miror....?

  53. Abelia

    I think this is a very interesting series. I originally came here to observe the film techniques of documentary camera operators (I'm looking into it as well as editing for a future career), but as a diluted feminist, I clicked on and watched (3 of soon to be four, considering I don't have much interest in the 'Maternal Dilemma' or 'Passages of Life' films) videos. Though a bit dated, as mentioned above, I do find the views interesting. It is my belief that, though biologically and culturally we are affected into specific beliefs/aspects, it mainly depends on the person. Of course, we are built a certain way as to do specific tasks depending on gender, as stated in 'Different but Equal', but different people (not just different genders) each think differently. Everyone has their own area of interests, beliefs, and dreams. Just because one is female does not mean that she wishes to wear makeup. Same goes with males - they don't have to enjoy physical activities or violence just to be male.
    As an American, I must admit I was, as predicted, shocked at the statues seen in 'The Language of the Sexes' and 'Patterns of Love'. Do not be mistaken, we can easily be looked upon as worse than other countries, despite our 'modesty' of nudity. I may even agree, because the countries given as examples treated sex and genitals very maturely and respectfully, while many in the U.S. treat the concept very perversely. Then again, my shock could have also been due to my 8th grade youth. So if you disagree, my apologies.
    One last rant - I truly believe that how a person behaves is affected greatly on the person them-self and culture. I agree that many females are pushed into 'pleasing men' by media and even clueless parents. Naturally, they'd feel what they observe in adult females is how they should be themselves, and will occasionally submit themselves to how they're 'supposed to be'. Yet, some females me truly enjoy the activities. It's their own decision as to whether or not they enjoy something, not the gender's. Many do enjoy physical activities and are happily independent. The same concept goes for males, too. They can be persuaded into believing they should be masculine via sports. Yet, many can enjoy other things outside of the gender expectations. Either way, people should be free to enjoy activities of their choosing. (Side note - I understand that he was not saying certain genders should do certain things, and I'm well aware that his discussion was focused on biological and mental studies. I just wanted to say my opinion in gender expectations.)

  54. Yavanna


    "Girls should have been asked to draw something that they were more exposed to? You mean girls haven't seen a bicycle? You have missed the point of the experiment. Out of date - a little bit - Desmond Morris is a bit old fashioned. I read some of his books about thirty years ago and his views have changed very little. However I`m left wondering if it is not you that are a bit old fashioned - even sexist!

    Waqas - What can I say. You make me feel very sad.

    "Its absolutely forbidden to have more than 4 wives at the same time."

    Unless of course you are a blood thirsty illiterate religion inventor called Mohammed I presume? He had more than four wives. But oh wait the rules he made and heard from "an angel" didn't apply to him." I honestly don't give a flying cr^p if some sultan had more than 4 wives; nor whatever rags you chose to bury your dead in. Only you do. Irrelevant nonsense is your fetish. You are the freak here sir / Maam.

    As usual as a lobotomised Muslim you utterly refuse to acknowledge and avoid all the real stuff. Female (and male) circumcision of children for example. As well as all the other sick practices your religion practices. You speak about mind control in the western world yet spend most of your day going NomNomNom whilst spread-eagled on a carpet worshipping Allah - which incidently is the name of the moon god which preceded Islam. Superstition to the max.

    You are clearly bitter twisted bigoted and retarded. You seem to know zero about western cultures whilst whining about what might at best be considered minor errors in the narrator's knowledge - espousing them as hatred rousing comments against Islam. YOU are a hate monger. You are evil and ignorant; in the truest senses of which you are ill equipped. Who hates who here - seriously? Really? You are all that is bad about Muslims. I`ve known quite a few and you are one of the nastier fascists.

    I`m guessing you are male. Let's pretend for a moment that the Qu'ran made it law for all males to wear the Guinness bottle suit in desert temperatures. I wonder how long that law would last......About as long as it would take me to expose all the hypocrisies in the qu'ran; and for desert I`ll serve up a few from the Old testament it was plagerised from. Just to be fair and neutral.

    On a happier note - I would recommend this 5 hour series to anyone who has an interest in what Mr Morris has to say. Whilst he may be a bit old fashioned; he is the David Attenborough of ethology. It is a hugely entertaining doc and extremely entertaining.

    Make your own minds up - don't be scared to offend the savage bronze age pretenders by liking it.

  55. stanislas bohic

    Waqas and Natalia

  56. Natalia

    "Different But Equal" is very old-fashioned and outdated; makes way too many statements in a factual manner without any evidence or supporting studies/facts. Example: drawing the bicycle was a very biased experiment; rather, boys should have been asked to draw a bicycle (something that in the past was a more 'masculine' object) and girls should have been asked to draw an object that they were often times exposed to.

  57. waqas

    Narrator is a liar. Name the Sultan who had hundred of wives in Topkapi Place. If he had so many wives he would have an uprising against him from the Muslim masses and clergy. Its absolutely forbidden to have more than 4 wives at the same time. A sultan is suppose lead his subjects by example. I am not surprised at the narrator spouting lies so as to culminate hatred towards Islam. As far burying a Muslim woman in her veil is another of his British lies. A Muslim woman is buried in three pieces of white un-sown garment, while man is buried in two pieces of white un-sown garment.
    As far as his own country is concerned or any other non-Islamic country, baby girls are programmed, through media, into being sex object and please male desires. Look at your games where they are pleasing the crowds half naked as cheer leaders. Look at your advertisement where the females pose as sex object to make a sale.
    South America is worse than Europe. Those poor girls from very childhood are messed up by men.