Current Events

Think “Real Peer Review” shows that Gender Studies is Junk? Think Again!

A lot of commentators on my recent posts on “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct” have claimed that the hoax was simply drawing attention to how worthless Gender Studies is, citing as their “source” the Twitter feed  “Real Peer Review”.

Here’s a very nice (informal, and slightly sweary) podcast by Serious Podcast that actually looks at the papers cited by “Real Peer Review” as nonsense. As background, Serious Podcast had interviewed James Lindsay on the hoax, and he’d made the same claim as the commentators: That his hoax was drawing attention to a systematic problem in Gender Studies. So, Serious Podcast asked him to back up his claims, and Lindsay sent them an email with his evidence. Serious Podcast then actually read the abstracts of the papers in the links Lindsay sent (not just the titles), read the papers if they were available, looked at their citation counts, and draw some interesting conclusions. This is well worth listening to.

The relevant section of the Podcast occurs just before 49.00, after the interview with Lindsay:

SIO45: James Lindsay, Co-Author of the ‘Conceptual Penis’ Hoax Paper

  • Rob Gressis

    If what SIO says is true, this is (for me, anyway) quite heartening. It’s good to know that there doesn’t exist an academic field with no standards.

    • Sean II

      Well of course not. As I mentioned in the other thread, some enforcement of standards is inevitable given the simple fact that papers outnumber publication spots.

      The question is what kind of standards are being enforced, in what fields?

      The thing you want in academic publishing is: interesting and true. Maybe down in the bargain basement you could settle for interesting or true.

      But some fields seem to apply standards unrelated to either of those values. Some filter for ideology first (and are anything but subtle about it), with a second pass for things like name recognition, institutional affiliation, fashionability, etc.

      Now, those are standards…in the sense that one cannot simply walk off the street and onto the pages of Gender and Society.

      But they’re not the kind of standards you should find heartening. Because they still don’t have anything to do with what’s interesting and/or true.

      Best way to see this is by looking at a pseudoscience of the past, one which is well and truly busted.

      Consider Freudianism, as pure a form of bullshit as was ever taken seriously by man. And yet even at the peak of the craze, it wasn’t like anyone who wanted could just up and get themselves published using the magic keywords: dream + unconscious + penis envy + mommy + etc.

      Of course not, for then every student would have been the equal of every professor! There had to be more to it. It had to be hard getting published as a Freudian, or else everyone would get into the game. There had to be limits. There had to be standards. And they’re were. Just not the good kind.

      This is like that.

      • RJL

        One short, easy, guide that I once heard for po-mo theory: either trivially true, or false. (i.e. true, but trivially so, or interesting, but not true [or unverifiable – don’t @ me Popperians] ).

        They rely heavily on a sort of motte-and-bailey strategy, of advancing far reaching claims (the bailey) through ambiguous language: “the penis is a social construction!”. This is the headline that everyone gets shouty about.

        When the pushback comes, they retreat back into the motte of something much more mundane, and borderline trivial: “all I’m saying is that sometimes words can mean more than one thing”.

        Even Foucault and Derrida had their moments of lucidity when they walked back their grand claims to more mundane truths. But the constant misunderstanding of their work wasn’t entirely the fault of the reader, because they both confessed to being intentionally obscure.

        From the point of view of critical social theory, including gender theory, most of these people are not completely stupid, and will not press obviously stupid positions. But they do knowingly seed the far-reaching claims into academic discourse as the frontline of their ideological agenda. Further, every academic should be able to tell you that when you’re in tutorial classes dealing with students, the level of discourse is not at the level of the defendable, but trivially true claims, but at the level of the slogan “sex is a social construct!” These soundbites are becoming pervasive, and shaping public policy. That’s why it needs a rigorous critique.

        • Sean II

          “From the point of view of critical social theory, including gender theory, most of these people are not completely stupid…”

          No doubt they have to be very creative and very clever. Although we might say the same thing of those who become experts in kabbalah or homeopathy.

          Here it helps to remember how all these _________ studies departments came to exist in the first place.

          They were invented to solve a very real problem, which is that the social equality promised by earlier left-wing movements failed to materialize.

          The obvious and probably true explanation for this being off the table, it is necessary to invent and continuously refine alternatives. This is a delicate art, and it needs nimble minds. Although again the same tribute can be paid to the kind of people who specialize in making plausible excuses for the failure of healing crystals, the non-arrival of the messiah, etc.

          Still, the devastating objection remains: if a person read everything produced by gender studies in a year, would they learn any true thing they didn’t already know?

          Not really.

          • Peter from Oz

            “Although we might say the same thing of those who become experts in kabbalah or homeopathy.” Or accounting 🙂

          • Akil

            What exactly is “the obvious and probably true explanation for this,” if I may be so bold?

          • Rob Gressis

            I’m guessing the answer is: biology.

          • Sean II

            That’s crazy talk.

    • Tina W

      Gender Studies is an academic field with no standards as has been shown by Charlotta Stern

      https://econjwatch.org/articles/undoing-insularity-a-small-study-of-gender-sociology-s-big-problem

  • Sean II

    Two observations for anyone who doesn’t make the jump:

    1) Bosnick makes it sound like Real Peer Review is discredited, unrepresentative, etc. Mostly he just asserts this, but even if he’s right…even if the absurd abstracts featured in RPR don’t reflect on the discipline as a whole, the time is long past for defenders of gender studies to produce positive examples of the best work being done in that field. So far no one’s done that. Because they can’t.

    2) Man, you can really tell that Lindsay now wishes this had never happened.

    • anon

      “even if the absurd abstracts”
      what makes an abstract absurd? Just because the abstract doesn’t cater to Sean II’s interests it doesn’t mean that it is absurd. Maybe Sean II is a simple common man and for him it is sufficient to know that there are only two genders, penis is a male organ, vagina is a female organ etc. OK. I understand it. But the point of social sciences is an inquiry into the depths of our internalized beliefs and question them. I don’t know Sean II’s political views but since we are on a libertarian blog, I think we could draw a parallel between questioning the existence of a state and, for example, gender binary – in the sense that they are both common sense knowledge and challenging them is viewed as something only people with no connection to reality do. But does that ad populi argument really valid? No.
      Also you surely must know that for someone “outside the field” reading an abstract about private defense agencies producing security in anarcho-capitalistic free territories would be rather absurd experience. A hella lot absurd then reading about fat men. At least they exist.

      “the time is long past for defenders of gender studies to produce positive examples of the best work being done in that field. So far no one’s done that. Because they can’t.”
      Yes, everybody knows that, therefore it is true.

      • Sean II

        “Maybe Sean II is a simple common man…”

        You’ve captured me exactly.

      • King Goat

        The best part is how the ‘everybody knows’ part gets employed here where the attempted hoax to show that obviously…failed to do so.

        Motivated thinking.

      • Peter from Oz

        Sean II is right. The gender studies discipline has bee around for some time now, and we have yet to see any work produced that can cross over into general knowledge and enlighten the world.
        In any case what are they going to tell us: “Hey chaps and chapessies, listen up. There are some people (less than 1% of the population) who are born chaps but feel from a very young age that they are really chapessies, and vice versa.”
        I think we already knew that.
        Now, psychiatry or psychology or physiology might be able to tell us why there are people who need to have a gender instead of a sex, but po mo, critical theory types can’t be arsed allowing people in proper disiplines to look at things. So they lump it all into the Alice in WOnderland world of ”gender studies.”
        Critical theory- the theory you have when you don’t have a theory.

        • King Goat

          It’s increasingly clear that what most people here attack as ‘gender studies’ belies their ignorance of the field and rather their familiarity is with a sampling of the field as presented by its ideological opponents. They talk as if you walk down to the ‘gender studies’ department or read a ‘gender studies textbook’ to hear their ‘everybody knows’ silliness…

          But thats not how things are. Gender studies is one of many new, interdisciplinary fields that usually exists across departments. Like ‘criminal justice’ or ‘law and society’ programs, gender studies is made up of people from the departments of law, history, economics, psychology, English, communications, people who ‘made their bones’ publishing in their specific fields and their journals, and then, because of their areas of concentration working more and more with others in the same area in the specialized journals and programs of ‘gender studies.’

          The academic field I’ve worked in is psychology. One of the top five ‘gender studies’ journals in any rankings I’ve seen recently is Psychology of Women Quarterly. It’s a standard (fairly well regarded generally) academic journal of psychology, with articles generally on par with other good psychology journals, but which happen to be about women and women’s issues. You can read their current issue here: http://journals.sagepub.com/toc/pwqa/current

          No ‘conceptual penis’ stuff there. But then this isn’t an ideologically chosen sample.

          I think what’s going on is the ideological opponents of gender studies selects work from the more non-scientific fringes of gender studies-work by English and pomo sociology:philosophy professors working in the feud- and highlights them, and motivated reasoning partisans fall for this happily. A lot of gender studies work by Pomo English and Soc profs is going to seem silly, but is it any sillier than the mainstream of the fields the authors come from?

          • Peter from Oz

            I admit I was extracting the urine wee bit. But the point is what are these gender studies departments actually achieving? Are they like government and academia across the world where the measure of success is a bigger budget and a larger payroll?
            From what I can see all these people have got together to found a discipline that is motivated by politics first and the wish to gain knowledge is really only a tangential issue. From reading the page at the link you provided I can see that these are psych papers. You don’t need a gender studies discipline for posthumous academics to work on the psychology of women. But what intrigued me about most of the papers is that they start from the premise that women are oppressed and that academic has somehow worked out another way to confirm that or to provide strategies to overcome the problem. Folk-Marxism seems to be a built in feature, like Marxism was an inbuilt feature of critical theory when it was first developed.
            You mention that legal academics are involved in the discipline. I suspect that it would far more useful to get some practising lawyers, not so much to comment on the relevant areas of the law but to evaluate the whole thrust of the argument by applying the rules of evidence and their superior skills of reasoning. And I don’t just say that because I am a lawyer. 🙂

          • King Goat

            I agree there’s some baked in ideology even in the methodologically standard and non-absurd theoretical stances type of work found in journals like POWQ. I myself don’t think that helps scholarship, but it’s not unique. Most labor studies work has baked into it union friendly assumptions, most libertarian journals have baked in assumptions about ‘free minds and markets,’ most urban studies work has baked into it assumptions about how valuable cities and city life is, etc.

            As an aside, I’ve never heard the expression ‘extracting the urine.’ I like it, thanks for introducing me to it!

          • Peter from Oz

            Your point that a lot of scholars make assumptions based on their political viewpoint. But what I think distinguishes Gender Studies is that it is only political. It’s whole reason for being is to advance political interference in the lives of us all in the name of ”equality”.

            That is why I think such scholarship is better practised in think tanks and rated accordingly.

            Thankyou for introducing me to that wonderful list of papers in feminist psychology. My favourite title had to be :

            “I’m Not Gonna Fake It”
            University Women’s Accounts of Resisting the Normative Practice of Faking Orgasm

            And we wonder why people don’t take Gender Studies seriously.

          • King Goat

            Women faking, and feeling like they should fake (and being conflicted about that) orgasm is a thing in this world. What’s wrong with studying that?

          • Peter from Oz

            There’s nothing wrong with studying it, other than the fact that you can never hope to work out whether the phenomenon is real or how to to demonstrate that your ”findings” have any basis in fact. You might as well pass water up against the pyramids in an attempt to irrigate the Sahara.

          • DH

            Your comments point to the important question: what is research for? From my POV, all research disciplines (and extension into practice) are ideologically driven. Most research is funded by government or business, and therefore embedded in the particular ideology driving those institutions – typically, making money or supporting the political status quo. At least gender studies, if it is ideologically driven, is perhaps driven by a different form of politics than government or business, and that might be worthwhile. I’m not saying this to defend gender studies per se, but to point out it’s a fallacy to point to it as uniquely ideologically driven (or only driven by politics, as you suggest in a comment below) – all disciplines and fields are driven by ideologies. And that doesn’t mean nothing good can come of them. Sure, we need profit-driven pharmaceutical companies to fund research into better medicines. For what purpose? To make money. Other benefits? People might have better quality of life. Maybe that’s also part of the ideology driving gender studies – better quality of life irrespective of gender. Frankly, I don’t have a problem with that ideology. I don’t have a huge problem with the profit-making ideology either (that’s embedded in a capitalist system). But they’re both ideologically driven, and if you’re going to use that as a stick to beat gender studies, that’s a problem – it’s a stick that can be used to beat any discipline.

          • Peter from Oz

            The two sides of your equation don’t balance. Ideology doesn’t drive the search for a profit.

          • DH

            I disagree. Of course the search for profit is ideologically driven. I’m a political economist. Economic decision are at heart political decisions, and thus ideological. Even the notion of what profit is and where to find it is, fundamentally, an ideological decision (labour and/or markets? Smith or Marx? Keynes or neoliberalism?). And you side-stepped government driven ideology too. I’m not disagreeing with you that gender studies is ideologically driven. But all disciplines are ideologically driven, even in practice. Even business. Even profit motives. Even government decisions. Full stop.

          • Peter from Oz

            To summarise your argument, everything is political.
            That’s bollocks, I’m afraid.
            As a corporate lawyer I deal everyday with people making commercial decisions, and I’ve never heard of any businessman referring to Smith, Keynes and Marx. In fact I suggest that you’d be hard pressed to find a businessman who had read any of those esteemed gentlemen. What the businessmen are concerned with is making money. That is not ideological, it is a natural operation like eating or copulating.
            If we go back to your example of the pharmceutical company, we agree that the basis of its decision to fund research is to make a profit. There is absolutely nothing ideological about that motive. It is really just a question of a company doing what companies are designed to do, make a return for their shareholders by engaging in a commercial enterprise and making a profit.

          • DH

            One doesn’t have to be conversant with the ideology to reflect it. It’s inherent (like eating, sleeping and copulating, as you put it). Being concerned with making money or a profit is an ideological position, regardless of whether one is conversant with the ideological language or not. Capitalism of any stripe IS an ideology. (And I’m not disagreeing with it; I’m just saying, as economic theorists would, that it’s more than just a material exchange; hence, political economy).

            So we’ll have to agree to disagree. Actually, you’re quite rude, really. You don’t want to even consider the suggestion of someone who works in the area. That’s quite obnoxious. And it’s actually a waste of time (which I value in monetary and non-monetary terms!). So let’s leave it at that. We’ll agree to disagree.

          • Peter from Oz

            I must admit I was not trying to be rude. Let us just say that I come from a less austere tradition.

            I agree that one can act under an ideology unconsiously. But I think that capitalism is not really an ism at all, it is merely people what they do naturally. The economic thoerists have enlarged it into an ideology mainly as a counterbalance to the real ideologies that have emerged over the last few hundred years. Maybe that’s the point. Maybe capitalism is seen as an ideology by economists because some who disagree with the ideologies that decry the free market have in the course of their opposition set forth the advantages that capitalism brings.
            Hence, the only way that a pharmaceutical company funding research on the basis that it may lead to a profit can be said to be acting ideologically is if consciously made its decion to invest based on its opposition to government funding being a socially moredesirable thing.

          • DH

            Capitalism is a socio-economic system. There are different views (i.e. ideologies) within it about its structure and where profit lies). Thanks for dismissing dismissing political economy as merely reactionary (you may not be trying to be rude but …). And capitalism isn’t ‘natural’. It’s not a biological organism. Before Dutch mercantilism in early modern Europe other economic systems prevailed – feudal, tributary, tribal, hunter-gatherer, etc. Capitalism itself isn’t monolithic – there are at least mercantile, industrial, post-fordist and neoliberal variants. Traders, businesses, lawyers, etc don’t operate now as they would have during nineteenth century industrial capitalism.

            And here is a possible example of your pharmaceutical companies involved in money-making ideological – oops, educational – activities. Profit through market expansion is classic ‘lassaiz fair’ economics by the way (aka Adam Smith).

            http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/drug-companies-spent-287-million-in-four-years-on-educational-events-for-doctors-20170706-gx688a.html

            Not that you’ll shift your position. And I’m not likely to shift mine. So mutual intransigence is in play.

            Nothing more to say.

          • Thanks, goat, that clears things up. In my day, they used to call this major “General Studies.” They’ve come a long way, baby!

          • King Goat

            Yes, except for the important differences those things are the same.

          • That’s a jo–I say, that’s a joke, son!

            (Nice kid, but he’s built a little low to the ground. The fast ones go–I say, the fast ones go riiiiight over his head.)

            https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/579a094283ddb0eb615b1efa16b82399c5b92f2c9623efc49f7bc1a7e5b384e3.jpg

          • King Goat

            It’s a joke that shows you entirely don’t get what’s being discussed.

          • I have to admit, as it’s not immediately clear to me what you’re trolling me into with this comment, I honestly have no great comeback for it.

          • King Goat

            One thing’s for sure, you’ll come up with something.

          • Ah, man! Your vanity got the better of you here. I think you had the perfect gotcha with the previous comment. This one’s overkill.

          • King Goat

            Told ya so.

          • That last one wasn’t a rejoinder, I was just saying. Coffee up maybe?

          • King Goat

            Predictable. I wonder if I just wrote a single letter here if you’d feel compelled to have the last word to it?

          • I don’t know, Goat. When someone says something to me, I usually respond. I guess you could call that “wanting to have the last word” if you wanted to, if that’s how you saw it. I’m replying to you as my queries run. I’m surprised you think my motivations are more particularly about you than that.

          • King Goat

            I edited it minutes later, before our ‘conversation’ was over. I imagine you missed it, feverishly immersed in your trolling.

          • Lacunaria

            It’s increasingly clear that what most people here attack as ‘gender studies’ belies their ignorance of the field and rather their familiarity is with a sampling of the field as presented by its ideological opponents.

            Close, but I think that is secondary. What a lot of us here are doing is judging those academic fields by our substantial primary contact and debates with those who believe it and appeal to it.

            The craziness of false flags, intimidation, speech codes, microaggressions, safe spaces, trigger warnings, re-education classes, etc. actually exists. Where do these things come from?

            True believers (and even the papers appealed to in my debates) use logical fallacies and tricks of vague and redefined terms, moral disproportion and conflation, assumption of motives and oppression, etc. They commonly use group proportions to assume individual oppression.

            Their front is deeply compassionate but they either are or they cover for bitter and resentful people who look to take offense everywhere because they have founded their sense of safety and power in convincing other people of their pervasive victimhood.

            So, while your criticism is fair that I, for one, have only scratched the surface of delving into these academic fields (ad hoc to each debate), given their fruit and arguments, I find it totally believable that their entire field is fundamentally structurally unsound.

            A lot of gender studies work by Pomo English and Soc profs is going to seem silly, but is it any sillier than the mainstream of the fields the authors come from?

            That’s a fair point of proportion and I’d love to see that sort of self-reflection studied, but you are ignoring the underlying reason why Offended Studies is getting a smack down as a whole: because of the increasing nonsense and harm it is causing outside of its field.

            At the very least, it’s leaking should be stopped and this occurs by it garnering a bad reputation.

          • King Goat

            “What a lot of us here are doing is judging those academic fields by our substantial primary contact and debates with those who believe it and appeal to it.”

            That’s anecdote. And what’s worse, in anecdote there’s all kinds of room for ‘a lot of us’ here to have their own ideologically tinged ideas and, at times, fallacies of selective observation, over-generalization, etc., How ‘far out’ someone you’ve argued with is often as much a function with where you stand than where they do, ideology being a very relative thing…

            “The craziness of false flags, intimidation, speech codes, microaggressions, safe spaces, trigger warnings, re-education classes, etc. actually exists.”

            I think they’re vastly overhyped by, in the main, conservative media which doesn’t like academe, period, and therefore there’s an exaggerated sense of how much of this goes on. As an example, FIRE, no unmotivated bystander here, recently released a report counting these kind of egregious campus incidents that catch so much flak. Their count was like 40 over a year or two iirc. There’s over 4,000 colleges in the US, with over 17 million students. And 40 such incidents garner this much attention and focus? In comparison, there are about ten times more hate crimes than that on campuses every year.

            https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/bja/187249.pdf

            Also, this tendency to assume victimhood and want safe spaces is just not limited to the far left. Recently our alt right President claimed Christians were victims in a speech to Liberty University graduates who had chosen for four years to seclude themselves in an environment where creationism is mandated to be taught over evolution, R-rated movies are barred and pro-abortion student groups are summarily dismissed….What can we conclude? Maybe that young people, and their parents footing the bill, will often demand they not be challenged in their worldviews…

            “They commonly use group proportions to assume individual oppression.”

            Er, people here commonly talk about how it’s ok to assume things about individuals based on group proportions. I can’t recall you ever flagging that. Is it only when people generalize about oppression, and not, say criminality, that you note?

            “Their front is deeply compassionate but they either are or they cover for bitter and resentful people who look to take offense everywhere”

            I don’t think you’ve taken the time to get to know them, or, again, we’ve anecdotally had different experiences. Even while disagreeing with their ideas and solutions, I’ve found when talking with them that they really are motivated by what they see as righteous standing up to oppression. They honestly think micro-aggression lead to macro-aggression, talk of inferiority and genetically based bad behavior to hate crimes, and they draw the line earlier than we would.

            “it’s leaking should be stopped and this occurs by it garnering a bad reputation.”

            Fair enough, but I’d be careful about “throwing the baby out with the bathwater.”

          • Lacunaria

            What kind of evidence would satisfy you? Anecdotes become patterns in such quantities as we see here. You’re right that this is a difference in our ideologies, but I am pointing to very specific and obvious errors in how their ideology is consistently applied.

            And it starts with the very academic definitions they use. Racism is redefined as racial “power imbalance” and disparity, which has bizarre implications, like only whites can be racist in the US. Ok, that’s almost believable if we focus on slavery and Jim Crow and ignore other history, inheritance calculus, and disparities with other PoCs.

            So then you ask them about bullying a white kid at a black school. Not so racist, despite the local power imbalance because of some greater imbalance in society. Point out that the city government is also predominantly black, and they expand to the state or the nation or historical (not present!) oppression. Move a racist from one country to another and they could stop being racist by this definition! This is the ultimate quality of many of my in-depth debates on the subject and it stems from the definition itself.

            Academically defined hate speech has similar flaws due to relying upon amoral “power imbalance”, but if you look closely, it is also ironically defined not by hate but rather by taking offense! Look through the definitions in these papers and consider what their conclusions actually mean in contrast to how they are actually used.

            Of course, their definitions are supersets of the actual racism or oppression from which they assert their moral authority, but they water down the meaning so much as to be amoral or even immoral in most of their actual applications today.

            “The craziness of false flags, intimidation, speech codes, microaggressions, safe spaces, trigger warnings, re-education classes, etc. actually exists.”

            I think they’re vastly overhyped by, in the main, conservative media which doesn’t like academe, period, and therefore there’s an exaggerated sense of how much of this goes on.

            Your number seems low, but I agree that the set becomes smaller as you restrict it to more egregious violations. But what you are missing is that these are not isolated incidents — they are the tips of an iceberg. Pushing this nonsense is a lifestyle.

            Critical theory is defined by viewing life through the lens of oppression, real or imagined, and thinking or suggesting that they are wrong or exaggerating simply proves their oppression! These are closed loops of reasoning that are manifestly false and increasingly harmful.

            Also, this tendency to assume victimhood and want safe spaces is just not limited to the far left. Recently our alt right President

            I agree that Trump is one of the most easily offended people. It is bizarre to witness. In fact, he is a great example to study about how hypersensitivity and exaggeration functions as power.

            Now imagine whole fields of study lending academic authority to promoting Trump’s hypersensitivity and you will have an idea of what we are dealing with here.

            I also agree that parents are doing their children a disservice by avoiding rational challenges to their worldviews, but it is far better that such things be contained to private schools and on topics like Creationism which rarely affect daily life, unlike Offended Studies.

            “They commonly use group proportions to assume individual oppression.”

            Er, people here commonly talk about how it’s ok to assume things about individuals based on group proportions. I can’t recall you ever flagging that. Is it only when people generalize about oppression, and not, say criminality, that you note it?

            Your question doesn’t make sense in the context of my statement. Criminality says there is a certain proportion of criminals in a group. Racial proportions say nothing about oppression.

            But if you are asking whether statistics of oppression can warrant valid stereotypes, then of course the answer is yes. The problem is that SJWs don’t typically prove oppression, rather they simply prove some disparity together with the psychological perils of wearing oppression-colored glasses.

            “Their front is deeply compassionate but they either are or they cover for bitter and resentful people who look to take offense everywhere”

            I don’t think you’ve taken the time to get to know them, or, again, maybe we’ve anecdotally had different experiences.

            Oh goodness, I have taken soooo much time and heartfelt caring for them. It makes me so sad. Several of my in depth debates have involved close friends. I know them well and I know they mean well.

            Perhaps you and I have had different experiences because I challenge their assertions more than you do? Being considered in-group is very different from out-group.

            I ignored this for years, because my default is to defer to people who say they are hurt and because I hate being called racist, but it is getting ridiculous and harmful at this point. They feel like their physical safety depends upon my validating their worldview and I am harming them by my disbelief.

            I am worse than Hitler, because I am “excusing evil” when I tell them that what they are pointing to is not evil. Or if I suggest that they are exaggerating? That’s more proof of oppression! “Allies” don’t do that.

            They have a whole framework of nuanced and carefully defined terms. They currency off of the difference and moral confusion between their definitions and the rest of ours.

            Even while disagreeing with their ideas and solutions, I’ve found when talking with them that they really are motivated by what they see as righteous standing up to oppression.

            I agree entirely! It is totally genuine. To be clear, my friends don’t call me “racist” or “white supremacist”, but rather their friends do. And this commonly occurs in the middle of my arguing for the moral of judging people as individuals and color blindness!

            Almost everyone I have debated argues from a position of compassion and sympathy and they are more than willing to help you with your obeisance, but not so much if you show a pattern of pointing out the logical or moral problems with their oppression-colored glasses or show compassion and understanding for the people they are calling racist or sexist, etc.

            They honestly think micro-aggression lead to macro-aggression, talk of inferiority and genetically based bad behavior to hate crimes,

            Haha, genetic! I have enough trouble making progress regarding cultural preferences or behavioral causes for racial correlations. I am called racist even for that.

            and they draw the line earlier than we would on when to ‘stand up’ to that.

            That is such a key observation! Hypersensitivity and disproportionate reactions are the cornerstone of their ideology. It enables them to dogmatically maintain systemic oppression, no matter how small.

            Rational thought is no match for their ideology of oppression, because they are founded upon the infinitesimals at a single target. It’s like integral calculus to them. “Sure, it’s infinitesimal, but there are an infinite number of them!” It’s a one-sided mathematics of infinities.

            https://theestablishment.co/notallwhitepeople-the-quiz-28411eb909d5

          • Peter from Oz

            Great post. You have defined folk-marxism brilliantly.

  • Puppet’s Puppet

    Well, that’s several minutes of my life I’m never going to get back. At the expense of ten more, let me spare both of you who are still paying attention (perhaps enthralled by Taylor’s compelling coming-out saga as an uncloseted defender of gender-woke postmodernism, or enthralled by his now having found a slightly novel way of expressing it) a similar drain on your leisure time:

    It’s oddly hard to tell who exactly Serious Inquiries Only is (some Internet dickhead with a silly pseudonym, best I can gather, and fuck those people), but as best as my remaining patience can determine from half-assed Googling, his primary raison d’etre is as a combatant in the increasingly heated atheist-webcaster civil war over PC culture. (One of the primary obsessions of his Twitter account is baiting a popular atheist comedian into coming on his show.) Describing himself as “neutral” on Gender Studies, he spends the cited portion of the podcast hurling insults at his recent guest. Basically, “Who are the real academics, and who the dishonest bullshitters?” over and over again for each paper on the list Lindsay sent him. I care about what this clown says in the first place–I won’t lie–precisely because I now know he does it with Taylor’s imprimatur. And I do care a lot about legitimate academics circling the wagons against the barbarians of antiacademia when they are so tragically and bafflingly misguided about who the barbarians are.

    Here is what Serious does, ad nauseum: First he assails Lindsay and Real Peer Review for their dishonest one-sentence summaries of the targeted papers. After noting that these papers have received few or no citations anyway–therefore so much for the claim that they say anything about the field’s regard for them, therefore about the field itself–he dramatically produces the real abstracts of the papers. Quoting selectively from them, he then paraphrases the quite reasonable things the papers are saying. The coverup foiled, thanks to his sleuthing! Of course…

    Anyone who has actually seen a single fucking tweet by RPR knows what the fuck they look like: the standard-for-the-medium “retweetable” hook in the character-limited text, with a screenshot of the actual fucking abstract right below it. Anyone looking to doxx Serious for his SJW impudence: Don’t bother yourself. You’ll find him at 221B Baker Street.

    As for the lack of citations, nearly all listed papers with this “problem” are extremely new. This is what RPR and, in turn, Lindsay, has been pointing to; the bullshit is flying out the pipeline so furiously that when you search RPR from the top of their account for something like Gender Studies, your findings are going to be skewed toward the relatively recent. Desperate as Serious seems to be to move the bar from the “but they didn’t hoax a legitimate journal!” notch he and his fellow travelers had previously set it firmly upon, the fact that all this nonsense did pass real peer review in real journals does tell us a hell of a lot about the fields they were published in. And–call it a hunch–I’m thinking this was probably something of the point that Real motherfucking Peer Review was trying to make. I mean, I’m a Millian about proper names and all, but I think I may be on to something here.

    After more insults to Lindsay’s aptitude and integrity, Serious then proceeds to read selected parts of the abstract in question, then suggests what it’s trying to discuss, and asks us, Isn’t that reasonable? Isn’t that something worthy of scholarly discussion? For instance, this gets summarized as: To the extent that the sexuality of fat men is depicted at all in TV and film, it tends to be as a gag. Well, yes, as a big dramatic-arts fan and an erstwhile small-time professional, that does seem like a launching point for an interesting discussion with my fellow buffs, performers, or even friends in academia; or for a fine A.V. Club article. Maybe it could even merit a good academic paper. But this ain’t it. The claim was never that there is no nonbullshit subject matter lurking somewhere inside these papers’ ostensible purpose; the claim was that the papers themselves are bullshit, and manifestly so. This is the same ridiculous move that is made all the time: Racism is a real problem in this country, and even self-styled liberals are rude and too dismissive of it from time to time; therefore the professor who is being shrieked at by the undergrad that her “othering” hoop earrings are committing rape and doing violence to oppressed and erased black bodies had better know her role as privileged white cishet to listen and affirm, and if not, the masked “left-libertarian” with the bike chain will certainly teach her the just consequences of hate speech. No, those are not good paraphrases of the legitimate issue, and neither is this.

    In short, these papers actually look worse, not better, as you move from title to abstract to full text. Don’t tell me there might have been a good paper written about “Fat Male Sexuality,” or hand me the bullshit that Gender Studies’s detractors have somehow been suggesting otherwise. They are detractors of the field as it actually exists, not detractors of the very idea of studying gender or sexuality, much as Serious, Taylor, and their associates seem set on casting their opponents as a bunch of right-wing Neanderthals.

    Serious’s keystone move, if you can believe it, is to ask: Are these papers full of shit? I don’t know, because I’m not an expert in Gender Studies, unlike that unqualified Lindsay who is talking out of his ass. Really, that’s what he says. Well, I freely admit that I, too, bear the shame of being a complete layman in the science of Gender Studies. So I ask only that if you wish to know, indeed, which side are the legitimate scholars and which side the professional bullshitters, you not defer to me, or RPR, or Lindsay, or any other lowly nonexpert. Instead, indeed, seek out the experts! Walk over to the library, find yourself one of these prestigious, prestigious journals in this fine and upstanding area of learned inquiry, open the most recent issue, and leaf through the fucking articles. Or, if you fear yourself woefully out of your depth at the frontier of research, crack open one of the most respected intro textbooks to this august field and become a humble student. Or ask one of its esteemed luminaries on your campus to enlighten you. Or listen to some of their most revered public commentary.

    Of course, you have probably done any or all of this at some point, for far longer than this corpus of fridge-magnet poetry merits of any mortal’s time, before arriving at any conclusion at all about Gender Studies; because you are indeed in the habit of knowing what the fuck you are talking about before you form an opinion about something. In other words, you are not the armpit-scratching, cuck-trolling, semiliterate, kneejerk right-wing book burner out to destroy academia that Serious, Taylor, and everyone else manning the ramparts of Gender Studies would desperately like you to be. You have seen the squirrels, and nonetheless decided in due course not to “re-theorize the ontological given of otherness” after all.

    TL;DR: I feel like a conceptual cunt just from paying this matter any attention at this point. BHL–you’re flirting with a serious quality control problem here. And Serious–unlike your more accomplished brother Yahoo, you’re no young Einstein.

  • King Goat

    James, there’s just too much motivated thinking here for a lot of people. Many don’t want to give up gender studies as their favorite boogeyman/object of two hour hate, so they’ll gladly engage in the same fallacies they ironically deride in (some) work from that field. There’s also a lot of ‘white guys [who predominate on the internet comment boards] feeling attacked by women feminists’ reverse identity politics going on (also ironic).

    • Peter from Oz

      Gender studies isn’t alone as a bogeyman. Queer studies, African American Studies, Semiotics, critical theory, they are all problematic. This is because they are not so much involved in finding out what the world is like, but to change the world along. People in these discipliuines are not scholars so much as activists using some scholarly tools as a fig leaf to cover their wish to make change in the world.
      I would be willing to wager a large sum that you could count on the fingers of a leper’s hand the number of papers with recognisable right-wing conclusions that would emerge from any of the new Studies.
      The problem is that we have so much strawman education. People are being taught to dismiss old moral codes or ideas without first knowing what those ideas and moral codes were, but instead being told distorted versions that trn all ordinary relationships into schemes of oppression.
      And what these scholars are all struggling to prove are motherhood statements that most of us accept anyway: women can take on any job, gays are not evil, it’s wrong to discriminate against people for thngs they cannot change about themselves, etc.
      Look at modern Britain. The Head of State is a woman. The PM is a woman, who is currently trying to keep her job by keeping the peace between the head of her Scottish party who is a woman and the head of the DUP in Northern Ireland who is also a woman. Let’s face it the world has changed.
      I get the impression that our friends in the ”studies” disciplines live in the manufactured fear that all the progress made by gays, women and other groups could be halted and even reversed unless the scholars go on struggling down a t’mill of something studies producing more papers on how most of us are oppressed by the system. They call upon the rhetoric of false consciousness. Drop the occasional ”narmative” or ”epistemic” and Bob’s your uncle, we’re all saved. Hallelluljah. The new clerisy wins the day. But it turns out a lot of poorly educated people with a huge sense of entitlement and an endless capacity to substitute politics for action.

  • stevenjohnson2

    If evolutionary psychology is acceptable, then everything goes. Singling out gender studies is purely a matter of political preference.

    I suspect any real critique of gender studies would take up the replication problems besetting so much of psychology etc. But is there anything in “gender studies” as undefined and dubious as EEA and mental modules? Does “gender studies” reject other fields the way EP rejects social science that doesn’t covertly duplicate its version of genetic determinism? I always thought of area studies as being something like Chinese studies, where political history, sociology, polical science, literature, language. philosophy and law courses relevant to the general topic were blended together. Is “gender studies” anything like that?

    • Tina W

      Gender Studies is built on the disproven false notion of a blank slate, read this study by Charlotta Stern

      https://econjwatch.org/articles/undoing-insularity-a-small-study-of-gender-sociology-s-big-problem

      • stevenjohnson2

        Even the abstract waves red flags. The author’s belief in evolutionary psychology is as obtuse as the belief that biology is something different from genetics and neurosciences. I’ve come to think that people who believe some groups have smarter stuff written on their larger slates might be demented. Or maybe it’s just that any crank “science” that guards their sacred space of hoary old prejudices and received mythology is pragmatically welcome?

        Glancing at the most minimal information about this person strongly suggests she is a hired gun, in no sense interested in truth, much less a social scientist. It is by the way, unbelievable that a proponent of rational choice theory postures as an enemy of the blank slate. That’s gross incompetence. Let me know if the Ratio Institute opposes rational choice theory.

        • Tina W

          You don’t believe that human psychology is a product of evolution? That is the only premise for evolutionary psychology as a field

          • stevenjohnson2

            That most certainly is not the only premise for evolutionary psychology. See http://www.cep.ucsb.edu/primer.html

            I’ve heard of attacking a straw man as a rhetorical ploy. An excellent example is the EP version of the blank slate supposedly held by so many, many, many people. But this is a staw man defense of EP, where a fact like the evolution of human brains and minds along with their bodies. Like a scarecrow, it’s supposed to frighten away enemies. Like a scarecrow, it’s not really the farmer.

          • Tina W

            You are not very well aware of evolutionary psychology if you think the Tooby/Cosmides paradigm is shared by everyone in the field, it isn’t.

          • stevenjohnson2

            People not spelling out their fundamental premises, or eclectically adding or subtracting ad hoc, doesn’t mean the disinterest in actual genetics, or the inability to describe the EEA, or the panadaptationist power of natural selection (which by the way contradicts population genetics’ demonstration of the importance of random genetic drift,) or the disinterest in the neuroscience of mental modules despite their alleged pervasiveness and importance and the difficulty in dealing with variation within populations…all of these errors are foundational to all supposedly different versions of EP. People don’t cite Cosmides and Tooby all the time because they don’t want to give that much credit to a competitor. I’m afraid I’m convinced that if there really were other “schools,” you would have cited them.

          • Tina W

            Behavioral genetics have shown that a large range of behaviors have substantial genetic influence, such as promiscuity, aggression, risk-taking, religiosity etc. Fact is every trait has a heritable component. Thus it is a fact that evolution has shaped human behaviour in precisely the areas evolutionary psychologists tend to study (such as mating strategies).

          • stevenjohnson2

            Two men having sex is a mating strategy explained by EP? EP says it must be adaptive, because, SCIENCE!, but it can’t explain that. The reason is because it’s a pseudoscience and they don’t know much about evolution.

            EP is so driven by its pseudoscientific agenda it’s doubtful whether it even asks what the mating strategy for the human species is, instead of its bizarre assumption that men and women must have different mating strategies. EP is so confused it’s not even clear whether they understand the difference between mating and child-rearing, much less that in evolutionary terms it’s child-rearing that matters.

            Cosmides and Tooby explained EP wasn’t behavioral genetics for good reason. But even if you try to take refuge from the inadequacies of EP in another science, do understand the project of finding a genetically determined human nature cannot satisfy itself by measuring heritability. For one thing, heritability tells you nothing about norm of reaction. For another, many essential traits have zero heritability in actual people.

            Most of all, I strongly disagree that EP studies human behavior that evolution has shaped. Sleep behavior, for instance, is not an interest at all. Nor really is food preference. EP studies how to present a pseudoscientific justification for mad dog reactionary BS.

          • Tina W

            “Two men having sex is a mating strategy explained by EP?”

            Ever heard of sexually antagonistic selection? That traits more common in females sometimes appear in males and reverse is nothing strange. Evolutionary theory has already explained this. About 5% of male rams are entirely homosexual while 95% are heterosexual, about the same number as in human males, question is why is heterosexuality so much more common among males than homosexuality? Is it heteronormative culture among rams that is the cause?

            “bizarre assumption that men and women must have different mating strategies”

            Yes, it’s bizarre to assume that mating strategies have been different in a species where one sex undergoes 9 months pregnancy and lactation while the other sex doesn’t. Sex differences in mating strategies aren’t exactly unheard of among mammals you know. It’s hardly bizarre that a species whose DNA show such a large reproductive skew would have different mating strategies, it’s hardly bizarre that a species with such a significant level of sexual dimorphism (we are more sexually dimorphic than 90% of all other primates) would have different mating strategies. But finally, men and women DO have different mating strategies, there is no deate about this since the same sex differences replicate in study after study cross-culturally, the question is what caused them, an international patriarchal conspiracy or evolution.

          • stevenjohnson2

            No, I had not heard of sexually antagonistic selection. If this http://www.science20.com/news_releases/sexually_antagonistic_selection_a_darwinian_evolution_model_for_homosexualitymodel_for_homosexuality is anything to go by, I shouldn’t have because it is conceptually confused, and very likely not the scientific consensus even within EP. This proposed explanation does not trouble to consider alternative hypotheses, assuming that all traits must be adaptive, because NATURAL SELECTION! Uh, well, maybe SEXUAL SELECTION! Uh, well, maybe GROUP SELECTION! This version by the way attributes male homosexuality to two genes. The notion of genes for homosexuality is not well supported by actual genetics, to say the least. No doubt, like a creationist, or a religious believer, you will cite some other authority.

            But, you do ask, rhetorically, “About 5% of male rams are entirely homosexual while 95% are heterosexual, about the same number as in human males, question is why is heterosexuality so much more common among males than homosexuality? Is it heteronormative culture among rams that is the cause?” Again, the sleazy imputation of leftism? As a mad dog reactionary, you’ve long ago won the peanut gallery. As for the pretend question about the rams, I have no idea why you think this figure of 5% exclusive homosexual rams means anything, given sheep keep harems. How ever do you distinguish demoralized losers from preferential homosexuals? Surveys? This kind of thing makes me think EP resorts to basically making stuff up more than I ever realized before.

            As to why heterosexuality is the most common, the most likely reasons of course are that it is adaptive for the species to the males to wish to mate with the female and vice versa; that while some proportion of homosexual males may benefit the flock, or maybe somehow their mothers, the power of natural selection to magically generate the proper proportions in the flock has inexplicably, tragically failed; that natural selection is not powerful enough to extirpate a mildly deleterious (in Darwinian terms) homosexuality entirely.

            As to these supposed cross-cultural studies, aside from the unlikelihood that EPers have really done them, the chances they are done competently is nil.

            The sad truth is that you have bought into the pseudoscience. Like all good pseudosciences, EP has armored itself against reality, starting with the answers, refusing to consider alternative hypotheses. Very likely there’s something wrong with you personally, that you have abandoned reason in favor of an elaborate fraud that justifies your cherished prejudices. But of course I’m not a mind reader, and I could be entirely wrong about that. Just in case you are actually interested in science, consider this: Hidden ovulation most certainly evolved, and hidden ovulation most certainly affects mating strategy for people. EP has nothing to say about this, because EP isn’t about studying the evolution of the human mind. EP is pseudoscience dedicated to cobbling up fallacious authority for old prejudices.

          • Peter from Oz

            From what I can see you are against reverse engineering politics back into a ”theory”. I applaud you for it.
            People seem to have forgotten the word ”disinterested”. They are all advocates manque, and very bad ones, in that they attempt to justify a pre-determined posttion by more and more abstruse premises, tickled with additional clauses and language that is ill-defined and obscure.
            Hearsay, similar fact evidence, opinion, mere supposition? Who cares? Logic? No that’s for losers. So many scholars today remind me of Cockney tailors flogging cheap suits with the catchcy: Never mind the quality, feel the width.

          • Tina W

            You are not very well aware of evolutionary psychology if you think the Tooby/Cosmides paradigm is shared by everyone in the field, it isn’t.

            Thing is this, there are significant innate psychological sex differences between men and women especially in the mating domain but also when it comes to physical aggression, interests, risk-taking etc. As shown by twin studies and replications from social psychology nurture and stereotypes play a minimal role in these differences, in meta-analyses no significant influence can be found. Gender theory denies all this making it a pseudoscientific theory on par with creationism.

          • stevenjohnson2

            One, these are exactly the kinds of studies suffering from the notorious replication crisis.

            Two, there are still conceptual problems in these studies, that can’t be solve by p-hacking. For instance, physical aggression by women is indeed less…but what studies have showed that this is because of innate psychological difference, or because women are smaller and have less upper body strenght? None to my knowledge, and I’m pretty sure none to yours either.

            Three, I should be clear that I don’t know much about gender studies, so maybe it’s just as pseudoscientific as EP. The question then is, why does gender studies get singled out? No good reason, I assure you.

          • Tina W

            “One, these are exactly the kinds of studies suffering from the notorious replication crisis.”

            Dead wrong. Terribly wrong. Blatantly absurdly wrong. Flat earth level wrong.

            The replication crisis is affecting the field of social psychology which champions belief in the blank slate and social constructivism. Examples of non-replicated findings include, social priming, the stereotype effect and parenting effects. Precisely the mechanisms that gender scholars rely on to explain sex differences in behaviour.

            Sex differences in sexual choosiness, sexual disgust, sex drive, physical aggression, physical risk-taking replicate consistently and cross-culturally. So do studies on behavioral genetics which show a large influence of genetics on behavior and a non-significant effect of upbringing.

            “For instance, physical aggression by women is indeed less…but what
            studies have showed that this is because of innate psychological
            difference, or because women are smaller and have less upper body
            strenght? None to my knowledge, and I’m pretty sure none to yours
            either.”

            Sex differences in size are not significant prepuberty yet boys show more aggresive behavior and rough and tumble play since early age, same with girls with higher levels of testosterone during fetal development . Oh, so do most other primate species as well, does patriarchy explain that too?

            And the important question, why did men evolve greater upper body strength to begin with? The answer is because there was greater evolutionary pressure on men to be physical strong. What was this reason if not to physically compete with other males? Point is this difference alone is proof enough that evolution has acted differently on men and women, the notion that this has magically not affected the brain is absurd.

          • stevenjohnson2

            EP as a field does not do cross-cultural studies, which is why David Buss is so revered, as providing pretty much the only claim. Relying on so few studies which just happen to confirm old prejudices (while ignoring all other work that contradicts it) is just bad science.

            Your strawman defense fails. Most people correctly believe that language ability has evolved along with the brain. That has nothing to do with EP, which is not interested in the evolution of language (because it presents as a group trait, and group selection doesn’t fit the EP political agenda?) EP’s drivel is not the unique acceptance of the reality of human evolution.

            You ask two specific question. First “Oh, so do most other primate species as well, does patriarchy explain that too?” I never said anything about patriarchy. No doubt this successfully tags me as a leftist, therefore you’ve “won” so far as this audience is concerned. Nonetheless, I will ask you how a statistical significance in reported physical activity in boys and girls of a species with concealed ovulation and menopause somehow expresses the same evolutionary pressures responsible for the aggressive behaviors of other primate species, including orangutans, who are solitary pair bonding organism; gorilla, whose males have harems; chimpanzees, who have promiscuous mating with females in heat and elaborate hierarchies determined by aggressive competitions, and bonobos, who are quite different? The most likely, almost trivial, conclusion is that the small effect observed is a trivial correlation with no significant causal effect. But EP is a pseudoscience that tries to inflate this into proof of its reactionary agenda.

            Second, “The answer is because there was greater evolutionary pressure on men to be physical strong. What was this reason if not to physically compete with other males?” It is not customary in science to begin with the answer, which is a powerful indicator that EP isn’t science. Human reproductive units with large and aggressive members are likely reproductively favored because those members can get more meat and defend against predators better. Testosterone promotes physical development and aggression but too much testosterone in females would interfere with reproduction. In species with genuine sexual competition between males for a harem, we observe much greater disparities in male and female body size. Thus, the modest difference between men and women is most likely caused by something else. One cannot exclude random genetic drift, or the inability of natural selection to optimize the human body, even if EP hasn’t heard of such basic evolutionary concepts.

            EP is pseudoscience.

          • Tina W

            What an ignorant ideologue you are Steven.

            EP is the field in psychology which uses the most representative and cross-cultural samples. Several studies have been repeated across the world. The results replicate, in study after study, in culture after culture robust significant sex differences are found in physical aggression and promiscuity, these differences must be explained. Since behavioral genetics have shown that both physical aggression and sociosexuality are strongly shaped by genetics and not at all by upbringing plus the fact that these differences are cross-culturally robust, are mirrored in other species whose DNA show the same reproductive skew as human DNA shows, that women with higher levels of prenatal testosterone are more male typical in these behaviours while any effects of stereotypes, priming or parenting show absolute zero effect in meta-analyses points heavily to a biological origin. And studies on animals show that concealed ovulation isn’t the best predictor, the best predictor is reproductive skew between males and females in a species and in humans that skew is significant as evidenced by DNA studies.

            With regard to human sexual dimorphism, greater male intrasexual competition is the conclusion AFTER studying human DNA to measure reproductive skew between men and women during evolution. Newsflash: It’s large, much closer to gorillas than to chimpanzees and bonobos. Humans have been a decidedly polygynous species duiring evolution as evidenced that polygyny has been evidenced both in the cultural record of all cultures and in our DNA.

            Human sexual dimorphism is not small. Had it been small 14 and 15 year old boys wouldn’t crush women’s world soccer world cup winners like they do. When comparing upper body strength humans are among the most sexually dimorphic primates that exist, men have about twice the upper body strength which makes us similar to gorillas in that regard, and much more dimorphic than chimpanzees.

            Why does too much testosterone interfer with reproduction in human females? It doesn’t in Spotted Hyenas. The answer is that the human female body has never adapted to high levels of testosterone. Why? Because women never needed it. Female Spotted Hyenas produce more testosterone than the males without it interfering with their menstrual cycle. It’s not only body size that hints at male adaptation for physical combat, these includes traits like for example more robust faces which protect better against punches, broader shoulders, larger hands and higher bone density in the arms specifically.

            Facts are that in every society and every culture for which data are available men commit the vast majority (around 95%) of all homicides, have much higher mortality due to risk-taking, and buy more sex, report wanting more sex, watch more porn, accept more sexual offers, decline fewer sexual offers and express greater interest in casual sex encounters.

            Looking at the reproductive skew between males and females these traits should be expected like they are in other species showing the same reproductive skew, these traits are highly heritable as shown by twin studies, girls with higher levels of androgens prenatally show more male typical behaviour on these traits, trans men who take androgens report higher aggression and higher sex drive as main effects, trans women who take androgen blockers report repressed aggression and lower sex drive as main effects.

            Now let’s look at the social constructionist theory you favour. Although humans show high level of physiological sexual dimorphism men and women are somehow supposed to be psychologically identical (what evolutionary pressure shaped men’s and women’s bodies differently but not their psychology?). And this despite the fact that expected sex differences following from reproductive skew appear in all cultures, despite the fact that stereotype effects don’t replicate, despite that social priming effects don’t replicate, despite the fact that parenting effects don’t replicate while genetic effects do. Instead, for some unknown magical reason evolution shaped male and female psychology indentically while shaping their bodies differently at the same time, yet, despite this, EVERY CULTURE we know decided collectively to go against evolution and socialize men and women into the exact expected differences we should expect looking at the reproductive skew in our DNA. And we should believe this despite not being able to identify a single social causal factor for these differences, first explanation was parenting but it has failed, stereotype effect has failed, priming effects have also failed. Yet we should still believe there is some magical invisible force that causes all this. This is creationism, there is no difference. And “culture” isn’t a very good explanation, first you must answer the question where does culture come from? It doesn’t magically materialize out of thin air you know.

  • Tina W
    • DH

      You’ve pushed it so hard I don’t want to read it now. But I guess I will.