Resolving conflict: Men vs. women

first_imgScouring YouTube and the video archive of several international sports federations, researchers found hundreds of videos of tennis, table tennis, badminton, and boxing matches, and focused their attention not on the matches, but on their immediate aftermath.“We watched carefully to see what happened after the match ended,” she said. “The requirement is that people touch after the match ends, but how do they touch? They can just touch hands quickly, or they can really shake hands or give a pat or even a hug.”Researchers watched hundreds of matches, taking care to ensure no player was repeated in any match, and found clear sex differences in all four sports.“Most people think of females as being less competitive, or more cooperative, so you might expect there would be more reconciliation between females,” Benenson said. “With their families, females are more cooperative than males, investing in children and other kin. With unrelated same-sex peers however, after conflicts, in males you see these very warm handshakes and embraces, even in boxing after they’ve almost killed each other.”So why is it that women seem less willing to reconcile following conflict?Part of the answer, Benenson and Wrangham believe, may be tied to traditional gender roles that stretch to earliest human history. Chimps and humans live in groups of both males and females, but while males cultivate large friendship networks, females focus more on family relationships and a handful of few close friends — partly, researchers believe, as a way to share the burden of raising children. The whole community gains when unrelated men successfully prevail against external groups. In contrast, women gain more from family members and one or two close friends who help with child care. It makes sense, in that light, that women would reconcile more with these individuals, and men with a larger number of unrelated same-sex peers.Ultimately, Benenson said, the implications of the study could reach far beyond the boundaries of the playing field.“What we’re talking about is women having a harder time when they have to compete with other women,” she said. “Studies have shown that when two females compete in the workplace, they feel much more damaged afterward. I think this is something human resources professionals should be aware of, so they can mitigate it.” Female academics less likely to cross rank in collaboration, study finds Hierarchical differences It’s not exactly front-page news that when it comes to conflict, men and women usually behave very differently. The way they resolve those conflicts also tends to differ.While men can be aggressive and combative, a new study shows that, from the tennis court to the boxing ring —modern equivalents of one-on-one conflict — men are more likely than women to make peace with their competitors after the competition ends.Using videos of four sports in 44 countries, Joyce Benenson, an associate of Harvard’s Human Evolutionary Biology Department and a professor of psychology at Emmanuel College, and Richard Wrangham, the Ruth B. Moore Professor of Human Evolutionary Biology, found that men are far more likely to engage in friendly physical contact — handshakes, back pats and even hugs — following competition than women are. The study is described in the journal Current Biology.Importantly, Benenson said, the study also lends credence to what researchers call the “male warrior hypothesis,” the notion that men broker good feelings after conflict to ensure they can call on allies to help defend the group in the future.“This finding feels very counterintuitive because we have social science and evolutionary biology models that tell us males are much more competitive and aggressive,” Benenson said.Though accurate, those models are incomplete, because they didn’t explain a curious behavior observed among male chimps.“Male chimps show tremendous aggression, even to the point of killing other males, but they also often reconcile immediately following a conflict,” she said. “They do that because, in addition to the battle to sire the most offspring, they also have to cooperate to defend their community in lethal intergroup conflicts. So the question is how do you get from these severely aggressive 1:1 dominance interactions to cooperating with your former opponents so you can preserve your entire community? We think post-conflict affiliation is the mechanism.”The quest to understand that mechanism has been a years-long search for Benenson.The study was sparked by questions of how men prevail against outside groups — whether in war or in symbolic battles like business deals — while still continually competing with others in their own group. Earlier studies had shown male chimps were more likely than females to try to put hard feelings to rest following a head-to-head conflict, spurring Benenson and Wrangham to wonder whether the same might be true among humans.To get at the question, they turned to a modern form of conflict: sports. Sports provide identical conflicts for males and females, so sex differences can be objectively examined. Relatedlast_img read more

Smart city initiatives aid COVID-19 response

first_imgThe most important role of smart city platforms, however, has been to help the administration analyze data related to the disease, Jakarta Smart City (JSC) unit head Yudhistira Nugraha said.“[Smart city platforms] help us analyze data series like the distribution of cases, incident rates and other information needed to inform policy making,” he told The Jakarta Post recently.The administration has transformed the “JSC lounge”, a command center at City Hall, into what is now called the “COVID-19 war room”. Before the outbreak, the center mainly monitored and analyzed urban data, public facilities, traffic and flood risks.“We have collaborated with startups to monitor the implementation of large-scale social restrictions [PSBB] – such as whether or not people are wearing masks, especially in crowds,” he said. Data analysis and IT innovation have been central to Indonesia’s COVID-19 response, with cities across the country looking to smart city solutions to help curb the outbreak. However, challenges remain.Prior to the outbreak, smart city platforms had mostly been used in Jakarta to distribute information to the public and to receive complaints about public services.However, with Jakarta becoming the country’s worst-affected region, the city administration has developed innovations to aid its pandemic response. For example, the JakCorona app provides updates about the COVID-19 situation in Jakarta, while the JakCLM app allows users to take a health quiz to determine whether or not they should be tested for COVID-19. If such violations are detected, the JSC team will inform the city’s Public Order Agency (Satpol PP) to disperse the crowd.Read also: Apps, sites you can use to detect COVID-19A similar approach has been adopted in the neighboring province of West Java, home to 50 million people, where more than 10,000 confirmed cases have been recorded to date.West Java Information and Communication Agency head Setiaji said the province’s command center, located in the Gedung Sate gubernatorial office in Bandung, was transformed into a COVID-19 information center (Pikobar) in March, not long after its establishment at the end of last year.Similar to Jakarta, the West Java administration has enforced restrictions in its municipalities and regencies, and hence, analysis of data from across the province has been crucial for decision making, according to Setiaji.The rapid rate of transmission of the deadly disease has meant those working on smart city platforms have had to stay on their toes.The Pikobar team, for instance, consists of more than 100 personnel in charge of data cleaning and app development. There are also staff who work as hotline operators and field staff.“Very hectic, for sure. A few months ago, we had a marathon of virtual meetings that lasted almost 24 hours when we were preparing a new feature to improve the disbursement of social aid,” Setiaji said.The Pikobar team is currently looking to recruit 20 volunteers to ease its workload, including in helping to run the new feature, which is accessible on the Pikobar website or via the Pikobar mobile app.The Jakarta team, particularly the staff in charge of data management and analysis, has also had to handle a heavy workload since the outbreak hit the capital. The teams claims to have developed a better working strategy and has been able to maintain its productivity.With the rising number of confirmed cases in the country, experts say that real-time data reporting and accuracy are vital to help authorities develop and implement effective COVID-19 policies.Read also: Data discrepancies persist five months into pandemicBut Muhammad Fikser, head of the Surabaya Information and Communication Agency in East Java, said duplication and delays in data collection and reporting, as well as discrepancies in data between local administrations, the central government, health facilities and laboratories, continued to hinder the work of Surabaya’s smart city team.“If [data providers] were disciplined enough, we would no longer receive data from May or June at the end of August. How should we analyze outdated data?” Muhammad said.Setiaji of West Java admitted data integration remained a challenge due to the absence of supporting regulations. For example, he said authorities had been unable to collect data from telecommunication companies for contact tracing purposes because there was not a regulation that required such data to be provided. Telecommunication companies are only required to provide such data in criminal investigations, he said.While many regional governments have claimed their COVID-19 policies have been based on sound data analysis and scientific findings, cases continue to rise, with the country’s tally of confirmed cases reaching 174,796 as of Monday with 7,417 deaths.The variations in characteristics between areas, complexity of the data and difficulties in translating data analysis into effective policies have presented challenges for developing effective data-driven responses to the pandemic, said Devisari Tunas, a researcher from the Future Cities Laboratory at the Singapore ETH Centre and ETH Zurich.”In the case of Indonesia, there are still gaps in the whole process – gaps relating to capabilities to analyze a series of data and to translate the results into policies,” she said.“The [COVID-19] handling would be different in each area, if only the patterns of transmission can be seen clearly,” Devisari said. “We need a more targeted response.”As an example, she said overlaying data on COVID-19 cases, poverty and access to clean water could generate insights into whether communities that lacked access to proper sanitation in crowded urban areas were more vulnerable to the disease. Different data should be used in areas with different characteristics, such as wealthy neighborhoods or sparsely populated regions, to produce more effective COVID-19 responses, she said.center_img Topics :last_img read more